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Monday, 26 September 2016

Life's Purpose: Whatever you Say

Every morning we wake up.
Every day we grind.
Every week we plan.
Every month passes by.

Years creep by.

What do we live for?
What do we work for?

If not for a belief in society,
If not for a belief in better,
Then what?

Greed, money, power.
Each fuels the next,
But fuels not the soul.

If not for better,
Then why?

What value does this system really have if it doesn't contribute to the fulfillment of each individual? Everyone lives their life, trying to find meaning or purpose. This is the cause of religion; the search for science; the quest for money and power. Everyone tried to fill the gaping hole that lies inside of them. As intellectual humans, we see that as part of a never ending Universe; we are small. As intellectual humans, we see that in never ending time, our lives are short. But, as ignorant humans, we see our problems as huge and don't solve them. As ignorant humans, we see seconds as an eternity and lose patience.

In reality, this is a wider than general view of the Universe. However, when looking closer and apply it to individual situations, it makes more sense.

See, for example, the life of a factory worker: in a working life, one worker maybe completes the same single task many millions of times. They might feel accomplished on a day to day basis, or see a lifetime of work as meaningless. To the Universe, this life was short in time. To the Universe, this life was minuscule in accomplishment. Do you believe this? Or is this worker a small and functional part of a larger society? Their small day to day tasks were built on by others. They worked together, manufacturing and creating. This moved on the course of production and changed society. Society moved forward, at least in part, because the worker was a part of it, a driving force. This might be a bad example, but the point remains.

This then forms two views: do you see this life as meaningless or do you see this life as contribution to a wider change? I believe the latter.

You pick one task, you master it, you do this for a long time and the world will change.

When one person's actions change something small, this something small could then create something big. in trying to find meaning, you create meaning. By looking at the Universe, asking why; you are answering the question. By asking, you are giving it meaning. The world exists for you to give it meaning, not for it to give you meaning. In the example of the factory worker: they might judge themselves to any standard. The Universe cares not of the small, incremental changes. All it cares about is the end result. It doesn't give meaning to your life. You give meaning to the Universe and in this search, you discover the meaning to you.

Maybe it was all a mistake, or maybe it wasn't.
Maybe there is a God, or maybe there isn't.

The only maybe you can forget is this:
Maybe you will do something great, or maybe you won't.
Forget it!
Only you can determine what is great and what is not.
Only you can choose your dreams.
Only you can follow them and only you can judge them.
The Universe doesn't judge you, you do.

In living a life of purpose, you find something in which you believe is good. You live this and your purpose will have changed the world.

In essence, dream to do what you love. Live what you love and your love will change the world. Only you can place meaning onto what you do and it is only you who judges what you do.

Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn't.
But who cares?
As long as you can look back and say: 'I did it'.
Everyone looks back to a different life.
Everyone should look back with the same purpose.

Enjoy your limited time and place. You are in a unique time and place. Value everything you experience and experience everything you value.

Life is short, find your purpose.

J Stefan Devlin

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Facing Trials

When I face trials, I always look at what I have in my life, what I want in my future and what I can do to face these trials with everything I have. Sometimes I write messages to myself to remind me: always put everything you have into anything you do. This is something I wrote to myself in May. May it help at least one other person who might read.

Think of the past with nostalgia, look to the future with optimism and appreciate the present. There is always hope when there is despair. There is always strength out of pain. There is always courage where fear strikes. When the bad strikes, the good always fights back. Life can be a constant battle between the good and the bad. These battles are fought firstly within and then emulate around you. For the good to win the war, it starts with your mind. Always have hope. Always see life for both what it is and what it could be. You have the ability to change what could be into what is and what is to what was. Only you have this power in your own life. Master the power, master your mind and you will change your world.

J Stefan Devlin

Friday, 17 June 2016

Miniscule Problems From Afar

When you realise the vastness and the beauty of this world, it makes your problems seem minute. What's wrong is fully encompassed by what is right. The good outweighs the bad.

Sometimes situations prove tough and will test you. But, in this test, this is the universe checking in to see if your lessons have paid off.

Happiness engulfs the sadness, but only when you let it. Only when you can stand back and see life for what it is: an opportunity to grow and learn. It is better to live a trialed life than to live an easy one. For only through trials can you learn and grow.

As I write this piece,  I'm in transit from Hamburg to Berlin and so, I'd also like to share a little about my travels as I go along. Germany has been the cleanest looking country that I've visited thus far. Take this literally,  there is no rubbish on the streets. The people are harsh and blunt but have good inner minds. I have met people from all walks of life and from many different countries. I guess that this is one of the best parts of travelling: getting into conversations that you would never have imagined with people you never thought you would meet.

Germany, whilst extremely industrious and rich in culture, there are many people living here from all different corners of the globe, does have its problems.

As I peered at the billboards on my treks throughout the city, I saw advertisements for cigarettes. This is something completely unheard of in the UK. Indeed, you can actually purchase cigarettes from vending machines without the use of I.D.! When visiting nightclubs, a large majority support smoking indoors, a practise made illegal in the UK even before I became of age to drink. For this, I'm thankful for our regulation. I like that in a paternalistic sense, our government seeks to improve the health of the nation.

Furthermore, whilst visiting surrounding bars and wandering through the city at night, one was approached by countless men promoting a seemingly countless number of 'strip clubs' within the city. My viewpoint is that if they exist, there must be demand for them in the surrounding area. Basic economics says that in a free market, markets are made by demander and suppliers.  Fair enough for this city. Although, I also believe that this existence is evidence of a patriarchal society in which mysogyny is ripe. It feels sleazy just walking past these establishments.

One last point I would like to talk about is alcohol. Yes, we all drink it, but have you ever bought a 500ml (1 pint equivalent) of 5% beer for 0.30€? Visit a local supermarket here and you can. Now everyone would have mixed feelings about this: yes it's great that things are cheaper, but thinking about society: this is a demerit good. When people can legally drinking 30 cent pints of strong beer as they walk the streets,  this causes a wider societal problem. I would see this as another reason for alcohol regulation.

That being said, there are some great initiatives by the local governance here. For example, if you do buy a recyclable product, such as a bottle of water; you can then bring the bottle back to a local drop off point and you get paid to recycle it. As we face an international climate crisis, I feel that this is a great initiative, leading, at least this locality, in the right direction.

Now I know that this post was quite long, but I had a lot to talk about! I basically just wanted to cover what I had been thinking about intellectually, along with what I saw in this city.

Thanks for reading. Until next time....

Stefan Devlin

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Travelling Thoughts, Dispersing Ideas

As I write this into the notes section of my phone, I'm on a train travelling to Hamburg from Amsterdam, a part of my 6 weeks of travelling around Europe. I have been unable to write a lot simply due to time and other projects (vlogs) that I've been working on. This writing is not complex nor is it meant to summarise all of my thoughts, it's just a quick look into my thoughts from travelling, along with ideas from 'The Alchemist', a novel I have just finished reading.

After thinking for a while though, I had a personal realisation. Originally, you dream of taking on the world, but you always sell yourself short.

Sometimes it takes time to think, time to self reflect in order to actually follow your destiny, go out there and follow it. We all have an opportunity to achieve something great. Some people see this and go out to seek greatness. But, many of us are content with just getting by in life. Thinking that money and a few friends is a solution to inner fulfillment. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Travelling, reading and talking to people has taught me this. You learn that everyone is on their own separate path in life. This is a beautiful fact. You should never try and beat anyone, you should never compete in terms of lifestyles. Never look at the destinies of others, try and seek your own destiny. Spend every moment of your existence trying to find it.

Travel, see the world. After seeing the world, you will find that Home is Home. There are some really beautiful places in the world but sometimes it's the place you least expect, home, to be the best.

Again, this is just a culmination of thoughts I've had since beginning my journey. I am by far not finished travelling or thinking, but I've noted a few ideas.

Don't let your expectations of places or ideas influence your beliefs. Always seek to experience everything in your own eyes. Whether that is Paris being over-romanticised and Brussels being a super modern 'Mekkah' for European development. Of course,  to a degree these are both true. But in reality, there are so many different perspectives of every single place. There are so many aspects to discover and so many expectations to smash. Sometimes things will fail to meet your expectations. This might seem daunting of an idea, but it's true. You can't believe anything until you see it, feel it or experience it for yourself. That's beautiful though. When going in with an open mind, you can discover and learn so much!

I will probably write up a few pieces in the next few weeks, but when I really get time to reflect, when I return to Belfast, I will be able to write with a lot more clarity.

It's human nature to want to be apart of something different.

Thank you for reading, wherever in the world you are.

Stefan Devlin

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Tomorrow Can Wait

How odd is it for a person in the 21st Century to take time? Just take time.

As I write this, I have just taken an hour out of my day to just take some time. I'm in a park: taking time. When people can't afford a few minutes per day, taking an hour really pays.

I see the beauty of nature in every blade of grass seemingly floating and swaying in the calm wind. But, I also see the monotony of our actions as busy worker bees rush past me; late for something that seems important at the time, but in the end sums to nothing.

I feel calm in my thoughts. I see beauty in the landscape. I hear art through music. I smell the bliss flowers of Spring.

How freeing it is to feel this for free, to feel it so clearly. Yet this park is so empty. Used only as a transit between ever busier schedules, evermore rushing people. But yet, I say this as a hypocrite. I use this idea licence environment as nothing more than a transit every single day. Every single day, except today.

But, in my random ramblings, there is truth. I am doing nothing more than sitting in a park, listening to music and writing. But really, how often do we do this? How often do people just sit, reminding themselves of the beauty of the every day? Not often enough is the most accurate answer.

So often, we get caught up in our lives so much that we forget to do just that, live.

We forget to enjoy what we have right here, right now. Instead, we focus on what we don't have. Thinking we can achieve this by ignoring enjoyment today, we struggle until tomorrow. But when tomorrow becomes today, again we struggle until tomorrow; continually waiting for love and happiness to magically appear, without seeking and realising it.

When we eventually achieve our goals, we only want more. It's human nature, to ignore nature. It is a non-stop cycle, until we stop it consciously. 

I am not saying to not have ambition. I’m just saying that we should enjoy what we have today and stop focusing on tomorrow. For if we miss today, today becomes yesterday, a lost history. We can never retrieve it. Tomorrow can always wait.

I see the vibrant green of the grass, the earthy brown of the bark and the eternal blue of the sky. What do you see?

Tomorrow can wait. For now, I've got to run to my next meeting, thus finishing this post. Heed the words of the eternal hypocrite. 

Jack Stefan Devlin

Blog Update: Overall Direction

As I expand my knowledge of the world,  I'd love to share my experiences and thoughts. So from now onwards, instead of just posting professional content, I would like to expand my peripheral vision of the world through my writing. I will start posting general content about philosophy, spiritualism, politics and general thoughts about the world; in addition to the current type of content.

Obviously in the future, I may vary the branding, but for now, I will be keeping the Treconomics name. Mainly because of what it stands for. True economics. Truth in my thoughts and giving you honesty. Economics covers so much of the world, it looks at the actions of individuals and society as a whole, and so it remains relevant.

Thank you for your constant support and for reading. I write as a way to emotionally and intellectually grow myself, but it is reassuring that over a thousand unique visitors have read my posts. So thank you, and stay posted for lot more content.

Jack Stefan Devlin
Student, Social Entrepreneur and Blogger