Dated May 18, 2018
I have been questioning myself "Do I deserve it?" for more than two [years] now. Less often than before. I ask it thrice; emphasising on "I", "deserve" and "it" each time and notice how the tone of the question changes with dragging a few syllables.
I guess I don't ask it anymore because I have changed since May 26, 2015; the day when I could finally understand the meaning of "There is no substitute for 'hard work'". There is a difference between "knowing" and "understanding". There is "understanding", "accepting" and "following". I would say that despite learning how to accept it, rather a hard way, and advising others about it, I do not follow it. It is a shame, yes. But in all fairness, in the journey to accept that, I learnt "never to give up".
Maybe I don't ask myself that question because I don't know how to conclude whether I deserve "it", whether anyone deserves "it" or not! There [are] always so many things any jury would overlook. Not necessarily "good" or "bad". It could be neutral [sic], unintentional — ignorance or lack of knowledge. Something could be "good" in someone's definition but may mean something else in other's way of comprehending and evaluating. Definitions change as time flows, as one learns and experiences something or as one is radicalised or even turns ignorant.
Maybe it is impossible to answer if "someone" "deserves" "it".
However, I think I have been asking the wrong question. Or may be the word choice was poor. Maybe I should not be worrying about deserving something, heck, I don't even know what it means; I guess instead, I should be focusing on delivering my 100%.
I know, the next question would be "How would I know if it is 'my 100%'?" Again, I have been focusing on hard-lined rules. How about "Am I satisfied [with my effort]?". Am I satisfied with framing a better alternative? Yes, at least as of now, yes. I know, when I am satisfied, I don't ask for more — I know it because I convince myself that I am not satisfied in order to push myself.
I stop trying when I know I am right. But when I am told that I could have done better, that acts as the driving force.
I was planning to get a print out of "You are wrong" in a bold slab-serif uppercase and hang it on the wall. But maybe I should not. What if it affects me in a way I did not intend it to; and I stop looking at that side of the wall? What if it is so intense that I give up and don't try to be 'better'?
I could ask myself: "Am I satisfied with what I am doing?" If the answer is "no", well, push harder! Make it give the feeling of satisfaction. If the answer was "yes!" with the fucking exclamation, then and then only go for the follow-up question.
One hasn't given their "100%" if the reply was just "yes". Real satisfaction…well I can't articulate at the moment but there is a difference between a "yes" and a "yes!".
The follow-up question is: "Can I do it better?" The possible answers should be: "of course" or "may be". When it is the former, there is the driving force. "May be" is just to be optimistic. It is not a lie; if I think about it. If sometimes, the answer was "no", and that could be due to any damn reason. Ask yourself, "Why? Why did I say 'no'?". Because when you could dare to say "no"; unknowingly you were influenced by the most influential person who would come in your life. That person is you. Congratulations! You are the most influential person, the only one to convince you that you could not have improvised. It is good to be the most influential person; but why not use it to make the world, a better place?
Maybe that is how one could learn "never to give up [on improving]". The threshold of your satisfaction will go up, but so will your will and determination to be better than before.
All of this just because I decided to solve a [D]ijkstra's algorithm question with two minutes left on the clock. Seven vertices and twelve edges — I told myself: "I would not be able to finish it on time." And the immediate reply was, "So what?"
I guess that wasn't the best way for handling the situation. How can I tell if I will be able to, or, not; without trying?
Later today, I realised that SuRie's song "Storm", which I have been listening to, on repeat this entire week; which has this line:
"Give all you've got. Hold your head up. Don't give up — no! no!"
It is not the "negative" way of not giving up. It is not "positive" either. It just tells you to go on without bothering a positive or a negative tone.
Well, why should I not give up? And that too, on everything? Because this is how we can practice to not-give-up for the more challenging and bigger problems? One can't always be prepared. Just like I wasn't, for this question: so maybe I will have to find out!