Erwin Olaf

Today I woke up to a brand new day. New opportunities, as well, if one is in a state of mind to allow seeing through the filtered lens of pessimism; we all do it. I often miss recognizing these small moments of gratitude~ a new day signals a new cycle, one where quality of the self, events and expectations cannot be predicted. And they shouldn’t.

I took a moment to decipher the occupation of my mind, as every day our minds are filled with a multitude of thoughts of competing value, and the emotions that come with them.

The human mind is extremely complex; puzzling the greatest philosophers of our time.

It is my belief that once a human experiences or learns about a subject, it is stored for retrieval, presenting itself in what we perceive to be unrelated or even related circumstances. But the memory centers, our synapses, and neural networks are constantly creating our story~ even if we can’t remember what happened, eventually, it comes back to reveal itself, just like remembering a song title that is “on the tip of your tongue,” but you cannot remember it at the moment.

I have learned to judge not, simply, to pay attention. Or rather, I have learned to try and learn to judge not.

Perhaps it’s a deceiving statement, as judgment can happen at the subconscious level. This detachment to outcome requires practice, and honestly, I fail in its application every day. However, appreciation and respect for the smallest of matters help us build humility and awareness.

My thoughts that day were of beauty, wisdom, truth and success. I took note of what was swirling inside my brain, as it was a topic of great importance with the potential for profound insight.

I recognized that it is more difficult to see the beauty in something that is deemed unattractive than to see the unpleasant nature of something deemed to be beautiful. This year, and for seasons that have not yet come to pass, I resolved to strive to find the beauty that surrounds me and to live life as if seeing through an artist’s eyes: one color on a palette that can be mixed into countless formulations and be shaped into numerous forms, as pliant as the artist desires. I use the word “strive,” as I am a very conscious person, aware of our fallacies in keeping promises even to ourselves.

We are an image-oriented society, and thus we must create substance through understanding and reorienting many of the concepts we have been conditioned to believe. And this applies to beauty as well. Also, to what we consider to be successful. Every story will be influenced by the life experiences of each person~ that sets up apart; individuality.

Additionally, beauty is to be found within and that cannot be missed because it is essential to self-growth and success. I will strive to remain inspired, to acknowledge the beauty within and outside myself, as a matter of loving myself and the world around me .

If I do so, my chances of ascending my own personal transgressions, my life circumstances and possibilities for success are amplified.

True success can only be attained if my self-worth is in its rightful place.

Perhaps life can be shaped as we desire, after all. Molded and sculpted to perfection, like Plasticine. So what stops us from ascending even further, growing as individuals?

Could it be that we have placed far too much importance on the outer world, that tending to the inner realm is laborious, takes time, and is a contradiction to the pace our society runs on? For truly, this inward process is laborious, but self-growth, in my opinion, is the most important thing we can contribute to society, and ourselves.


Perhaps, I thought to myself, life can be molded and shaped for the highest growth of the individual, without forgetting our responsibilities in life.

Perhaps life and the life of my dreams can be achieved through self-growth and personal responsibility. Taking charge of my destiny, as the individual is meant to grow and evolve. But it requires commitment and a promise to the self that you are meant to go through this journey,

with recognition that it is all a process~ allowing one to reflect, understand, and move forward.

As a sign of respect to my self-growth and the ground upon which I stand, as well as the foundation upon which countless lives have depended upon for their survival, conditioned in practices and beliefs, a closer examination may seem laborious and contradictory at first, but it takes you out of the ‘self’ that you have learned is ‘normal,’ while understanding what makes you unique.

But the ‘self’ has to include personal growth, authenticity, reflection, as well as the needs of the material realm. Therefore, neither can be discounted.

Additionally, one must have a willingness to learn what has been there for thousands of years, if not more. This again requires practice and re-training of the (conditioned) mind. Because we are rarely inclined towards inward reflection; practices that help identify who you really are.


Respect for ancient knowledge, that should also be attended to, is a necessity as it is a storehouse for what our ancestors have understood. Wisdom may come to me, if I ask it to and invite it, but it’s important to allow wisdom in all forms to come through. Wisdom gained from self-growth is just as valuable as innovation in space or technology. If refused, this ultimate facet of ourselves (though always available), moves out of our recognition in the pursuit of success.

May your days ahead be fruitful and the years carry much wisdom into your being, as I carry about my days as a human being.

May the days ahead be full of achievements and personal growth, success, and beauty~ that is recognized from within and outside the self~and may truth and authenticity continue to be the inner foundation of our growth.