My life has changed pretty remarkably in the past few months. What makes the change interesting is that the past few months of my life have been pretty uneventful. No life changing event, no experience that altered my life's trajectory, no song, movie, or piece of art to inspire change. And unless you were inside my head you wouldn't even notice the change. But something did change.
So what was it? What happened that changed everything? My perspective changed. I realized that reality is malleable.
Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I'm a serial hobbyist. The truth is that I love the high you get when learning about something new, the fast improvement of that new skill, and the excitement of sharing your new skill with the world. I've done sports, weight lifting, diet and nutrition experimentation, sleep experiments, playing instruments, gaming, blogging (obviously), photography, film making, cooking, web design and development, social media, singing... the list goes on and on.
My newest hobby is running. Now I'm not a good runner by any means. I'm not fast, my form is not great, and the best part of my run may very well be the color coordinated running gear I wear, but I love it. And through self-quantification and data tracking, I've realized not only why I love running, but (probably) why I love all the hobbies I start (even those that get dumped later).
gentility: The quality of being well-mannered; refinement.
A gentleman. Broken down, a gentle man. Being a gentleman isn't some arbitrary set of rules, followed by men of the Victorian era, never to be heard of again. Much to the contrary, the world needs gentlemen today more than ever. You see, being a gentleman is a mindset, a philosophy. And while many may think of gentlemanly acts as patronizing, and even sexist, if they were to understand the philosophy of being a gentleman, they'd understand the merit and necessity of it.
Today I decided to write myself a letter. I am always intrigued by people talking to other versions of themselves or really getting into the perspectives of others. For example "Superman" by Five for Fighting, or the writing of the historical characters in "Midnight in Paris". But rather than write a letter to my younger self, as many do, I've decided to 'receive' a letter from my older self.
Dear 28-year-old Ibrahim,
Hello good friend. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I was recently pondering the journey life has taken me on from childhood to where I am today (2/4/2040) and I thought it might be productive to write to you. First off, let me say congratulations. The accomplishments you've achieved up until this point are enough to have made your friends and family proud.
Today is my 27th birthday. As part of my celebration, I've decided to share 27 lessons that helped me get to where I am today and will help me continue onward. I hope they are of as much value to you as they are to me.
You get out of life what you put into it. Nothing more, nothing less.