My Fiction Of Politics

Politics-related subjects, like many fields in social sciences, are not professionally labelled degrees such as law, medicine, or engineering are. Once you have finished med school, you are automatically a doctor from that moment on, or a lawyer upon completion of legal training after law school. Moreover, it is impossible for one to possess these professions without obtaining those degrees, meaning that there is no doctor not having a med school degree, for example.  If you study a politics-related subject on the other hand, there is no authority that will employ you without any strings attached as a “politician” or a “scholar”, above all, solely because you majored in politics.  This is why the degree of Politics or of International Relations is widely portrayed as an “academic” degree rather than a professional one. And yet, if you are to specialize in this field, you will need to pursue a higher qualification after completing your Bachelor’s.  Owing to its this unique characteristic, studying higher degree in politics in order to master in an its subfield is essential for those who are deeply interested in it.  As always having been determined to study master degree ever since my freshman year at the university, I am excited to be at the decision juncture now, given that it is my next year after the college. So, how did my passion in politics start and why am I interested in it that much?

My parents brought me up with the doctorine that one should be aware of what is happening in her country, as well as across the world.  For this reason, I was constantly lectured to be acquainted with political issues which has been seen by my parents as the most likely way to touch the lives of people and the best way to understand how stuff goes on. Thus, in the first place, being interested in political affairs was more of a pre-requisite rather than a personal choice to me. Yet, it was to be my passion very soon. Virtually, I had always been blown away by the concepts and issues in politics. The likelihood of examining the ideas of freedom, touching upon ideologies from communism to liberalism, as well as dealing with revolutions and wars had been quite enticing to me.  Nonetheless, it was the second year at the university in 2011 that I got a chance to study in London for six-week summer school, and I opened my eyes into very different world. It has equipped me with valuable skills that are undoubtedly essential for a future education in my field. I have learned to analyze sources thoroughly and synthesize information to form well-reasoned arguments.  I was required to participate in debates as part of the course, which enable me to discuss with people from many different culture. Hence, I decided that if I was face to challenges in the future I need to improve my skills further. Since that time, I aspire to take a part in the European class. On the risk of sounding presumptuous, I hope to be able to make a difference in the world. Studying in the graduate class will surely put me on the right track towards achieving my dreams. As aTurkish citizen, I hope that I can reciprocate the favor and contribute to the diverse and stimulating student body.

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Tell No One*

There’s the aspect of  accountability that is a big motivator. I’m not sure I would be nearly as motivated to finish things if I didn’t have thousands of people checking in on me every week.

There’s an element of voyeurism. People like to see what other people are trying to do. It’s part of our natural instinct.

I think there’s an element of pride in there as well. There’s something powerful about speaking your goals into existence and then setting out and making them happen. It feels good (and it should!) – look at what you accomplished! It’s a nice bonus to the feeling of accomplishment you’ve done for yourself.

But, we lose something every time we tell someone about our accomplishments. Every time we do, we give a little piece of that accomplishment away. We trade a little of the accomplishment for a little bit of recognition, a few accolades and a little bit of approval from whoever we tell it to.

This is a pretty easy trap to fall into:

  1. You start by doing impossible things because you want to. It feels good to challenge yourself.
  2. People notice, and congratulate you for your efforts. You feel good that other people approve.
  3. You appreciate the recognition and begin to do more impossible things that feel good to accomplish but also bring more recognition that feels good.
  4. But, if you’re not careful, you start focusing on accolades instead of doing things for yourself, you realize you’re doing it for others.

So , ask yourself, “If no one was watching, would I still do this?” If the answer is no, you might need to step back and ask yourself why you’re doing all of this in the first place.

I’m all for helping others and being generous, but if you begin to do stuff because of what other people will think/do/say, you’re quickly back to square one of having your life simply being manipulated by your ego and having your actions determined by what you think other people will approve of.

I love accomplishing things. I love doing impossible stuff. I love checking things off my impossible list and I’m not going to stop. But, if I’m not careful, it gets very easy to get caught up in doing more & more things “just because”, instead of doing them because I’m genuinely excited about doing them.

Tell No One*

Go pick something on your list. Anything.

Go do it.

Struggle through,  get past any obstacles in your way and do it.

Don’t tweet about it. Don’t blog about it. Don’t write about it all over facebook.

Don’t tell your boyfriend, your mom, your boss, your brother. Anyone.

Resist the urge to tell somebody about it and gain some ancillary approval. You don’t need it.

Do it for yourself.

If you’re in the same place, you should try it. There’s something incredibly motivating about having a few mysteries that you keep all to yourself..

“What Failure Taught Me”

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There are some things in life that you can’t control, like the way humidity affects your hair, for example.  But your success and where you get to in life, you can. No matter how hard that feels sometimes.

I know this because before 4 years ago, I would not imagine my career was going to reach to anywhere good. I was effortless, discouraged and pathetic. Let me see the scene.

I studied politics. In fact, this was not a conscious decision for me but thanks to tutors for a great inspiration; which encouraged me to be able to do good jobs. After spend two years at the college, I concluded that the field of social sciences is like an immense ocean and if I was to face the pressing challenges as a decision-maker in this ocean, I would need to be equipped with further training in international affairs. Since that moment, I have been determined not to be content with an undergraduate degree.

After awhile, what happened to me was simple: I failured for an exam over and over again and I took it way too personally. I took a couple of blows and wallowed for years. I gave up trying, expecting life to come to me, rather than grabbing it. I let myself feel insignificant and forgot to tell myself I was capable of anything.

The point of this tale is that you are in control of your success. When I used to say I wanted to ‘make it big’, people would
scoff at my chances. And here I am with a successful degree , working and earning by myself. So screw them. I’ve learnt you don’t have to stick to your original plan to be successful, but more importantly, it doesn’t have to be dictated by others. When someone knocks you down, you pick yourself up and carry on.

You don’t lie on the ground for three years acting like you’ve got a broken leg, when all you did was stub your toe. If you don’t
keep driving yourself forward, there will be more wipes for you.

So now, I keep imagining myself in the good position like I want to be in the world stage. I want to have a voice. A voice that i wrote, not one that has written to me. So in my own time, i do not to beat myself up but working hard. Because I know as long as I do not take risks now, I risk my future even more.