Being influenced by others’ actions

Being influenced by others’ actions

So much of our life is spent looking at what others are doing and then trying to imitate that… sometimes we admire what someone does and sometimes we envy. But overall, irrespective of the factor that ends up impressing us, the baseline remains the same – the influence.

There are times when we don’t know what to do with our lives or we feel we are lacking something – this could be towards a micro aspect of life or macro life itself. With the above factors coming into play, we then get influenced by what someone else is doing and try to implement that into our lives.

We don’t know whether we need that in our life or not, but because we got influenced and thus ended up imitating, we don’t realise the true value of doing that for a while; it’s only after some time then do we realise its role and whether we need to continue or discard that particular imitation from our life.

It’s easy to get influenced – it seems better when someone else is doing something… especially if they’re good at it too – then it’s more impressive than usual, where we forget how difficult the initial steps of undertaking such a process would be.

The problem is we don’t understand ourselves nor we do take the time to understand as well… instead of putting in that time, it feels easier and time-saving to get influenced and do something that someone is already doing…once we do understand ourselves, we can know what we want and whether doing something particular is beneficial to us or not.

Moreover, in such a process, even if someone else is doing something similar… because we want to do that for ourselves, and go through that process, someone else’s level 15 doesn’t undermine our level 2 in our heads, we are then able to stay on our paths and walk on the journey that we have set for ourselves.

Sometimes such influence is good because it can cater you to in the right direction… but many times such influence works the opposite way for you, especially if the intent towards getting that influence isn’t right.

Instead of setting yourself for disappointment

Instead of setting yourself for disappointment

How often do things lead to disappointment? We plan and envision these outcomes, only for things to take a complete left turn in reality. When we plan, there’s hope. When we foresee those outcomes, there’s belief. But outside of that, there’s a reality too.

A reality where at every second there’s a diversion. At every turn, you’ve to be ready to jump and hop. Real-life circumstances and problems come into the picture. When it happens, then multiple paths are created – and sometimes to walk, you’ve to choose a path on which you wouldn’t want to choose. Neither do you like the road nor where it is leading to? But when you left home you envisioned a highway that would take you at top speed to your destination. (the point of setting yourself up for disappointment).

So, time and again, in multiple aspects and phases of life, micro and macro, we wish for things to happen, we work on it, and most times the outcome is different than anticipated… thereby feeling disappointed with the process and outcome. This disappointment then spreads to further other aspects and phases of life.

When it happens is when your level of hope and belief also starts to get affected. But, to look at this from a different perspective, it was this expectation of a single outcome and the pressure of it that created the entire problem in the first place.

The better option is to lower your expectations. When your perspective of doing something aligns with the process and the reasoning changes from the outcome to the reason behind doing it before the outcome is achieved, is when the weightage of expectations reduces; it is these moments when the factor of enjoyment and fulfilment come into the picture because those emotions now have a platform to grow and the emotions of anxiousness and impatience to achieve the outcome have reduced – it all stems from the lowering of expectations.

A cyclical process which now sets you up in a way where you can wake up every day, doing something you enjoy for the process, and not with an expectation of doing something only because of an expected outcome in the future.

An attempted improvement that only makes things worse

An attempted improvement that only makes things worse

When we look at improvement, we look at the process and the outcome as a positive one, and the thinking is that any kind of improvement would be good for us.

No improvement is ever enough, and when you become self-aware, you start to realize the number of things you can improve on, some that need to happen at a rapid pace and some that need to happen at some point in time.

But the problem that happens is when we rush to improve at something, without approaching it right. When we proceed to change one thing about ourselves, we forget about the domino effect, i.e. our life is currently accustomed to running one habit after the other as a routine and a change in one habit results in the change of everything else as well too. Not just the domino effect, but we also forget about the logistics of that one particular improvement that we were aiming for.

Logistics means understanding how we can instil this improvement/ change into our lifestyle successfully, the problems that we’d face and how we could tackle them, to make it a successful improvement, and thereafter, add more improvements to our lifestyle.

This is where the German word, Verschlimmbesserung comes into play, it means ‘an attempted improvement that only makes things worse.’ When you proceed without a plan, or you hurry something out, there are chances that even doing something that would’ve been better for you, instead makes it worse.

Worse could lead to you thinking it wasn’t a good change for you in the first place and you should instead switch to your old habit yet again, which was executable so well. Rather, the problem lies in the attempt, not in what was supposed to happen but didn’t, but we were never able to realize that. Changes are required and necessary, but there are times that our execution or our planning isn’t done right, which in turn doesn’t make the outcome right too, but that shouldn’t deviate us from our thinking, but rather should make us introspect on it.

Coming to terms with your reality

Coming to terms with your reality

In today’s world, we have more resources than ever by our side, resources that help us not only grow, not only proceed further but also help us escape.

The more we escape, the illusion of freedom grows bigger. Not recognising it’s an illusion, we tend to escape more and more, because why not feel that freedom? Why does that escapism feel like freedom?

Because we aren’t aligned with our reality. The real world is something else, and we are probably perceiving it as another thing altogether, thereby not understanding its true roots nor its impact.

The most important thing that could ever happen in life, to understand the feeling of living, is coming to terms with our reality.

The sooner we shed all the layers, and see everything as is, the real everything around us – the roots and its impact on us – about every aspect – the better we would understand ourselves and not only that, but also understanding whether that is a path we want for ourselves or are we just walking on it without realizing where it’s leading?

Maybe the destination isn’t important, but how many diversions can be even taken (with regards to escaping)… sooner or later, a destination may arrive which we may not like. But because we hid under a blanket of lies, and didn’t grasp the reality, we reached somewhere where we didn’t want to be.

Coming to terms with our reality may be difficult – because we have to accept certain truths that are difficult to digest and difficult to move on from – because those truths will lead to making moves we don’t have the strength for, but at least grasping the reality will give a freer life and will give the option of not wanting to hide anymore… will help us reach a destination where we’d glad we walked for.

Particular moments vs your Daily Lifestyle

Particular moments vs your Daily Lifestyle

In life, there are particular moments that we look forward to and we wait for them, and we enjoy them too, but what is the exact span of those moments?

It’s not that we should not look forward to those moments, they are a part of life, those moments help us build more of such moments and thus we design our life in a way so these moments could pop up time and time again.

How you design your life to arrive at that moment is where it gets interesting… When you only have the destination in sight, you’re ready to look beyond the daily life/ routine/ habits and give more and give everything to push yourself hard enough to achieve that moment.

What then suffers is your mental input and output, the toll on your body, the emotional state of mind, and missing out on taking care of your mind and body and soul, leading to badly affecting the other phases of life as well.

The debate then comes in particular moments of your life vs your daily lifestyle. What are you sacrificing everything for, and what’s the longevity of that something when compared to the longevity of what you’re losing for it?

When you bring a wider perspective into the picture instead of just a single gain is when you can open your eyes and see the reality. While there’s no negating the particular moments that we live and experience and look forward to, it can be achieved on the right track too, giving importance to your daily lifestyle, where you take into account your mental and physical health; focusing on your emotional state, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and moreover peace and enjoyment.

Wouldn’t it be something to have a good daily lifestyle and also get to experience singular/ particular moments that we have wanted to experience in a healthy way!?

Awareness is not equal to Learning or Unlearning (Part 1)

Awareness is not equal to Learning or Unlearning (Part 1)

Awareness means to become aware of something, i.e. to know about something. So when it is said to be aware while crossing the road, for example, it means to have the knowledge of when is the right time to cross the road and to know that you have to look at both sides before crossing.

Lately, self-awareness is talked about on a massive scale. Self Awareness, with regards to ourselves obviously, means to understand/ know about ourselves, and who we are, shedding all the belief systems, thought patterns, and behavioral traits acquired from others, and understanding yourself first.

On that path, there is a lot that has to be learned, when you acquire this knowledge for the first time, and start to utilize it for yourself. There is also a lot that has to be unlearned.

Here’s the twist. Just being aware of something doesn’t equate to learning or unlearning anything. Two paths, whilst parallel to each other, are different paths, where you must walk on one to walk on the other.

Learning and Unlearning is an Execution, whereas Awareness is simply the understanding of something. One can become aware of a lot of things, but not necessarily apply them to their lives, not necessarily add or subtract them from their lives based on how it affects them.

While becoming aware is step one, now you know something, you then move onto step two, where you either based on what you’re aware of, either start the process of unlearning and unapplying something from your life OR start the process of learning something new/ instilling something new in your life, thus executing the awareness factor ahead into learning, which eventually may or may not become a habit.

Why the focus on its differentiation because most of us like to be aware, but what are we using the awareness for… Only being aware doesn’t help with anything unless we move to the next step. Thereby, knowing the difference helps us understand at what step are we at, and how can we proceed if we wish to.

“Because I’ve always been this way”

“Because I’ve always been this way”

“Because I’ve always been this way”

  • dampens your growth
  • limits your thinking
  • leads to making the same mistakes again and again
  • affects your relationships with others around you

Have you heard someone around you say this phrase, “Because I’ve always been this way”?
It usually pops up as a response when someone else points out their mistake or criticizes them for their actions.

For the person saying it, this phrase eventually becomes a defense mechanism for them, when they don’t know how to get out of a situation, when they don’t know how to face the criticism or how to rectify their mistake, the automatic response pops up, “Because I’ve always been this way.”

For the individual on the other end, not only does it become bothersome to physically be in the presence of such repetitive actions/ mistakes, but it takes a heavier toll to hear the words, “Because I’ve always been this way.”

It translates to a limiting, fixed mindset where an individual doesn’t want to or is scared to change. When there is no push to change for good, then you’re bound to revolve around your limiting beliefs and thoughts, make recurring mistakes, and face the same consequences again, because, in order to get out of that rut, in order to rectify your mistakes, in order to gain a new perspective and to open yourself up, you have to grow, and to grow you have to change, to change you have to say that I can change and not say “Because I’ve always been this way”.

The mindful execution of bad habits

The mindful execution of bad habits

Our habits are so deep-rooted within us, that we, many a time, don’t even realize that a certain habit is ingrained within us since childhood and have been repeating it ever since.

Now, most people, who are stuck in the cycle of repeating the same tasks every day don’t realize how many of their habits are good for them and serving them right and how many need to be discarded or replaced as soon as possible.

It is a process that needs time and effort and patience to understand what is it you’re doing, where you need to go, and what needs to change in order to live on that path on which you aren’t right now.

Every habit then needs to become a mindful execution in your life, where you are aware of the steps you’re taking and how is it affecting your life. So let’s say, you have started working on this process and you now have a good run of habits that you always wanted to implement in your life.

Right from the preferred waking time to eating right and working out, from setting up your tasks to arranging your day to suit every area of your life, you have created/ built new or replaced your earlier habits with better ones in order to live the life you want.

But, in a scenario where you’re working on yourself, means that you are working on improving yourself and this is a phase of growth for you. It also means that, in such a phase, you’d be working upon those habits that are good for you, that is upping your life and not the other way round.

Herein comes the introduction of the mindful execution of bad habits. The blend of mindful execution and bad habits immediately strikes us as something in two opposing directions because we have heard those terms in very different scenarios and here we are mixing the two.

In a phase of working upon yourself and working upon your growth, and only approaching this topic from that lens, where do the bad habits come into the picture? Probably when you skip your workout for a day or two, or reverse your routine completely from a productive one to a (for the lack of a better word) lazy one, eating junk food for a change and certain such habitual changes for a minute amount of time that fall into the well of bad habits for such an individual.

Before we move onto the part of mindful execution, when we say bad habits, the bandwidth of that could range to a lot of places or things for a lot of individuals, you get to define the bad habits you want to pick up and also understand why they’re bad in the first place for you.

Coming back to the mindful execution of bad habits, the blend comes in where you can only do something for so much time and instead of slipping away onto a path you wouldn’t want to be on and that too subconsciously (because of pressure or burnout or other reasons), it’s better to be mindful of the execution of the so-called bad habits that you are planning to implement for a short phase of time (maybe an hour/ day/ or a week) and do so with your permission, whilst keeping yourself in check because you wouldn’t want to, neurologically speaking, change your “neuroplasticity walls” to an extremely different tangent from the one you were consciously on.

The mindful execution of your bad habits keeps you in check, proceeding with permission and caution, knowing what exactly you don’t want to do in the macro but are doing in the micro, and thus also knowing when you want to get out of it.

There are some things you understand but don’t know how to talk about

There are some things you understand but don’t know how to talk about

We are curious beings by nature, and there’s no boundary or limitation to what we can be curious about. Once something pops up in our mind, then we’ll go to odds and lengths to dig deeper and research further to know more about that topic.

In the midst of consuming this information, knowing more, and researching further to understand it in length, if it’s something that’s not in our forte of knowledge, then it’ll take time and effort to understand it properly. Only consuming it at the brim won’t give you the knowledge or the understanding. To actually understand that something, you’ll have to put in the time and effort.

So, contextually speaking, if this topic was a puzzle, through your learning, you understand how to put the pieces of the puzzle together and also understand the science of making a puzzle (if you dig that much deeper into the topic). But, here’s the fun part. Because you learned all of that doesn’t mean that you can now put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Coming out of the context and back to the real topic, because you have consumed all this information and learned it, understood it, and went into the depths of it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can also talk about it.

There are some things you understand but that doesn’t mean you know how to talk about them too.

There’s a difference between both of those methods. The former part of learning and understanding comes out of curiosity (most of the time), and that is for your own good. It may or may not be usable in other areas of your life, there’s a probability of a crossover where you can use the understanding of this topic in other phases of your life, but even then this is all behind the scenes.

But when it comes to talking (speaking, writing, etc) about that same particular topic means to connect the dots between everything you have researched and to give your two cents on it, whilst being right too because someone else at the receiving end is going to use this information.

There’s a thin line between understanding it enough to use that information for your own good vs being able to connect the dots and forming your opinion on it, in order to talk about it further and explain it to someone else.

That thin line is where you understand some things but you don’t know how to talk about them, and knowing where that line is drawn is important for you, so you can understand what you’re able to speak about and what you only know for yourself.

Not adding but subtracting what you already know

Not adding but subtracting what you already know

Our rate of consuming information has been quite high lately, and not just in terms of entertainment value, but with all the tools around us, it has become easier than ever to consume new information, and not just new, but the information in depth too.

With this information, you can now add more to your knowledge base, and let that information mold your mindset and your behavior which it subconsciously will anyway.

What happens with this consumption of information is that we are adding to what we already know. Suppose you have read something, now you dig a little further and consume more to understand more.

But the obstacle in this path is evaluating what you’re consuming and how is that consumption affecting you. While adding more to what you already know sounds beneficial, it might not be based on the quality of the information and its effectiveness.

Sometimes, by evaluating yourself and your knowledge base, you have to take a call, to not simply add, but subtract what you already know in order to move forward or in order to proceed effectively.

Information that doesn’t suit you might affect you badly, when taken in thought differently or when executed differently (the information could be at fault, or you with how you take it).

Thereby comes the call that in this information rush, understanding whether you need to add more or whether you need to take the call to subtract from your knowledge base, and move with precaution in a different path or probably take a diversion.

Walking in a Dark Room

Walking in a Dark Room

The thing about a dark room is that it can be scary for some. When there’s no light at all, it becomes an unknown territory, not knowing where to move, what’s in front of you, or beside you, or whether you’d stumble upon something.

Now the thing about observations is that, if you’re observant in nature, as an individual, you’re keen to notice everything everywhere. The slightest of movements and the changes around, you have an eye on.

You observe not because you have to know everything. But because you like to study patterns and learn new things, understand the behind-the-scenes of it.

The magic happens in the crossover between the dark room and the observant trait in you. When you’re walking in a room, dark, not a sliver of light around, and if you were observant beforehand, you’d tend to know what object is where and how can you move around without hurting yourself.

While you may not always be walking around in a dark room, how does this help you?
This particular exercise not only ups your observation levels and tests your capabilities to adapt but outside in the real world, helps you differentiate between reading people and patterns and behaviors, and with more observations, helps you understand more things and execute in a manner where you have more data behind your decisions (because of your observation skills).

Witnessing the great moments in our lifetime

Witnessing the great moments in our lifetime

There are quite a lot of moments that have happened in our history that can be categorized as great, which we eventually end up reading or listening about, and few even find it fascinating enough to research more than what’s on the brim.

While we cannot go back in time to revisit those moments, we can at least approach the great moments that happen in our lifetime differently… and in two ways.

One is where the macro great moments come into the picture. The great inventions/ or the firsts of something happening for the first time or even a previous historical record being surpassed, are moments that aren’t going to be repeated again so when you know there’s a chance to absorb that moment consciously, you should grab onto that opportunity.

Second, is where the micro, personal and great moments come into play. We live quite a short life when you look at it from a lens of what has happened before we were born vs what all has happened since we were born, and in that span, only a few moments occur that can be counted as great – that is true for macro moments that cover everyone else under the umbrella as well as personal micro-moments that are a part of your life, cherished by you and sometimes with your friends and family.

A lot of times, we simply don’t care or move on to the next thing, when we know or hear about an incoming great moment that can be witnessed. When it comes to personal moments, we don’t make it a big deal and move on to the next thing, thinking this is something that can be done by everyone else too.

But, combining the macro global and micro personal moments that can be categorized as great, we should not only celebrate those moments but also savor each moment we can, because they happen once and they can also be enjoyed only once. Someone else from another generation would’ve wished to be here to witness one of those macro moments, just like you could be wishing to go back in time to witness one of the great moments from the previous eras. Someone else in this lifetime itself would have wished to have that same exact moment that you could get to experience personally but couldn’t.

Sometimes we aren’t able to value what should be valued and give value to things that don’t need any. Particular personal and global (historical) moments happen once and then everyone moves on, which means they can be witnessed only once and enjoyed only once, then it’s up to us whether we’d want to be a part of that or not.

Backing Yourself

Backing Yourself

Quite often, we are ready to back someone else, usually in close proximity… and to back someone may mean to provide emotional support or actionable support, but with that backing, the individual gets the boost with whatever the backing was needed for.

While we are always ready to back someone else, simultaneously in scenarios of different kinds, sometimes we lack confidence, or motivation, or a few times we simply don’t know how to proceed, thus creating a scenario where we are looking for someone to back us up.

There are two problems that get created here… One, we have the expectation for someone to back us every time we aren’t able to do something. Secondly, in that expectation, also lies the dependence on someone else.

We never realize nor focus that we have the ability to back ourselves too, we just need to find a bit more faith in ourselves. Show a little more confidence or a pat on the back, that gives us the push we were looking for. We have the capability to do that, but yet we have a habit of waiting for someone else to do that for us. And as every habit can be changed, this can too, along with the outlook and approach that comes with it.

Your reality is not in your calmness

Your reality is not in your calmness

We feel the best version of ourselves when we are calm and when we are peaceful, and not just us, but when we feel that quietness and calmness in our immediate environment too.
Because of that thought process and by living that life, we come to believe that who we are in that calmness is who we are in reality.

When that zone becomes your comfort zone, and when you’re at ease, you make decisions and you proceed to further steps of your life during this time, thus believing that this version that you see is who you are.

But unfortunately, that is not our reality. Our reality is not in our calmness.

In that calmness, we know how to behave and how to react. In any scenario which uproots you from that spot, you don’t know how to behave and how to react, and that is the reality of who we are.

When either you do not find the calmness/ peacefulness in you or in your environment and there how you live your life, how you behave and how you react, how do you make your decisions, how much discomfort are you in and what is shaking the ground from under your feet… in those questions will you find your reality.

That is the reality which tells you the most about yourself when you’re not in your preferred zone, when you preferably wouldn’t want to be in such a scenario and you still have to be. In calmness, everyone would be able to perform. In storms, how many can?

In every manner you react, each and every different approach tells something about you, that further dials in your identity and just a part of that remain with you during the good moments whilst the entire you are revealed in such moments of your life.

The crossover between self-awareness and asking questions

The crossover between self-awareness and asking questions

Self-Awareness is a term we probably have been hearing a lot, being said under different types of circumstances, and in different contexts… but do we really understand what it means?

The most difficult path one can embark upon in life is that of self-awareness, it may seem like you need to know a few things about yourself to become self-aware, but it’s the most difficult and the longest path of your life.

To become self-aware means to understand yourself, and who you indeed are, understand what’s happening within you and outside you. It means to discover yourself, it means to know your strengths and your limits, and it means understanding the life you want to live for yourself.

In such a scenario, everyone would want to become self-aware, wouldn’t they? Who wouldn’t want to discover themselves or understand their identity? People want answers to those questions and they wish to seek those answers through various ways and methods. But, therein lies the problem too.

Everybody wants the answers… but no one is willing to ask anything. The journey to self-awareness begins with asking questions to yourself. We haven’t been taught to ask questions and neither the right ones. When you ask the tough questions, it brings you to a path of introspection wherein you look at your life from a different lens, you put yourself under scrutiny by asking questions to yourself, and the deeper you go down that path, the more things you find out and moreover, the more clarity you get.

The more questions you ask, the more things you find out, the more clarity you get, and thus the journey to becoming self-aware begins right there.


My Weekly Learnings #76 (04.09.22 – 10.09.22)

The concept of ‘My Weekly Learnings’ is to share highlights and/or content pieces that caught my eye this week and provided more value than I could imagine.

1. Whether it’s the weekend or an upcoming holiday break, a number of studies have shown that people who set personal goals to achieve during their time off — such as seeing friends, pursuing a hobby, or even organizing a closet — report being happier than those who don’t.

The authors suspect the reason this works is because it makes us more intentional about how we will spend our time away from work and not because it allows us to cross things off from yet another to-do list. So even though we might look forward to lying around in our pyjamas and doing nothing for a while, setting goals can actually help us recharge and ensure we get the most out of our leisure time. [Harvard Business Review]

2. A few uncomfortable truths we all need to accept:

  • Things never end up as good as you hope, but they never turn out as bad as you feared, either.
  • It’s better to fail at something than regret never trying.
  • No one is responsible for your happiness but you.
  • If all of your relationships have the same problems… you’re the problem.
  • Life is short; death is inevitable—make it count. [Mark Manson]

3. The 5 types of products people buy:

  • This solves my pain
  • This connects me to community
  • This makes my life easier
  • This feels luxurious
  • This will make me more money

That’s it. [Greg Isenberg]

4. Many arguments get heated not because our opinions clash, but because we fail to show that we care.

In conflict, the most important step isn’t to defend your position. It’s to reinforce your relationship.

It’s easier to accept that you’re not like-minded if you’re like-hearted.

[Adam Grant x poorly drawn lines]

5. It’s easy to offend people with low self esteem as they assume themselves to be inferior to others while they’re not.

Often feeling of inferiority is projected as superiority which could be some form of defense mechanism. [Kunal Shah]

We don’t get the basics right

We don’t get the basics right

Whenever we do something, an action of any kind, which leads to an outcome or leveling up to a higher step, we focus on strategies and tactics that will help get us there. Sometimes, that’s not enough and we even end up applying shortcuts on our path to reach the end of it.

This isn’t about a particular task but is bigger than that, say a habit, a life decision, or a life direction we have been wanting to try.

Because of our focus towards the end, we don’t focus on the now and the patience needed to walk till that end… when you do, you realize something very simple. It’s all about the basics and doing them right and consistently.

We confuse our path with what strategy to apply, which tactics to use, which tactics are others’ using, is there a shortcut you can take that will shorten your process effort or time… but we don’t get the basics right, the simple formula for success.

If we, with patience and repetition, focus on the basics, then there is nothing that can’t be done. It’s only because the basics look so simple on the outside, it seems that something so easy will get you to the next step, not knowing that the basics of anything take the most effort (but also gives a guaranteed outcome).

Are you productive throughout your day?

Are you productive throughout your day?

Throughout our childhood years, growing up, we have all heard the same story of an individual sleeping for 6-8 hours in a day, and then being awake for the remaining 16 to 18 hours, out of which you’re supposed to work for an approximate time period of 8 hours. The question that was never asked in this fantasy storyline is, ‘Are you productive throughout your day?’

What we fail to understand about ourselves is our energy levels and our cognitive management that we need to take care of, on a daily basis. How you spend your time, basically how invested are you in it and what you majorly spend your time on determines the amount of energy that is then spent on that particular activity. Multiply one such activity into the various activities being performed by you throughout the day, which ranges through your personal, social, and professional life. Now question yourself again about your productivity levels and your energy management.

Because we follow the storyline of working through 8 hours in a day, we never ask ourselves if we are productive throughout those 8 hours, or if we can summarize our work into 2 to 3 hours from that time, the rest of which is then otherwise spent into time wasting.

That same scenario is then applicable to the remaining 8 hours left, outside of sleep and work, where we again need to ask ourselves what is happening in those 8 hours of our life.

The topic of productivity or energy is rarely focused on, all that’s talked about is the tasks that are to be completed, or how much did you accomplish throughout the day. The hidden mystery lies in how much time was spent in reality to accomplish everything that you did that day.

There are peak productivity levels throughout the day, these spikes can be seen where you are able to do so much in a span of saying minutes or a range of minutes, and those spikes are then followed by slumps throughout the day as well, which one doesn’t recognize because they were either subconsciously waiting for the time to pass, or waiting for their energy levels to regain for the next spike.

When you understand that, you realize how so much of the time is just wasted or passed by without you noticing it. When you enter the topics of energy management and productivity levels, you can now (first) understand the concept and then utilize your consumption, not how others want you to, but how you choose to.

For example, if you can accomplish an 8 hrs task in 2 or 3 hours, and then spend that time on other activities, you can. If you feel like you want to manage your energy differently than how it’s traditionally done, you can. For example, sometimes getting a 6 or 7-hour sleep isn’t enough for all the cognitive overload on your mind to keep you active throughout the next 17 or 18 hours, thus you end up taking a nap midway so you are charged in the first phase as well as the second phase.

Understanding how your brain works, and how your energy is spent, especially in correlation to time, gives you the leeway to pave a path for your life where you can do multiple activities or even lesser but in a better way. While traditional storylines are written to do certain things in a certain way, you choose how executing in a certain area of life fits you best… you can decide how you want to extract the most out of something and even divide something into microelements, whatever suits you best and gives you the best output.

The intent towards improvement vs its execution

The intent towards improvement vs its execution

When we look at improvement, we look at the process and the outcome as a positive one, and the thinking is that any kind of improvement would be good for us.

No improvement is ever enough, and when you become self-aware, you start to realize the number of things you can improve on, some that need to happen at a rapid pace and some that need to happen at some point in time.

But the problem that happens is when we rush to improve at something, without approaching it right. When we proceed to change one thing about ourselves, we forget about the domino effect, i.e. our life is currently accustomed to running one habit after the other as a routine and a change in one habit results in the change of everything else as well too. Not just the domino effect, but we also forget about the logistics of that one particular improvement that we were aiming for.

Logistics means understanding how we can instil this improvement/ change into our lifestyle successfully, the problems that we’d face and how we could tackle them, to make it a successful improvement, and thereafter, add more improvements to our lifestyle.

This is where the German word, Verschlimmbesserung comes into play, it means ‘an attempted improvement that only makes things worse.’ When you proceed without a plan, or you hurry something out, there are chances that even doing something that would’ve been better for you, instead makes it worse.

Worse could lead to you thinking it wasn’t a good change for you in the first place and you should instead switch to your old habit yet again, which was executable so well. Rather, the problem lies in the attempt, not in what was supposed to happen but didn’t, but we were never able to realize that. Changes are required and necessary, but there are times that our execution or our planning isn’t done right, which in turn doesn’t make the outcome right too, but that shouldn’t deviate us from our thinking, but rather should make us introspect on it.

Choosing the Five People to spend time with (Part 3)

Choosing the Five People to spend time with (Part 3)

In the first part of the post, Our Sources of Imitation, I wrote about how the trait of imitation is ingrained within us… and most of the things that we do or desire to do is picked off from someone else. You can read the first part here.

To take it further, in the second part of the post, You are the Average of the Five People you spend time with, I established how the five people around us impact our lives, because being around them the most, we are constantly imitating the majority of our actions and words and style from them. The second part of this series can be read here.

Going into the depth of this topic, it is we who choose the five people around us, whom we spend the most time with. But do we always choose? Most times, by subconscious design or by nature, the constant five or more people get attached to us, maybe altogether or maybe individually, and as more time is spent, gradually we tend to imitate those individuals more.

When it is by choice, you observe an individual’s traits/ style/ actions/ intentions and understand whether you’d like to spend more time with them or not. Thereby, choosing the people around you. But that is not always the case. In some relationships, you don’t choose but in the equation, there are people around whom you might not have chosen, but that choice is unavailable.

Going by the topic’s theory, choice or no choice, you’re still imitating/ picking off things from a certain individual/s and these are things you consciously may have not wanted to. How do you then proceed?

You are the average of the people you spend time with. Understanding the context of that statement, from whom you consume the most, you can then imitate the most. But how you consume that information is up to you.

While physically, you may not be satisfied with the five people you are around the most, we’re also in a world where your access to information isn’t only through people physically around you.

In the earlier times, a reason why most people were grossly invested in books is the same reason you have the choice to go beyond people, and spent most of your time in that space, consuming the information, thereby acquiring/ imitating what the author/ story is saying.

Now, with access to individuals on the internet, you can choose the individuals whom you want to imitate, and spend most of your time with those people – meaning, while access is still a problem, access to information isn’t. When you choose to read or listen or watch what a certain individual is talking about or sharing, you’re still picking up things from them how you normally would.

While what you get from real people around is generally quite effective, and in this story’s scenario you still are picking off things, you have a choice to go beyond and consume something that you’re choosing to consume and pick off things from there which you feel content with. Even though the scales aren’t traditionally balanced, you are still choosing the ‘five people’ you spend time with, it’s just not the conventional method.

You are the Average of the Five People you spend time with (Part 2)

You are the Average of the Five People you spend time with (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, Our Sources of Imitation, I wrote about how we are beings of imitation and that trait is ingrained within us… Everything that we do or desire to do is an extension of that trait, and we should be aware of what we are imitating and whom are we imitating. That post can be read here.

While we can be mesmerized by anyone, online or offline, and try to imitate any one of their traits or their life wholly, we may have also heard of the following quote quite a few times already in our lifetime, “You are the Average of the Five People you spend time with”. We read the quote, but did we ever understand what it meant?

Because we are constantly picking up traits/ habits/ every minute tidbits from others, we do more so from the people who are always around us, and understandably so, because we are then spending most of our daily life around them.

You pick out the five people around you, it can literally be any of those who are around you the most every day, in those 24 hours. Every day, you’re subconsciously noticing/ observing everything and whether you like it or not, you’re somewhere somehow going to imitate someone’s trait or habit or way of speaking or hand-gesturing or even cross-blend two people’s actions combining into one.

You may not like an individual’s actions or words at all, but your brain is wired in a way to start imitating everything from this individual even though you yourself aren’t appreciative of those actions or words in the first place.

It is said, for a reason, that you need to choose the five people around you, whom you’ll spend your time with, because of the impact it causes. Slowly by slowly, each thing you pick up ingrains into your lifestyle, with a new identity being created, one that will be different from before.

This is also why it’s said that you choose your environment, you choose your people, bring in self-awareness so you can understand what you’re imitating and try to stop that imitation process in the bud, or have an understanding of how change occurs if you’d like to change a few things about you which you don’t like.

We are the average of the five people we spend our time with, now how that impacts your life and what kind of an individual are you becoming is something that you’ll have to open your eyes and see.

You can read part 3 of this post, Choosing the Five People to spend time with, here.

Our Sources of Imitation (Part 1)

Our Sources of Imitation (Part 1)

We are beings of imitation, the trait is rooted within us and we are born with it. Everything that we admire, we try to imitate. Right from when we see someone walking, as an infant, we imitate walking as well. When we see someone read or write something, we try to imitate that as well.

While these are instances from our childhood and are bigger but necessary forms of imitation, as we grow up, the inspiration of imitations becomes narrower… bring in what’s trending and what people of ‘status’, ‘fame, and ‘money’ are doing, and you can immediately list down what you want to imitate. From imitating how to walk and talk, to how someone dresses and looks and how they treat someone is how we evolved as beings of imitation in our life span.

Amidst all of this, bring in social media too, where one wants to constantly up themselves above the others, and now while our sources of imitation rise, our trial and errors of imitation rise too. We focus on what’s being presented and try to implement that in our lives, thinking about how perfect is their lives and “I want that as well”.

Forgetting the central aspect that only a certain polished glimpse is being showcased on social media, we enter the fight arena resulting in the lack of the perfect imitation, thereby creating a scenario of stress, anxiety, frustration and whatnot.

We forget that human beings are flawed beings, and no one is showcasing their entire selves in person or on the Internet. Whom we want to imitate are flawed, and we are flawed too. While we may want to copy one trait of someone’s, would we live the entire life they’re living with all the flaws?

To each their flaws, while imitating is second nature to us, we must also take into account what we want to imitate, what the origin of it is, and what would the impact of it be. How healthy is it for us to implement, and do we want to imitate that?

(For all the talks about uniqueness, and while everyone is unique in one aspect or more, ironically imitation roots within us, and we tend to imitate others in more ways than we are consciously aware of and can imagine.)

The series on Imitation is continued, with part 2 titled ‘You are the Average of the Five People you spend Time with’. You can read it here. Part 3 of the series talks about ‘Choosing the Five People you spend time with’, which can be read here.

Every problem evolves along with

Every problem evolves along with

Say you have about 25 problems in your life, right about now, some huge and small ones, and you chalk out a path to resolve them one by one. Does it mean that once you’ve resolved the 25 current problems at hand, there wouldn’t be more?

Our life is filled with problems, minute and macro, in every sector and in every phase of our lives. If you see problems as a barrier, then it would make you stop right there, but if you see them as a diversion that you have to go through to continue on your path, then you’ll be able to solve them.

Now that the perception issue is out of the way, and focusing back on the quantity of them, 25 problems right now and solving them, but they’re never over because every day you live your life, more problems pop up from the various areas of your life.

Every problem that adds up to the tally or the current one evolves, alongside several factors, such as with a

  • change in perspective
  • changes with every individual
  • change in mindset
  • change in routine.

· As you live your daily life, even if one thing changes from your routine, everything else about your day changes too including your approach, and thus new problems, probably micro ones get added to the pile.

· Change is inevitable, but as you evolve, and especially with conscious change, as you widen your perspective and/ or as you evolve from your current mindset, the way you look at things also changes, right from how you think to how you approach things and how you execute them… which also means that the perspective with which you viewed your problems previously will also change and what will also change is you will now able to foresee more problems than before, the ones you weren’t able to spot before or ones you’re now able to understand will pop up, thereby adding more to the tally.

· While your problems already pile up by yourself and how you live your life, they aren’t limited to your life alone. Depending on how many people you interact with and the deepness of your relationship with them will then determine if and how many problems pop up between the two parties multiplying by the number of people with whom the problems arise.

Problems are a part and parcel of life, arising in every area and every form, some huge and some micro, some bringing massive changes to life and some easily solvable, some visible right from the start and some not until its very late… but they aren’t limited to the number that you see today, but they add up or evolve along with everything that happens in life. Can we avoid them? Probably not.

What can only be better is probably the perspective with which we see them, how big of a diversion are they creating in our lives and how better we get at solving them, with time and experience along the way…

The beauty of an opinion

The beauty of an opinion

Everyone has an opinion. Nowadays, people have an opinion on everything. Earlier, people used to stick with what they knew and opined surrounding those topics, but now, not so much.

With so many opinions around, there are many disagreements and debates and just simple trolling online and offline, among those who are sharing these opinions and are also sticking to their opinions irrespective of being right or wrong. Some of those are right, backed up by facts… some of those are just stated based on false storylines floating around, rumours, gossip etc, or just pre-conceived notions.

While you may agree with some, and disagree or strongly disagree with others, the beauty of an opinion is that everyone can have their own opinions and it doesn’t need to necessarily match with anyone else’s.

Yes, one should have an open mindset with regards to most topics, and should be open-minded with what the other person has to say… there are also times when you could be wrong and you need to be open-minded in case someone corrects your mistake… everything said and done, doesn’t change the fact that the beauty of an opinion lies in not necessarily matching with anyone else.

So many people just listen to someone else first-hand and state what the other person is saying, and this then forms a group consensus. It’s rare to see each individual having their own opinion, not biased towards anyone else or anything else and just stating what’s on their mind and there’s a beauty in that which is rare.

A toxic environment

A toxic environment

A toxic environment is one where the environment is either bringing you down or your energies or reverting you to an older pattern/ habit in a scenario where you were earlier trying to get rid of it/ change to a newer/ better habit.

Most of the time we don’t choose to be in such an environment, but so many of those times we don’t realize it either. We become so rhythmic with the environment that we pick up the same behaviours/ habits/ patterns without realizing the cost of it.

So much of this is subconscious though because we have never been taught to be self-aware. Neither do we have an understanding of what’s good for us and what’s not (until it’s too late). We don’t understand what’s a good environment and if it’s not, we don’t understand when and how to distance ourselves from that environment.

This lack of understanding is what leads to the environment seeping into our lives, soon becoming a part of what we identify ourselves as, becoming this individual we were not before but came as a result of that environment.

Here, to know who you truly are, what values you have in life and what values you need to add to your life, moreover understanding the type of people around you and the energy they emit and the atmosphere that is created because of them, will give you a good glimpse of your environment and describing what is toxic to you, its definition will guide the way to understanding what a toxic environment for you is and what is not. How you proceed from that is then the second step, not the first.



When we look at improvement, we look at the process and the outcome as a positive one, and the thinking is that any kind of improvement would be good for us.

No improvement is ever enough, and when you become self-aware, you start to realize the number of things you can improve on, some that need to happen at a rapid pace and some that need to happen at some point in time.

But the problem that happens is when we rush to improve at something, without approaching it right. When we proceed to change one thing about ourselves, we forget about the domino effect, i.e. our life is currently accustomed to running one habit after the other as a routine and a change in one habit results in the change of everything else as well too. Not just the domino effect, but we also forget about the logistics of that one particular improvement that we were aiming for.

Logistics means understanding how we can instil this improvement/ change into our lifestyle successfully, the problems that we’d face and how we could tackle them, to make it a successful improvement, and thereafter, add more improvements to our lifestyle.

This is where the German word, Verschlimmbesserung comes into play, it means ‘an attempted improvement that only makes things worse.’ When you proceed without a plan, or you hurry something out, there are chances that even doing something that would’ve been better for you, instead makes it worse.

Worse could lead to you thinking it wasn’t a good change for you in the first place and you should instead switch to your old habit yet again, which was executable so well. Rather, the problem lies in the attempt, not in what was supposed to happen but didn’t, but we were never able to realize that. Changes are required and necessary, but there are times that our execution or our planning isn’t done right, which in turn doesn’t make the outcome right too, but that shouldn’t deviate us from our thinking, but rather should make us introspect on it.

Are you able to spend time alone?

Are you able to spend time alone?

Most people confuse loneliness with being alone or spending time alone and confuse the meanings between the two… To be able to spend time alone means to be able to sit by yourself or to go somewhere by yourself and enjoy your own company.

What will people think if I go out and eat alone? What will people think if I’m roaming by myself? It either usually ends up about what others will think about your actions or…

You don’t enjoy your company and constantly need someone else alongside whose company you’ll enjoy… Or you aren’t secure/ confident with who you are and your identity and thereafter the above scenarios add to that equation.

When was the last time you went somewhere by yourself or travelled by yourself or ate out alone or simply, just enjoyed your own company?

It is when we start looking within and start asking the tough questions and begin the introspection, then we may be able to proceed to the next step.

What bothers you the most about yourself? What would you like to change? What do you think should be different? Questions like these will make you reach a step where changing a few things about yourself would lead to you enjoying your own company.

Those who do enjoy their company either already did enjoy their company from the start or made changes to reach that place. It’s a process and one that is achievable.

For now, you can simply start by asking yourself, are you able to spend time alone?

Enjoy where you are

Enjoy where you are

Wherever we go, we think of what all we can do and how we can arrange everything in the limited time that we have. This applies to anything that you plan to do or anywhere you go. We are always thinking of what’s next or what more.

We jump from one thing to the next, but as many things as we try, we think of what more can be done or how much more can we squeeze in.

Amidst all this, we forget to enjoy where we are.

Instead of running around, we can stay still for a moment and soak in everything around. Instead of jumping to the next thing, we can first enjoy what we are currently doing. Instead of getting disappointed with what we couldn’t do, we can enjoy everything that we could do.

The beauty is in those moments that we are getting to experience, but if our mind is elsewhere then neither are we getting to do the next thing nor are we able to enjoy the present thing.

Two and a Half Moves Ahead

Two and a Half Moves Ahead

When you play the game of chess, it’s not only about playing your move, but also about anticipating the next move of your opponent and your move after that and their move after.

Going even further, if you start noticing moves and patterns, you can see what this game can teach you. Just like the knight moves two and a half moves every time, the game gives you a similar lesson for life as well.

In life too, you have to think of two and a half moves ahead for everything. Not just about your goals, but when you break down that concept for how you approach life itself, it’ll give you a clearer vision of what you need to do and how you need to do it. Moreover, when you think ahead, you can estimate what could go wrong and prepare accordingly.

When you break down a habit, for example, you can foresee two and a half moves ahead, what you need to do to execute that habit and what would make that habit fail and accordingly make moves to prevent that from happening.

From the multiple lessons that chess could teach, the knight, only by how it moves, teaches such a valuable lesson that could become the foundation of how we approach life and how we approach our moves.

Recognizing the Bad Habits

Recognizing the Bad Habits

Everything is a habit – how we think, how we communicate, how we manage our day and how we manage our lives, our response towards everything, the societal way of approaching things, what we eat and why we eat, each and every tiny element of our life is a habit.

You do a particular thing enough times and it becomes a habit. Soon enough, you don’t even have to think about it, and your habit is in motion (either as a starting point or as a response).

Now, very few people are able to recognize the habits instilled within them. The majority of the people just go on with those habits thinking it’s a part of them.

Those few who recognize these habits, come from a path of self-awareness and thus they recognize it. Fewer then evaluate how those habits serve them, and whether those are good or bad.

Good or bad, mostly depends on individual to individual. Some are surely bad, there’s no question about that. Some of the good ones need to be instilled by the individuals themselves.

Recognizing the habits that are bad is a key skill that the fewest people have and one that works wonders for the life they want to live. It roots from a single thought of who they are and who they want to be, as an individual. How they are towards themselves, how they are towards others, how their habits impact their mental, physical, spiritual, financial, family life and more.

It also roots from a thought of change. Either when you find out yourself or when someone points it out to you, but you understand that something is not serving right and you need to change that.

How can one start? Just evaluating what they do every day, what they think of every day, their regular thought responses towards certain topics, their responses towards people and their habits, it’s the toughest thing to do, but everything starts with a single step.

And even recognizing a single habit, whether good or bad, is a significant first step.

The regret is holding me back

The regret is holding me back

Everyone has a vision of what they want their life to look like. Everyone also has problems in their lives, which sets them back in living that vision. Different people, with different visions and along with that, different problems.

But the problems aren’t the only thing that holds an individual back. When we talk about problems, it’s usually the current ones that we are dealing with. What also holds one back and probably puts more pressure on one’s shoulders than anything else is regrets.

Regrets originate from the mistakes you have made, imagining the alternate positive outcomes that could’ve otherwise happened, thinking of the moves you didn’t make or the ones you wish you had made but didn’t in time. The sources of regrets are enormous, and so is their weight once it’s formed.

The more regrets are formed, the more their weight is multiplied and the pressure that you carry through in life becomes heavier and heavier, thereby making your present life difficult and also making your current problem-solving process difficult.

In a life of regret, you’re constantly thinking of the past, thinking of what could’ve happened differently, how life could’ve transpired differently and how difficult your current times are. Regret also makes you a bit pessimistic in life, and your approach and process aren’t as enthusiastic or positive anymore.

While you could live the present and/ or work on making the future better, the regret holds you back from doing anything. It’s one of the most negative forces in life, one of the most difficult ones to overcome and knowing all that, definitely one to work out if you have it in your life.

Having foresight doesn’t always prevent mistakes (part 2)

Having foresight doesn’t always prevent mistakes (part 2)

In an earlier post, I wrote about having the skill set of foresight and its impact and importance in life which can be read here.

While having foresight is beneficial in many areas of life and usually, builds and improves over time, having it doesn’t mean you’re able to predict or know everything and it also doesn’t mean that foresight will help you to avoid mistakes.

At the moment you do what you think is right and if not that then usually it’s what you dream the final step will look like and your current decision is then based on that, even though it may not be right in that particular moment.

That conundrum is exactly where foresight doesn’t always prevent mistakes. Because, in a calm, normal state of mind, not overridden by the pressure of making a decision, you would’ve normally anticipated what those paths would look like that are completely opposite to each other when it comes to deciding between the two choices.

But, while you’re in that moment, you’re thinking about the outcome and what could happen and all the optimistic scenarios pop up in your mind, and the anticipation of what this decision would lead to is often not thought of at the moment. These are also moments which eventually lead to in hindsight situations where would you wish you would have done things differently, but the battle between foresight vs decision-making vs in hindsight comes into play, and eventually, we are the ones struggling through any of the paths we take, playing the what-if scenarios in our mind thereafter.

Having the foresight

Having the foresight

One of the most difficult skill sets in life is to have the foresight of what’s happening within you and what’s happening around you.

The foresight originates from not just having worldly experience, but added with a zest of self-awareness of yourself and the environment along with the ability to read patterns and/ or behaviour with a touch of constantly expanding your knowledge that would eventually turn into wisdom.

The recipe is complicated, but the final dish is equally promising. Because with a skill set like foresight, you’re able to predict people’s moves/behaviour, able to perceive what’s going to happen next around you, which also helps in planning your life and your routine, combining with the insights also to understand worldly trends and what’s important and not.

Foresight is not something that can be calculated to have. Still, it comes with a combination of moves when you’re headed in the direction of growth acquiring different skills individually, thereby coming together as an accumulation of that skill set.

The best answers are within

The best answers are within

No matter how many questions we seek, no matter how many mentors we seek, no matter how many courses/ books we seek, the best answers are always within.

The tools of self-awareness, meditation, books, and podcasts, while on the path to practice them and learn from them, help us understand ourselves more, especially to reach a point where we now know everything that is happening within our mind and body.

Once you reach this point, which starts external and in time shifts internal, makes you realise that the best answers are always within you.

How you speak to yourself and its impact on you, the emotional takeaways from having a conversation with anyone, the impact of consuming something, and how any of this is impacting your mind and bringing a change within is something you realize. If your perspective is changing because of an external factor, or if you’re sensing a change in your emotional bandwidth then you can feel those within you.

Similarly, when you consume something in your body, how it is affecting your body and mind, is not only shown in the form of your body weight, but you can sense those answers within you as well. How a particular food item is causing a change in your energy level or impacting your body/ lifestyle or how staying away from a food item is stirring your emotions is something you can understand better than anybody else.

While you cannot stop seeking knowledge, because that helps you unlock more and more, you can always use the tools given to you to unlock the answers within you, helping you understand more about yourself, your body and your mind, instead of turning a blind eye from what’s right in front of you.



There’s an end to everything, but when we talk about the end, it’s not just the final full stop that usually comes to mind, but an end also signifies the end of the chapter and the oncoming of the new one.

Every time we take the first step towards something, it’s usually with how the end of that path/ chapter looks and thus we decide to take that first step. The journey starts with the visual of the destination in mind, and irrespective of whether you prefer the process/ journey or the destination more, the end whether after reaching the destination or mid-way due to obstacles is ensured.

Aarambikalangala is a word from a song in Tamil, which translates to the beginning of the end. The word itself is powerful and its meaning, even more. Whether it’s life, relationships, goals, interests, or even with regards to your current habits/ thought process, there’s a beginning to an end, and when it ends there’s a new beginning too towards another end.

The worst part about change

The worst part about change

Change is constant, everyone goes through change. Sometimes the change is conscious and you opt to make certain changes in your life, either because of mistakes made and realized or because of early awareness and knowledge. But sometimes the change is automated through external processes/ associations/ influence etc, which does not necessarily make life better depending on the source of inspiration.

When the change is conscious, usually you charter a path that would look different from the current path and then add/ substitute things that would constitute that change.

There are positives to conscious change itself, and how the shift happens from how you were currently living to the life with changes and how that will impact the future. All said and done, there’s still a problem with ‘change’.

The worst part about change is that even though you are on this new path and even though you are trying to make your tomorrow better, while on the path of making changes and living those changes, you still have to live with the repercussions of the mistakes made in the past.

To battle through those repercussions and simultaneously then push through to balance those repercussions with the changes you’re making so those repercussions can end in the short-term and not carry on through your entire life.

While you cannot get rid of those previously made mistakes and while that reminder stays with you daily, facing the consequences, externally and emotionally, the only hope then remains that the outcome changes in the future with everything that you have decided to change about/ within you in the present.

The revenge of a burger and a 2 am sleep

The revenge of a burger and a 2 am sleep

The thing about good habits is that it keeps you in check, in rhythm, and on a path on which you’d like to walk. Those habits are good since you have chosen them from your own wants/ decisions/ necessity, not under any influence/ imitation.

The problem with habits is that you do them every day, as a repetition, which means that you’re extracting the importance of doing it more and more, but simultaneously feeling more static/ robotic when you have done it enough.

But even though you don’t feel the same energy on a particular day doesn’t mean you can get rid of/ substitute the habit because you understand its impact/ importance. So once in a while, you decide to shuffle around everything, thereby causing chaos in your state of mind with everything changing in how you live your day.

One such day occurred for me, where even though I couldn’t force myself to not do a few of the habits from my day, I ended up having a burger to break off my usual lifestyle of eating ingredients that are beneficial to the body and mind than the ones that cause harm. But I didn’t stop there… having a burger wouldn’t cause enough chaos, so I went a step further and used escapism as a tool to delay my sleep until 2 in the night, a schedule I, unfortunately, followed in a particular phase of my life before.

As a result, the state of mind changed, the emotions changed, and a little bit of guilt mixed with a bit of rapid but short-term change all originated from planning revenge on my habits. While it was manageable for the moment, I couldn’t wait to get back to my habits, understood why I am thorough with them, and knew why I have chosen to execute them as a part of my lifestyle.

Listening to your Body

Listening to your Body

Right from our eating habits to our sleeping habits and energy levels and how we feel mentally and emotionally, we either keep doing however we have been programmed or we keep looking for answers to the thousands of questions we have.

While it’s a great move to expand your knowledge and to seek more answers, the more you know the more you can understand what’s right and what’s not and what you should do more of and less of, but an even better move is that of listening to your body.

When you are ready to listen, your body will tell you everything there is to tell. When you eat something, you’ll automatically know how your body is reacting to that particular food item when you listen to it. When you sleep less, if you’re listening, you’ll notice its repercussions within your body. When you’re not feeling well, by listening to your body, you can figure out the roots of that emotion and how can you change it too.

Listening to your body doesn’t mean the actual ear listening (while that sometimes makes sense too), but listening here arises from mindfulness and meditation, a path where you’re entirely aware of what’s going on within and with practice, you’re able to heighten the sense of what’s going on in your body. Add to the process, the path of gaining knowledge, studying anything and everything about your body and its processes, and you’re golden because you’ll reach a level of listening where you’re now constantly aware of what’s going on with your body.

Would you live someone’s life for a day?

Would you live someone’s life for a day?

If you are given the choice to live someone else’s life for a day, would you do it and whom would you choose?

While one may be excited to jump on this opportunity and choose to live one of their favourite celebrities or mentor’s lives… let’s not forget that you won’t be only living their external fame and materialistic success, but you would also be experiencing their thoughts and emotions during those 24 hours… All their struggles and problems will be upon your head along with following their schedule for the day.

When you take into account the complete package, it is then when you can ask again, would you live someone else’s life for a day?

We are quick to admire someone else’s life, sometimes become envious of it, and sometimes judge it too. But that’s just a sliver of what you’re getting to see. Only the one living the life knows what they are putting into it and how much they are giving away. We wish to have someone else’s success but don’t take into account their weaknesses or problems.

There are times when you hide a version of yourself from yourself, so when you don’t get to see the complete you, imagine how less are others seeing around you who know you and imagine how little are you seeing from someone’s life whom you take inspiration from/ admire?

Moreover, getting to the roots of this thought, how rarely do we feel grateful for our lives having whatever we have? How rarely do we feel content with how our life has turned out to be? And whilst everyone has their own problems to feel contentment within, it is equally wrong to pre-judge/ wish to live someone else’s life and imagining that the whole time when you don’t know what the other person is going through.

Are you willing to put yourself under scrutiny?

Are you willing to put yourself under scrutiny?

In a perfect world, you’re perfect in every aspect of your life, experiencing the perfect emotions and experiencing everything there is.

When it comes to the real world, you’re not content with where you’re in life, and you can see a glimpse of how much you can improve and be better at certain elements of life. Whilst you struggle with your emotions at times, you can also notice the roots of those emotions and the problems around those roots leading up to those emotions.

But in order to get that glimpse and to understand those roots, you must ask yourself an important question, are you willing to put yourself under scrutiny?

We keep ourselves occupied under the umbrella of work or distractions or any kind of escapism, and we don’t prioritize or care to put ourselves first/ put ourselves under the radar. Only under our own scrutiny (unless you’re okay with the scrutiny of others), can you understand your life and what’s going on with it.

Under scrutiny can you understand what are you doing right or wrong, where is your current path taking you and how your current actions are determining your future life. Unless you put yourself under the spotlight, there will be hundreds and thousands of things to do that will avoid you from the subject until it’s too late to notice.

Once you have taken charge can you then set new pathways for your life and live the life that your future self will thank you for, but that comes with scrutiny and self-awareness. Those without self-awareness and knowledge will lead nowhere even if scrutinized by yourself or by others because not understanding yourself and not understanding the consequences without knowledge will lead to shedding away from all suggestions/ changes suggested by yourself/ others.

Staying in routine is the difficult part

Staying in routine is the difficult part

Whilst all our lives are run daily by the habits we have incorporated, not all habits are good nor are all people aware of that. Some try to change that and some wish to change that.

Breaking down every choice you make, by design, you can substitute every habit with a better one that serves you… which means a day run with habits you’re satisfied with, keeps you in check and also helps you grow and evolve.

While you check off every habit that you want to do and/ or you should do and thus doing it, it’s a repetition every day, what changes is not your execution but your emotions, because apart from the daily habits, there are also your daily thoughts and actions wherein when something goes wrong it adds to your mental baggage carrying forward to the next day.

When this starts accumulating, staying in routine becomes a difficult part of your life. Sometimes there’s a roadblock, sometimes a diversion! But to carry on with the same zest does not happen even if you force yourself to carry on.

The why of doing those habits certainly helps, if the reasoning is strong then that helps… but to be in the same routine with the same activities is no easy task even though it looks easy on the outside to be in a rhythm.

Maybe the solution is to shuffle things around, maybe the solution is to take a break and then get back to it, or maybe the solution is to check on the burden that is causing the shift.

Different things work for different people with different schedules having different reasons to do them, but it doesn’t take away the fact that while it’s difficult for people to incorporate a routine into their lifestyle, it also is difficult for those in a proper routine to stay in it.

Conditional Disasters

Conditional Disasters

When hopes fall or when expectations don’t match the outcome is when the building crumbles. When this internal building of strength and optimism crumbles, is when you lose the power to manage your emotions.

What do conditional disasters mean? When you attach an if-then variable to a particular task/ goal/ day/ person hoping for a favourable outcome and if it doesn’t, then as explained above… you’re setting yourself up to soak in sadness and despair amongst other emotions.

For example, I’ll be happy if I do this one thing today. Now, for whatever reason, if you aren’t able to do it, then according to this equation if you aren’t able to complete/ accomplish that thing, well then, you won’t be happy on that day.

We often end up creating these conditions for micro and macro things of our lives, thereby creating the pathway for these conditional disasters too, where you aren’t focused on the process nor thinking about enjoying the process, but only on the outcome which in turn will create the emotion you’ve attached with it. In case the outcome doesn’t turn in your favour, neither did you enjoy the process nor the outcome and as far as conditional disasters go, neither was enjoyment there nor will there be any happiness or satisfaction now.

None of this is automated within us, but by design and by choice, where we looking at others and the external world have come to choose to live a life with conditions, attached to the most micro thing of life as well as how we live life as a whole. We choose to be happy or sad at the end of each thing we do, small or big which comes as a result of multiple ‘smalls’. We can also choose to be happy or sad at the start before attaching any conditions to the process or happy or sad during the process and soak in the emotions even before the outcome arrives.

The Day Reflection

The Day Reflection

Do you, at the end of the day, look back and just observe everything that happened with you, around you?

How did this day affect you? How did it impact you? What did you get out of it?

How did your actions affect other people? How did their actions affect you? How did your words affect others and vice versa?

Were you satisfied with the events of this day? If not, what changes can you think of so the process of those events can be changed the next time around?

Were you able to manage your time? Were you able to allot some time for yourself?

The questions might feel a bit overwhelming at first. You can start asking them to yourself one by one, and then add one every day or however you feel comfortable.

You can ponder upon these questions, you can journal your answers, you can simply think about them… But a simple exercise of this sorts helps you manage your days in the micro, so the impact can look and feel even better in the macro.

Being haunted by your Values

Being haunted by your Values

Humans at their core are defined by their values, everything else is a sugar-coated story to explain it.

Each one of us, whether since childhood or simply as repetition over the years, or through associative behaviour/ imitation, accumulates values – either acquiring new ones, replacing the old, or polishing the ones that we currently have.

Who an individual is and what they stand for gets defined based on the values they hold, once the values are defined then it’s simply connecting with people who share those values.

Every value is tied to an outer element, an action, a habit, or a mindset approach that tunes your daily life. Everything that you do is then backed up by a certain value. Some you hold on to dearly, some values you wish represent you and then you keep working along those, and some are just for the show, barring the ones you totally want to stay away from.

With everything being backed by a value, they hold you accountable in life, and when you choose what you want to be instead of being checked off in a box, there also comes an added pressure of acting alongside those values.

So with everything you say, and everything that you do, and what your routine represents, there’s a constant “pressure” of living through those values too and not defying them and trying not to fall on those ones you want to stay away from… thus being haunted by your values throughout your process.

Sometimes what comes naturally to you is what you want to continue doing and in such an area, change comes naturally too because you align with what you want to do. Forcing yourself to do something because of how it’d represent you is when the haunting is real because at every step you’re reminded of what you should and should not do, constantly rechecking everything you do and having to look upon your shoulders.

The question then arises, what values represent your identity, which ones feel natural to you and which ones are you, on a daily basis, being haunted by?

We are flawed beings

We are flawed beings

We are beings of imitation, the trait is rooted within us and we are born with it. Everything that we admire, we try to imitate. Right from when we see someone walking, as an infant, we imitate walking as well. When we see someone read or write something, we try to imitate that as well.

While these are instances from our childhood and are bigger but necessary forms of imitation, as we grow up, the inspiration of imitations becomes narrower… bring in what’s trending and what people of ‘status’, ‘fame, and ‘money’ are doing, and you can immediately list down what you want to imitate. From imitating how to walk and talk, to how someone dresses and looks and how they treat someone is how we evolved as beings of imitation in our life span.

Amidst all of this, bring in social media too, where one wants to constantly up themselves above the others, and now while our sources of imitation rise, our trial and errors of imitation rise too. We focus on what’s being presented and try to implement that in our lives, thinking about how perfect is their lives and “I want that as well”.

Forgetting the central aspect that only a certain polished glimpse is being showcased on social media, we enter the fight arena resulting in the lack of the perfect imitation, thereby creating a scenario of stress, anxiety, frustration and whatnot.

We forget that human beings are flawed beings, and no one is showcasing their entire selves in person or on the Internet. Whom we want to imitate are flawed, and we are flawed too. While we may want to copy one trait of someone’s, would we live the entire life they’re living with all the flaws?

To each their flaws, while imitating is second nature to us, we must also take into account what we want to imitate, what the origin of it is, and what would the impact of it be. How healthy is it for us to implement, and do we want to imitate that?

(For all the talks about uniqueness, and while everyone is unique in one aspect or more, ironically imitation roots within us, and we tend to imitate others in more ways than we are consciously aware of and can imagine.)

Knowing the foundation

Knowing the foundation

It is when we know too little is when things don’t work out for us/ we don’t know how to either. Quite often, we limit ourselves to what we are told – in school, we are limited by the knowledge in the textbooks, and at work, we are limited by the projects we are working on or the sector we are in.

Beyond that, aren’t interested in much that doesn’t include entertainment and relaxation. When a problem occurs, we look for the solution, only that solution doesn’t take away the problem, only its short-term effects of it. Until there’s no problem, there’s no need to know anything.

Let alone the fact that we aren’t encouraged to ask questions since childhood, what also lacks in our perspective/ point of view is knowing the core/foundation of anything.

It is up to our curiosity and the extent of it that would lead to some digging of information that is not first-hand being given/ provided to us. Then it becomes a path of whether you’re curious enough to grasp the foundation of one particular thing/ anything or not.

Knowing the foundation means not only knowing the outer realm of information but also digging beneath the layers, gaining more insights and clarity in the process and reaching the core of that particular topic.

Be it life, or your mind, or your body, or your food, or how something works (internally or externally), there are quite a bit of things to know. Understanding the foundation of these things helps in not only widening your current perspective to newer lengths but also brings a change to your mindset and how you view your life and others’ lives… meanwhile giving you some clarity on how you want to live your life and how you want to proceed ahead.

One Thing Good and Five Things Bad

One Thing Good and Five Things Bad

There is something about life where not everything can go right… If one good thing happens, then five other things are bad/ worse/ not going as we would have wanted.

When you dissect everything about life, internal and external, everything is always about balance… The scales are very rarely tipped towards just one side. It’s never either or, but a balance of both and maybe in this context too we have to expect the same. When five worse things are happening in life, it’s balanced with one good thing, probably one because its weightage is equal to those other five. Then it becomes a matter of perspective, what do you want to currently focus on – the good thing or the bad things?

Focusing on the good that happened may give you the courage to fight the bad ones, and focusing on the bad, well that simply creates a negative vibe within you, letting you forget everything good that’s happening or has already happened.

Maybe that’s the reason to have an optimistic viewpoint, so you can fight ahead and while the scales have to be balanced, focusing on the one good that happens after every five bad ones gives you the energy irrespective of the stress and tension to keep fighting the five bad ones whilst you wait for the good one.

We like putting ourselves in labels

We like putting ourselves in labels

When we lack self-awareness and cannot identify ourselves, the better option always seems to be putting ourselves into labels. Society does most of the work for you, labelling you in different categories, but it’s simultaneously balanced by you too. These labels, therefore, come together to become what will be known as your identity.

When we are born, that is not the case. We are born free, ready and “allowed” to experiment with anything, we don’t know ourselves nor anyone else, thus being just human beings without any labels.

And as days and years pass by, one after the other a label starts getting attached to us, some chosen by others, and some by us. Each label represents something and thus the people forming communities under a particular label represent those values and their bonds are formed accordingly.

A mixture of labels comes to mean a mixture of values, some common and some unique to each thus getting added to what we represent and thus becoming our identity.

As we live, instead of questioning everything around us and questioning ourselves, instead of paving our individual paths, we think the better option to move forward is to choose an existing label that suits us the best and then proceeds with it.

What do we mean by labels? Watching a tv show or a movie and becoming its fan is a label being attached to your name. Playing a sport or supporting a particular team becomes a label. The values you choose to live with each become a label. The work you choose to do and the goals you have, everything eventually becomes a label.

Some people shout their labels over the mountains, and some choose to keep theirs hidden. Some like to network around common labels and some like to think that theirs is unique to them. A combination of labels is what represents you and what represents someone else, and the common grounds between the two form the bond.

What ends up happening though is, instead of choosing the path to discover yourself, to become more self-aware, to know more, to understand more, we somewhere and because of some reason (or how we have grown up) limit ourselves with what the labels represent and our ourselves in these bubbles, to not see what’s happening on the outside and to keep believing what’s in the inside.

When that happens, growth and evolution hinder. Opinions are only formed around what you already know and what you hear from someone else. Decisions are made within the bubble, what it represents, and what others within it choose to do.

While labels are great to know yourself more, limiting oneself within one is also dangerous if one wants to live more and live better and explore more and know more.

Strip away the words

Strip away the words

In various contexts of life, we tend to use a lot of words to explain the simplest and most complex of things, having different reasons for each context. When something personal has to be conveyed, we waver around a lot of topics and words to explain what we wanted to. Such personal conversations range from speaking about yourself to somebody or speaking about somebody to them, and in every kind of relationship.

It’s a similar case in professional contexts too, where you present a lot of words around your core concern to either make it fancy or approachable.

When you correlate both the worlds and multiple contexts, you realize how the essence lies in the core and because of reasons known to you, in every scenario, you wrap around these conversations in words that’d present your core in a better manner, or at least that’s how you feel in your head.

But, the best conversations or explanations or presentations are those when you have stripped away the words and presented the core in the simplest explainable manner when it’s also easiest to understand and can be taken forward/ used further. Too many words sometimes make it confusing or make it complex enough to understand or sometimes the current emotions change their wavelength of them.

Sometimes the core is all you need to communicate and here we have been thinking that it’d be too difficult to digest and we wrap it around with words and explanations and whatnot. Maybe our communication would become easier and better, and everything else that was seeming to be a problem or causing tension/ stress would reduce if we simply strip away the words.

Toying with your vs others’ time

Toying with your vs others’ time

Time as a concept is something we still haven’t understood yet, yes we consider it important, yet we don’t utilize it or perceive it as we should. But from what we already know about it, and its correlation to our life, our daily structure of life and how it connects with the various aspects of our life, there’s one thing to play around with when it only matters to us, but a whole new variant when someone else is involved in that equation too.

When it’s just yourself and time in a circle, you can utilize every second of it at its maximum or balance it out with productivity and randomness/ enjoyment, or maybe fully scale it towards enjoyment and relaxation, or instead, simply wasting it. When time is only looked at, with regards to yourself and what you do with it, you have the freedom to do what you want, even if you don’t perceive it so at the moment. Ironically, in hindsight, you’re always critical of how you spent that time in the past when you look at it from the future.

But, the important element today is not about understanding time, and how we play around with it, the important element is understanding its correlation to managing your time along with someone else’s time when the equation is set that way.

It doesn’t matter whether we approach this topic in a personal or professional sense, each individual has their approach to managing their time, but should be equally respectful when it comes to handling someone else’s.

While we look at our own schedule, or our life management or habits management with respect to time, at times when one or more individuals are involved in the equation, our focus must immediately shift from ours to their schedule and as a simple example, ensure that we don’t waste or over-utilize theirs.

To be respectful of someone else’s time is the biggest priority when it comes to planning a hangout/ dinner/ meeting or anything, personal or professional, which includes their time. How are they planning to respect yours is their prerogative, but how you respect theirs represents you and is something that is then held important.

Whether it is something as small as knowing the amount of time to be spent to being flexible with their routine and schedule and how a mutual time set would benefit both the parties and not cause any stress or tension between them.

You must have noticed how reaching fifteen minutes to a half an hour late agitates someone who has been waiting for that much time and this is only a small example when it comes to toying with your vs others’ time and how so often we don’t take into account how we unknowingly disrespect someone else’s time.

While money and values such as respect and kindness are all that are spoken about, another element that should be added in this discussion is that of time, its importance in your life and how you play a role in using someone else’s time when that equation widens beyond just you and how we should always have that perspective in mind.

Multiple Processes

Multiple Processes

More often than not, we have heard the phrase “This isn’t the right way to do it”, isn’t it?

For most of the things in life, there’s a process of doing something and an outcome that comes along with it. Either concerning past results or because of the current consensus, there seems to be a set process that needs to be followed and one shouldn’t look at or try out any of the other processes.

Always try what’s done so you can walk on the same path and achieve the same results. What we forget is that there are always multiple ways of doing something – and multiple processes may reach the same destination. Sure the timing may change, the obstacles may change, for better or worse, some paths may have dead ends, and some may be faster than all the other processes, but one, you never know until you try it out, and the beauty of following a process that you feel the flow with is you will continue walking on it. Whereas, irrespective of the outcome, if a process feels forced, then you may simply want to give in mid-way.

Because someone else has walked on a certain path before and in a certain way, and because we have seen the results on that path, doesn’t mean anyone else trying out anything different is wrong. It only seems so because it hasn’t been tried before. Moreover, the multiple processes only exist so they may be tried and experimented with, otherwise, why would they present in front of you, where you could have simply walked on someone else’s path and gotten it done with.

But only understanding all of this isn’t what gets it done. The most important aspect of any process that has seen success is what works for one individual may not necessarily work for the other or all individuals. What comes with a particular process is one individual’s style and approach to it and what makes that process unique to them. So even when you choose to execute the same process, you probably won’t see the same results because you’ll be bringing your thought and action process along with your style and approach to it.

A flying thought

A flying thought

From the hundreds of thousands of thoughts that we have on a daily basis, only a few remain in memory. These few are probably ones that you focused on or initiated and went deeper on, creating more thoughts around the same topic.

The rest of them just become flying thoughts. A thought that came to you and just flew by. Because the particular thought/s flew by doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t important.

While most of our thoughts either surround observations around us, or revolve around the past or an imaginary future, there are a particular few that could’ve been ideas or important things to you, but either due to an external distraction or another flying thought, this one flew by too and because of the volume of thoughts… now, you just can’t remember it.

The thing about flying thoughts is it’s better to become aware of what you think about, how these thoughts are shaping you and try to recognise a pattern behind this randomness. Sometimes a particular thought could reveal more about you or could lead to something more and you won’t know it unless you explore it further.

The culture of avoiding questions

The culture of avoiding questions

Do we ask questions? Or more importantly, are we allowed to ask questions? We are, since childhood, brought up in a culture of avoiding questions.

Did you ever ask a question at home to be distracted by something else?
Did you ever ask a question at school only to be told to stay quiet and not to disrupt the class?
Did you ever ask a question to the government only to be told that you aren’t allowed to ask questions?

In every aspect of our society, culture is set to avoid questions and thus we are moulded into a mindset only to know what we are told and that’s it, we don’t question any of it nor do we doubt any of it.

Whether it’s about how the society performs as a whole, whether it’s the brands pushing their stories and consumers getting manipulated by it, whether it’s the companies toying with the environment, whether it’s the government toying with the policies and laws, whether it’s the media manipulating stories, as an individual you avoid asking questions because you were never told to ask neither did you get any answers when you asked so maybe you stopped asking.

Has anyone noticed any of that?
We are quick to judge, we are quick to conclusions, but we never want to know more. We never want to expand our knowledge. We never want to hear the entire story. Does nobody realise that anymore?

What’s the tipping point when the bubble bursts and we ask questions, but maybe it’s too late then?
Or do we take control and start asking questions now? Take back the control, with the urge to know more, with the approach to want answers, with the mindset to not be told what to do… the culture of avoiding questions may change when the mindset of asking questions changes.

The ultimate consequences

The ultimate consequences

How often have you thought of or been told about the ultimate consequences when you were about to do something (anything)?

The ultimate consequence is most likely the last step of the process or the best/ worst scenario of that path.

Sometimes, the focus of the ultimate consequences is on the positive side and other times, not so much.

For example,
A. if you fail one exam, you’re told that you wouldn’t have any future ahead – the ultimate worst-case consequence.

B. if you walk alone at night, you’ll be kidnapped – the ultimate worst-case consequence.

C. if you invest in a particular stock for 10 years, you’ll get 100x returns – the ultimate best-case consequence.

D. if you start a business in this sector, you’ll get returns in no time – the ultimate best-case consequence.

E. if you don’t eat, you’ll die – the ultimate worst-case consequence.

F. if you talk to this person and they don’t entertain your conversation, you aren’t good at forming connections – the ultimate worst-case consequence.

The examples vary but exist in every sector and aspect of life. Either through your thoughts (which exist because of someone else’s influence) or because you’re constantly told (by someone or through repetitive marketing by brands/ individuals), the ultimate consequences for everything start revolving around your head.

For everything that you do or think of doing, no matter how small or big, there’s a thought of ultimate consequence that occurs. Usually, they tend to weigh the negative consequences because “it’s always better to think and prepare for the bad scenarios before they may even happen”.

We don’t think of the process, nor do we think of the reasoning behind doing something – just the ultimate destination – and thus giving the best/ worst case consequence the power to decide whether you should proceed with what you were about to do or to just back off.

When the reasoning to do something is strong and/ or authentic, and/ or when you love the process of doing that something more than what the outcome would be, then the ultimate consequences, rooting in your mind or through others, won’t affect you as they would have otherwise done. Moreover, there are always reasons as to why you’re thinking of the ultimate consequences too, and while that could be broken down too, why not give them a thought yourselves?

Micro Struggle Macro Growth

Micro Struggle Macro Growth

Whenever you plan/ do something, and especially when something new is being instilled into your life, you’ll always face initial struggle. Those struggles are then faced on a daily basis, the level of difficulty varying as per the day and what that day brings along with it.

When you look at it from a day’s perspective…you’d always notice the amount of struggle you’re facing, and/ or the amount of effort and time you’re putting into it. Every day you’ll work on it, and get better at it with time until eventually, it becomes a subconscious part of your routine.

However, as time passes, and in hindsight, you will never remember the micro struggle nor the daily work put in. From a macro perspective, you will only be seeing the growth that came as an outcome of the practice. In hindsight, when you recall it as a story, you will remember the growth points and the progress and the learning that you’ve experienced, not anything else (keeping in mind that the process turned out to be a positive experience for you).

That’s the difference between the present perspective and the hindsight perspective and maybe that’s what we have to remember too when we do that particular something… No matter how difficult it seems, in hindsight, we will only be remembering and cherishing the macro growth, not the micro struggle…

A delay in decision costs more

A delay in decision costs more

You have two choices, A or B.

You must make a decision and choose one.

So now you weigh the pros and cons, or the advantages and disadvantages, or however else you’d like to compare the two choices.

But, now you’re in a conundrum. You cannot decide. You like A. You like B. It all seems difficult now.

In order to lessen the confusion, you think, “How about a third choice?”

A third choice may make the matter easier. When you come up with that third choice, everything will get cleared and you assume you’ll go with C in that scenario.

Now you work and think of a third choice. But, here’s another issue… By the time you were thinking about the third choice, you lost out on the first two choices. There’s no way to choose them anymore.

And that’s the cost of the third choice.

Either due to a lack of decision-making or due to this need for perfectionism, you weren’t able to decide on the former two choices that were readily available to you.

You just had to make a decision and it was all done. But the want to have more choices, they want to have everything perfect, that wait to have more made you lose on the two choices (that were according to you) and that you could’ve chosen.

The cost of the third choice is an expensive one, one that occurs time and again,

– if we don’t drop the idea of perfect,

– if we don’t level up our decision-making skills,

– if we don’t truly understand what we want in the first place.

It takes a while to adjust

It takes a while to adjust

Whenever you do something new, you sense some hesitancy within you. You don’t want to do it and you want to revert back to the old way.

The brain has mapped out the series of events when you do that specific something, along with it your emotions too. That functioning can then happen subconsciously while you’re busy with your thoughts.

To do something new means to overcome the set programming and the emotions attached with it, and to allow the brain to create a new program to proceed with the new something, a new set of steps and a new wave of emotions that will come along with it. If that continues for a long time, it’ll replace the previous something and become part of your new routine. Thus, taking a while to adjust and therefore, the hesitancy whenever we do something new.

Unlearning Old Habits

Unlearning Old Habits

When you break down the creation or building of a new habit – you’re either replacing an old one or you have space to add another. The most likely scenario is there are already too many habits on your plate to add more, which means you’re replacing the old ones with new ones.

Either you’re picking a habit, say, for example, watching tv and replacing it with reading books. It’s a like-for-like substitution where one habit is being replaced for another.

But the other scenario is when you’re gunning for major change because you’re replacing an older habit, probably a toxic one or one which you don’t want to identify with anymore, and replacing it with an improved or a better habit that will make you better.

For example, you’re replacing your habit of eating junk food with eating healthy food. You’re replacing your habit of waking up late with waking up early and working out. The change in this aspect is difficult and takes longer because you’re changing your emotions associated with the older habit and forming new emotions for your new habit.

That’s where the concept of unlearning old habits comes in. There’s a routine associated with your habits, along with an emotion that pops up with that particular habit. To change your habit means to first unlearn your old habit – which means first understanding why you want to unlearn your old habit and the reasoning for your replaced habit – which will eventually form your baseline thereby forming positive emotions giving you the strength and motivation to execute your new habits.

The entire process of change starts with changing your habits which in turn starts with changing your thoughts around it and unlearning previous things before you start learning new things.

The core is the same

The core is the same

When you break down multiple topics, but within a specific sector/ industry, you’ll notice that irrespective of how much width there would be, at its core, every other topic is just the same, following the same principles… but just addressed differently or seen or spoken about from a different perspective.

For example, while breaking down topics of life or mindset, I tend to break down different aspects of them each time, but I also realise at their core, each one has the same basic principles… but because it’s difficult to grasp just the answers directly, without any context, it’s better to approach each minor topic separately and also realised that they need to be designed separately for the consumption because it is easier to relate with these problems/ headlines/ topics that we are able to understand on a daily basis; and at a macro level after gaining a good amount of knowledge in the space later on realising how so much of it is the same.

Even though when you have the answers, it’s not easy to apply them to every topic there is… and thus it seems better to approach the opposite way, breaking down the topic/ problem and then finding out the answers.

There’s then a reason why the core is the same, but it’s all designed differently and has different styles of approach.

Is easy always simple?

Is easy always simple?

Whenever we do something, there’s an easy path to doing it and a difficult path to doing it… when you approach that action/ habit/ routine/ task/ goal without any knowledge or experience, you wouldn’t know the difference between the easy and difficult path before you start walking on it.

If the path chosen turns out to be the difficult one, which is causing you to not reach your goal then you regret not being on that easy path which would’ve made things so much simpler for you.

That thought is a recurring one, now and then, but it also begs the question, is easy always simple?

You see someone on that easy path, and again it could be with regards to a particular task or a goal, or with regards to a specific habit or your routine, or any action for that matter… you see someone on the easy path and you think they’re doing it so simply whereas it’s so much more difficult for me?

Here’s the thing… The only reason easy looks simple is because that particular individual has been doing it hundreds and thousands of times and more.

Easy isn’t simple at all, and there are moments where easy is even harder than the other path available. It requires more work, more practice, more effort, more mistakes and repetition of everything so one day it looks easy (on the outside).

The one on the easy path is day after day going at it hard thinking their path is the difficult one. For someone seeing them on the outside, it’s the opposite for them, thinking it’s so easy for the other one and difficult for me and that illusion will continue for all unless they only see their path and what works for them best.

You want to do it right.

You want to do it right.

There’s no one definition of what’s right, only what is accepted as right by a group of people, sometimes summarized as a law, or sometimes as a moral value.

There are some things that are considered right or wrong on a human level, and there are things limited to your life, which is right or wrong for you and you decide that.

At such points, defined by your values and your ethics and your mindset, when you want to do something, you just want to do it right. Not just do it, but do it right as how you define it.

It might take a few more steps, it would require you to put in more effort, it may require more time, but you want to do it right. There are possibilities that the outcome may not be in your favour, but you’re defining the process and loving that approach too, and that’s what counts for you when you want to do it right. (when the outcome isn’t in your favour, it doesn’t mean the process is wrong, but something may have not worked out that needs some tweaking for the next time).

The eventual upgrade of your ideas/ skills

The eventual upgrade of your ideas/ skills

If you look back at your life, and notice the ideas that you’ve worked upon, personally and professionally, and observe their fruition, comparing it with how evolved you are today, you’d think you could’ve done better (and if not better, then maybe your style/ approach would definitely have been different).

But it’s not just about your ideas… When you look back at your skill set/s, you’d notice a difference between the stage they were at a while ago to the stage they’re at now.

Over time, there is an eventual upgrade of your ideas and/or skills.
As time passes, and as you consume more and more useful information that adds to your knowledge base, and as you experience more things in your life, as your perspective widens, a change occurs (knowingly or unknowingly).

The change is either adding or taking away something from you. Optimistically, your approach is evolving which in turn is improving you in various aspects of life, including an upgrade in how you used to think or how you used to approach a particular idea. Or even with regards to the skill sets under your belt – the more you do something, the chances are you improve at it and become better.

Looking back, there are very few moments where you’d appreciate a previously done idea of yours because you will always think you could’ve done it better now, considering your current mindset and approach.
Looking back, you’d hardly appreciate an action connected with a skill set because you’d think you can do it so much better now.

That’s the thing about evolution and the eventual upgrade of your ideas and skills – you’ll always like them at the moment, but rarely in hindsight – because a change is constantly occurring and you’re changing along with it.

With more awareness comes more scrutiny

With more awareness comes more scrutiny

To understand who you are, what your identity is, what you stand for, what your values are, how you want to live your life and how do you define it – those and answers to many more questions arise from self-awareness.

The more aware you become the more you understand reality and you’re able to look beyond what’s being shown to you or instilled within you by others.

Becoming more self-aware than before opens up your perspective in more ways than you can imagine, simultaneously also telling you more things about yourself that you didn’t know before, whilst also telling you what you want to do further ahead and how do you want to manage everything.

While self-awareness is a boon because it also shows you the reality and discards everything that is a mirage, the more self-aware you become, the more you start to scrutinize yourself as well.

Once all the layers are removed, and all you see is the bare mind, body, and soul, there’s no place to hide anymore. There are no stories to tell yourself or no distractions to escape towards… now you’ve brought accountability onto yourself.

So whenever you don’t do something that you wanted to, whenever you do something wrong or you keep something pending for a while, what arises is scrutiny within yourself. It comes to a point where you pressurize yourself, where there’s a possibility of regret and one of sadness too, one where you feel more forceful than enjoyable… And that is also a side-effect which comes along with self-awareness.

The other option is to know what you want to do with this level of awareness, how do you want to manage it, how are you going to utilize it and mainly, balance it with living your life and with those days where you don’t want to bring this scrutiny upon yourself.

How will the seed turn out?

How will the seed turn out?

When you plant a seed, you don’t know how it’ll turn out… It could rot out, maybe weeds grow out in its place or it could grow into a plant/ tree and even bear fruits/ flowers, while that depends on the seed, what also matters is its maintenance throughout the process.

What can we understand from that?
Let’s break that down into two parts.

First, whenever we start a habit, that process begins with the ideation and the visualization of how we see ourselves doing it. Then you plan out the process with the hopes of executing the plan. Your maintenance provided throughout this process determines the success of the habit.

Are you willing to do the work? Are you willing to deal with your emotions, if they evade you from executing the habit? Are you willing to not let any external factors dictate your habit? Multiple factors such as these come into play which foresees the efforts and the work you’re willing to put in to make your habit a success.

While this part spoke about maintenance, the second part is the tricky one and one which is less easy to understand at first. Two factors came into play while planting a seed, its maintenance and the quality of the seed.

How can you determine the quality of the seed? Because just with your sight, sometimes you’ll be able to understand but most times you cannot, those who have studied it and have understood its schematics know it better.

That’s what comes into play when building a habit as well. Most habits that we currently have or start unknowingly root from somewhere else or from someone else and not all habits are good for you. While you’d be blindly following the habit, which in turn will root it deeper within you making it a part of your identity… a question needs to arise whether the habit being instilled or followed is the right one for you or not, right now and down the line in the future too.

Studying the type of habits you currently have and the ones you want to instil, and gaining deeper knowledge about them will help you form them better into your lifestyle and also give you the reasons to provide the maintenance when the time comes.

A simple example of planting the seed helps out form your habits, your lifestyle, and your life.

When you’re your own enemy

When you’re your own enemy

Breaking down every aspect of our lives and the path that we were previously walking on, currently walking on and will walk on, and how life turns out to be… when we break down everything that happened to us and everything that will happen to us, sometimes we’re our own enemies in life.

Sure, we’re picking up associative behaviour since childhood, we’re imitating others, we’re being fed marketing and brand stories, so there’s a lot that originally doesn’t come from us and subconsciously we’re just following something or someone else.

But, to look back at something that we did or something that happens in the future but we could have paved a different path before (which means right now in this perspective) is something that pinches a lot.

We become our own enemies when
– we don’t look out for ourselves
– when we don’t own our storyline
– when we don’t know what our voice is
– when we don’t know whether we want to do something out of our own interest or because it’s a marketing thing or a peer pressure thing.

Amongst many factors, we make decisions in life we don’t want to or we don’t take decisions that we should have… and at every turn, we become bigger and bigger enemies of ourselves, not thinking about ourselves first, not thinking about what we want and what we stand for, and what identifies us and our life ahead.

Choose: Learning Beforehand or Learning from Mistakes?

Choose: Learning Beforehand or Learning from Mistakes?

If you had to choose, would you learn beforehand and not make a mistake or would you carry on as is, make the mistake and then learn from it?

While the options may seem black and white, let’s break them down into deeper layers…
Personally or professionally, you can pick a sector of your life or a topic and then learn about it; not just the basics, but by delving into it a deeper and deeper understanding of what others have done with regard to it, what type of mistakes occur and what kind of decisions need to be made and knowing all of that in advance will give you an upper hand in having the knowledge to not make the mistake when the time comes.

While it does sound easier to not make a mistake, there’s only so much you can know beforehand and when the situation arises and you have to make a decision you can yet choose something that leads to a mistake, maybe one you wanted to avoid or one that was totally different and gives you different learning altogether.

With the latter option, when you look at it from the former option’s perspective, it feels like the mistake is bound to happen then why do the learning beforehand… why not take the leap and simply learn from the mistake when we make it?

While mistakes are unavoidable, making those which have already been made before by hundreds and thousands of people doesn’t really make sense, which is also where the importance of learning comes in.

Making new mistakes or trying out new things that turn out to be a mistake also gives you the insight to do the same thing again, but the knowledge of avoiding the mistake next time is what’s key in these situations.

While there are pros and cons to both the options, learning beforehand or learning after making a mistake, in reality, there needs to be a balance between the two and not a choice.

When you’re growing and when you’re evolving, you need to know and learn and understand a lot of things beforehand but also be ready to learn when you make a mistake, basically stating the fact that learning is constant when you’re on such a path.

Relying on someone else to correct you

Relying on someone else to correct you

A common factor between communities, relationships, and ideologies is that a particular individual often relies upon someone else to correct them.

To correct them means that each one of us has flaws – most we may not be aware of – and rarely do we understand them ourselves and procure the chance to improve upon those flaws.

Usually, in relationships of any kind, or a community helmed by any one individual or their ideology or formed by a united idea, individuals in focus tend to rely upon them – their words, their actions and their ideas – to understand their life, to understand their mistakes and their flaws, and to improve.

Only when called upon do we get the wake-up call and start working upon those flawed aspects, but simultaneously also become dependent on that relationship or ideology to further live your life. Everything henceforth is then guided by that and any individual opinions or actions, in reality, aren’t individual or unique to you at all.

While it may work for some, a factor of independence along with self-realisation and self-awareness does pop up in this scenario. When will an individual realise what they truly stand for and what they want to do… It starts with that initial step of understanding your flaws and working on them by yourself, and in a wider scenario, also being self-reliant for any and all actions of your life.

Sometimes you’re the best teacher for yourself

Sometimes you’re the best teacher for yourself

We make mistakes. We know how much we know and how much more there is to learn. Someone else may know more and maybe share about it. So when you seek advice, the default action is to reach that one individual (or their learnings or their ideology) so we can learn and rectify our mistakes.

But with everything, there is to learn and with everything, there is to explore, sometimes you’re the best teacher for yourself.
Everyone has a different path, lived through different levels of values, making different types of mistakes – very rarely does ‘one fit all’ lessons make sense when everyone is doing different and wanting different.

Not only that, but the impact of every lesson and learning works differently for all. When you are self-aware enough to understand your life, what you want, what you want to change or what you want to rectify, in most cases you understand yourself best to know what will work for you and what will not.

Instead of relying upon one person’s advice, or one ideology, you can instead choose to learn ten people’s ideas and lessons and learning, and be the teacher for yourself knowing what you can handpick from all that information and what you can mix and match in ways that work best for you, a self-created recipe, becoming the best teacher for yourself.

In the moment vs in Hindsight

In the moment vs in Hindsight

Two deadly scenarios of life, when you think of life with respect to decisions/ approach/ actions/ habits – in the moment vs in hindsight.

In the moment is default decision-making that you’re already adapted to, it roots from your mindset. How programmed are you by others (society/ marketing etc) and how you think of your life (as an outcome of that) will dictate your default decision-making…

When a particular moment pops up, you think of in the moment what would you like to do and you just jump off the cliff without thinking of the consequences or what’s next. Your emotions play a huge role in this scenario.

In hindsight is how you approach your life and your decisions from a long-term perspective. How are you going to look at the decisions you make today and how satisfied would you be with them, when you look back 5/ 10 years down the line.

The ‘In hindsight’ approach keeps you on track, letting you think of the present and the future. What decision are you willing to make today and would you be glad you made that decision in hindsight.

Here, it’s not only about your default decision-making or your emotions, but a responsibility towards yourself from a macro perspective. In 2030, would I regret making this decision or would I regret having this habit and how miserable would I be that I did that? Or vice-versa, in 2030, when you look back at a particular decision, how glad would you be that you walked down that path?

When you put things into perspective, your approach changes entirely and you then tend to do everything differently, not forcefully, because you’re thinking about yourself from an entire lifespan’s perspective, not just from one day’s perspective.

Always Asking for more Time

Always Asking for more Time

We all have the same amount of time on a daily basis, there are some who utilize their time quite productively, there are some who waste it completely and then there are those who always ask for more time.

Asking for more time can mean two things,
A. You either aren’t creating a proper schedule/ structure for your day and thus missing out on things to be done, or
B. You aren’t able to prioritise your tasks based on the level of their importance or your interests, the latter is important because any forceful task will require more time and effort, ending up missing out on the remaining schedule. (This scenario occurs even though you have created a schedule for yourself, and prioritising comes in because sometimes you have to subtract things in order to get the more important ones done)

In either of those scenarios, you crave more time, thinking it’d solve anything, but in reality, that’s not possible. What’s possible is having a structure for your day, and approaching your tasks or the sectors of your life based on that. Secondly, knowing what really needs to be done and what you don’t want to do or what’s skippable… To think of it, time is like a game; the better you play it, the better you’d win/ level up/ however you’d like to approach it.

The difference between forced and willingly chosen habits

The difference between forced and willingly chosen habits

Our life and everything about it is more or less a routine. Right from the style of our thinking to the repetitive thoughts we have every day to the recurring habits done on a daily basis, everything is a routine.

Some habits are handpicked/ designed by us, some just have to be done, and some are instilled in our minds. (habits are not limited to just external actions, but everything about us that we repetitively do)

During the start of any habit/ routine, even though it’s handpicked by us… and even though we want to continue to do them for a long time… during the start, our excitement to do them is at a peak high. We are motivated, energised, and excited, filled with hardships yet wanting to push through and proceed with it.

After a while, even with a personal design of our life, and even with the want to do it more and more, the urge/ excitement/ want becomes a bit flatlined.

There’s a visible difference between carrying out the same activity in the beginning and doing the same activity after a period of time. You may or may have not felt this, based on how aware you consciously are of what you’re doing and the feeling you’re experiencing at the time.

There’s a thing about macro enjoying it and micro, not wanting to do it on that particular day or for a particular amount of time. That thin line between the two defines the difference. Macro, you understand the beauty of the habit and the reason being instilling it in your routine…

Whereas, on those micro days, there’s a feeling to skip it or you aren’t in the mood. There’s some emotional factor attached that tells you to not proceed with this particular habit at that time.

But, it’s because of that macro approach, you still continue with it because, one, that habit is now a part of your life, and two, you understand its benefits/ its importance and the dissatisfaction you’d feel by not doing it. As soon as you’re done, you’re glad you did because you immediately see the before and after difference and the micro impact of carrying through with it.

Some habits are such that you want to do them, and not give in to any feelings at the time, or not let any external factors affect its process. Some habits are, in the example of micro and macro, if you have designed them by hand, and if the reason for doing it is authentic to you, then you’d simply carry on.

That’s the beauty of habits that are designed by yourself and implemented into your life for your reasons. It also tells you the difference between executing habits for external reasons or when forced upon doing something vs when you choose your own habits.

The problem with the learning narrative

The problem with the learning narrative

When do you stop learning? When is the ‘education’ ever over? The common narrative is school, college, graduation, post-graduation for some and you’re done. Now you’re ready to take on the world!

The problem with that narrative is that you’re learning less about life and less about the subject you’re interested in and more about a minute percentage of what the institution wants to teach you.

Speaking of what they’re teaching you… when you only look at the subjects they teach you, and the syllabus within each subject, you’d realise that, in hindsight, you’re only learning probably 10% or 20% of what that subject matter is and even that isn’t preparing you for the real world.

Speaking of what they aren’t teaching you, the scales are higher on this side, because irrespective of the subjects at hand, there’s so much more than they aren’t teaching at all – say about how life works, how the mind works, communication skill set, decision making skill set, teaching the values of life – things that are so important throughout your life – personally and professionally- but aren’t touched at all.

So when you understand that, you also understand how much more there is to learn. Some learn after they make mistakes in certain areas of their lives, and some willingly choose to learn beforehand. Once you begin that process and become interested in what you’re learning and how it implements into your life, the bigger realisation is that you can never stop learning.

There’s the topic at hand and when you scratch the surface, you realise the roots beneath the topic and how much deeper and deeper you can get into any topic and learn.

How this learning changes your perspective and your approach to life is even more fascinating… the more you learn, the more it changes and as you walk on that path, it becomes more enjoyable as you go forward (also filled with curiosity).

Who is occupying your thoughts?

Who is occupying your thoughts?

The potential of our brain is simply unimaginable. Think of it as at least 10 times more massive than what you currently perceive it to be… Even then, with whatever percentage of it is in our conscious control, so much of its potential is wasted away with distractions or useless consumptions that are only rewiring it worse than before.

Day-to-day our brain is split between the tasks of the day, battling between being present vs the imaginative thoughts of the future, any conversations with ourselves and others, and on top of it, some thoughts occupied by others – meaning we are either comparing ourselves with others, or judging them, or letting something they said to affect our emotional structure (thereby affecting your thoughts and your mood) – thus occupying your mind space for that particular period and more.

Now to think about it… You might be using 10% of what your brain is capable of, in the first place… and then instead of using that little space to master your life, your personal and professional path, we’re letting someone else occupy our minds, occupy our thoughts. We are thinking about how someone else’s judgement was right or not, how you are hurt or distraught after listening to all of that a few hundred thoughts and a good number of hours are being spent thinking about someone else’s judgment on us.

And it’s the same case vice-versa too because you could be using your mind space judging someone else too, someone else is still occupying your mind, but in this case, you’re the initiator, judging someone else or being envious of them and thinking about them.

Yes, the struggle is real, the hurt is real, and thus we justify that occupied space, but are we letting that to happen? Eventually, what needs to be understood is, do you want to continue with someone else occupying your mind or do you want to pave a path where you keep yourself on priority, either to increase your focus or to just enjoy…

The Unsatisfactory Mindset

The Unsatisfactory Mindset

All we want is more and more and more… As humans sought survival back in the day, all they wanted was food, clothes and shelter. As we evolved, came the concept of capitalism and marketing and stories, and everything got divided into those three sectors.

Even you if are having three meals every day, all you will see is one picture on a platform and you’ll get unsatisfied with what you’re having… This is how we have come to be.

Just one example doesn’t seem enough though… You might have just bought a piece of clothing and you’ll see a friend of yours buy something expensive from this “fancy” brand and you’ll become disinterested in what you’ve just bought instead of being excited to wear it.

When will it ever be enough? Never. Because capitalism and marketing always allow for someone to have an upper hand and for someone to be able to afford something and vice versa. Can we then blame the brands for doing this? Again, no… Because capitalism and they get to exploit that.

Here comes the unsatisfactory mindset. The unsatisfactory mindset that’s instilled within, because of which we are never satisfied with anything we buy, anything we do or experience… There’ll be comparisons and something better or worse and someone sharing their experiences on a public platform.

That mindset has also come up because of every single piece of marketing that you have heard and seen repetitively since childhood and then as a community, your peers fall for it and then talk about what’s better and what’s not. With every step that’s taken, that unsatisfactory mindset seeps in deeper than before until the point where you’re never satisfied with anything now.

To get beyond that, to reach a point of satisfaction, and for that mindset to change, what needs to change is the story you tell yourself and how that story affects how you love your life.

What is the story about?
– A story about gratitude, where you’re grateful for the things that you already have and for things that you get to do.
– A story about the hard work and efforts that you’ve put in to reach the point where you’re at right now.
– A story about how so much of everything is just marketing and media manipulation and how can you learn to not get affected by it.
– A story about being secure with yourself and what you stand for, which also means not comparing with others, and not caring for what they do.

To reach a point of satisfaction doesn’t mean not doing anything. It means to be satisfied with what you get to do, without caring for anything else. It takes practice to get rid of that story that’s seeped into put minds and how it’s become habitual to think that way and to act that way, but there’s another side to it that comes with a mindset of satisfaction.

Comparing values instead of things

Comparing values instead of things

Quite often, we compare our lives with other people – what they have achieved externally vs what we have achieved, what they own vs what we own, and that becomes the extent of our comparisons. Rarely do we compare our goals with theirs, or our levels of happiness with theirs.

If someone has a better car than you, according to societal standards, then you start becoming envious of what they have and it starts to create doubt and uncertainty about your own life in regards to not having the same type of car.

While the car is one example, day to day, external items such as that are compared between multiple individuals and that cycle keeps repeating… Not one individual is satisfied with what they have.

It is scientifically studied that comparison in a moderate amount is good for you as it gives you the push to “do more”, and “to achieve more”.

While that is up for debate… if the trend of comparison should continue, why not for something that would actually add something to your life. Everything external shall remain external without adding anything to your life.

Why not compare your values, which are the foundation of how you live, with others, instead of comparing external things with them?

Each individual lives with a certain set of values. Those values vary from person to person. Someone may be kinder than others, but others would lack kindness at all. Someone may be empathetic towards others, and others would have none. Each individual then, with a different set of values, lives their lives differently than others.

Each value represents something and plays a part in how your life is lived. One ingredient missing may lay out a different life path than with that ingredient (value).

So, instead of comparing who is buying what and comparing the “worth” of that item with yours, why not observe the values they live their life with and try to emulate that same value in your life as well?

If we’re actually sitting and comparing, why not compare something worthwhile (that would add something to your life)?

Some want to help and some want to show that they help

Some want to help and some want to show that they help

While the topic of this post would say otherwise, there are actually three types of people: ones who want to help, ones who show they help/ or want to help, and ones who don’t want to help at all.

How does an individual address your concerns or issues, by their behaviour, body language, or by their words, it can be determined beforehand which category they fall into.

While the ones who want to help would be optimistically the preferred choice to be around, the second-best option would be those who don’t want to help at all, avoiding that third category at all: showing that they want to help.

Some people are innately helpful, and it shows. When you have a problem or a task that you want some help with, they’ll be there with you. They’ll try to help out, and if not practically, at least on paper try to come up with a solution, or at the least try to get someone else on board who would help out. The point is, that they want to help.

Why do you want to avoid those that show they want to help and possibly have those who don’t want to help at all as the second option is simply this… When help is required, you don’t want to wait around, and you don’t want to keep asking. Those that don’t want to or rather maybe the better way to put it is those who can’t help you out are at least decisive with their answer.

Those that want to simply show they want to help will probably waste your energy, waste your time, and eventually neither would you get the help you required and neither are you approaching anyone else in this scenario. You’re sitting around for this ‘help’ you’re going to get from this individual while from their point of view, they only want to one-on-one or publicly show their “want to help” without providing any real solution.

Understanding these three types of people are important because when a situation arises, you’d want to know whom to contact and whom to stay away from. Not that you wouldn’t want one in your circle (circumstances of choosing those are different from this topic), but you know whom to definitely approach.

The thing about Variables

The thing about Variables

The thing about variables is that you never know which one to choose. What’s even more shocking about variables is that there are too many of them.

Statement 1: I want to lose weight

Variable 1: I can choose to start eating better food items, thus avoiding the food items that made me gain weight

Variable 2: I can eat the same things as I am now, but go extremely hard-core on my workout

Variable 3: I can choose to balance what I eat and how much workout I do, thereby doing both, and in moderation that has no sudden impact on my body.

Variable 4: I can simply walk on the same path as now and only wish to lose weight every few weeks/ months.

While I’m sure that there are more variables to this statement, these four top the scenario that we confront each time such a thought arises.

Variables don’t just occur in a micro scenario but happen in a macro scenario as well.

Statement 2: I want to do something about the climate.

Variable 1: You can first implement all the changes in your own lifestyle first before advocating bigger changes.

Variable 2: You can be an advocate about the climate but share that information whilst wasting water in the bathroom or using plastic items yourself.

Variable 3: You can practically showcase individualistic alternative changes that you’re applying yourself and inspire others to do the same because sharing problems is easier than sharing solutions.

Variable 4: You can go above and beyond the third variable and indicate legitimate changes that brands can apply publicly, thus showcasing real changes that can be done as well as applying pressure publicly.

Yet again, this particular example is massive to at least have a hundred and more variables to it.

When confronted with a scenario, we usually proceed with two default scenarios, one that we are programmed with (our mindset) that says what to do, and the second one, following what everyone else is doing.

At that moment, we don’t wait to think of the variables that arise along with the scenario, and only if we did, then we’d know that we can realistically approach with a much better variable than what we’d have chosen… and not just one, but a mixture of variables as well.

That’s the beauty of variables.

The urge to show-off

The urge to show-off

You have probably met someone who constantly shows off their materialistic wealth, don’t you? This individual would, even without a discussion on that topic, start sharing about what they have, what they own, what is their overall or a particular item’s financial worth, basically anything that has been accumulated on their own or because of their family wealth.

Where does this urge to show off originate from? There’s deep insecurity within to either feel recognized, feel important, or a need to feel superior to others. When you aren’t secure with your identity and your values and the path of life you’re walking on, one usually falls back on external items/ scenarios/ circumstances that give them the contentment of security which eventually becomes their identity.

This attached identity then becomes a crown that you have to show people so they know you, so they can see you in the room. They’ll introduce a topic and hope that someone’s interested because when one is, doors are opened for them to “connect” further and talk more about that “attached identity” which eventually is this materialistic wealth.

What they fail to recognize is reading the room and observing whether other people are secure with their identities and their ideas and their values and how obnoxious would they feel this particular individual is who constantly rambles on about the materialistic items/ experiences in their life, thus losing out on any connection possible.

Another peril of having this attached identity is the fragile ego that comes along with it. While there’s a need to be seen and to be recognized, what also ends up happening is when the importance isn’t shown at that point, or if someone has something “superior” to them or when they’re questioned… It ends up destroying their ego, with them feeling hurt and damaged because it is hurting and damaging this “identity” they’ve held onto.

//while it’s easier to pinpoint one individual in this process, arrows can also be pinpointed in their upbringing where the easiest path possible is laid down to walk upon and the slightest and the biggest of wants are fulfilled, leading to this sense of identity and approach of life.//

Any human wants to feel connected, but that comes with a strong set of beliefs and values, that makes you want to spend more time with them and not vice-versa. The bigger question is not about the materialistic things you own, but what have you attached your identity with and how secure you’re in your life because both things can be totally different and work out just fine.

Without knowing the time

Without knowing the time

What would you do if there was no clock nearby? While this could be looked at from a macro lens and its impact on our life, today’s approach to this topic is from a micro lens.

What would you do if there was no clock nearby? Let’s look at this question from another lens. We plan our day ahead of time and we set these slots in our calendars based on the tasks that we have for the day. For everything that has to be done, there’s a start and end time that has been set.

What would you do if there was no clock? How would you approach your day without knowing the time? The way we currently go about our day is mostly automated and everything happens based on a pattern that we have been following. When we mix too many tasks, our brain is not able to switch so easily. While we may be doing something we have already done before, our automated process has taken over and we feel like we’re accomplishing something. Here’s also when we should bring in the topic of quality vs quantity and look at our day from those lenses to better understand our productivity rate.

Nonetheless, when you approach your day without knowing the time, now you approach your tasks based on a flow that you feel within. How much time you want to spend on something is now not based on a calendar but based on how focused you are on it and how much energy you have for it. Once you’re feeling exhausted in both those categories also means that it’s either time to take a break or to move on to the next thing, both of which weren’t earlier possible when there was an external end time set to your task and you were just working off it.

While we are looking at this approach based on a singular task and while you can already imagine the difference between the two approaches theoretically, imagine how this approach looks when you approach your entire day with this outlook. What you will do and what you won’t do when you approach your day without knowing the time?

Breaking down every aspect of our mindset

Breaking down every aspect of our mindset

Breaking down our mindset is such an exciting and interesting process that it cannot be explained in mere words. We are, from childhood, programmed to function in a particular way, every decision we make is based on how it would look in the society we live in. Not just the decisions, but even our thought process is programmed similarly, which is also why different human beings with different tastes may look similar when in a group because they approach life similarly.

What do we think? What’s the foundation of our thoughts and our ideation and our decision making? Why do we think in a certain way? Do we feel challenged or welcoming when approached with opposite thoughts than our own? The topic of one’s own mindset is so beautiful to dissect, but one should definitely do it on their own (with better learning and preparation).

When you break down every aspect of our mindset, we start to learn everything about our life, past, present, and future. How we have lived our life, the steps we have taken and the decisions we have made, the decisions that went wrong, and to actually break down the why behind it all breaks down our mindset into how did all of it come into the picture. Where did it all originate from? While now you may be functioning in a pattern, every pattern has had to originate from somewhere and then you kept on repeating it until it became a part of your identity.

To find out the origin means you find out your influence, whether it is from another person, from looking at the society as a whole or from your education system or from what you consume (content). Everything influences you somehow and eventually becomes a part of how you function.

Every bit compiled together then becomes your mindset, how you approach life, micro and macro. What path will you be walking, what will your approach be when a setback or difficulty arrives, how open are you towards your change and so much more can all be determined through your current mindset.

These are only a few aspects to pinpoint, but everything whether personal or professional, whether your ideation or execution, your direction, your communication, your relationships, your goals or vision or process of living life, everything comes from your mindset.

To then break down every aspect of it thus makes your process of living life much more beautiful than before, because now you understand the why behind everything, the foundation of it, you’re now in control and controlling your steps and actions based on how you have styled your mindset. (in comparison to an already programmed mindset which didn’t serve you to your benefit, or was programmed already for you)

The list of things that go wrong

The list of things that go wrong

When we compile a list of everything that has happened in our lives, the list would most likely be divided into two, a list of things that went right and a list of things that went wrong.

Such a list would apply to everyone, no one is averse to any side. There’s a likely scenario where the list of things that went wrong is much more than the other side. It’s not that one thing goes wrong and three go right. Usually, it’s the other way round, five things go wrong and one thing goes right, which would also explain why the list of wrongs is longer.

Every time something wrong happens, meaning the process or the outcome didn’t turn in our favour, there could be a planning issue, mindset issue, or execution issue, to pinpoint one would be difficult. Every time something goes wrong, it becomes a setback for us. We think about it long and hard, so we don’t repeat it and if we gather the chance to do it again, then do it right the next time.

While even if we physically don’t prepare such a list, internally we already know about such a list and everything that has gone wrong in our life. But here’s where it gets fascinating… when you unlock this perspective of looking at the list of things that have gone wrong you see your life differently. Even when five things have gone wrong, and they could have been really bad setbacks and may have emotionally and mentally set you down too, that one thing which has gone right has more weightage in your life that outweighs those five things that have gone wrong.

So if you ever prepare such a list and even when you find out that the list of things that have gone wrong is so much more than the things that have gone right in your life… instead of only seeing the quantity, also notice the quality because the smaller side (things that have gone right) have so much more power than the list of things that have gone wrong.

When we come across something we don’t know about

When we come across something we don’t know about

With everything that has happened in the past/ or happening right now in the present… or even if we forget about the worldly events for a second and focus on ourselves, how humans came into existence for example and everything there is to know about the human mind and body, we might just be knowing 0.01% of that information and even that number is simply an optimistic stretch based on everything there is to know.

Quite often, and this probably happens every day, when we come across something we don’t know about and we either,
– let it go and move on,
– just accept what has been told to us
– Or, we can use a second and access this large pool of information that we have access to through the internet.

Instead of accepting anything as is, or accepting based on hearsay, why not just take some time out to find out more about what you were curious about. What’s the meaning of that thing, what’s its history, and how did it come into the picture?

What’s unimaginable is how every time we feed our curiosity, we obviously learn so much, but more importantly, we never realise how useful that information becomes, especially with our ideation or execution process for anything.

When we say, I don’t know this or I don’t know about it, what we can add is a yet at the end of it and start researching on that topic. To what depths would you want to go is up to you, but even at the surface knowing something means more than not knowing about it at all.

Your prioritisation and its impact on life

Your prioritisation and its impact on life

From time to time, there are always a bunch of things that we need/ want to do, not all of them are necessarily important and yet they end up on our list of things to do. Because the time is limited, i.e. 24 hours every day, you now have to prioritise things.

What should be noted is, that when we prioritise things, we don’t necessarily do them based on the importance of those tasks. We prioritise them based on the emotions we are feeling at that point in time. This also means that if we’re feeling lazy or we feel to be entertained, then we may end up doing something that is a complete waste of time, or rather the better way to explain this is… prioritising something that has no impact on our life over something that could have actually helped us grow or move forward in life (personally or professionally).

Quite often, our decisions are made in this flow of emotions. These emotions we do not control, but they do branch out of our mindset, which we can mould. Based on the hastiness of our decision making, this affects our tasks/ things to do, thus affecting the impact those things would have had on our lives and the path that our life would have taken and the opportunities we would have gotten at that point of time had we walked on that path.

Now, because of how we prioritise our tasks, we don’t take into account their impact on our life. We don’t think that long and why would we? We feed off our current emotions and we look at today. We don’t see the tomorrow and how prioritising something that is actually important may help our life immediately or somewhere down the line.

That perspective and that approach to decision making then help us prioritise everything in that order, not that fun is out of the way, but everything is then balanced from that lens… Keeping our vision and the goals of our life in check and ensuring that we are on the right path forward, or the path we want to be on… whilst we do a little bit of everything we want to do without giving up on anything.

The Constant Reminder

The Constant Reminder

There are a hundred different ways to get distracted at every moment of time, not just through our smartphones which are definitely the major catalyst, but in every which way everything is designed in a way to control us, our decision making and our lives.

Whether because of our current routine patterns (which should be changed depending on their impact) in terms of thoughts, actions, communication, or execution (these are all established through some sort of external influence and rarely designed by us) or because of some story that is been told through marketing, it is easier to let someone else have the control of the situation and decide our next step, however micro it may be.

The someone may not necessarily be another human but a company, a product or service, any entity that wants to sell something that basically benefits them… In the most micro of observations, everything that we do is so externally controlled that it sometimes is difficult to even realize whether we are in control or not. Control of our lives? Control of our decision-making? Control of our very next step?

To then create a routine where we constantly remind ourselves to ask a very simple question, ‘Are we in control of what’s happening?’
We might not always be, but even then it’s good to ask the question and find out the answer is no, we’re not. And when we can be, that question will become an important one, because it’ll help us correct our stand and change the path if need be, to one where we actually are in control of what we’re doing or about to do.

Sharing your joys and sorrows

Sharing your joys and sorrows

Happiness is usually kept within, and every moment of one’s sorrow is shared with others, have you ever noticed that pattern? Especially when it comes to one’s close ones, people often share their pains, in order to reduce the weightage of that pain from their own shoulders, they share that load with someone else… Or in order to find a solution, they’ll share every bit of it with others.

But do they then share all their emotions, all their joys and happiness?

While there are reasons to share your sorrows, there are reasons more than those to share your joys. To share these moments of happiness with others, to include them in your journey, and share with them what you’re experiencing, what you have achieved, is a different joy altogether.

Sharing doesn’t mean getting something off that you don’t want yourself… But it means to share everything you’ve got so someone else can then walk the path with you, can experience what you’re experiencing, and that means sharing your sorrows as well as sharing your joys.

Do people around you share both? That is something that one needs to observe.

History tells us

History tells us

Learning our history is such an interesting subject, the more you delve into it, the more there is to learn. The deeper you study about a particular period/era, about a particular location, about a particular individual, you just get amazed by all the information you get (especially if that information is from way before than you can imagine).

But there’s another interesting thing that history tells us. When you observe the patterns of the present, of how the world is run, of the developments that occur, of how technology is advancing ahead, you’ll always notice a resemblance of that pattern in our history too.

Upon careful observation, you’ll notice that nothing that happens is actually new or fresh or happening for the first time. Some things may look evolved, and some may look fresher/ newer, but there are always strings attached to them from the past.

There’s a lot that happened in our history, some of it got carried forward, some of it was kept hidden from ever being known, and some of it became rumours.

After all of that, everything that happens today, in terms of new creations/ developments/ products/ services/ ideas, everything seems to be an extension of our history, either an evolved idea from the past, or a sub-branch created from the parent branch, or many a time, even the exact same thing simply modernized.

Knowing and understanding all of this makes learning history even more interesting, connecting these dots, feeling your mind blown when you see the origin of a particular idea, knowing how some patterns just keep on repeating… History tells us so much.

A list of inner success

A list of inner success

The world is evolving in a way where it’s moulding us into people full of wants. To achieve those wants, we keep chasing and chasing, on a never-ending battle with time and health and fulfillments.

We achieve one want, and the list is ready to achieve another. We often make these lists of “external success” that we’d love to have under our portfolio. Whether those are physical goods and services, or digital, or a particular title or valuation, it could be a single thing or multiple things.

We revolve our life around those things and forget about everything else.

But, in this battle, we forget about the most important things that make our life what it – whether it is our physical or mental health, our connection with ourselves or with the higher power (higher power or the Universe or God, however you personally feel in this area), our relationships, our purpose/ service.

Some people do realize this and start walking on this path, they start learning, practicing, implementing and witnessing change in those areas.

Sometimes the areas you need to touch upon or the work that has to be done is humongous to even think of. Sometimes thinking of the future, we forget all the work that we have already done, the work that got us to this point.

As people create lists for their external wants, one should also create a list of inner success.

A list that says the minutest of things that you have achieved internally, the things that you have worked upon and improved at.

A list that depicts your progress on this path.

A list that you can look upon, which will give you a reality check of everything that you’ve done and give you a sense of progress.

A list that you can look at, when you feel you’ve done nothing, when you feel you aren’t doing enough, when you feel unlike yourself.

A list of inner success.

When you put labels on others but not yourself (Part 2)

When you put labels on others but not yourself (Part 2)

In the previous post, we identified the concept of labels and how we, humans, approach the concept on a mass level, we ourselves use it to divide us furthermore and instead of connecting, the disconnect is growing at a more rapid pace than before. (You can check out that post here: The Thing about Labels (Part 1)

While there are flaws with the concept and the approach and while that could be an individualistic point of view, here’s a common problem with the entire concept… People love to put labels on others, categorize them, opinionate about them, judge them, but don’t put labels on themselves.

Either because of arrogance or ego or more likely, a lack of self-awareness, a lot of people would be first in line when an individual has to be matched with a certain label, but aren’t able to recognize what labels they themselves fall under.

While some labels could be used to connect with others, while some labels could be used to understand others or help make better decisions, there are also labels that multiple people could fall under, which are also shortcomings or flaws, which bring the particular individual and anyone with that label down immediately, not from a comparative point of view, but just the approach itself. For example, someone may have a history of rage driving, or it could something worse, where it’s a problem in the real world and people fail to recognize that they fall under these labels.

How will an individual make their lives better, their decision-making better, their approach better, how will they evolve individually, if they fail to see the labels they themselves fall under? (especially the problematic ones, which may not only affect themselves but affect those around them)

Before making the stride to label others, maybe if we’re carrying on the approach of labelling people, maybe we should start with ourselves. Understand which labels you fall under, which ones you associate with, and which ones would you like to change. These labels need not be exterior only, but could be with respect to your goals, your values, your mindset… the concept of “labels” is for everything, even if you think there isn’t for any one particular thing.

The Thing about Labels (Part 1)

The Thing about Labels (Part 1)

As a society, we have got a habit of putting labels on people, it’s easier to categorize them this way, and moreover, it’s easier to judge them this way. Putting labels on others isn’t a new approach, it’s been done for centuries… It was the only way for people to become better than each other, and feel superior to others.

Whether it was from a kingdom’s approach back in the day, or from a religious standpoint… Later down the line it evolved into political labels, and henceforth to every tiny minuscule a label that can be differentiated.

Now, at the current point in time, it’s because of these labels that communities are formed, and it’s because of these labels that fights/ riots/debates happen. Whether from the economic standpoint, professional titles, which team/s you support, or what product/s you buy, there’s a label attached to every decision.

Those in control stay in power or gain bigger bags because it is easier for them to make decisions if they already know whom they are making it for, how that certain group thinks and what would entice them to follow their decisions. How else do you think a political party is going to win or one of these huge corporations is going to sell you their product or service?

But it’s not just them at fault, everyone has the same approach but just their reasons are different. People will find it easier to connect with someone if they have a similar label between themselves, but the vice-versa is true as well, because for some when they have labels at opposite ends under a particular umbrella, then there’s been some aggressive, extreme approaches as well.

The thing about labels is while at the mass level it may help to put people in groups or make them state their opinions clearly, it also divides people. While we have heard of opposites attract, it does not hold true when looked at from these labels’ points of view. Right from major political and religious labels, to how much one earns and what title they hold, where they live, what their goals are, every single topic in one’s life becomes a label and that becomes a differentiating factor as well.

Some recognize this approach and still continue to do it because they want to live their lives that way. For some, it’s something they just realized and don’t know what to do with that information. The question that should be asked is, how do you view other people and how do you want humanity to evolve further? That will help you form your approach further.

Read Part 2 here.

Modern Take

Modern Take

Right from human evolution, in terms of betterment of health and wellness, to the technological advancements, to a change in worldviews, so much has developed over time. And yet, majorly we still operate our lives based on the same rules and laws and social norms that were established tens and hundreds of years ago. We walk on the same path that others walked years ago, and because it worked for them then, we do the same now without thinking of the changes that have happened since then.

With everything that has changed and is changing, with the evolving opinions, with the uprise in knowledge intake, basically with so much information around, and with the advancements and developments happening, it is time that we form a modern take on most things about life and how we live it.

Sure, one individual can make their own decisions. But when we operate as a society, and when we walk ahead as a community, certain rules apply to all people, such as things to do and things not to do, and it is time that a modern take is applied to everything.

With the viewpoint of today, it sure would be challenging to go against those who have set these norms, especially with those generations around, but it is high time to think about how our generation is growing up, how our future is going to look and in what environment is our future generations going to grow up.

What kind of environment do we want to set for ourselves? How do we want our lives to look? As a society, what rules and regulations and laws and norms make us grow and which ones limit us?

Probably with debates and discussions and arguments, with stories and takeaways, there is a possibility of a new uprising where the modern rules start to apply to aspects of our life and how we live in this world. One where humans can grow and evolve, one where we not only make ourselves better, but those around us, and our environment too and a modern take on everything about life is definitely a positive start to that.

When you’re in the zone

When you’re in the zone

When you’re in the zone, there’s no time ticking, you have no idea of what’s happening in your environment, and there’s no noise disturbing you… you’re focused, you’re determined, and you’re mentally and physically giving it your all.

There are specific moments when you realize you’re in the zone, but you realize that after… That something should be really exciting, should really make you move, and you should feel passionate about it, in order to be in the zone.

But being in the zone is not a choice. It is something that happens automatically, the situation should be gripping enough and you shouldn’t feel forced. It cannot be planned, it cannot be predicted. You don’t wait to get in the zone, you proceed with your plans and your schedule, you carry on with your task/s, and there’s a possibility you hit that mark and you’re in the zone, and if that moment arrives, there’s no stopping you. With that rush of energy and focus, all thoughts and actions toward it… one should surely experience what it feels like to be in the zone.

Observations at every turn of Life

Observations at every turn of Life

We learn, we experiment, we try… But how often do we observe? Routines, habits, patterns, historical moments, when observed, you will find answers to which you haven’t even thought of the questions yet.

What does that mean? For one, our life is about routines and habits, basically a repetitive scenario, that happens over and over. It doesn’t mean our path is right because our current routine may be making our life stagnant or worse… but when you put on the observational lens, you’d notice other people’s routines and habits, what are they doing differently, and what can you implement in your life. This isn’t about comparing, but about learning. But this is just one example.

There are patterns behind everything, whether it is personal stuff, work stuff, worldviews, political views, technological developments, what’s happening in the present, or what will happen in the future. While the above example was a micro example of life, when you actually start observing everything, with an open mindset, then you’ll notice that just with observation how these patterns keep popping up and how they are so repetitive, whether when compared to the past or when compared to another sector.

Historical moments themselves teach us so much, and a few moments just keep repeating themselves, because no one is observing and learning from these moments. While that moment occurred, it left a mark that maybe you or someone else ends up repeating.

There’s a lack of observation happening at the micro and macro level, because of which we keep repeating the same things over and again, even if it’s of no benefit to us or worse, it causes more damage than you realize.

Just by opening up your mind, and carefully observing everything at every turn of life, there’s so much to learn, so much to understand, implement, and change, and try a bunch of things differently, in our personal lives and on a humane level as well.

When your plan backfires

When your plan backfires

Quite often than not, there’s something to be done in the future, minutes later, hours later, weeks, months or years later… and we make a plan that will get that something done. We jot down the plan, figure out what could go wrong, and what could go right, and accordingly plan our moves.

The thing about making these plans beforehand is that sometimes they backfire. You make any of these plans based on the information you already have and the estimation of what could go wrong is again based on the information you already have. But the plan could backfire for any number of reasons.

Right from the initiation to any of the steps in the middle or even when everything is executed to the point, the outcome could go against us, for any number of reasons the plan could backfire. There are things we can control and there are things we cannot, and usually what we cannot control dominates the moments, especially the ones we were highly dependent on.

But, at any given time, when the plan backfires, what can we do? When it doesn’t work out, usually, the immediate moments are filled with regret, irritation and frustration, among the other emotions that could pop up.

Depending on the priority of what was needed to be done, the lesser the priority, we can either play along with the outcome at hand or just let it go, and the higher the priority, and depending on how favourable the outcome is, we can either devise a fresh plan or divert from the outcome and play that to our favour.

Either way, when the plan backfires, even though the usual approach is the outburst of emotions, that of regret and frustration, they don’t solve anything. What solves it is how do you play the outcome in your favour and if that is not the right step forward, what’s the next viable step? We usually don’t realize this at that very moment, but only in hindsight.

Running on the Hamster Wheel

Running on the Hamster Wheel

Have you ever seen a hamster run on one of those wheels, where they’re constantly made to run for some experiment or something? Sometimes it’s a hamster, sometimes it’s a mouse, but you get the picture.

But as that hamster is being made to run on that wheel, without it being in control, the decision to do so is with someone else… Similarly, we’re running on such a wheel too, continuously, without being in control, and without being aware of it. Who’s running this experiment in our case?

Huge corporations and their corporate structure fuel this wheel, but what keeps the machine going is 10/20/50/100-year old social norms and structures, a mixture of which automatically places our lives on this wheel, at a certain stage in life and all we’ve got to do now is run.

Your choices will be limited, your decisions will be made by someone else, you have to follow rules set by someone else, and what you’ve to do next has also been decided. The only difference is “who does it better”. So now we run more, in order to “get more”, so “we can be better”. But eventually, all we’re doing is running on this hamster wheel, with no consciousness, no awareness, no freedom, and someone else is setting the speed of the machine for us (as per their wishlist).

Is this an optimistic post? Will this post tell you how to get rid of this wheel or how to stop running? Will reading this motivate you to get off the wheel? Not at all.

The wheel has been running for too long, putting each individual in different circumstances in their lives, eventually in a position where they cannot avoid running on this cycle. But, at least, now you can be aware of it.

Letting the day go by

Letting the day go by

Our day is, by ourselves, set in a way where every day looks the same, there are tasks to do in certain areas of our lives, and the structure of the day is built by the routine that we follow each day. So, it’s more than likely that around 80-90% of the day looks the same, so at the end of the week, when you look back, you might probably not remember each day, but sum up rememberable moments/ experiences from the week, and not in chronological order.

So when you actually deep dive into this process, and understand how our life works, and thus understand the importance of mindset, habit-building, goal-setting, vision-building, relationship-making, and the roles each of those play in our lives, you also realize how without the understanding of that, so many of our days just go by without us even realizing it.

Sure, you’re following your routine, you’re completing your tasks, and you’re taking time for relaxation/ leisure, but the important question is, at this point in time, where is your life leading towards? Not just from an outcome perspective, but even from a process point of view… Is your routine helping you to grow and evolve? Are your tasks helping you progress in life? What exactly is being ticked off here?

Once we start running on this hamster cycle, we continue running, without even checking or questioning why are we running, in which direction are we running, and are we enjoying running or not? Now, metaphorically, ask these same questions in relation to your life.

If you’re following a routine, and if it’s not helping you progress, or make yourself improve, in any area of life, then instead of the days passing by, maybe the better option is to stop… Understand what can be different and what can be better, and start a new routine. With such an approach, instead of the days passing by, every day could actually lead to something more, without you consciously putting any effort into it day after day.

Every area of life needs to looked after, everything we do should be questioned… Because we feel we are in control, but more often than not, we are not. We just let the days pass by, and we don’t even realize it. So the better approach is to ask, to question yourself, and to know whether your days are going by or are you one step ahead?

The process of change looks like this

The process of change looks like this

Our everyday life is like a wheel rolling, that just keeps on rolling, with the same type of emotions and thoughts and actions, every day like a routine. Only when there’s an issue with the wheel, do we then check what’s wrong and then try to repair it.

But, what if you don’t want to wait till the wheel goes bad? What if you realize that the wheel isn’t of good quality, and you want to reinvent the wheel, so you run more smoothly than before…

That process of reinventing the wheel looks something like this:
A. Gain new knowledge
Your current operating is based on the knowledge that you already have, and it is producing the results that you currently see. In order to reinvent, you must first gain new knowledge, only then will you be able to compare the current and the new process; only then will you be able to understand the difference and execute the latter process in a new way.

B. Understand and acknowledge the mistakes made
Once you have attained this knowledge, then you look back… You notice what’s already done, the outcome of it, and with the new information, you also realize what could’ve been done differently and what shouldn’t have been done at all. Therein comes the most important step, to acknowledge the mistakes made, to accept them, because only then can you proceed to the next step.

C. Ask yourself why do you want to change
Updated with knowledge, mistakes acknowledged… Now, why do you want to reinvent? What’s the reason behind it? What’s the difference that you want to feel? With self-awareness, you’ll be able to answer the why, and that will become the fuel for the path that comes after.

D. Set a new path
Your why will become your fuel, but you must also address the how – the new path that will reinvent the wheel. That path is filled with steps and backups, the macro vision that is broken down into the smallest of steps, that is then attainable within the approachable time limits set by you (a process that motivates some, otherwise the why is strong enough for one to enjoy the process).

The process of change is easy to break it down into four steps, but a process that comes with strong determination and patience; one that requires your time and also assures that you will certainly enjoy the other side of it much more than how the wheel was currently running.

Do you actually learn anything from the internet?

Do you actually learn anything from the internet?

Averagely, users’ screentime on their smartphones varies between a good TWO to somewhere around SIX hours and for some, even more, and for some, less than that. Another stat says that the top used applications during this screentime are the social media platforms, so it also shows how much control these platforms have over their users.

Day after day, they introduce new features and tools that would hook the users for more time on their individual platforms. Everyone wants more attention and now these companies will fight with each other in order to get more screentime, which results in more rewards for their creators so they can create more, thus the consumers consuming more… and all this with newer and newer tools so the end creator/ consumers feel the need to try out what’s new and keep that cycle going. (there’s a whole psychological play out here, but today’s topic is more in regard to the consumers and not the play)

Coming to the consumers and the average screen time and smartphone usage, it’s obvious at this stage that a large amount of content is being consumed every minute, every hour and every day. But the question that should be asked, and quite an important one is, do you actually learn anything from the internet?

With the content durations being reduced and the quantity of content being consumed every minute increasing, people’s attention spans are also reducing, they now want to consume more, get hit by more emotions, and don’t want to waste even fifteen seconds on anything that doesn’t give the hit.

At that pace, let alone learning, do you actually remember what you consume on the internet? With everything that we can learn and then use that learning to polish our skillset, gain more experience, grow and evolve, make the necessary changes in our life, if not for any of it, then what’s the point of consuming anything?

Some may say entertainment, well if you’re awake for 16 hours in a day and 6 of those hours are spent on your smartphone, the question that arises is how much entertainment do you even need? The second question is, when does the realization of the time distribution of your day take place?

Instead of letting the platforms take us for granted, instead of letting the algorithm play us, why not take control of this huge reservoir of value that we, fortunately, have access to (the internet) and actually use it to our benefit? For once, we can actually learn something from the internet and remember it too.

When you find the content relatable

When you find the content relatable

We consume so much content on the internet today, in every form, there could be… How many times do you come across a content piece and find it extremely relatable?

Sometimes the content could be entertaining, or educational, could be about life, relationships, health, well-being, anything… When it’s entertaining, we usually look back to a previous moment of life and find it nostalgic. When it’s educational, we look back at our life and wonder either with joy or with heavy shoulders how it relates to us.

At such times, it is not you who is relating with the creator or the author, because their job is to observe such moments, deep dive into them, and share them as learnings/ advice etc so people can learn and understand from them. No, what you’re relating it with is your own life… What exactly is that content piece telling you and what part/ aspect/ phase of your life are you relating it with?

That’s the question that should be asked… And instead of simply liking it or saving it for later, what should be done is an actual introspection mixed with what you need to do with that information now, depending on how it hits you (as a pat on the back or a punch in the face).

The list of things you’re owed

The list of things you’re owed

Many a time, quite frequently actually, people feel, in various aspects and phases of their lives, that they’re owed something. Owed not in return for something, but just generically they’re owed something that needs to be given to them.

In quite a few scenarios, these people become quite demanding to receive something, to an extent where they’d tear down the other individual if they don’t give in. Again, this is not a transaction, but an expectation that is taking place. Bring into the picture, entitlement, mixed with a lack of accountability, and now it’s easy to put the blame on someone else, it’s easy to not put in the work yourself, and even easier to stay in this dreamed state of expectations. It’s always easy to demand and get by force than to wait patiently and work for it and then get the outcome from the process you’ve worked towards.

In reality, unless a transaction is taking place, which is agreed upon, there’s no logic or an arising situation that states that someone is owed something from someone. But, the problem originates with this sense of entitlement that is rooted so deep within oneself, that one, it’s difficult to acknowledge, two, it’s difficult to change, and three, the individual becomes even more defensive when it’s pointed out.

Because an individual did something once, now there’s an expected demand that the action would be repeated. Because an individual has something, now there’s a demanding framework that their ‘something’ needs to be shared.

While, in reality, the evolving mindset, one which speaks of growth and changes towards a better you, says that no one owes you anything. There shouldn’t be an expectation in the first place, thus no disappointment either. You get what you work for, for what your ask is, where your process has led you to, and everything else that comes in is after. A healthier way of living that doesn’t put doubt and clouded judgements in your mind and doesn’t take away your present to an illusioned reality.

The Ideation Rust

The Ideation Rust

The thing about ideas is that they never pop up randomly, unless… That’s a topic for another day. Today, we focus on the ideation rust and for that, we have to first understand the routine behind it.

You have to ideate something and you start thinking about it… Consciously you remember approximately 20-30% of what’s stored in your brain, thus the subconscious takes over… in the background. The brain knows the order you’ve given it and it’s processing all the information it has, connecting the dots and delivering new information to you that you’ll then skim through to find your next idea. (the idea we talk about could be for anything, but let’s understand it generically first)

Now, for some who have to ideate regularly, maybe daily, maybe once every week, for them it’s a routine where they’re actively or passively always focusing on that next idea – first, getting rid of the bad ones, and hopefully finding that good one in time.

The advantage of a routine is its automatic function, you don’t have to think twice about it, it just happens. The same goes for the ideation process too, especially for whom it’s a constant continuous process.

Now imagine, for some reason, you get a break in this process. If you stop exercising for a week, or a month, it’ll take you a while to get your body rolling again for whatever exercise you’re doing. When this break happens here, it’s the ideation rust. For whatever reason, that continuous automatic process got paused, which will now cause barriers the next time you get that routine going again. The rust has caught on and the ideas won’t flow by as easily as before.

The same amount of effort that you would physically put in to get your workout routine back in motion is something similar to what one would have to do here too, only this time with their brains. The better option to stay away from the ideation rust is to always keep some time for that process, every day, irrespective of its actual requirement in the now.