Category Archives: Personality Development and Motivation

I am just 24 and I have already started to feel like I am 50.

It has been a long time since I wrote anything. Its almost that I have become invisible. Not only to my readers. But, also to me. Believe me, even I didn’t know where I had gone.

People say- Go with the flow. That is what I have been doing. Working hard at the job, coming home late, sleeping and then the other day- repeat.In the process, I forgot who I was. A musician, a writer, fitness-freak and a traveler.

And I realized its not that I have lost myself.Its that I had stopped doing things that made me- myself.

I am just 24 and I have already started to feel like I am 50. How could this all change within few months?

Today I ran 3 Kms after a long time. I was struggling to take a breath. I was running like an old man. But, my breath regulated after a few meters and I started feeling young again. I started feeling who I was. I came home and the first thing I did was sing and play guitar. Then I wrote this article. Now I feel completely with myself.

How stupid it is for us to get lost ourselves in our daily routines. The time never slows and we get caught up like mice made to run on treadmill in laboratories. The jobs will always be there. But, I have learnt to never forget the actual things that make you up and make you feel young. People become old not because they age, but because they stop doing things that make them young.

Why you can never love yourself.

You need people to validate you; you need people to tell they love you. You want them to touch you and assure you that they are going to keep it like this forever. Its a bitter truth. Because, you can’t survive on self-love.

No matter how much we talk of self-love its all superficial. You go to movies alone. You buy yourself an expensive coffee and think that it’s self-love. Then, you update it on facebook that you are doing this all alone and that living solo is best.

You add hastags like #self_love #solo #fun. This in itself is a indicator that you can’t live without telling people. You want them to hear you out like a girl who thinks she is independent but, deep inside she needs constant pampering.

The current Internet culture stresses too much on self-love which I don’t think is a bad thing. It is good that we take care of our health, we look good, learn guitar. But, it is also true that we feel accomplished once people admire our improvement. In short, if self love is a car, then people’s love is the fuel. You love yourself more when people love you.

We are social animals by instinct. Nature forces us to stay with other people. Because, in groups we have greater chances of survival. And if we isolate ourselves, nature punishes us with depression and psychological traumas. That’s why self-love can never over power the confidence that you gain when people validate you.

It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. We need our own space too, which is also a part of self-love. But, we can’t continue doing it forever. Look deep inside.Deep down inside. Your mind knows you can’t live alone.

 

Why people guilt trap you and what to do about it

I have realised the most difficult people in this world to deal with are those ,who will guilt trap you into doing things. ‘Guilt’, like nuclear weapon is the most horrible and destructive social weapon people use to manipulate you.

People will put on you an emotional pressure to do things which fulfills their need and not yours. These people can include anyone – from your family members pushing you into marriage OR relatives who guilt you for wearing skimpy clothes OR that stranger who asks you to buy insurance policy so that he could feed his children OR your ex-boyfriend threatening to suicide if you don’t reconcile.

Why people do it? It’s easy . Can be used anywhere and on anyone. The results are also quick.

I remember many a times it happened that a person wanted me to do something I didn’t wish. Yet I would do it anyway because he or she had tears in their eyes making me feel guilty of something. In the long run I have always regretted it.

Then one day I decided to sort these things out once and for all. I learnt few simple truths so I could finally deal with such confrontations.

It’s my RIGHT to put my needs first.

I wonder why do we always feel we are not entitled to do something that makes us happy. If I take a decision and that makes other despise me…well ! I don’t care. I just keep doing things which makes me happy.

I am not a bad person if I think about my needs first.

Good and bad are relative terms. People always have this unsteady judgement about a person everyday. If they criticize someone today, the next day they will appreciate the same person.External validation is an unstable foundation upon which we can build our life on. The only stable foundation is yourself.

Then why bother what people talk about you? You are mature enough to judge your own actions, then why let other’s judge you when they are not even 1 % aware of the life’s journey you are going through. The way people judge you tells a lot about them and not you.

If I put myself first, it will make me a better person and eventually it will help others

If a person is drowning and I don’t know how to swim I shouldn’t enter the river to help him. So, before you save others first save yourself. And if you help someone in such a weak position you will infact harm that person.

If you need to give away money instead of spending that on education, I would say ‘Be selfish’. Tomorrow if you become a doctor you will be able to help more number of people in your life then you would have back then.

Whenever I have to say ‘NO’ I feel bitter for that moment. Just like an injection pricks when you are ill. But, in the long run you feel better. It is not their mistake if they guilt you into something, it is your own mistake you couldn’t say ‘NO’ to such advances.

Discipline versus Motivation and why Motivation is useless

Remember the last time you got angry? How long could you sustain that feeling of being angry? No matter people call you the angriest person on the planet, you will go back to your normal state.

Just like anger, motivation is also a feeling.

Observe yourself when you watch an inspirational movie. Observe that feeling you get, those goosebumps that you feel all over your limbs. It is as if a strong spirit possessed you.

When that feeling enters your body it makes you feel powerful and invincible. You feel as if you can take down any goal in front of you. But, its all momentary.

Its like a rush you get after getting drugged. You feel all god and all better but, when the rush subsides you fall back to normal or sometimes even making you feel worse than before.

Discipline is an action arising from your mind that cuts through all this emotional bullshit. If you have a goal of loosing weight you wake up at 6 in the morning and go to the gym .No.matter.what.Just show up. Even if you are having fever or cramped stomach go to the gym, do light exercises and come back.

Though the workout might not be amazing everytime, it is important that you show up at the gym everyday.

Wanting to start full dieting can demoralise you. Instead, in the first month start with only avoiding anything that has sugar. Then the next month stop eating junk food.

If you have decided to go to the gym just because you watched an inspirational video, believe me, the feeling subsides and you fall back into your old pattern of lazying around. And I don’t need to tell you that. You know it.

With time, the things will seem easy because you are making up a habit for you. When you wake up you brush your teeth without thinking. Heck! You don’t even need to put efforts. You don’t say you don’t feel like brushing today. Exercising will become something of the same.

Just as you can’t remain happy by indulging into a series of high by doing the drugs the entire day. You can’t attain goal by depending on a fleeting feeling.

Discipline can be induced in you by eating small part at a time. If you watch a movie and decide to be millionaire tomorrow, its impractical.

If today you earn 20,000 bucks aim for 21,000 bucks which is pretty easy goal for you, rather than planning to earn 50,000 instantly. Then you can plan for 23,ooo and so on. If you are planning to go to gym start with small. Go only for ten mins but, regularly. Slowly, building habits become easier and you fall into a consistent pattern of doing it effortlessly just like brushing teeth.

Don’t start it today. Start it now. Don’t think about how you will reach that goal- maybe it’s losing weight, becoming rich or anything. Instead think-what habits are needed to reach that goal and start working towards it.

 

Just because you are emotionally sensitive doesn’t mean you are weak

There is a category of people in this world and if you land in this category you will know it. Anything that is being said or done to hurt you, affects you immediately.

You are just like that sensitive radio which picks up music instantly if brought into coverage.

Ofcourse, you won’t cry or show your emotions in front of people.Your face will be stoic and hardened like a rock. But, it will be pretending in the end. You can try to hide it. You can cover your face with fake expressions.You will feel bad about yourself that you are affected so quickly.You will unconsciously tell yourself that you don’t give a shit about what the other says or does.

Really? Look deep inside. Still more inside.

You are afraid to face the deepest person inside you. Because, you know what- You actually give a shit about what the other person said or did. People who don’t care don’t go on telling everyone that they don’t care.

You actually want to express what you felt but, you are afraid the other person will abandon you.You are afraid they will get repulsed because you pick up emotions very easily.

So, you bottle up everything inside. Keep it locked deep inside your chest, until the emotions turn into poison and start affecting you physically and psychologically.

Thats the worst thing about sensitive people. When you see a man or a woman getting affected immediately, you mock him or her, tease them for being so emotionally weak.

You tell him to take back his tears. But, for emotionally sensitive people it’s so hard to hold back tears. It’s a different struggle altogether. You want to vomit but, you have to hold it back just because other’s don’t like it. You are crushed between the social pressure and your mind wanting to express.

Insensitive psychopaths will never understand. How will they ? They lack empathy. They lack the ability to place themselves in other’s shoes and feel things. I am not judging them. There is nothing wrong with them. Let them be. The world needs all types of people.

But, if you are emotionally sensitive just don’t change yourself for the sake of validation. Because, when people tell you, you are weak, they are just implying why aren’t you like them? But, what can you do. You can’t ask a plant why are you sprouting only yellow flowers. It just does. It’s inherent nature.

If you are unaffected by emotions you have a psychopathy element in you. It doesn’t mean you are strong. We all know innumerable people in our life who have been affected deeply. They have let the pain pierced them completely. But, they bounced back. How faster you recover decides your strength and not how deeply emotions affect you.

All the beautiful literature and art originated from emotionally senstive people because,they could explore that another dimension in life. So, it’s only weakness if you don’t recover from it. Else, you are blessed to be emotionally sensitive.

High standard of living vs good quality of life

I once heard a story of a rich man who was in his thirties. He possessed everything a man could have- a big house in a high profile area, a luxury car and rolex watch. And he wanted more.

Once, it happened that he got into a verbal fight with a beggar who would regularly sit outside his house. He didn’t like that. So, the rich man decided to show him his place and mock him of his poverty.

The beggar,finally frustrated with the argument then pointed out “What is the use of your wealth, if your wife sleeps with your driver?” The rich man was taken aback.He was busy earning wealth,travelling places and working long hours, that he had no time for his family.

Since, beggar had no work to do the entire day, when the rich man would leave for work or would remain absent, he would often see the rich man’s wife going naughty with the driver.

This might be a good example of  high standard of living but a poor quality of life. If you don’t have your relations in place. If you don’t have time for yourself. If you can’t take out time for your hobbies, what is the use of gold brick in your locker. You become a decorated vessel but, all empty inside that makes  a hollow sound.

Does it mean a high standard of living doesn’t make any sense?

A ‘good quality of life’ is like a burger and ‘high standard of living’ is like a ketchup sauce. You can eat the burger without a sauce. It’s not compulsory. But, you can’t just eat the sauce alone(I am saying this assuming you are a normal human being) .

Learning to create a good quality of life is much more important than a high standard of living. Much important as a foundation upon which you build a house. 

If you don’t have good friends you can trust , if you have a wrecked family, if you can’t take out time for yourself, if you are constantly stressed, maybe you need to fall back and ask whatever you are doing makes any sense or not? 

A ‘high standard of living’ will always compliment your life like a sauce to burger. It can never be a whole-and-sole being of your life. Once, that you have the burger, you are ready to try different flavors of sauces.

Dealing with “Who am I?”

It’s dangerous if Existential Crises ever happens to you. Existential crises is a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of life : whether this life has any meaning or purpose.

If you look at an average life it has a common template: School, College, Job, Marriage, Raise up children, Retire, Die.

But, it so happens that while you are busy doing all the chores in your life, you become distant with yourselves…as to why you are doing all these things. In the end you realize you would die and everything would vanish forever. People will remember you for your deeds for a month or so. These people I am talking about can only be counted on your fingers. Rest would forget you the other day of your funeral itself. Even if they remember you won’t be here to see the honours bestowed upon you.

I can’t explain how torturous feeling is this. For the last few years I had been struggling to find answers to my existential crises. I didn’t feel like doing anything. Motivational books and media failed to motivate me. After all, what is the point of living a life which is point-less?

The search for meaning of life threw me into a greater turmoil. When you are brought up by parents who make you feel special all along the way, it is quite a steep downfall to know that you are not special after all.

I have used religion, isolation and distraction to move away from such questions. I used to watch movies, engage in my work and splurge on food and travel to escape from feeling this emptiness all around. Somehow the feeling never resolved and it would come back . And when it would come back it was scarier than before.

Look down for the answers on internet or other resources, they will recommend you meditation or ask you to find a purpose in your life. But, what can you do about it when you have already realized that life is pointless itself. Once mind expands, it doesn’t go back to its contracted dimensions. Its like going back When people say that we give meaning to life, they indirectly imply that life has no meaning.

The question almost brought me the brink of suicide and total isolation from the world. My ambitions shrunk as I didn’t see any point in that. I would freeze myself and curl up like a prawn in the corner of my room not feeling any interest in the world affairs.

Then one day it dawned upon me while sipping on a cup of coffee. A sudden answer popped. It didn’t answer my question…rather destroyed the question itself.

Now that I have realized my life is pointless, and if I am feeling suicidal because of that, why do I want to throw it away? Why not just embrace whatever it is?

You see the apple in front you. You don’t ask why it is red in color. You don’t ask why such shape. You rather just eat it. That is how you deal with life.

Since, then that void never cropped up. I have realized that even if there is a purpose to life, even if God exists, it will be beyond our human comprehension, atleast as long as I will be alive. And I honestly don’t want to wait till the apple rots.

We don’t know what makes us happy

She had curly hair with big eyes and thin body frame. Every Sunday she would come to take guitar lessons from me. She used to work in a MNC which she always hated.

After every session, we would talk about how life has changed after college. How life has become monotonous. Since, I was also working as a professor I shared the same vibes of boredom for my institution.

Since, her job was located outside Mumbai she would often say how she missed her hometown. Every weekend she would come in the city and she would curse how her job and job location sucked. She would often say how much she is looking forward for her contract to end and return to Mumbai for the job so that she could seek final happiness which she had fantasized.

It has been months since, we have met. That day when we happen to coincidentally talk again, I heard she has shifted back to Mumbai. She has got a job back in hometown with good pay and she is closer to her family. But, now she tells everyone how much she misses her previous location.

I want to call her stupid. But, I won’t. Because, in the end we all are stupid. And when all are stupid then who is stupid?

Pay a visit to a mental hospital and you would see that all patients treat each other as normal.

How we define being normal is different from how they define being normal. I am pretty sure when we visit a mental hospital they all must be laughing at us thinking we really need psychiatric treatment.

The thing is we don’t know what makes us happy. Just because you have a great IQ doesn’t imply you have a great EQ (Emotional quotient).

What is available to us always seems inferior. And we are always looking far away thinking how beautiful it is on the moon. So, you work hard to move away from the earth. You finally buy a space ship with all your hard earned money. Because, you think the conditions that will make you happy are much better on other bodies.

But, when you land up on the moon, you spend the few days in excitement and when you look back on to the earth, the earth looks so beautiful with all shades of green and blue; you wished you had never left that place.

This often happens in relationships. I had known a guy who had come to me for help. He was depressed, sad and anxious.

He told me “I was in a relationship with a girl for two years and soon got bored of her. So, I broke up with her because I felt, I wanted to explore life. She cried that night but, I was firm on my decision. And I broke up. I did all sorts of things I felt was restricted in relationship. Soon, the emptiness caved back and I was feeling alone than ever. Exploration wasn’t much of what he had expected. But, now when I asked her for getting back together again she denied me in a cold manner. I have realized, I love her so much. I want her back. What should I do? Tell me some psychological tricks!”

I didn’t comment on this. How could I help? I was pretty sure if he went back to her he would have gotten bored of her again.

Sometimes I do feel like not wanting to help humans. Because, human mind is cunning…sometimes intentionally or unintentionally.  And you don’t help the cunning. If you feed milk to snake, it’s still going to turn into poison.

I am no exception. I often want to run to the office when I am home. And when I am at office I want to run home. I at times take my parents for granted and ignore my friends. Is this what I am going to do all my life, I wonder.

I fall into the trap of being ungrateful. But, I have to make myself aware. They say the only thing you can love anything is to know that it could be lost.

Mental relativism is the most important thing you could teach to a child. Because, this is how he will stop looking for happiness by hopping from one place to another; or one person to another; or one job to another. If we could only differentiate between what is pleasure and what is happiness!


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