Minimalism- What I learnt from screwing up in a PC Game

“But we all make mistakes. It’s how we fix them that makes us who we are.”
― Jessica Sorensen

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Recently I was playing a point-click adventure game: The Longest Journey.

I am not into gaming and stuff, usually.

But this game had: Brilliant Puzzles, deep stories and an element of spirituality.

My kinda game.

A long one, though. Over 50 hours of game play, over 13 chapters.

I was playing, on a particular level and the story was unfolding in a complete mesmerizing manner.

And  then I realized I have committed a mistake.

I have forgotten to solve a piece of puzzle and now I can’t go back to that element and without solving that puzzle, the game wouldn’t go ahead. Wouldn’t move forward.

I was stuck. 

I had two choices in front of me:

1) I had a auto-saved game. But a few chapters back. That would mean facing the mistake I did.

That would mean taking a step back and probably correcting my mistake. Or at least, to learn how to not forget puzzles.

But it would take efforts. More than that, it would have me concurring with my own self that yes, I did a mistake. It would take that ego to come crashing down and accept . And I gotta accept it, take a step back, correct it and then move forward again. And start afresh.

OR

2) I had a shortcut which was this huge internet. I could probably download the save game file from some random site. Tweak things here and there. Alter few registries. Cut, copy and paste. And, I’ll be done.

That would be easy. I wouldn’t have to accept my mistakes. I can just go on without even realizing I did committed the mistake in first place. No badge of that dishonor on me.

And most importantly, it will save me efforts. Now, who will flip through all the past chapters and stuff. Learn and realize mistakes: Too old school, bro.

I had the choice.

I had the choice to decide.

 I chose the 2nd option.

I went straight to the internet for save files.

Downloaded few alien files. Experimented around. Searched for the most easily available shortcut. Changed few names and tweaked few registries.

Cut, copy, paste and voila.

But this game had other plans for me.

I put the files. I restarted and I realized that these files have not registered in the game.

That was not the most terrible part however.

Due to use of my this shortcut, all the previous load files too were deleted.

Over 20 hours of game-play gone. Poof.

I had to restart now.

Not from few chapters behind.

But from the start.

From the God-dammit, cursed start.

But, I am glad, it happened. No really.

I learnt such a valuable lesson in all this.

Now, I know that this instance was just a game but think about it, don’t we approach our mistakes in real life in similar fashion?

We have the choice of facing our mistakes. We have the choice of thinking why, what and how of our falter.

We have the chance to take a step back and think and try to correct that mistake and learn from it in the way.

From the little penance like this, we add a valuable gem of learning in our life. We’ll always remember it.

And, most probably if we learnt good, we’ll never repeat the same mistake. Never in the same fashion at least. We’ve a chance to grow. We’ve a chance to redeem ourselves.

But, there is always a but. Instead, most of the times, we choose to run away from the mistake. Blaming every cursed thing. Finding shortcuts to avoid facing the mistake. Doing all it takes, just to make sure that the big fat ego is satisfied. Of course, we can’t accept we faltered. Of course, how can we take a step back? That would be so not satisfying, to our master: The ego. Oh, and the badge of dishonor.

So we decide to just run away. Or blame people. Or find reasons. Or find shortcuts that will cover everything up. And it will be like we never faltered.

And in most cases, if not all, what happened with me in the game will happen to you.

In order to cover up that one small mistake, to hide it, to not accept it; you might just screw up everything else as well. Destroying the harmony and balance. The peace.

You might just destroy everything that was in order in your life. Just to cover and hide and run from a mistake.

Just accept it. You screwed up. It’s OK to screw up. We all do. The greatest of minds have and they’ll continue to. It’s OK.

Learn from it. Take lessons. Take a step back and try to correct it. In some form or another. If that is not possible. Just learn from it. That should fulfill the purpose. But face. Don’t run away. Don’t find shortcuts. Don’t risk your entire life to cover up for just one mistake.

We all are humans. Humans make mistakes. Humans make bad decisions. Humans do it all. The important thing is to learn from them and outgrow yourself next time. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Make new ones. Countless new ones. But not the same.

Mistakes always teach us. They are meant to be experiences through which we discover ourselves more and they constantly remind us of our flaws and helps us to work on them.

Embrace mistakes. More importantly, embrace all the learning they bring forth. Might pain a bit. Might take efforts too. But it is better than chaos in your entire life.

One such incident can destroy it all.

Now go make some mistakes and have fun. Learn something new. Fly. Live. Breathe.

Excuse me, now. I have to start with the game again.

Ah, life.

Would love to hear your feedback. Tell me how you deal with mistakes? Do you remember any moment when because of you not accepting or facing a mistake you faced serious consequences? Let me know via comments.

Part of the series- ‘Gems of Minimalism’

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Minimalism- 5 must know things about emotions.

“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.” 
― John Lennon

Productivity Template

Productivity Template

Emotions.

They play such a major role in our life. Everything we do. Everything we did. Everything we will do.

All of these will be governed by this one word: Emotions.

Oh, it will impact your life. In a major manner. Now, then, forever.

That’s the bad part. 

The good part however is that you get to choose the impact, they’ll have.

Yes, you heard it right. Whatever you were fed, taught and made realized about emotions not being in your control and other such mystical things were wrong.

You’ve been misled in major ways.

Emotional wellness is crucial for a happy, content life.

Again, there is no point in cleaning your closet and desk, if you still are in an emotional turmoil. Sure, those things might help you de-clutter some of your thoughts. But they won’t eradicate the discontent and unhappiness completely.

Minimalism is all about choosing consciously. Everything. Physical, emotional and spiritual.

People have realized. People have learnt. That like majority or rather everything in your life the state of emotional wellness too is a matter of choice.

Yes, you heard it right.

Choice.

Like everything else, you will have to choose how you deal with your emotions. You’ve to choose what status you give them. And you’ve to choose which emotions impact you and which don’t.

Ahead lies 5 things, I have learnt. I have realized. About emotions. Over the years of exploration. Of life and of Minimalism.

These are hard to implement. I am still to implement themselves myself fully.

But again it is a journey. Even if you take one step, it still will bring you closer to destiny.

Similarly, even if you try to implement them in some manner, they’ll bring about change.

Change of good.

Change of contentment.

Change of happiness.

5 things you must know about Emotions- 

  • Choices and Reactions- 

    I can’t emphasis on this one enough. Choice. Emotions are a matter of choice.

    The emotions you choose to react on and the emotions you don’t. The emotions you choose to let affect you and emotions you don’t let affect yourself.

    Choice.

    If you feel any contrary, remind yourself of the countless times when you chose to not react to a particular emotion or when you did. Consciously.

    Emotions are not mystical phenomenon. They can be chosen. They’re your emotions in the end. Difficult to do but really a key and the first step.

    Choose happiness over sadness. Choose empathy over anger.

    Choose consciously.

    Just try it. You’ll see the difference.

  • Stop being judgmental

    Don’t judge your emotions. Don’t hate yourself for feeling the way you do.

    Sometimes, you cannot control them. You cannot. It is your sub-conscious mind at play.

    But you don’t need to feel guilty. Or beat yourself up for feeling the way you do.

    Instead, try to understand why you’re feeling this way. Why exactly?

    If you judge your own emotions, you’re creating too much guilt and stress and signs of depression. Don’t do that.

    Just understand why you are feeling the way you’re feeling. Then, you can work on it. Or not. But first, understand. Not judge. Understand.

  • Facing your emotions

    I used to run away from my emotions. It seems a viable and easy option for short-run. You might feel good also. But on the long run, it will kill you.

    Always remember- even if you ignore your emotions for a while. Or if you just run away. Your emotions doesn’t stop being. They are there lurking and multiplying. And one day at the right cue, they will burst. Gripping you like never before.

    Instead, face your emotions now. There is a reason for existence of every single of your emotion. Face them. Try to understand them. Try to find a solution for them.

    Do whatever. Just don’t run away. That is the worse thing you can do to yourself.

    They always come back. In one form or another. And always with a stronger force than previous time.

    Be kind to yourself, please. Don’t run. Face it.

  • Seeing Emotions as an External Force-

    This is more of a hack.

    Remember the last time you were extremely angry? You felt like killing someone with your mind raging and teeth biting. I am sure you do.

    Do you feel in the exact same way as of now? Probably not. Emotions will come and pass. Different emotions at different times.

    See them as external forces. You’re not always angry. You’re not always irritated. You’re not always feeling guilty. As a person, you’re not those emotions. Like your eyes and nose, they’re not always a part of you.

    So see them as external factors. That will help in two ways.

    One, when they do come, you can choose to react or not. Or how exactly they’ll affect. You know they will stay with you only as long as you wish to.

    So choose happiness. And stray away anger. And similar stuff.

    Two, you’ll realize that you and your emotions are two separate things.

    Observe them. Understand why they affect you. If they are good emotions, let them stay. If they are bad, strip them away.

    You’re never your emotions. They impact you. But only as much as you let them. No less, no more.

  • Take Control

    In the end, everything boils down to this. To take control. To live consciously. To not live on auto-pilot mode.

    Take control of your emotions. Don’t say to yourself and or others that you don’t have control over your emotions. That’s not good. Never good.

    All the times, you go into depression. You choose to do so. All the times, you cry and be angry and break things. You choose to do so. And if you feel you’re always sad or discontent or angry or irritated, realize that you’re choosing that.

    You’re choosing that over being happy and content. You’re choosing. You’re letting emotions- an external force, take control of your life.

    Snap out. Take control. Live consciously.

These are just some things.

5 things.

You may already know some. If you do, that’s great. Time to implement.

Or you’re hearing such bizarre, according to you, ideas for the first time. No, really. They are not. Give it a shot. Give it time and you’ll realize why. 1 month, to be precise.

Have 1 month for yourself, don’t you?

Again the key is to do. To do. Not just to take inspiration and sit.

Sitting time, with coffee and 8 minutes, ends now.

Time to change.

Go change your life. I dare you.

Let me know via comments, what you feel about emotions and emotional wellness?

*Part of the, The Minimalist Thursday Series

Minimalism and Being a Slave (Of Money)

“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
― Douglas Adams

Productivity Template.

Productivity Template.

I was talking to a friend recently.

A real close friend and a cousin brother but with thoughts completely opposite to mine. I like to discuss thoughts with him. It gives me a contrary view to my beliefs and philosophies.

I have often seen him humiliating people who are poor in terms of money from him irrespective of whether they are happy or not. For him, a person can only be happy if he has too many small pieces of green paper. (He is elder than me, he earns big bucks for his age.)

I have seen him de-meaning everything and everyone who thinks or says that Money is not the most important thing in life. That includes me.

I have seen him laughing my thoughts off. I have seen him laughing on people who claim to be Minimalists. I have seen him laughing at people who claim to be more happy with less.

For him such people are lazy. Or delusional. For him such people don’t understand what success is. For him such people are stupid and they will end up alone with their stupid philosophies and theories.

For him only real power is money. Only thing that matters is a big bungalow, a bigger car, expensive clothes, lots of credit cards- basically everything that can be bought. He thinks people are tool. And only real success comes from earning big bucks.

He spends lavishly and if I might add unnecessarily. Just to show people that he can spend. Somehow it ties to his self worth. I am yet to understand how.

Basically completely opposite of me.

I have been close to this friend of mine. Childhood friend. And I must admit, I thought the same few months back, probably. Or maybe worse.

He is not wrong. He has become a slave.

Let me say right here- I don’t think earning or even wanting money is bad. I am not saying to take a exile and live without money. No, I am not saying that. You can have money. You can want money. You can buy things. That’s perfectly fine. I don’t say that’s wrong. I need money, myself obviously. To sustain. And it plays a crucial role in being happy.

But money is a tool. You’re not.

He has become a slave.

He thinks, he is happy. I don’t see how.

He works 16 hours a day. At the job which he admits he doesn’t like. At all. He is on phone most of the times. Or on the internet. Or on excel. He has no freedom. He doesn’t travel within the city also.

His hair has started to fall and turn grey at the age of 24. He is almost always angry. He is either thinking about minting money or thinking about how he can spend the money.

To match his lavish thinking, he keeps on taking loan and credit cards. I guess he has two big loans on his head excluding the student’s loan his parents took for him. Also, not to forget his credit card(s) statement.

He hardly saves. He is in outrageous debts at this age itself. He has an overly expensive car which he hardly uses, a big flat with 4 rooms in a lavish area where he lives ALONE.

He is addicted to alcohol and smoking. He looks almost twice his age. He is overly obese due to his extremely unhealthy eating habits.

He keeps shouting on everyone and anyone. He has no compassion left. He has no kindness left. He helps no-one. He lives alone.

He had a relationship in the past- he broke it off. He had real close friends in the past- he got out of contact.

Now either he works or he sits at his 4 room apartment- alone. Or he goes out to drink alcohol. Smokes regularly. Or go to pretentious clubs and parties and office gatherings.

And he comes and tell me that, he is happy.

Probably for the society and according to it, he is happy.

For them, he is successful.

He fits the success template created by us perfectly- A titled corporate job, big house, big car, expensive clothes, an overly filled wallet with lots of credit cards- Perfect match found.

He has everything in terms of Society believes one should have for fitting in that template. Everything except himself.

I have known him since years now. Years. He wasn’t always like that. He used to be happy. He used to be compassionate. He used to be kind. He used to have people and relations as his priority. He used to live.

Burdened with societal expectations and perceptions, he decided to become a slave- slave of money. Little pieces of paper.

He exchanged his life, happiness and freedom in order to gain little pieces of paper.

He has money now. At least on the surface.

But let me ask you, was it worth it?

And probably, I was heading at the same path. And I was becoming a slave. I was. Not anymore.

I don’t see money with the same eyes. I own money. And not vice-verse.

I want money so that my life can be comfortable and so that it adds to my happiness. Not destroys it.

I want money so that I can live independently. Without depending on my parents or for that matter anyone else.To live with freedom. I don’t want to earn so that instead I get dependent on pieces of paper.

It is not about being a miser. Not even about not spending on things that add value or bring happiness.

It is about asking. Asking, “Is that purchase worth my freedom?”

For every rupee or dollar or pound, you spend. You give it a right to chunk off a bit of freedom from your life. Look around, you think all these things are worth your freedom?

If yes, then well done.

If no, we have a problem.

Think about what status you give to money. Those little pieces of paper. Think before making them the most crucial thing in your life. And it is not some idealistic bullshit. I don’t do that. You need money. But you need to own it. Own those pieces of paper. They can’t own you.

Quit being slave of money. Today.

Be more than that. Be human.

You’re much more than that. So much more. Fly, my friend. Fucking Fly.

What do you think about money? Let me know via comments! 

*Part of the Series- Gems of Minimalism

Minimalism- Needs and Wants.

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.”
― Robert M. Pirsig

Needs

Last week, I discussed about how to begin with Minimalism. It starts with de-cluttering your thoughts and knowing your own self. To know. To accept. Then to let go or to react.

If you’ve haven’t read it yet, do so. I am waiting. *Tick Tick*

Done? Awesome. Now, since the day, I have published that particular post, people have asked me that, “I have realized that I require change. I accept all those things. But what next? What do I do to actually embark upon the journey of Minimalism?”

That’s an awesomely valid question.

Because as it happens that often, we’re confused about what to do next once we know that we wish to embark upon a journey. That’s fair.

In this journey of Minimalism, you categorize next.

To categorize. Needs and Wants.

So as it always happens on That Indian Minimalist- sit on a chair, make a cup of coffee, relax and give me 8 minutes. Let me guide you through the next. What I require in return is that you just don’t read it and feel inspired but actually do. Do. Take action. Change your lives. Do me that favor.

What are needs?

Needs. The essential. Clothing, food, water, shelter. Needs. But funnily, today we need much more than the essentials. We say, I need this and I need that. So, what do you need? A car, a x-box or a chocolate fudge? What?

Just list it down.

All your needs. Remember, as soon as, you make something (or someone) into a need. You’re dependent on it (or them). Remember.

So what do you need to live a life? To what thing (or person) you’re ready to give that status of needing? Do you think about it consciously? Ever? Think. Now is the time. 

What are wants?

Wants. Something (Or someone) you want. What do you want? A house, a car? A bigger house or a bigger car? A meaningful life perhaps? Or a hamburger? What is it that you want? Remember- wants are crucial. Both short term and long term.They play a significant role in making you happy. But also remember- if you over-indulge in them, you’ll be anxious and quite opposite of happy.

List them down.

All your wants. Each and every single of them. Realize your wants decide your state of mind. Happy or sad? Content or anxious? And how much do you want exactly? And what do you want exactly? And why do you want it exactly? Realize. Honestly and brutally.

Categorize. In needs and wants. What do you need?

Do you remember when last time a want became a need?

You converted a want into a need. You increased your dependency over. Now you believe that you cannot live without. Few years ago, you wanted a smartphone. Now, you need it. Few years ago, you wanted the internet. Now, you need it. Few years ago, you wanted a bigger house and bigger car. Now, you need them.

Do you really need it? Or have you given into the want? Or societal perceptions? Or status? Or just to fill the void of unhappiness? Or perhaps you believe getting more stuff or needing more things will keep you happy.

Remember that time, don’t you?

Do you really need the things that you believe you need?

Do you really need what you believe you need? Do you? Only you can decide. Need is a heavy term. Did you think before giving something (or someone) that status. Are you happy with your needs? Do you feel fulfilled? Are you sure those are your needs and not wants? Are you?

Think. You might need- you might not. But consciously, think. I ask you to. Need is a dependent term. Think consciously of who or what you give that status to.

Do you remember when you gave into a want?

We all have been here. We all. Remember the last time, you couldn’t resist giving into something? You had that itching, that itching of guilt. But the temptation was stronger. Much stronger.

Later, you gave yourself reasoning. But in your conscience, you knew, you gave in. You fell weak. Such decisions accumulate over time and they suck your happiness. Because, you know the want is not good for you. You’re aware. But you still gave in. You did.

Do you remember when you converted countless likes into a want and then the need?

We all like things. That car, that house, that dress, that stereo, that pen, that pencil. We like it. But, we don’t buy them. Or indulge in them. Because, we realize that they don’t add much value in the life.

We say to ourselves, “I like that dress, a lot. But I don’t need clothes at this time.”

But many times, we do indulge. We do. We make simple likes- first our want and then our needs. This transformation, unless, completely worth the value will eat you up.

Stop making liking into wants and then further into needs. Why will you do that? Resist the temptations. Resist them. For good.

Needs and wants- both are crucial. You obviously need things and you’ll want things as well. They both are essential to live a content and happy life. But the problem starts when you start to need more, start to want more and make every want your need.

Probably, you must be thinking by now. Isn’t it too difficult?

It is.

But it is not a magic lamp, that will instantly make you happy. Or content. Or make your life meaningful.

This is a flower in a beautiful garden. It takes time. After efforts from the gardener, in terms of water, fertilizers and weeding and little help from the universe- it blossoms. And its fragrance lingers everywhere. Not only, it is beautiful itself but if you go near it, it will make you happy with its fragrance and beauty.

You’ll feel happy eventually. You’ll feel content. You’ll grow. And soon like the flower, you’ll start to blossom. And you too will start making people around you feel special and happy.

Minimalism is a tough journey.

It is simple.

But most things that are simple to look at are tough to implement. So is it.

But it is worth it. Everything. And nothing worth having ever comes easy.

What do you feel about needs and wants?

Let me know via comments.

*Part of the series, “The Minimalist Thursdays”- Check out the previous entry here.

Minimalism and Guide to Contentment

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” 

― Laozi

Contentment

Contentment.

Oh, hi. You’re reading this? Interesting. Probably on your desktop/laptop which means you can afford a laptop or desktop or money to go to a library and a cyber. The balance of probability is that you’re sitting on a chair at your home staring at this screen. You’ve internet. You’ve a chair. That would probably deduce to you having a home- a place to live and sleep.

That would mean, you’ve food to eat. Most probably, you’re not sitting naked (I hope so, otherwise that would be quite disturbing) so you’ve clothes to wear. You’ve internet, so most likely you are on various Social Media, that would mean you’ve moments worth sharing. That would further deduce to you having friends and people you can call your own.

So you’ve all this? Good, you’re richer and luckier than almost 50 percent of the world.

But let me guess– you’re not content or happy. 

You’re not happy with your life. With yourself. You’ve a problem with how you look. And where you’re right now. Where you were and where you’re heading. You’re not content with amount of money you’ve or the people you’ve in your life. You keep comparing yourself to everyone under sun. This guy or that girl. That celebrity. That person. That neighbor. That neighbor’s son. Everyone.

If I give you a small car, you’ll want a big car and then a bigger car.

If I give you money, you’ll want more money then more and then more and there is no stop to it.

You get the gist.

You’re not content.

About time we stop living like this don’t you think?

Read along- this little guide to contentment. Make yourself a cup of coffee (many people don’t have that privilege) and relax.  Let me guide you through it, in steps:

  1. Trust and Accept yourselfFor God’s sake, trust yourself. You’re unique. You’re special. Stop setting high ideals for yourself and then beating yourself up. Accept yourself. Accept your flaws. Know your strengths. Take pride in who you’re. Be confident in who you’re. Trust yourself. Love yourself. You’re not perfect, no one is. But that’s no reason to feel bad. Over the time, you’ll learn. Over the time, you’ll grow. You’ll. Just trust yourself. Accept yourself. You’re the best you, there ever was and there ever will be. Know that. Absorb that. Live that.
  2. Stop comparing yourself with others- 

    No really. Please stop doing it. This is where from your majority of the discontent comes from. Unhappiness too. Really, stop. In this age, where everything is up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter- there are higher chances of comparing yourself with others. He uploaded food pictures, I didn’t. He went to a party, I didn’t. He bought new things, I didn’t.  He this and he that. Realize Social Media is like selling- everyone will show their best features. You don’t know if Bill Gates too is happy. Yes, he is successful from societal point of view. But you don’t know whether he is happy. You’ll never know that. So stop comparing yourself with them. Learn from people and move on. Be happy with you’re and where you’re. Comparing doesn’t help you grow and hinders your peace. What is the point of such activity again?

  3. Don’t depend on Stuff for Contentment (Or happiness)- 

    Really, that all that new stuff you bought to make yourself feel ‘safe’ and ‘secure’? Guess what, they don’t help. Those just increase your anxiousness over time and a time will come where you’ll want to grow beyond those stuff. Remember the car, big car and bigger car example?  That will happen. You won’t be content. You won’t even be happy. I am not saying, take a exile. But stop defining yourself from your stuff- trust me, they are never enough. They never will be. And you’ll always be unhappy. And discontent.

  4. You don’t need to prove yourself- 

    You don’t. Really. You’re not defined by your stuff. Not clothes, not gadgets, not cars and bungalows. Or your friends. Or your followers on twitter. Or number of likes on your facebook photos. Or by how many parties you attend. You are not. If you’re saying you do, you’re telling me that if I strip all this, you are nothing. You’ve no identity of your own- without these things. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You don’t. Be happy, kind and compassionate. Once you eliminate the need to prove your worth to others, you automatically eliminate the nature of discontent. You will be content then with who you’re and what you’ve.

Now, I know we are pessimist lot. I know, somewhere, some of you will be thinking isn’t being content equates to hindrance in growth and learning?

No, not at all. On the contrary it helps.

Once you’re content with who you’re, where you’re and where you’ll go. All you’ve is pure zest for learning. To grow. For no-one else, for no stuff, not to prove anyone- but to become a better human being. Being content doesn’t equate to growth hindrance.

It compliments it. 

Be content with what you’ve. Because trust me, you have a lot. Feel happy. Feel obliged and be thankful. You’ll automatically notice how you see tiny happiness in life. How you feel much more bliss and how you take everything with that lovely smile. You’ll love yourself. You’ll be confident. You’ll be compassionate. You’ll grow more. Learn more. And you’ll, in all true sense, live.

Be content. You have everything you need. And probably much more.

Be happy now. Don’t chase it when you can be happy now. Just be.

What are your views on contentment? Do let me know via comments!

P.S.-

This post is a part of the series, “Gems of Minimalism”

Every Thursdays Minimalist Thursdays and every Sunday is Gems of Minimalism.

Minimalism-how to begin with it?

“Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?” 

― Chuck Palahniuk

Templete

Since the time, I have began with this particular blog. People have been asking me, “That all is good and nice, how do I embrace minimalism?”

If you too thought of this particular question. Go make some coffee and relax. And give me 8 minutes of your time. That is all I ask, for starters.

Now there can be quite a few reasons for even thinking of adopting this style. For me, it was peace and dealing with anxiety of my life.

For you it can be anything. Anything. Maybe you want to take that holiday and save for it. Maybe you want to change careers. Take sabbatical. Maybe you want to discover your mission in life. Maybe you’re really in debts and you want to eliminate them. All the materialism and excessive consumerism is making you extremely unhappy. Or is invading your peace. Or increasing your anxiety. You’re looking to change.You’re in depression.You have become moody and you get irritated too quickly. You get agitated too quickly. You’re losing compassion. Anything really. Anything. And much more. Really. Anything at all.

So how it begins? In the mind.  Yes, in your mind. It sounds simple. But is difficult. Really difficult. But then if you want change. Real breath-taking change. It takes efforts.

For starters, just think and question consciously of all the choices you make. Everything in your life. Question them once. Ask yourself, why exactly are you buying that thing, doing that thing? Do you need it? Do you want it? Do you like it? Are you buying for the society? Are you buying to impress? Why are you buying?

Are you happy with your life? 

If not, why? Are you happy with people in your life? If not, why? What needs to be changed? Why your emotions are always cluttered? Why is their sadness in your eyes? Why can’t you smile more, cheer more, laugh more? Why can’t you dance and sing? What is it that is weighing on you? Is it those shitty relations you are holding on to? Or are you dissatisfied with your life? What is it? Why aren’t you just happy?

Are you happy with your career?

If not, why? What is it you don’t like? Does it curb your freedom? Does it makes you feel not you? Is it having impact on your life in a negative manner? Making you all upset and moody and generally discontent and dissatisfied? What is the root? Why do you still stick to it?

Be specific. Be honest. Be severely brutal. And just think. Don’t judge yourself or your thoughts.

The first step to any change is realization. This might not happen in day or even months. I personally took several months for these realizations.

To be all honest, thinking all this can be overwhelming. Really. Because then you might just realize you’re doing it dead wrong.

And that’s scary as hell.

I know that feeling. I understand. But that’s OKAY. It is really. You will feel happy too. As you’ve decided to finally take control of your life. Take ownership and not living it on an Auto-Pilot mode. But by being aware. You’ll feel what Leo Babauta termed as ‘Joyfear

Most of the sites, I have been to ask you to start the process of Minimalism by de-cluttering your material possessions.I’ll get to it too, eventually. In later posts. But really, I see no point of cleaning your closet if your mind is wobbling with all sorts of unrecognized negativity. That is stupid.

First clear your mind, then clear your closet.

So just think and realize. Everything about your life. It might take months. I know, I took months to decipher things. But give yourself that much time, I am sure if you have time for everyone and everything in this world, you can afford some time for yourself?

This process is never ending. But at least start with it? Once you get major things or even somethings clear, you’ll be in control. The key is to start thinking and questioning everything you do, consciously.

Just start with it. Put your first foot into it. Just take control of your life. There is no fun and fulfillment in living in an auto-pilot. Find the why of each and every major thing in your life. Find it. Search for it. Decipher it.

Just do it. Don’t just sit there and feel inspired. Take that inspiration and make it count. In whatever way you like and whatever way you want. But do it.

At the end of this post you’ve two choices-

1) Like always. You can feel inspired for few hours and do nothing about it. Quoting that it is too tough or you’re too busy or you think this will not work. By being in your comfort zone. Just because you fear things outside. So, you accept unhappiness. Really you’re that busy for yourself? Interesting.

OR

2) You can take the hints. You know if you’re not happy. You know it in your heart. You’ve been just avoiding it. Embrace it. That’s minimalism. Embrace the fear and realize everything is not fine. De-clutter your thoughts first. Realize things about yourself. And take control of your life. Own it. Usually, you get only one life.

So, what will it be? Will you just sit like every-time or will you act?

(Hint: Choose the first)

Let me be the first one to tell you- this is tough. Really. You’ll have a hard time accepting truths. I know, I did. I am still learning. But it is worth it. Really. It is gorgeous once you know you were wrong. It is scary. You feel fear, you embrace fear. But happiness of realization is there. That moment is life-redefining.

And anyways, what change, worth having, is not tough and scary?

So just fucking do it. Will you?

So here it is, in the simplest words:

Step 1 to Minimalism- De-clutter our thoughts. 

Do leave in your comments, feedback and more. How did you start to take control of your life?

P.S.- Major blog update:  

1) Every Thursdays will be Minimalist Thursdays on this blog. I’ll take you through the little steps I take, to get immerse in this process. More and more.

2) Every Sunday will be Gems of Minimalism, wherein, I’ll write about regular feelings and things from a Minimalism point of view.

Thank you for giving such an amazing response to a new blogger. Really overwhelming. You people are beautiful. Thank you 🙂

Minimalism and The Beauty of Mindfulness

“In a true you-and-I relationship, we are present mindfully, non-intrusively, the way we are present with things in nature. We do not tell a birch tree it should be more like an elm. We face it with no agenda, only an appreciation that becomes participation: ‘I love looking at this birch’ becomes ‘I am this birch’ and then ‘I and this birch are opening to a mystery that transcends and holds us both.” 
― David Richo

Mindfulness

To just be. Being aware. Being mindful. Being present, in the present. 

Is it difficult?

Yes.

Is it worth the effort?

Definitely.

I was going to college few days back in a Mumbai local. Peak hours. Crowded and rushed. People abusing each other, looking at each other with those angry and irritated eyes. Some singing. Some talking. Some sleeping.

Regular stuff, actually. I have been travelling in such rush since three years now, I have grown use to the culture. I never shouted or abused, as far as I can remember. But I remember that I used to get irritated and anxious. To cover those emotions, I used to day-dream about big bungalows and/or my own Merc. Jobs. Career. That girl I admire. That girl who admires me. And different other things. About past and future. Or when I am with friends, we discuss things. Again about past and future. And people.

Or worse, I had my smart phone. I would play games. Chat with people. And explore every single thing innately possible in that device.

And, without my realization, my stops use to come. And voila. Journey ended. Almost 1 hour of each day, many times more, use to go in this.

This is the same with almost all people. And also same with other things too.

When you’re with someone or when you’re alone or when you’re doing something. Travelling, reading, writing, talking, walking, eating or even sleeping. You think about everything. You think about past and future. About that person who told you something. The food you ate. The food you’ll eat. The differences you have with that someone. The praises. The criticisms. Everything. You’re everywhere. Except in the moment.

Cut forward to day before, I was coming back in local. But this time I had minimalism with me. I knew mindfulness and I was trying to adopt mindfulness. I just sat down on one of the seats. I had no friends with me. I didn’t take out my smartphone. I just tried to be. To be in the moment. In that rushed crowded train.

It did felt stupid at first. But not after I observe something. Right in front of me there were two people- one child and her mother. They were playing together. Laughing. Smiling. The mother was tickling her. He was trying to evade. Both had bliss, complete bliss on their faces. A genuine smile. A soulful smile.

I realized how over the years, I have grown slowly apart from one relation which is pure till the end- Mother and child. I did. And somewhere, we all have.

I observed much more. People who were tired of life. Some who had that worn out look on their faces. Some in deep contemplation.Most staring deep away in their cells. But hardly anyone in the moment. The Present.

My station came. I got down. But with a smile. A serene smile. This time the journey was different. One with a meaning. I bought a chocolate and went home. And ate that chocolate with my mother. We spend hours talking. And I saw her happy. Genuinely happy. Maybe after days.

But more than that, I realized I was happy. I was aware of my being. I was mindful. I was present in that moment. I felt the love. The bond. Genuine and one of the most beautiful bond. Ever.

I am not saying, what happen to me in that local will happen to you. I am not saying it won’t. It might happen. Something more might. Something beautiful. Sometime breathe-taking. Something invincible and extraordinary. Just because you’re there. In the present. Aware of everything. And mindful.

Who can change the past or control the future?

There is only one thing who have in abundance and you can control- now. The present.

Do one thing at a time. Slow and deliberate. By being aware of what you’re doing. Be in the present. Be in now. Just be. Don’t think about what will happen when the present is not there. Don’t think of what was when the present was not there. It doesn’t matter. Now is what matters. Now. Here. Only now.

So,next time, when you’re with a person- friend, family, relative or a stranger. Be with them. Keep your cell-phone aside. Keep your thoughts of past and the future aside. Just be. With them. Listen intently. Make them feel you care for their words, their thoughts. Make them feel you’re there. Laugh. Smile. And more. By being there. Mindful and present.

Next time, when you’re doing something- writing, eating, reading, listening, working, travelling, learning or whatever. Be in that phase. Just focus on that. Single-task. Your past can wait. Your future can wait. So can your smartphone. Not only it’ll make you more productive and more efficient. You’ll feel good. You’ll feel accomplished. You’ll be fully aware. And in present. That’s the key, to be in present. To be mindful. To be aware. Of surroundings and nature. And people.

Don’t get in the dogma of always planning ahead. Or of always thinking of the past. And re-analyzing. They are crucial. But not when they conflict with the present. You’ll ruin your mind. Your soul.

Be mindful of what you’re doing. Be aware. Be in the moment. And you’ll truly live. With happiness and bliss.

Appreciate the present. Be with the present. And participate in the present.

Be aware. Be mindful. Be.

Do comment your thoughts on the topic of mindfulness. How important you feel it is?

Happy reading folks!

P.S.- The image you see at the top of the post, is the productivity template. To ensure that you extract utmost value from each post, I’ll mention the key takeaways and the estimated time required to read that particular post. This idea is inspired from Chris of A Year Of Productivity.Also the gorgeous header you see on the home page was made by Riya of The Shutter Story. Really appreciate their help in making this blog more awesome!