Minimalism and The Race To Impress.

“Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you’re making.”
― C.S. Lewis

 

I have this really good friend of mine.

We have known each other since years now.

And, I really adore him.

His determination. His passion. His will to grow.

And his never-ending curiosity.

But yet he is not happy. He smokes. He is an alcoholic.

And, I have seen him cry over his life ample times.

And he comes to me for help. For words.

I wonder to myself: Where has he gone wrong?

I realized it recently. Really.

He tries too hard to impress others. In very superficial ways.

He doesn’t like pubs. But he will still go because he feels that’s the ‘trend’

He doesn’t like alcohol much. He has admitted it. He has told me.

But he will still drink because apparently that’s what makes a person ‘cool’

He isn’t really is comfortable with the clothes he wears.

But still. He wears it. Because he feels it will impress others.

And countless other things he does just in order to impress others.

And I realized it is not just him. It is not just you. It is all of us.

How much ever we deny, we all are at some point guilty of trying to impress others.

Not by being ourselves. But by trying and create a superfluous aura around ourselves.

This ‘Oh, please approve of me’ culture of ours is taking a hideous turn.

And, I give some credits to social media.

We try to impress others. It is a race.

Through status, through photos, through witty tweets. All this things.

Through big fancy mobiles, through big fancy bungalows, through big figure salaries.

Through all the glam and jazz. Through clothes and superfluous things.

Through how big your TV is and how many apps you have and which brand you wear.

Through how many degrees you have. And your achievements.

We wait for people to like our stuff.

We wait for people to approve of us.

I can almost listen them shouting, “Please like us”

I am equally guilty of this.

We’re social creatures. We want to impress people. We want people to like us.

There is nothing inherently wrong with it.

The problem starts when we start to defy our own values. Our likes. Our dislikes. Our taste. And follow what might just be ‘sale-able’ or what might just be a ‘trend’

I have seen countless people doing something which they detest just because they think it impresses others.

I have seen countless people working in a field they hate and earn money and buy material things  in order to impress or to maintain ‘status’, as they call it.

And, I have seen countless people and bragging and trying to impress me through all this stuff.

Listen hard.

You are not impressing me with all that.

Neither your job title of CA, CS, CFA, CPA or whatever ‘C’ nor your salary.

Nor your fancy cars or bungalows.

Nor your wardrobe or how much you party or what brand you wear.

Nor how many followers you have on twitter or how many friends you have on Facebook or how you’re the ‘life’ of every party and your friend’s group.

These things don’t impress me.

You impress me.

You the person impresses me.

Not your stuff. Not your salary. Not your fancy job titles.

You.

Your commitment to growth impresses me.

Your commitment to learn impresses me.

Your curiosity impress me.

Your kindness, your compassion, your outlook towards life, all these things impress me.

How you treat your fellow humans impresses me.

Your values impress me.

Your love impresses me.

Your warmth impresses me.

Stop trying to impress people with your stuff. With your titles. With things and titles external to you.

Some people will always have more ‘stuff’ and those ‘other things’ than you.

Impress with who you’re. Where you are. And where you want to be.

Impress with passion. Impress with laugh. Impress with love.

Impress with your life. Impress with how you live.

Impress with yourself.

Because trust me, there is only one you.

You’re fucking unique. So be that way.


Other awesome relatable reads:

YOU ARE NOT IMPRESSING ME– By The Minimalist

*If you liked this post please follow this blog via mail or for your WordPress reader. I would love the inspiration.

* Also bookmark the permalink on StumbleUpon and other sites. I would really appreciate it. Keep commenting. Thank you! Love.

Advertisements

Minimalism- What Is Success?

 

I attended a seminar recently.

From an apparently very ‘successful’ person.

He boasted all about his life.

He boasted how he was some Olympiad champion.

He also boasted how he holds such a brilliant position in some company.

He boasted about his cars, bungalows and packages. And trips. And many more such luxuries.

And not with much subtlety, he established that his life is like the benchmark of being successful.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was also inspired. He talked in a mesmerizing manner. And all that jazz.

His talk got over. He went out and I went behind him to ask few questions.

And, I saw that he was shouting at his driver.

He belittled him. He condescended him. And few seconds later, he slapped him. Apparently because the driver parked in the wrong place. And the driver was feeling humiliated and was on the verge of a break down.

This is success?

Probably for him, yes.

For me, no.

And I came back home and I pondered: What is success?

Is being rich and having many bungalows success?

Is having a chauffeur driven high-end car success?

Is occupying a big position in a multinational corporate house success?

Is being an entrepreneur success?

Is being a celebrity success?

Is starting a blog success?

Is converting a blog into online business success?

Is writing a book success?

Is being a teacher success?

Is thinking that neither of them is true, success?

What the fuck is success?

And, I realized I am thinking it all wrong.

Success for most of its part is subjective.

I probably might feel I am successful but you might not. You probably might feel I am successful but I wouldn’t think the same for myself.

The definition of success too will change from time to time for you.

Few months back, success for me was stacking up money and showing it off. Now, success is not the same for me.

The definition of success changed.

We have been led to believe that success is something generalized. That there is a fix success template: that is having loads of money, big bungalow, expensive cars and luxuries alike.

Now, this might be actually success for some of us.

For the rest of us, we just follow it blindly thinking that the world can decide for us that what success is. That the society is the ultimate judge of whether we’re successful or not.

And when that delusion shatters, it pains. Terribly.

The question still remains that what is success?

For most of the part, a myth.

Because no one can tell you what success is for you and the definition of success will change for you.

And so, I stopped aiming to be successful.

You heard it right.

I don’t want to be successful.

Instead now I aim to be valuable. 

Being valuable. Creating value. For yourself. For the people around. For the whole fucking world.

Something which will constantly push me to be a better person. A better human. And better at everything I do. Every relation. Every work. Everything. Not perfect. But better.

I’ll ask myself before doing anything, “Have I created value?”

If the answer is yes, I am on the right track.

If the answer is no, I am probably off track.

Value can be anything.

As small as giving someone a hug to as big as creating a multinational giant which fills in a gap of missing value.

As small as be true to all the relations you have. To be true to yourself. And it can be as humongous as solving a social need.

As small as just being there for someone. As small as loving someone. To as large as being a hope for someone.

As small as breathing and as large as living.

To create value.

Genuine happiness lies here.

We are humans: beings of creation. We want to create.

If this post affects one person also, I know I have created value for that person.

If I inspire someone, I know I have created value.

If I help someone, I know have created value.

Create value.

For me, this small change in perception has turned my whole fucking life tipsy curvy.

Every night, I look in the mirror and I ask myself, ” Have I created value?”

If the answer is yes, I sleep soundly.

If the answer is no, I go and create value.

Praising the deserving. Helping someone. Or just reassuring. Or making someone smile.

Creating value is not difficult, if you have the aim to do that.

I don’t know whether being successful equates with being happy.

I definitely know that creating value equates to being happy.

And being happy is anyways the whole point.

Isn’t it?

*If you liked this post please follow this blog via mail or for your WordPress reader. I would love the inspiration.

* Also bookmark the permalink on StumbleUpon and other sites. I would really appreciate it. Keep commenting. Thank you! Love.

Minimalism and The Unconventional Path

“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think déjà vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator, and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work, are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.”

― Timothy Leary

I like to stroll at park in the night. Once the madness of the day is slowly turning into the calm and beautiful night. The surrealism and cold wind.

That time, I take my ear plugs  and I go for a stroll in the nearby park.

Like most of the other jogger’s park, this one too has a round track to walk or run or just take a casual stroll. And in ALL the jogger’s park, people walk in either Anti-Clock direction or the clockwise direction. Usually the latter. But not both.

And other day, I was lost in my thoughts and music and I happened to walk from anti-clockwise instead of the  regular clockwise.

I realized it instantly as people started to stare at me as I have done something really terrible.

And I got really uncomfortable. Because they were staring and looking at me like I am some kind of terrible rule breaker.

For that moment, I became conscious. I became vulnerable. Fear gripped me and I instantly changed my direction to the regular.

I came out and I thought about it: did I do something wrong? No, I didn’t.

I just probably liked the opposite way more than the regular way that day. I didn’t break traffic rules or something. Then what made me so uncomfortable? What made me so conscious?

It was the fear of being different.

Of walking on the opposite direction of people. Of getting stares from people. Of being talked about.  Of breaking the conventions.

This was just a walk and an observation.

But I learnt from it.

Don’t we do that with our life as well in so many spheres?

We’re afraid to do what we love. Afraid to do what we like. Afraid to do what we truly want to do.

But we choose to ignore it. Because many people don’t do what we love. Or it isn’t a safe bet. Maybe, it is not right. They will judge you. They will question you. They will say you’re out-of-place. They will flaunt their definition of success and ask you to follow the same, regardless of whether you wish to or not.

And more often than not, we give away.

We trade our souls just to fit in the crowd. We try to do same things which the masses do, regardless of whether we want to do it or not truly.

We compare ourselves to others and we try to be like them, just because it seems society approves of them.

We do jobs which we think will be approved the society. We try to live a lifestyle which we think won’t be questioned. Or which will help us to fit in the crowd so that  no-one questions. Or those stares. Or the fear of standing out.

Over the years, we as a society, have developed things that a person needs to do to ‘just fit’. And we follow that blindly.

Because we’re too afraid of the unconventional.

We’re too afraid of the idea of failure. We’re too afraid of being judged.

We’re too afraid of standing out.

We’re afraid. We are frightened.

So we decide to just exist. And not live.

Because that’s easy, right? You’ll be society approved. And everyone will see you as the perfect idol. And that probably will satiate your ego as well.

But ask yourself, “Is what you do or how you live is true to your own thoughts, ideals, values and wishes?”

If the answer is yes, you have my applauds.

If the answer is no, we have  an issue.

Internet has mislead us in many ways. Assuming that to live an unconventional path is to probably roam all around the world. Or just to live with one back pack. Or to be freelance writer roaming around states. Or to live virtually. Or probably to open the next Fortune 500. Or to be a Minimalist.

It is not that. Not for me at least.

All I mean by unconventional is for you to stay true to who you’re.

All I mean is that you do what you love.

It can be a job. It can be just to stay with your family and take care of them. It can be being a teacher. But what makes you come alive. What keeps  you happy. What keeps you yearning for life. What keeps you living. What keeps you dreaming. What keeps you curious.

What is self approved and not society approved.

What is self driven and not society driven.

When you live, truly live, and not just exist.

Why call it unconventional then?

Look around. No just look. There are people all around who are doing what they detest, for a lack of stronger words. They live by the ‘apparent’ code and conduct of the society. And they will come to you. And, they will tell you that this is how life works.

They do everything they do for the approval of the society and others. Not for themselves or because they like it but just because everyone is doing that. Or probably because that’s the ‘safe’ option. Or because their friends are doing. Or the whole fucking college is doing that (Insert: N.M. College and C.A.) It doesn’t matter.

The only thing that matters is that whether you want to do it. Whether you come alive by doing that. Whether you feel like living while doing it.

If you don’t. Change that.

You see your whole life is a Jogger’s park track. It is round. There are no rules of directions.

You can walk anti-clockwise. Nothing is wrong in that.

If that is what you want to do. Fucking do that.

There is nothing wrong in it. You’re not breaking any rules. You’re just doing what you love.

I can say some inspirational quote about life being too short and you having too less time and stuff over here.

But you get my point, don’t you?

Dare to un-belong.

If the path you love is seldom walked. It doesn’t matter. You’ll walk it.

If the path you love is opposite to what everyone else is doing. It doesn’t matter. You live for yourself. You deserve to do what you love. You deserve to come alive.

If everyone is saying you won’t make it and is forcing you to come to mediocrity. You can choose not to. Have belief in your path. In your dreams. In yourself.

Choose excellence. Always. Choose life. Always. Choose yourself. Always.

Almost the time for my stroll. In the park. This time, I choose to go anti-clockwise.

Would you?

*If you liked this post please follow it via mail or for your WordPress reader.

* Also bookmark the permalink on StumbleUpon and other sites. I would really appreciate it. Keep commenting. Thank you! Love.

Minimalism- 8 Things I realized in the past month.

“One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.”
― Osho

Revelations.

It has been few days past a month since this blog came into existence.

That means over a month of following Minimalism. Over a month of buying consciously. Over a month of focusing on things I love. Over a month of eliminating the superfluous. Over a month of focusing on being a better person.

Over a month of living: real, hard and consciously.

Here are the things, I learnt in this past over 1 month of this blog and following minimalism:

  • Life beyond the Auto Pilot Mode:
    If there is one thing I absolutely adore about this lifestyle is that it helped me to live more consciously. To question every decision I take. To question why I think the way I do. To not do things just because.To live beyond that “Just Because it happens this way” I rejected that lifestyle.Probably you should also try?

    It is hard but so worth it. You see the truth behind everything. And more importantly, you start to know your true self. Till the time, I was living on Auto-Pilot mode. I was doing things which other felt like I should do ideally. Or the things which society thinks, I should do ideally.Break off the “ideally”. Do something because you want to. Do something because you feel like. Question everything that is to question. And decide everything on your own.

    Take control, mate. Remember it is your life?

     

  • Things that has happened, is happening or will happen is something that you’ve chosen:
    You’re what you’re because of choices you made. You’re what you were because of the choices you made. You will be what you will be because of the choices you will make. Life is a choice.Sure there are external factors and sure they affect but in the end all that matters and all that has a major impact is how you react to those external forces. That will define your life. That will define you. Nothing else. That. The choice you make.The things you choose. The emotions you choose. The people you choose. The situations you choose to react on. Choice.

    Do you comprehend? Realize it and realize it now. Your life is a choice. Big fucking choice. Choose carefully.

  • No longer trying to buy emotions:
    If there is one lesson which completely shocked me was this.I was in a no buying phase. This whole January, I kept my purchase only in the essentials. And in that too, I questioned everything I bought.Once you start questioning your purchase. Everything on which you spend money. Everything which you buy. Everything which you wish to buy. Everything.Once I did that, I realized something drastic and shattering.I used to try to purchase emotions and feelings.I didn’t want to buy or rent things. I wanted to buy and rent emotions and feelings. I wanted to buy security, comfort, approval. I wanted to buy joy. I wanted to buy satisfaction. I wanted to buy happiness. Unfortunately, they are not available for sale or rent.

    I stopped doing that. Now, I just buy things as tool. Not as a source of happiness and approval. So, I need less. I want less. And yet, ironically, I feel fuller than ever before. Win-win, amigo.

  • The most important person is you:
    As narcissistic and clichéd it may sound, it is true. The most important person in your life is you. Your top priority should be you. Everything you do, you should be doing keeping in mind the effect it will have on you.Everything, every person, every relation is because of you. If you fall, they all fall.If you are not happy, there is no point to any of them.Being compassionate and loving towards your own self is possibly the most underrated skill. Develop it.Your rest of the life and everything you’ll be and you’ll do, depends on that single person which is YOU.
  • The Incomplete Circle of Relationships:
    I had a friend in 9th Standard. A close friend at that time and then we had a fall-out, as most high school friendships does. We had a spat. And it is only in this month I realized that somewhere that incomplete thing is bothering me.I have her yet in my mind. So, Imessaged her. I said sorry. My circle is complete.  And it feels great. Just complete your circles.With everyone. Either forgive or ask for forgiveness.

    Give a fucking closure to it. Give it.

    All the times when you say, ” I don’t what is bothering me” more often than not, it is these incomplete circles.

    Incomplete relations.

    Give them a closure.

    Do it.

    You’ll thank yourself later.

     

  • People will see you as you see yourself: They are mirrors:
    People’s opinion change as soon as you change your outlook towards yourself. It is a law of causation at work.If you change your opinions and your thinking and your outlook about yourself, people eventually will automatically start seeing you in that light.They will resist at first, asking you why are you changing. We’re genetically programmed to be reluctant to change.But in the end, they see you as you see yourself.

    They reflect on you. Mere reflection.

    Try that if you don’t believe. I have experienced it. I am sure, you’ll too.

  • Avoiding judgmental behavior is tough. But try. It is worth it:
    I soon realize that I judge people too much. Too often and without knowing much. It probably satiate my some kind of emotional need. I am yet to figure what.But I also realized that this kind of judgmental behavior is crucially wrong and not only to them but to myself.I am filling my head with lots of garbage. I am judging someone without even knowing what the person is going through which would mean that the premise and the base itself is flawed.

    Try not judging. It is difficult. But to an extent, possible. Instead try to understand why person is doing what they are doing. What is it that is forcing them to do that.

    Ask questions. You’ll do yourself a big favor.Don’t judge, my friend. At least try not to. Consciously. Love, mate.

  • I and my emotions are two separate things:
    I have a whole other post dedicated to this topic. Yes but in gist, I realized this thing. You and your emotions are not one. You’re not always angry or agitated or irritated or a complete arse.That would mean that these factors, these emotions are external to you.So that means, you’ve choice. You can choose. Embrace the positive and discard the negative.When anger comes, watch it, observe it and let it pass unprocessed and not judged. It will go away. Quicker than you think. So let it pass.

    Do remember. Emotions are a matter of choice. You choose whether to react or not.

    Decide wisely.

This journey, till now, has been real gorgeous. And you people are extremely brilliant. Thank you for supporting this blog and my views with so much love and support.

I have found some amazing content. Learnt brilliant things and made few friends. All in this one little month.

Again, thank you.

But this is just the beginning. This first month. There are many lessons to learn. And many things to realize.

Keep reading.

*If you liked this post please follow it via mail or for your wordpress reader.

* Also bookmark the permalink on Stumbleupon and other sites. I would really appreciate it. Keep commenting. Thank you! Love.

Minimalism- Are you your own best friend?

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”

Buddha

Are you your own Best Friend?

Have you ever asked yourself this?

Have you?

If you’ve, do you behave with yourself as a best friend would?

Time to think.

Think.

I have been working in a Global Youth organization, Rotaract movement, since almost 4 years now. I have climbed the ladder of the organization from a volunteer to a team leader to management and to being the highest authority.

Fortunately, I have had the privilege to deal with different kinds of people. And at a young age like this, I have had the opportunity to help these people deal with their problems: personal problems, parental problems, relationship problems, depression. All sorts of problem.

I have been in depression myself. Major depression. Over so many issues, over the years. I remember being in depression for months straight.

I have found a fix pattern over the years, in their cases and mine, which is lack of compassion towards self.

Beating yourself up. Thinking you’re not good enough. Hating oneself. Causing harm to oneself. Thinking you’re not worth of any good in your life. All the negative traits resides in you: within you. Your life is no good. Why do you live? There is no point. You’ve no love in life. No one cares for you. No-one.

You know what, I am talking about. You know it. We’ll have been here. They might have laughed on you. Might have bullied you. Might have break your heart. Might have rejected you. Heck, might have beaten you up.

But what you do to yourself after that is worse. Much worse.

You think you deserve this?

You might.

Your best friend won’t.

He will sit beside you. He will remind you of all the good which is there within you. He will take care of you. He will make sure, you never feel alone. He’ll try to cheer you up. Make you laugh. Make you smile. Make you yourself.

He’ll possibly do anything to boost that low self-esteem of yours. He’ll remind you of your achievements. He will remind you of all the times, you’ve been a wonderful friend, a wonderful son,  a wonderful father, a wonderful husband, a wonderful partner and above everything else: a kind and compassionate human being.

Why can’t you do that with yourself?

You know yourself better than any other person. You know things you’ve been through. You know exactly how much pain you felt and you know with how much difficulty and bravery, you came out of that thing. You know, you’re an amazing person.

Yes, you know your flaws as well. But doesn’t everyone have one? Does that mean that you will deprive yourself from the love of most important person in your life: you?

Think of all the time, you’ve beaten yourself up. Think of all the times, you were disappointed by yourself. Think of all the time, you’ve passed in deep depression. Think of all the time you’ve deprived yourself of self-compassion.

Was it worth it? Worth whatever the reason?

More importantly, would your best friend had done the same?

Probably not.

Don’t deprive yourself from self-compassion. How will you possibly show compassion and be kind to others, if you can’t be compassionate and kind to yourself?

It is OK to make a mistake. It is OK if your heart gets broken. It is OK if you were rejected. It is OK if your life is messed up as hell. It is OK.

A phase. That’s it. It will pass soon. But be there for yourself. Tell yourself everything will be OK. That everything will be fine. And no matter what, you are there for yourself. Be the ideal Best Friend for yourself. It might sound stupid to read. But think: what difference really such an attitude can make to you?  A world of difference, perhaps.

Next time, when depression or a bad instance grips you. Behave with yourself how your best friend would behave with you. With compassion and kindness. With love and care. With empathy.

Not with self-hatred. Not with self-pity.

With love.

Be the best, best friend to yourself. Be.

The person you spend the most chunk of time is yourself.

Be kind to that person. Be compassionate towards that person.

Love that person.

If not for me, if not for this blog, if not for this site.

For the person reading this.

Trust me, that person deserves this.

That person deserves to be your best friend.

*This post was orinally published on Kindnessblog.com- http://kindnessblog.com/2014/01/24/are-you-your-own-best-friend/