Minimalism- What makes you ‘cool’?

Spring-Party

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

― Abraham Lincoln

One of my biggest flaws has to be pretension.

Really. I am still working on it, really hard.

I have improved though. A lot, considering how I was few months back.

I do admit that I was in a race to impress. And that was probably just because I wanted to look ‘cool’

I wanted a cool hairstyle and cool clothes and cool gadgets and you know just be cool.

I wanted to be the person who has most friends on Facebook with maximum likes on his DP and retweets and followers on twitter and hearts on Instagram.

I wanted to be the person who would have the coolest house and cars.

To have fancy decorations in my house and perfect furnitures and Rolex watches, not just one but many.

Because let’s face it, that’s how you get respect.

And that’s how you’re cool.

By your looks, cars, mansions and by your gadgets and stuff.

And what you need for that?

You need money, bwoy.

So, I never asked if that’s what I really want to do with my life. I just set my highest goal as becoming ‘cool’ and decided that earning huge chunks of money is the only way to do that.

So that I can purchase emotions, ask respect and add a layer of pretension to my self and look cool.

4 months later, I laugh on myself.

But I really wanted this for my life a few month back, just so that I can look cool.

There are few things which changed the entire definition of cool for and I realized being cool is not really being cool.

1) I came across authentic people

I stumbled upon Minimalism and through that I came across to personalities who do none of the stuff I mentioned above. But they inspire beyond words.

People like Leo, people like Joshua and Ryan, people like Joshua Becker, people like Colin.

These people have only one thing to them: they are authentic. They admit when they fail. They don’t pretend. And they’re perfectly happy with who they’re, with the flaws.  Honest and genuine.

They live unconventional life.

And they really inspired me. And millions others.

And that’s when I asked myself, who is really cool?

2) I realized ‘coolness’ is based on perspective 

Really. What is cool for me now was extremely uncool for me, few months back. It just took few months and change of perception. That’s it.

So there is no right or wrong about it. No objectivity. It is perspective based.

You can feel a small hut is cool or a big sprawling mansion is. Who knows?

So I urge you to not judge anyone. But I also urge you to not follow blindly what you think is cool based on other’s opinion.

Because it might turn out to be different.

That’s it in entirety.

3) Being cool doesn’t equate to being respected

If you respect me because of my clothes or gadgets or cars and other exterior stuff: likes on facebook and hearts on instagram and followers on twitter.

You respect the idea of me and not me.

I am not my stuff or things or something.

I am far much more.

And you don’t really care about that.

If that’s what you are ‘being cool’ for: not going to happen, mate.

4) Your people don’t give a fuck

Your real people- your real friends- don’t give a fuck about you being cool.

Really, I have people, my people and with them I do all sorts of stuff.

I send them crappy texts, I send them horrible voice-notes, I send them pictures of me with weird and ugly expressions.

And guess what? They are there.  Because they know me from inside and they know who I really am and they respect that fact.

Hell, I might run around in jockey someday on the streets and they still will be there.

For them, it is about who you’re. Not your stuff, not what you do but who you’re.

5) You start losing your authentic self

I was never into parties. Not that it is inherently bad to go partying, I just don’t like it.

I was never into EDM sort of music. Again, not that it is inherently bad. It’s just that it is not my type of music.

Same with clothes and many gadgets.

But in the start, I used to pretend to like many such things anyway because I thought that’s what will make me look cool.

And I started to lose pretty much all who I really was in-order to be who I am not.

And that’s pretty terrible thing to happen. So avoid.

Be authentic to who you’re. Because trust me, that is all really that is cool about you.

I won’t lie. I still sometimes slip and go back in the trap. I do, I am all human and I am all mistakes.

But with the difference that I immediately get aware and snap out of it. I try at least.

The question is to not ask what other people think makes you cool. The question to ponder is what makes you cool.

So tell me now-

What makes you cool?

Other awesome reads-

1) The Tyranny of Cool– This awesome New York Times article.

2) Ending the Tyranny of Cool– The Minimalist

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Minimalism- No Need to Explain Yourself.

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”
― Richard Feynman

I was pursuing a particular line of career.

I left it few months back.

I realized it soon enough that it is not my cup of tea. Not necessarily hard or bad but something which I find no interest in.

And, simply put, I couldn’t see myself doing that thing for my entire life.

So, I took the decision to not pursue it anymore.

Simple enough, right?

Wrong. 

For the initial months, I felt like some criminal where people were asking me questions and I was explaining myself in the court of law.

“No, no, that’s not why I left it..”

“No, that’s not what I meant..”

“But, I had valid reasons to do so..”

These became the initial dialogues with what followed was a defense as to why I was right in doing what I do.

And I don’t blame people.

The problem was with me.

I felt this unquenchable thirst to go around and explain myself.

To go around and justify my actions.

To go around and say and try to prove that I was right.

And, if you’re anything like me, you do the same.

You go around explaining as to why you are correct.

You go around justifying your words and your actions, even though it doesn’t have to do anything with other people.

You go telling in a hope that everyone would agree with you. And will support you. And pat your back.

Listen. Listen, hard. You don’t need to do that.

People who require an explanation from you, they won’t understand you anyways. You cannot control how they think, how they feel about you. You cannot. So let go of that need. Really.

And people who matter- really close people to you- they might worry about you for some days but they’ll understand you eventually. They will know why you did it. They will support you. They’ll stand beside you and they’ll stand behind you when you fall. Because for them: you’re enough.

You don’t need to explain your actions. Really. 

If you’re sure about what you’re doing. If you know what you’re doing. You’re good to go.

When you go and explain yourself, it seems you’re guilty of something. And, you’re explaining your way out of it.

Are you guilty if you’re taking control back your life?

Are you guilty if you’re letting go of shitty relations?

Are you guilty if you’re leaving behind the past and starting afresh?

Are you guilty if you choose happiness?

Are you guilty if you choose to follow your dreams?

No, you’re not. You’re not guilty. 

And, it is not people’s fault. They don’t live your life.  They don’t know how you’re feeling. They can’t understand.

They will think what they want to.

And, YOU can’t control that. 

You can’t control what people think.

In the process of trying, you’ll be destroying yourself.

Your beliefs. Your dreams. And, your own self. The self-confidence.

The only person who deserves an explanation of your actions is yourself. No one else. Just you.

Solution to this?

Stop explaining yourself.

Stop explaining who you’re. Stop explaining why you do what you do. Stop explaining and justifying each of your life’s action.

Really, you think they’ll understand why you took that divorce or why you quit that job or why you changed that career or why you went into a relationship with that person or why you let go of that relation or why you do what you do?

They won’t. They can’t. So stop trying. Just stop. Put an end to it. 

It is OK to explain sometimes, when you feel you’re misunderstood, or if you have hurt someone mistakenly: it is OK. But don’t feel obligated to explain yourself.

You’re not obligated to explain yourself to anyone.

You’re not obligated to justify your choices.

You deserve to be happy. And until your decision doesn’t harm anyone, you’re free to choose happiness.

And you don’t owe an explanation as to why you chose happiness. 

Just remember: You can’t control other people’s thinking. You simply cannot. So there is no point of explanation or justification.

And people who matter will understand without explaining or justifying.

Go now. Be awesome. 

Other Reads:

1) Stop Justifying your feelings– Tiny Wisdom

2) You Don’t Need To Explain Yourself– The Minimalists

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Minimalism- What’s up with all the buying?

‘There must be more to life than having everything!’

~Maurice Sendak

Six months back from now, I was a hoarder.

Hoarder of clothes. Hoarder of things, I don’t need.

Hoarder of emotions relating to buy things which I couldn’t buy.

I was a purchase freak. I admit to it.

I used to buy clothes. Buy unnecessary food. Spend so much money at unnecessary places and for unnecessary things.

It was all too much, when I look back now.

My regular pocket-money used to get over too soon. I had no saving. I used to ask advance from my parents almost too soon.

And, on some occasions, I remember picking money from Dad’s pocket.

When I look back, it’ll seem I was a slave. And perhaps, I was. I won’t deny.

I started to find happiness in stuff. I became attached to the idea that more stuff means, more happiness.

More food means, more happiness.

It almost became my like my therapy to avoid the void of emptiness.

So I started to fill that void with stuff. More stuff. And much more stuff.

I started desiring more stuff. And things. And more money.

And it was terrible.

It was a vicious cycle.

I got money. I spent money. I got more money. I spent more money.

It became a therapy for me.

To purchase things. To spend on clothes. To spend on gadgets. To spend on unnecessary eating out. And such unnecessary things.

And then I stumbled upon the idea of Minimalism. And it struck a chord with me.

And I decided, I’ll do this.

I decided, I won’t be buying for months now. Not unnecessarily at least.

That would be mean no random clothes shopping. No gadgets. Movies. New games. Excessive rickshaw travelling. Spending overly on restaurants and food.

It all had to be stopped. Really.

And it was terribly hard. I remember in the first month, I became cranky. And angry. And anxious. And sad.

Sounds extreme. But that’s how it was.

I felt like a drug addict. Really. For the first time in my life, I felt this much anxiety.

Whenever I used to come across a new gadget or fancy restaurant or food items or clothes, I used to get all sweaty. Worked up.

And I almost gave in many times to the urge of buying. That impulse rush.

And, soon, I realized the problem.

The problem was that I was trying to buy emotions.

You heard it right. Buying emotions. 

Whenever I used to buy clothes, I attached the emotion of comfort and emotion of being happy to purchasing clothes. I used to feel a momentarily rush. And, I became addicted to that rush and forgot that’s not real happiness. Or comfort.

Whenever I used to buy excessive food or overly expensive food, I attached the emotion of happiness and security and comfort to it. I was trying to buy the emotions.

The problem however was that emotions can’t be bought. Things can be. Emotions can’t be.

I realized this soon enough. And I was stunned. In shock. I never imagined what I have done to my mental process.

I started to associate emotions with hoarding. Emotions with purchasing. Emotions with consumerism.

So for me, more clothes was more comfort. More food was more happiness. More gadgets were more security and more fun. More shopping was more love.

But the reality is different. Such emotions wore off soon. They don’t stay for long and soon again, I’ll be anxious. That’ll again force me to buy more things.

This cycle would have never ended. Never, ever. 

That’s why, my first month was so difficult. There was no quick fix available to my mind. There was no purchase to be made.

It became better. And, I started to find real emotions seeping in.

I found comfort in a good friendship and good chat not clothes.

I found happiness in a good time spend with friends, a good cup of coffee over reading a book and being volunteer for the community.

I found security through genuine relations I have in my life and not through excessive eating.

It became better. It became good. It become awesome.

And, now I am healthier, happier and better than I ever was.

I am not saying there is inherently wrong with consumerism or buying things.

I am not even saying that, I don’t buy things now and have gone all sanyaasi.

All I am saying is that don’t try to buy emotions. Really. You can’t. You never were able to and you never will be.

You might feel a rush of pleasure after a shopping spree but it’ll wore off soon. What then? You’ll want to do another shopping spree. You’ll want to buy more things and stuff.

There is no end to it. 

And really. The idea of tying your self-worth to materials is something scary.

Imagine your happiness, security, comfort and all emotions being tied materials. To purchasing. To owing. To buying.

It is a scary, scary thought.

Don’t be a slave.

Come out.

We’re more than what we own. We’re more than where we eat or what we eat.

We’re more than what we wear.

We’re more than all these.

We’re not defined by these.

Don’t try to define ourselves by these.

There will be only loser. That is us.

Come out the shackles of excessive consumerism. It does you no good.

Get free from the cage. And be more.

Fly. Fucking fly.

Other reads- 

SHOPPING OR FINDING MEANING- The Minimalists

Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains- ZenHabits

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Minimalism and Expectations.

“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations”
― Jodi Picoult

 

I haven’t written anything this past whole week.

I have reasons. But, as a person, who promotes choice it will be unfair to give them or even to believe that they are valid enough as reasons.

I didn’t write. Plain and simple.

The problem however lies where I expect myself to write.

The bigger problem is that people expect me to write. And that too in a certain way and context.

And, it did weigh me down to not be able ‘stand’ up to it.

For this post, I have a gentle request.

For the next 8 minutes or so, forget all about what you already know about expectations. Allow me to bring another face to it.

You might agree or disagree. That’s completely fine.

But try reading the post with the least preset ‘expectations’ about the word ‘expectation’ in particular.

Expectations.

Without even consciously thinking, this word has become one of the most dominant force in our lives.

How?

We expect. A lot. From the life. From our world. From people around us. From ourselves. From Government. From organizations. From every single one and thing around.

Really. Think about it. Look around and try finding one thing or one person from which you don’t ‘expect’. It is a dare.

So what is wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with it. We’re not thinking about what is wrong and what is right and so on and so forth.

We’re thinking about what impact does it create on your life.

We are thinking whether it amplifies or reduces your happiness level.

We’re thinking that.

I have had many fall outs with many people.

And part of the reason always has been that we both ‘expected’ certain things from each other that we would do or not do.

And, I let many people go. And, I now realize that, many beautiful and gorgeous soul go because somehow they didn’t meet my expectations.

Chances are you also have let many people go.

The question: Are they liable to stand on your expectations?

Bigger question: Did those expectations make you happy?

In a way yes, It is that old clichéd writing about expect less.

But there is a reason, it is clichéd. It has been used and told so many times that we don’t remember its importance anymore.

Refreshing the memory a bit.

Are you asking us to stop expecting from people? That sounds insane.

Well, no. I don’t ‘expect’ you to do that.

But let’s consider it for once and see.

What will the world look like if there are no expectations?

Your relations will be healthier because you have not created a standard. Things that should make you happy will make you happy. Things will surprise you. You’ll be always excited about the relation.

Your life will be so damn good. Imagine, you have no expectations from your life. Better, neither does anyone else. You’re free to do what you love. No one expects something out of you. And neither do you.

The world will be better place. There is no society expectations to shape you in a manner they find appropriate. Everyone can breathe. Live their individuality. And love like never before.

Sounds radical. I know. But sounds good. At least to me.

I do agree that many place to expect is necessary. It is genetic. And often serves as a base. But we misuse it. Abuse it. To the point where it hinders with our own being. Our own happiness.

Apply minimalism to expectations, that’s all I ask.

Replace the word ‘expectations’ with the word ‘quality’ wherever you can.

What does applying minimalism to expectations looks like?

Search for quality in life. Search for quality in relations. Search for quality in every single individual.

Don’t expect from life. From things. From relations. From people.

They are not liable to fulfill it. They don’t owe you anything.

Don’t let false expectations run your life. You’ll be unhappy.

Because you’ve created that egoistic expectation bubble around you. That bubble inside which you sit and think that people owe you something. That the world owes you something. That life owes you something.

Reality alert: It doesn’t.

That bubble will break eventually. Like every other bubble. And it will hurt, badly.

Let everyone breathe their individuality. Things that make them who they’re. Not things that you want them to do. Or not how you want them to be like.

How they’re. Accept it. Because life, world and people: they’re beautiful regardless of your expectations.

In those whole expectations, there is only one loser. That is us.

The one who expects.

It is difficult. Obviously. We have been molded into beings who expect. I am myself yet to let it go, completely.

But it works. Like charm.

With less expectations, life surprises you. People surprise you. The world surprise you.

Because you let them breathe.

You let them breathe their complexities.

You let them breathe their individuality.

You don’t ask them to be how you think they should be.

You let them be.

You accept and acknowledge the beauty in what and who they already are.

You don’t try to change them according to how you think they should be.

You see quality and beauty in what they already are. And how your relation already is.

And this feeling, this experience is gorgeous and mesmerizing.

Because you see everything in different light.

All you need is to try to lower your expectations and to replace the word expectations with QUALITY on all occasion.

Go now. And be awesome.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/great-expectations/

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