10 Choices You will not Regret.

minimalism, regrets, guilt, choices, Hardik Nagar, Minimalism and India, minimalist in India

Credits: Favim.com

I believe life is this whole sequence of choices one make.

Good choices, bad choices and few horrible choices, here and there.

And some choices end up having more impact than the others would have.

Regret is something we all go through. Perhaps in more than one way and about more than one choice. Apart from the horrible choices, there are also choices we are thankful for and choices that always leave you with a smile on your face.

Brew a coffee. Sit and relax because we’re going to go through all such choices that I believe none of us will ever regret:

  1. The Choice of Honesty: Being honest. Honest about how you feel, honest about what you feel, no sweet-coating, no sugary lies. Oh, it is difficult. People will hate you for it, will run away from you and will perhaps stop talking with you for you cannot praise them falsely. Yet, be honest, be honest to the point where your words become the word. Lying is a tiring process and drains much of your strength. Honesty is simple, difficult but simple.
  2. The Choice of Empathy and Compassion: Can I be completely honest with you? Everyone is terribly broken. Every single one of us. We have our fears, insecurities and demons to deal with. Honesty has down-effects of maybe converting you into an arrogant prick. This choice will keep that side-effect in check. You have your battles and they have theirs. And the only solution is to listen and participate in each other’s fight in whatever way we can, to ease the pain, to love.
  3. The Choice of Being Okay: It is all good to not settle for mediocrity, to aim for excellence. But you will be sad often for no apparent reason, you will fail, you will be broke and your heart will get broken umpteen number of times and most likely you won’t be okay, many times. Life is not all fairies, rainbows and unicorns and that’s how it is. So sometimes being okay with not being okay makes a crucial part of how we grow and what we become.
  4. The Choice of Letting Go: Can you let go? Let go of the things you can’t control, let go of the emotions that are bringing you down, let go of the relations that are not just working out and most importantly, to let go of people? On this choice, your happiness quotient depends. This is perhaps the most crucial choice of all. Think about it: What all are you willing to let go?
  5. The Choice of Acceptance: I love deep conversations and I do it often and with different people. You know the reason why most of them are not happy? They can’t accept things. Accept that the relation was not probably meant to be. Accept that the situation is horrible and you just can’t ignore it. Accept that you have made a mistake and take accountability of it. And most importantly, accept yourself as a person with the flaws, blemishes and ugliness.
  6. The Choice of Genuine Connections: Whatever connections you have, make them genuine. Have few, that is fine but have genuine connections. The lure of instant connect might seem appealing but eventually it will wore off and you will feel terrible. Aim for genuine connections, genuine and real connections. That’s the only real way of knowing people.
  7. The Choice of Humility and Curiousness: The amount of time we bullshit ourselves by making ourselves the center of the entire universe and thinking from that point of view is staggering. Humility is the key to growth and also the breeding ground for curiousness. Be curious, explore and be humble. And as soon as you feel you’re smartest person in the room, change the room.
  8. The Choice of Choosing:  Choose your own path. You’re different from others but similar at the same time. That’s one of the most beautiful as well as fucked up irony there is in this universe. For the same part, we have compassion and empathy but for the different part you must choose how you want to live your own life, in your own way and with words like success and happiness defined in your own context.
  9. The Choice of Less:  Choose less. Less complaining. Less drama. Less bullshit. Less materialism. Less superfluous stuff. Less pretension. Less everything. The power of less goes beyond what you and I can imagine. It is beautiful what it can do for you: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Focus on less but superior. Less but efficient. Less but quality. Less but enough.
  10. The Choice of No Regret: There will be things in your life that may seem like a regret. But wear them like a scar or a badly knitted tattoo on your body, you will eventually make peace with it and in more ways than you can imagine it will make you who you have become. Dwelling on the past is boring. Each choice is a checkpoint and life is marathon so although, you don’t have to run or come first but each of the checkpoints matter if you want to finish it.

These are the 10 choices. 10 choices, I believe if we all choose, the world in totality will be such a beautiful place.

Have I mastered them all? No, not at all.

But I have chosen them and I will continue to work on them, make mistakes, learn, fall and then be what I have to be.

The key thing is to choose.

So choose.

Oh and while you’re at choosing, choose to fly.

Advertisements

On Not Being a Control Freak.

 

President_Gerald_Ford_meets_with_his_Cabinet_June_25_-_1975

 

“How would your life be different if…You stopped worrying about things you can’t control and started focusing on the things you can? Let today be the day…You free yourself from fruitless worry, seize the day and take effective action on things you can change.” 
― Steve Maraboli

I receive mails.  About how people are unhappy with parents, friends, relationships, life and some also mentioned God. And when I read those mails, there is a common pattern in most of them.

All the people, they want to control.

Control people. Control situations. Control things. Control life.

Truth? You can’t.

How often we set goals? And how often we fail?

How often we plan it all nicely and how often we realize that in all truth that the future is in all honesty completely unpredictable.

You don’t even know what will happen tomorrow and ironically, we try to control years in line.

Working in a youth organization with youth leaders gave me a tremendous experience. I have seen so many of them trying to control the people hierarchy wise below them.

How will we control people? We can hardly control our own mind. How do we think, we can control other people?

The world is chaotic and complex. And, we seek to control it on every occasion. We want to control our surroundings and people and future and situations and what not.

And that’s the root of all the misery.

We want to control, we want everything to be according to our egoistic expectations and when it turns out different, we are saddened and hurt. When people don’t behave in the way, we want them to, we get angry and whimsical.

I ask you. Why will they behave in the way you want? They’ll behave in the way they want.

Sure, you can try to understand them. Help them. Be with them. Probably, give them some words as guidance and help. Or put-forth your view too. But that’s probably the end of it.

You can’t control their thinking. You can’t control their being.

And what is this fuss about trying to control the future? We can be cautious about or be prepared but you can’t control.

How will you control a thing which doesn’t exist?

I say, let go. Let go of things, you can’t control. Let go of the desire to control. Live more freely.

Have you seen a bird? A bird flies. Most of the times without destination– it flies and sings and dances and mates and eats and prey, it does all of it. It either goes with the flow or deals with the wind, as and when it comes. It doesn’t try to control the wind, it can’t. It doesn’t try to control the other birds in the sky or the sky itself.

How can it? it sounds silly even with the thought of it.

We’re pretty much like the birds. Our culture of being overly aggressive and goal-orientated has made many of us into bots. We fix a target and start moving and we try to control everything in such a way that the outcomes remains the same.

But can we truly control?

I say let go of the need to control.

Flow with life for once. Truly live it, with all that is beauty and all that is ugly. How will you know beauty without the ugly? Accept both. Live openly. Love openly.

Drop expectations. What’s the point to it? It only makes us miserable. Let the life unfold like a beautiful book.

For once and all stop the try to control people, that leads to judging. How about just understanding and helping? Without the desire to mould them as we want, like some statue. They’re human and chaotic. That’s what makes them beautiful. Accept them as they’re.

How about letting go of ranting or feeling miserable about things you can’t control? When you come in a position to change, then change. Till then observe and understand and love. What’s the point of this futile exercise?

Plan but not way ahead. Step slowly, guided by the moment– the values of today, the passion of today and then take a step, slowly with a deep breath and a sense of belonging. Live in the moment, with the moment. Truly live.

Don’t try to change the situation. Change your reaction. Ever played a game of cards? You can’t change the cards once they’re dealt, that’s not within your control. How you play them, that’s in your control. So just play. Play for playing.

And many might not agree with it. And, that’s fine. We’re tailored in a way to look only ahead and not now. To try to control the future. To try to control every single bit.

Many will say, “Not plan for my career? What about money? What about this and what about that?” I say, plan. But plan for the moment. Not future. Plan guided by now, what you’re feeling now, what is your intuition now. Not future. Future will come when it has to, anyway.

Try this for once. Live freely. Break the chains of control. And fly like a bird and swim like fish.

Since when did bird started caring about the sky or who is flying? It doesn’t. It is in the moment, living the beauty that flying is.

A fish will just swim. It has no need to control the sea or other fish. It’ll dance and sing and swim, it’ll mate and eat. And deals with the flow as it comes.

Free yourself. Fly and swim. And sing and dance. For once, instead of trying to control everything, try merging and accepting and just flowing.

And that’ll be the most freeing thing ever.

Fly. Flow. Dance.

*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.

The Power Of Solitude.

That Indian Minimalist

 

“It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.”

– K.T. Jong

I’ll tell you a story.

Around three months ago, I was coming home from college.

My phone was switched off because of low battery.

And, it was hot afternoon and I was tired.

When I rang the bell of my home, no one opened. I waited for few minutes and I realized that no one is at home.

Ah, they must have gone out. I also realized that I don’t have the keys.

Fortunately, there was chair in the balcony.

Since I was exhausted, I settled myself over there.

And, I sat there. But there was no phone to connect with.

No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no Whatsapp, no calls.

And 5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed and I started feeling uncomfortable. Really.

We’re not used to this, you know? We’re the hyper-connected generation. We have status to share and read, we have comments to be put up, we have instagram pictures to put and heart, we have jokes to share and we have people to chat with.

And here I was sitting alone on an afternoon with no such tools at disposal.

And I felt a different fear for the first time.

It was fear of being alone. It was fear of confronting your own thoughts and guilt. Fear of really reflecting on your actions, thoughts and life.

And, I realized that I never really do this. I never actually sit down and just spend some time with myself, in solitude. I never go for walks alone and just be with my thoughts.

And, I realized why. Because, it’s scary.

It was always easier for me, the moment I was left alone to take out the mobile and distract myself.

To send Hi to random groups and people, to see photos on Instagram, to take pictures, to share a status, to read facebook updates.

It’s easier. Much easier than just sitting in solitude. To confront your fears, doubts. To confront your life and thoughts. That’ll are tough. And really they are.

This post is not a technological rant of how Social Media is destroying and all that. Maybe it is or maybe it is not. Who am I to tell? I use it as much.

No, the point here is that in this hyper-connected world, we’re ignoring the power of solitude.

To curl up with a book and a good novel, to go alone on walks, to listen to music, to sit in front of sea and beaches and just stare into the horizon.

To really go deep into our thoughts and life. To reflect on our actions. To listen to the lone voice of intuition which gets subsided in the hyper-connectivity and chaos, we prefer.

To really think.

To really reflect, a space to create, a space to think, to unwind, to refuel.

To spend time with your own, to understand your actions and to ponder over thoughts.

And contrary to belief, solitude doesn’t equal lonely. No one is asking you to renunciate everything and become a monk. No one is even asking you to pack your bags and go to Everest.

No, don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with people, I love. Family and friends. And for that even strangers.

But we need to recharge on several occasions. We need to refuel.

And to your surprise, you might just become more positive and more real and understanding in your relations with people.

How will you have a healthy relationship with people if you don’t have it with yourself?

Disconnect with technology for sometime. Shut off your computer and Internet and phone.

Trust me, nothing would happen within the time that would collapse your life.

Just use some amount of time to communicate with yourself, to be alone and in solitude.

Go for a walk. Curl up with a novel. Sit by the beach. Sit by the sea. Meditate. Listen to Music. Contemplate your actions. Think about your learnings. Write. Paint. Sing. Dance.

But be in solitude. It might be scary at first. You’ll feel the urge to pick up your phone and start typing or send hi to the first person in contact list or see photos. Or update a status.

But don’t. Resist it. Stop it. Seriously, how will you hide things from yourself? Or rather for how long?

Confront the fears. Confront the demons. Confront the guilt.

Let it out in your thoughts. Let it vent. Let it get out of the system.

Listen to yourself. Be with yourself. The most inner of your being.

Do it everyday. Even for 5 minutes but do it. Just be with yourself.

You’ll feel more positive, you’ll feel more confident about yourself.

You’ll be able to create more. The deepest of ideas and thoughts will come out.

You’ll feel positive which in-turn would improve your life and your relations with others.

Win-win situation, I would say.

Oh, continuing the story.

I almost sat outside in the balcony for 3 hours, in solitude. And, I confronted a lot of things, lot of fears. And reflected a lot.

It was scary at first. But one of the most worthwhile three hours of my life. And they’ll remain so.

And those 3 hours created one of best things I have ever done, the little blog known as That Indian Minimalist.

Who knows what you might create?

Go now. Take some time out. A cup of coffee and a novel forms a good start, if you ask me.  Also, a walk around in the night.

*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.

Beyond the Tyranny of Judging People.

people-walking-in-city

 

“I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.”
― Haruki Murakami

 

I wrote about Being Slave of Money around a month ago.

(To get the most grip of the post, it would be better if you read that post first and then continue reading this)

There I wrote about my cousin brother who is running madly behind the idea of money and is possibly leaving behind all the possible essential things behind- like relationships, being happy, being content or just living. And how is miserable. And cocky. And arrogant.

That was a month ago.

And after following the concept of Minimalism for almost another month and after failing in keeping up with it many times  or so, I realized that I was wrong.

Wrong not in the idea of that post, wrong not in the intention behind the post, wrong not behind the thought of the post. I still believe that no-one should blindly run behind money.

But I was wrong because I judged. 

Is judging itself bad? No, not really. But it is definitely a symptom of something that can be harmful.

I am saying ‘harmful’ and not ‘bad’, because rather than judging it to be good or bad, I prefer to observe it.

I realized that I am very ignorant of my brother is going through.

I realized that in a way I am stating that I am superior to him which I am not, I am being extremely self-centric.

I realized that I don’t understand the situation completely. I never can because I am not him.

I also realized that I am setting expectations from people. Unrealistic expectations.

I am not being curious as to why the other person is behaving the way he is, I am just judging him and dismissing him.

Also, I realized that I am not really helping him. And, I cannot help him too because I have already judged and dismissed him.

And I am kind of frustrated and unhappy with the way the other person is behaved.

It also affected the relationship with him because once you judge, you generally see the person in only that light.

I am unable to help, unable to take what the other person has to offer to me as a person. Among many such other harms.

And now, just replace my example with the countless time you’ve done the same with some other person. Fill it with spouse, lover, brother, parents, friends, strangers. Anyone.

You’ll notice the same pattern, mostly.

The question emerges-

How do you let go of Judging people?

The first thing to do will to be aware of that you’re judging.

Just be aware that you’re doing it.

Don’t judge yourself for it, don’t get angry on yourself.

Just know that you’re doing, that you’re judging.

That you’re indulging in an activity which is harmful, for others and for you.

This takes practice. This takes extra awareness. To know that you’re judging. To see it as a flag of something harmful.

There are symptoms which will tell you that you’re judging- if you’re complaining about someone, gossiping about them, dismissing them as a person.

Identify the symbols and know you’re judging. Recognize them.

After recognizing, try to understand why you judged in first place. Why? Be curious. Ask questions like-

How much do I know about the person?

Can you guess what other person is really going through?

Are you setting an expectation which is unrealistic?

Can you fit in other person’s shoes?

Can you imagine a time when you went through similar times?

Ask these questions.

Then ask yourself: How can I help?

At many times, people need someone to listen, someone who accepts them without judging.

Someone who can sit beside them and look in their eyes and talk with them. And appreciate them for who they’re.

Sometimes, they need more: advice, guide or a hug.

But I’ve realized something that you can’t help them from the place of judgement. It is only when you accept them. Appreciate them. Be empathetic towards them can you really help them. Be curious about them. Not before.

I realized that I’ve judged my brother soon.

I went to meet him one day and talked with him.

It took him a while to open up as himself.

But he did and he told me things.

Things like how he recently had a break up, things like how he has a will to support his parents, things like how he is tired of being obese and not having true friends. Things like how he goes to parties just so that he find some people who will accept him.

I just listened. Intently, curiously and with empathy.

And after days, I saw him happy.

As it turned out, all he needed was someone to listen and appreciate for who is and what he is.

And I felt happier in the process.  

Try it next time. You’ll change lives.

Not only of others but of your own. 

Other Awesome Reads-

A Simple Method to Avoid Being Judgemental– Zen Habits

 

*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- 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

*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- 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

*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 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/

*That Indian Minimalist crossed more than 100 readers few days back, I really feel inspired by this. Thank you and keep reading, sharing and commenting.

*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 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.

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.