Minimalism- The Trap Of Security.

Minimalism and India, Minimalist, that indian minimalist, security, illusion

“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom. ” 
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

I left a course I was pursuing months back.

It was not something, I found interest in. Not something I had a heart for. Not something, I could do for life.

It was a hard decision to quit though and often met with judgements and lots of criticism and questions, till date.

I realized soon enough on why I was sticking to it.

It gave me a false sense of security. I felt secured. I could answer very proudly if someone asked me about my life.

I could wear masks and go on with my life without ever admitting that I really don’t like what I am doing.

But, the place was secured. Known to me. Known to my brain. I was acquainted to the misery. It was my friend. I made my peace with the unhappiness and over-time turned it into a shadow.

I got mails where people tell me they are unhappy with their lives, their jobs, their relationships– basically everything.

Simple question, I ask them and I ask you,  “What stops you from moving ahead? What stops you from moving forward?”

It is that sense of security. That false sense of security. That fear of losing the cover.

That is stopping you.

That is putting you in misery.

That is stopping you from blooming.

I say bloom. I say step out of the comfort. I say let life unfold.

What’s the point of sticking to misery when you can fly?

Why are you not flying?

Ask yourself.

Why are you still in that relationship which is making your life miserable?

Why are you still in the job you detest?

Why are you still studying something you hate?

What purpose does it serve?

I am not saying to be irrational and take decisions. I am saying a simple thing which is that security is an illusion.

How can you be secure in life?

What security you talk about?

For what purpose? Why? We wear masks and say yourself everyday that we’re secured. And, we make friends with misery. Make friends with unhappiness. And we keep dragging ourself till the end. Still in the illusion of security.

There is no security. We’re too depended on so many countless known and unknown factors to be secured.

Snap out of it. Freedom cannot go with the illusion that security is.

Stop being friends with misery just because it is known.

Come out, be more than that. What are you doing?

We both know you’re so beautiful. We both know you have so much potential. We both you’ve survived so much and have grown so strong. You are listening?

Break that relation. You say, you see security. But what about misery? What about unhappiness? What about dependency? What about freedom? Come out, you.  Be more. Since when you need other person to be happy? Be love.

Leave that job, you hate. Not instantly, plan and figure out. But know that, false sense of security is no reason to let go of dreams. Yes, we need money. To live. To eat. To survive. So okay, do that but at-least cultivate passion. Be love. Someday, you’ll come out it. I promise. But, accept it first. What security you talk about?

Step right out the comfort. Give yourself time. What’s the hurry? Let your being rejuvenate and figure out what it wishes.

As for the security, that will remain an illusion. Don’t let yourself fall for that. Go and dare. What will people say? They say many things. They’ll say one more thing. The important question, what will you answer yourself at the end of your life? Have you given it a thought?

Prison is a prison. Decorate it with colours and flowers and watch television with popcorn, it’ll still remain a prison.

And you may not agree but I say this, be insecure. Let yourself be insecure. Let yourself be searching and seeking and finding and loving. You ought to be insecure, how else will they know about your throbbing heart? Your mind will decay with all the security. Let it grow. Don’t make it stagnant.

Are we so dead? No, live. Live with the pain and suffering. And all that is beautiful and ugly. Just live. I promise, it is good.

Do whatever. Take that trip. Leave that course. Fall in love. Leave that job. Paint and sing. Dance and write. Draw and love. Do whatever. But do it. Don’t get into the dogma of security. For fuck’s sake, stand from the rut. Move that body. And create. See the universe? It’s so gorgeous. Go out and serenade it with your love.

Next time someone says, you’re insecure. Say you’re. We’ll are. Who’s not I ask you that? What’s this mask of security everybody wants to wear?

As for security, leave that for those who’re in grave. They earned that after a meaningful life.

As for you.

You go and fucking fly. And live. And breathe. And dance. And sing.

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Living Without the Mask.

Masked people that Indian Minimalist

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.” 
― Jim Morrison

I met a friend recently.

She left a text saying that she really wanted to talk.

We got to talking and soon she told me about how she is not really happy with the way, her life is going.

She is not liking it and she doesn’t feel the ownership of her life.

If it was me probably 3 months back, I would’ve judged and told her a rant of how people are like this and that.

But no, I don’t do that any longer. At least, I try not to.

So, I just listened.

And, I could get what she said. I could connect.

Because, I remember facing the same. And, there was a common problem over here.

Living with Masks.

Living in Indian Society, or for that matter any society, is tough.

You’ve countless opinions, suggestions, views bombarded on you, almost every minute.

Countless theories on what works and what doesn’t.  On what is right and what is wrong.

I remember being told so many things at so many times by so many people.

It is tremendously overwhelming.

Easy solution?

What I did and sometimes, to a fault, still do.

Wear a mask.

Feeling sad but don’t want to show? There’s a happy-go-lucky mask for that.

People tell that strong people don’t cry? There’s a Strong faced mask for that.

People don’t like something about me? There’s a pretension mask for that.

Look inside you. There are masks all over the place. Thousands of them, countless of them.

For each time, we got scared.

For each time, we were afraid.

For each time, we feared what people would say.

For each time, we wanted to follow the unconventional path.

For each and every time to replace a genuine emotion.

We took some mask, wore it and hide the real us.

I have been doing it since the longest time.

It’s easy and it helps us to hide amongst the crowd of thousands other people who wear masks everyday and go on with their life.

And the effect is that mask gets embedded so deeply within, you start taking it as your own self. The real you.

But that’s not the real you. It’s not. Your mind knows it, your soul knows it and somewhere deep down you do too.

So the important question comes out: how long and far can you pretend?

You can probably wear the mask in front of me and fool me. Probably fool your family, friends. Even probably fool the entire society.

Can you fool yourself?

I urge you to live without the mask.

Yes, it is a more vulnerable way of living. Yes, it is scary at first. Yes, it is stepping into unknown. And yes, chances are people will get uncomfortable because genuine emotions generally rattle those who wear masks.

But, you know what? It will be OK.

Be your real self.

If you’re sad, you’re sad. Acknowledging it will probably help you identify the root cause and work on it.

If you’re happy, you’re happy. Acknowledge it. Ravel in the joy. Amplify it and share it.

If you don’t like something, tell it. Be honest. Be genuine. Yes, don’t condescend or judge or look down or insult. But be honest. You don’t need to lie to yourself and the other person.

It is OK to have a different opinion. It is OK to have different personality. And it is OK to do something which certain section of people don’t approve.

Unless you’re not harming the interest of other people, you’re good to go.

You don’t need people’s approval for everything. You don’t.They might talk. Let them. They’ll anyway.

Who are you living for? Be genuine to your core. To your being.

It is OK to be miserable sometimes.

It is OK to not agree with most people agree with.

It is OK to not follow what majority feels should be followed.

Don’t put a mask. Don’t hide your real self. You’re beautiful, why would you do such a thing? Yes, probably you’re flawed. And probably, you’ve done mistakes.

But who hasn’t?

We’ll are flawed. We’ll are imperfect. That’s how you identify a human.

Be your real self. And wear that.

Keep learning. Admit your failings. Take a stand. Apologize if it is a wrong stand. Make mistakes. Grow out of your comfort zone. Accept your flaws. Be kind. Be compassionate. Don’t judge. Elevate people. Help people. Love people. Take the course you always wanted do. Quit the job if you hate it. Take that vacation. Write that book. Paint that masterpiece.Tell someone what you always wanted to. Be genuine. Be real. Be confident. Be love.

Let the individual that you’re shine. And shine gloriously.

Live without the mask.

Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it is a bit tough.

But it is worth it.

Continuing the story.

We talked a lot that day. And, it seemed that she genuinely wants to be her real self. To grow out of the masks. To come out of what would people say syndrome.

And, we made a rough sketch for her. A timeline, a sort of plan. Something through which she can shed the masks.

And, I learnt a lot too.

Probably, I still have scope of being more genuine and more real.

I’ll keep working on it.

And for you, next time when someone asks you that how are you or how have you been.

Answer it more genuinely than a fine.

Tell them, how you really are feeling.

Get fucking out of the standard mask templates of “I am doing fine”

Go now. Be awesome.

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“You Will Remain Incomplete Until..”

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“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes. working jobs we hate, so we can buy shit we don’t need.” 
― Chuck Palahniuk

 

Look around.

No just look.

Look on the internet, on the Television screen, in books, in papers, outside on road.

Look in the mirror.

You know what is common in everything?

Advertisements.

Brands and logos and taglines and fancy typography and jazzy arts.

Look at those fancy audio ads and visual ads on TV or the big billboard outside your house or in the ad box in newspaper.

You know what are they saying?

You know what every advertisement is saying?

They are saying- “You will remain incomplete until..”

Now fill in the blank with the product name.

You’ll remain incomplete until you’ve this phone.

You’ll remain incomplete until you wear this brand.

You’ll remain incomplete until you use this thing.

You’ll remain unhappy until you use this cream.

They even go to the lengths of telling that you are incomplete until you don’t wear a specific brand of inner-wear.

That’s not what I believe. That’s what advertisers would like you to believe.

That you’re incomplete.

So what’s the solution to this?

Obviously, buying the product and feeling complete, feeling adequate.

That’s what we do, right?

We got out and buy the product. And feel ‘complete’ for a while. Then a new products come along and again we’re showed how we’re still incomplete. Then, we want that product. And this cycle never ends. Never.

We let the stuff define us. And advertisers love it.

Only problem- consumption is an unquenchable thirst. Really, we all have been through this. Haven’t we?

We always want more. We keep on creating desires for more stuff. We keep on feeling inferior or superior to other people on the basis of who owns what.

We keep on feeling ‘incomplete’.

These advertisers will always be there. And so will their tricks.

And they’ll always want you to believe that you’re incomplete, that you’re inadequate, that somehow owning their product will fulfil you.

But, can I tell you something?

You’re already complete.

You’re already adequate.

Realize that you’re already perfect.

You don’t need stuff to know your worth. You don’t need brand’s approval to know that you’re a good human.

Your stuff don’t define who you’re. You actions will, your kindness will, how you’re as a person that’ll but not your stuff.

Never your stuff.

Unless you allow your stuff to define you, they can’t and they won’t.

It is you.

It has always been you.

You- the person.

You- the human.

You- the individual.

Let yourself be defined by your actions, by your growth, by your kindness and compassion, by your will to learn.

And, when you do, you feel complete in real sense.

You’re not stuff. You’re not cars and brands. You’re not creams and sunscreens. You’re not mobiles and PSPs.

Stuff doesn’t make you happy. Not long term, for sure.

Never did, never will.

You make you happy.

Go now and be more.

Fly, fucking fly.

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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

 

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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 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.

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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

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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?

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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?

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