Minimalism Is Not Deprivation

“You shouldn’t deprive yourself at such a young age,” she told me as I narrated her the story of why I wear the same set of clothes every week, since 3 years now.

This is not the first time someone felt I am depriving myself when they hear about minimalism — about how I seldom shop or the fact that I don’t own much. They shake their head in disbelief when I mention my disinterest in purchasing. By now, some people think I am crazy — how can someone not want a luxurious car or a bungalow with lifts inside it?

But I understand how lines can blur — how minimalism can be confused with asceticism. How me not buying excess can be confused with me wanting to live near some holy river in utter poverty.

To clear it up here’s my attempt to explain it through weird images I created on Powerpoint.

Text describing minimalism

What we think it is.

Slide2.JPG

What it really is.

I often get asked about how to distinguish between minimalism and deprivation. If something adds value to your life, then keep it. Don’t throw it away and then take pride in being a minimalist.

Minimalism is not about how less you own: I find all the noise about owning the least dangerous. It defeats the point of minimalism. I have read ample blogs about people travelling with 33 items and 147 items — I don’t have anything against that lifestyle, but remember — it works for THEM. It’s okay if it doesn’t work for you. No-one will dethrone your minimalist title if you own 500 items.

[Side note: There’s no such thing as a minimalist title — it’s not a one-time thing. Minimalism is alive — the process lasts as long as you do.]

I have more books than anyone else I know. Yes, I can buy a Kindle and get rid of all the physical books. But I love reading paperbacks — the crispness of the paper, the smell, the experience of turning the last page, and just looking out the window while holding a closed book. I get immense value out of my collection.

Book collection of That Indian Minimalist

Deprivation would be my throwing them away for the sake of minimalism. I could throw them away and write a blog about how I own 27 items. I could count my stuff and flaunt the numbers — but that’s not minimalism.

At the same time, I also own fewer clothes — so much so that people close to me remember every colour of my wardrobe. Is that deprivation? No. The number is more than enough for me, and I don’t get any value out of fashion. 

So, when you decide to be minimalist: don’t think about depriving yourself in any way. Think about what is essential for you and what is excess.

If you are amongst those who believe minimalism is deprivation — it’s not. On the contrary, it’s about how to maximise value by focusing on things that matter. 

One time, a person asked me how am I minimalist if I am not bald.

I do have long hair: I guess that disqualifies me from being a minimalist.

Too bad.

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12 Signs you’re doing life right. (Even if you feel otherwise)

The question, which often people ask me in quite indirect manner and sometimes blatantly direct manner, generally sums itself up in the insecurities we have with our life. We want someone to tell us that we’re doing fine in life and most importantly that we will do fine with life, in future.

But alas, there are no fix answers or patterns or a guided tour of a ‘good’ life. Insecurity will stay, whether you like it or not. And if you ask me personally, it should. (Hint: Read why here)

The good part however is that there are signs, which if nothing else, they tell you that you’re doing life right. And you may ask right in what sense and you should.

Right in the sense of the path, the journey. Right in the sense of the essence of living in now. Right in the sense of knowing oneself and the world around better. Right in the sense to continue to learn new things each day, to evolve, to grow.

I often feel doubt about where I am going in life, who knows? There is a gripping fear– one that throbs hard, making you feel alive. Do you feel that as well? In such a time, you need signs and gentle reminders– a reminder that it was never meant to be competition in first place and you’re doing life right.

Here are the 12 signs that means you’re doing life right (even if you feel you’re not and more importantly, even if others feel you’re not):

  1.  You believe and walk your own path. You just don’t do something because everyone is doing. You don’t do something because it is safe and secure. You do something because you believe in it. And it might be unconventional. It might be different from everyone else. But you like your path anyway, because it resonates with what you love and more importantly with who you’re.
  2. You work through your fears everyday. You know your fears and more importantly, you understand your fears. You don’t loathe yourself for it, you don’t try to cover it up, hide it, use defense mechanisms but genuinely try to uncover them, see them and then work through them. And this you know is a continuous process.
  3. You can see through the games that your ego plays. The raw ego or nature of  it to make itself the center of universe and then see everything from the shades of arrogance and hear things from the ears of narcissism is there in everyone. One doesn’t have to loathe its nature. Just understand it, recognize it when it happens, be aware of its presence.
  4. You can empathize. You can understand the pains of others, even put yourself in their shoes and try to see how it feels. You realize through this that almost every single individual is fighting a battle, maybe the intensities differ but nonetheless, a battle. Making you even more empathetic, genuine and real.
  5. You try your best to avoid judging. You know, you judge. You’ve been conditioned that way and you don’t deny the fact. But you try your best to not judge. You recognize instantly the moment when you are judging and then try to understand why exactly, you’re doing it. And go beyond it. You try to understand people, even when they don’t want to understand themselves. You take that extra effort. And it pays off, every single time.
  6. You don’t buy to impress or impress to buy. You buy only what you need. You buy only when you need it. You don’t tie your self-worth to how much money you have or how much things you possess. You know and understand the nature of trying to impress others and how futile it is and you go beyond it. You don’t grade people on basis of how big their car is or how big their houses are or what brand they wear. You see beyond these things.
  7. You create value. In some way, you’re creating value for others and yourself. Either by working, creating something, by volunteering, by writing, painting, listening, singing, dancing or just being there. You’re creating value. There is the incidence of value maximization. And, you always strive harder to create value for others and for yourself.
  8. You are honest to yourself and others. In this world full of masks and pretentious, you have dared to be honest with yourself and others. And chances are that people might not like you because of that, they might even stop talking to you. But that’s fine. Pretension has never gotten anyone too far, anyway.
  9. You can listen. Not hearing. Listening. A person can actually sit with you and talk to you about everything and anything and you can listen, without the need to respond, to show your opinion, to fight back or even say a word but just listen to the person intently. The ability to truly listen is rare. And one who does it in its essence generally stands out everywhere.
  10. You don’t have a gripping need of validation. You don’t need others to validate you. You know yourself. You even accept criticisms and allow suggestion but you don’t roam around seeking validation from people. You have the curiosity at the same time, you can be content with who you’re and what you’re.
  11. You know and accept that you’re responsible for everything that happens in your life. You go beyond the blame game. You accept that your actions have led to whatever has happened. Sure, there are external factors involved. But in the essence, it is a choice. And you can accept that and let go of the past, moving on and always working on yourself.
  12. You give a damn. You give lots of damn. You see things beyond yourself. You connect with people in the community. You recognize their problems, you relate to them. You relate to the people. And in whatever capacity, you try your best to create value for them. To help them, to be with them. Not only community but for the people around you. Everyone. You give a damn. You care.

What are these in essence is just a rough guide. You don’t necessarily have to tick of everything, you don’t even have to tick off one and you can create your own signs list (which I would love to read), the point is to recognize signs.

Believe that, you’re doing life right. Believe. And fly. Fly the hell out.

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Coffee Conversations- What To Do With Life?

Minimalism and India, Minimalism, minimalist, India, stairs, life, black and white

It is that time of the year again. People are graduating from universities, from high-school, from secondary school.

Also, it is probably the time where we all are insecure– dreading the new at the same time excited as to what is going to happen.

I received this mail lately from a fresh high-school passed asking how to figure out life.  He writes:

“I got done with high school and in the coming fall, I’ll be joining a under-graduate course at some university where I got admission in. But what to do with life? I don’t know what I’ll be doing or whether or not I’ll like the course or what? I may sound stupid and confused but I want to know what to do with life? Can you help me out? Like, I know you yourself are just 19 and most likely not a graduate yet but can you help me out with some advises or observation or experiences or anything of that sort? Would wait for a reply! Thank you.”

And, that’s a tough cookie. I wish I could say that I have it all figured out or that I can guide you exactly on what to do but I can’t.

What I can do though is tell what I’ve learned till now from experiencing life, from asking people and from observing.

Here’s what I would say.

We can’t figure out the future. Really. We can’t. We can obviously draw a pretty plan on paper and in our mind and that’s good but always be prepared that those plans might not work in the exact way you expected that to.

I see people around me being so rigid with all their plans and then becoming sad and depressed when the plan doesn’t work. Look around, things change in such a drastic manner. Everyday, every hour, every minute.

So what to do when you can’t figure out the future? Be in the present. Do what you can do now. Do something. Build skills. Volunteer. Create things. Travel. Seek opportunities. Make real relations. These things help in any sort of future.

Learn to be OK with Insecurity. You will go through a lot of times where you will be insecure and uncertain. You won’t know what to do ahead. At times, you will be broke, both from pocket and heart.

You will be wanting to do something you love. But you will too insecure to take that step. To start that business, to write that book, to fall in love, to travel, to leave that job. When you do any of this, you’re generally entering in the sphere of insecurity, initially.

To see how amazing any of these really are, you will need to be OK with the feeling of insecurity. Read more about Insecurity here.

Be OK with being different. You might have passion for something which is not mainstream. You might have love for something which is different from people usually do. And that’s fine. It is OK to be different and follow the unconventional path.

As long as you’re happy, you’re good to go. People might talk and disagree over your choice  but if you really feel for that career or that job or that stream. Go for it.  It doesn’t matter what the thing is or what people say. It is completely al-right to be different.

Build real relations. You want to build real relations. Real, genuine relations based on trust and a feeling of care  and love. Few such relations are enough, but have them.

You will want this people to be with you more than anything else when the tough time arrives. These people will help you sail finely. Be the life of the party but have a home to go once the party is over.

Focus on creating value. Whatever maybe your line of career, whatever maybe your stream. Focus on this. This is the single most crucial thing. This is why people will confide in you, this is why people will buy from you and this is why people will hire you– because you can create value.

So go out and create value. In the job you do, in the things you do, for the people you work and meet. Create value for them.

Build something from scratch. It can be anything. Create a blog, write a book, create YouTube videos, start a business, sketch, draw or paint. Anything. But build something. Most people will fritter their time watching television, sports, on social media. Don’t do that.

Build something. After a year, have something to show. A blog, a book, a video series, some paintings, a new business, some events you did. This is the most effective way to build skills. To create something from the scratch. It will grow with time and so will you.

Learn to embrace discomfort. Get out of your comfort zone and do something. Start small. Not something too sudden or big. But do it. Scared to talk to new people? Go to park and talk to 5 new people. Scared to write a book? Start with a journal.

Don’t get scared by the discomfort. Don’t run away the moment, it gets outside your comfort zone. If you do that, you will never grow.  You will be stagnant. So get OK with discomfort. It is a part of life and a crucial part at that, learn to embrace it. And grow out of it. It will teach you immensely.

Become a trustworthy person. You’ve to work with people your entire life. You have to live with people your entire life. You’ve to become trustworthy. Someone people can confide, can share with, can trust in.

Build a reputation. Create your personal brand. What are you known for? Have you ever given it a thought? People like working with and for people whom they can trust, someone who has a reputation of being trustworthy, of being good. Are you that? Become a trustworthy person.

Jack of all and master of one. Have skills and not just one. You can write? That’s awesome. What about public speaking? You can design? That’s brilliant. What about coding? The idea is to have the willingness to diversify your skills.

In these times, you can hardly depend on one thing. To achieve the most, diversify yourself. But be known for one thing. Something which many if not all believe that you’re extraordinary at. Identify that. Build that. Right from now.

Read books. Watch videos. Take courses. Seek a mentor. Keep learning. Never stop.

Understand your mind and how you think. Probably, the most important point of all. Each day make efforts to know how you think and how your mind works. How you feel, why you feel, what you feel. Everything. On what basis, does your mind identify right and wrong, why it identifies so.

Know how your mind works. And know why you do what you do, why you say what you say, why you think what you think and why you are what you are.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities. If you’re doing all this, chances are so many opportunities will present them in front of you. It can be anything from writing a book to starting a new business to collaborating with someone. The point is are your eyes open?

Keep looking for opportunities in every sphere. Remember, you’re way ahead of the game. So keep looking. If still you don’t find any. Create one.

Finally: The point of all this is that you can’t find what to do with life. For the simple fact that, you can’t determine what you’ll do in future, what you’ll become in future, what your passion will be, what your opportunities will be and how the world will be like.

But you do know that if you’re prepared, you can do anything. Achieve anything. Be anything. In any sort of future.

I dare you to be awesome.

Fly, you. Fucking fly.

*If you want to discuss anything. I will love to respond to it. Through mail or blog. You can mail me at hardik94nagar@gmail.com or send me a message over twitter.

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20 Things I am glad I know before turning 20.

I’ll be turning 20 in a month or so.

And life till now has been beautiful even though chances are that I have not seen half of the things, life has to offer. It is still beautiful.

I have failed– a lot. I can’t even remember all the times, I have failed. In life, in organizations I work, in relationships– everywhere.

But all the failures left lessons. All the people who were in my life or are in my life, left a lesson. And it has been beautiful.

Probably, as a pre-birthday thing or as a new series named– “List It Down”, here are 20 things I am glad, I know before turning 20:

  1. Everyone won’t like you. And that’s OK. You’ll always have people who don’t like you. There will always be people who will apparently hate you. There will always be people who don’t even like standing near you.  For no rhyme or reason. And you know what? That’s OK. You can’t connect with everyone.  So let this go deep into your soul and agree with it. Not everyone will like you. And that’s OK.
  2. You’re not your job. Or degrees. Or your cars. Or your mansions. Or your stuff. You’re not these things.  You’re probably how you love and how you care. How you’re humble and how you treat people living in worse condition than you. You’re what you feel, what you think you feel and what you’ll feel. You’re how you behave when everyone is shouting. You’re all these. Keep this in mind. You’re your passion and how you live.
  3. You’ll go through unimaginable pain and trauma and you’ll think you’ll never come out of it. But guess what? You’ll and it’ll be OK. I know, I have had moments where I completely broke down, cried, shouted my lungs out and thought that I’ll never come out of it. But, I have. Yes, the scars are there. Yes, it still hurts sometime. But, it has made me stronger. And, I know more are yet to come. But, I know I’ll come out of it and all will be OK.
  4. The world outside is cruel and sick.  It is true. The economy is at all times low, the society structure is being desecrated, people are fighting and killing in names of so many things. Empathy is at all times low and egoism is what drives half of us. Accept it. You know why? Because ranting doesn’t solve issues. So go out and change things in however small way, you can. Trust yourself. You’re the hope, this world has. Don’t give up on it, as yet. Love more, trash less.
  5. Take responsibility of every action of yours. You’ll fuck up so many times, you’ve no idea. You’ll hurt others, you’ll impact lives negatively and you’ll have to make it straight. Accept it and work towards it. Also, you’ll impact lives positively and you’ll have to defend yourself so many times. No one else will do it for you. So, accept when you fuck up but don’t let anyone ride over you. Find the fucking balance.
  6. People will tell you’re a crazy loser and will do everything they can to bring you down. This will happen. Some people only remain by your side as far as, they feel comfortable. As soon as you do something they’re not comfortable with or you try to do something they never thought you’ll, they’ll call you crazy. They’ll call you fucked up. They’ll call you thousand other things. But if you believe yourself, if you know what you’re doing. Keep at it. Don’t listen to them. Weed them out.
  7. Forgiving and letting go are crucial, if you want to be at peace. Really forgive, move on and let go. Many people have done me wrong, I have cried because of them and my entire life got upside-down because of them. And, I have kept hating them. Seeking revenge and whatever. But it is worthless. And will destroy you. Nothing is as liberating and freeing as forgiving and letting go. And they don’t have to ask your forgiveness. Just give it to them. And fucking LET GO.
  8. Never fuck with people who genuinely love you. Really. Please don’t. You know who I am talking about. The people who are always beside you, your best friends, your family, your lover– whoever it maybe. Never and I say NEVER, fuck with those who genuinely care about you and your being. Be with them, support them and love them. They’re truly precious and one of a kind.
  9. Go easy on the need to get validated. It is very tempting, I know. I have been there. With all the social media tools available now, it has become easier than ever to get validation from people. Likes, hearts and mentions. Go easy on them. Never, ever give someone or something that much control that it can easily impact your mood. Remember if good comments make you jump, what will bad comments do to you? Go easy. It is good to get praised. But don’t over-do. Find a fucking balance.
  10. Go easy on the Ego and “I” syndrome. A lot was achieved before you and a lot will be achieved after you. So go slow on the egoistic and ‘Holier-Than-Thou’ attitude. Yes, you might be smarter than everyone. Yes, you might be witty and funny and Bill Gates. But it doesn’t matter. Be humble. You’ll learn more. You’ll appreciate more. And you won’t be a jerk.
  11. Never beat yourself up. Never. You might be in the thick of the world’s most fucked up problem, but never hate yourself. Or say, you’re not worth it or you deserved it. It is not other’s duty to love you, it is yours. So trust yourself. You’ll come out of the rut. You’ll be OK. But, never not for one second, hate yourself. That is the worst thing you can do to yourself.
  12. You’ll make mistakes. More mistakes than you think, you’ll and that’s good. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re stagnant and not moving froward. Make mistakes. Make more mistakes and accept each and learn from each of them. Really. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. I know, I was initially so afraid. Still am, somewhat. But it is absolutely gorgeous to witness the change in you after a mistake. Just remember the golden rule– Never, ever repeat the same mistake.
  13. People will talk. A lot. More about you than with you. So accept it and move on. Really. People talked when I left the course I was doing. People talked when I devoted my time to a voluntary organization and people again talked when I started this blog. So, it’s OK. Don’t fear their talks. Do what you want to, with love and passion. They’ll talk. So never fear what people will say. They have said a lot of things and they’ll say some more. Don’t let it stop, you. Go and be awesome.
  14. It’s OK to let some people go. There will be some people in your life and their thinking and your thinking will never match. They’ll always do the work of pulling you down, telling you how you suck and are good for nothing or you just can’t connect with them and feel negative. And, it is completely OK to let go of such people. Just let them go. Not with hate or revenge. With forgiveness and a feeling of moving on. It’s OK. Not everyone is meant to stay.
  15. Don’t fear change and let go of the need to control. In the initial phase of my life, I was always sad or irritated because things never went as I thought they would. And too much was changing too quickly. And, I tried resisting it. That was worthless. Change will happen, you want or no. And people will change and do as per their wish, not yours. You can just decide, how you’ll react to the change. Let go of this need. You’ll be happier. Much happier.
  16. Find what you love. Do what you love. Life is too short. I can’t stress on this one enough. Life is short, like really short. There is no point of doing something you detest. You’ll die with all the regrets of the world. And that’s not a very healthy process. I know, there are so many factors. But always be on search of something you love. Do it part-time, do it after office, do it before. But never let it go. Hold it tight. And follow it in whatever capacity. But do follow. And never stop searching.
  17. Be selfish but at the same time lookout for the people in need. People have either told me to be selfish or be completely devoted to community. I say don’t do either. Find a fucking balance. Be selfish. Learn new things, explore and put your happiness ahead because you can’t do anything for anyone until you’re happy yourself. But lookout for the needy, the community problems– Poverty, education, hunger. And do something for them in whatever capacity. You’ll feel fulfilled. I promise.
  18. Learn to Listen. That’s the single-most crucial and best quality to have.  And when I say, listen. I mean really listen, not with the intention to reply, not with the context to what it means to you. But just listen, with the intent to listen.  This will mean considering everyone as equal, everyone as only one thing, without judgement– Humans. Learn to listen to others. Learn to listen to yourself. Empathy cannot exist without that. That deep listening skills. To feel every word. That type of listening.
  19. Always be curious enough and willing enough to learn. And never stop. There are so many things we don’t know. And chances are there will always remain things, we’ll never know. But be curious and willing to learn new things. Be willing to make a difference. Be willing to take on new adventures and see life as it really. That is what will keep you going. And probably, that is how wisdom comes into being. Be willing to love. Be willing to learn.
  20. You are fucking awesome and you are valuable in yourself. Don’t let anyone say otherwise. There will be people in your life, who will make you question your value, your worth. And they’ll come, if they haven’t yet. At that time, always remember, your being human is valuable in itself. And whatever happens. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Ever.

That’s it, I guess.

What are some of the lessons you think should make a part of this list?

 

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*Part of Daily post challenge.

 

 

Coffee Conversations- Nothing to do with you.

 

*If you’re new to Coffee Conversations, check out the introduction and first post of this series over here

I received this mail around a week ago:

“Hey, Hardik! I am 24-year-old girl living in Dayton, Ohio and I love reading your writing. They really inspire me! I wanted to have a conversation with you about how one can still be compassionate and kind in a scenario where the other person is shouting and is extremely angry and is criticizing you. I try hard but more often than not, I end up shouting and getting angry as well which really makes the scenes worse than they already are. What do you in a similar situation? Waiting for a reply! Thank you.”

This one is a tough cookie, eh?

We all often advice and are advised to be calm during a fight or an argument or a scenario which is getting unnecessarily heated up. But more often than not, we give and start shouting and howling ourselves which in all honesty makes the scenes worse than they already were.

I am working with a youth organization since years and when you do work with people with varied interests, there are bound to occur differences in opinions and I can remember so many occasions where situation could have been handled in a much better way than it was.

Also, when it comes to my parents, I believe that things would have been better with them, if instead of arguing rashly and fighting, I could have just been calm and patience in the situation.

So, yes. This is the arena where I myself have faltered a lot.

But, I am growing out of it. I am learning.

And for that, I follow one philosophy, one thing which helps me to stay calm and handle the situation in a so much better manner.

Whenever a situation gets worse– where people are blaming me, shouting or getting angry or all in all behaving in an extremely horrid manner, I deal with as if it has nothing to do with me.

Yes, that’s the key. And it has truth to it.

Let me give you an example:

Imagine XYZ is your boss. He comes to the office and started behaving rudely to you. He shouts on you, argues with you, throws files on your table and tells you lot of things. What is the general reaction? You’ll probably want to rip his head, which is fair. But think about it does it have anything to do with you? Most likely not. He must be having a bad day. Probably fought with his wife or lost some money in share-market or something of that sort.

You’re just the trigger. So if it has nothing to do with you, why you want to get into an aggressive mode?

You can be calm and compassionate and try to understand the entire situation. I am not saying that let him treat you badly. But you definitely also don’t want to start howling that would just make the things worse.

So be calm, think peacefully, form a proper statement to give him, probably ask him if everything is OKAY or not. Chances are he’ll cool down.

Whenever I travel in Local Trains, I see so many people shouting on each other and howling and abusing, all on a stranger. They’re just venting it out. It has nothing to do with the person. He was just a trigger.

This applies to almost all cases.

Even when it is directly related to you, it is not you.

It is generally the expectations.

So when people see that or feel that, you haven’t fulfilled their expectations, they go nuts and start shouting and howling. I am not saying, they’re wrong or something. But the fact is, it has nothing to do with you. It is do with them and their expectations.

So why are you taking it personally and losing your cool?

There will be cases where you know you aren’t at fault and there will be cases where you know you are wrong.

Deal both with compassion and kindness and sense of calmness.

Know that the opposite person’s screaming and losing the temper has nothing to do with you.

You, in most cases, act as a trigger.

So don’t lost your calm. Don’t lose your cool. Handle the situation with compassion and ease. With a cool mind. Apologize where necessary and be firm on your point in a calm manner when you feel you’re right.

But don’t get angry. Or abuse. Or howl. Or throw things. Or beat people down.

That is futile. It just worsens the situation and chances are you’ll regret it later.

Deal with such situations as if you’re an outsider. And in all honesty, you’re an outsider.

It has to with them. Their anxiety, their problems, their life. So deal with compassion, deal with niceness, deal with calmness.

And always remember, It has nothing to do with you.

*If you want to discuss anything. I will love to respond to it. Through mail or blog. You can mail me at hardik94nagar@gmail.com or send me a message over twitter.

* Before posting anything, ThatIndianMinimalist always takes prior permission from the person.

*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.

Coffee Conversations- Love moves on as well.

 

Coffee Conversation- That Indian Minimalist.
I am blessed. No really.

It has been beautiful almost 4 months of this blog. I started it with an aim to create value. And, I am glad that on so many levels, it is doing exactly that.

I have been receiving mails lately of how the blog is creating impact in people’s life. And, I am overwhelmed and humbled by it.

But the best part is that, I have also been receiving queries and doubts where people want to have a conversation about their life with me. And, I absolutely love it.

However, sometimes I know the question they’ve asked is something which many people face trouble with.

And from now on, whenever I come across such a question, it’ll be formed under the new series– Coffee Conversations.

Why this name? For two reasons.

One that I believe that I am having a conversation. As how friends will. Not a therapy session. Not a consulting session. But a friend conversing with another.

Two that I love coffee and I always prefer writing with a cup of it.

I received this question the past week:

“Hey, Hardik. I read your post on letting go of shitty relationships. It indeed did inspired me to let go many people in my life. But I am in a relationship and it is going terrible. We fight regularly, we don’t talk for days. I have a feeling that it is not right any more. I have tried to fix it so many times. But it keeps getting worse and is really draining me down. But, I am afraid to break up and let go of him because we’ve been relationship for long. How can it go off-track? I always thought that once you love someone, it stays that way. Why am I not feeling it any more? Am I at fault? Would love your views on it! ”

And, I started thinking on it.

We often have a hard time letting of shitty relations.

But, it is easier to let go of probably people you’ve met in recent time and know them as acquaintance or a casual friend.

But what about say your partner or your best friend from years?

What about a relation wherein both the people have given years of trust and love?

And what about a relation which was seemingly formed and thrived because two person ‘love’ each other?

Such a relation becomes difficult to let go. To move out from. I’ve been working in a youth organization since years and have seen many people discussing to me about their relations.

How the relation and person is affecting them negatively but they still can’t let go of it.

And I often ask, “Why?”

And they say because they love the person.

And I ask, “Really? Then what’s the problem?”

And they say, “But it doesn’t feel like that any more.”

I have been there.

A lot of times.  And it is tough.

The idea we have of love is seemingly different from what it really is.

We see it as something eternal. Something which lasts forever and probably as something which can never change.

From my own experience and from the people, I’ve seen.

I don’t think that’s the case.

If you think deeply, love or hate or jealousy or for that matter any other emotion has hardly anything to do with you.

It is generally about what you do and what you have.

So, if I have been in a relation since long, the other person is with me because he finds value when he is with me.

In form of trust and love, care and fun. An ear to listen and probably someone who’ll be there with him at any cost.

He knows what I contribute to the relation. So, he stays with me.

But people change and grow. And circumstances too. So chances might be there that, they grow apart.

So it might happen that after a year or two, I might not find the same value in the relationship, I see now.

And, I might grow out of it. Am I being immoral? No. Am I being wrong? I guess not.

Any relation takes efforts. Both the person have to contribute towards each other, they have found value in being with each other. That’s what love is. To find value and to give value.

It is depended on each other.

If someday, you stop finding value, you’ll feel like growing out of it.

If someday, the other person stops giving value, you’ll feel what we generally say, “it doesn’t feel right.”

But we generally still cling to the relations. Out of feeling that how can we not love any longer? Or how can we grow apart? Or did this thing change?

But, the cold truth–Things change. People grow. Value diminishes.

And even after that, if we keep clinging, it only causes misery. It will cause pain, a continuous one.

Don’t get me wrong. I value the emotion. The feeling of love. And the importance of relations. And, I urge you to contribute and give value and feel special.

Human relations are probably the most beautiful thing that can happen to you. A true human relationship,that is.

But also learn to acknowledge when it is not working out any longer.

Acknowledge when you’re not moving in the same direction any longer.

Acknowledge when you’re growing differently.

And, as per me, there is nothing wrong about it, if done honestly and genuinely and with good intention.

How many school friends are you still that much close? Answer probably would be no-one or few at maximum.

Why not? Do you hate them now? No, you don’t hate them.

But times changed. Thinking changed. And you both grew in life differently and in different circumstances.

You can’t hate or blame your school friend for that. Neither can you hate or blame yourself.

So, my thoughts are tough to accept. Tougher to practise.

And you might not agree. And that’s completely fine.

Work on your relations. Give it a chance to thrive again. But what’s the point of any relation if it is causing you misery?

Isn’t the entire point of human relations to make your life more beautiful?

In my life, I have let many people go. Close people. Really close.

There were no fights. There were no abuses. There was no hate.

We accepted that it is not working any longer. We bid goodbye with good memories. And we freed ourselves.

Although it was painful. It was tough. It did hurt.

But it was a right decision.

People change. Relations change. And love will also change.

Work on it. Give it a chance. Talk and discuss. But when you see nothing is working and the relation is just making you more miserable. Give it up. There’s nothing wrong in it.

Every relation has problems. Fights. Arguments. Everything.

Give your best to make it right. Talk to the person. Let your heart out. Who knows it might just be a misunderstanding or an old anger issue?

Be sure of your feelings. Understand why you’re feeling this way.

And then take a step.

But when the misery moments are more than beautiful moments.

I guess, you should rethink then, right?

And you have responsibilities towards yourself.

Give love to yourself.

And in the end, everything changes.

Everything moves on. Love moves on as well.

Don’t be miserable when you can fly. Fly. Fucking fly.


*If you want to discuss anything. I will love to respond to it. Through mail or blog. You can mail me at hardik94nagar@gmail.com or send me a message over twitter.

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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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