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Happiness Mind Poetry Relationships

I am an Elite

I am an Elite

By PPD

December 18, 2020

The shades of high culture painted my eyes. I mistook elitism for excellence.

Like every attempt to scratch where it itches, I did everything I could to be considered elite. Once I qualified the bar for elitism in one area, I chased the next measure of elitism.

A Gucci silk shirt, a BMW car;
An Ivy League education, a private equity job;
Vintage wine, private jet;
Polished words, refined friends.

Almost touched the mirage.
But quite not.

Disappointed,
I turned to philanthropy.
Gave, gave.
Publicized my giving.

My philanthropy,
my obsession disguised as passion
left me bankrupt,
and divorced.

Years of painstaking efforts to be considered elite, to earn respect, were wasted in the aftermath of impulsive retorts. Those reactions sprang up from a smell of disrespect.

How can you not respect me?
I got degrees, a mansion.
How can you not love me?
I gave you luxury, comfort!
How can you not see me?
I am everywhere.

Why was that respect so important for me? I searched for answers. At the age of 65, I found my answer.

I had little self-respect.
To fill my void,
I surrendered myself
to scraps of prestige.

How stupid it was of me to be surrounded by people I didn’t want to spend my time with.

I started investing my time in
my old hairstylist (she has purple hairs),
my “uncool” friends,
my “unsuccessful” brother,
my gardener’s daughter.
They sure know how to share joys.

I started reading Harry Potter,
got done with my ego,
became an intern of life.
I dared to fall in love with her,
less than half my age is she.
Bonny works as a waitress in a bar,
she speaks in a strange accent,
knows nothing about vintage wine.
Told me once:
“Blame not the dark for your night,
you despised the day for its light.”
I said all right.
Her wisdom from hardships
glued me together.

I, finally,
am an elite.

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Empathy and Compassion Happiness Mind Relationships

Take Care

Take Care

November 23, 2020

Take care. 

These two words either warm our soul or provide empty wishes, depending on how the message is delivered. We know how to read the words in the silence of our loved ones. We learn—why, more than how—to dismiss the cacophony of hollow etiquette framed in words. Rhetorical words, particularly. We dismiss them with an equally shallow politeness. 

The onus of taking care, understandably, is on the recipient of the message.

(You) take care (of yourself). 

Nandini, a creative professional, takes good care of herself. She routinely works out in a trendy gym, where, at regular intervals, strategically placed high-decibel speakers blast out an assertive voice claiming that the gym “cares for you.” Loyal to the idiosyncrasies of the brand strategist that she is, she completes the tag line in her perky tone.  

“Cares for your money.” 

She, then, exchanges a harmless laughter with her selectively sincere trainer. Occasionally, sweaty gym enthusiasts stop puffing their chests out and break into a smile at her mimicry. Deep down, her humorous response is a reflection of her lack of faith in the empty claim. Never has the gym cared to call up David, her husband, who routinely disappears after paying an annual membership fee. 

Nandini, too, like most of us, is guilty of abusing those two magical words. Guilty of uttering without pondering first on the utterance. Guilty of not meaning the meaning. Guilty of moral hypocrisy, because tables do turn. 

When Nandini isn’t working or working out or spending a fortune taking care of her skin and her hair, she feeds on the newsfeed and consumes the delights of others’ lives. She hates herself, despite all the “self-care.”

Double, triple, quadruple hypocrite Nandini is. 

For taking care of ourselves without knowing how to take care of ourselves hurts the self. The skin glows, the hair shines while the inner world, shunned by the glow-shine veil, endlessly awaits its turn for a renovation. The internal system communicates an earnest plea to the veil to let it break free of the firewalls of social networking, to allow it to build relationships. 

The inner self knocks on the door. Thinks aloud. 

Nandini, are you home? The lights are on but you are off. Off the real world. I am concerned about you. You need to understand the impact of spending your limited attention loathing, loving, and fantasizing those virtual lives.  

First: Based on the “reality,” which arguably isn’t the truth, you constantly redefine how your life should be. 

Second: You don’t pay yourself the attention you seek from others. 

The net result you achieve is an imitation of a should-be life. The constant tussle between the imitation and the original, as I have seen, leaves you exhausted. Unknowingly ignored, the original life, if bravely attempted, is worth your time. You don’t receive a notification on your smartphone reminding you to like your imperfect life. The recipes of others’ lives keep getting you to compare yourself. Comparisons are brutally unkind and unfair, Nandini. Not so much when others decimate you to a few parameters but what you do to yourself when you indulge in comparisons. 

Yes, imitation. 

Imitation is arguably the best form of flattery but is clearly not so articulate in giving voice to people. A voice borrowed from successful people or loaned from popular movies doesn’t last beyond a temporary ego boost or an orgasmic adrenaline rush. I have noticed that if there is no precedent for your ideas, rather than cheering your uniqueness, you feel concerned that your thought process might make you look stupid. Your voice may as well be wrong, in which case, you must have the humility to stand corrected. But having that original voice is crucial for your self-development. You keep your ideas hidden deep inside a secret chamber, fearing disapproval or failure. This behavioral pattern has, not so surprisingly, put an end to your uniqueness.  

Before you realized, you became an elegant copy of copies, Nandini. Sexy, alluring, grand, mesmerizing … but a copy nonetheless. We both know how many ideas you have lifted from others. And, I know how remorseful you feel every time you plagiarize and call it “creativity.” 

The market for copies is fiercely competitive, ripe with safe opportunities; originality, on the other hand, is a relatively apprehensive and uncontested market. With every additional copy produced, the value of the original increases and that of the copy decreases. 

The cycle of a should-be life continues. Because living the original, imperfect life requires courage. 

The world needs more unique individuals, Nandini. You will do better to retain your uniqueness. The mutual interest of the human being that you are and the humankind in desperate need of changers isn’t enough to motivate you to retain yourself, I understand. My point is not that you aren’t getting better but that you are killing the unique elements in you fearing that they might make you look unsocial. Plus, you always have a tendency to validate your habits, your thoughts, your actions. 

Remember: “If,” “But,” and “Should” do less than what “Will,” “Do,” and “Can” can. 

Rejection is not your cup of tea, I know. You need a deeper understanding of rejections. Rejections and dealing with rejections are terrifying encounters. That won’t be so scary if you knew how to look at them as plain facts. And, move on. Your expensive business education, unfortunately, didn’t teach you much beyond copying and pasting. I would suggest you to invite more rejections to feel comfortable with rejections. Aim for the impossible, Nandini! You have nothing to lose but an opportunity to make peace with rejections, and hit a jackpot if otherwise. 

Nandini, the more pressing concern is that you don’t have the time to spend with yourself, to connect with the person whose body you live in, to appreciate yourself for the small wins. The imitated life you are trapped in, no matter what you do, turns out to be less than the should-be life. For you don’t know how to slow down a bit when everyone else is moving too fast—how to approve the disapprovals. 

For you have long forgotten the joy of spending time with the child and the old, you have long been ungrateful for the many gifts you are surrounded with, you have long been using someone else’s tape to measure your life. 

For you haven’t really smelt the coffee you drink every day, you haven’t seen the buildings you move past daily on your way to the office. You haven’t used your hands in a long time to create something. You must try making one of those clay idols again. Muddy fingers carving tiny hands out of a heap of silt. 

For you haven’t read works of literary fiction, you haven’t gifted your mind the imagination of experiences of others’ lives. You haven’t listened, you haven’t empathized.

Last week, your extended family members visited you. David’s maternal aunts and uncles, none of whom you are fond of. I know how much you dislike Sheela Aunty because of her habit of poking her nose into everyone’s life. After almost seven months, you met them. Sheela Aunty made a harmless comment: “You have become fat.”

You felt terrified, claustrophobic but managed to humor them. Unwillingly, you let them make you a part of a group photo. After they left, you went to your room. You shook in fear of imaginary dislikes on Facebook and Instagram. You sobbed. Shrilled, till the room deepened with your gloom. You punched yourself. Slapped yourself. Punched David. He kicked you back brutally on your stomach—repeatedly—as though his leg were a fork capable of killing you. This unimaginable domestic violence continued for two days. Non-stop. 

Why, Nandini? Why?

Nandini, my dear, have you ever considered appreciating your skills? Your cooking abilities, your work performance, your writing skills? The mutton biriyani that used to get people drooling? The touching ad that you designed based on the life of the transgender person, Svetlana, who had adopted a child? The anaphora poem that earned you the “Artsy Adsy Prize 2020?” Your ability to produce outstanding research papers? The pioneering research paper you wrote on the necessity to have gender-neutral washrooms at workplace? That, too, without plagiarizing! 

Do you think you need to look like a model or a film star to live your life? Are there identities of you that are more important than your glutei and abs? Sure, exercise, be fit by all means, but do so because you want to take care of yourself. Not to impress strangers on the Internet. Moreover, why do you need to start living your life after you achieve an hourglass figure? What’s wrong with who you are today? 

No one has the power to “other-ize” you for who you are, Nandini. Neither the educated nor the literate; neither the beautiful nor the wonderful; neither the rich nor the wealthy; neither the straight nor the arrow; neither the law nor the claw; neither the art nor the science; or the old adage and the new. No one. Often what makes us extraordinarily human is what is denigrated in popular rhetoric. Don’t rob yourself of the small joys of life for having a dialogue with the deaf.

When and if they turn their gaze away, don’t look for shadows; for if you try to find one, you will create many out of nothing. Rather, be impregnable and untouchable by their words and actions that cast a deep shadow inside your mind. 

That respectfully indifferent person is your hero: You. Nandini Arora. Make that hero a superhero.

Train your mind more than you train your body, Nandini. You have exercised—squatted, curled, pressed, crunched—but you haven’t really taken care of yourself. Not at all. All the years, you have looked at the mirror, arranged your hair but not the head. How many more Keratin treatments will make you happy? 

Nandini. You have looked at the mirror, seen what you don’t have but not what you have. You cannot get up by drowning yourself in self-criticism. You have looked at the mirror, taken care of the invisible wrinkles but not the unseen emotions beneath them. You haven’t had a warm conversation with the imperfect self that you are.

You haven’t seen yourselves through your kind eyes.

You haven’t learnt how to shield yourself from your own devices and desires. How to protect yourself from your own expectations. How to access the renewable sources of happiness within yourself, in your solitude, in your state of flow. While conceptualizing an ad, maybe. Or, while trying to be the artist whom you lost to technology?

For you, it is either a low self-esteem or a high chest-beating, unhealthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem allows one to be compassionate towards oneself, to understand how positive emotions might be thin in absence of the essential negative emotions, to clearly see things beyond one’s control, to be able to delay gratification, to gracefully accept rejections, and more. 

Above all, self-compassion, Nandini. You haven’t extended compassion to yourself. 

Fall, you will. But. Push yourself up and crawl. Let go of the incessant need to network, to run with a business card after someone running with a business card after someone else higher in the hierarchy. Invest in meaningful relationships, Nandini. 

Call up Sheela Aunty. Talk to her. She loves your Mutton Biriyani. She loves you. Don’t judge her. Hug David tightly and tell him how much you love him. Now, Nandini. Now. 

And a little self-compassion, please? Shall we, Nandini?

I look forward to hearing from you. The sooner, the better.

Take care.

Your,
Inner Self.


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Leadership Mind Organizational Behaviour

The Man and the People

The Man and the People

November 11, 2020

The evening betrayed the weather forecast. The overcast sky—a shroud of dark clouds—poured with rain. Thin trees kowtowed to the ferocity of the wild wind. Baby coconuts pitter-pattered on wet roads. The street lights wore a somber yellow and dabbed its mood on the serpentine traffic of Bengaluru, queued like ants to reach home. 

Sriram stepped out of the car, which had no choice but to not move, and walked towards the hotel so as not to arrive late for his appointment. 

In his expensive suit, he carted his expectations through the emotionally numb traffic jam. The unannounced arrival of the rain flooded his expectations, leaving not an inch of dry cloth on his suit. 

From the cafeteria of the hotel, I could see the creases on his forehead at war with his efforts to stay calm. His chest-wide, back-straight posture strived to conceal his frustration. 

He arrived earlier than time. The overly polite receptionist, like a nincompoop robot, smiled for few seconds before registering Sriram’s request to show him the washroom. 

Our last conversation had been sort of a satisfying climax to a difficult puzzle that demanded multiple discussions. To stay humble at the height of success is Sriram’s most prized value, in his “humble opinion.” Finally, we did identify his core value, after rigorously evaluating all possible options (=values) against a yardstick of “How does this make me feel as a human being—good? bad?” 

The climax had been worth it.

In his oversized shirt and loose trousers, he jolted me out of my musing.

“Luckily, on my way to the office I took my father’s delivery from the dry cleaner,” he said. The mysterious disappearance of the slick suit made sense. 

“How is your core value shaping your life since we last spoke?”

“I think I become too humble with my subordinates. I don’t think it is necessary.”

“You think—what? What do you mean?” That was an unnecessary question to a rhetorical premise. He would have continued his argument anyway. I sounded unlike me. 

“For example, I make efforts to wish my subordinates ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Good Afternoon’ every day, talk to them, etc. I don’t see much efforts from their side to strike a conversation with me or to greet me. I am their boss! It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it?” He presented his case straight from his heart—with a loud and clear question tag. 

“Why on earth do you need their approval to treat them well? Please continue wishing them, even if they don’t return your wishes. How they treat you is irrelevant. How you treat them is important and reflects your confidence.” I replied. 

A brief silence seeped in the conversation. It stayed with us. No one made any attempt to disturb it. 

Sriram understood. 

“Identify what you can control. It helps.” I closed the session. 

“Good Night,” he said.

I didn’t reply.

 
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CEO Mentoring Leadership Mind Organizational Behaviour

Deepest, Darkest Desires

Deepest, Darkest Desires

September 4, 2020

“My problem is that I find everyone inadequate and  substandard.” My first-ever conversation with John—a successful leader of a company on the verge of becoming a CEO—started on a note no less bizarre than his unrealistic standards of excellence.

“I haven’t met anyone decent in my life so far, let alone excellent. I don’t find anyone inspiring or motivating.”

What about the bright people you meet regularly?

“No. They are all daft. It takes me enormous self-control to not be judgmental towards them.”

The gentleman had an eerie confidence in his claims.

How may I help you?

“It is hard for me to approach someone for help. But, for once, I am ready to be on the other side of the table to see how I can work on this apparently unresolvable pattern in me.”

No matter whatever is going on inside you, the truth is that you are famous. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, it is fine, isn’t it?

“No. I have ambitions. I want to be the CEO. I want to be on the cover page of magazines like Forbes and Time. I can’t reach there until I sort this mess out and figure out how to overcome this bloody thing going on inside me.”

John was brutally honest about his ambitions and shortcomings. His voice softened as he started talking about his personal life. It turned out that he had a compulsive habit of chasing the unattainable and ignoring what he already had. Though married to a beautiful, successful woman, he was emotionally vulnerable. He made his wife feel intellectually inferior. With time, she was repulsed by him. It is the deprivation of relationships that eventually took a toll on him.

Okay. What is the guarantee that you are teachable, given how talented you are?

“Oh, boy! Don’t underestimate my learning ability. I am a sucker of knowledge. Moreover, my money would be a stake. For me, nothing matters more to me than my money. This is why I tolerate daftness.”

Stop using that word. Daft. Please.

I want to. I also want to win my wife back. And, I want to be a better father.

Let’s hope so.

 

*John isn’t the real name of the individual.

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Happiness Mind Poetry

Choices

Choices

August 17, 2020

If not a reason, find an excuse to smile.
Writhe in low and fly high.
Embrace with no arms.
Express when you can impress.
Open out to closed minds.
Be a paradox, a beautiful paradox.

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Empathy and Compassion LGBTQIA+ Mind Poetry

I Call You “They”

I Call You “They”

12 August, 2020

your curiosity in those erected eyes as you would
lie back on the pillows smiling at me for hours
your heart crawling on my tiny chest in the dead of night
your fingers pulsing on my back

for thirty years
i have climbed back into those memories
put myself into scraps of that quaint trance
to live freely in the bookcase you caged me in

i saw you locked in your nonbinary self
whispering past in the present
motionless in grief
broken by norms
how guiltily you looked between your legs

this morning I quivered
when you touched me
smelled my forgotten pages

i am free today to stand by your side
when you have to book your own ride
fight the unknown tide
alas the wise have no wisdom to guide

a slick marketing gimmick gender equality is
if i am accused of hyperbole
i will harrumph as does that snooty grammarian

human is not man
only
not he or she
mispronouncing a name is still okay
mispronouning a human is not
i respect your wishes
i honor your dignity

i borrow the pain
the sufferings of those
who fought to love
struggled for their right to be
since time touched the clock

if you is singular and plural
a boy and a girl
so is they
the world will wake up to your stories
one day

fruits peak to wine
you and i to a human fine

i will be prose and verse
i will wed your solitude 
bear you joy and identity
i shall hold your hands till you fall asleep
today and forever

hey
forget humans
let us cuddle

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Fiction Mind Technology

The F Addiction

The F Addiction

July 10, 2020

The night before, she had spent hours on planning the details. The hairs better be unkempt to contrast the nude makeup. The face cupped in a white pillow to add sharpness to the just-woke-up jawline. A book flipped aside, its identity concealed, to inspire curiosity. The loose t-shirt, light pink in color, on her to draw eyes to her femininity. The angled window drapes to let the right amount of light fall on her face. She thought of a caption—“When the sun sees the moon.”

She woke up at 6:30 am the following day. It didn’t take her much time to get the perfect shot. She, as usual, took longer than the usual—more than an hour—to edit the selfie to match the girl in her imaginations. Visuals of people going gaga for her on Facebook trended in her daydreams.

With hopes higher than her latest heels from Jimmy Choo, she posted the photo on Facebook. The anticipation of the magical red bar to notify her of likes on her photo dripped from her eyes glued to the phone’s screen. After almost 20 minutes of desperate waiting, she found a thick ring of blood on her index finger. She was so overtaken by anxiety that she didn’t realize that she was biting her finger.

Rita waited for seven hours to see her rise to stardom. She got twenty-three likes on her selfie. She sobbed. Pain rented the air.

The 31-year-old technology journalist lived in a blue-and-white prison named Facebook. The red notification was her blood.

That grief-stricken Rita bore little resemblance to the optimistic, confident girl she pretended to be at work. Her fingers trembled, her body drooped as her scary addiction to Facebook left her helpless.

“I don’t exist. No one notices me.”

Her cries came in gasps as she recalled how she had cooked up stories of her “wise” interactions with her baby girl to become a popular mom on Facebook. Rita yelped as if wounded by the knowledge of how her friends’ “viral” parenting posts describing their children’s sudden, profound thoughts had pressurized her to credit scripted comments—duly hash-tagged—to her four-year-old daughter.

To calm down, she sat down on her bed to continue writing the editorial piece for the Sunday issue.

Mark Zuckerberg, along with 40-odd geniuses, controls the attention of two billion people. With Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp under his belt now, the Wartime CEO is the undisputed king of the attention economy. Nothing stops him. Riots, genocides, data breaches, Instagram and WhatsApp founders’ quitting, bad press, fake news, ad boycott. He apologizes and moves on to his next game. The new-age Emperor Augustus Caesar is unstoppable; so are the rising profits of Facebook.

Every second of your attention makes Mark richer. He eats your attention for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, shamelessly does he serve the rest to few dictators to manipulate you to vote for them.

It is unlikely that the single-minded Zuckerberg or the brilliant Sandberg would ever do anything to discourage the dangerously addictive behavior that keeps billions of people hooked on the opium-like newsfeed. Even those who understand how addiction works are held captive by the chances of dopamine release from a notification.

She couldn’t write a word. Her eyelids hung in shame.

After years of self-denial, Rita finally booked an appointment with a psychologist.

 

*Rita isn’t the real name of the individual.

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Communication Skills Empathy and Compassion Mind

A Little Self-Compassion

A Little Self-Compassion

June 24, 2020

We put a premium on effective communication. Listening, empathizing, respecting, choosing the right words, projecting confidence, etc., do indeed lead to better relationships and more business opportunities. The positive correlation between effective communication and success is easy to establish. Individuals and businesses, through their lives and successes, have shown us how to walk the talk.

Despite the omnipresence of evidence, our communication takes an ugly turn just when we need to hold our tongue. We can’t swallow the impulse to humiliate others. Empathy is easier said than done. Respecting others costs our ego; not everyone is ready to pay the price.

Knowing and doing are rarely on the same wavelength, making our knowledge irrelevant.

Imagine then, how we talk to ourselves, given that neither anyone is listening to our self-talks nor do we have to seemingly pay any price for our internal dialogues. There are reasonably high chances that your inner-voice serves you a diet rich in self-criticism. You are convinced that the diet provides you the nutrients necessary to win the race.

The voice is both right and wrong. Right because it gives you a chance to tap the latent potential in self-criticism. Wrong because the voice tells you that criticizing yourself is the most effective way to unleash your potential. It tells you about the 1% who succeeded but not about the 99% who didn’t. Through its glib talks, the voice blocks your access to your higher self.

Ignore criticism. Embrace compassion.

Scoff at me. But let me tell you that there is nothing more important than taking care of the “I.” The benevolent “We” is not so proud of the individualistic I. But unless the I is fine, the We can’t be well. Those I-shaming theories make an assumption that a focus on the self is a selfish behavior. The I is ruthlessly criticized for being I and branded narcissistic for life. Narcissism is too complex an affair to be simplified to I.

When you respond to the most rhetorical question “How are you” by saying that “I am good,” you better ensure that the I is good.

“Take care.”

Mean what you say every day. Take care.

Treat the I with compassion. No anti-aging cream, no deadlift, no book, no partner, no penthouse, no robot, no success can do so better than you.

James, a 53-year-old C-Suite leader from New Jersey, was unhappy though he had everything one could wish for—a loving family, name, fame, and wealth. He failed to understand why he didn’t like himself.

There was a lurking fear of failure in him. The constant pressure to deliver results; the regular barrage of critical comments from the people sitting at the top turned his mind into a sponge that selectively absorbed everything wrong with him. No matter how trivial those comments were, he would go on a self-doubt trip from which he would take a lot of time to return. He would, thus, be left with little mental space to savor the blessings of life.

He didn’t know how to treat himself with compassion, though he preached positive thinking. He didn’t know how to talk to himself without pointing out his shortcomings and ruminating on them.

Asha, a beautiful lady from New Delhi, started believing that she was ugly. Few professional downturns made her hate the mirror. There is apparently no connection between the two but there is more to it than meets the eye. She had always been considered a successful professional, but the unexpected string of failures made her feel worthless. After months of self-analysis, she couldn’t explain her failures. Thereby, she scapegoated her looks. Her self-esteem plunged into the cracked ground beneath her feet.

She identified herself as a compassionate woman in her introductory note, and in the course of discussions narrated how, in college, she had saved a girl from committing suicide. In her own words, she had taught the girl how to be kind to herself. When I asked her why she was a hypocrite, she was taken aback. She understood why, nevertheless.

Criticism is easy. Most people excel in self-criticism.

Compassion is hard. It requires setting empathy in motion.

Self-compassion is harder. You need to reach your higher self, which is not so easily accessible. You need to distance yourself from your feelings and emotions, and extend compassion to the I you see from a metaphorical distance.

Talking to the I with kindness is the best place to start.

Talk to yourself as you would talk to your baby when she cries in the middle of the night. Your unconditional love for her isn’t reserved for the moments when she is a bundle of cuteness.

Talk to yourself as you would talk to your best friend who recently lost his job. You would hug him and tell him that this, too, shall pass.

Talk to yourself as you would talk to your mother in physical pain. You would sit by her side, hold her hands, and take care of her.

Talk to yourself as you would talk to the individuals you admire, despite their frailties. You would keep aside your self-righteousness and appreciate their talent.

Talk to yourself in second person.

Not “I am not giving up.”

“You are not giving up, Partha.”

Take a pen and a paper. Write. Write to communicate. With the feelings hidden underneath the superficial “I am good.” With the negative emotions that have unfairly been denied their right to exist. With the uncontrollable impulses suffering from identity crisis. With the thoughts scattered all over the brain. With the ego which never seems to suffer from a bad day. With the goal-turned-mirage. With the dreams you call “just kidding.” With the unconscious buried deep within. With the inner audience trying to shame the host. With the past refusing to make peace with the present.

Write to travel from denial to acceptance. Often the dirt in your mind is stronger than the love in your heart. Self-acceptance cleanses the tinted glasses; it paves the way to see yourself clearly for who you are.

Write to find yourself.

When you find yourself speaking the language of kindness with yourself, you shall see the common thread of pain and suffering that connects the world. You shall understand that your problems aren’t privileged. You shall celebrate the small joys in the journey of your life. You shall discover how you love many people and how many people love you in ways that can’t be accurately described by the word “love” alone. You shall feel grateful for the gift of life.

Little by little, you shall find your own means to self-compassion.

Your higher self, in time, shall find you.

 

*James and Asha aren’t the real names of the individuals.

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Ideas Mind

The Confidence Code

The Confidence Code

June 1, 2020

Healthy confidence stems from knowing oneself (internal) and enjoying efforts (external).

Confidence Code
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Mind Relationships

The Self-Help Delusion

The Self-Help Delusion

May 26, 2020

I am upset.

I have all the good habits. I read books suggested by my Dad. I exercise until my body hurts. I eat healthy food. I respect everyone. I learn new languages (now, German). I attend tough courses taught online by brilliant professors. I sleep early, I get up early. I don’t use a smartphone.

My life is all about constantly running from one good habit to another. If there is some time left for entertainment, I am supposed to develop another good habit to make the best use of that time. Like, learning dining etiquette. Or, “gear up” to attend Harvard. Why do I need to get ready for Harvard now? I am just 16.

I am afraid.

Last night, I saw a dream. My parents were printing their dreams through me.

My parents are self-help addicts. They have read a book a few years ago and believed in everything written there. That with proper visualization anyone can achieve his goals. My brother has written Chartered Accountancy exams nine times so far. He is “gearing up” for his tenth attempt. Every time he looks sad, my parents ask him to visualize his success. He bakes cakes, posts photos on Instagram, and writes the same papers every year. My parents think that his childhood dream of starting a bakery is silly. I see him crying often. They won’t let him work either. Apparently, Dad read in a book that sharp focus is necessary to succeed in life. Sure, Dad! I still love you.

Self-help books have destroyed our lives.

I don’t like the person I have become. All Time Habits.

I just want to be.

Can you please talk to my parents?

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