Try to be your own best instead of someone else’s.

A guy was running on the pavement in an athletic robe. He seemed like a marathon runner. There was a grace in his running movement. When he was running, it seems like an effortless glide instead of a run. His pace would be almost double than mine. Next day again he would come for the run and finish with a nice pace strongly. Daily I will think I should talk to him and get some tips on running. But there wasn’t enough of the push to go to him and talk about running.

I had also started on my running sessions recently, like a month or so back. Everyday i go to this creek side  pathway where joggers and oldies would come for a morning stroll.  I’ve been keeping up with running schedule for the past month regularly.

Today I pulled myself together and run along with that guy and greeted him ‘Hi’. He responded back with warmth. We continued running along, after 25 minutes he stopped and I stopped along. I asked him, so how long you have been running. He said, “its been quite long”, with a smile. You can say half a decade. I frowned. So you must have ran many marathons. He nodded in agreement. I said, “wow”, with an excitement.

Then he asked me, how long you have been running. I said its 6 months on and off. You know life these days, always running for work, errands. No time for ourselves. He said, “that’s true. But its up to us, how we control our life. We control it or we let it control us.” I nodded in agreement. First time I’ve been talking to someone who seemed like thinking from my own perspective for life.

He told me, its good to see you running. It would be great to accompany you and share experiences. I said, that would be amazing. Then I asked him how did you reached to this pace. I cant keep up with your kind of pace (I’m talking about a pace of 5:30 per kilometre) for long runs. He said its all about training with the right mindset and towards the right direction. Listen to your body, but start to enjoying the boredom of getting up daily and going out there. All it takes is get up and get out there. Everything else will follow. The best advice I can give you is, “try to be your own best, instead of someone else’s”. Don’t think about if someone is thinking you are running slow. Don’t let that kind of thoughts bother your mind. Just keep this in mind, long you will give your muscles to build up for the higher paces by first running on slower but longer paces, that soon you’ll be running on your desired high pace. I said, I must admit, its quite a handful of insight from your experiences. He smiled. Then he bid me adieu and said see you morrow bud. Let’s train together. I said awesome, in agreement.

We parted in different directions to reach our homes. In mid-way, I thought oh shit, I didn’t ask him his name. But I said never mind we are training together from tomorrow.

How we forgot these kind of small details when we get into highly intellectual conversations. I wonder.

Moments of Ardor!

How far we have come,
How far we have become.

Our love will be forever,
Our trust will be broken never,
Is what we promised on that day.

The day we were swinging our legs,
while sitting on the aisle on that seaside.

On that rooftop under the sky,
When our souls danced tirelessly,
You said distances won’t matter.

Well, they did.

See now, see how.

How far we have come,
How far we have become.

Nebula beneath your eye ball

The way you look into my eyes,
I could see the nebula in there;
Waiting to implode,
A black hole would be born here.

Where would be you,
Where would be me,

Suspended mid space…

Traveling at the speed of light,
Where there is no light,
But just you, me and the black vacuum.

I carry your heart with me! I carry it in my heart!!

Today I would like to share with you all, one of my favorite poems by the great E. E. Cummings.

 

Whenever I recite this poem, it takes me deep down the memory lane to strike that intentionally hidden chord. Hope you all enjoy it with all it’s due respect.

 

I carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear

no fate
(for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want no world
(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962 AD)

Creation is the best way to self-contentment!

Creating something takes a lot of efforts. It’s something which takes thinking, it’s something which requires us to go that extra mile and when you do that, when you take that step, when you take that action which results in a creation. That’s when you feel complete in yourself. That’s when you feel ultimate contentment. That’s what gives you eternal joy. It releases those juices of happiness into your brains.

Most of the successful artisans create things very frequently. But in the process of making things they fail too, they fail on regular basis. They are the curious souls who always wonder how things work. As kids they take things apart to see inside, ‘what makes that thing tick?’. Then they put it back together as well.

A normal person who might not be an artisan but still if he creates something (creating something can be anything, writing, drawing, painting, joining parts with screws to make a machine, sculpturing, making strategies, developing buildings or may be codes for a software) it will eventually give him great eternal joy which will make him content with himself.

We should always keep creating things, like we did in our childhoods. We should always be curious, because this world is a never ending mystery. It will always keep us surprising. But if we keep exploring, keep making things, we will enjoy and cherish this life more than just fearing all the time with the uncertainties of this world and this life.

Creation is the base of evolution. When we create things, even if that thing is not pretty good, it facilitates a path of evolution, from there it can evolve, it can be better. So the basic rule is, something will only evolve if it exists. For example if a beginner painter starts painting, he can’t create his masterpiece just by fluke. Creating a masterpiece takes earth shattering efforts. First of all he should start painting, then in the process of the creation he’ll fail one time, two times, may be hundred times. Even though he’s failing but in the process he’s evolving as well. When he would have put more efforts then he actually was supposed to, then comes a moment of the perfection. Then comes the masterpiece.

Pablo Picasso the legendary Spanish painter was once was once passing by some local thrift shops. A lady comes praising and requests him to make a painting of her. Picasso who rarely carried his painting tools, fortunately was carrying them that day. He agreed and started making the painting, while talking to her, in 10 minutes he created a painting of her and handed it over to her saying ‘that will be 10,000 pesetas (España currency of that time)’. Lady was awestruck on seeing the masterpiece but was also astounded by the price and said, “It only took you ten minutes to make this painting, isn’t 10,000 pesetas a lot for 10 minutes work?”

“It took me 30 years to make that painting in 10 minutes, that’s why.” Picasso replied.
Some people are gifted artists but even they have to practice their artistry regularly. But when they create their masterpieces, is only when they find their extreme contentment.

Creating requires creativity, but it requires discipline more. Some people say, I am only creative at certain times. But this is far from truth. Most of the successful writers, painters, artisans created their masterpieces after years of practice and failure, they followed their routines religiously. Hence it’s safe to say that if you practice your creation on regular basis, it’s most probable that you’ll achieve it faster than just sitting back and waiting for that creative thought to occur. If you are a writer, write daily. If you are a painter, paint daily. If you are a coder, code daily. That’s the only thing which will make you better in your creation. Create things and then make them better. That’s how things evolve to get perfect.

So belt up, put your creative cap on and start putting your efforts towards creating something, anything which gives you joy and satisfaction. Make things and then make them better. I bet you’ll discover self-contentment which you have never ever discovered before.

Making the difference!

How will I make a difference?


It’s the question every graduate asks himself, on the day he leaves the college. There are many answers to this question in this tricky world. There are many paths which leads you to a successful life. But how to choose that one path based on your individuality, based on your personal goals, based on the things which you think will make this world a better place.


If you go through any path, you can make a difference. It’s not the decision of choosing the correct one. It’s the decision of choosing one. Paths are supposed to take you to a certain destination. You just have to decide for which destination you are most passionate. Having said that, let me cite a quote here. “In the end, reaching the destination isn’t what will make you happy, it’s the travel you did which led you there.”


Whatever you do to make a difference, whichever path you take to your destination. Don’t forget from where you started, don’t forget your roots. Instead of doing a post-mortem of your life in your end days and regretting the paths you didn’t take, things you didn’t do, steps you didn’t take; do a pre-mortem of your life right now to see where you had imagined yourself some years ago and where have you reached now. Keep doing this in a regular practice. If your trajectory is still in right direction, then great. If not, then it’s time to list down the things which you might have done wrongly, which led your life course towards a deviated direction. Jot those things down on a piece of paper, read them, read them again and again until you reach a conclusion. Then you start working on rectifying those things, step by step. Don’t rush, just be steady and take action. Acting upon something, even in a tiny bit is any day better then just sitting and thinking about a better solution.


Knowing what matters and what doesn’t, is the key to be successful in any task. It eventually leads you to the answers of any impossible looking problem. But for reaching there you’ll have to act. For example, for an obese person  loosing weight is a problem. He can’t leave out on the cravings of eating junk foods. He thinks everyday that he will start exercising. He knows what will make a difference in regards to his problem of obesity. But all of this knowing is of no value if he doesn’t act. On the flip side if he start acting on the things which really matters, like eating appropriate calories on daily basis. Start exercising 3-4 days in a week and then shaping his way up to a fit body. This is what will solve his problem.


Don’t just think, take action!


Life will be way better if you start doing what really matters. You’ll be reaping great returns, which life gives to it’s courageous liver.


Every generation leaves a plethora of knowledge and resources for the upcoming generation to build upon what they had learned, so that the future generation don’t have to start from the ground up, they can just forge ahead from the point where the past generation had left of. So take your time listening to the people of your previous generation. People who had experienced life already. People who can really guide you on how to make that journey of life better. It can give you a head-start. Love your family, cherish you friends, take time out for the people whom you really care for, be emotional, take time out for the people who had supported you in the times of setbacks. How you make them feel will reflect on your future life. There is a famous quote by the great American author and poet Maya Angelou who died on this 28th May. I’ll cite it here in her remembrance and for your absorbency.


“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So take a path which ignites your passion, work hard, put your emotions in there, take time out for the ones you really care. I bet you’ll be right on your way to make a difference to your own life and to the world.

Emotions are the key to courage and alive!

We start feeling emotions from the very first day we get into our consciousness. We laugh with our friends share our joyous moments. We cry when someone breaks our heart. We feel low when someone goes away. We feel high when we are with the right ones on the right time. These all feelings are emotions. But what it is exactly? Is it human nature? Is it a way of interaction without having to say a word? Is it a deep connection of two souls which lights up the spiritual recesses? May be it’s all of them. But specifically it’s the outcome of mutual state of minds. When two souls or minds co-relate, then emotions emerge.

Emotions are present in each and everyone. Different persons picture it in their own way. Some say “It’s weak to be emotional. Emotions can distract you from the decisions you want to take for good.” I won’t deny it, but it’s not entirely true. A great mind had said, nothing is false, everything we see, we hear, we feel is truth. Cause everyone and everything has their own angle to the truth. In some situations it seems to be true but in other situations it may seem false. Here, another angle to the truth is that emotions are a very powerful feeling.

I’ve seen people going extreme in emotions, both in a good way and a bad way. But if you can channel this feeling in the right way, you can do great things to your life. If you love what you do, then you unknowingly put your emotions in that thing and this is what gives you courage in those moments of the reverse wind. When the things aren’t falling in the right place, this is what keeps you going. Emotions are in there in your subconscious all the time. They keep you motivated.

Being emotional is a good thing and a bad thing. Let’s talk about the good thing first. Good thing is that it is the key to your courage in those low moments of life and it’s a key to being human. When we are emotional we do things with extremity. Like I said earlier if this extremity is channelized in positivity, out come will be great and positive for your life. Bad thing is sometime being emotional can distract you from taking the right decisions and emotions are channelized in negativity, which can make life really miserable.

From the experience I’ve had is, people who are emotional are mostly good at heart. But we should keep in mind that being emotional and being psychotic are way different things. While being emotional we shouldn’t forget the practicality of the situation. Emotion is a human nature and Psychosis is a disorder. Emotional people are people who still can see the real picture and can adapt to the situation while being in that feeling.

Having some emotions towards our family and friends and the work we do, greatly enhance our relations, boost up our creativity, makes us alive. What is alive? Alive is a state of mind. A person can be breathing but still not alive, yes that’s possible. Until and unless he have emotions and feelings, he is way too far from being alive. Life isn’t about just being biologically and physically alive, but emotionally and mentally alive. Emotions are good but discipline is a great ingredient in the recipe of life. Life we really want is a mix of little emotions, great discipline and self-compassion.
Having said all of that, there should be a practical philosophy which everyone should follow. This can make you better human being while being an emotional person. Our own values are itself very valuable. We should always let our values drive our decisions. Recently I was watching an interview of Tim Ferriss on Mastering Any Skill. Tim had given a great advise. I’ll cite him as stated – “The way I look at philosophy is, ideally it’s an operating system for life, for making decision about what you should do and what you should not do.”.
So the whole point here is we should leverage ourselves to be emotional cause it makes us alive, but at the same time we shouldn’t let our values fade away, we should follow a practical philosophy, which will eventually make our lives better and us alive.

Taking the control of your own life!

In our lives, we live through different phases. We meet new people, different people. People who were just strangers to us and then they slowly become our acquaintances, then friends and sometimes something more.
 
As this happens to everybody, this all has had happened to me as well. After leaving home years back, when I came to start a new phase of my life. It was the start of my professional career. I started meeting new people, everyday. Some of them I didn’t even notice when they came in and went out of my life. But some of them came to stay for long. Friends, close friends, best friends and more. We met, we laughed our stomachs out, we roamed, we explored, we shared things, we conversed. I felt really blessed with these people in my life. But then the next phase came in my life, when i saw these people go out my life as well. I was a whole new person, when they went.
 
Before these people came in my life, I was living a normal, not much funny, a bit serious, disciplined life. But the life i was living was joyous, self-contented, not dependent on somebody else, not living through someone else’s decisions. I was happy. I was enjoying life. I was alive. Not that with these people I didn’t enjoy or felt alive. But there was something else to this. I felt changed after their vanishing act.
 
Post their existence in my life, my life started changing, I as a person started changing. The circumstances which came along with these people, stirred the change in my life and my personality.
 
Now I was totally engaged with these people. When people meet their values, their thoughts, their personalities collide and affect mutually. I saw myself adapting myself values that those people had. Earlier, I had a habit of not letting things go, but now I was letting things go. I started taking decisions based on the circumstances, decisions which could make a great negative difference to my life in a longer run. I saw myself loosing out on my own values.
 
But all these people come as a phase in our life, unless they are your true soul mate. Rest of the people come and go. Like the waves in the ocean, some waves are high and some are low. High waves make a great impact on the surfer and low waves doesn’t.
 
When these people went of my life and I got the chance to reassess the path of my life. I saw how my path had deviated after i had met these people. If I didn’t take any actions my life’s path which is now deviated from it’s original course, it’s gonna stay this way. So I started list down all the aspects on which had caused the deviation.
 
I came up with the following things:
  • Letting go attitude
  • Loosing out on my own values
  • Being too selfless for those people
  • Doing things which mattered to those people, but might be against my own values or morals
  • Leaving my own regular routines (i.e. fitness routing), for giving out more time to those people
 
Then I thought how can I fall back to my original path of life from which I had deviated. Things which should make me the same man I was before, were as following:
  • Discipline
  • To value my own values
  • Stay on the routines, no matter what
  • Self-compassion
  • Do what I love
 
I started following these things again now with more rigidity and I can now see where I am heading. I’m heading the right way. I’m meeting new people still, making friends still but while keeping up with the above things. I found the control of my own life back to myself.
 
By taking my own example here, I had mentioned several things above. But it doesn’t mean that people that I had met were wrong or they disturbed my life. No! That’s not what it is. The reason for my life path’s deviation was myself. I started loosing out on myself. That’s what caused this deviation.
 
This happens with a great number of people in the world. When they take decisions under painful situations or circumstances, which leads them to a life path which is not good in the longer run.
 
So the bottom line is we will live through different phases of life. We will definitely meet different people. These situations will arise. But it’s up to you, what you choose and what you let go. If you choose to stay with your own values or let them go. If you choose your disciple or let them go. If you choose to do what you love or let it go.
 
Of-course sometimes compromising a little is not that bad, for something or someone you love. Sometimes it’s not that bad to loosen up a bit and let go. It’s not wrong. But just watch out, if you don’t compromise your whole personality for someone else’s sake and you don’t let go of yourself. That IS wrong.
 
Just put your values on priority and keep up with your routines, no matter what! Cause these are the things you do for yourself, not for others. If you mix these things right, while you being with the people you love. That would be the life worth living with joy, pride and no regrets.
 
So go ahead, take back the control of your own life. Be yourself and stay motivated.

Life you really want comes with discipline, consistency and self-compassion, always!

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Life!

It’s not a predefined path towards happiness or sadness but a way which we carve out for ourselves. It’s based on the choices we make in our voyage.

Life is not a straight line, it’s a zig-zag path. Mixed with both the lows and highs of happiness and sadness. There has not been a single fortunate person who just had only happiness in life from the cradle till the grave and no single unfortunate one who just had sadness. Everybody, every single person experiences both the emotions in his or her lifetime. Though the ratio of these feelings differs for each and everyone.

If we want to live a happy and healthy life, we need to stay happy in a bigger ratio than sadness. How can we achieve it?

Anyone can achieve it, cause happiness is a choice not a state of mind. At times there will be situations that definitely gonna make us sad, but it’s our choice to fight them or to surrender. We do have a choice to surface up from that sadness. We have a choice to be happy. But it needs strong willpower to make that choice. More than 60% of people I know as friends, family or as close ones don’t possess that kind of willpower, which results in them being in a sad state which is totally unnecessary for them. They could choose happiness over that sadness but they didn’t, because their willpower was not that strong which didn’t allow them to move on from that sad thing. So how do we deal with this?

To reach a greater goal, first, we need to take the first step. That’s the most difficult part. Most of the people couldn’t make it there, because they don’t even take that first step.

Once we have taken the first step to get started, then we need to keep on moving by taking short but steady steps. Some people, after getting started, get so excited that they move on high pace, but they couldn’t keep up that pace and get tired of different circumstances like not getting the desired results or physical tiredness etc. and eventually they stop moving. But people who take smaller steps and keep on going on a steady pace and not thinking much about the goal but the process of reaching there, eventually get there.

Taking small steps and keep on going is not easy as it may seem, but it’s better than the former one. We must practice it with discipline so much until it becomes a native habit. Who said no efforts are needed? Of course, it will take great efforts, but won’t it be worth it? If it will give you a happy and healthy life.

Haven’t you heard, a healthy mind in a healthy body? In most cases it’s true. How could you achieve it? [Here’s a good article on 7 Steps to a Healthy Body and Mind.] There is only one way to be in a routine. Just show up every day, do it every day. Practice self-compassion each and every day.

Come on, make that choice, be happy be healthy. Show up every day for the routine you want to follow. Take that first step and keep moving.

Thanks to James Clear and Anca Dumitru for inspiring this post.

 

Inspiration only reveals itself after perspiration.

– James Clear