Enslaved by habits

On the epitaph of a noble soul, read the lines

“Herein lies the soul of the one who couldn’t get up at 5, and hence life pushed him into eternal darkness”

Well, that is what the world will put up on my grave. No matter how much I try, I can’t gather myself to wake up at 5. It’s like a curse that seems to stick, with no likeliness of ebbing away. Bad habits are hard to get rid off. No matter how much you try, they catch onto you regardless of what you do. Like a bad case of drug addiction, you initially try , but later when things get hard, you find yourself justifying to why having it is boon than bane. Here are a few tips to avoid bad habits and inculcate good ones :-

The dreaded 5’O clock club

I keep coming across articles which aim to summarise the ideal way to success, and there always lies the point “Be a part of the 5’O clock club”. It seems appalling and in simple ways, absurd to think that the only thing between me and a six figure salary is an alarm clock which doesn’t work that well. Well, this is just me trying to justify things. I am lazy and I know that. I usually get up at 10 on a holiday, with no sense of shame for the lost time. While I was sleeping, the so called 5’O clock club must have already jogged through the entirety of Dwarka(Suburban Delhi), taken a bath, had breakfast and probably in the middle of a movie when the sleepy me walks in on them , smudging my eyes. Well, that basically a scene featuring me and my parents.

Its a shame that I waste my time sleeping, when I can do something productive like writing this article, which btw is being written at 9 pm IST, and not in the morning as planned. If you are like me, and end up sleeping a lot not because you love sleeping, but because its usually dark outside at 5 in the morning, and you don’t like the idea of running in the dark, then high-five.

Post-its 

Again from the diaries of wannabe Bill Gates and Zuckerbergs, the need to manage your tasks is a crucial point. One idea is to maintain a list of what you want to do, a TO DO LIST. Its hard to manage one, and I don’t say that writing it on any piece of paper will help you with achieving it, but then its a necessary step. I as of now, have a piece of paper pasted on the wall right next to my bed. It carries the schedule that I have to adopt during the course of the day. Unfortunately, the schedule starts of at 5:30, hence impossible to achieve. But there is one good thing that comes by it, I do wake up even before my alarm goes off. Call it magic or I am a genuine freak of nature, but ever since I have pasted that schedule next to my bed, I do wake up at around 5:30, lie awake for about an hour wondering whether it would be a good decision to head out in the dark and cold. This deliberation doesn’t help me much with getting out of bed, but certainly exhausts me enough to fall back to sleep.

Avoid ego-depletion 

Well, this term isn’t what you think it is. No, I don’t mean to validate your behavior of being snobbish or acting haughty in front on strangers who don’t know you well enough to see who you really are. Ego depletion is a psychological term and is used to refer to a state wherein we exhaust our will power. If you are wondering how the hell does one deplete their will power. Its not a fuel or food, but just a state of mind. Well, think clearly then.

Will power is a potent force that can make a cripple walk and in your case, help you get your daily chores done. Its all psychological, since what you think on the inside is what you manifest outside. If you think that you can do something, you tend to become happy rather than being distraught and this in turn releases a set of hormones in your body which eases the bodily function and provides impetus to your efforts. So it is necessary that we preserve our will power and don’t go about exerting ourselves over everything and anything that comes across. It would be a shame that you have to exert yourself to get your ass of the bed on sundays to get the grocery from the nearby market. You have to make a habit of things, where deliberation is to be killed, and initiative is to be weighed upon.

So learn to make a habit of things than to force yourself. Will power is exhaustive and should be utilized when the situation requires it.

Delayed Gratification

I am a commerce grad, and recently while learning about financial management, I came across this phrase stating that shareholders of a company may prefer dividends now than in the future. This is inspite of the fact that the company invested in may have a growth potential and may utilize these very funds for capital appreciation. This is true in all the other cases as well. Everything is for now, a job now, money now, pleasure now and nothing for later. Rationality is too obscure an idea, when gratification is involved. Its like being a fly, too enticed by the light emitting mosquito killer. You see the other flies dying as they near it, but then who cares, that white light is so cool.

Whenever we aim to do something it involves a level of hardwork, lot of pain and sweat. You do so with a hope that maybe what you do now, will reap greater dividends in the future. Delayed gratification helps you maintain a level of momentum in life, an inertia which helps you sail through hardships. Its upto you whether you want small bits of gratification, which amount to nothing, or wait and work enough for it to become big enough.

 

Follow the mantra if you want to wriggle out of the quagmire boring life, or you can choose to bash on regardless.

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Condition the Mind-Nail that interview

Placement season is up at the college, and everyone seems busy as a bee, trying to sort things out and enter the rat race for the fancy job.I have been subjugated to my own share of rat racing without any conscious intention of being a part of it. It is more of peer pressure as I haven’t got a clue to what I want to do, so I do things anyways. With placements comes a baggage of other goodies such as GDs and interviews.

So, I am sure people get very psyched by the idea of having to sit in front of someone and rant about their lives and understanding of concepts, which they didn’t know of until that very moment.Now, out of sheer respect for the decorum of an interview, you choose not to spike your inquisitiveness and ask about it there and then. But, interviews are overall very fun.

But to respond in line to the DAILY PROMPT, if you get all jittery about the D-Day and don’t know how or what might soothe your nerves, try fooling your mind. Life is all about a power play between what we believe in and what we end up doing. Sometimes it’s hard not to freak out, but then, probably the major detrimental factor for that job is for you to not freak out. So, just ask yourself, do your really want the job?

As you get things clear in your head, it helps draw in rationality and wipe out the blur. You need to know that being presentable in a interview is important, seeming classy and intelligent is also useful, but the most important factor is that you should plan to be just you. Let the company want you for you, rather than  going in with a list of attributes that would seem ideal for the profile.

If you can digest all these lines, you will realise that you are no more nervous. This is because the element of surprise is gone. You come to an understanding that whatever should happen in the interview shall happen, but what I need to do is to be me. When I am me, nobody can catch me off guard since I know ‘ me’ more than you know me.

DAILY PROMPT

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/big-day-ahead/

 

The Vindictive Approach

Success and failures are considered to be two sides of the same coin, though one is a little shiny and the other a little rusty. Everyone wishes for that shiny part, but do little to to achieve it. The reality of the matter is that, it’s not the shiny part you inherit, rather you smudge of the rustiness of the coin to make it shine. It’s failure that leads to success, without there being an absolute achievement of things being otherwise.

Being the fallible human beings, that we are, the failures sometimes plunge us into grim darkness. In such situations, it is up to us, whether we want to allured by the darkness or let our vision of the distant light guide us out of complacency. Sometimes the fear of failure reached disturbing level of magnitude, so not only to  ignore the light, but let the darkness clog our thinking.

I find myself in situation wherein I fail miserably yet don’t let myself become distraught. It’s not a facade of nonchalance, it’s just that to believe in the inevitability of things, and coming to terms with the consequences helps one wake up to the harsh truths in life. For a number of years, I have seen myself become a person whose competitiveness wasn’t restricted to the mental imagery of my victory, but equal happiness in other’s misery. It wasn’t a happy indulgence as it subconsciously blinded me so much, that I started basing my life as per the opinion of other people. Living in my own insecurities to find validation from others, was my chance at peace.

As you experience more and more in life, your perception undergoes transformation from being superficial to being profound. As you learn to weigh upon your own potential, you learn to care less of other’s opinions and everything isn’t a race anymore. From being vindictive, you become the exuberant being who is immune to trivia of life which immiserates you more. It’s not a fight to become the best so as when comparisons are drawn, you can stand there and smile. There is more to life than thinking about others ;think about yourself, but not in a selfish way, set personal goals, not career ones.

 

I like to play the blame game, do you?

I like to play the blame game, so should you. It’s funny and exhilarating, pinning your failures onto others. Sometimes, it’s out of sheer disdain for those around ,that you try to pin your failures and acts of indiscretion onto others. It’s even ridiculous, because we are the ones who loose out, yet the sadistic pleasure of someone suffering for your misdoings is a thing that we like.

It starts with a seed in the mind, perpetuated by our unwillingness to take control of things in our lives. Such dire situations, which require our utmost commitments make us ponder, our we up for the game with life, our should we take the easy way out and play the blame game. We choose the latter.

It starts small, small like the days at school, when an hour of outing with your parents became the major distraction of the weekend, so as to make it difficult for you to write that one page of the assignment due for a monday. At school, with the teacher’s cane up front, parents became the culprit and victim of your wrath for irresponsible parenting as you burst out on them, passing on the blame. As you grew up and faltered to stand up to the occasion and make it to the ivy leagues, you brushed aside those shoulders which came towards you to console you, disregarding the fact that in your defeat was their sorrow too. But then, your passion for blame games let you into the abyss of constant complaining and crying, where every opportunity was another call for undue hassle and effort. As you graduated to another level, and chose a companion in life, the foreplay of profession took the toll of your personal affairs. You didn’t contemplate what was wrong with the situation, for you knew, the wrong was in the person…and yet again that person wasn’t you, it was the Her.  You strengthened your philosophy of letting go of what lets you down, and moved on. In the brisk environment of  constant pressure and pain, you were an infallible creature of utmost dignity and humility which no one saw, and with that thought you marched on. As you tried to climb that ladder of success, you just looked up and thought that once you reach there, standing at that pedestal of true success, you would finally accomplish what has bereaved you for so long. And yet, as you reached, that feeling didn’t last. You asked yourself now and again, a little agitated and huffed out in agony, what was wrong. You felt vulnerable, as you realized those around were all gone. Now you couldn’t either blame anyone, nor could you embrace anyone. Your game was now over, and life had reached that constant, from where there was no marching on.

Anger- Don’t let it consume you

Anger is an expression, a state of mind, an unwillingness to control our emotions the right way. Anger is a constant measure of one’s toil with own emotions and consequential loss of control. There is not particular thing that may beset this emotion, for it can be a gradual or a sudden upheaval of emotions bought about by an event.

You maybe a hulk or a shrieking little girl in the closet, but when you get angry, it only clogs your mind. Angry people are dangerous people and even irrational. What makes them dangerous isn’t the fact that they might hurt you, but just the fact that in that moment of anger, they are capable of doing anything that might inturn eventually hurt them, and they do so regardless. A person who can’t love himself is definitely a dangerous person.They lack perception of reality and let their emotions take the best of them.

So don’t let anger spoil you and blind you. Control your emotions, don’t let them control you

Setbacks & Comebacks

 

Setbacks and Comebacks are two mutually exclusive events where one follows the another.The occurrence of both isn’t something sought as forthcoming, but is merely consequence of our reflections upon life and its virtues. Adversities aren’t noble guests which knock on your door, seeking permission for your attention. Rather, they are like a cavalcade of spearheaded humanoids which have blithe disregard towards your life and will kill you for good. It’s up to you, whether you want to be up in arms yourself on the other side of that door when they come knocking, or wish to present yourself as steak ready to be slaughtered.

But setbacks, as the term suggests may not always kill you. They will just push you back . It is like a litmus test of life, where the powers above test whether you will push back or not. Setbacks seek to present with themselves an opportunity for you to redeem yourself of your shortcoming and start afresh to a better beginning, a stronger beginning. As is said, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is in fact true in all regards. A person achieves true success not while envisaging a dreamy future, but whilst he battles in the face of adversity. Not everybody will have a Eureka moment while rejoicing in a bathtub. Troubles might trip you, bethrow you, but that is when you learn, you learn to be better, to be stronger; you learn that you don’t know everything there is to know, but atleast wish to try, for a life a ignorance and comfort isn’t a life lived, it isn’t a life at all.

You then make a comeback and seek greatness, when you realize that you aren’t infallible, when the blood gushing through your wounds, emotional or physical, prove testament to your mortality. You learn to grow up from your frailty and wish to be better, wish not for you past to erase itself, but just wish, that when the time comes, you have the courage to face it all over again. You learn not to regret, for you are nothing but a silhouette of emptiness without your experiences. It is when you hit rock bottom in life, do you stop digging and for a change, look up and see the light that swathes over. It is not the light of intellectualism nor is it the light of culmination, it is the light of reality which has now struck you hard and shaken you out of your complacency. It is when your self esteem can’t wither away more, there is only one way to go and that way is the way up. So jump on it and rise towards glory. This reminds of a beautiful poem by the late author Maya Angelou, ” Still I rise”.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.