When lights are off

Minutes before sleeping when nobody is watching, judging or making an opinion about you. When you’re no more pretending and behaving in a certain way to fit in a category. When you are with you. Just with you!

In that quiet moment, when that internal monologue starts in your head… What person are you?

Are you a lost helpless man who has not figured out his life yet?
Are you a heartbroken lover from a past relationship?
Or, Does it feel like an invincible and indestructible warrior in you?

Wait for a minute here. Try to remember that moment, it is telling you something.
How does it feel? Good. Bad. Ugly. Scary?

Since the morning alarm to rushing to work, and from Facebook notifications to evening TV shows, the only quite time we get to reflect upon us is when the lights are off and you are in a semi-conscious state just before sleeping.

Unconscious and unable enough to escape from fears you keep running away and,
Conscious enough to feel the reality of the moment.

In that moment, try to listen to this internal monologue happening inside your head;  It tells you a lot about your personality and how you are actually feeling under your skin.

Trust me, if you’re not the same person what you showcase to the world; and If you feel different in this silence and darkness, unlike the daytime; then you are actually living a life of self-implicated lie! or something is definitely wrong with you or your thinking pattern, which at least requires being acknowledged.

So… Leaving you with this question.

What person are you? when lights are turned off and you are about to sleep.

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Place inside me where Nothing is Impossible

Nobody understands, when I tell them my dreams; the sacrifices and efforts I make, to pursue them. I understand that, it’s very difficult for them to perceive, weighing it with their perspectives, comparing it with their lives, and concluding based on their experiences; decisions that led them to successes or failures in their past.

In most cases, either they give me satirical smiles, doubt my abilities or tell me it’s impossible. Because they and their friends couldn’t figure it out. But, this reaction, often, seeds my sensitive mind with self-doubts and somewhat discourages me. And I know that is exactly the thing I’m not supposed to be doing.

The only way out is clearing and cutting off any said (and unsaid) opinions of these people which make me miserable, and to quiet my mind and let something from deep inside me speak to myself. What “I” believe and think of myself.

Deep inside me, a place where I don’t have to protect myself from the opinion of the outer world, where I’m aware of my abilities which I can harness and weaknesses I can overcome, where I can dream anything, be anything without getting limited by possible defeats. Where there are some moments when I feel invincible and stronger like never before. Because In that place, deep inside me I know nothing is impossible!

Souls tends to go back to,
Who feel like home.

~ N R Hart

A place where superficial me, stands face to face with myself, coming from deep inside. And, we always have a meaningful conversation. My inner self: who is courageous enough to dream big, who has bold glaring eyes and an unwavering focus; who finds every reason in the world to keep me motivated; who make me smile right at the face of adversities and convinces me that nothing can stop you! The one who believes, that no harm could come following your heart and trusting your instincts.

The place where nothing is impossible and I can be anything, and achieve anything, whatever I want in this world. Anything!

Signing off… Superficial me…

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My Chapter one , His Chapter 20

In my junior year, they taught us programming languages (C, C++) and one of my classmates was very good at them; capable enough to develop programming logics in minutes. If I remember right, he never took more than half an hour to complete the programs for any assignments or examinations. When I and my friends were still wondering how to even attempt the problem, he would have already completed everything and looking at the rest of the class which was still struggling. No doubt he was fast and teacher’s favorite!

Initially I was impressed, but eventually, I started comparing myself to him. Considering myself somewhat incompetent or probably not smart enough, but before I could even realize, slowly a fear of programming languages seeped into me, I felt inferior (It’s really a very bad feeling) which drew me away from learning any programming language for some time. It felt like I can’t learn one, they are tough and I’m not smart enough to grasp them.

“Comparison is the death of joy.”

~ Mark Twain

Today, after around 10 years, I can program in many languages with total ease, and remembering the old time brings a realization, that the only cause of that feeling of incompetence was comparing myself to the smart guy, to be honest comparing the end results not our efforts. I was never in any ways incompetent, or a bad programmer, It was just me making myself, feel miserable by comparing my zero efforts with the knowledge he attained over time. I know now it was totally my fault!

I remember he used to breathe, live and talk programming languages and I was nothing like that and was more concerned about my soccer match in the evening 🙂

No one can make you inferior,
without your consent

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Understand: The comparison of end result would have made any real sense, if in the case both of us would have poured in, the same amount of efforts, but that was not the case here, I never made any efforts in learning any programming language. And even if you’re doing the comparison of end results, please make sure to compare the efforts invested in reaching to that level before that.

“You can’t compare someone’s Chapter-20 with your Chapter-1”.

There are still moments when some tasks may appear challenging and unachievable, but now they don’t scare me anymore or make me feel bad about myself because, I understand that first I need to put in required Hard work, energy and efforts, and then do the comparison if that is even required.

Signing off, Cheers…

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On Passion

What is Passion?

Lets first understand what is the passion anyways? what is all that fuss about? Let me decipher that for you – By definition, Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion, an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.

Passion is an Emotion

Passion is the life-force generated from deep within, that manifests itself
in boundless enthusiasm, a limitless undying and a self-sustaining source of energy.

What does Passion look like?

I mean how to know you’re passionate about something? The answer is you might not see it because it is an emotion: You need to feel it.

Remember the time when you did something nice to someone without a reason or You created something from scratch out of pure creativity into a finished product? and you felt a sudden rush of positive emotions inside you? and it felt like you want more of this feeling? Yes, maybe that’s your passion. You’ll feel it when it comes to you, Just be aware of the feeling, even though it is very difficult to identify one.

“It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.”

~ T.S. Elliot

Once you taste your passion it becomes an obsession you’ll want to get the same feeling over and over. Like for example, while writing this article I was constantly getting a gush of emotions and positive vibes, I don’t know the reason but it just felt good 🙂 it felt the right thing to do, without any specific reason, which I don’t know yet, but I’ll keep writing more such articles in future 🙂

How to find your passion?

The public consensus is – first find your passion or purpose then strive to get it. I totally disagree!

It’s like one beautiful day a fairy would appear from nowhere and whisper words of wisdom in your ears and from that day onwards you’ll start working your way through. But, That’s not going to happen, like ever!

Passion is an emotion, either you wait for the right moment and you’ll feel it when something happens; let me rephrase it – “If something happens” or  (The better way) Put efforts in what interests you and you’ll highly likely increase the chances of getting the gush of emotions.

Understand: There is a huge difference between what you wish and an undying Passion. Never misunderstand Passion for a wish and what differentiates them is “your efforts”. Consider your efforts as an entry point of the path to the higher state of positive emotion called “Passion”. Hence, just knowing you need passion in life will not suffice; it is also is very important to figure out your passion and incline your efforts in pursuance of your interests & wishes, which will reap you the right results. Follow your efforts, Passion will come to you at the right time.

Passion and Efforts 

When you put the efforts at correct places, even before achieving anything great, you start getting the taste of the by-products – The pleasure of getting things done, The feeling of moving a step closer, Joy in finding what you can achieve, The possibilities. Then you get obsessed with it and pour in more efforts, this why I believe Passion and Efforts are very interdependent.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~ Howard Thurman, Author and Philosopher

Understand: That a feeling or an emotion is a dynamic state of mind and you can’t stay there always, some days you’ll feel full of life but some days would come very dull to you. Efforts play a key role in this, as they bring some intermediate results, which are often motivating and further feeds intensity to your passion.

It’s like the first push on the pedal that put your Bicycle in motion and then suddenly you realize you can balance it and then you start loving the breeze on your face and in your hairs; and you push the pedals few more times, as all of sudden it has become a joyful experience and with every pedal you start gaining momentum and now you find the speed thrilling, adding further to your experience, so you push the pedals couple of more times and immersed in this experience you don’t even realize that you reached your destination. In almost similar manner passion drives you to your destination.

Your efforts are food to your passion,
more you feed it more passionate you become.

Do you really need Passion in your life?

You don’t necessarily need passion to live; unless of course, you are one of those blessed souls who has discovered its compelling and all-encompassing vitality and who would find no joy in a life lived without it.

Yes, It is addictive, you want more and more of it, making your life abundant with limitless energy and undying enthusiasm. Who doesn’t wants that? 🙂

Don’t believe me? Fair enough, just wait until it hits your mind, body, and soul 🙂

What happens to you once you feel Passionate?

It is a fervent expression of hope that can withstand all setbacks and make you just hold on!

To hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says: “Hold on!”

~ Rudyard Kipling

When you’re passionate, you tend stick to the job no matter how worse things are getting, with  a hope that it might get well, you feel abundance of positive life force within you that makes you happy and motivated even in the difficult times, enough to smile back at problems, like you know this too shall pass 🙂

What after you know your passion?

Passion drives you but that is not the end, you’ll still require commitment, discipline, and strong work ethics to make it happen, Passion is just a part of the process once you complete one cycle of this process you feel more passionate, you can call it self-healing circle of passion

process

Why self-healing cycle? because you’ve to just provide some initial push and rest of the process becomes somewhat pleasurable compared to initial friction once you start getting some intermediate results, and they might motivate you enough to feed in more efforts in the cycle.

Once the process gains momentum it’s just like a pedal of a bicycle all you need is to push the first pedal [The Effort] and the second one feels lighter because of the momentum [Passion] already gained from previous efforts and with the pace you start balancing and your cycle moves forward. Obviously, you’ve to keep pedaling [Discipline and Commitment] if you want to reach your destination and after gaining the momentum it’s even a lot easier to hold on.

Conclusion

Though passion is not at all mandatory in life, but it’s the most abundant form of life force you’ll ever feel burning deep inside you in the easy and tough phases of life, if you direct your Efforts towards your interests, making sure to add some Discipline and Commitment to the recipe, then without a doubt it will bring joy in your journey towards whatever you desire to achieve in life.

Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping, waiting and though unwanted, unbidde it will stir open its jaws and howl.

It speaks to us, guides us, passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have?

Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love, the clarity of hatred and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear.

If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace, but we would be hollow, empty rooms shuttered and dank.

Without passion we’d be truly dead.”

~ Joss Whedon, Screenwriter and Director

Signing off, until next time…

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The only easy day was Yesterday

One of my close friend often tells me you are too hard on yourself sometimes you should relax and go easy or it will wear you out in long run, I know he says this out of pure love because he often finds me in stressful conditions and working (not the office work) even at times and place when am not supposed to. I partially agree with him – it is uncomfortable and demotivating, there are times when I’m doubtful  of my capabilities, impatient to get the results, tired and damn sleepy.

But, these are all part of the process that has made me slightly mentally strong over time and by every iteration. So I trust in this process! I understand that there is no alternative to that and

In “Recipe of success”,
“Hard work” is the only ingredient in my control.

Going easy will reap mediocre results and trust me no one deep down in his heart wants to be second in life, because technically second is the first loser 🙂 . Investing your time, energy and persistent efforts will present you possibilities and sense of accomplishments that is far more satisfying than anything else.

This leaves me with couple of questions in my mind, that are –

  • Why we think there is a limit to the capacity of work we can do in a day?
  • Why we need to rest more in order to produce a quality work or work with a full potential? By the way, what is a full potential? who sets that limit?
  • Why we eagerly wait for weekends and plan holidays to ease us out and recollect ourselves from the so-called wearing and tearing done by continuous efforts we put in our work?
  • Why we want a time offs so that we can bounce back harder with more energy?

Allow me to tell you a real life story –


There is an American Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler who is net worth of $100 million. A few years back he was running a 100 mile race in San Diego, part of Six person relay team, but there was this guy more than 200 pounds (i.e 90+ Kilograms) which is quite large for an ultra marathon runner, who was running the complete 100 miles by himself and all he had was a water bottle and some light snacks. Jesse wondered who was this man and since he has never seen anything like this ever, so during the entire race he kept an eye on this guy. By the time this guy finished the race he had broken all the small bones in both of his feet and had kidney damage”. So like any millionaire, Jesse hired this guy to live with him and train him and later even wrote a book about his experiences with this guy, with title – “Living with a seal

Jesse Itzler’s story sounds too good to be true and to add to that – this guy  was David Goggins, Former US Navy seals and he did, in fact, weigh over 200 pounds while running ultra marathons, which is an unheard of feat in the running community.

But there is a different aspect to this glorious story, in fact adding some points to his exploits, Goggin’s did all of this while suffering Atrial Septum defect, a heart defect caused by a hole in the walls of the heart, which limits a person’s endurance. on top of that, in his early life he had a rough childhood; in not so good neighborhood and for last “34 years, David has been working with about ¾ of his heart. The right side of his heart was receiving too much oxygenated blood and the blood wasn’t going to the rest of his body as it should,” in spite of these facts he was not only able to serve his country in most elite Armed forces on face of this planet – US Navy Seals, but also is an Ultra Marathon runner, Guinness world record holder of maximum pull-ups in 24 hours (4030 pull ups)


This story does not mean we are physically and mentally limitless? No! but all of us have this natural proclivity to underestimate our own physical and mental capacity which definitely requires a thorough revision. We are not going to wear out by working hard, or not sleeping well some straight nights; limits like these are self-inflicted by us and we just need to push our self to set new limits and then push us again to break that limit to set up a new one.

Science tell us that –

When our mind says we are done,
Then we are actually operating at our 40% capacity

In a 2008 study, researchers found that subjects who were given a placebo but told it was caffeine were able to lift significantly more weight than those who were really given caffeine.

There are endless stories and real life examples of people who pushed physical and mental limits of their body and achieved which was considered as impossible in face of adversities or by the human body itself. An amputated Indian girl “Arunima Sinhawho became first female amputee to climb Mount Everest in less than 2 years when she lost a leg in a tragic event. People like David Goggin’s and Arunima Sinha have proved that there are underlying – many folds of possibilities, if we just stop underestimating our capabilities and foster mental toughness.

Most elite military force of all times US Navy seals have a motto –

The only easy day was Yesterday

~ US Navy Seals

It means – The grind never ends and it’s not about achieving a target and you’re done, But going for the next one and killing it and then next one, by consistently pushing your limits to know what you are actually made of.

More than that this motto teaches us that Life is a never ending suffering, no matter how cautiously you choose your steps; how much planning you put into keeping things together, there would be times things will go south and you won’t be able to fix that. So better get used to it

Be uncomfortable with your comforts

Let’s be prepared by stretching our minds to challenge self inflicted limits  and achieve more than we think we are capable, because actually, we are!

Leonardo da Vinci’s  principle of life was –

Ostinato Rigore

~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Which means stubborn, relentless and persevering work ethic. That is what Da Vinci followed all his life. Once he started working on a certain pursuit, he would not let it rest until he had completed it. This is what made him one of the masters of the world as we know it. He was one of the prevailing voices of the Renaissance. It was through his commitment to this principle that he allowed science, art, military strategies, and machinery to be forever changed which still affects us till date. Just because he stayed with it; with his problems and un-comforts and kept working on his projects when everything went south and even in situations of total turmoil. Rest is history!

Goodness never comes with mediocrity, it won’t come to us until we are stubborn enough to stay out of comfort zones; Until we develop a cold-blooded intensity in our work ethics; Until we keep challenging our self-inflicted limitations to really understand what we are actually made of.

So, What are YOU made of? Leaving you to ponder upon this thought, Signing off…

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