Do you feel a weird kind of hollowness in your life? You work very hard with intensity and resilience every day, but still, something doesn’t add up. You feel like you are not delivering to your full potential. We all feel this way but couldn’t know the root cause behind it. Don’t we?
Keep reading further and see for yourself if the argument sheds some light on this subtle paradox.
BOTTOM LINE : If you want to feel complete, resourceful and enriched then find harmony with yourself. It starts from within.
There is no such thing as BAD or GOOD emotions. Emotions are not supposed to be judged. Feel them and accept them with open arms. Your every emotion (guilt, fear, anger, etc.) can be clearly linked to your values [THEY HIGHLIGHT YOUR VALUES].
You must own your emotions, not the other way around. Emotions [are/could] either be uncomfortable or comfortable for you.
If they are uncomfortable, that means the source of that emotion isn’t in harmony with your existing values.
Every emotion either conforms to your values ORacts as a signboard/navigator to your disorientation with your values.
Before we figure out what the difference is, let’s find out what affection really is.
It is something that makes us harder to get unattached from. An uncontrollable pull towards something or someone. And, to attain something or someone, we end up investing everything we own for a person or a thing.
We are always in an illusion that affection is nothing but our intense form of love. Isn’t it right? Don’t we think affection/attraction is the same as Love?
If you think about it more closely, you will know that there is a significant difference between the two.
When there is love for a person – you try to give happiness to that person.
However, when there is affection for a person – you treat the other person as a means for your own happiness.
When there is love for a person – you don’t keep yourself as the center of everything. It is all about the other person.
However, when there is affection for a person – you are the center of all. It is all about you.
When there is love for adesignation or a position – you would work on yourself to deserve that position.
However, when there is affection for a designation or a position – you would be ready to achieve it by any unethical means possible.
When there is love for having a good fortune – you would work hard to get it.
However, when there is affection for having a good fortune – you would try to steal it.
If you have affection for someone, you tend to consider that person as a means for all your happiness. And, when you don’t get that person – your whole life turns upside down. Isn’t it so?
Now that you know the difference, how can you save yourself from affection? Is there a way out?
Yes, there is. Just turn your affection into love. As simple as that. Understand that your own happiness or sadness can’t be based on a person or a thing. Your happiness or sadness is your internal affair. It is the nature of your soul.
Affection always tries to bind you – that is why it is the reason for your sadness. On the other hand, Love offers freedom – that is why it is the basis of happiness. Think about it.
When someone gets something in life be it a good wife/husband, a car or anything of importance, don’t we feel jealous? Yes, of course, we show our happiness to that person, but if we really ask ourselves – don’t you think we get a feeling that we would be far happier if the other person wouldn’t have gotten that thing?
Even though we are well aware of the fact that jealousy is a bad feeling to have, we tend to get sad by someone’s happiness and get happier with someone’s sadness. Don’t we?
So, basically what is this jealousy? How does it eat up our happiness? Also, it isn’t easy to get rid of this feeling, because we don’t get this feeling all the time.
How can we get rid of it then?
The only solution to such problems is to go deeper and do the ‘root cause analysis’.
RCA (Root cause analysis):
Let’s start from the beginning:
What happens when someone gets something? Basically, it enhances the status of that person in society, family, close people, etc. As a result, all of a sudden all eyes (for the time being) get focused on that person. That person starts to get all the attention. Isn’t it so?
If you think about it, the main reason for our sadness is: we feel that our importance is getting deteriorated. And, from here jealously creeps in.
Now, if we dig a little deeper and ask ourselves – why do we feel that we should always be the center of attention? What do we get by being the center of attention? – the answer is: We feel that we matter.Our life is not a waste. We matter for people we love.
We always tend to measure our importance with other’s viewpoints. However, the viewpoint of others towards us is always changeable.
Others’ looking at us is their favor towards us. It’s not our right. When we start getting to feel important from within or when we start enjoying our own life on our own standards, in other words as soon as our heart is filled with self-confidence, jealously runs away.
Conclusion: Jealousy is nothing but the mere evidence of a lack of self-confidence in ourselves.
It was my 2nd tandem jump, but I was fearful. The first one was in Prague and the 2nd one in the Netherlands. Fortunately, the instructor had some time and we were disusing a lot of things related to jump. I couldn’t hold my inquisitiveness and asked a lot of questions instinctively and he responded nicely. The below question was an eye-opener for me and thought to share!
Me: Do you still fear before the jump? Instructor: Yes! (I was puzzled). He waited for a few seconds and elaborated. Once you have fear you keep yourself ready to brace the situation, checking all the gears, hooks, etc. Which is indeed required for a safe jump. He correlated with driving and cycling where we are cautious initially which is needed while making a turn or overtaking. So fear is a form to face the situation in a more effective way.
He said, he is jumping for the last 16 years and as an instructor for last 6 six and still, he fears before the jump.
What is life? How to live a fulfilled life? What to do with our life?
All these questions come to our mind once in a while. We try really hard to live every single day as good as we possibly can. But, after going very far in our life journeys, we look back and notice that we could/would/might have lived better. Once the top priorities of our life don’t really even matter anymore. We analyze and come to the conclusion of the sad truth, which is, we didn’t even concentrate on portions of life which really mattered the most.
Where is the problem?
Let’s try to understand the mechanics of life closely. What are the parameters which govern us all life long?
Below is a compact life formula. Try to fit yourself in this non-linear equation of life and see how you are doing.
H/F: Happiness or Fulfillment
Δ1: Choices in your life made by you
Δ2: Choices in your life made by others on your behalf
n: Comfort zone
Now, in the above formula, as you can see, Happiness or Fulfillment is directly proportional to ‘Money’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Health’. That means, if we have more money, better relationships ,and good health, our lives will be more fulfilling and happier. Don’t you agree with that? Indeed, it is true.
Furthermore, in the formula, Happiness is inversely proportional to the Difference of ‘Choices made by others for you’ and ‘Choices made by yourself’. Which means, the smaller the difference the greater the happiness. Notice one thing here though. If Δ2>Δ1, the final value of ‘Happiness’ goes to an imaginary value (For those who are not aware, negative values inside a square root result into imaginary values). In other words, you actually didn’t live at all. It was an imaginary or virtual life which you lived. Always try to keep the difference (Δ1-Δ2) as bigger as possible to uplift the Happiness factor.
Another important factor in this Life’s formula is ‘n’ – the comfort zone. The more the value of ‘n’ the lesser the value of Happiness and fulfillment in your life.
Now, the most important parameters of this formula, which no one tells us about and we usually neglect them. Those are:
The value of α is of the order (10^-9), the value of β is of the order (10^6) and the value of γ is of the order (10^9). Now, if you put these values in the formula, you will see that though H/F is directly proportional to money, the value of α is too small. Which means, even if you earn more and more money, the happiness/fulfillment will not be increased by that order – because of the very low value of α. On the other hand, the value of β is high and hence ‘Better relationships’ add up to a higher level of Happiness/fulfillment. The value of γ is even higher. Which tells us that, the better the health, the most positive impact it will produce on our happiness and fulfillment.
Conclusion: We tend to notice only the variants – m, R and H. But, key to highly fulfilling and enormously happy life is to give utmost importance to the variants α, β and γ together with other factors such as n and (Δ1-Δ2).
Essentially, there are two types of people in the universe.
Type 1: They are too sweet and awesomly innocent. They believe in what is told to them without posing any questions. For them, it is like – why even bother.
Type 2: They look for evidence in everything they hear. They don’t stick to a side. These are the people who play a role in taking the human race forward. This world as you know it needs these people more than ever before.
Imagine what would have happened if there were no Type 2 people around to ask these great scientists the hard questions about their theories. We owe a lot to them.
To understand this better, keep reading further. Read closely the ideas and thoughts of these famous figures and how insanely wrong they were in understanding this world.
ARISTOTLE (384 BC – 322 BC)
He believed in a geocentric world. He thought that the earth sits at the center of the cosmos: the sun, moon, planets, and stars, embedded in crystalline spheres, revolve around it. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
NICOLAUS COPERNICUS (1473 – 1543)
He thought that the planets orbited the Sun, and that the Moon orbited Earth. The Sun, in the center of the universe, did not move, nor did the stars.
Copernicus was correct about some things but wrong about others. The Sun is not in the center of the universe, and it does move, and so do the stars. Also, both Copernicus and Ptolemy thought the orbits of the planets were circular, but we now know they are elliptical.
ISAAC NEWTON (1643 – 1727)
He was wrong about what caused gravity. He thought gravity was some type of universal pulling force that held everything together and was just part of the way things worked in the universe. He was a mathematical genius and could explain all other scientific aspects of gravity with phenomenal precision, but not what caused it. He invented something called gravitational pull.
In 1915, Albert Einstein published his Theory of
General Relativity which explained that gravity was caused by the warping
of space around massive objects. Space actually curved around these objects in
space. We are being pushed down to the Earth by the curved space, not
pulled down as Newton explained. Einstein’s theory was proven in 1919 and again
in 1921 with the help of the great astrologist, mathematician and physicist,
Arthur Eddington. It has since been proven many times.
ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879 – 1955)
He published his Theory of General Relativity, but in order to get the math right, Einstein had to create a new constant number (an unchanging value, like ‘pi’ or ‘e’) and stick it inside his general relativity equations to balance them. He called it the “cosmological constant,” and it helped the equations account for the unchanging nature of the universe.But, we all know today that the universe is expanding and not static.
If Copernicus hadn’t doubted the theories of Aristotle, or if Newton hadn’t doubted the theories of Copernicus, or if Einstein hadn’t doubted the theories of Newton, we would still be living in the world with the earth as it’s center and the sun revolving around it and with bunch of Type 1 people around us.
Because these scientists were all Type 2 people, they dared to call the given into question.
It is your choice. Decide your own type. We have tons of Type 1 people already. Type 2 people are rare and scarce. Try to be one of them and you will thank me later.
When we are born, gray matter in our brain is a blank sheet of paper, and ready to be carved. Our subconscious mind is ready to accept any thoughts. It doesn’t know how to categorize those incoming thoughts as positive or negative. Hence, it accepts everything for a fact (as positive). This happens for the first 5 to 8 years of our lifetime.
The model of our brain is written in those 5 years. That is why it is very important to be careful about how parents and teachers treat their kids in those early years.
Whatever is fed into the kid’s mind in those first 5 to 8 years will be a hard truth for him. He will analyze the world based on that rule-book and suddenly the world will become polarized for him. He will start defining the things and people in the world as negative/positive, likes/dislikes, or love/hate based on that conditioning.
If you look inside yourself, you will notice that for some reason you have the tendency to assume a few things in life as hard truth even though you don’t have facts to support them.
For example, fear of water, fear of heights, fear of God, disliking the places other than home, thought of your parents being always right or thinking of yourself as weak, thin, fat, lazy, etc.
You will find yourself believing in such things sub-consciously without thinking. The reason for this is that it was stored in your memory as truth when your brain was all open to accept inputs.
For the same reason, so many people find it extremely difficult to accept something which goes against their hardwired rule-book. The reason could be anything including fear, ego or assumption.
To put it simply, your life’s outline is decided in the first 5 to 8 years even without your approval. It seems scary, right?
Indeed it is.
Some people are too brave, some are way timid. Some are aggressive, some are defensive. Some are leaders, some are followers and so on and so forth.
Nobody chooses deliberately to be timid or a follower. But, it was explained to him as truth in those early years of his life and he follows that path all lifelong. More often than not, a poor person’s child ends up poor and rich person’s child ends up rich. That is why the gap between rich and poor is always increasing.
It’s a chain reaction. Poor people stay poor because their thoughts are poor. They were convinced of taking fewer risks because they think life is harsh. They accept their faults because they think – that is their destiny.
But there are a few people who dare to challenge what is given to them. They deny the already defined rule-book for them. They love to write their own rules by their own means. And, to do that, they make efforts to reconfigure their sub-conscious mind’s rule-book. These are the people who go into history books.
Finally, a humble request. Don’t get your life defined by the rule-book written by somebody else.
Each one of us has a spark to new skills, be it singing, dancing, playing any sports, or honing public speaking skills.
The initial few days of learning that particular skill are really daunting. All the skepticism hovers our mind. We try to compare our ‘newly thought skill’ with a connoisseur of that field. We judge our selves and somehow do our work reluctantly. I have gone through all these experiences, and after speaking with friends and family received similar feedback. This experience is backed by a couple of books which I read as well. So, on a high-level similar thought process is experienced by the majority of people. One thing which is 100% true is that when we master the skill, life becomes awesome and we enjoy it very dearly.
The tricky part is going through the process and experiencing all these not so motivating thoughts, and how to stick to a routine so that we can learn the skill.
Let me share one of my experiences where I learned one skill a couple of years back and then the going through the recent one which triggered my neurons to write the articles.
2016 was the year when I thought to learn swimming. First thing I was doing is making a group of close friends so that it becomes comfortable going together for the class, which I later felt is not a very effective step. Going with a group can be tricky when others are not very keen to learn swimming and just joining you for namesake. Take the bold step. Rather than looking for friends to accompany you, find the training center and register as per your time schedule. Initial few days will be very hard to quantify your progress which is normal, but enjoy the process. Waking up early and getting ready for classes and enjoying the practice session is very important. Watching youtube videos, reading extensively about swimming helps. Make it a personal experience so that you and swimming are not separate. Eventually, I was able to swim alone on the 27th day, maybe it was quick may be long, but eventually today I can swim which is indeed a blissful experience. People when jumps and forays all the hurdles, the new skill is waiting to embrace you. Do not stop in the middle and make daily progress.
The new skill which I am trying to learn is sketching, somehow it was in my mind that I cannot sketch, but after watching one of the TED talks, I was determined to draw. I wouldn’t say it was very easy, but yes I am in the process of learning it and determined to sketch freely! I am following a couple of blogs, YouTube videos, and articles. I must say, it was a really enriching experience.
Below is a recent sample exercise of drawing circles and sketches, which is indeed a lot better than my previous drawing skill !!
We all know the importance of books in our lives. All successful individuals have this one common trait which helped them achieve extraordinary heights in their life and career. We admire these people who happen to read a lot of books. Don’t we?
Having said that, isn’t it ironic that we couldn’t get enough motivation to pick up that first book which has the potential to take our life to the next level?
Listed below are the top 4 reasons among many others, which stop us from getting that much needed inspiration and disguise us into living a mediocre life.
1. Lack of questioning existing beliefs
People have beliefs. And, those beliefs are very dear to them. We have this tendency to hang out with people who resonate with our belief system. No one likes to be challenged.
That is the core of the problem!
People want the answers but they don’t know what to ask. You are never going to reach the depth of something by asking superficial questions. You got to ask those tough questions. Before actually looking for answers, the first step is to ask good questions. And, to ask good questions you need to change your mindset. Asking questions hurt our ego, challenge our beliefs and disrupt our world view. Learn to question everything. Don’t take anything for granted. And, you will automatically gravitate towards good books.
2. Immediate outcome is not visible
In this fast result-oriented life, we trust the processes which can give us immediate results. However, knowledge gathered from books doesn’t work that way. It manifests itself after a couple of years. Good books you read today will help you solve problems 5 years down the road. We all face tricky problems everyday which we find ourselves totally unequipped to deal with. This happens because we didn’t read those books 5 years back which could have helped us today to solve the current problems in life. Think about it.
How can you put your future on the toss by making this choice of not reading books today?
3. Surrounded by people who don’t read
There is a great saying :
We are the average of 5 people we hangout with the most.
Look around and you won’t be able to find a single enthusiastic book reader in your vast circle of acquaintances. What does it tell you?
Very few people actually read with an intention to learn and grow.
Now, you have two options. Keep spending most of the time with those 5 people and be the average of them or start looking for these book lovers. Try to get to know them. Remember, knowledge can be infectious. Sit with these people and you will soon get infected by book reading habit.
4. Find it hard to figure out what to read
Many of us know that reading is essential for the intellectual growth, but they couldn’t figure out what to read. If you are in this situation, give a pat on your back. You are one step closer to getting control of your own destiny. The answer to this puzzle is – if you are stuck on this step of “what to read” that means you haven’t worked on above 3 points mentioned. As soon as you fix the above 3 points (mentioned in this article), you will never find it difficult to know what to read.