Yes, you too can beat aging. Here’s how!

Life is precious, not just for us humans but for every living organism with a beating heart and inanimate objects crafted with love by the creators. You must add something to the world you came in. I would suggest you add value, add beauty, add art, add philosophy, add inventions. Catapult your civilization towards a golden era. You have this one life given to you. It is a must you make the most out of it. Those who think life is misery blended with tons of suffering, at least live long enough to watch those space colonies and bully your grandkids. Least you could do!

Good Morning Planet,

How are you doing?

I am fantastic, as always. My goal is to remain so until I hit the 125 mark.

Yup, you heard it right! Staying alive until 125 is one of my goals.

I understand if at this moment you feel an urge to label me a lunatic. However, I will change your perception by the end of this essay.

At the age of 18 (it could also be 19, I wasn’t keeping journals back in those days, I was young and titties were more appealing than pens), I listened for the first time – “The end by Jim Morrison.”

This is the end, beautiful friend

This is the end, my only friend

The end of our elaborate plans

The end of ev’rything that stands

The end

No safety or surprise

The end

I’ll never look into your eyes again

Can you picture what will be

So limitless and free

Desperately in need of

some strangers hand

In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain

And all the children are insane

All the children are insane

Waiting for the summer rain……..”

I had recently started smoking up. If you are or ever been a stoner, you know what this song does to us. “The End” acted as a doorway to an unexplored cosmos waiting to embrace the madness inside me. That day sparked a rock revolution in my veins, which still demands all of me, all the time.

Back in those days Internet wasn’t as readily available as it is for Millenials. Most of these fuckers perceive it as a birthright. Glad they weren’t born in Kashmir. Nonetheless, I always was a very resourceful person. Twelve months down the line, I had a personal collection of more than 1200 hits. I had posters of every star. Mick Jagger shook his hips on my walls while Cobain played with his needles in my library.

This rock revolution introduced me to Club 27!

In case you lived under a rock for your entire life, let me introduce you to Club 27.

Club 27 is where you go when you are so talented, this world appears to be beneath you.

When your art is unparalleled, when your creativity knows no bounds, when you achieve all one can dream of before you are 26 years old, and when you realize people, riches or fame cannot fill the void inside you, what do you do?

You insert a needle in your veins, and you tap out.

You tap out to a place where there’s no torment left.

You tap out from a place reeking of selfishness.

You tap out from personal miseries, pulling you down.

When all you want to do is fly higher, you tap out!

You go to a better place. You become a part of Club 27.

Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse are few of the woke individuals who became a part of Club 27.

We all need obsessions. Becoming a part of Club 27 became my obsession. The day I decided I wanted to be a part of Club 27, a transformation happened. I was free from the afterthought of what others think about me. All that mattered was writing a revolutionary book before the age of 27 and bidding goodbye.

I wrote less and prepared for my membership more. There wasn’t a substance I left untried. I didn’t consider debauchery a sin. I was a loose cannon. I feared none. All I cared about was to complete a book before 27 and embrace death.

Death should be celebrated. All else is just a passing affair. This was my modus operandi.

It still is!

The only difference is I am no longer chasing the inevitable. Now, I am an ocean. The moon will shine, the tides will rise. I will wait for it. I am not going to sing to the moon.

I did my part.

I wrote my legendary work – Broken Radio. It didn’t bring the immediate recognition I had hoped for. But that didn’t matter much. I knew what counts is leaving a legendary work behind, which will stand the tide of time.

So, phase one was complete. Now, all I had to do was tap out.

My lifestyle was already in sync with my goal. My daily diet was 6-9 pints, 4-5 joints, 2-3 boiled potatoes, and few paint shots or glue whatever was available. Within a month of my book getting published, I had two seizure attacks, which I welcomed with a smile. I knew I would make it to the Club 27.

Finally, the day arrived.

I was staying in Tosh, Himachal Pradesh. I used to spend my afternoons wandering in the mountains, having intimate dialogues with flora and fauna. This particular day, I and mother nature were engrossed in a demeaning argument. I constantly challenged her authority. I made vile threats ensuring she understood her place in the dominance hierarchy. I (a stubborn passionate individual) will always be at the top and every other force beneath me.

I hated the fact that she had created mountains laden with vegetation in a futile attempt to stop me from completing more miles.

So, we locked horns.

I saw an excellent spot a few miles ahead of me. The challenge was an unscalable mountain rich in vegetation.

I was persistent. Like a loving mother, she warned me not to pull any stunts. Like a spoiled brat, I ignored her and began my ascent. The ascent took me close to 2 hours. I unleashed the savage within. A sheer brute force encompassed all of my being. I started climbing like a manic. I had no gear, nothing to make things easier for me.

Two hours later, I was at the top of the mountain. Once I was at the top, I identified a narrow pathway that could have made my descent a child’s play. But my stubborn self decided to create his own path.

While I was mentally preparing for a challenging descent (mind it, till now, I had no such prior experience of scaling mountains. I was just a pumped up entity under an illusion that my sheer will can bend all the rules of nature/physics), a native woman appeared out of nowhere.

Till now, I had figured out the operational mechanism of the universe, or at least thought I did. I knew she was sent to stop me.

This lovely female asked me about my destination. She very helpfully offered her assistance in helping me go down the path. However, the arrogant “me” refused her assistance. I hopped away rhythmically.

I yelled, “I will do this on my own.” A thunder flashed in the sky. That was mother nature’s fuck off!

After munching on a small piece of crumpled chocolate, I began my descent.

The challenge in front of me was too much vegetation crowding the mountain path. There was absolutely no way to use that path. Yet, I did not flinch.

I am not a flora expert; therefore, I cannot tell you the grass and plants’ names blocking my way. I will describe them using their color.

The mountain was filled with orange color smooth, slippery grass. That formed the level one vegetation. Beyond that, there was level two, which had firmly rooted plants with elastic branches and huge leaves. The level three vegetation was of big trees that appeared now and then.

Thinking about Dashrath Manji, the mountain man, who single-handedly tore mountain’s heart, I began my descent.

I decided to slide on the orange grass, grabbing every twig and branch in my way and breaking my impact using the big tree trunks. It seemed like a good strategy at that point in time—a classic rookie’s mistake of assuming that we know shit.

Things worked in my favor for maybe a kilometer or two.

I slipped in a controlled manner, grabbing branches to navigate and finally using my feet as an anchor to rest whenever a tree trunk appeared.

Suddenly shit caught up. It was bound to.

One wrong step, and I found myself hanging from a branch with no ground beneath my feet. I looked down horrifyingly. I could see a river bed. If I fell, little chunks of my flesh would have painted the bank red.

This was the first moment I experienced fear. Till now, an overwhelming force pumped courage into me. Now, I felt abandoned. All I was left with was a horrified, racing heart.

I had a bag pack on my back. I forced my brain to find an escape. I had been in shit situations all my life. Even in a terrified, frozen state, I tried to find a way out. I could see a horizontal tree trunk a few meters below. However, for me to reach there, I had to go for a freefall. And then hopefully pray that I balance myself and not slip from the tree trunk. It was too big a risk. But I had no other alternative.

I let go of the branch. I took a leap of faith. A few seconds in the air and I landed on the trunk, slipped, fell, and somehow caught the tree trunk with my arms. Now instead of hanging to a branch, I was hanging on a tree trunk. The branch was rather easier. It was easy to grab. The trunk was too difficult to hold on to.

Till now, I was thoughtless. I felt like an observer seeing myself go through this epic shit!

Some reflex kicked in, and I pulled myself together. A few seconds later, I was resting on the tree trunk. I had managed to pull myself up and take a seat.

Phew, that was a relief. But nothing had changed. I was still in the middle of my descent with no place to go. Few minutes of rest activated my thinking brain. The inner dialogue resumed.

“So, this is it! This is what you were waiting for. Your moment of glory! Now is your time to join the Club 27.”

And I broke into tears. I started crying like a kid with no presents on a Christmas morning. I hated Santa, but it hurt that he abandoned me.

For the first time in my life, I realized I was nobody. I had somehow scrambled a half baked book. Very few people knew me as a writer.

I asked myself, “Is this it? I don’t think I have achieved anything; if I die today, will anyone remember me or even miss me?”

Faces of my loved ones flashed in front of me. I entered a dream-like reality.

I tried the other side of the argument too. I wanted to put myself at peace. Surrender to the circumstance and just jump with a smile. But the coward inside me couldn’t gather the courage.

So, I and my different projections agreed to live. The moment I decided I wanted to continue with my miserable state of existence, something flipped inside of me. I left my bag lying on the tree trunk. Stood upright, closed my eyes for a second, and prayed to all the gods. Shiva, Jesus, and Allah!

What happened next is incomprehensible. That’s one of the reasons I never shared it with anyone. Today is the first time I am narrating this.

I opened my eyes, and I felt a power within. A different kind of savage! This savage had brain cells intact. He didn’t seem to be overwhelmed by emotions. He was in sync with the environment.

Without any thought and for sure (not my imagination), I jumped in the air. Even monkeys couldn’t have sustained such a leap; the next thing I saw was me climbing upwards on the loose ground using only my fingertips and toes. It was surreal. I was climbing straight on a downward slanting mountain with nothing to hold on to. Every step I took loosened the soil and chunks of land started to fall beneath me.

There was no thought inside my head. I was just an observer.

After a while, I reached the top.

Few steps later, I fell on the ground and passed out. I have no idea how long I remained unconscious. The women whose assistance I had refused woke me up and offered me water.

The most surprising part was she asked no questions. She woke me up, offered me water, and went away.

After some time, I gathered strength and resumed back to my station.

I had this newfound understanding of the importance of life. I promised not to throw it away and devote myself to uplifting the society. I felt reborn.

So the moral of the story is – you can’t die until it’s your time. You got things to do. We got things to do. For all of that, we need to live. Live healthily, live happily, live with a purpose, live with compassion, live a meaningful life.

Now, when we are hell-bent on living, why shorten our lifetime by doing shit?

Therefore let’s learn how to stay alive till 125!

That’s the topic of the day.

Why should you live longer?

There are countless reasons why we should be alive for at least 125 years. More than a luxury, it is our duty. Most importantly, at present, we live in one of the most exciting times of human species. Whatever we think is likely to become a reality in the next five years. In such terrific times, if we do not survive to witness the history in making, it will be a terrible loss on our part.

What does the future have in store for us is a frequent topic of discussion among the circles I float in.

In my opinion, in around 40-50 years, Amazon will be mining asteroids for rare minerals. We would have established alternate sources of energy, and essential resources would be available for all. However, the price we will pay for our growth and development would be the destruction of our environment. The air will not be breathable. The water will not be drinkable. The soil will be barren.

That won’t still change much for our species. We would find out alternate ways to survive. After all, we are one of the most resilient viruses. [It’s fun to call ourselves mammals, when our actions are virusian in nature. We have zero regard for our host (earth). All we care about is the multiplication of our species. Mammals tend to love their environment. Nonetheless, that’s another debate.]

Amazon and Google would create pods for us. We will remain suspended in space. If you are claustrophobic, you might want to train yourself to live in tiny places. The future belongs to people who can crouch and bend, not those who stand tall.

Don’t worry about jobs and money. The masses have always been eternal slaves. The corporate lords would find an exciting use for us. If not any, then there is always organ harvesting and medical experiments. We would get opportunities to earn our keep in the future.

On earth, there would be dedicated zones with the environment intact or preserved by artificial means. These would be habituated by the ultra-rich while you and I stay in a pod staring at the blue dot in the universe.

Do not even trip about shit like agriculture and livestock! Thanks to technological advancements and our ability to create an artificial environment, everything will be made available.

Breaks my heart to paint such a bleak picture of the future; however, it doesn’t matter. Ramdass said, “we all are walking each other home.”

Wherever we go, it’s the journey that matters. And that’s why we should live longer, to experience, to witness and in my case to say – told you so!

In case witnessing a dystopian reality is not in your bucket list, there are other reasons to stay alive.

Experience

More or less, every religion, sacred text, arts and humanities, and several science streams agree that we are a combination of two entities.

A physical one and a soul.

The soul is part of the collective consciousness of the universe. Once we die, we just become a particle of the eternal light brightening this universe. We become the one.

Even if you disagree with this version, you must know that we have a physical body that helps us experience the outer world differently from our thoughts and dreams.

Our physical self is so powerful that it controls our behavior, reaction, and, to some extent, our future or destiny, howsoever you wish to interpret it.

If we are blessed with a physical self which can help us experience a ton of emotions, why deprive ourselves? Here, I am not talking about hedonistic behavior. I am not asking you to fuck thrice a day just because your body is capable of doing so. I am talking about filling your sack of bullshit with rich life experiences.

You haven’t lived if you didn’t jump off a rock! (of course, use a parachute or a rope)

You haven’t lived if you didn’t swim with the whales.

You haven’t lived if you didn’t fly in a hot air balloon.

You haven’t lived if you didn’t cycle South East Asia.

You haven’t lived if you didn’t taste maple syrup in Canada. (unlike a lousy person ordering online)

If you haven’t kissed your girl at the top of the Effiel Tower, you don’t love her.

If you guys didn’t lock lips with the Taj Mahal in the background shining like an eternal witness to love in a pastel moonlight, what have you done with your life?

If a Rhino did not chase you during an African Safari, Fuck off!

If you weren’t committed to a mental asylum,… (okay maybe we can skip this and prison too)

So you get the vibe!

There are tons of things for you to do, and you got to do them. How would you?

Well, you gotta live longer, buddy!

You gotta live longer!

There’s so much to do, and there’s so little time. Let’s extend the time, how about that!

Factors which impact aging

Let’s split the factors into internal and external. Internal are the ones that are totally in your control. If you are not a big fan of acting like a victim, there isn’t any internal factor that you cannot conquer. External ones lie beyond your scope of fixing, yet, even they can be defeated if planned meticulously.

Internal Factor

Internal factors are mostly habit dependent. If you adopt a set of healthy habits, you can steer clear of the internal catalysts.

Sleep-wake cycle:

Your sleep-wake cycle plays an essential role in aging. If you are someone who thinks they are making a difference in the world by supporting the owl community, hooting and cheering till 2 am, more power to you, buddy!

If you think you are fucking things up by staying up late, then that’s what you need to work on.

Every mammal on this planet respects nature’s routine. They understand that nights are for rest, and mornings are when you roar. We need to abide by the basic routine.

The sun rises and sets at a specific time, not varying intensely. The same is the case with the moon.

The seasons follow a specific routine. Even when we have fucked the environment in the ass, the seasons still more or less follow the same routine, they did centuries ago.

So, practically every other force of nature follows a cycle, yet you somehow think, you are above the law of nature, and you will sleep and wake as you please. You assume it a birthright. You think you deserve to stay up late and wake up when the sun is above your head, expecting, I don’t know what sort of extraordinary rewards.

Well, you might want to study and understand the impact of an internal regulatory body called the circadian rhythm. This circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.

In simple words, your body keeps track of what you are doing and flushes you with biochemical accordingly. Suppose you are an excellent chimpanzee and wake up early, roughly around the same time daily, and you also sleep around the same time. In that case, your circadian rhythm is likely to reward you with happy hormones, and you will stay healthy and stable.

On the other hand, if you are a lousy chimp, you make your own rules, your warden, circadian rhythm will punish you by flushing you with unwanted biochemical, making you moody, frail, inattentive, and smelly at the same time. (Smelly matters, because it means you will no longer be secreting the pheromones needed to attract the opposite sex and, for that matter, impress the same sex. This, in turn, will translate into not getting laid in your personal life and not getting access to opportunities in your professional life. Even your unhealthy boss will be able to smell your shit and deny you the promotion you think you deserve.)

You see, how a simple wake up and sleep routine alone can easily destroy your life force. Slowly and gradually, you will be nothing more than a dead sack of rotten human flesh. Someone who could have seen centuries might not see their 50 because their pacemaker gave up while having sex on Viagra.

The remedy is as simple as it sounds. Set a fixed time to wake up. Let’s suppose 5’o clock. You start waking up every day at the same time.

Now, there is another catch to this. You need to make your mornings exciting so that you have something to look forward to.

If you wake up only to get ready for a dead beat job, you might not wake up. Just die already.

Wake up early, have a morning routine, line up activities for the morning – that’s how you make your mornings interesting!

Suggested Reading: Setting Up A Winning Morning Routine

Diet

Diet is another essential element you need to be wary of if you wish to beat aging. A wise person once said, “You are what you consume!” And consumption is not necessarily limited to food. It extends to every chemical ingested by your body and every toxic thought embraced by your mind. We would cover toxic thoughts later on. In this section, we will limit ourselves to food.

All those lazy afternoons when you were seduced by those plump donuts, thick waffles, and slender snickers did knock out a few months off your life calendar. I understand the argument that you only live once, and if we cannot even eat things we enjoy, what’s the point of such a life. However, we need to see through the flawed nature of the argument. Living a life indulged in hedonism will lower the life expectancy. It is fancy to say, “My life, My rules”; however, it is not our lives. Our lives are just a small node among billions of connections. Even if you are in no mood to be lectured about your obligations to the society and the universe, you cannot deny your role in the lives of people surrounding you in the immediate vicinity.

There is an old Japanese story. Of course, the Japs would be able to tell it more charmingly. I am just going to puke a half baked version. Here we go –

A man loved his wife a lot. When she passed away, he was left alone. He missed her intensely and was always in sorrow. One day he visited an old friend. His friend asked him how he would have felt had he died, and his wife was left on her own. He replied, “Devastated!”

“There you go, my friend, you should be happy. Now, be happy because you are alive, and you can cherish her memories. Instead of her crying for you, it is your turn to be happy for her,” said the friend.”

The point being, you need to stay alive for your family, for your children, for your grandkids, for your society. Be useful to everyone. Don’t be a selfish ass who enjoyed his life, sucking the world’s nectar, and when came the time to pay a little back, ran away with all the might. This isn’t healthy!

If you genuinely wish to live longer, you need to make drastic changes to your diet. You need to eat real food—organic vegetables, sustainable meat, fruits, nuts, seeds, and food rich in antioxidants. A simple rule of thumb is anything which has a mother or grows on earth can be consumed; everything else is crap.

Any person with a little bit of common sense knows that food created in factories is not intended to meet your nutritional requirements.

If every time you feel hungry, you grab a pack of Cheetos and soda, you are killing yourself slowly.

Also, if you are eating after 8 pm, that’s another disaster for you! Your body clock wants you to eat your last meal before 8 pm, or else not only would it exert unnecessary pressure on your digestive tracks, but it will also speed up cell degeneration, which speeds up aging.

For those nights when you end up staying up late, do not fall prey to hunger pangs and start munching crap you could easily lay hands on. Try smoothies, shakes, or any other liquid substitute. Late-night sweet treats such as chocolates are only permitted if you are going to make love or else drink a vegetable juice instead.

To wrap the section up, few easy tips –

Make a list of healthy food items readily available to you

Create a diet plan/chart

Stick to your plan

If you are obese or food addict or you easily give in to cravings, try food journaling. Write about every meal you eat and whether you should be eating it or not

Remember, the marketplace is filled with sugary and unhealthy treats designed to tempt you. Stay away from them. They kill you slowly!

Suggested Reading – Maintaining A Balanced Diet

Sleep

Sleep is one of the essential bio functions which regulate your hormones. Lack of sleep disrupts your mood, concentration, digestion, and overall performance. The biggest drawback of not getting enough sleep is aging.

You will see a consistent opinion by health experts around sleep. Everyone agrees you need around 7-8 hours of sleep every day. However, at the same time, it depends on your lifestyle. If you are into biohacking, you can manage optimal performance just by sleep of 4-5 hours each day and maybe 1 or 2 10/15 mins power naps.

Arnold, David Goggins, Jocko Wilinks, Tim Ferris, Gary Vee, and the list goes on; these achievers only sleep for around 5-5 ½ hours daily. I sleep about 5-6 hours daily. Yes, lack of sleep causes aging. However, if you are in control of your mind and body, if you are at a higher level of awareness, sleep might not hit you that bad.

But if you are a beginner and just begun sorting your life, stick to at least 7 hours of daily sleep.

Suggested Reading: Are You Sleeping Well

Stress

Stress is your biggest enemy. It is the cause behind nearly every disease and the most prevalent reason behind our daily miseries. Ideally, stress should be categorized as an external factor but blame it on Epictetus that we consider stress as something internal –

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

Epictetus

Whether it be the Buddhists, stoics, yogis, or modern-day philosophers, everyone agrees stress isn’t real. It is caused by our insecurities, which fuel our anxieties and, in the end, causes stress. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you, if it’s an apple discover gravity, if it’s a lemon, make a margarita. Stop overthinking!

We, humans, are blessed with problem-solving skills. It doesn’t matter how difficult a situation is, we are mostly adequately equipped to handle it. In rare cases, if we fall short of the essential skills, we have plenty of knowledge floating around to acquire the required skills.

You have books, gurus, and the Internet, what else do you need!

Do not focus on the problem. Focus on the solution instead.

Stress, fear, anxiety, all of these are lies which we tell to ourselves. These lies manifest in weird ways. One of those ways is rapid aging. You must have seen those specimens which in their 30’s have worry lines like Shar-pei.

Mothers unable to deal with the massive responsibility of raising kids age faster because of undue stress.

Employees who are unable to meet the challenges of their work profile age faster because of unwanted pressure they take on themselves.

On the other hand, mothers who take it light and easy, go out with their daughters and get those (maybe fake, maybe not) compliments about looking like sisters and what not!

Employees who realize there’s more to life than mental masturbation inside a cubicle- take vacations, do adventure sports and live longer.

Don’t let stress slide its penis into your ass. Be vigilant. Save yourself from anal rape!

Just take it, easy man! It’s just a ride.

As Bill hicks said –

The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

― Bill Hicks

Suggested Reading: How To Deal With Anxiety
How To Beat Depression

External Factors

External factors consist of Toxic people, toxic environment, and toxic relationships.

Toxic people

Some people grow tall, some remain 4’9 throughout their lives, some shrink too. You can only be around people who are growing at the same pace as you are.

Your drinking buddy from your college days might not be the best company for you when you have a family, and he still is enjoying boozing and whoring.

Your best friend who taught you how to roll a doobie shouldn’t be around you when you are sober, and he’s hooked to the needle.

We need to understand that all in all, we are the average of 5 frequent people who surround us.

If your inner circle is filled with losers and victims, don’t expect a bright future for yourself. Our company not only influences us but also defines our choices.

Humans are extremely gullible. They can be easily swayed from their goals. It is essential to maintain a circle of people who share common goals, vision, and support each other in times of need.

You had your 20′ to experiment with friends. Remember the catchy advertisement slogan – Harek friend zaroori hota hai (every friend is essential), that shit is no longer valid in the current context. You have very limited time, and if you end it up wasting on people who do not add value to you, you will not live the life you want for yourself.

The shit doesn’t end here!

Toxic people have an unnecessary need for drama. They will somehow drag you into their misery, disrupting your life. If you are on a path, you need order in your life. Toxic people thrive on chaos. Also, it is not your job to fix anyone. Everyone has to bear their own sorrows and delights. Do not be overly empathetic and dedicate yourself to improving a toxic individual. You will not be able to, and they will undoubtedly ruin your happiness.

Choose life. Stay away from toxicity.

Toxic Environment

Toxic people are easy to get rid of. You can ignore them, block them, or just confront and bid goodbye. Toxic environments are a real challenge. It is not always feasible to uproot yourself entirely from a toxic environment and find an attractive spot in a nurturing environment.

Any environment could be toxic – a toxic workplace, a toxic family, a toxic society, or a toxic country.

You always know when you are unhappy. And we are talking about real unhappiness, not the one which we purposely manifest from within just because we are inadequate, that’s another story.

If you are in a workplace that demands extra hours, offers no appreciation, doesn’t value you as an employee, finding a better job is always a good idea. At the same time, if you are someone who thinks these are essential for you to rise up the ladder, if you find yourself up to the mark to handle such an environment, then it’s alright. The definition of toxicity also depends on your tolerance level. What might be toxic for you might not be toxic for me and vice versa.

I feel adequate in dealing with an insecure boss. Even though it’s toxic, I can work my way around it. You might get flustered dealing with such an individual. For you, finding a suitable workplace should be a priority.

There is no thumb rule to define toxicity. I cannot tolerate my relatives. A friend of mine lives in a joint family and is surrounded by toxic relatives. With time, he has learned the art of dealing with nincompoops. He can deal with attacks and counter-attacks. I would perish. He doesn’t thrive either, but it doesn’t bother him.

We all have our buttons. Some are easy to press, some not so. What really matters is if it is toxic for you, you got to quit!

There would be thousands who would ask you to compromise with the situation at hand. At times even you will conclude staying is better than starting fresh. If it’s a gut feeling from within backed by bulletproof logic, rely on your instincts. If it’s a plead by a lazy and weak mind, break your shackles, fly free! But remember, however appealing the consequences might sound, leaving any environment is challenging.

On another thought, challenge is what drives all of us. If any activity is too simple, we get bored; if any activity is herculean, we get tired and give up. It is essential to maintain an adequate level of progressive challenge to our controlling life activities.

Coming back to toxic environments, leaving a job where you feel suffocated might be a good idea for some. You can leave a job, recover, and find a better one. You could find a job and then quit. Whatever you do, do not stay around in toxic environments eternally. They will tarnish your soul and suck the marrow out of your bones.

In the case of toxic families, you must escape. Families have huge control over us. Stronger than the hold of your fav porno chick. Freeing yourself from such dependency, control, exploitation, abuse, and misguided love is a tooth to nail struggle. If you have decide to leave your family because you can no longer bear them, make sure you do not start as a rookie. A rookie mistake would be to go solo immediately. If you are used to people living around you, living alone can be daunting. You might get lonesome, which would induce anxiety, leading to depression, and finally, you will start questioning your decisions. Do not fall for this trap—Move-in with a friend or at least in a hostel or a shared dwelling. Once you get used to being without them and relishing solitude for longer periods, you are free from the chaos and toxicity.

No reason is sufficient to cling to a toxic environment. It’s not at all cowardly or selfish to uproot yourself from toxic environments. Not doing so is instead a cocksucker’s move.

Go where your heart takes you. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Suggested Reading: The Illusion Of Happiness, Explained

Toxic relationships

When we discussed toxic people, we covered people in your first level inner circle and extended circle. This section is for your immediate inner circle. In bureaucratic terms, those who influence your policy making – parents, loved ones, three friends with whom you bared it all, and a special someone who abused you and said it’s their way of loving. These are the ones who are mostly responsible for the beautiful mess we all turn out to be.

So, the question lies what we should do when our loved ones are toxic for us?

Should we bail on them?

My advice is yes!

Just pick a fancy bag, stuff it with all of your essentials. Get rid of the extra baggage in your life. Pick your bag and leave the interaction grounds, which are limiting you from becoming your best version.

Now, that’s my advice, which comes with a disclaimer: Only apply if you are a little cuckoo in the head.

I understand the importance of family. No bond which we develop in our growing up age or adulthood or later in life can match the intensity of what we create in our formative years. There is no denying that despite being toxic, relationships with family and childhood friends are mostly selfless and purely laid on the warm bed of unadulterated love.

However, it doesn’t matter how beautiful a flower is, it is always at the risk of infestation. Every fresh crop deals with its own issues of pests. That doesn’t mean that a family is a parasite that eats away the host, yet yes, that’s what it means.

It is essential to keep a safe distance from such toxic relationships so that you can develop a thick bullshit resistant coating.

We tend to suffer for our loved ones. It’s a great way to deal with toxicity. Bear, bear until you snap. However, the best way isn’t always the right way. If you have taken driving instructions from the Google map lady, you know what I am talking about.

Suffering induced by parents is a twisted form of love, there’s no denying this fact. However, the more toxicity you experience, the higher are the chances of your breakdown. If you breakdown or experience irreparable wear and tear, you won’t be able to alleviate your parents’ misery.

On the other hand, if you escape, grow resistance, and build a life for yourself, you can then spill over your goodness in their life, which can dull down their toxic selves.

In the same manner, siblings love us in their own twisted way, despite them stealing our clothes, money, and, in rare cases, love interests. We can breed hatred towards them for the rest of our miserable existence, or we can break free from the clutches of such insecure emotions and lift ourselves as human beings. Then we can invest our cognitive energy in making our life better, which in turn will make the lives of everyone around us better too.

If your childhood friend is now a divorced drunkard, there is no good you can do by associating with him/her. You can get them admitted to a rehab, send them for therapy, help them occasionally with a handout, and show them the right path, yet you cannot devote the rest of your life caring and nurturing for them.

Everyone has their shit to deal with. Lending our crutches to an able-bodied person is a terrible idea. Let them go through their struggle of life. Do not bail on them completely but do not get intertwined in their shit. That’s how grown-ups deal with issues. If you are a baby, then please continue being friends with your delusions and insecurities. If not, keep a one-arm distance.

Before you pounce on me with assertive remarks about how irresponsible it is to let go of such important ties, do a little introspection. You have clung to them for so long, how’s that working out for you?

How to beat aging

Damn! Feels so good to finally reach this section. I love it when we have laid down all the problems, and we are confidently steering towards the solution. The answer!

So here we go.

No major revelation coming your way. It’s the same old centuries tested way popularly known as Healthy Living. Yup, living a healthy life (both physically and mentally) is what improves your chances of seeing your grandkids smoke their first doobie. Just stick to the basics – Exercise, do what you love, learning, adventure, sex.

Exercise

Physical activity not only improves your fitness, slows down aging, increases longevity, promotes healthy bio functions, but it also protects you from neurodegenerative conditions/diseases. To increase your stay on this godforsaken planet without paying extra rent, you need both – a healthy body and a strong mind. You won’t enjoy a long life if you lose your grip over reality as you age. Neither will you enjoy it if you lose your mobility. Physical workout takes care of both the bases.

Do strength training, yoga, tai-chi. Once you have mastered these, move on to learning a fighting skill. Learn taekwondo, judo, martial arts, boxing, or any such means of contact sports.

Pedal your way through your daily shit.

Run to avoid the clutches of overthinking.

Squat away your miseries.

Yes, it works!

Do what you love

Drudging what you do corrodes your soul and your body. Doing what you love causes elation, adding years to your being.

Mikhail Chiznametzy, in his bestseller “Flow,” introduces a trance-like work state, which we all can access provided the task at hand is just difficult enough to keep us engaged. Fortunately, flow doesn’t restrict itself to creative streams, as many other philosophers claim.

You don’t always have to paint, write, dance, invent, or create art to be happy. You should do if that’s what you are fond of, but it is not the key to happiness.

You can be happy stamping postcards, as Bukowski did. Motherfucker, spent half of his miserable life drunk, sitting in a post office stamping on husbands pleads to hypersexual wives apologizing for not making them cum often (ever). He still managed to lead a fulfilling life, not too long, but he was happy most of the time. Then again, he whored and gambled also, you shouldn’t be doing any of that, or maybe you should.

The bottom line: if you are not hurting anyone, if you are not wasting your time in idle pursuits, if you are not letting clouds of worry hover over your head 24/7, if you somehow manage to find something not too difficult to make your mind rule it out as impossible and not so easy that you do not get the essential level of stimulation, stick to it. Do it daily.

Find joy in what you do.

Try spending your time doing what you love. If you haven’t figured it out, love what you do while trying new things to see which one arouses your core. The moment you start this, you will feel like living longer, and that’s the breakthrough we all need – a desire to live. A gut feeling that life is priceless.

Also, keep in mind, work is worship. Pray Daily!

Learning

Read a book daily.

Listen to podcasts. (not one of erotic stories, ones that provide knowledge would be sufficient)

Watch documentaries.

Read tech news. (AI just came up with an original dark joke. How fascinating!)

Read history.

Watch porn. (just checking whether you are paying attention or not. Here’s let me spell it out, don’t watch porn! Whoa, now that we are talking, I think watching porn isn’t such a bad idea provided you don’t get addicted to it. Anyhoo, we will discuss this someday soon.)

Learning is food for the soul. As your body needs food, your soul does too!

Every new original thought fires a neuron in your brain. New connections are made. New patterns emerge. You let go of the rusty past and beam with joy in hopes of countless new possibilities. The shit doesn’t end here. It is also essential that you continue learning as it protects you from many neurodegenerative conditions.

Don’t forget to learn innovative tech upgrades. Tech’s going to be the future. It already is. You won’t enjoy asking a snotty millennial how to access “only fans” on your VR. Will you?

Adventure

You have the spirit of an explorer. You were meant to climb mountains and swim oceans. You weren’t supposed to sit in a 6’x8 cubicle tapping on a keyboard for 12 hours straight until your carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis comes through.

I am not pushing you to quit your job and begin a spiritual quest (I will be delighted, if you embark on such a journey and inspired too). There’s always a way to balance things. Maybe do a little yoga; it does increase the flow to your fingers. You might get saved from the carpal tunnel. Not from your ill-fated boredom. Sorry, no escape for that.

Our souls will wither and die if we do not feed it with novel experiences. There won’t be any trace of YOU left if you do not tune in with the gypsy within. All that will be left would be a copy of a copy of a copy. You don’t want that. Do you? You want to retain the illusion of your uniqueness. The best part is, yes you can, brother, yes you can!

Every Saturday morning before the first rays shower my side of the planet with a warm blanket of healing sunlight, I am off on my little bike; traveling into the unknown with a terrific speed of 12km/hr, without any destination in mind. It is not the destination which counts; the journey is what matters. (Whoa! These clichés at times fit so damn right in!)

We must supplement our lifestyle to include such regular moments of adventure. It will add color to your life. You don’t need to plan a vacation if you feel like getting a kick. Add little doses of exploration now and then. Yes, in the busy city streets. That does count!

You don’t even realize the city which you despise so much because it is nothing more than a stinking corpse inside a cemented cemetery, does have tons to offer. I remember days when I used to write pages criticizing how cities are ruining lives. Yet, the reality remains the same. We need them. We need them for dwelling, we need them for survival, we need them for our civilization, of course, at least until something groundbreaking comes along (maybe the space capsules we talked about earlier). Now that I have explored at least more than half the city on my cycle, I can proudly say – I love Delhi! It has all the colors one can ask for. There’s white, and there’s red, shades of green, a little beige, and holy shit, I know a secret spot, they have hidden a rainbow at one corner.

Damn, fuck! Isn’t that something to cheer for!

The point being, the traveler, inside needs to develop a stronger personality. Don’t keep him locked in only to whip out once a year (like you receive blow jobs only on your birthdays) when you go for your annual trip, with sanctioned leaves approved by your pot-bellied boss.

Feed the explorer regularly. I demand it!

Sex

Fuck, man, fuck! It’s a beautiful thing.

Make love.

Lose yourself in love.

Cum and cry.

Cry and cum.

Making love is a beautiful act. Intimacy with a considerate soulful partner alters the fabric of your being towards better. An orgasm restores your biochemical balance. Of course, sex alone won’t solve all of your problems. It’s the wholesome relationship package that makes the real difference. Yet, sex in itself also is magical. Even if the act is casual, it will still offer you joy.

Love and sex-starved homo sapiens tend to leave the planet early. They do not have much to hold on to.

I am not going to make a strong case for sex. Whatever we do, we do it to get laid, a widely accepted theory mostly among biologists. Let’s just face it – we are base creatures, and sex is the most pleasurable base act.

Till the time you are enjoying a healthy sexual relationship with a partner, chances are your heart will stay more active and healthy. (oh, these matters of the heart!)

A healthy heart will ensure healthy blood flow into your arteries, making you disease and worry-free, adding more years to your life.

Suggested Reading: Are You Doing It Right?

But a word of caution – you might be young today, and sex for you might just be a passionate act of fucking and punching. But please keep in mind that as you grow older and realize the ways of the world, sex, as shown on TV, won’t be the one you will be practicing in the sheets. It’s the intimacy that will matter the most. The little things. Those fingertip boops! (you bring your fingers on your partner’s nose and then make a sound boop) Those affectionate hugs! Those cute cuddles! At the same time, don’t let the beast inside of you die. Unleash it every now and then.

Create havoc in the bedroom. Love like you have never before. Love like it’s your last day. Love hard. Live long!

A bright future awaits you

The possibility is relatively high that today all you can think about is paying your bills and making a name for yourself. There will be days when you will be utterly broken and lost. There will be days you will feel like ending these shenanigans. You might feel an urge to jump out the window or just try hanging in from the ceiling. Go ahead, hanging isn’t bad. Till the time you are hanging in there.

Jump out the window from a 122 storey building with a wingsuit strapped to your body.

Life is crazy.

Life is beautiful.

Life is brutal.

Life is nurturing.

Life is a shady cunt.

Life is a delicious piece of calorie-free cake.

Life is what you make of it.

And undoubtedly, life is precious, not just for us humans but for every living organism with a beating heart and inanimate objects crafted with love by the creators.

You must add something to the world you came in. I would suggest you add value, add beauty, add art, add philosophy, add inventions. Catapult your civilization towards a golden era.

You have this one life given to you. It is a must you make the most out of it.

Those who still think life is misery blended with tons of suffering, at least live longer to watch those space colonies and bully your grandkids. Least you could do!

I guess that will be all for today.

Thank you so much for reading.

Have a healthy and happy life.

If not, at least smile every time you breathe, totally free, I swear. You won’t receive any bills of goods ever.

Tata!

How long do you think you will survive? Comment below!

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Why do nice guys finish last?

If you believe that your kind and loving attitude will help you qualify for the big boys club, you are profoundly mistaken. Nice, kind, loving, caring, empathetic, sensitive – all of these are default settings. Being nice doesn’t make you unique.

Good morning planet,

How are we this lovely morning?

I am fantastic!

What delights me the most is our intimate conversations about human excellence.

We have covered a lot so far in the previous essays.

We have understood how to deal with mental health issues.

We have explored the benefits of acting responsibly.

We have analyzed the impact of sleep and diet on our performance.

We have deduced the benefits of reading and writing.

We have realized the importance of listening.

Taking things forward today, we will discuss an essential human trait – kindness.

A lot of us, when face to face with a calamity, ask either ourselves or a supreme being – Why me?

Why am I going through so much of trouble in my life?

I am a good person.

I have always been kind to others.

Why did my girlfriend leave me for a jerk?

Why doesn’t my wife respect me?

Why was I not awarded a promotion?

Why is the world so insensitive to me?

Why don’t people take me seriously?

Why don’t my kids listen to me?

Why am I bullied?

Why me?

Why me?

Why the fuck me?

I am so nice, always!

Trigger Warning: The content ahead is too honest. Please proceed if you can handle the truth. You have been warned!

As much as I want to sugar coat things for you, this is something that cannot be expressed with mitigated speech. I need to be blunt. If that hurts your feelings, be it.

The first step in creating a better life is self-realization.

You need to realize that you must make changes in your personality. With your current outlook towards the world, you are not best suited with the optimal qualities which can improve your life.

This self-realization needs to stem from within, without any influence from an outer body.

If I tell you today, that you suck, that won’t make much of a difference. You need to realize that you suck.

Hopefully, by the end of today’s essay, you will realize what you lack and begin your journey on the path of self-improvement.

First of all, if you consider yourself nice, it means you are agreeable. You haven’t yet formed your own opinions. You are just a yes man!

A yes man is a weak man.

If you believe that your kind and loving attitude will help you qualify for the big boys club, you are profoundly mistaken.

Nice, kind, loving, caring, empathetic, sensitive – all of these are default settings.

Being nice doesn’t make you unique.

It doesn’t make your more qualified.

It doesn’t make you more appealing.

Kindness has nothing to do with attractiveness.

Niceness is not the measure of your abilities.

If you see a dog and pet him, that doesn’t translate into success.

If you buy your girlfriend expensive stuff, that isn’t an indication of your love or respect. Maybe you are trying to buy her love. Perhaps you are so insecure that you think presents are the only way to secure her love. You are so high in self-loathing that you know someday she would leave you. You are trying your best to delay that inevitable outcome.

You must have heard about Pablo Escobar. He was one of the first drug entrepreneurs. He terrorized the DEA for more than ten years. He was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people. In this context, responsible means, the kill order came directly from him.

Not from his organization.

Not from his associates.

But from him!

Once upon a time, Escobar, while escaping authorities, found himself trapped in the cold with his sick daughter. He had no means to keep his daughter warm. All he had was millions of dollar bills. He started burning those. He flashed dollar bills worth millions in a single night to keep his daughter warm.

Now that’s kindness. Will you not agree?

You might claim that he was one of the wealthiest people on the planet; money didn’t mean shit for him. Yet, see this from a father’s perspective. He did all he could to keep his daughter warm when she needed it.

If that’s not kindness, then I don’t know what is!

This is a man being nice to his children.

You can’t get any sweeter than that.

If a barbaric, homicidal maniac like Escobar can be gentle when needed, what makes you so special. You are just an ordinary fellow who has no capacity for violence. Being nice is your default setting. Why do you expect to be treated differently if you do not have anything out of the ordinary to offer?

There’s an old poetry by a renowned Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar which I studied during my formative years. These lines got imprinted in my mind.

क्षमा शोभती उस भुजंग को जिसके पास गरल है

उसका क्या जो दंतहीन विषरहित विनीत सरल है

Translation: Forgiveness suits a venomous snake, not a toothless, spineless, simple-minded fucker!

Jordan Peterson says the same in different words.

“A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.”

JBP

You do not assign the security of your home to rabbits. You entrust it to dogs, ferocious dogs who will rip the intruder’s throat. You trust them because these are not mad dogs. These are loyal dogs.

A weak person is not a loyal person by choice. He’s loyal because he has no other option. He must be loyal or face dire consequences. He is acting faithful, driven by fear.

A strong person makes a choice. He is not scared shitless. He has the capacity for violence. He has the capacity for evil. If he chooses to follow someone, he does it out of his own will, either because he’s inspired by the leader or out of internal motivations. But he isn’t doing it out of fear. He is making a choice.

If you consider yourself nice and yet you fail a lot, it is a possibility that you are stuck in the victim mindset. Before we move forward, you must write this down on a piece of paper and stick it in front of your study table.

The world owes me nothing.

No one owes me anything.

I don’t deserve shit.

I need to earn my place.

I am no longer in the past.

I need to create my victories.

No one is going to handover success.

I am not what happened to me.

I am what I choose to become.

I will become the best version of myself.

This ‘why me’ mentality is toxic. It is a cognitive bias. You have a presupposition that awful things shouldn’t happen to you. Just because you have a default setting of being nice and kind, no harm should come your way.

I hope you are aware that Jesus was the son of god.

I am positive you know what happened to him.

Jesus was a miracle worker literally. He created miracles. He was the human embodiment of kindness. Ideally, by the culturally acceptable definition of nice men, he was the nicest of em all!

They nailed him to a cross and executed him.

He was the son of the god, for fuck’s sake.

He had the right to say – why me father!

But he chooses not to.

Instead, he pleaded forgiveness for his captors from god.

Jesus, being the son of the god, was tortured to death. Yet, he held no ill-will.

Ever wondered why?

Well, he wasn’t only nice. He was also a strong person. He knew the world is filled with apple orchards and snake pits. Our actions lead us to one or the other. He was a strong person. Countless weak, flawed, spineless maggots feared his glory. Crucification, murder, rape, riots are what so-called nice (weaklings) individuals do when they feel threatened. They breed resentment and hatred. They will go to any extent to hurt whom they dislike.

This fact of life is what you are oblivious of if you consider yourself nice. You are as non-deserving as the person next to you. Your competency will make you efficient and worthy, not your compassion.

A famous ancient text in India reflects upon few strategies to get your way with people, institutions, hierarchies, and complex social structures.

It talks about – Saam Daam Dand Bhed (साम, दाम, दंड, भेद), which translates to –

Saam: This translates to flattering or appeasement. When things do not go our way, we can always try to smooth talk to obtain desired results.

Daam: This indicates monetary benefits. If mere words are not fulfilling your goals, you can always buy the other person.

Dand: This contemplates punishment. You can threaten the other person to subside your way.

Bhed: This is threatening. If nothing works, you will politely make the other person understand that this might be the last day for their loved ones.

You get the gist.

These methods were taught by ancient sages to rulers and emperors so that they can manage procedural complexity attached to running a realm efficiently.

None of them suggests you be nice and rollover.

If you are extra nice to people, you might want to reflect inside and identify which nasty part of yourself are you trying to hide with this bullshit. Furthermore, you should speak to that shadow of yours. Understand his motivations and drive. Tame him.

You can’t ignore your insufficiencies with the excuse that the world is an ugly place, and you, only you, are nice. Everyone else is an asshole.

You must have heard about the book of knowledge – Gita.

Gita is a spiritual text. It, in its entirety, talks about consciousness, soul, the human spirit, and how to discover a higher purpose. Surprisingly this profound non-violent text was narrated by a king named Krishna to a warrior named Arjun during a devastating battle.

Arjun’s family considered themselves true heirs to the throne, which was in the control of their cousins. In order to win back the disputed kingdom, Arjun must slaughter his brothers. A critical situation like this can make any sane person a little reluctant. Arjun was battling his mind about the consequences in the middle of a war zone. That’s when Krishna intervened and poured an endless stream of wisdom in which Arjun basked to glory.

Even a profound text like Gita, which preaches peace and tranquility, advises means to achieve nirvana, was brought to light during a violent conflict.

Aggression, violence, and kindness need to go hand in hand.

You must be aggressive in the pursuit of your goals.

Being docile will not lead you to greatness.

A cow can’t hunt.

A cow is sent to a slaughterhouse where she doesn’t even put up a fight.

A cow is nice.

A lion, on the other hand, is the king of the jungle.

Even a captured lion is regarded as a treasure.

It takes balls to tame a lion.

That’s why it is respected and feared even inside a cage.

A cow is never feared.

I am not asking you to intimidate weak people.

I am requesting you to be competent.

You must possess the ability to stand in front of a bully.

You must have the physical strength to put up a fight if life throws one at you.

You must have the mental strength to navigate stressful times.

Only being nice will not lead you to glory.

Mahatma Gandhi was nice.

He was also a warrior.

Everytime oppressors beat him down, he came back again.

He broke the spirit of his oppressors without even raising a finger.

That’s a unique form of bravery.

That isn’t plain niceness.

When Britishers subjugated him and India, he didn’t complain to other countries. He took a firm stand. Believed in himself. United people and inspired the masses to rise.

Every achiever is a dangerous person. They battle their demons and adverse circumstances daily. They are not some whiny bitch who blame their failures on circumstances. They rise above the bullshit, learn from their failures to destroy every obstacle between them and their goals.

Before we talk about achievers, it is crucial to understand how this victim mindset stems.

A tit-sucker or a newborn baby, as the decent folks might say, sees the mother as an object. He assumes that he is training his mother to provide him gratification. Whenever a tit-sucker is hungry, he yells and cries, throws mood swings. The mother then comes running, offering him a pair of boobs. The tit-sucker comprehends this phenomenon as a ground of possession. He thinks that the whole purpose of the mother is to provide him with what he wants.

The mother becomes an object of pleasure.

Now, if on a given day, the mother is not available or delays the gratifying response anticipated by the tit-sucker, he gets mad. The tit-sucker throws a fit of anger. Even when he is starving, the tit-sucker tries to enact revenge. When the mother offers her boobs, the baby bites her. The tit-sucker is more concerned about the power dynamic than hunger pangs.

Now, I am still studying how the female brain functions, so I don’t have examples for the ladies. But, this same behavior is translated by men in the later ages.

We all are aware that after break-ups, a majority of men leak private pictures and videos of their girlfriends. A lot many distribute the phone numbers of their girlfriends on social media so that trolls could harass her.

Men go to terrible extents when they feel rejected.

Weak men assume that women are their property. Unlike abusive men, they do not exploit the women during relationship. However, once the female tries to break free, all hell breaks loose. Weak men act like an agitated tit-sucker, meticulously planning ways to hurt their ex.

And these are mostly nice men. They can’t handle rejection.

These are men who love their women more than others could. At least that’s what they think in their head. They consider themselves loving, caring, and supportive. However, that’s not the case.

Feeble men and women never deal with their emotions. They escape confronting conversations that are essential in a healthy relationship. Now and then, couples fight to resolve their issues. This is not a flawed approach but rather an effective strategy. Disputes are essential and unavoidable. If two people are together, they will have conflicts. There is no workaround.

Feeble men and women act nicely even during conflicts, feeding themselves a faulty narrative that they are acting nice out of love. That is never the case. They avoid conflicts because they are not apt to pursue honest conversations. They have sugarcoated things their entire life. The very idea of conflict makes them shiver. Their brain goes into a panic mode. Instead of resolving issues, they only focus on diffusing it temporarily in an attempt to avoid a loud conversation.

All this while they are under the impression that they are nice, that’s why they avoid conflicts.

However, in reality, they are weak; that’s why they avoid disputes.

You will mostly see weak individuals throw emotional tantrums because they have nothing concrete or factual to add to a dispute.

Weak men and women will argue with leads such as:

I have been so helpful to you. Why are you mean to me?

Do you not love me anymore?

I have done so much for you, why are you behaving this way.

Please don’t fight with me. I can’t take this anymore.

I am sorry, please forgive me.

Please, pay attention to the phrases mentioned above.

None of them offer any sort of solution. Each of them is only meant to appeal to the emotional side of the other person. The bottom line of such sentences is the belief of the weak person that they do not deserve a stern treatment because they are nice.

Please understand that I am not asking you not to be kind. I am asking you to balance your niceness with toughness. That’s the recipe for being successful in life, relationships and all you do.

Consider your life a game.

If you are nice, you are a beginner stuck in Stage 1. You will need to be tough to beat the boss and get to Stage 2. Every stage is more complicated than the last one.

Nice people stay in the first stage for the entirety of their lives.

You need balls to fight your fears and move to the next level.

Do you think you and Elon Musk are playing the same game?

Do you think Robin Sharma is in level 1?

Do you think Jeff Bezos is even playing?

These masters have unlocked bonus stages for themselves.

They are highly competitive, goal-oriented individuals shaping the world for a better tomorrow.

Robin Sharma is a very kind person.

So are Elon and Jeff.

But they have the capacity of evil inside them, which they have conquered. These are not angry warriors running around creating havoc, high on testosterone. These are methodical, meticulous geniuses. They are nice when it is needed. They are also highly combative when it is need of the hour.

Being nice will not make you successful.

Fuck niceness!

Niceness doesn’t pay bills.

A rapist will not leave your sister because you are nice.

A scoundrel will not return your money out of pity for you.

Your partner will not stay with you forever because of your kind attitude.

Kindness is a must. But it alone cannot help you much.

I am in charge of 12 people. If they make errors, I give them stern feedback and track their improvement. I can’t improve people by showering them with rose petals. At times a strict approach is essential.

The so-called friendly people hate those who can act decisively when needed. They resent achievers because such individuals make them feel inadequate.

If you or someone among your friends and family are stuck in such a mindset, you must coach them about reality.

Being nice will not take you anywhere. Being competent and responsible will!

You might want to read this before moving to the next section!

Do You have what it takes to be responsible?

I was born in a small town called Muzaffarpur in Bihar. We were the only middle-class family among a colony filled with rich folks!

During my formative years, I experienced a lot of bullying.

I was sexually abused on multiple occasions.

Those days kids did not talk about rape. If it happened, they had to bear the trauma themselves. I had nobody to talk to. I isolated myself, found recluse in books.

As I grew, I became more socially inept. I was an anxious tiny male who hated himself the most. Yet, in my eyes, I was virtuous, nice, and kind.

I didn’t have the capacity even to defend myself when bullied.

I thought of myself as a practitioner of non-violence.

Little did I know, that I was just a rabbit with no claws to defend myself from wolves.

It is essential to stand up to bullies, not to give in to them.

I got abused, beaten, bullied, made fun of, yet I endured all of that.

Trauma, if not appropriately processed, becomes a part of you.

I and my trauma got entwined in my personality.

I lacked confidence.

My posture was hunched.

I spoke meekly.

Never challenged authority.

Always expected people to be nice.

I was like this for at least 25 years of my life before I started working on myself, one step at a time.

I specifically remember an incident which was a pre-cursor to my transformation.

A good friend of mine always warned me about my poor posture. He coached me on how to improve it, but he wasn’t aware that it is a mental issue and not a physical one.

During one of our conversations, he posed a question.

“Nishant, what will you do if you become the CEO of this company. Will you still walk with your shoulders bend?”

I confidently replied, “Yes, of course! I do not want to throw attitude to others or come across like an oppressor. I think my posture depicts that I am a humble person.”

The conversation continued for hours. I had every arsenal to prove my point. I glorified my inadequacy. Finally, my friend gave up.

Once I got some time to reflect on our conversation, I immediately knew that all I did was blanket my inadequacy with faulty narratives.

Instead of accepting that I do not come across as a confident individual, I gave in to my feeble self, ranking my niceness above every other quality. But that made me think.

I knew my friend was right. I knew I had to do something to improve myself.

And thus began my journey.

I always read, and I always wrote. But back in those days, I considered non-fiction as useless crap.

Fiction was what fancied me. The amount of pain a writer goes through to pen down an epic text is unparalleled. I assumed that writing non-fiction didn’t require mastery. I was wrong.

When I shed my presuppositions regarding non-fiction, I fell in love with the process. Every non-fiction writer researches for years before compiling their work. They, too, suffer during the process of creating their art. Just because their suffering didn’t meet the standards of my poor interpretation, I regarded it as useless.

Finally, I realized my faulty approach and embraced non-fiction researched texts.

I studied NLP, mindfulness, lucid dreaming, stoicism, tai-chi, eco-meditation, emotional intelligence, and the ways we can rewire ourselves to unlock the limitless potential of human minds.

I spent quite some time in Ladakh practicing meditation. It transformed my life.

I began with self-authoring, wherein we tear apart our past on paper to identify toxic patterns, followed by getting rid of those poisonous shadows.

Mindfulness helped me stay in the present.

I finally realized that I am not what happened to me as a child.

I altered my present.

I became a better version of myself.

I am still a flawed individual, but I am no longer suffering.

I put in work daily.

I get better daily.

I fail daily.

I try the next day again with a better approach.

After self-authoring and mindfulness, I felt a lot healthier. I then turned my focus to physical activities and a healthy diet, which increased my focus, concentration, productivity, and efficiency.

I consider myself a student.

I will continue to be one for the rest of my life.

I study for around 5 hours daily to add value to myself. Every free minute of my life is dedicated to learning and helping others. At the same time, I expect nothing in return.

A smile on the faces of the people whose lives I touch positively is my reward.

If you consider yourself nice, yet you have an expectation from the world to treat you in a better manner, you are ugly, my friend.

You are weak.

You must get strong.

Try these five steps to organize your life:

  • Stop being a victim.
  • Take responsibility.
  • Be kind without expectations.
  • Upgrade yourself.
  • Stand up for yourself.

Stop being a victim

A victim mindset is a toxic mindset. Even if you were abused, cheated on, backstabbed, disrespected in the past, it was in the past. You can no longer live in the past. You must break free from the chains of trauma that have enslaved you for years. You must sculpt your destiny. The first step is to make peace with your past.

“Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons. Sit down with your demons and have a drink and a chat and learn their names and talk about the burns on their fingers and scratches on their ankles. Some of them are very nice.”

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

Write down your most terrible memories—ones, which haunt you daily. Accept them and acknowledge that you are in control. Forgive the people who wronged you. This is where your niceness should play a dominant role. Forgive the wrongdoings of others. They hurt you because they were themselves in pain. They did not know how to deal with it. In their ignorance, they projected their insecurities on you.

Hold no ill will.

Get in terms with your past.

Respect yourself.

And begin a new glorious journey to a bright new future.

Take responsibility

Once you have accepted your life, you need to change it. The first step is being responsible for yourself. You will need to be accountable for every activity related to your being.

Set goals for yourself.

Wake up early.

Workout.

Write a daily journal.

Cook your meals.

Wash your clothes.

Take care of your loved ones.

Spend time learning new skills and be a master of ones you already possess.

Keep distance from toxic people.

Have no expectations from others.

Have high expectations from yourself.

Do not waste a single minute.

Do not indulge in activities that don’t bring you closer to your life goals.

Once you have done these, then take on new responsibilities. The whole idea of being responsible is having no time for mindless pleasures.

Be kind without expectations

Being kind adds happiness to your being. The more generous you are to others, the more adequate you will feel inside. But, many of us are helpful because we expect something in return. That could be as little as a thank you. However, the world doesn’t follow your rules.

It is not necessary that everyone will be grateful for your kindness.

A few years ago, I overheard a conversation wherein a driver was begging his employer for money as his kid was admitted to a hospital. He frantically pleaded his case.

The kid had suffered a brain injury, and the doctors refused to operate without advance payment.

His employer asked him to wait for a day or two.

The driver was baffled. His kid could die if not provided immediate medical attention.

I didn’t think twice before emptying my savings. I gave all I had. Though it was a small amount, yet it was sufficient for the greedy doctors to get the procedure started.

The driver took my number and said he would return me the money.

Now, I did not expect to get that money back.

But at the same time, I wanted him to make me feel better about myself.

I waited for weeks. He never called back to thank me.

After a few months, I grew sour. I felt cheated.

Even after doing an act of kindness, I wasn’t happy.

I recently realized my mistake.

Though I was kind, my actions were self-motivated. I was high on self-loathing. I thought a kind act would make me feel better about my inadequacies. That’s where I went wrong.

We cannot do nice things for others, hoping they will be grateful.

We need to be kind, selflessly.

Buy your partner expensive gifts, but don’t expect a lifetime commitment.

Feed your kids while you starve, knowing that you will be alone during old age.

Take care of your family. Elevate their lives. Do not expect gratitude in return.

Work for longer hours without expecting a raise or promotion.

Help your friends when they are in need. Do not expect that they will return the favor.

Have high expectations from yourself

Do not expect from others. Expect from yourself.

All of your expectations should be from yourself.

You are one. Yet, you are not one.

You are your body.

You are also your mind.

You are your feelings.

You are your surroundings.

You are your soul.

All in all, you are a bright fucking universe in yourself.

Expect things from yourself.

Expect that your mind will wake you up early.

Expect that your body will be strong.

Expect that your soul is pure.

Expect to be fearless.

Expect to be innovative.

Expect to impact lives.

Expect to be the best version of yourself.

All of your expectations should be with yourself. Take the proper steps to fulfill your expectations.

If you expect yourself to be loyal, then do not engage in adultery, no matter how tempting it feels.

If you expect yourself to be ultra-productive, do not subscribe to Netflix. Read books instead.

Here are the benefits of reading!

If you expect to be physically fit, stop eating out.

If you expect to be stress-free, practice mindfulness.

All your expectations should be with yourself. And you should leave no stone unturned to meet those expectations.

Upgrade yourself

Till the time your breath doesn’t stop, your learning shouldn’t either. Life is a never-ending journey of self-improvement. You need to upgrade yourself continually.

Imagine if our computers still ran on DOS, or for that matter, Windows 98. How would you feel?

Frustrated and annoyed!

Every object needs to upgrade itself with time. That includes humans too.

We are not using ink and pen carved out of wood anymore. We use typewriters.

Books are not being written on leaves. They are printed and digitized.

We are no longer using wood stoves for cooking food.

We are not using bricks to workout.

Everything around us changes with time to make our lives convenient.

Yet, we tend to be the same. It is an inadequacy.

More skilled individuals replace less competent people.

The only difference between both is the amount of time they spend on improving and honing their personalities and skills.

If you consider yourself a photographer, click pictures daily.

A writer must read and write daily.

A coder should always be coding. Dream of 01 01 01 01. That’s a competent coder.

If you want to master a foreign language, stop thinking in your native tongue. Even your dreams should be in the foreign language.

If you are a businessman, keep on learning from the industry veterans. Read about new ways to improve your productivity and efficiency.

If you do not upgrade yourself, someone new, better than you, will replace you.

A better listener will make love to your woman.

A responsible professional will do your job.

Your kids will be the master of your home.

Even your god will abandon you.

If you want to be happy, learning must never stop.

Stand up for yourself

Being kind, nice, responsible, selfless is exemplary. Yet, this doesn’t mean getting exploited or bullied.

Just because you want to be selfless, please don’t invite conmen to rob you of your property.

In being a better professional, do not end up being exploited by your bosses.

Being nice to your partner doesn’t mean showering them with gifts while they are sleeping with someone else.

While practicing kindness and forgiveness, do not allow bullies to walk all over you.

Be nice but have the capacity to stand up for yourself when needed.

The world respects people who voice out their concerns.

Be articulate. Do not be meek.

Lay down clear boundaries. The moment someone crosses those boundaries, you need to protect your kingdom. Do what it takes.

Remember Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed.

Never bow down.

Mahatma Gandhi didn’t raise a finger ever, yet he broke the spirit of the imperialists.

Even your adversary will admire you when you stand up for yourself.

I am not asking you to get into fights. We are not going to follow Tyler Durden and begin random fights at every street corner to be fearless.

Being fearless means looking into the eyes of the bully and explaining to him the consequences calmly.

Do not be combative unnecessarily.

Yet, be combat-ready always.

Jordan Peterson, in his remarkable book – 12 rules of life, asserts the first rule as – Stand up straight with your shoulders pulled back.

When you stand up straight, you are ready to take on the world.

Once again, I am not asking you to get into a series of bar fights and prove your masculinity, feminity, or toughness.

I am asking you not to bow down, hoping if you stay silent, bullies will ignore you and move ahead. That never happens factually.

The more docile you are, the higher are the chances that you will be anxious and jittery all the time.

You cannot live in a constant state of fear.

What’s the alternate?

Stand up straight with your shoulder pulled back.

This way, you are signaling the universe that if it throws a fight at you, you will charge head-on. It’s not an invitation. It’s a warning.

You can continue being victim, blaming the world for your misery, or you can improve yourself, becoming kinder and stronger – the choice is yours!

That will be it for today.

If you think my work can help others, I will request you to share it on social media. But, you are free to accept or reject my request.

Please leave feedback and suggestions. I welcome them, helps me improve.

How has your experience been with so-called nice people?

This is why good listeners are more successful

Relationships fail if partners don’t listen to each other. Companies disintegrate if they do not listen to their consumers. Work culture turns toxic if leadership doesn’t listen to employees. Art is worthless if not made while listening to our hearts. We must be better listeners before we can be a better person.

Goodmorning Planet,

How are you? I am doing great.

I have a question to ask. What do you understand by “listening”?

The textbook definition suggests – give one’s attention to a sound.

Is that what listening means to you? 

As we have been told multiple times, hearing means we are in an auto-pilot mode. We are gathering sounds around us but not attentively. While listening is the act of hearing carefully, wherein we devote our self to the source of a sound entirely.

To further simplify, listening makes our lives a little better because when we listen, we are present in a conversation.

We are present in the moment.

We are not lost in a past memory or dreaming of a future event.

We are there, in – NOW.

Being present in a moment changes our life for the better. And that is our topic of discussion for the day.

You don’t listen.

We don’t listen.

We don’t listen as individuals.

We don’t listen as collective units.

Your mother doesn’t listen.

Your siblings are never paying attention.

Your friends pretend to listen as they have their own stories to tell.

Your local politician doesn’t listen.

Your government doesn’t listen.

Your prayers are unanswered.

Your sobs get wasted.

Your cries get muffled. 

All in all, nobody cares about your yap.

We don’t listen. We wait for our turns to speak. 

That’s the only reason we go through this charade of pretending to listen to what the other person has to say.

And I totally get it!

I am not holding you accountable for being a poor listener. Listening isn’t an easy task for anyone. The more chaotic your mind is, the harder it will be for you to listen. 

Listening doesn’t come naturally to us.

We are no longer trained to observe silence, pay attention to essential and non-essential sounds.

If you compare data from the ’70s, you will see a sharp spike in the overall noise levels in the entire galaxy. We are producing tons of megahertz of noise every second. 

With abundant chaos environing us, it is impossible to differentiate between essential and non-essential blabber. So, we decided to shut everything out.

We are no longer stuck in a hunter-gatherer setup. We do not have to spend hours in peace and quiet, relying on our listening abilities to sense the footsteps of an approaching predator.  

We are god-fearing people.

We believe in rituals and worshiping deities.

We visit places of worship to share our list of expectations with our gods very frequently.

Even when we are clueless about our desires, we always have a list of essential objects which we share with our supreme being, hoping that he will assist us and make the pursuit easy.

Ever wondered why all of your prayers go unanswered?

Simply because no one is listening!

The god you are praying to doesn’t lie in a place of worship. It lies within you. It continuously speaks to you. Lays down paths for you to walk.

You never hear him, because you have lost your ability to listen to those voices/sounds/patterns. Now, the profound art of listening has been degraded to a base level communication where a speaker will share his so-called vital feelings, and the listeners will wait for their turns to speak.

This is what listening has been reduced to. 

We no longer listen to ourselves.

We do not listen to our bodies.

We do not listen to our minds.

We do not listen to our soul.

We do not listen to this planet.

We do not listen to the universe.

And, we are least bothered to listen to what the other person is saying.

For centuries we have relied on listening to reveal hidden patterns around us and simplify our lives.

Not anymore!

Now we have degraded ourselves to a big chunk of fart machines. 

We don’t talk. We don’t speak. We don’t communicate. We fart!

That’s all we do – generate incomprehensible unpleasant noises.

We fart!

Today, we will discuss the importance of listening in improving the quality of your life and the lives of the people around you. 

We will begin with the first event which occurred in this universe.

The BIG BANG!

For fuck’s sake, the very first event is named – The Big Bang!

I don’t think I need to emphasize the importance of listening when the event, which resulted at the beginning of our stories, is described as a loud noise.

The universe spoke. We listened. Life began.

Centuries passed by, we lost the art of listening. Now, we are miserable, suffering deeply, always in pain.

A simple act of listening attentively can magically transform our lives.

How?

That’s what we will explore today.

Somewhere in the middle of 2017, I used to own an art studio in the heart of Delhi – Malviya Nagar. A few months ago, my debut novel – Broken Radio – had released. I was living a dream life, hoping that this will be a new beginning. 

For the first time in my life, I was appreciated for my words and thoughts.

Before becoming an author, in my previous roles, I was recognized several times, either because of my skills to drive results or my ability to meet deadlines. However, writing is an altogether different ecosystem.

When it comes to any form of art, there are no set metrics on which you can be judged. 

Even art schools do not grade students on a long list of set parameters.

Art is extremely personal. 

I remember an episode of Seinfeld. If you haven’t ever watched Seinfeld, you must. It is one of those brilliant comedies which won’t just make you go ROFL but also uplift you as a person. It is an excellent piece of work by renowned comedian Jerry Seinfeld. 

In Seinfeld, we have a unique character named Kramer.

Kramer is either an eccentric genius or maybe just some ruffian bottomfeeder, depends on your outlook. Now, I am a little foggy on the details, but the way I remember it is either Kramer conned a painter into creating a giant portrait of himself or the painter got mesmerized with Kramer and created one. 

Nonetheless, the outcome is a brilliant painting of Kramer.

When the painting is unveiled to an art patron couple, they have brazenly contrasting views about it.

The women: I sense great vulnerability, a man-child crying out for love, an innocent orphan in the post-modern world.

The man: I see a parasite—a sexually depraved miscreant who is seeking only to gratify his basest and most immediate urges.

And it goes on and on and on….

You might want to watch this tiny clip, laughs guaranteed.

The point I am trying to make is there isn’t a formula to define art. Art is personal, and that applies to any form of art, whether it be music, cinema, painting, poetry. The success of art is based upon audiences’ perception.

Bukowski, the infamous literary avalanche, was considered a fucked up writer with no class. Today, there isn’t a modern piece of art that isn’t inspired by Bukowski in some manner or the other. All of these nihilist heroes (angry young men) whom you adore on the silver screen, smoking, gambling, and wasting their lives away, in love with their pain and suffering, are in some manner or other inspired by Bukowski’s alter ego – Henry Chinaski. 

Dostoyevsky, the genius & the gambler who penned down the most complicated literary works, wasn’t celebrated during his lifetime. So-called literary geniuses weren’t too impressed with his work. They didn’t even enjoy hanging out with him. He wasn’t invited to their grand parties. Now, his work is considered as the most brilliant representation of our inner struggle. Today petty writers like me pray to Dostoyevsky for strength and courage. It takes great courage to rise above our mediocrity, pain, misery, suffering, to create art.

Someone posed a question to Jordan Peterson about how to truly judge art. His response was to wait for a few centuries. If people talked about a piece of work even when centuries have passed, it is truly genius.

So, while being alive, there is absolutely no way to be sure whether what you are creating in the name of art is beauty or just random crap. We need to rely on other people’s feedback to ascertain our worth. Even a flawed writer like me can be proud of his work if there is one single person to whom my work spoke.

If we can touch a single life through our art, it is worth all the pain and suffering.

I try to upload videos frequently on YouTube and my social media channels.

An acquaintance once asked how do I motivate myself to create videos when I only get 100-150 views?

I chuckled. I said 100-150 people are watching my work, listening to me, reading what I write. That matters to me.

For you, its just 150 views.

For me, these are 150 people who have taken out their precious time to interact with something which I created. I feel proud that 150 people watch it. It is an achievement for me. 

It is not about numbers.

It has never been about numbers.

It has always been about influencing lives positively and destroying beautifully decorated chains of slavery.

It’s about liberating the human mind & soul.

It is not about numbers.

That’s not how you grade art.

That’s not why you create art – to get viewership.

You create art because it serves as an escape from your misery.

You create art to breathe, to live, to exist.

It has never been about numbers.

So, once again, there isn’t a formula to define art. Art is timeless.

If my words can transform or help one individual, I consider myself blessed. 

A painting that I admire might be a piece of crap for you. 

A novel that you cherish might be utterly stupid in my understanding.

A poetry which I find profound, you might consider it shallow.

A person whom I regard as a genius might be a pretentious fuck as per you.

An ideology that I find liberating might be constricting per your understanding.

It is all about perspective.

So, coming back to 2017, I had released my book. I leased a building and created a dream art studio for myself. I used to stay in isolation and create art the entire day. On a good day, I wrote a minimum of 7-8 thousand words and destroyed one canvas.

It was an ecstatic experience. 

The only trouble was I felt alone. I was too lonely.

I did have visitors now and then, folks who enjoyed my work. They shared kind words, and I listened attentively to praises.

However, I was least bothered about anything else that anyone said.

If it was about my work, I was all ears.

Anything else was dull woo-woo for me.

Mumbo Jumbo that didn’t deserve my attention.

As weeks passed by, this became my default setting. 

Before this, I was always a good listener. I paid attention. It was never about me blabbering my thoughts. It was about striking a meaningful conversation. 

But now, it became all about myself.

Even if I was listening to others, my mind was busy framing the next set of sentences that I could puke. 

For instance, a friend brought over his colleagues at my place. One of them was a naive 22-year-old guy who was in love with his job and thoroughly enjoyed his high pay scale. He shared details about his career.

A good listener should have appreciated his enthusiasm and acknowledged his journey, maybe wished him good luck for the future. But not me. I wasn’t a good listener then. I had to make everything about myself. 

I began a rant against consumerism and toxic corporate culture. I had no idea the impact my words could have on that poor soul. I wrecked his narrative. I made him feel bad about what he did. I became a bully, then. 

After puking shit out, I felt relieved, but that guy had a bad awakening.

A few days later, I was told that he became depressed and stopped going to work.

I have yet not forgiven myself for being so toxic to someone who deserved a sanctuary.

This is why listening is essential.

If we do not listen and wait for our turns to speak, we are making everything about ourselves. It makes us less considerate to others, unkind to some extent. We get driven by false ego and attempt to uplift ourselves by demeaning others.

It is toxic for us and people around us.

Relationships fail if partners don’t listen to each other.

Companies disintegrate if they do not listen to their consumers.

Work culture turns toxic if leadership doesn’t listen to employees.

Art is worthless if not made while listening to our hearts.

A journalist’s integrity is compromised if he/she doesn’t listen to the truth.

Kids turn into bullies if their parents don’t listen.

Partners cheat because they feel unheard.

Employees leave when they realize there isn’t anyone who is paying attention to what they say.

We change brands if they do not evolve after listening to our feedback.

Our cognitive abilities deteriorate if we do not listen to our thoughts.

This entire universe will collapse if we continue this trend.

We must be better listeners before we can be a better person.

Fortunately, I got back to my old self and started listening again.

Shortly after the incident mentioned above, I packed my bags and left for Kashmir to research for a new book. In Kashmir, I found myself among people who valued the importance of community. Everyone was empathetic to each other’s suffering and always listened to one another. The novelty of the experience shut my mouth and opened my ears.

I was experiencing something which I had only witnessed in a diluted manner on a television screen. Observing first-hand atrocities put me on the back seat, reuniting me with my listening self.

Not everyone gets such second chances. A lot of us spend our lifetimes only hearing and forming our narratives to vomit the next chance we get.

We are so impulsive that we do not even wait for the other person to complete explaining/narrating their side. We like predators, wait for the speaker to take a breath so that we could talk. 

We talk over other people.

We interrupt others.

We barely hear what they say.

We never paraphrase.

All we care for is dominating the conversation.

I remember during my corporate slavery days, whenever I used to approach a leader to share a problem, they made no eye contact. They didn’t interrupt, but we can sense when we are being heard. And I am positive, they were not listening.

In toxic corporate cultures, leaders are coached to nullify an employee’s concern. Acknowledging a concern will require work on their part. And this is no surprise that we do not want to work. Maybe 2% of us do, but 98% of us just want a paycheck. We will get distraught if that doesn’t arrive. 

It won’t matter if we are not delivering results.

What matters for us is to get paid. 

To be successful in any avenue of life, you must listen.

If you want to nurture a relationship, you must listen to your partner.

If you want to raise successful children, you must listen to them.

If you wish to get healthy, you must listen to your body.

If you want to achieve glory, you must listen to your thoughts.

If you want to build an empire, you must listen to your advisors, employees, and consumers.

Even someone as stupid as Trump listens to his advisors.

Authoritarian Modi listens to his parent ideological institution RSS.

If failed individuals can listen, we still have the upper hand.

We haven’t sold our souls yet.

Hope, I made a convincing case.

Before I reveal to you a zillion benefits of listening, let’s decode the art of listening.

First of all, listening doesn’t mean paying attention using your sensory organs. (in this case your ears)

Listening is an art. It involves every fabric of your physical and spiritual being. You will need to be present in the moment to listen.

It isn’t an easy task. That explains why people don’t listen.

How to listen:

There are three stages to listening.

  • Listening To The Speaker
  • Paraphrasing
  • Talking

These three elements combined flawlessly will then reciprocate a healthy conversation.

Let’s understand each element.

Listening To The Speaker

The first step is listening, which means paying attention to the speaker’s words, eyes, expressions, body language, and breathing patterns.

Whenever a person is talking apart from spoken words, there are a bunch of other things you need to pay attention to. Words are easy to catch. Even when distracted or disoriented, chances are pretty high that you will correctly get a gist of what the other person is trying to communicate.

Until and unless you are absent, meaning your physical body is in front of the speaker, but your monkey mind is busy swinging from one branch of thought to the other, you won’t miss much.

But this is where most of us go wrong.

When people communicate honestly, they are not speaking only through words. Their entire body is communicating. They are expressing through their eyes, facial expressions, hands, every part of their body.

They will sway forward when they feel empathetic.

They will bend backward while narrating a horrifying experience.

Their hands will be constrained if they sense an unwelcoming response from the listener.

Their arms would open up in a relaxed manner if the listener’s gaze is affectionate.

A ton of emotions will ooze out from the eyes. 

Eyes are a powerful medium of communication. For centuries we have passed messages just by the movement of our eyes.

Even in regular communication, our eyes can give out a lot.

Our brains are split into two sections – the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere.

Vaguely, the left hemisphere contains memories and logic, while the right hemisphere is the creative side which imagines, a dreamer as some may say!

During a conversation, if a speaker is looking to the left, it indicates they are recalling a real experience. If they are looking towards the right, it suggests that they are adding elements of imagination – in short, they are lying.

I am not claiming, this is a thumb rule. However, multiple researchers agree with this. 

Adding to the eye movement are hand gestures and broken speech (nervousness).

If the speaker takes long pauses or breaks in the middle of the speech, it can indicate that they are unsure of what they are saying.

Similarly, their facial expressions, their muscle twitches, everything points out to something. 

You do not need to train yourself to observe all of this. Ideally, this should be your default setting.

If you are willingly in a conversation, it is highly disrespectful if you do not listen properly. 

You must be present in the conversation with complete silence.

Listen to the other person, observe their mannerisms, their body language. The only action needed from your end is to maintain eye contact and give verbal nods now and then, to reassure the other person of your mindful listening.

You cannot interrupt and say – sorry for the interruption.

It is obscenely rude. 

While listening, you do not have to create narratives inside your head about what you are going to say next. Even if you are in a debate, trying to prove your point, you cannot stop the other person to share your objections.

Hold your horses!

If you have even a shred of respect for your thoughts, you must respect the other person’s outlook also. Please hear them out.

Once the speaker has completed what they wanted to express, the next step will be paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing

We barely paraphrase. High performing individuals paraphrase but not always. Even they paraphrase only when engaged in a scholarly debate or discussion, not in their daily lives. This is where most of us go wrong.

We do not paraphrase.

Whenever someone is narrating a story, presenting their opinion, making a point, if it is not a scripted output, they use a wholesome bouquet of words. Even if it is concise and you feel that you grasped all of it, there is no way to be sure. Therefore, paraphrasing is optimal for your conversations. Else, we will keep on running around in circles, unable to comprehend the essence of each other’s words.

If you paraphrase, not only can you verify whether you correctly interpreted what the other person is trying to communicate, but you also lay the groundwork on which you can start forming your part of the speech. 

There is a universal challenge of articulation. There’s no surprise that we have not only lost the art of listening, but our speech is also compromised. 

We rape words continuously. 

Juggle incomprehensible slangs.

Communicate in broken speech.

Jumble our word order.

Use excessive fillers.

All in all, most of us bark.

A listener’s job is to identify the melody in all that chatter and then comprehend the real meaning. 

Due to such poor articulation by most of us, it is more than essential now than ever to paraphrase; else, we will not understand the core of someone’s speech. 

Wife: I don’t like a bit that you come home late every evening drunk. I do not have groceries for the morning breakfast. I have to wake you up daily and request you to go grocery shopping. While you are out picking groceries because I don’t have much to do, I get anxious waiting for you—that kind of screws up my entire day. I am unable to focus at work, and my boss is not happy with my performance. My life is getting shitty with each passing day.

Husband:

Response 1Should we see a doctor for your anxiety?

Response 2How about we stock groceries for the entire week on Sunday, will that make things better?

Response 3Hmm, if you are not enjoying your job, why don’t you switch to a different company?

Response 4I think we need a baby. You are too lonely.

Response 5What I understand is my alcoholism is driving you crazy. I don’t think it is a healthy practice for me to get drunk every day. Can we talk about this in detail? Maybe I need a little assistance from you to figure out what’s going wrong. Will you help me, please, honey?

Which one of these is the right response?

Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the fifth one!

It’s always us who is at fault. Fixing ourselves can fix everything. 

If you will not paraphrase and jump to your part of the speech, you will never be able to understand the other person’s pain point. You will diminish their argument in your small-mindedness, giving way to alienation and unpleasantness.

Listen attentively.

Paraphrase.

And then talk!

Your speech

After you have attentively listened and paraphrased to understand, comes everyone’s favorite part of the conversation. Now, you are free to talk!

But remember, just because you can talk doesn’t mean you have to.

Most of the conversations do not need much input from your end.

People want to share, and you will be amazed to see how open even strangers can be. 

Speaking is also a manner in which we straighten our thoughts.

A lot many influential speakers do not prepare their talks in advance. They are present in the moment and improvise as per the audiences’ pulse. 

If you do not have anything ultra-relevant to contribute, refrain from speaking just for the sake of it. If you have listened, then you must have identified the goal of the conversation.

Either the person is trying to share their misery.

Or, they will be expressing a moment of profound happiness.

Sometimes, people just talk to kill the silence.

Many times, they are trying to figure out a solution to their problems.

Intellectuals discuss ideas. Such conversations demand your input.

Others just require you to play the role of a listener.

If someone is sharing their misery, you do not need to top their experience with your personal stories.

Woman: Hey, my purse got snatched today morning.

Man: Yeah, we live in a terrible society. You know what happened a year ago. I was coming back from a party at 2 am, and two boys came in front of my car. They wore hoodies and had a baseball bat in their hands. They tried to stop me. I feared for my life. I ran my car over them. I was not going to bow down to hooliganism. (yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap)

Ideally, the person was supposed to probe more details.

Acknowledge.

Empathize.

Maybe talk about the next steps—future strategies to avoid such experiences. But no, we just won’t leave a chance to make everything about ourselves. 

Every conversation needs to be about Me, me, and me alone.

I have been there, done that, hence I speak from experience. 

Guys, you do not have to do so. 

Just listen and listen some more. 

Listening will open you to new possibilities that you never thought existed.

Listening will help you improve current relationships, including your relationship with yourself. 

Listening will help you foster new friendships and bonding.

If you do not listen, you end up missing on so much of life that it is not even worth living. 

We are not unhappy because the world doesn’t listen to us.

We are miserable because we don’t listen to ourselves and others.

Listening can uplift us from our chaotic state to a stable platform.

Here are few never discussed benefits of listening –

  • Listening improves your cognitive abilities.
  • Listening reduces anxiety and stress.
  • Listening helps you to be more mindful of the present.
  • Listening promotes healthy habits.

Listening improves your cognitive abilities

We use our cognitive abilities to deal with the problems we face. We have a very limited daily cognitive bandwidth. If we exhaust it early in the day, our days will appear as an endless ordeal. We need to ensure that we preserve our energy and not expend it unnecessarily. 

Most of our daily lives occur in loops. We do the same set of activities over and over again. With time we develop habits, so, we do not have to invest energy in executing basic tasks. We can then use our cognitive abilities to solve critical issues that can improve our lives and the lives of others. 

Now imagine this.

You are in the habit of making your daily breakfast. You have a set ritual. You chop first, followed by cooking. Suppose one day, your knife loses its charm, and you cannot chop. Now, your mind panics. It is used to operate in a set fashion, and that course is broken. For our minds, this is a significant disruption. It will unleash a storm of anxiety, irritating you to the core. If you are not listening to yourself, you will give in the chaos and either go to work empty stomach or use tons of energy trying to find an alternate. 

This might sound like a petty issue to many of you. But trust me, an anxious mind blows everything out of proportion. I have seen people ruin their days for lesser shit than this. 

However, if you are listening to yourself, you will acknowledge your inner feelings, only to paraphrase and probe yourself – so, what you are saying is my day is ruined because my knife is not sharp enough? That doesn’t sound right. How about I just boil my veggie instead, it would require lesser energy. 

There you go. You solved a problem without banging your head on a wall.

You did not expend your cognitive bandwidth unnecessarily, and you are ready to take on the world. 

Listening is not limited to others. 

It begins at home.

The home of your soul – You.

The first step is to listen to ourselves, acknowledge, and paraphrase. Once you do so, you will see a pattern of panic in your thoughts.

With the right acknowledgment, you can control your feeble self and make it stronger. 

Buddhist monks do not speak. They barely talk.

The reason is their sense of tranquility.

They do not have to chatter endlessly because they can easily sense underlying emotions.

Some people talk when they are sad.

Some when they are nervous.

Some talk to express happiness.

Some to terrorize.

Those who listen to themselves, talk to the higher being inside them.

That being at present is buried beneath tons of subconscious rubble.

You will need to sort it out.

The first step is to listen to your breath.

Your heartbeat.

The sound of your beating heart – lub dub lub dub lub dub dub

Once you are in sync with yourself, you won’t waste in the mindless chatter of imaginary problems. You will listen to what is essential, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities. 

Your focus will improve. You will be more confident. Your productivity will increase—all in all, better cognitive abilities.

Listening reduces anxiety and stress.

Anxiety happens when we are in uncertain waters. Anything which doesn’t have a set outcome sends our mind in panic mode. It starts weaving possible outcomes. There are always a million of those.

So, you imagine countless outcomes of a given event you are involved in.

We also have a negative bias to protect us from danger. Therefore most of these possible outcomes will be negative, further fuelling panic and anxiety.

All in all, this happens because we are not listening to ourselves and others. 

If you listen to others, they often share remarkable insights about their issues. You can very well learn a lot from anyone, even your adversary, if you are paying attention.

If you are carefully listening to your thoughts, not just chasing them, you will develop intuition.

Your subconscious is highly potent and has a binary configuration to solve any problem you might face. But at the same time, you need to identify the right idea.

I create content for a US-based cannabis company.

I am their subconscious.

Whenever they need a creative, I, at least, provide 7-10 options. 

They pick the best one.

In this case, they are you. And your mind is me.

Your mind will continue to give you countless options, and few of them will be apt for a situation, but you need to listen to the way these thoughts feel.

Which one made your stomach ache?

Which one added to your frustration?

Which one made your eyes shine?

Which one made your calves quiver?

Which one made you calmer?

A seemingly tricky path.

An overly complicated way out.

Or a well thought, tough to execute but an intelligent solution.

If you are not listening, you are wasting energy, damaging both your mind and body.

The anxious mind will keep on pumping cortisol (stress hormone) in your veins.

A few minutes later, catastrophic fear will consume you.

Your amygdala (fear sensor) will start throbbing.

Your body will think of it as a sign to fight or flee.

It will begin to pump adrenaline; you won’t be able to sit idle.

You will start shaking your legs, fiddling your fingers, smoking a pack of cigarettes, until you are too exhausted even to think.

Why go through all of this daily?

Save this for the actual crisis. 

Today just listen.

Breathe and pay attention.

Acknowledge, paraphrase, and strategize.

That’s all!

Listening helps you to be more mindful of the present.

Whenever we are not focused on the task at hand, all we do is time travel.

We go back to an incident in the past, whether joyful or depressing, mostly depressing, or we will plan for the unknown future, that too not in a constructive manner.

We are not noting down anything.

We are not preparing a strategy.

It’s mindless strolling.

If we replace this with being in the present, our lives can change for the better.

Imagine you are sitting in a room. But you are not sitting in the room.

You are thinking about a toxic ex. 

How they ruined your life!

Dwelling on it for some time, you start imagining a future with Nargis Fakhri or Sunny Leone. 

You are not in the room.

You need to be in the room.

You need to be in the present.

Try this wherever you are, right now!

Listen to all the sounds around you.

The ticking of the clock.

The electronic hum of the fan or the ac.

The humming sound of your PC’s motherboard.

The non-audible buzz of your phone. 

The sound of the breeze.

You will be surprised to find that once you practice this for five minutes every day – just listening, plain listening, you will stop being a psychonaut.

If you are not worried about the past or the future, you can pay attention to what is essential in the present.

Now look around you, what do you see – Is your room in order?

Is it clean and sorted?

Check those unpaid bills lying in the corner. 

How about you clear them today? They have been pending till long.

What about that book lying on the table. You promised to finish it three weeks ago.

How about you read the book.

Slowly and gradually, as the days will pass, you will not dwell on the past, which doesn’t matter. Or worry about a future you have no control over.

You will start living in the present to its full, making small improvements to yourself and your surrounding, leading to a better future automatically. 

You don’t need to be a pendulum and keep on swinging between the past and the future.

Be here.

Be now.

Be present.

Listen!

Listening promotes healthy habits.

Habits are activities that we do so often that we no longer need to pay any attention to them.

Habits are an excellent way for the mind to preserve precious energy and stabilize the mental spectrum. 

Habits run in an auto-pilot mode needing no assistance from us. 

As much as they are helpful, they can also be toxic in case of bad habits.

Consider smoking, for example.

Countless smokers have no idea what their triggers are or why do they smoke. 

We repeatedly talk about nicotine addiction. We discuss how difficult quitting nicotine smoking is. We have already conditioned ourselves that quitting smoking is an impossible task. Many of us do not even attempt to break free from such toxic habits.

Overthinking is also a toxic habit. So is any sort of addiction.

Once we have mastered the art of listening and we are present in the moment, we will be able to see things that we do not ideally.

We will be able to see how we make our habit of smoking so convenient that it become a natural act.

Smokers always carry smokes and light with them.

If they stop carrying smokes, higher are the chances that their mind won’t send them on an extra stroll of buying cigarettes every time they feel a craving. Many smokers can reduce their smoking just by not carrying with them the medium of their destruction.

If we take the right efforts, we can get rid of any toxic habit.

All we need to do is listen to our bodies.

When we feel a craving to smoke, we start losing focus.

Our heart rate spikes and we feel unable to do anything in the right manner before satisfying this craving first.

Sex addicts often end up having 5-6 intercourses daily to satisfy this feeling.

If we are listening to our bodies, we will be able to hear the rustle of our lungs, which signifies its rotting from within. Every puff of a cigarette makes our chest clogged and breathing heavy.

We never pay attention because we are not in the moment.

We are not listening to our bodies.

If we do, we will realize how much pain our body goes through each time we smoke.

We will sense the loss of energy and the utter wastage of time.

A nicotine addict assumes that all he is losing are 10-15 minutes. But that’s an incorrect assumption. The reality is horrifyingly bleak.

Not only smokers lose precious minutes, but smoking also drains a lot of their energy. Each smoke reduces our work efficiency by 20-25 minutes (also dependent on the diet of the person).

Which means someone who is smoking 8-10 cigarettes every day, is losing somewhere around 3.5 hours daily. This time alone, if invested in self-development, can help anyone reach unscaled heights. 

The same is the case with overthinkers. They spend around 4-5 hours every day dwelling on unimportant thoughts. Even if their thoughts are consumed by something crucial, their problem-solving skills get compromised due to brain exhaustion. The outcome is an utter waste of time and energy. 

Instead of overthinking, if we listen to our inner being who always guides towards the right path, we can solve the most critical issues in minutes.

And like any other skill, you cannot improve your listening overnight. It is going to take time. 

Patience is critical to quit bad habits and instill new ones.

If you wish to live a fulfilling life, better listening skill is a must.

Regular mindfulness practice can assist you in developing and mastering listening to self and others.

Plants talk to you

Breezes have something to say

That bee on the flower hums for you

The flowing river calls your name

The mountains robustly communicate

This whole universe has something to say.

You are missing on life if you are not listening!

Pay attention, buddy.

Relax and listen!

That will be all for the day. My fingers hurt. 

See you next week with a brand new essay.

Please share your feedback and suggestions.

If you think this essay can help somebody get their life in order, I will request you to share it on your social media. But you are free to accept or refuse my request.

Have an explosive day!

Tata.  

Do You Have What It Takes To Be Responsible

Any specialty you choose, your work ethics, attitude, determination, and efficiency will define your success rate. The better professional you are, the more prosperous you will be. The marketplace appreciates creativity, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, team players, and rewards individuals rich in such qualities with abundant wealth and comfort.

Good Morning Planet,

Today we are going to discuss desirable character traits that forge a winner. Let’s firstly understand our present social structure.

We are social animals. Per natural laws, social beings structure themselves hierarchically. There are multiple examples of hierarchically organized societies in the animal kingdom. 

Whether it be chimps, ants, bees, wolves, or lobsters, you will see prominent hierarchical arrangements in the way their intricate society functions. 

Chimps live in communities ranging from 20 to 150 members. 

Male chimpanzees organize themselves in a linear dominance hierarchy. Their claim to the throne is based on their physical strength and their social skills. 

If three chimps are fighting, two of them can form a coalition and defeat the other one. If a chimp is physically superior but lacks skills to build alliances, he can be easily overcome by someone who lacks strength but has mastered forming coalitions. 

Ants live in large colonies. A class system organizes its society. 

The individual capability of an ant determines its role in the colony. Ants also get a preference to choose their role as per their inclination. Age also plays an important variable. 

An ant’s responsibility can be changed as per their age. 

Ideally, the colony is organized in a sophisticated manner. Yet, a simple representation will be – queen at the top, followed by soldiers and workers.

Bees also organize themselves in a hierarchal fashion. 

We have a queen at the top, followed by workers and drones. 

The queen’s primary purpose is to reproduce and secondary to motivate workers to finish the workload. 

The workers hold secondary citizenship and need to toil hard. 

And the drones mostly fertilize the virgin queens. They do not have stings, so they cannot protect the hive from intruders. They are the lowliest citizens as they are unskilled.

A bee colony is also based on competency. 

Queen is the most responsible and is trusted with the essential task of reproduction. 

Workers are underdeveloped females. 

Drones are the outliers who are awarded the meanest job because they don’t possess any unique characteristics. 

Wolves stay in packs. They have a well defined social structure and clearly laid out rules of conduct. 

The pack is lead by an Alpha, which is the strongest and possesses better tracking and hunting skills. 

Others in the pack follow the leader and play their individual assigned roles. 

A wolf knows that alone it might have a lower survival rate. But in a pack, his chances improve considerably. 

A wolf pack is a vigorous hunting unit.

I am fascinated by a symbolic gesture among the wolves. 

While fighting for dominance, an Alpha, by defeating a beta, proves himself worthy and secures his position. The beta rolls over and offers his neck to the Alpha in a symbolic representation of surrender

The all-powerful Alpha can tear the loser’s throat apart, but it only grabs it with his jaw, exerts a little bite force, and then sets the beta free. This gesture is a show of strength and forgiveness.

This signifies that the Alpha is aware that he can kill the beta any given moment, yet chooses to let him live to make the pack strong and efficient. Now the beta will follow Alpha’s leadership and continue to play by the rules for the safety of the pack. 

Similarly, lobsters too organize themselves in a dominance hierarchy based on competency. 

Lobsters often engage in ritual combat to establish dominance. The winner sets to conquer territories while the loser backs down. 

Ironically identical to human society, top lobsters get their pick of the finest mansions and are surrounded by females. 

In contrast, the bottom lobsters continue to engage in a fight for survival. 

Great!

We have so far considered examples of a prevalent dominance hierarchy in the animal kingdom. We can collectively agree that there is ample evidence that such a social structure is beneficial to society. 

If the most competent individuals are at the top, higher are the chances for the collective to survive and grow.  

And, just to clarify, no, I wasn’t watching NAT Geo all night. 

If you carefully observe human society, it is also based on a dominance hierarchy. 

1% of the top population controls 99% of the rest. 

It is often considered unfair and unethical. We will continue exploring whether it is just or not. 

A capitalist human society is based on individual competencies. 

The more competent you are, the higher are your chances to climb the top.

Let’s begin with the starting of your life.

If your parents are decent, they will teach you the necessary social skills so that when you are in the park with kids of your age, you can play along. 

You will always find a kid who is being bullied by others or remains silent. Upon closely observing, you will identify that such kids mostly belong to irresponsible parents.

Either such parents are in a toxic relationship, or they have poor parenting skills.

Such a kid will not interact well with others and will also be unpopular among parents of other kids.

The kids who will play together will develop better social skills. They will be loved by the people around them, further enhancing their personalities.

Once the playground phase passes, you will be off to a school. 

In a school, to excel, everyone needs to study hard, participate in extracurricular activities, and get well with fellow students and their teachers. 

Several reasons can make a kid more successful than others during school.

  • Personal Characteristics – Personal characteristics such as attentiveness, IQ, commitment to work, and others contribute toward a child’s success.
  • Social Surroundings – Those with access to a better study environment and aids can quickly excel in comparison with those who lack these necessities. 

It is possible that a child might be from a low-income family but is more resolved to be a better student than others. Even if he’s family is not supportive, and he doesn’t have an iPad, he can hard work his way to the top of a classroom hierarchy.

I want to make it clear that we are not laying down rules of engagement here. 

Anyone belonging to any background can achieve an enormous amount of success just by following the right practices

Beyond school, similar rules would apply to high school and college.

Hardworking, intelligent adults with better social skills will outwork others and secure the top ranks. 

They will have the best pick of friends and members of the opposite sex around them. They will be popular and loved. 

Outliers and the bottom feeders will have resentment and hatred against them

Once again, we are not laying out rules of engagement. 

Your childhood or your adult life doesn’t determine the rest of your time on this planet. 

This is what makes us unique in comparison with animals. 

Our shortcomings do not limit us. 

You will see such examples spread evenly throughout history. 

In the animal kingdom, if you get a beta status, you will be confined to the same for the rest of your life. Animals barely rise in their status. 

Humans, on the other hand, are capable of upgrading their social standing at any given point.  

People who were awful as kids, grow into magnificent adults. 

Adults with prison and drug background, despite every odds, emerge as a conqueror and gain social acceptance. 

We human beings are driven by passion, which sees no past or future constraints.

If we purposefully set ourselves for a task, we are bound to succeed. 

What we are doing at present is analyzing the underlying social structure. We are discussing the prominent trends. 

I will continue reiterating that these are grand trends. 

Yes, they do impact your life, yet on an individual basis, your life is governed by your thoughts and your actions. 

Even if you had the most terrible life so far, you can easily transform it by being responsible and accountable. 

We will discuss this in detail further. 

After your initial learning is over, you are shipped to a world filled with opportunities. 

As per your knowledge and skills acquired, you will get to choose the profession of your choice. 

Once you begin your apprenticeship, you will get to learn from experts in your profession. 

You will start as a clerk, an intern, or an entry-level job in a domain of your choice

Your learning pace clubbed with your personal and social skills, will determine the course of your career. 

Out of thousands of you, most competent ones will climb up the ladder and secure prominent places.

In contrast with the animal kingdom, we get a chance to rise above at every stage of our lives. 

Even if you choose the wrong domain, you are free to quit and begin fresh in a field of your liking. 

Any specialty you choose, your work ethics, attitude, determination, and efficiency will define your success rate

The better professional you are, the more prosperous you will be.

The marketplace appreciates creativity, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, team players, and rewards individuals rich in such qualities with abundant wealth and comfort. 

It is only fair that those who contribute more get a better share

Till now, we have discussed the hierarchies and basics of a human hierarchy. 

Someone among us might be horrified by this unequal distribution of wealth and power. They can insist that a capitalist society is not a perfect society, and alternate structures should be explored. To them, I just have one response.

Fuck off, you lazy ass!

The only other alternate tried so far was communism and its implementation, and the final outcome was so horrifying in nature that even discussing such a flawed structure send chills down my body.

A commie will suggest that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk should not have access to so much wealth and power. 

He will insist on equal distribution. 

As per him, irrespective of their individual efforts in building such flourishing empires, they are crooks and should be brought down. If we leave the decision-making abilities to the communists or sympathizers of equality, they will crucify Jeff and Elon, ignoring the spectacular effort put in by these individuals in building such enormous organizations.

Amazon will be torn apart, and Jeff will be hanged in public.

Elon will suffer a similar fate.

What these equality activists fail to realize is such organizations are essential for the prosperity of others. 

Individual wealth is a reward for achievers. 

It is not an unequal distribution

We all want competent people at critical positions because they have proven their excellence in managing people, resources, and strategizing grand victories. 

Someone who works hard deserves better compensation.

Jeff did not grow rich by fluke. He works 16 hours each day.

Elon isn’t smoking pot sitting at his home. He works relentlessly on solutions for the betterment of society.

If we strip such individuals from power and position, their companies will collapse, sending us back to the dark ages. Millions of people will become unemployed, and even if we redistribute wealth, it will only offer a temporary solution. 

We need competent individuals at the top of hierarchies, or else the world is doomed. 

Weak oppressors such as Stalin and Hitler are examples of this. If you crown incompetent leaders, they will not be able to lead you constructively. Their flawed outlook will attract disasters, and their failure to manage disasters will ruin civilizations.

Whether it be ancient Rome or Modern India & America, incompetent leaders have ruined our glorious lives.

Failed kings like Commodus, uneducated presidents like Trump, and bigotted prime ministers like Modi have already ruined the world as it is. We must encourage people to be more competent in order to make the world a better place. 

So far, we have established that only competent individuals can drive our society towards betterment. 

Now, we will discuss what can make you a competent individual.

It might come as a surprise to you, but all it takes to be an Alpha of a pack are two characteristic traits – Responsibility & Accountability.

Being Responsible

What do we understand by being responsible?

Anyone?

Anyone at all!

The girl at the front yells, “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.”

Fantastic, thank you for your response!

Okay, so as said by my genius friend, being responsible means fulfilling a duty towards an individual or an activity.

Responsibility begins at home. 

It begins with you.

The first step of being responsible is taking care of yourself.

The first responsibility the universe has trusted you with is YOU.

You need to take care of yourself.

You begin with the basics –

Physical – These are your responsibilities towards your physical self –

  • Grooming – You need to take care of your appearances. You must be clean. You must wear clean clothes. You shouldn’t look shabby. 

If you are dirt poor and you do not have the means to iron your cloth, you wake up an hour earlier and put your clothes beneath your bed so that they get ironed on its own. 

Your poverty cannot be an excuse for your shabby appearances.

If you cannot afford a toothpaste, you will brush your teeth with salt.

If your lips are chapped, you rub saliva on it.

Don’t have money to buy a hair gel, well, use your semen.

The point I am trying to make is, there’s no excuse. 

You are responsible for your physical appearance. You must maintain it well.

Someone among you might consider human appearance as a false representation of their capabilities. 

You are totally right in assuming so.

Your looks don’t have to compliment the quality of your work. 

We are not talking about physical attributes. We are discussing grooming.

No sensible person cares about the color of your skin, your facial features, your physique, or the way you dress. 

Yet, every reasonable or nonsensical person has the right to judge you based on your appearance.

If you come to work with poor hygiene, you are sending a message to the people around you. 

The message is your incompetency in taking care of yourself.

If you are not responsible for yourself, why would anyone trust you with bigger responsibilities?

There isn’t any excuse to appear unkempt in any manner. 

Look good. It matters.

  • Physical Strength – Whether you are muscular, athletic, or frail, your physical appearance plays a role in the manner people see you. 

I am not asking you to become the next Arnold Schawnezzer or David Goggins. Yet, you are responsible for your physical strength. 

You must ensure that you maintain and increase it.

Your body is where all of your hope, abilities, pain, fear, and disappointments accumulate. Make it strong to bear as much as possible.

Go for running.

Cycle to work.

Go to a gym.

Go to the park.

Do Burpees.

Do Pushups.

Do Squats.

Do chin-ups.

Burn static energy. 

If you are at the peak of your physical health, you will be able to handle more stress and work for longer hours. You will have an energy reserve for other secondary tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and making love.

You won’t like to come back home dead after work and crash on your bed.

You would instead enjoy coming back from work and cooking a decent meal for your partner and having an intimate conversation.

You will only be able to do so if you are physically fit.

Once you start taking care of your physical being, you will, on your own, develop healthy eating habits leading to glowing skin, reduced hair-fall, increased self-control, better posture, and increased self-esteem. 

If you suffer from an addiction disorder, you will be able to manage it efficiently. 

Healthy individuals can quit their bad habits such as smoking, drug addiction, porn addiction, or masturbation swiftly in comparison with unhealthy people.

There is no excuse to be physically unhealthy.

There is no excuse to miss your daily workouts.

Your body is your responsibility.

If you are too tired and cannot get up early for your daily workout, think about those little kids who support their families by waking up at 4 am to distribute the daily newspaper. 

You are enjoying a good life, and you cannot even take care of yourself. That’s a shame!

Once upon a time, Osho was addressing a vast conglomerate of people. He was discussing spiritual awakening. 

He was a magnificent orator. People held their breath when he spoke.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a large cloud appeared, and it started pouring. People tried to disperse and seek shelter.

Osho said, “You guys call yourself seeker, and you are afraid of a few drops of rain!”. 

Everyone froze at their place. 

There was a pin drop silence. 

Osho continued with his speech while it rained.

If you plan to make your life better, yet you can’t open your eyes when it is needed, you deserve to be a beta. 

You just don’t have it in you.

Continue being an average, ready to pour yourself a glass of disappointment. 

A half-empty glass of disappointment.

You kind of deserve it.

Else prove me wrong and get yourself in better shape.

It is proven that society doesn’t appreciate fat, obese, or physically weak individuals. 

Such people not only experience difficulty in finding mates, but they also barely succeed professionally.

If you are okay being mediocre, sleep 10 hours, nobody gives a fuck. 

You are not a desirable member. 

You won’t ever taste success. 

All you will ever secure is another average mate, such as you. 

All you will ever achieve is bringing a few more average specimens to this planet and ruining their lives. 

Good luck with that!

  • Mental Strength – You are responsible for your thoughts. You are responsible for your psyche. 

You could have very well been dealt a bad hand. 

You might suffer from underlying mental disorders and learning disabilities. 

Still, you can emerge a winner.

The goal is to feed your mind quality stuff.

Read great books. 

Not only fiction but books that will help you grow in your professional domain.

Spend time with successful people rather than bottom performers. 

Don’t waste time binge-watching, browsing social media, or on activities that serve no purpose.

Spend time learning. 

Avoid crowds. 

Look inwards.

Find yourself.

Tame yourself.

Learn, Grow, Conquer. Fuck em up!

Apart from your grooming, physical, and mental strength, you also need to work on your attitude, your viewpoints, your analytical skills…… the list is endless. 

You need to become the best version of yourself. 

Once you get in the habit of fulfilling your personal responsibilities, you need to look outwards in the nearest proximity. 

Be responsible for your relationships.

Be responsible for your family.

Uplift your friends.

Tidy your park.

Make your colony a better place.

Help elderly neighbors. 

Check with local hawkers, if you can teach their kids.

Improve your town.

Write letters filled with practical suggestions to your state officials.

Make your country a better place.

You are fucking responsible for this entire planet.

You need to uphold this responsibility.

The first step is being responsible for yourself.

If you cannot afford a bus to your work, you will start walking an hour early to reach on time. You can also ask for a lift from others. You are responsible for your punctuality. There’s no excuse for being late.

If you cannot afford electricity, you will study under the street lamp.

If you do not have the internet at home, you will go to the nearest library to study. 

The idea is to be responsible for yourself. 

Whether you are filthy rich or dirt poor, you must fulfill your responsibilities.

The more responsible you are, the better will be the world around you.

Being Accountable 

Accountability plays a significant role in securing wins. You cannot rise from your current state of misery without being accountable. 

If your boss assigns you a task, what will you do?

Ideally, you will complete the task timely to the best of your abilities.

What if there are other people involved and they are not pulling their weight?

This is a prevalent scenario in professional setups.

Mostly driven individuals have better work ethics in comparison with others, and while working in a team, the team progresses with its own pace, whereas you might be way ahead of them.

In such cases, accountability plays an important role. 

Even if you are not the head of the project, you are accountable for it.

A winner will not leave the completion of tasks for others. A winner will see things through the end. 

After fulfilling your responsibilities, assist others.

Make them work faster.

Share their workload.

Stand beside them and spread positivity.

Most of the people, instead of being accountable, are fearful.

Fear is a lie.

You will always see individuals who are ready with excuses or shift the blame to others.

I have encountered highly paid professionals who, when making a typo error, say that – “A typo error happened!”

No motherfucker!

This is a flawed outlook.

Errors don’t happen.

You made a typo error. You are accountable for it.

The ideal response is – I made this error because I was distracted. I will ensure that from today I proofread every piece of communication from my end.

Accepting your mistakes make you accountable and a better person.

Don’t shift the blame on others or unfavorable situations.

Being accountable improves your problem-solving skills.

A lot of you are working from home. A common excuse remote workers use when unable to meet deadlines is internet issues. However, that’s rarely the case.

Even if that’s the case, an accountable individual will use alternative solutions to meet deadlines. 

They will try to use the mobile internet.

If that fails, they will approach their neighbors and seek their help.

If the neighbor’s wifi is also not working, they will try to complete the work by taking assistance from their friends. 

If a task needs to be completed, it needs to be completed. That too timely!

No governing body cares about excuses.

That is the reason CEOs prefer individuals who provide results rather than those who mostly provide excuses and encounter difficulties.

Our culture has turned us into lazy, inefficient, mediocre performers.

To break this cycle of mediocrity, you must display accountability.

This is the reason accountable people are more reliable and get better rewards.

You must understand that if you want to secure a better position in the human hierarchy, you need to hone your skills and display exemplary behavior.

Accountability and Responsibility are few of such desirable qualities that can get you to the top.

You have two choices now. 

Either you can continue being at the bottom, living an average life surrounded by ordinary people. 

Or you can grab your life by the balls and be more responsible and accountable while slowly climbing towards the top where a better world awaits you.

Choose wisely!

Hope this helped.

What traits do you think shape winners?

Why should you read 52 books every year?

Reading a book daily for even 15-20 minutes can increase your cognitive abilities and enhance your overall personality.

When was the last time you read a book?

If you are one of those who wish to dominate a water cooler conversation in your office or a friendly chit-chat in the smoking zone or maybe impress that dumb boyfriend/girlfriend of yours – googling things out will work for you.

Occasionally, I am sure you do check Wikipedia pages to enhance your knowledge. To sum a few other resources together, your knowledge is getting enriched by :

  • Speed-reading articles chosen by machine learning in your Facebook feed. 
  • Youtube videos suggested by friends shared on WhatsApp.
  • Occasional reading of blogs powered by some news app you accidentally installed, a long time ago.
  • Watching Insta stories.
  • Watching TV shows, movies, and documentaries which are based on real-life events.

No wonder your life is going so well!

Now, all of the above-mentioned resources are best suited for dominating the conversation with an average Joe. 

However, how well would you fare if –

  • You are supposed to talk about something for more than 10 minutes? Ideally, to speak effectively and confidently on a topic for 1 minute, you need to have read a minimum of 10,000 words.
  • You encounter someone who’s genuinely knowledgable? Yes, my friend such people, however rare, do exist.
  • You have to write an original well-researched article/blog/paper? Nothing turns off women more than plagiarised content. 
  • You have to explain a phenomenon to a child? Unlike adults, children are curious and ask questions seeking clarity. You can’t trick a kid.
  • Your job demands you to continually upgrade your subject matter knowledge? You can’t watch Neil Patel for all your answers. 

If not today, then tomorrow or the day after or definitely in the coming weeks – you will encounter one of the above or a similar situation. The one and only solution to all your life issues is READING. Books encompass shared knowledge/wisdom of entire generations in a granular depth. Every other medium of knowledge/wisdom is superficial in nature. If you do not read –

  • Yes, you will learn a thing or two.
  • Yes, you will be able to weave a decent conversation.
  • Yes, you will be able to write killer social media captions.
  • Yes, dumb members of the opposite sex will be attracted to you.
  • And, yes, every now and then, you will achieve one of your life goals.

However, you will still remain hollow inside. That’s the price one pays for superficiality. 

Great, so now I have you convinced that no matter what you do, where you come from – irrespective of your personal goals, desires, and aspirations – you got to read. 

YOU MUST READ!

Summary

Books are the only source of true theoretical knowledge. Reading enables you to participate in intellectually stimulating conversations. (which last more than a minute)

Now that we have moved past our first hurdle of getting you committed to daily reading, let me share with you the benefits of daily reading.

Why should you read daily?

Reading 52 books every year translates into reading one book each week – which means you need to read daily. 

I understand how this sounds.

If you are not a reader, this would appear as an Impossible Task.

However, consider a few real impossible tasks which our ancestors completed, not only successfully but also with panache.

Your forefathers –

  • Hunted the woolly mammoth
  • Established a civilized Roman empire
  • Built the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Captured the wildest animals
  • Battled the most fierce conquerors
  • Thought of Religion
  • Survived unheard epidemics
  • Crafted the TajMahal
  • Invented electricity
  • Established Democracy
  • Recognized Human rights
  • Conceived The Internet, and
  • Created this amazing unparalleled digital device on which you are reading this blog.

So, consider this – our ancestors defeated every adversity and claimed their glory by creating a marvelous world where even the tiniest of objects are sophisticated beyond imagination. 

And here you are, wondering – 

“Can I really read daily?”

“Do I have the time?”

“Is this really helpful?”

How about you just try developing the habit of reading and find out?

I will also like to admit that even I wasn’t born a reader. Though fortunately, I was exposed to timeless literature at a very early age; however, after my teenage, the only thing that seemed worthy of studying was – Girls!

In my twenties, this passion got replaced by booze and drugs combined with powerful binge-watching. Even after 12-14 hours of slogging my ass in corporations, I made sure that I binge-watched at least two hours daily, for 7-8 years.

It was effortless for me to convince myself that numbing my senses by binge-watching was a healthy practice. I told a unique narrative to myself repeatedly. 

To be a successful storyteller, I need to watch stories.”

It was compelling.

I clearly remember spending entire weekends – 14-16 hours – binge eating and binge-watching under the influence of Marijuana & Alcohol. I had no social life, and I was at the pinnacle of my unhealthiness.

Finally, I realized that my life cannot continue like this and made a conscious choice to go back to my life before my teenage and begin reading again. 

In 2019, I read around 40 books, and my goal for 2020 is to finish 52 books. 

Hope my story got you all geared to take on this challenge of reading daily!

In case you still have issues, please consider these benefits of daily reading –

  1. Reading improves your vocabulary.Real people use real words. (not – r u k?)
  2. Reading makes you articulate. Well-read people discuss concepts and ideas, not gossip about others.
  3. Reading improves your writing skills. One who can write and read is unstoppable.
  4. Reading increases your attention span. You don’t have ADHD. You just ain’t reading. (That is what social media does to you, lowers your attention span as there is no need to be attentive.)
  5. Reading strengthens your mind. Muscles grow in the gym and mind in libraries.
  6. Reading lowers down stress levels. Hate shrinks? Me too! Books are real therapy.
  7. Reading is hugely entertaining. Don’t play with yourself; play with a book!
  8. Reading makes you knowledgable. Intelligent people were not born that way; they read!
  9. Reading enhances creativity. Readers don’t experience writer’s block, losers do!
  10. Reading improves the quality of your sleep. Those pills will kill you; these books won’t!

I rest my argument!

Now you have two choices. Open Netflix or open that dusty book in that corner of your room.

We both know what you will choose!

Hope, you enjoyed reading this. 

Do check this video podcast for more insights.

Also, leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments sections so that I can improve.

Summary

We have achieved unimaginable glory; therefore, the least we can do is pick a book and commit to reading it till the end. Reading enhances your cognitive abilities. 

How to be the best in everything you do

Good Morning Planet,

Every human being has the potential to achieve greater success and experience everlasting glory. History is filled with ordinary people who shaped the course of civilizations. From inventors like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison to social activists like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi – every legend not only got their glory engraved in civilization’s milestones, but also uplifted societies and gave a new direction to the entire humanity. 

In current times, human beings check their phones on an average of 80-100 times every day. Most of them cannot keep their hands away from their digital devices for more than 10 minutes. This is acutely alarming. 

Not only does this behavior steal your attention from the task at hand, but it also steals your energy levels. You set out to create something extraordinary, and by the end of your task – you have a mediocre product/experience. Over time this mediocrity becomes ingrained in your personality, and you compromise your higher self, and slowly your genius fades into oblivion. All you are left with is half-burnt pieces of a masterpiece.

The decline of your being will cease once you have achieved the mediocre status. It isn’t so difficult to compromise with your values, goals, and dreams that lead you to become an AVERAGE JOE. Millions of brilliant minds succumb to the enticing charm of mediocrity. It is so comforting. All you would need to do is wake up, eat a few meals, show up to work, tolerate being insignificant, consume tons of content designed to fulfill your primal urges, and then go back to a sense of limbo. You won’t believe how easy it is to accept this routine.

The alternative is tough beyond imagination.

  • You will have to wake up early. Preferably way early before the world gets up. (Between 4-5 am)
  • You will need to exercise. Fitness is essential for world-class performance. 
  • You must watch what you eat. Healthy food develops a healthy mindset. Goodbye Fries. Tata Icecream. No more Cookies. (Damn, this sounds so hard!)
  • You will need to invest at least an hour daily in learning. Consistently feeding your thinking mind is elemental for creating unparalleled results. Goodbye TV Shows. No More Movies. No more 2-min Reads. No more Videogames. You will need to read books – 52 books every year. One book each week!
  • You will need to surround yourself with positive people. Your clan needs to have similar goals as yours. Only a dream team can achieve results that can change the course of history. No more toxic people. Goodbye friends who choose to remain stagnant.
  • And most importantly – You will need to be focused. Not for a day. Not for a week. Not for a month. Every day for the rest of your life!

So, now we are left with two options –

Option 1. Strive for Greatness – Upgrade your inner being regularly. Invest in yourself daily to become the best version of yourself. Deliver Extraordinary results. Be happy in the process. Get your name listed in the history books. (There is no surety. You can easily fail.)

Option 2. Accept Mediocrity – Wake up at 10. Drag yourself to work. Perform average. Strive only not to become the worst employee in your organization. Check your phone whenever you want. Binge watch on the weekends. Eat a donut daily. Do tons of drugs. Stay hip and cool. Shop & Party. 

It’s so easy to pick the right choice. I hope you choose wisely. 

And, I think there’s a notification on your phone’s screen. Don’t forget to check it.