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.  

5 Never discussed benefits of writing

We are wired in such a manner that whenever we write, we face ourselves in the nudest possible way. All of our fears, disappointments, failures, shortcomings bleed on the paper, freeing us from unwanted clutter.

Good Morning Planet,

I genuinely believe that those who can read, write, and speak are unstoppable. 

Almost every literate person knows to read. Surprisingly we barely use this skill during our lifetime. More than half of you do not even read one book per year. That’s deplorable.

Those who consider themselves readers are basing their opinion on the fact that they read tweets, Facebook writeups, propaganda news, and a Quora answer on a beautiful day.

No wonder we are getting dumber with each passing day.

I have discussed the importance of reading in previous essays. In case you missed it, here’s is it again. 

Why is reading essential for your mental wellbeing?

Today our topic of discussion is the importance of writing. 

Once again, those who claim to be writers are busy composing tweets, Facebook writeups, a blog once in a month, and a Quora answer on their best day of the year. If self-proclaimed writers are writing so frequently and excessively, imagine the number of words a non-writer pens down each year. 

We are not even writing down our financial expenses and budget, let alone daily journals. I am appalled by the fact that I have to write down an essay on the benefits of writing. I always assumed that everyone knew what a powerful tool writing is. However, the evidence points to the contrary. So, here we are.

As a kid, my mother asked me to write daily diary entries. It was a mundane task. I have clear memories that I did not enjoy it much initially. However, after practicing the same for around a few months, I developed a fondness for it. It became my safe place.

I waited in anticipation, the entire day to get back to my diary.

It was my only true friend.

It didn’t matter how the day went by.

Whether I learned something new at school, or just idled the entire day

Whether I got bullied by a senior or appreciated by a teacher

Whether my lunch was made fun of or shared among friends

Whether my math teacher made me kneel or patted my back

Whether my school’s director gave me a private tour of his library or felt insecure because of my wandering glances at his beautiful wife

Whether I established dominance by ratting out a teacher or my plan failed miserably with me ending up in the principal’s room

Whether I was made the editor of the school magazine or my story got rejected due to profanity

Whether my love interest took a break with me or was found kissing a senior behind the school bus

Every event culminated with me sitting on my desk, pouring my heart out to my dear diary.

Life was beautiful!

Occasional rape, beating, rejection, a delusional mind, none of it made my life difficult. I had someone to talk to.

This habit of daily journaling changed when I was 17.

Puberty transformed my entire life into a quest for a suitable member of the opposite sex. I learned about boobs. For a 17-year-old, nothing is more precious than boobs. Boobs are the most beautiful creation of this entire planet, which also resemble BOOBS. 

Yeah, earth, moon, sun – they all fucking look like boobs. So yeah, life became all about boobs.

My fondness for writing got replaced by a tangible item that I hoped to touch and feel someday.

Beyond that, life took its turn – once you move away from your best friend, you are bound to be lost in the barren deserts of life.

With time, I also realized that to get access to boobs, you must be employed, responsible, and trustworthy. 

In short, you must become the best version of yourself. 

A better person. 

Boob fascination got over, giving way to new obsessions. 

Making a name for myself became a priority.

Being of value to others became the goal.

Helping others.

Bringing smiles.

Inspiring.

Motivating.

There were days I didn’t believe that I had it in me.

There were days I was too confident about having all it takes to be a legend.

Then came the – GOD IS DEAD – phase. As I grew, I realized that religion was a well-propagated lie.

That threw me off balance for quite some time. I resumed writing to straighten my thoughts. I realized that I had no idea of who I was because every idea was confined within the boundaries of religious mumbo jumbo I was raised with.

It became essential for me to rewrite my story. So, I got back to writing.

Daily journals helped me manage my nihilistic tendencies. I was getting back to my original self—someone who is filled with positivity and ready to take on the world. I started going out again. I tried enjoying little moments, creating my own happiness.

Then a friend came along. He introduced me to a magical plant called weed. 

There you go; it felt that I found what I was looking for my entire life. 

I already knew that no amount of women, riches, or objects could fill the void inside me. Writing did offer respite, yet as Vincent said – “the sadness will never go away.”

It always hurt.

Weed made it hurt less. 

A month later, weed put a stop to the pain entirely.

Little did I know that it was making me more miserable without me even realizing it.

Suppose you are responsible for a bickering couple. 

Oh, and if you have no idea what it means to be responsible – check this out:

Do you have what it takes to be responsible?

Ok, so, suppose you are responsible for a bickering couple.

Ideally, to keep things going, you need to counsel them every evening.

You would encourage them to spit out the hate, making them see things from the other person’s perspective.

They will yell, somebody will get hurt. Someone will cry. It is a problematic mess to manage.

What makes the task awful is that every day you will need to start fresh.

Even if you resolved their issues last evening, something new would sprout up the very next day.

Life is a never-ending set of problems. If you solve the first set, you will move to the second and then the third. The problems will never end.

Neither can you stop solving them. It is essential for your survival.

If you are stuck with the job of keeping things in line among a bickering couple, you will do it daily, whether you enjoy it or not. 

Now what weed does is, it makes you careless.

Earlier, you counseled this couple every evening because it bothered you. 

You resolve whatever bothers you.

If your financial status bothers you, you start finding out ways to make more money.

If your social status bothers you, you start looking for better professional standing.

If your relationship bothers you, either you talk, resolve or move on.

If your health bothers you, you see a doctor.

If your fitness bothers you, you go to workout daily.

If your weight bothers you, you upgrade your diet.

We are programmed to resolve things that bother us. 

Weed steals that away from you. Nothing will bother you.

Sounds like a state of bliss, but it isn’t.

Here’s why.

Now you are not resolving the issues of the couple assigned to you. It doesn’t bother you anymore.

They are arguing daily.

After a week, arguments turn into angry spats, followed by physical violence.

What begins with something as simple as throwing an empty glass or a comb at your partner, transforms into slaps, kicks, and punches.

A week later, you are waiting for a catastrophe to happen.

Either someone will break the other person’s head on a kitchen slab, or stab them in the neck.

They might throw each other from the top of the building. They might burn down the house.

All in all, a disaster is waiting to happen.

How did you reach here?

Well, you smoked up daily, and nothing else bothered you.

You didn’t take any action when you were supposed to.

Now, replace the couple with the voices in your head.

And imagine what would happen if you leave unresolved issues for so long, because you are intoxicated, and nothing bothers you. 

We are not talking about taking a chill pill now and then.

I am talking about troubled people who resort to addiction to avoid dealing with the constant noise inside their minds. They mess up their lives badly due to ignorance.

While my weed frenzy lasted, life appeared highly exciting and pleasant. Little did I realize that all these unresolved issues will manifest into a terrible mental disease.

I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the middle of a manic high episode. I started seeing things that weren’t there while experiencing auditory hallucinations.

Now, today we are not discussing the effects of drugs on your psyche. So we won’t elongate this further. But in a nutshell, I recovered and then had to rewrite my story again. Therefore I got back to writing.

So far, we have discussed how life took twists and turns, and every time, I found solace in writing. Whenever I stopped writing, a catastrophe happened. Whenever I wrote, things became better in my life and the lives of the people around me.

Writing on and off for my entire life, I realized the power of writing in making our lives better.

It breaks my heart to see a skill which each of us should be more skilled at, being wasted by almost everyone.

The question is, why don’t we write?

That’ easy. Let’s cover this first before we discuss why we should write. 

Why don’t we write?

Writing is difficult.

Writing requires a level of effort and attention, which many of us lack. Watching Youtube takes lesser cognitive bandwidth and is more entertaining than composing a well-written essay. 

Lack of Awareness

Nobody told us that writing helps. This fact might come as a surprise to you, but everything we do today is only because we are aware of the benefits. 

You don’t brush daily because you enjoy the feeling of freshness inside your mouth. You brush daily because, during your formative years, you were told that brushing your teeth is a must needed habit. If you had any doubts left, many appealing advertisements depicted how members of the opposite sex will be attracted if you have shiny, white, clean teeth. 

I haven’t seen a single advertisement in my life, which points out that men/women will be more attracted to you if you write daily. 

Yes, there are a few stories about wildly successful writers who are well accomplished and are desired by all. Yet, there isn’t any motivation thrown around about the benefits of daily writing.

Even during our schooling, not much weight is given to developing the habit of writing among kids. 

No Immediate Gratification 

All good things which impact our life positively never provide any immediate benefits. 

If you want to build a magnificent physique, lifting dumbells one day won’t make even the tiniest difference.

There are no immediate rewards for studying. You will need to study daily for at least one year before your grades improve.

If you begin a business, you are not going to make any profit in the first 2-3 years. Initially, you will be at a loss. You will meet expenses out of your pocket and maybe, maybe, after a year and a half, you will reach a break-even point. (No profit, No loss). Sustaining that phase for about another year might then bring a little profit. Building a lasting empire takes at least 15-20 years. 

Before tik-tok, no one was making videos daily, starring in the same. Everyone knew that making videos require a lot of effort with no immediate gains.

Before such platforms, if you needed to make a video, you should have at least a script, a good camera, talented actors, and the necessary infrastructure. Then maybe you could shoot a documentary or a pilot for a new TV show.

Even then, either your work must be extraordinary, or you should have relevant contacts; otherwise, your work will never see the light of the day. 

Now all you need is dead brain cells along with an abundance of free time to become an online entertainer. 

The modern society has dazzled us with the fancy, peddling a false promise of instant happiness.

What we do must provide results within two minutes, or else we lose interest. 

If today Tik-Tok decides to change its interface and makes it a little more complicated, half of its users will quit.

If Twitter changes its guidelines, making every tweet a bare minimum of 3000 words, 90% users of this microblogging giant will stop using it.

Mediocre individuals want things effortlessly.

They will not put in efforts for anything.

Building a relationship takes time. Why go through so much of arduous activity – Just swipe right and get laid.

Why install an app, upload pictures, and swipe right – Just watch porn, masturbate, and get over with it.

Why take the pain of cooking a delicious meal for children – Pack their lunchboxes with 2-minute Top Ramen.

Why bother talking to your kids, just put them in front of a bright screen and let the Youtube play – Papa and Mama love you

Television tells us to buy a deo or a bra to get a better mate. 

We are sold the idea to drive a fancy car to get a promotion. 

We are asked to dress scantly to please others. 

We are forced to act in a pretentious manner to make friends.

We want things, and we want them now. 

At the same time, we do not want to do anything to achieve what we desire.

It is a fucking loop.

We don’t write because it provides no immediate benefits.

Your life won’t get any better just by writing a journal one day. If you write an essay about your problems, it requires you to take some action. Why would you? They just released Money Heist on Netflix. It’s more exciting and entertaining than you writing an essay about a problem which bothers you.

Those who get overwhelmed by the writer trapped within, jot down a few lines on Facebook and Twitter, obtain few likes from dumb folks, get a surge of dopamine, trick themselves into believing that they achieved something, before getting back to their miserable lives.

Lack of Encouragement

Surprisingly nobody will encourage you to write. Apart from my mother, no one during my formative years urged me to write. 

I pitched the idea of a school magazine to my principal. He liked it. He found my writing interesting. Even though he rejected most of my work due to profanity, he allowed me to proceed with the magazine. 

Yet, he never asked me to write more often. He never shared his hidden age-old wisdom about the fantastic snowball effect which writing ensues in our lives.

Also, please understand that I am not complaining, I am not cribbing.

None of us needs any encouragement to do what we love. But, a little support has never hurt anyone. 

Once again, I am not cribbing. I am not complaining. I am just pointing out a toxic trend.

During college, I was a student of English Hons., yet our professors never discussed the positive impacts of writing. All they talked about were prescribed course books and how we should submit our assignments. They did not explain the importance of those assignments.

No one discussed the benefits of completing assignments. Students used to pay others to write for them. Teachers should encourage students.

Tell them the never discussed reality.

The simple act of you completing your assignments on your own positively impacts you, the people around you, the society, and ultimately everyone’s lives. 

People will constantly tell you that writing is just a hobby.

Even if you are a successful blogger, writer, author, they will frequently ask you – why do you write?

Well fucker, because it’s a way of life.

As Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Writing is a religion.

The grandeur is every writer who writes daily is a PROPHET. 

Each decade a troubled individual will rise through the mediocrity and send high vibrating pulses around the world. Everyone will talk about the person. He will be remembered for the rest of his life. 

Yet the same people who celebrate legendary writers will never offer a word of support to a budding pensmith.

Writing Is Not GLAMOROUS

There is no glamour attached to writing.

If you go to the gym and build six-packs, you will have something to show for. 

If you invest your time in pursuit of material wealth, you will have the stuff to validate you. 

You will have a mansion, a swimming pool, a luxury car, DSLR, an I-phone – all the glitter to sprinkle. 

Fuck I-phone, fuck DSLR, Fuck your bloody expensive car!

If you write daily journals or problem-solving essays, you don’t have much to show apart from thousand filled notebooks. What are you going to do, hang them around your neck and roam on the streets? Obviously not!

So why take the pain to write.

There you go, I have summed up why we don’t write. 

Now let’s discuss why should you write daily –

Writing helps you to sort out your thoughts

If you have a busy, chaotic, obsessive mind, what will you do if you encounter a problem in your course of life? 

You will think.

You will create multiple narratives and lose track of most of them, running around in circles like a dog chasing its tail, not even coming close to the solution which was right in front of you. 

The thinking brain is unsorted.

It is surrounded by tons of subconscious triggers and false memories.

Each time you recall or narrate an event, your mind tweaks it a little to make you the hero of your story.

You continuously lie to yourself.

If you do not have an accurate record of your life, you are fucked, and so is your mind. 

When such a mind comes face to face with peril, it will exhaust itself like a hungry rat with no smell sensors trapped in a maze. 

The rat will run.

The rat will yell.

The rat will scratch the walls.

The rat will bang its head.

The rat will never find the cheese. His sensors are compromised.

Without writing, your mind is similar to a rat with no smell sensors. You are directionless. 

Writing is an intimate dialogue with yourself. 

You just cannot be dishonest to yourself on a piece of paper. 

We are wired in such a manner that whenever we write, we face ourselves in the nudest possible way. 

All of our fears, disappointments, failures, shortcomings bleed on the paper, freeing us from unwanted clutter.

If you shy away from your professional responsibilities, you can’t come back home and write, “I hate my job.” It doesn’t work like that.

The moment you will express dissatisfaction about your job, your mind will question you. And, You will need to answer.

You: I don’t enjoy my job.

Mind: Why don’t you enjoy it?

You: It is a demanding job.

Mind: What are you going to do about it?

You: I have these three options – 

a. Upgrade my skills

b. Quit this job

c. Find a better job 

Once you have your options ready- you will battle your choices only to realize that you have poor work ethics.

No, you can’t blame your job, or your boss – It’s you, buddy!

You don’t like working. 

Even after battling inside your mind for 1000 straight hours, you will not be able to reach this self-realization, which you can, only by investing a few hours sorting out your thoughts on paper. 

Writing will make you a better person.

The more honesty you will practice on paper, the better your life will be in the real world.

Writing will help better your problem-solving skills.

An average person facing a dire problem gets fearful.

He fears that his partner will leave him.

He will be jobless.

He will lose his wealth.

People will not respect him.

For him, every problem is the end of his life.

I have seen people breakdown into tears if they lose their phones. They think they have lost something essential. And the same people upon losing their peace of mind won’t mind it at all and indulge themselves in frivolous spending, boozing, whoring, drugs, binge-watching, and mindless scrolling.

Human beings are not born with problem-solving skills.

All we are made for is to pump out some kids, pass over our genetic garbage, rot, and die. 

We were not made to conquer mountains & cross seas. 

We did that because we adapted. 

We developed skills. 

We made ourselves strong. 

We became the best version of ourselves

We realized never to give up.

Nothing comes easy. In the face of a problem, instead of considering it a life-ending threat, all you need to do is grab a piece of paper.

Grab a piece of paper to write down your problem.

Problem: My wife is cheating on me.

How did I reach here? I disrespected her many times. I did not pay attention to her thoughts and wishes.

No, wait, that’s not true, I did. But did I?

Okay, yes, I did not. I ignored her for a very long time. We grew apart. I started finding ways to avoid her because we didn’t have much in common. I didn’t work on our relationship.

What should I do next? It hurts a lot. She cheated on me. It is excruciating. I think I should end this.

Wait, we have been married for 20 years. How can I just end this? There has to be an alternate.

How about I confront her in a non-threatening manner? Okay, that sounds good. 

I will tell her, “I haven’t been a good husband, but I do love you. My ways of expressing might have been inadequate. I fucked up badly, but we are not at a point of no return. We can work on this. Let’ give it one more shot!”

I will request my wife to end the affair if she isn’t sure about it. We can start fresh.

If she still decides to leave me, then I should wish her luck and end this in a dignified manner.

We have kids together. We can’t breed hatred or resentment among ourselves. We need to support each other even if we split up. 

There you go, you just saved tons of hours on marriage counseling. 

You did not react foolishly or invite a fight. You found a plausible solution.

There are chances that now, if you approach your wife with honesty proposing a solution, she will respect you for that.

Years of hatred will melt away. You guys might begin working on your relationship.

The same technique can be used to solve any of your life problems. 

You are unsatisfied with your life. 

You are unhappy with your physical appearance.

You are not getting paid what you deserve.

Your business is failing. 

Writing two pages discussing the problem will help you reach a working solution. 

Give your thinking mind some direction.

Grab a piece of paper instead of buzzing nonstop inside your head.

Writing puts a stop to overthinking and negative thinking.

We have zero control over our thoughts. At the same time, what we think we become.

This puts us in a very tough spot.

We are addicted to thinking. We daily encounter negative thoughts.

Whenever you scroll your Instagram feed and see those picture-perfect females, you get in comparative analysis. You feel inadequate.

Whenever you see the pictures of your friends enjoying vacations in Goa, Mauritius, Thailand, and Bali on Facebook, you feel you are missing out on life. You get stressed. 

If you keep on pondering about it for long, you might end up fighting with your partner or your parents because you feel unfulfilled.

You will project your insecurities on others or find someone to blame.

Few days of overthinking can lead you to depression.

A week of depression will pave the way for chronic depression.

You will get trapped in prison created by your mind.

Well, I have a solution. 

Pick a damn piece of paper and start writing.

What did Forest Gump do when he experienced any issue?

The fucker ran!

You need to do the same.

Send your mind running on paper, instead of going around in circles. Circles will lead nowhere.

A dialogue on paper will always point in the right direction.

Writing is far less exhausting than endless thought ponder. 

Take a look at history, every great legend read and wrote. 

Markus Aurelius, the greatest roman emperor, wrote the most philosophical account ever. 

Seneca, the famous thinker, wrote daily.

Socrates wrote.

Osho wrote.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote.

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru wrote.

Swami Vivekanand wrote.

Nelson Mandela wrote.

Martin Luther King wrote.

Jordan Peterson writes daily.

Now take a step back and look at a few leaders of today.

Have you ever read anything originally written by Donald Trump? 

No, because he’s stupid.

Have you read anything written by Narendra Modi?

No, because he is crooked.

Have you ever read anything penned down by Vladimir Putin?

No, because he is dishonest.

Writing forces you to bare yourself, see the truth and be the best version of yourself.

Failed individuals don’t write; that’s why they fail so often. 

I do not deny that many people who write daily also fail. Yes, they do.

But, their outlook is different.

They see failures as a learning opportunity because that is what daily writing does to you. 

It makes you stronger.

It makes you better.

It saves you from unwanted stray thoughts.

You are focused and ready to take on whatever life throws at you.

Writing helps you quit bad habits.

Whether you are struggling with substance abuse or self-abuse, writing helps you deal with it. 

If you are an alcoholic, a drug addict, a porn addict, addicted to masturbation, negative thinking or self-loathing, writing is a mechanism to assist.

Bad habits are ingrained in your neural pathways. Whenever you experience a trigger, your mind will automatically push you toward the pattern.

Feeling stressed, let’s smoke!

Feeling rejected, let’s watch porn and frap!

Feeling inadequate, let’s indulge in self-loathing!

Feeling invalidated, let’s gossip and blame others!

Feeling overwhelmed, let’s dope!

After a few such cycles, these habits become automated. You lose control.

It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to quit smoking.

If you are into porn, every night a new naked lady will open her legs for you.

If you are trapped in a victim mindset, it’s always the world that is at fault.

You will continue losing your battles.

If you try writing, you can escape these ugly shadows of yourself.

Monday –

I will not smoke. 

Smoking is making me unhealthy. 

Smoking is making me undesirable. 

Due to excessive smoking, I experience a loss of energy. 

Smoking is responsible for erectile dysfunction.

I must quit smoking. Today I will not smoke. I will avoid those with whom I smoke.

If I feel nicotine cravings, I will take a walk.

Tuesday –

I did well towards the beginning of the day. I did not smoke until 4 pm.

But after that, I had no will power left. I ended up smoking. 

I don’t feel good about it. 

I definitely don’t enjoy smoking.

It appears when I am exhausted, my self- control gets weak.

How about I replace smoking with eating something healthy?

Today the moment I will sense nicotine craving, I will eat fruits.

It will give me the energy to fight. Let’s try this today.

You see, where we are going with this.

After a week or two weeks, trying different strategies, you will be able to quit any bad habit.

It is tried and tested by me and millions of others.

Go for it, don’t let your bad habits enslave you.

Writing will set you free.

Write motherfucker! Write!

Writing reveals your true self.

Do you know who you are?

You might think you know, but reality begs to differ.

None of us have any idea who we are. Writing reveals you to yourself.

We have multiple shadows of ourselves trapped behind the same mental barriers.

A part of me is a sad poet.

Another part of me is a motivational speaker.

A part of me is a drug addict.

Another part of me thrives and follows a healthy lifestyle.

A part of me wants to become a millionaire. 

Another part of me wants to donate all I have to charity.

A part of me hates politics.

Another part wants me to lead people into making a glorious nation. 

A part of me is revolutionary.

Another part is a self-serving bastard.

All of my parts are broken. 

I am not whole, neither are you.

The only reason I wake up daily with a smile on my face is due to my awareness of all my shadows. I keep them in check. 

I am not the only one. Countless individuals around us have uncovered all of their identities. They nurture the ones that can help them achieve their goals.

I want to be a legend, leave a legacy behind.

I can dope my way to it. I can overdose and maybe get featured in a newspaper. People will talk about me for at least months. That’s my nihilist self.

I can also spark a revolution. The time is ripe. I might be jailed, captured, and maybe shot to death – a desirable outcome. My name will be listed in history books. That’s my delusional self.

I can build a company, generate employment opportunities, make money, do charity, help others, build a better tomorrow for myself and others, that sound like the best option. That’s my sensible self.

My daily writing habit revealed all of my faces. I choose to enable the one who made the most convincing case. I rejected all others.

It’s not that I don’t dope when I occasionally visit my friends or go on a trip. I do. But I keep that guy in check.

I know it is a very dangerous guy. He can easily ruin all I have ever worked for.

Even today, I daily battle my demons each morning on a piece of paper. 

I cry.

I laugh. 

I bleed. 

It’s all worth it.

It’s a journey to become the best version of myself. And I enjoy every step of it.

Write, my friends. Please write.

Writing is a magical power.

It alone can transform your life.

A ray of light in your heart will disperse the dense, dark fog clouding your mind.

You will feel energetic and always ready to take on the world.

Your ancestors were Romans and Vikings.

It is your moral duty to honor them.

Build an empire.

Create a better world.

All it takes is a piece of paper and a pen.

Three years ago, I spent quite some time in Kashmir, researching for my novel. Before leaving Delhi, my father said – Son, anyone can pick a gun. Not everyone can choose a pen. Remember that when you are there!

I say the same to you today.

“My friend, you have endless potential. If you get a chance to choose between picking a girl, a cigarette, coke, weed, Netflix, and a pen, please choose the pen. That is the only right choice for you and the world.”

That will be it for today.

Hope this helped.

If you enjoyed my writing, please share this on social media so that my work reaches more people in need. 

I welcome feedback. Leave comments. Give suggestions.

Also, I would love to know your views – Do you think writing helps?

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?

These 8 Brilliant Quotes Can Transform Your Life

The show is filled with unexpected twists and turns. The show will give you rise or bleed you dry. The show will attract more or none. The show will be a huge hit or a drowning failure. Whatever be the case, the show must go on!

GoodMorning Planet,

Hope you are doing well!

Today, I present to you 8 timeless quotes that are genuinely profound, capable of positively transforming your life for better. Irrespective of the experiences you have encountered so far in your life, whether you are in a good place or bad, understanding these quotes followed by implementing the necessary changes will definitely give you a better fighting chance in this cut-throat worldly premises we exist in. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Quotes are tiny packets of wisdom. Unlike wordy articles, blogs, or books, quotes bombard you with heavy doses of enlightenment in as little words as possible. However, there’s a catch involved. Despite being acutely simple, not everyone can comprehend the profound meaning overflowing from 5-6 words pearled thoughtfully, held together by centuries of wisdom.

Had that not been the case, all of us would have been honest and resourceful as the first few quotes we encounter in our early life are:

  1.  Honesty is the best policy. 
  2. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

These two most straightforward quotes encompass all the wisdom one needs to possess to achieve greatness. Yet, we barely pay attention to such basics. 

Had the case been different, each of us would have only spoken the truth and uncomplicated our messy lives. Every individual would have easily solved all of their personal problems and moved on to pressing collective concerns of the human race.

There’s a profound lack of comprehension in today’s times.

The term “cliche” was barely used before 1970. Beyond that, it became an easy escape for individuals lacking will or high on self-loathing. 

Whenever you present a simple novel idea which is groundbreaking, it will be disregarded by feeble men and women as a cliche. The only reason is their fear of committing to anything which demands bravery.

If you are depressed and you go for a morning run – its brave!

You need courage to have a sensible conversation.

You must display strength to take an initiative.

Modern society has dulled our senses with heavy doses of violence, hatred, nudity, and cheap thrills, manufacturing a generation of gutless women and emasculated men.

When you share wisdom with a failed generation, they are either speculating the size of your penis or drooling over your cleavage. They cannot see beyond base desires. Any activity which requires effort and doesn’t offer immediate gratification is a cliche for them. Glad, I don’t write for them, I write for myself and you.

Okay, so now that this is out of the way, here we go!

1. Find What You Love and Let It Kill You – Our first pick of the day is a marvel coined by Charles Bukowski. Bukowski has generated a cult following in the last decade. 

Someone with an extremely notorious past, Bukowski, was infamous for his drinking and whoring. Yet, this man toiled his ass off every day in a fucking post office, working for pennies only to come home to his mistress – a vintage typewriter, on which he made 10 pages of love before passing out. 

Anything pouring out of such a soulful individual is gold, as is this quote!

Bukowski isn’t asking you to die drinking if you love alcohol. He isn’t making a case for meth and coke addicts. 

He’s talking about passion. 

The passion which went out of the window when you decided to waste precious hours on social media. 

The passion which was stolen by a mediocre society. 

The desire which was blanketed by failed parents. 

That’s the passion you need to find.

Find your love and bleed for it.

Do you love playing the guitar? Well, if that’s the case, then your fingers should be sore each evening.

Do you enjoy writing? Make sure your keyboards are wobbly due to a million keystrokes pounding on it every day.

If you enjoy singing, your throat should be sore before you stop practicing.

Nothing comes easy, my friends!

Nothing comes easy!

If you want to make things happen, the gods demand sacrifices.

Sacrifice your pleasures.

Let go of comfort. 

Be an odd-ball.

Bleed for your dream.

Die for your ambition.

Find what you love and let it kill you.

2. The show must go on! – An anonymous gifted genius blessed us with this quote.

For me, this works in conjunction with Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage.”

All the world’s a stage, and the show must go on!

That’s the way I like it.

Are you having a bad day? Well, nobody truly gives a fuck. And they shouldn’t either. They have paid to see a show. You must provide them with a show.

Your employer can demand your presence even when you are unwell. He bought the ticket for your show. Either you can be hateful or comply. It’s upon you!

Being hateful or acting as a rebel is depriving your boss of the show you signed up for. It won’t be wise. Pick up all of your broken pieces, jump start your dying soul, and get to work. The show must go on!

You have hungry kids at home, a bickering wife, your excuse that you are depressed won’t work for you. 

Whether you are knee-deep in grief or just tired as fuck, the kids need a show. 

You have brought them in the theatre, now is the time to dazzle them. 

You can’t escape from responsibilities. The show must go on.

The show is filled with unexpected twists and turns. The show will give you rise or bleed you dry. The show will attract more or none. The show will be a huge hit or a drowning failure. Whatever be the case, the show must go on!

Remember folks, there’s a lot of rush for your show, don’t disappoint the audience. It is your responsibility to present a dazzling, entertaining, exciting, inspiring, charming, fucked up, terribly sad, yet powerful SHOW!

3. Go all the way, or don’t even start – Another wonder from Bukowski!

Hey, I am not biased. Yes, I am in love with this guy, but that’s not the reason he features so frequently. He did offer thunderous quotes. That was kind of his thing.

So, a fattie goes to the gym for a month, he works hard as per his standard, what happens after a month? 

Well, he’s still fat. 

He will continue being fat for at least six months before he witnesses any credible signs of weight loss. But our dear fat friend is a product of a 2-minute society.

These people want results in 2 minutes. Else they will give up.

They go to the gym.

Day1 – There’s this awesome selfie with tons of belly fat and disgusting man boobs. The caption says –  I can, I will!

A month later, there’s nothing to show for. So, what’s the point! 

My question is, why start?

Go all the way, or don’t even start!

Countless individuals begin. Our culture has a great appreciation for the beginning. Every social media guru or influencer will ask you to do what you want, live your dreams. 

Well, that’s fractured advice. It isn’t whole. 

Beginnings are shit if you lack consistency.

Consistency is the only agent that makes shit happen.

You want to make something happen, you do it every day. 

You invest every ounce of your energy in achieving your goal.

Or, what’s the point? 

Why waste time on something which you might give up a month, a year or a few years later.

Go all the way, or don’t even start.

4. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places – This gem is a by-product of an extremely troubled genius Ernest Hemmingway. 

Hemmingway is a legend. 

He shot himself. 

The amount of pain wrenching in his gut stole the better of him. Yet, what he achieved in one lifetime, millions of us collectively can’t in several lifetimes.

The world is a tough place. No one owes you anything. You are all by yourself!

Every experience makes you wiser. 

Failures pave the way for winning strategies. 

Tragedies prepare you to deal with tough days. 

Mistakes amount to limitless potential. 

Life will break you in unimaginable ways. 

Still, you have the mettle to emerge a winner.

Learn from your mistakes. 

Own your failures.

Embrace your misery.

Get better.

Get tougher.

Beat the shit out of life!

Remember, you must be broken before you can restructure the genius within.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t let heartbreaks fill you with resentment. Don’t allow poverty to be a hurdle in your path to greatness. 

You had a broken home, a drunkard dad, an overprotective mother, scoundrel siblings, exploitative bosses. It’s alright. Consider yourself blessed. 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Let the world break you.

Let them burn you alive.

Rise from the ashes.

Remember, The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

5. Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky weaved this mighty word garland. Once upon a time, there was an exceptional writer called Dostoyevsky. And that’s all I have to say about him. No one ever was or will be able to even wander near the literary benchmark set by Dostoyevsky. The guy was an unadulterated genius. 

No one has ever described human suffering and misery in such an appealing manner. Dostoyevsky didn’t write stories. He handcrafted experiences. In my understanding, through this quote, he’s addressing a prevalent victim behavior in human societies. 

To escape responsibilities and avoid holding ourselves accountable, we embrace our misery and start adoring it. We all do that. I, too, have done that in the past.

Romanticizing our suffering makes us feel like an anti-hero. 

The concept of an anti-hero is compelling. 

A hero, despite every adversity, rises above himself and achieves grandeur. An anti-hero, on the other hand, loses everything and falls prey to vices. 

Heroes will always have the right set of habits. They are hard-working, responsible, and see things to the end despite adverse outcomes. An anti-hero has a grand lifestyle. He has money, women, and all the shiny stuff which blinds kids.  

What he lacks is courage.

He will blame the world for his failures while continuing to orchestrate his defeats. He will drink, dope, whore around, and be pitiful. Those who sympathize with anti-heroes are short-sighted. They fall for the glamor, ignoring the devastating outcome such irresponsible behavior attracts.

You could have been exploited as a child. 

Your girlfriend might have cheated on you. 

Your best friend could have stolen your wealth.

Your trusted ones might have backstabbed you.

You can’t allow these or even worse outcomes to romanticize your suffering. 

It is not a desirable state.

Your suffering is supposed to make you stronger and shape you for a brighter future. However, it requires tons of effort from your side. You will need to wipe off your tears and gear for the next awful event.

Being in love with your misery will only make you resentful.

Playing a victim will make you weak.

Being responsible will make you strong.

The choice is yours. Either you can add misery to your suffering or uplift yourself by taking action, you pick!

Remember, Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering. Also remember, such men, go nowhere. They step in the graves, which they have dug carefully for themselves.

6. A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. – The one and only William Shakespeare articulated this piece of wisdom. Shakespeare was way ahead of his time. Things he wrote in the 18th century are still valid and prominent in today’s times, which makes him far-sighted by at least three centuries. 

That’s something, man!

This is an interesting quote. 

Let’s tear it apart.

How many of you think that you are wise? Raise your hands.

Whoa! That’s a lot many hands!

How many of you think you are stupid as fuck? Raise your hands.

Well, I barely see one or two. 

Cool!

So, we all are under the impression that we are wise fellows. How cool is that!

Now, there is nothing wrong with assuming yourself wise. However, this opinion of yourself needs to be based on empirical evidence. 

How did you reach this conclusion? 

Have you achieved unparalleled milestones? 

Do you have concrete evidence for your brilliance?

Are you Elon Musk?

Are you Jordan Peterson?

Are you Fyodor Dostevoskey?

You must understand that it is effortless to assume that you are wise. 

Someone like Arnab Goswami also thinks he is intelligent. 

Trump thinks he’s a genius, for fuck’s sake!

People can make themselves believe anything without any practical evidence, which is damaging to them and others.

At the same time, when you think you are a fool, that’s a flawed outlook too. 

Even if you have a learning disability, you aren’t a fool. You just take longer than others. Similarly, maybe life has given you a tough run and broke you down. 

You have low self-esteem and no confidence. 

You see around, painted faces, brimming with too much certainty.

That makes you insecure, and you think you are suitable for nothing. 

A complete loser!

A fool!

But that’s not the case. 

No one person can be brilliant in every aspect of life.

If you are good at something, you are awful at other tasks.

I can write a little, but I can barely solve an algebra equation.

I know of inarticulate engineers who can’t even write a few lines for a leave request, yet they have built the most magnificent bridges. 

Wisdom is relative.

Someone who thinks they are wise, have flawed thinking.

You can’t be the smartest in the room.

If you are, then obviously you are in the wrong room. 

If I walk into a room full of government officials, I would be the smartest among them.

But, if I walk into a room full of artists, well, I would be insignificant, non-existent.

Many people constantly reach out to me, asking for life advice. I do my best. I use every possible resource available to me to solve their issues. Yet, my closing statement always is, well, I am not an expert here. I am just a chimpanzee in clothes. That’s all I am.

It is essential to understand that you cannot be the best at anything. Yet, you must strive to be the best at all you do. 

You don’t compare yourself with others.

You are a fool because till yesterday you were stupid. 

You are also wise because your today’s self is wiser than your yesterday’s self.

Every day you are a fool for your future self and a wise individual for your past self.

Nothing else matters.

Don’t compare yourself with others. 

Only compare yourself to your past self.

And, I hear someone at the back yelling, CLICHE!

Well, it seems like this fella is the wisest in the room.

Please leave, buddy!

Go where you belong.

Obviously, you don’t belong here.

And before you leave, A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

7. “The sadness will last forever.” ― Vincent van Gogh

Vincent!

O, Dear vincent!

How did you endure what you went through?

Vincent was one of the most talented and troubled artists this world has ever been blessed with. 

Tears are rolling down my cheeks while I type this. 

No ordinary person could have survived what Vincent experienced daily.

He had bipolar disorder. It’s a terrible disease to bear.

You will experience constant manic highs and lows.

During highs, you will experience supernatural strength and energy.

During lows, you won’t even be able to leave your bed.

Bipolar people are among the highest number of individuals committing suicide.

Vincent, too killed himself as the pain was unbearable.

Yet, he endured it for so long, none of us can.

Everybody rejected his ART.

He was way ahead of his time. 

Nobody could understand his art apart from him.

That must have been extremely frustrating at the time.

Imagine, creating masterpieces that will be admired for centuries to come, yet being stuck in an era with ape-like creatures who cannot even understand a single piece of work you create.

No one knows the name of those people who disregarded Vincent’s art as a child’s fantasy. 

Everyone today knows him.

He never died. He’s still among us. 

Jordan Peterson repeatedly says life is endless suffering.

This is what Vincent expressed in lesser words.

The sadness will last forever. A utopian world filled with happiness doesn’t exist. 

Yes, we will find tiny moments of happiness in our daily lives.

Yes, we will feel proud when we do better at studies.

Yes, we will be delighted when a member of the opposite sex considers us worthy of their affection.

Yes, we will be excited when we provide a better lifestyle for our family.

Seeing a bee on a flower will make us chuckle.

A Persian cat idling around will make us giggle.

A little baby drooling over a lollipop will delight us.

Yes, life is beautiful, and you are smiling.

But, the sadness will never go away.

The sadness will never go away.

8. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. – Marcus Aurelius

This brilliant quote was written by one of the most exceptional people to ever walk on the face of the earth. 

Marcus was a divinely, capable emperor. He took Rome to unmeasurable heights. 

Never before or until today have we witnessed a personality of such caliber. He was one of a kind.

His personal writings referred to as “Meditations,” is one of the most widely read books ever. 

Through this quote, Markus is addressing the narrative which we tell ourselves. 

You broke your hand in an accident, if your first thought is – why did this happen to me? Then, you have lost the battle.

You could look at it differently – Oh, wow! I am alive. Let’s make the most out of it. 

If your partner leaves you and all you can come up with is finding their faults, you won’t gain much. You should introspect to identify what can you improve, rather than blaming the other person by playing the victim card.

If you fail, you can’t let yourself assume it’s an end. You need to treat it as a learning opportunity so that when you retry, you don’t end up making the same set of mistakes. 

Similarly, what you think, you become!

Our thoughts are potent. The way we think determines our actions, which in turn shapes our future.

It is elemental to be in touch with your thoughts, making sure that they are not a mere projection of someone else’s storyline forced into your psyche.

Many times our parents, teachers, friends, loved ones or any one close to us project their own insecurities on to us.

If you plan to quit smoking, your smoker friend might suggest you that it’s impossible and not even worth giving a shot.

If your father was a failed businessman, he might advice you against starting your own business.

If your partner is a petty person, they might stop you from achieving greatness because of their fear of the unknown.

Always be cautious to differentiate between your core thoughts & beliefs and projections of someone else’s insecurity.

Our thoughts are a mere extension of us, and we are a mere extension of our thoughts.  Think carefully, as the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

So, these were 8 powerful quotes. 

If you don’t rule them out as cliche, these alone can help you be an unparalleled individual. But remember great things take time.

Rome was not built in a day!

Hope you enjoyed reading!

What’s your favorite quote?

How to beat depression?

Depression isn’t bad. It is a crucial phase. When our psyche realizes that our current self isn’t our desired self, we experience depression. It is a wake-up call to make necessary changes for building the base of a fulfilled life. When you tackle your depression the right way, you come out as a winner.

It was April 2018. I was working a dead beat job in Gurugram to support myself financially. I was a published author, and a handful of folks loved my writing, yet writing never paid the bills. I always had to secure a paying gig to keep the water running.

I was living alone on the 5th floor of a shabby apartment. My pay was meager, and as usual, I hated what I did. Though I was working for a global giant, all in all, it was a mundane job. What made the situation worse was a prevalent culture of lying to paying customers. Instead of focussing on problem-solving, we were encouraged to make false promises. Promises which were never fulfilled.

I always had an issue with lying. It complicates life unnecessarily in ways we can’t comprehend. Once you start telling lies, you are sucked into a vacuum of insecurity. The idea is to win the trust of the other person by the assistance of a well-formed lie. You see the irony here!

Honesty untangles life. You do not need to keep track of your past statements. Your soul remains pure and untarnished. That’s why children are considered innocent. They haven’t learned the art of deceiving yet. In the coming years, they will ape the people around them, slowly pushing their divine consciousness into a bottomless pit filled with pitch-black darkness.

Lying kills!

That guy who coined – honesty is the best policy – he was an embodiment of the god himself. It’s truly profound. If you imbibe honesty into the fabric of your being, you will be unstoppable.

Try being totally honest with yourself and the people around you. It will change your life. You will witness an awakening as you slowly rise miraculously from the depth of the abyss, hurling towards a glowing ball of light.

Honesty isn’t limited to speech.

Your thoughts need to be honest.

Your deeds need to be honest.

So, there I was, lonely and broken, in a tiny room, crying myself to sleep every night. I was caught in an endless loop.

Every morning I broke my promise to myself.

Each night before passing out, I made the same promise to myself.

I pledged to wake up early, and prepare my breakfast, give my day a healthy start.

Each morning I failed. I found myself struggling to open my eyes. The courage to kick off a splendid day wasn’t inside me. I struggled, only to give up, adding a ton of pain to my misery.

Now, at this moment, you need to understand that there was nothing really wrong with me. Apart from underlying mental health issues, I had everything in control. However, due to my personal failures, I was sliding into the dungeon of depression.

Ideally, I had everything one could ask for.

I had a place to live in.

I had a job.

I had books.

I had a TV.

I had utensils to cook food.

I had a few friends too.

People listened to me.

I was getting laid also.

All was going well!

Yet, I wasn’t living up to my potential. This unfulfilled sensation inside me got heavier with each lie. I was dying. It was a painfully slow death.

I could have easily quit my job, but the kind of person I am, I prefer giving things a little time. After all, I am just a chimpanzee in clothes, what the fuck do I know about what’s right and what’s not working!

Every morning I woke up late, marking the beginning of an average day. Chocolate bars became a lifesaver. They were my breakfast and my dinner.

At work, I peddled lies, surviving on processed junk.

I had a few friends. We were a small support group. We used to listen to each other complain while getting high. I was aware that all this accomplished was added misery. Yet, I continued!

What else could I have done? A little weed, made the day bearable! I couldn’t let it go.

After work, upon reaching my den, all I was capable of doing was binge-watch some random brain dead TV show, waiting for sleep to overwhelm me.

I had no strength to cook. I cursed myself every night while munching a chocolate bar.

I badly wanted to write but couldn’t gear myself up to such a demanding task. With each passing day, my loathing for myself intensified exponentially. I had no self-esteem left. I was totally broken.

The turmoil within me was no longer in my control. The voices in my head grew louder. They had me convinced to jump from the top of my building.

I casually shared my suicidal thoughts with a dear friend. He’s a sensible guy. He gets me. We have shared a bond for the past 15 years. He patiently explained to me the downside of jumping from a 5 storey building. The chances of getting crippled were extremely high. There was barely a possibility of me ending up dead.

I could have ended up being a cripple, not dead!

Well, that’s not a desirable outcome.

To increase possibilities of instant death, one must throw themselves from at least the 12th floor. Anything lower than that will break your back but won’t kill you.

This fact alarmed me even more. I simply wanted to put a stop to my life, not complicate it further. Jumping from the 5th floor wouldn’t have been ideal!

At this point, I had completely given up on life. I was more excited to end it than bear a never-ending ordeal.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2010. Living with such a terrible disease is exhausting. There are constant highs and lows. Even the tiniest moment of pain or happiness appeared as an event. I endured it for 10 long years. I wanted to give up now. I had no bravery or courage left in me anymore.

Now, to a lot many folks, ending your own life might sound easy. However, it is more complicated than killing someone. If you have to kill someone, all you need is a time, a place, and a method. But, when you are trying to kill yourself, you must devise a result-oriented painless strategy.

Added responsibility, you see!

I couldn’t shoot myself. (Didn’t have a gun)

I couldn’t stab myself. (Not enough strength)

I couldn’t jump. (My building wasn’t tall enough)

I couldn’t light myself on fire. (Too brutal)

I didn’t want to drown. (Tough to execute)

I didn’t want a chance street accident. (Low success rate)

How about poisoning, I asked? It seemed like a good idea at that point in time!

At this point, I need to skip a few details to protect my sources. Just understand that I am a highly resourceful person. If I am motivated to get something, I get it!

So, a few days later, I have in my possession a highly potent poison.

A day later, I decide – today is the day!

I write a detailed suicide note mentioning how much my parents loved me, repeatedly pleading the world not to judge me.

I follow the guidelines and ingest the recommended dose.

30 minutes later, the poison gets to work.

I experience stomach cramps.

I vomit all over my bed.

I hallucinate for more than an hour while shitting and puking myself.

Liquid was oozing out of every hole in my body.

There was a moment when I almost felt dead. I had an out of body experience. I saw myself leaving my body. This could have merely been a hallucination, but it seemed real.

While my soul was roaming my room in the middle of tons of puke and shit, I posed a question to myself – am I dead?

And the next moment, I see myself back in my feeble body. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I wouldn’t die.

Every fabric of my physical being resisted death.

Now, this is a fact which a lot many goal-oriented aspiring suiciders aren’t aware of. Irrespective of how firm your resolve might be, you won’t achieve your desired outcome because your mind and body aren’t in sync.

You, in your thought, want to die. However, your physical being and your primitive brain are programmed with survival as a primary directive. Their job is to protect you from danger. And, when it comes to their primary task, they do a perfect job. This is an area they won’t disappoint you.

I drank a lot of liquid and continued with my experience.

An hour down the line, I was almost dead but not dead.

I gathered whatever strength I had left, cleaned myself and my room, hid the suicide note, and sat in the middle of my stinking bed with a renewed understanding that I won’t succeed in killing myself until it’s my time to die.

The next day, I emailed a resignation to my boss, called an Uber, informed my landlord that I need to leave, and headed to my parents in Vasundhara.

I took a break for a week. Ate healthy and worked out.

A week later, I was hunting for a co-working space to start my own content marketing firm.

I am not sure how many of you have experienced depression and suicidal tendencies, but I know its quite prevalent.

A lot of advice is floating around ways to deal with depression, yet there is no credible resource. I am not a health professional, and you probably shouldn’t listen to me either, yet my battle of more than 10 years of managing highs and lows has taught me a lot. I will love to share it with you all. That’s my goal for the day.

First of all, depression isn’t bad. It is a crucial phase. When our psyche realizes that our current self isn’t our desired self, we experience depression. It is a wake-up call to make necessary changes for building the base of a fulfilled life. When you tackle your depression the right way, you come out as a winner.

The question remains, what’s the right way?

In my experience, there are five central axis which we need to work on during depression.

1. Physical Fitness

2. Healthy Eating

3. Productive Activity

4. Relationships

5. Thought Process

We will discuss all of these in detail –

Physical Fitness

Morning Routine – If you are feeling depressed, the first thing you must do is establish a routine. Our biological processes depend a lot on circadian rhythm. The moment things are not working your way, make sure you start waking up and sleeping at the same time. And that doesn’t mean sleeping at 2 am and waking up at 1 pm. We need to respect the nature. You should wake up with the sun and sleep around the sunset.

I am not asking you to wake up at 4 am and sleep by 9 pm. However, you should wake up before 7 am and sleep before 10 pm. This is elemental to your recovery.

Exercise – You cannot be stuck in a state of inertia. You must move. Whether a walk in the park or regular strength training, your body needs to burn energy. The easiest way would be to go for a morning run the moment you wake up. 

Begin with keeping your sneakers at the side of your bed. The moment your alarm yells, charge forward, out of the house.

Get A Job – Unemployment clubbed with depression can be a deadly combo. Whether you enjoy your job or not, your mental wellbeing depends heavily on your daily work output. Trust me, you might feel you are better off at home, yet you should go to work. Working daily will make you feel a little better, even if your mind tells you otherwise.

If you are jobless, eat a healthy breakfast and go out daily for job-hunting.

Healthy Eating

Food – Your mood is defined by your diet. Eating healthy is essential even on regular days; however, during the depression, you must be extra cautious of what you consume. Do not consume sugar or high carbs diet. You should eat a protein-rich diet and ensure the intake of essential fatty acids. Protein and omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy mind. Depression makes life unbearable. Healthy eating can change that.

Substance – Any sort of substance – alcohol, weed, or cocaine – will make your depression worse. Indulging in substance abuse seems like a great idea during the depression, yet using substances will delay your recovery. Avoid any sort of intoxicating agent, including nicotine. They will make you foggy, further deteriorating your already flawed thought process.

Do What You Love

Hobbies – Dancing, singing, painting, gardening…. Whatever lights up your mood, invest at least 30 minutes daily doing that. Even if you are in a dead beat job, these few moments of delight can give you the hope that not all is lost.

Journaling – Daily journals are an intimate dialogue with ourselves. Depression messes up our thought process badly. We experience low self-esteem and barely think straight. Daily journals can act as a helpful tool. Writing down your plan for the day and reviewing yesterday, gives a sense of accomplishment, presenting you with a real-life picture rather than a monstrous morphed image, your brain is hell-bent on producing.

Don’t give up on your dreams – My dreams kept me alive. Our aspirations push us forward. Never ever give up on your dreams. If you enjoy doing something, do it daily. 

Get better at it. 

Make realistic plans.

Track your progress. 

Work on your dreams. Dreams are important. 

Don’t let the world steal your dreams away!

Relationship

Don’t plug out – Human beings are social animals. I am not referring to a herd mentality. I am not asking you to fit in. I am not asking you to behave like others. However, you cannot deny the underlying need for affection and love.

You might have experienced a rough childhood, had your share of heartbreaks and backstabbing, resulting in a negative outlook towards people. Yet, you have good friends, you have family, you have that special someone – reach out to them. It is hard to reach others during depression, yet you must do so. 

Send at least 5 texts, make 3 calls, and speak to a person face to face daily. 

Human contact matters!

With Yourself – Someone must have chuckled in the last para, claiming they have none. No family, no friends, no special someone, no neighbors, no pets either. Well, buddy, you still got yourself!

Our relationship with ourselves matters the most. There are two people inside you. 

Oh, please don’t panic, you don’t suffer from multiple personality disorder! All I mean is there is the logical side and the emotional side. Make them talk to each other. Find common ground.

There’s one who says you are awful, good for nothing! 

Question him. 

Talk to him, understand him, plan with him. 

Talk to yourself. Don’t overdo. Don’t go deranged. But fix your relationship with yourself. Love and respect yourself. 

Find your strengths and weaknesses. Find what you love and hate. Improve. Be a better version of yourself.

Thought Process

Once you start talking to yourself, you will identify flaws in your thinking. Either you will see yourself being a victim or being irrational. You would be right many times also. 

Depression messes up your thought process. You need to reclaim your control. 

Always be mindful of your inner dialogue. Don’t let it misguide you. The world owes you nothing, and you owe yourself a lot. That’s the base you need to begin on. Further, nurture your self by consuming the right content. 

Listen to Dr. Jordan Peterson, Robin Sharma, Joe Rogan, and other sensible people. Learn from them. Stay away from religious cult leaders. They are always on the lookout to recruit depressed individuals as they are easy to convince.

Depression is more than a disease. It is a phase of your life. The way you deal with your depression will determine the person you will become in the future. Do not take it casually. Neither let it engulf you. You are way stronger than you think.

In the end, everyone beats depression and comes out a winner.

You will too!

Finally, two golden rules –

Never hesitate to see a doctor!

When things go out of hand, you need an expert. There is no shame in visiting a specialist. Medicines are a necessity to manage chronic depression. If society has worked so hard to develop medications that will ease your pain, you shouldn’t avoid them. 

Don’t waste time listening to Johnny Cash!

“I hurt myself today

To see if I still feel

I focus on the pain

The only thing that’s real!”

Yes, pain is real.

Yes, pain is potent.

Yes, pain is profound.

Pain alone can give you enough push to transform your life.

Yet, you don’t need to be in pain 24/7.

It is another form of self-abuse if you intentionally allow yourself to be in pain for more than the period it is needed. 

Don’t turn into a pain addict.

Seek help!

Never attempt suicide!

Buddy, you do not have free will when it comes to choosing the time of your birth and death. These are independent events that occur beyond the control of us petty humans. Instead of wasting time on well-laid plans around ending your life, spend your time wisely on restructuring your life in an orderly manner. 

Believe me, death isn’t the end of your misery. Death is a curse. 

Life is a chance to be happy. And you only get one shot at it. 

Don’t waste this golden opportunity!

Remember, the sun shines the brightest once the dark night ends. 

The dark night always ends.

The sun rises daily!

Hope this helped.

Tell me about your depression. I would love to know.

Here’s A Glimpse Of A Post-Coronavirus World

Flying Cars or Constant Surveillance, Better Healthcare or Germ-Warfare, Cleaner Planet or Choked Lungs, Freedom of Expression or Autocracy – What does the future have in store for us?

Goodmorning Planet,

I am excited. How are you?

Today during my 4 am run, I realized that the dogs don’t bark uselessly anymore. These traumatized animals are experiencing peace for the first time in their lives. We, on the other hand, are witnessing such exciting times for the first time in human history.

These are unprecedented events.

Now, we could have different world-views. You and I might not agree on many levels, however, when it comes to what’s going on around us presently, I desperately want us to be in agreement.

Life has never been this exciting before.

Yes, absolutely, the hunter-gatherers had a lot of fun in their era.

Then we organized ourselves a little and started waging wars. That was something, undoubtedly.

Then somehow, religion crept into the equation. Everyone rushed to different corners of the world, preaching what their lord told them.

Imagine a Viking warrior yelling at an English priest, forcing him to call Jesus to save him. The priest is maintaining his claim that God and his son will definitely come for his rescue before bleeding out on the floor of the church. That must have been a sight worth watching. We missed those days.

There used to be whalers, man! They used to hunt whales for their body fat, which was later converted into fuel for daily use. I, for once, would have loved to hunt a whale, when the period demanded. Now, I will be called a murderer, so I won’t.

Then we chimpanzees started wearing a suit and a tie. It would have been a sight to watch, apes wearing ties! 

How cool is that! 

We pretended to be a little civilized. Established democracy, failed ones, but at least we gave it a shot.

Humanity united for the first time during World War I. Everyone came together to spill blood. That was another remarkable spectacle.

Some of the leaders continued to suffer from unresolved emotions, so they attempted again.

A crazy guy called Hitler set new benchmarks in hatred. His goal being the extermination of Jews. This might get repeated soon as few other stupid leaders are planning the same for Muslims. However, in my opinion, it will take at least 3-5 more years before the current wave of hatred reaches such extreme heights.

World War II must have been exciting. I spent a lot of time speaking to WWII veterans. I used to be employed in a Barclays bank contact center in a past life. A lot many British war veterans used to call, and I used to weave the most stimulating conversations with them. What I found remarkable about them was their undying spirit. They had witnessed the horrors of war, and that made them appreciate life more.

Many people assume that if they live a sheltered life, they will be better off—reality begs to differ. Adversity is what brings the best out in people, not in everyone but at least in those who see clearly.

Every Jew who survived a concentration camp did something extraordinary with their lives. Every POW who survived a Gulag made a name for himself. These people had witnessed tragedies of such proportion that when they integrated themselves into regular life, they were unstoppable. They had already seen the worse. What else would the world do to them? It already tried to kill them. They survived death. Nothing worse is out there for a survivor.

For me, the world ceased to exist after WWII. Nothing exciting happened globally post WWII.

Yes, the Cuban missile crisis happened. It was exciting for Americans and Russians.

Yes, we did visit the Moon too! Okay, that must have been cool.

There were few wars waged just for fun. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria – they got tore apart for the amusement of west.

9/11 did change history. And created a new hoax called terrorism!

Just to let you know, more people die in car accidents than terrorist attacks. Also, every terrorist, whether it be the legendary Che or the infamous Laden, all were bi-product of a failed society.

Yes, I agree these events do hold much value, but none of these singular incidents was sufficient to change the course of human history on its own.

And then came 2020 and then something worth telling a story happened.

A virus called COVID-19 made a jump from animals to a human host and thus began the fastest spreading and most deadliest pandemic ever in human history.

Before this is over, millions will be dead. World economies will collapse. The history of humankind, animals, and the planet is going to take a new path – a road never traveled.

Let’s discuss what might the future have in store for us –

Ugly Trends

·  Increased surveillance – For almost a decade, corporations and governments throughout the globe have been conducting secret experiments using our data points to establish more control. They all dreamt of a day like this when we would voluntarily allow to be placed under constant surveillance, and to make the deal sweeter, demand nothing in return. Wow, these tech company CEO’s must be having a boner, every morning since the crisis began. This is pure sex for them.

A naive someone might consider these measures temporary. However, those with even a little understanding of power dynamics and human history would agree that the coming years would see a decline in individual rights and a rapid increase in surveillance and thought control. India is already leading the charts with a maximum number of internet blackouts in democratic countries. For fuck’s sake, Kashmir hasn’t seen proper internet since August 2019. If you think the situation will get better once the pandemic is over, then you are way dumber than you should be. You might want to read a little and come up with a realistic world view.

·  Hate Crimes – When all is good, we dress well and smile. Crisis is when flawed humans reveal their real character. War, riots, flood, famines, earthquakes – these are the times when we give in to our animalist instincts and put humanity at shame. COVID-19 crisis is no different. Consider these three real-life examples –

1.   Chinese citizens being abused and thrown out of Australian supermarkets.

2.   Hate crimes against Muslims in India due to false information propagated in news media labeling Muslims as Corona Jihadis.

3.   Hate Speech against the Chinese not only by American citizens but by President Trump himself.

We will see a spike in hate crimes globally once this is over. Once you have begun to hate, you become a hater. Hatred doesn’t go away easily. People rarely change.

·  Germ-Warfare – We have been fascinated by bio-weapons since we saw the first guinea pig die due to a disease. The colonizing west practiced germ-warfare on Native Indians. The Nazis and the Soviets conducted mass experiments to determine the efficacy of bio-weapons and develop enhanced ammunition for germ-warfare. CIA was no exception, and neither is North Korea.

The warmongers are fascinated by the idea of destroying nations without firing a single shot. This pandemic has renewed their faith. In the next years, we will observe a definite increase in bio-weapons and few instances (whether verified or unverified) of germ warfare by India, China, Russia & America on unsuspecting emerging nations.

These three negative trends are definitely going to catch up rapidly in the post-coronavirus era.

No incident is ever limited to only adverse outcomes. Every catastrophe brings a new ray of hope along with tons of rubble. We have considered the worse, let’s examine the positive trend.

Bright Side

·  Cleaner Planet – Don’t get your hope up, but yes, there is a high possibility that the coming years will see a reduction in us polluting our habitat. Venice is once again beautiful. Thames is cleaner. Ganges is once again pure. The dying tropical forests are reviving. Maybe we would realize that a cleaner habitat is possible now that images are pouring in from all across the globe. For once, perhaps Greta Thunberg would resume her schooling and appear for exams, which she has been avoiding for a very long time. There is a strong possibility also that we won’t learn anything and will continue to ruin the planet. There could be an increase in deforestation and mining, as many nations are on the verge of bankruptcy. However, let’s hope for the best. That’s all we can do!

·  Change in Work Culture – For the first time, businesses are experiencing real innovation—Remote Working could establish itself as a new trend. WFH is not only useful in terms of cost reduction, but it also gives more time at hand to employees to better manage their personal lives. There will also be an increase in demand for new skills. If remote working catches up, many old roles might be scraped and give way to a new range of work roles. Be prepared folks, maybe its time to establish a new product/service which might not have fared well in the past but is most appropriate for post-coronavirus times.

·  Change in Education – Remote learning could be the new future. Now that universities, colleges, and schools have had a taste of online sessions, they might prefer to go full gonzo on the opportunity. If remote learning becomes a success, degrees would be viewed in a different outlook. The ages-old practice of judging people on theoretical knowledge could be chucked to embrace innovation, creativity, and practical approach to problem-solving.

·  Change in Governance – We have already discussed the horrifying impact of the crisis on our rights and freedom, now is the time to explore the positive side of the same. If the authorities improvise the tools being used to combat the current crisis and come up with innovative governance features, this could spark a new era of change. Imagine better healthcare facilities, better monitoring of available resources, better attempts to combat poverty and hunger, all of this is possible if the data generated from the same tools used for monitoring our activities currently is used to create innovative technologic solutions for the benefit of humanity. The possibility of such a miracle is less, but so was women voting rights. All it takes is one crazy individual, willing to walk the mile.

·  Change in Relationships – Adversity brings people together, mostly for good, riots, and mob-lynching being an exception—people who have survived crises together bond well with each other. If you have experienced tough times, it is most likely that you will do well during better circumstances. The people who were there for you in times of need would be a part of your trusted clan for the rest of your life. We might see fewer divorces and heartbreaks in the coming decades. It is also possible that spending so much of forced time together, couples might hate each other more and split the first chance they get, but once again, let’s root for a positive outcome.

Great, so this marks an end to our today’s discussion. We have explored both the positive and negative foreseeable changes. Our role must be to catapult the new world towards a brighter future despite our tendency to destroy everything beautiful around us, including people.

Let’s for a change work together and build a better world for the coming generations. We are fortunate to get this chance. Let’s not waste it because of our folly.

I like the idea of a better world. Hope you do too!

This was it for today, folks!

Hope you all enjoyed this lovely read.

What changes do you foresee in a post-coronavirus world?

15 Things You Must Do During COVID-19 Lockout

Let’s talk about what you should do, now that you are doomed to stay inside your homes, and your incompetent government has no respite to offer you.

Goodmorning Planet!

How are you doing?

I am perfect.

The only challenge I was facing was a lack of meat in my diet. 21 days had passed without a chicken being slaughtered for the pleasure of my taste buds. Fortunately, that spell broke yesterday, and finally, I relished the taste of an innocent bird raised on a farm, with a so-called family and a small tribe of like-minded birds.

Let’s call this bird, “Neo.”

Neo was a bright chick. He was curious.

Neo had a good life. He was cared for by the farm owners and his family. He was admired for his intelligence among his community.

However, there was something that bothered Neo and gave him sleepless nights. He often wondered what happened to the adults. Every week few of the grownups were taken away by the farm owners, and they never came back. Whenever Neo enquired, he received contradicting answers. Somebody told him that the adults are sent to a better spacious farm. Another chick said to him that the adults were misogynists and adulterers, therefore they were being sent to a reeducation camp. Neo doubted all these explanations as he feared that something might be terribly wrong with this joyous and comfortable community.

Finally, the judgment day arrived. Neo was an adult now. He looked magnificent and weighed 2.4 kilos, ideal for slaughter. The farm owners came and took Neo away in a black truck. Neo’s heart was thumping louder than the vehicle’s engine noise. Finally, the vehicle stopped in front of an establishment called Freshos.

Neo was horrified to see different bird parts displayed on the establishment’s wall with adjectives such as –

Succulent Chicken Breasts

Thunder Thighs

Crispy Wings…

For the first time in his life, Neo experienced the truth. He realized that he was nothing more than food for humans. His first reaction was to fly away, but he knew he couldn’t. He was immediately placed in a small cage and kicked off on a slaughter ramp. Neo remembered his gods and asked for forgiveness. He closed his eyes and requested God to spare his family a similar fate. In the middle of his prayer, a pair of hands grabbed his neck and slashed it with a fine cut.

Finally, a few hours later, Neo’s succulent breasts were lying on a frying pan, and I was sprinkling salt and black pepper on it for taste.

Well, so there’s that.

Now, a lot of you would be wondering why I shared this story with you.

Few of you would be feeling awful for Neo, and many of you baffled about the significance of this story.

Well, this was just a gentle reminder that life is short. In the end, you will also lie, fortunately not on somebody’s plate (I do not entirely deny this possibility) but either 6 feet beneath the ground or on a fire bed. If you belong to a superior civilization, you might be sent off to meet your gods, in a water canoe and eaten by fish instead after vultures feast on your vital organs.

So, so far, we have established that life is short, and you are a stupid puppet in a complicated cycle of events that you can only interpret on your death bed like Neo.

Great, so now that we are on the same page, let’s talk about what you should do, now that you are doomed to stay inside your homes, and your incompetent government has no respite to offer you.

I have 101 things which you must do in the coming weeks to make your homestay exciting and fruitful. I will share 15 of them today.

Before that five things you must not do –

  • Do not beat your wife and kidsI understand that beating the shit out of your kid is therapeutic and kicking a woman might be empowering for you, however, if you can try other ways to channelize your violent outbursts, it would be better for you, else who knows, maybe accidentally your wife slices your throat while shaving you. Accidents happen, you know!
  • Do not cheat on your partner – The most liberating feeling is infidelity. If you were in an affair before the lockdown, you might miss your secondary partner now that you are locked only with your primary partner. But if you are caught cheating in such critical times, things can get way heated, and both of you would still be beneath the same roof with nowhere else to go. Therefore, cheating might not be a good idea at the moment. I am not asking you to practice loyalty. It’s alright. It’s your life. Do as you please. Win an award in debauchery for all I care, but for now, suspend your affairs. You can get back to your steamy, raunchy, false hope once the world is back on track. It’s not that difficult. Give it a try!
  • Do not attempt to fool your BossNow, this is coming from a personal wound. A lot of you working from home are under the assumption that your boss is an idiot, and you can just pretend that you are working and things will work out for you. Well, unfortunately, your boss isn’t an idiot, or else he wouldn’t be signing your paychecks. These are tough times for businesses worldwide, and the least you can do is pull your weight, or else soon enough, you might be without a job.
  • Do not spend more than 30 minutes on social media Social Media is a toxic addiction. If you get in the habit of consuming social media content, either you will be filled with hatred, resentment, and anxiety, or you will get stuck in an endless loop of scrolling through feeds and tapping on stories whenever you feel a little low. At the same time, governments all across the globe are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to monitor your social media and related activities. You could be a right-winger, a leftist, or a neutral, but none of you would do better if you land under a government scanner. If you have doubts, remember Neo, the chicken. In the end, you are Neo, and the government is an institution in the business of peddling lies.
  • Do not spread hatredA lot many of you are losers, which is alright, there is always a population of losers in every community. It is not something to be ashamed of. You people create the bottom so that legends like us can get to the top. So I respect losers also! Now, some of you might be a Trump supporter and hate immigrants and Muslims, a lot of you would be Modi supporters and hate Muslims and Dalits; well it is okay, I understand the phenomenon. People who live unfulfilled life are filled with hatred and resentment for others because that helps them not to hate themselves. So you can continue hating, however, at least in these times of crisis, try and take a break because you could die tomorrow and so could your family from respiratory diseases. Do you really want your last thought to be that a Chinese Virus killed you and Tablighi Jamat infected you? These toxic thoughts will kill you before any illness does. So take a break from hate.

Awesome, so we are done with things you should not do during the COVID-19 crisis.

Here’s

15 things you must do during COVID-19 crisis:

  • Wake up early – Before you yell at me, give me a chance to explain. I realize you may not be in the habit of waking up early, and now due to inactivity and binge-watching, you sleep around 3-4 am. Why on earth will you wake up early? Here, read this –

Why Should I wake up early?

  • Meditate daily – Meditation is essential to stay sane in these challenging times. A lot of you would be struggling with mental diseases and issues, life could be chaotic without proper support and medication. Practice daily meditation to stay on top of your mental health.
  • Exercise Daily – And I see a sinister gleam in your eyes. I know what you are going to say, you excuse laden sissy. Well, even if the gym is closed and going to the park is risky, you can exercise indoors. Yes, you heard it right. Climb stairs, do burpees, do crunches, do squats, do chin-ups, do push-ups, there’s so much you can do inside. Move Motherfucker!
  • Brush your teeth – You might give in to the temptation of nihilism and argue with yourself that there isn’t a good reason now to brush your teeth….. Well, buddy, there’s something called personal hygiene. You brush your teeth, you shampoo your hair, and you trim your nails. Be a good boy! Don’t be a bad dog.
  • Eat healthy – Once the lockdown is over, you won’t enjoy your pot belly. Stop eating junk and processed food. Read this.

            Importance of eating healthy during COVID-19

  • Read books – Enough doing cursory reading of blogs and articles, get real, read books.

            Importance of reading

  • Connect with people – Posting status on social media is okay if you are a dim-witted person, however, if you want a real life, talk to people, talk to friends, relatives, and co-workers. Speaking to people keeps your sanity intact and will also help reduce anxiety.
  • Dedicate specific time slots for shows/movies – You cannot spend entire days binge-watching unless you have tons of weed and endless pizza delivery, therefore, plan your day and do not dedicate more than 1-2 hours consuming entertainment.
  • Masturbate – It is alright, nobody will judge you! You can masturbate twice a month, it’s normal.
  • Sleep well – Do not cut or exceed your sleep duration. Sound sleep governs your mood. If you sleep less or more, chances are you will be irritable the entire day. You don’t want that, do you?

            Are you sleeping well?

  • Plan a video date – There’s an old Indian song – “Zinda rehne ke liye Teri Kasam, Ek mulakat zaruri hai Sanam” (To stay alive, I must see you!) Well, well, well, you got Video Call feature. Go for a video date. Going outside might kill you, but trust me, staying inside won’t.
  • Invest in yourself – You wanted to play guitar, learn to code, learn Photoshop, write, create your page…. You never did all that claiming you didn’t have time. Well, now you have. Do your shit!
  • Get your finance in order – Now you cannot overspend, consider this a blessing, and use your funds wisely. Pay off all those high-interest credit cards and be debt-free.
  • Clean your room – Nothing is more critical than a tidy house. If your room is in order, your home will be in order, and your life will be in order. Grab that broom and get started.
  • Help others – If there is a day when you really feel, you have nothing to do, be a volunteer. Countless people are suffering in misery, help others, and feel better. Nothing can beat the feeling of being of assistance to someone in need.

That will be all for today!

Leave a comment about how you will spend this lockdown and win a Rs 2000 amazon voucher. Winners will be announced on 3rd May. Cheers!

(Contest open for Indian Citizens only, but you can still comment.)

Importance of Eating Healthy During COVID-19

A balanced diet is the key to a healthy mind and a strong body. Are you eating healthy?

A balanced diet is the key to a healthy mind and a strong body. Are you eating healthy?

Goodmorning Planet,

We are in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic. It is a crisis of colossal magnitude. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China. Now in the Chinese language, Crisis stands for both danger and opportunity.

We all agree that we are staring in the face of impending danger. However, let me tell you how you can use this as an opportunity to uplift yourself from the present situation to a favorable outcome.

I am sure you are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We are the most resilient species on this planet. In the past, we have successfully conquered:

15th Century and earlier

· Plague

· SmallPox

· Sweating Sickness

16th – 17th Century

· Plague

· SmallPox

· Yellow Fever

· Measles

18th Century

· Plague

· SmallPox

· Yellow Fever

· Measles

· Influenza

· Epidemic Typhus

19th Century

· Yellow Fever

· Malaria

· Bubonic Plague

· SmallPox

· Cholera

· Influenza

· Typhus

20th Century

· HIV/Aids

· Meningitis

· Nipah

· Dengue

21st Century

· SARS

· Ebola

· Zika

· Corona

You see the trend here!

There will always be an evolved virus that would assume that its better than us. Kill a lot of us! But in the end, we beat the shit out of it. History repeats itself. This, too, shall pass!

This is just Mother Nature’s way to settle scores. Survival of the fittest, you know!

Have you ever wondered why during such outbreaks, a lot of us die, and few of us are safe?

You can point out these few factors:

· Few are lucky – Absolutely wrong, luck has no role to play.

· Geographical isolation – Ok, makes sense.

· Personal isolation – Ok, this too.

· Access to advanced medication – Partially, but okay

· Better immune system – There you go, this is what I was waiting for!

Absolutely my friend. Bingo! You figured this shit out.

People with compromised immune systems are always the first target of viruses and pathogens. Second, are those with weak immune systems. And, healthy ones like that awesome looking guy/gal whom you secretly adore because of their healthy skin and perfect fit bod are the last ones. Even if healthy individuals get in contact with deadly viruses, their immune system can fight, and their chances of survival are much better than others. Even the HIV virus can be kept in check by practicing a healthy lifestyle.

My blogs are always around the theme of health – be it mental wellness, physical fitness, or attached metrics like discipline, productivity, and efficiency…

Today we are going to discuss how healthy eating is essential for a healthy lifestyle. However, before we begin, I want to share a story with you all.

It is September 2020. Aqsa and Aparichit are incredibly excited to meet each other after nine months. Aparichit met Aqsa in a creative writing workshop somewhere in January.

Whenever you are around people, you can always sense their presence either by their mannerisms, their body language, the way they dress, their speech, or something as rudimentary as the color of their skin and their looks.

Whenever you are around people, you can always sense winning personalities, charismatic individuals, legends, history-makers, average Joes’ and the losers.

Aparachit was in his early twenties, and so was Aqsa. After an hour of learning about the basic elements of writing, every participant was invited to read out their writeups.

Aparichit is perfect in every aspect of his personality. He is attractive, articulate, sensible, caring, and emotionally intelligent. Adding to all of these near-perfect traits is the fact that he is a fabulous storyteller. He had written a remarkable piece, and when he was invited, he confidently narrated his writeup, mesmerizing both the participants and the lecturer.

When you are around people, you know who’s exceptional and who’s regular. When Aqsa stood up and began to narrate her writeup, there was total silence in the room. As cliche as this might sound, Aparichit’s heart did skip a few beats.

Aqsa was perfect in every manner. Her tiny waistline complimented her broad shoulders. Her long, blonde hair fell just a little above her curvy, toned ass. Her intoxicating fragrance was enough to knock out a bunch of adolescent teenagers. Her writing had a dark, witty sense of humor, adding meaning to her otherwise Perfect Barbie personality.

Well, what do you think happened next?

Smoking Hot Sex!

You wish. No, but yes, they fell in love.

Aqsa belonged from Kashmir, and Aparichit was from Jammu. Everything went as a fairy tale for the next few weeks as both the lovers got to know each other.

Somewhere, at the end of February 2020, Aparichit was called home by his mother as she was a little unwell. She had a small back injury, and it got worse in the winters. She wanted Aparichit to be around to feel some relief seeing her adorable son nearby. Mothers are like that. They want to give us freedom and long to trap us in their misery too. Aparichit left for his hometown.

Few weeks down the line COVID-19 spread rapidly, and both Aqsa and Aparichit, along with million others, were confined in their homes. While the power-hungry governments failed to protect the people and instead focussed their resources to turn the country into a surveillance state, our two love birds longed desperately for each other.

As months passed, Aparichit saw a change in Aqsa’s behavior. She was mostly morbid and always sounded gloomy. She had stacked up a ton of great habits, which helped her maintain a spellbinding personality. Somehow the lockdown had put a stop to her life. She couldn’t visit her gym. The swimming pool was closed. Her dance classes were suspended. She also had to compromise on her diet. There was no Zumba, no Aerobics, and no social contact at all.

Aparichit tried to play the role of a good boyfriend and listened to her complain for hours. He shared a few easy tips around how she could substitute her habits with similar habits while staying inside her home. He asked her to attempt workout at home, eat healthy, read, stay away from social media, especially the toxic accounts, but his advice fell to deaf ears. Aqsa was extremely reluctant to break free from her new found bad habits. Her days began at 10 am and the first thing she did was check her phone. Social Media and News were filled with propaganda shit and she got in a habit of waking up with a negative mindset. Beyond that due to lack of options, she continued eating junk throughout the day and had no impulse control. Aparichit tried  to help her see clearly but see didn’t seem to be interested in breaking away her comfort cycle. After few attempts, he gave up. They started speaking less with each passing day.

An incredibly bright dawn follows every dusk. We, as humans, beat the shit out of COVID-19. The failed government, too, was happy as now they had more control than they dreamt of. They could now lock people up just because they posted something as simple as highlighting the failure of the authorities in managing the crisis and the blatant mismanagement of funds. So, in a nutshell, everything was back to normal.

It is September 2020. Aqsa and Aparichit are incredibly excited to meet each other after nine months. After waiting with restless anticipation, Aparichit saw Aqsa enter the funky cafe in CP. This version of Aqsa was not the version Aparichit fell in love with. She was obese. Her appearance was unattractive; she didn’t look like a winner. Even a stranger could sense that she had low self-esteem, and adding to this awful deteriorating flabby human flesh was a distinct smell of the depressed.

What do you think happened next?

Aparichit must have supported her and then brought her back to her winning personality. Yeah!

Well, no. This is not a Disney Movie. This is real life. Aparichit left the cafe and broke up with her over a text. And I am glad he did so.

Aparichit fell in love with a person who is not themselves anymore. Life doesn’t give you second chances. Even if it does, it is because of your commitment and efforts, not because you deserve it or because it is fair. The universe doesn’t operate on the principle of fairness. It works on action and results. If you want something, you put in the effort, and you bring desired results. You fail. You learn. You revise your strategy, and you begin Round 2.

It is alright that Aqsa grew fat. Anyone can. What wasn’t alright was her losing her winning attitude. If she had her confidence intact, maybe it was worth giving her a chance. Maybe Aparichit would have supported her get back to her old groove. But she lost it altogether.

Anyone can win when the circumstances are right. Those who maintain their calm during tough times deserve to win.

Hope this story acted as an eye-opener for all of you who have taken a back seat on your wellness.

Now, we will resume discussing the importance of eating healthy.

What is a healthy diet

A lot many Dietary & Nutritional experts have gone bald trying to figure out the exact definition of a Healthy Diet. Maybe, because of our dynamic lifestyle and such different cultural practices focussing on a variety of different eating habits, there isn’t a concrete definition. I personally believe that anything which makes you strong and your mind calm is healthy for you.

Now, this might sound vague to you. But then the question remains – Don’t you already know what’s healthy for you?

It will come as a shock to me if even a single person among you is unaware of the textbook definition of healthy food. I mean, who doesn’t know that vegetables, fruits, eggs, sprouts, & lean-meat is healthy, and cola, sugar, excessive fat, carbs & processed food is unhealthy.

We were taught this when we were kids. Who wasn’t paying attention? Oh! It’s you, the pot-bellied guy and the overweight woman. Well, what can I say? I want to say, “You fucked up!” but I will be a little tolerant and say, “It is okay. Let’s begin fresh today. It is never too late.” Okay, so now that I have made you feel a little better, let’s focus!

We will begin with the basics.

There is a lot of conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there. The irony is even I am no expert, yet, once you understand that your food is unique to your personality and previous eating habits, you will be able to identify a dietary pattern that works for you and will help you, irrespective of what that Influencer Food Critic tells you.

I am going to make a generalized statement.

“Anything which doesn’t grow on earth and doesn’t have a mother is unhealthy.”

This should be the base of anything you pick to eat.

  • Chocolates – Do they grow on trees? Does Snickers have a mother? No! So, you can only eat chocolate, maybe once a month. Ideally, you should never. But honestly, I don’t expect much from you. So let’s stick to one chocolate bar each month.
  • Burger & Fries – Oh my God! I can see that drool dripping down from your mouth. Who’s a good boy? You are a good boy! What does a good boy want? The good boy wants burgers and fries and soda. Okay, good boy! But, the question is – Does burger grow on trees? Do chips have mothers? Oh no! Sorry, good boy, you ain’t getting any unhealthy junk food.
  • Apple – You want an apple? Make sure you are not dating a doctor. Else he will be away. Eat apples, oranges, papaya, bananas, pineapple, avocado, dragon fruit…….. Did someone ask why? Well, they grow on trees, you dummy! Whatever grows on trees, is healthy.
  • Eggs & Meat – Eggs & Meat are excellent sources of protein. You need protein both for your brain and body. Therefore you eat eggs and meat. If you are a vegan, substitute these with lentils and pulses, and similar sources of high protein vegetarian food items.
  • Salami – Meat is healthy, but we will ask the same question. Does Salami grow on trees? Does it have a mother? Well, the answer remains no, because its processed food and we don’t eat processed food. Therefore no Salami!

Great, now that we have covered the basics. Let’s get to the expert level. Though your 8-year-old nephew knows all this, yet because you were too busy noticing your recent pubic hair growth when this was being taught to you in the school, and you didn’t pay attention, here we go again.

The fundamentals of healthy eating

There are many extreme diets that you can try. I follow a strict meat and fruit diet due to my unique personal requirements. However, ideally, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to support a healthy body.

Protein gives you the energy to get up and go—and keep going—while also supporting mood and cognitive function. If you don’t want to consume animal products, use plant-based sources of protein each day.

Fat. Not all fat is the same. Bad fats can ruin your health and increase the risk of certain diseases while good fats protect your brain and heart. Add Omega-3 fats into your diet. Indian Ghee is known to give excellent results.

Fiber. Foods rich in dietary fiber (grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans) promote a healthy gut and heart. Eat sprouts every day.

Calcium. Lack of calcium can add to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. Eat a diet rich in magnesium, vitamins D & K and calcium. Vegetables and dairy products are rich sources of calcium.

Carbohydrates are excellent sources of energy. But only if they are coming from complex, unrefined carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruit) rather than sugars and refined carbs. Cut back on white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar to reduce rapid spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy, and a build-up of fat, especially around your waistline.

Making the switch to a healthy diet

You might be in the habit of eating donuts for breakfast, burgers for lunch, and pizzas for dinner. Switching to a healthy diet could be troublesome and challenging. However, you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to change everything all at once. It doesn’t work.

A better approach will be making small changes every day. I can suggest you a four-week plan.

Week 1Eat everything and document every meal. Take a diary and make notes about what you ate in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This practice is called food journaling and have helped many compulsive eaters in the past. Do this till Friday and then check what all can you substitute next week.

Week 2Begin with your substitutions. Replace unhealthy breakfast with sprouts and fruits. Add protein to your lunch. Make your dinner light and never eat after 8 pm.

Week 3You will sense a positive change, and you will be able to identify what more you can get rid from your plate. Reduce every processed item.

Week 4By now, you will have everything figured out. You will see the patterns like Neo saw in the Matrix. You will be able to identify all that was wrong in your plate, and now you are all set to start your healthy eating frenzy. Do not stop food Journaling. It will make sure, you do not fall back to your old patterns of behaviors.

Conclusion

Now I understand that all of this sounds easy. But at the same time, a lot many of you have already started making faces because deep down inside, you know how difficult it is. And, trust me when I say this, I do realize it’s extremely difficult.

We all are wired in a specific manner, wherein we follow a set of habits, and breaking those habits is challenging. If you are someone who is in the habit of eating donuts and ice cream when you feel sad, making yourself understand that it is unhealthy for you in that moment of weakness when you feel like shit, is next to impossible.

I have been there. For countless days, I survived on sugar and processed food because they made me feel good about myself in those moments of despair. A little sugar helped me get some dopamine and avoid suicidal thoughts. If a chocolate bar is helping me avoid jumping from a 12 storey building in Gurgaon, I will eat that chocolate bar, even if that kills me in the longer run.

Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow.”

I was only able to change my unhealthy eating habits when I realized that I am in my thirties, and there is no going back. If I don’t straighten my act, I will be a bald, weak, old guy in my 40’s. I wanted a better life, and it made me embrace a healthy lifestyle.

You, too, will need to find your why!

It could be as simple as finding a suitable partner or as complicated as building a million-dollar business. Remember, you are what you consume!

Have you found your why?

Here’s Your Reading List for 2020

Daily reading not only adds to your knowledge but also helps you write and articulate your thoughts in a better manner. And if you can read, write and speak – You are unstoppable!

Good Morning Planet,

In our last blog, we discussed in detail the benefits of reading. Daily reading not only adds to your knowledge but also helps you write and articulate your thoughts in a better manner. And if you can read, write and speak – You are unstoppable!

A lot of you asked about some book recommendations. Today we present to you a refined reading list consisting of 52 books you must read in 2020. This list contains a mix of all sorts of books – fiction, non-fiction, poetry & business – to provide you an ultimate balanced reading experience. Ideally, you can read it in 2021 or 2022, or on your death bed, or maybe never. However, if you complete these in 2020, you will be way ahead of others who are in the same phase of life as you are. 

Here we go,

  1. Peterson, Jordan B: 12 Rules for Life – Dr. Peterson is one of the most articulate people in today’s times. In his book, he has laid down 12 Rules, which are incredibly plain, yet profound and by sticking to these basics and guidelines, you can end your existing misery and carve a better future for yourself. Pssst, hey kid, are you looking for some meaning?
  1. Dostoevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment – Terming Dostoevsky, a writer/author, would be belittling his genius. He didn’t write; he didn’t create characters, conflicts, and events; he bled on paper, and he bled hard, and he bled long, and all that blood and sweat and stench created a scary yet entertaining carnival. Come, a dark, joyous ride awaits!
  1. Kesey, Ken: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – There’s a thin line that separates the sane from the insane. However, most of the time, the line is blurred, and the sane appear crazy and insane becomes the new normal. In his masterpiece, Ken Kesey deals with insanity in a brand new manner. As they say, no one’s crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets, and that’s it!
  1. Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird – If you are an aspiring writer, let this be your lesson – never listen to your editors! Her editors warned Lee that the book is too simplistic in approach and might not sell. Glad she ignored them. To kill a mockingbird has a compelling narrative that will freeze time for you, literally. However, the book will only make sense – if you read it from lee’s point of view. 
  1. Nietzsche, Friedrich: Beyond Good and Evil – If you are wondering why should you read such a difficult book, I will not counter your objection. Nietzsche is not for everyone! However, if you like to dwell on human inadequacy and wish to understand humankind better, you got to read Nietzche. Beyond that, I hope you know, Nietzche died, and God is still alive. Score – God 1 – Nietzche 0
  1. Orwell, George: 1984 – Like every other legendary writer Orwell too, was way ahead of his time. In 1984, he talks about a dystopian authoritarian regime that parallels present-day India, the USA, Russia & China. Right now, the big brother is watching, and Orwell, with a huge grin, is saying, “Told Ya!” 
  1.  Orwell, George: Animal Farm – Animal Farm is a fairy story. A group of farm animals overthrow their human farmer to create a utopian society based on freedom and equality, only to find themselves worse than the past, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon. Sounds familiar? Well, it’s a fairy tale; it has to be familiar!
  1. Guevera, Ernesto Che: The Motorcycle Diaries – Guvera and his friend Alberto Granado along with their ride La Poderosa, went on an exciting journey through parts of South America, which eventually radicalized him because of the poverty, hunger, and diseases he witnessed. Once upon a time, there was a compassionate man named Ernesto Guevera. The world fucked him up like the world always does, and CHE happened!
  1. Bach, Richard: Jonathan Livingston Seagull – The past few years have witnessed a surge in self-help books. Digital distractions are leading to poor quality of life, which in turn negatively impacts your mental and physical health, and then you try and find a book to better your life. Don’t try anymore. This is that book! A real self-help book!
  1. Steinbeck, John: Of Men and Mice – Apart from being a masterpiece, the reason you should definitely read Of Men and Mice is that it has been a frequent target of censors for vulgarity. THEY claim the book contains offensive and racist language. If there is something THEY don’t want you to read, you know what you must do. READ IT TWICE & SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS TOO! BTW it also appears on the American Library Association’s list of the Most Challenged Books of 21st Century.
  1. Thompson, Hunter S: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – I don’t even need to make a case for this book. You must have already seen the movie. In case you are still pious and not been corrupted by the movie, then please don’t watch the movie. Read the damn book! It has every pop culture reference you ever need to know – The American Dream, 1960s countercultural movement, Psychedelics, blended with hard-hitting reality.
  1. Tolstoy, Leo: Resurrection – We, the all-knowing beings, have formulated our own set of laws and regulations. We continuously preach morality. Whether it be religion or bureaucracy: the base is always the superior morality of extraordinary men. One of these days, life mocks us by revealing us, how truly immoral all of us are!
  1. Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina – When Dostoevsky said, “The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.” He accidentally ended up writing a one-line bio for Tolstoy. Tolstoy paid his debt to the world by experiencing a moral crisis, followed by a profound spiritual awakening and writing timeless classics. Anna Karenina is not a story or a book; it is documentation of the beginning of a liberal era. Please read it to know why you should keep IT inside your pants! 
  1. Frankl, Viktor: Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor is a neurologist, psychiatrist, and a holocaust survivor. He witnessed misery. He decoded misery, and he transformed misery into meaning. Why should you read Man’s Search for Meaning? – To thank me for recommending it!
  1. Freud, Sigmund: The Interpretation of Dreams – Coked up Freud single-handedly managed to lay the foundation of – I Think We Should Talk. He’s the father of Psychoanalysis, Talking Cure, and You Wanna Fuck Your Mother. Read The Interpretation of Dreams so that you can say that, “Yes, I have read Freud!” In case you read one book each year, well, then this is that book!
  1. Zusak, Markus: The Book Thief – The Nazis didn’t want you to read. The communists didn’t want you to read. The capitalists didn’t want you to read. There’s a little man inside you who only wants to eat, fuck, sleep, and destroy something beautiful, not necessarily in that order. The little man doesn’t want you to read. Television doesn’t want you to read. The Internet doesn’t want you to read. If somehow you overcome all these obstacles and manage to read, your life would change for better. Read the Book Thief! The narration is by a caring entity called Death. You, too, will meet him soon enough. 
  1. Manson, Mark: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – I remember Manson from his early days of blogging. He always had a knack for writing. People whom we see growing and getting better while we follow their journey, hold a special place in our hearts. I loved Mark’s writing style and still do. In his book, he makes us understand that there is a limited amount of fucks in our lives, and we need to choose what we should give a f*ck about carefully.
  1. Duhigg, Charles: The Power of Habit – Duhigg is an investigative journalist. Now, you can imagine why the book doesn’t have a single dull moment. Reading “The Power of Habit” is an exciting unparalleled experience when it comes to similar books in the non-fiction genre. James Clear’s Atomic Habits and Nir Eyal’s Hooked don’t even come close to the exciting ride Duhigg takes us on. If you are looking to rearrange your days in a winning fashion, read this and see your life change for better.
  1. Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness – Heart of Darkness is considered as one of the best English novels of the twentieth century. Conrad’s central theme in the book is the similarities between so-called civilized people and savages. There isn’t a student of English literature throughout the globe who hasn’t studied Heart of Darkness. The book also received a lot of backlash in postcolonial studies. Experts claimed that the book dehumanized Africans. I agree to the same, but only partially. You will need to read the book and decide for yourself.
  1. Palahniuk, Chuck: Fight Club – Well, you know the first rule, don’t you? Sorry, I can’t talk about Fight Club!
  1. Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald never came to know what a masterpiece he had created. The Great Gatsby, in the first year, only sold 20,00 copies. It was only after Fitzgerald’s death when the novel caught momentum and is still considered “The Great American Novel”. A classic tale of love & loss, class struggle, idealism, and the truth behind the American dream. Get ready to be wonderstruck!
  1. Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver’s Travels – Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels in an attempt to vex the world rather than divert it. Gulliver’s Travels is a satirical prose, satirizing both human nature and the traveler’s tale. The book has so many layers to it that it can be read and enjoyed by both kids and weary adults. I hope you enjoy the book like many others because, as you know, the difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives already.
  1. Harari, Yuval Noah: Sapiens – Sapiens is one of a kind book. Harari presents a detailed account of the evolution of humankind in the Stone Age, accounting everything we maggots have been up to till today. Harari believes that the only reason we have conquered the planet is that we all tell familiar stories and believe in them, leading to our ability to cooperate in huge numbers that no other species does. Interestingly, in the end, everything is just a story. (Religion, Banking, Concept of a Nation, Space, Deep Sea…..everything we believe in is just another good story)
  1. Sharma, Robin: The 5 AM Club – Robin Sharma is a celebrated author and a leadership expert. In his book, The 5 AM Club, Robin has scientifically proven how embracing a defined morning routine can magically transform your life and put you on a path of success. Own Your Morning, Elevate Your Life!
  1. Ferriss, Tim: Tools of Titans – Tim Ferris is an entrepreneur, author, and podcaster. In his book Tools of Titans, Tim has shared a great deal about successful personalities and how do they achieve their goals daily. Tim’s podcasts and other books share similar hacks that can help you reach your personal best. Tim is hardcore in his approach and sees things to the end. A lot many critics have accused him of selling false mumbo-jumbo tips, which cannot help low-income people. Read to know who’s telling the truth!
  1. Bukowski, Charles: Love Is a Dog from Hell – First published in 1977, Love Is a Dog from Hell is a collection of Bukowski’s poetry from the mid-seventies. A classic in the Bukowski canon, this poetry collection is a raw, lyrical, exploration of the exigencies, heartbreaks, and limits of loveBukowski once said – “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can”. Relish yourself with words that taste like dates.
  1. Bukowski, Charles: Women – Bukowski spent more than half of his life slaving in the post office. Each night he would get drunk and write ten pages before passing out—a writer of unmatched caliber. You don’t f*ck with the Buk, bitches!
  1. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly: Flow – In his groundbreaking work, Mihaly talks about a rare state of FLOW in which the subject is so absorbed in doing what they love, that distractions such as time, food, ego-self, etc., do not even exist in the subject’s mind. If you are creative and you haven’t read Flow, then either you are stupid or not at all creative. Go read, Flow!
  1. Eyal, Nir: Hooked – Ever wondered, why do some products capture our attention while others flop? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) with the Hook Model – a four-step process that, when embedded into products, subtly encourages customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products bring people back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. If you are an entrepreneur, you can outsmart your competition just by reading Hooked.
  1. Dickens, Charles: A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens’ best-known work of historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities is regularly cited as the best-selling novel of all time. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’ This was the opening sentence. I don’t have anything else to add. 
  1. Orczy, Emma: The Scarlet Pimpernel – We love superheroes. Marvel made a shitload of money making them. Most of these superheroes have a meek alter-ego, which they use to disguise their genius. Well, before Zorro, Phantom, Superman, Spiderman & Batman, there was The Scarlet Pimpernel. Set in the backdrop of the French Revolution, a must-read thriller for the weekends.
  1. Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre – Charlotte created one of the most enigmatic female protagonists in English Literature. Jane Eyre is an intimate first-party narration which discusses class, sexuality, religion, and feminism (the real kind of feminism, not a morphed toxic radical version, you experience nowadays).
  1. Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice – Pride and Prejudice is one of the most loved books among readers. It is painful with the right amount of humor to dull down the pinch. I didn’t enjoy it. But I will recommend you to read it as it is one of a kind. There are a few timeless books. Pride and Prejudice is one of them. 
  1. Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein – Percy B. Shelley, Mary, and Lord Byron sat one night attempting to write the best horror story. Mary came up with this. Mary was 20 years old when Frankenstein was published. Also, just a reminder, Frankenstein was the doctor, not the monster. Why should you read Frankenstein? It is more horrifying than Bram Stoker’s Dracula and contains an unparalleled depth. Also, Frankenstein was the first sci-fi fiction ever written. 
  1. Darwin, Charles: On the Origin of Species – Darwin’s scientific literature “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” laid the foundation of evolutionary biology. The book broke all ancient beliefs and challenged religious doctrines. Imagine a guy standing up to the Head of Church and telling him – no, we are not unique, our great grandparents were chimpanzees. Well, Darwin was that guy, and you should read this book (despite being a tough read) to know how nature transformed us into who we are today.
  1. Wallace, David Foster: Infinite Jest – Wallace killed himself at the age of 46 after struggling with depression for many years. Before his death, he penned down masterpieces like Infinite Jest and The Pale King. Infinite Jest is regarded as a literary bestseller. The novel battles issues like addiction, withdrawal, recovery, death, family relationships, mental health, suicide, sadness, entertainment, film theory, media theory, to name a few. It is a profoundly sad book laced with enough wisdom for a lifetime.
  1. Wallace, David Foster: The Pale King – Wallace killed himself before completing The Pale King. It was published posthumously and was one of the finalists for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The Pale King is a frustrating read filled with false narratives and dead ends. Yet, it is considered a monumental work of profound ingenuity.
  1. Hemingway, Ernest: The Old Man and the Sea – The Old Man and the Sea received Pulitzer and Nobel Prize in Literature. Like many other geniuses, Hemingway too shot himself. A friend once asked me, “Why should I read books?” My reply was – “A lot many writers died crafting exemplary literature, least you can do in your cozy life is read!” I am not going to make a case for you to read Hemingway. Maybe, you don’t deserve to read such groundbreaking text. Read it, don’t read it….. who cares. Writers killed themselves, a lot of them killed themselves….. who cares!
  1. Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray – The Picture of Dorian Gray was too indecent for its time. It did offend plenty. It created an outcry in the morally bankrupt society and baffled victorian book critics. The homoerotic theme challenged their latent homosexuality, which in turn made them hate themselves and the book. Between then and now, not much has changed. Read it just for the fact that it might have been the most hated book of its time.
  1. Camus, Albert: The Outsider – The Outsider is for both kinds of men, the genius and the stupids like you. Camus summarized his book in one sentence, “In our society any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.” This world wants you to play games, if you don’t, they will throw you away, as they did to Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and many. The Outsider has many layers to its narrative. If you even understand one, consider you lived a fulfilling life.
  1. Camus, Albert: The Plague – If you only wish to read one Camus book, then go for The Plague. If you love Kafka, you will enjoy The Plague more. It mirrors the kind of narrative Kafka is celebrated for. Also, if you are huddled inside your home in this CoronaVirus pandemic, The Plague will appear relatable.
  1. Kafka, Franz: Metamorphosis – Kafka is considered as one of the most profound contributors to 20th-century literature. I am sure you have enjoyed TV shows like The Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Californication, and Bojack Horseman; none of these would have been conceptualized had Kafka not explored themes like alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity in depth. Read everything Kafka ever wrote.
  1. Márquez, Gabriel García: One Hundred Years of Solitude – Marquez makes you step in a dream-like reality and traps you there. You cannot escape. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a multi-generation tale of humankind. Once you start reading it, you are trapped inside the book. You will not be able to differentiate between the book and the reality around you. You may never wake up. It’s worth being trapped. Go, get busy!
  1. Heller, Joseph: Catch-22 – For all you war hooters, Catch-22 will give a perfect glimpse of how wars are really fought. Why should you read this satirical war novel? Here are few lines from the book itself, “There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to, but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. (p. 56, ch. 5)” Once again, I rest my case.
  1. Salinger, J. D: The Catcher in the Rye – The Catcher in the Rye is considered as one of the best English language novels of the 20th century. We live in a superficial society where no one wants to listen. Salinger articulated this fact in 234 painful pages. If you never experienced alienation, please read it. If you ever experienced alienation, please read it.
  1. Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hey buddy, I am not going to tell you why you should read Shakespeare. I guess you shouldn’t be reading this blog if you want reasons to read Sir William Shakespeare. 
  1. Chekhov, Anton: The Duel – The Duel is more of a short story than a novella. Chekhov is among the most celebrated writers of short fiction in history. He’s the second most famous writer on this planet, second to Shakespeare. You can read anything he ever wrote. I loved The Duel.
  1. Dumas, Alexandre: The Count of Monte Cristo – There are a few stories that are larger than life. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of them. It is regarded as one of the greatest literary classics—a perfect formula story to ignite every emotion within you. 
  1. Gandhi, Mahatma: The Story of My Experiments with Truth – There are few great men, and it is our duty to read about them. Gandhi, without even letting a single shot fired, freed India from the clutches of Imperialist Britain and finally was shot down by a coward who is being regarded as a revolutionary by the current existing Indian government. What an Irony! Please read this book, or you can read about Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther king.
  1. Allah: Quran – Read the Quran so that you understand that no book asks people to kill in the name of religion. “The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.”
  1. Bhagwan: Geeta – Read Geeta to unleash your real genius. “You are what you believe in. You become that which you believe you can become.”
  1. God: Bible – Read Bible, it tells you the perfect way of life. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Hope you enjoyed this reading list. Please leave your feedback so that I can improve.

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