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