From the vault of failure: Why it’s critical to success?

There was a rabbit, called Rabbit, who had measles. His friends came to visit him with a giant bee, called Miss Bee.

This was the first fairy tale written by a small, rotund girl of 6. Being a dreamer from childhood, she continued to write stories and narrate them to her sister.

Her mother narrated to her so many books that she could recite them by heart. At school, her favorite subject was English language and reading. Teachers read her stories aloud in classrooms which encouraged her to write.

But the math teacher treated her with hostility which made her frustrated and underconfident.

She was shy and kept scribbling in her notebook. Her classmates used to say that she lived in her own “fantasy world”.

In high school, her favorite granny died and her relationship with her father soured. Her mother became ill with multiple sclerosis. Her mother wasn’t getting better – and her illness was the biggest shock of her life.

At 17, she was rejected from Oxford University.

So, she went to Exeter to study French and classical philology. After graduating, she went to Paris for a year and worked at Amnesty International.

She knew that this job did not fit her.

While waiting for a train one day, she weaved this idea about a boy who lived in a different magical world of his own. 

Soon after, when she was 25, her mother died. It was hard for her to escape this trauma. A year later, she moved and suffered a miscarriage.

At 27, she married the love of her life. Her daughter was born. But a few months after her birth, her husband beat her and drove her out of the house.

She moved with her sister along with her infant daughter. By this time, she was diagnosed with severe clinical depression.

At 30, she contemplated suicide.

She wrote in little cafes when her daughter slept. She wrote about the same fairy tale world she designed on that train. She sent the copies of a few chapters of her book to publishers.

They said “It is too difficult for children” or “It is too long”.

12 publishing houses rejected to print the manuscript of her book. Until, finally, Bloomsbury agreed to publish her book.

They printed only 1,000 copies – not expecting the massive success of, Harry Potter.

Now, those first 1,000 copies are worth 30,000€.

Philosopher’s stone won the award for best children’s book of the year. The Prisoner of Azkaban won the best book of the year in 1999.

Rowling becomes the first person to win the prize three times in a row.

Goblet of Fire sold 3 million copies in 24 hours — a world record. But the Deathly Hallows broke that too —it sold 11 million copies in just a few hours.

Before we go on….

Ugh, is this some kind of ‘motivational porn’ article?

I know, by this point, you might be thinking:

  • Are you going to tell me to “never give up?”
  • Overnight success is a myth
  • Do you also think it’s that easy?
  • Oh God, now don’t tell me to “think positive” no matter what.

And….

  • Please don’t remind me that Edison failed ten thousand times before he invented bulb

By the way, I’ll be mentioning all this, but, still you should read because it’s not all that bad.

So, where were we?

Are you telling me to fail so that I succeed?

No.

But I’m telling you that Rowling’s depression inspired her dementors. Her math teacher took the shape of Severus Snape. And she wrote Philosopher’s stone while she was battling the toughest times of her life.

But I’m telling you Henry Ford went broke five times before he succeeded.

But I’m telling you that Walt Disney was fired because his editor believed he “lacked imagination” and had “no good ideas.”

But I’m telling you Jack Ma was rejected from Harvard ten times and lost a job at KFC.

But I’m telling you Micheal Jordan missed 9000 goals.

But I’m telling you Bill Gates’ first business was a failure.

But I’m telling you Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, twice.

You get the idea.

The problem isn’t that you fail – the problem is you think you wouldn’t. It doesn’t matter whether I say you need to fail to succeed. It doesn’t matter whether anyone gives you the formula of success step-by-step.

It doesn’t matter because you’re going to fail anyway.

You’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to get disappointed. Failure isn’t an option, it’s a part of success.

Successful companies have failed fast and frequent.

Al Teller, a Just ask record company executive, says

“If people conscientiously try changing their perspective as they look at a specific problem I think they would find a path to the solution comes a lot easier. And, maybe, the solution becomes more robust, more interesting and, ultimately, a lot more effective.”

If it’s so important to fail, why do we have such a hard time with it?

Subconscious of failure – it’s that easy

It has been proved that the fear of failure is directly related to our sense of self-worth.

Research has found that we protect our self-worth by believing we are competent and convincing others of the same. For this reason, the ability to achieve is critical in maintaining our self-worth.

Our brains are wired to find patterns in facts even when the things are totally unrelated.

This is somewhat a picture of how our brains connect the dots:

Naturally after subsequent continuous failures, we engage in practices that protect our self worth — excuses and defense mechanisms.

And if we look closely, this is what our brain does then:

But we can also alter this structural belief of our brain by “cognitive reframing.”

Cognitive reframing is a psychological technique of identifying a harmful perspective and then disputing its irrationality and finding more positive alternatives.

So, instead of decoding patterns in our brain, linking failure with our self-worth, we can alter it.

Link failure with an experience rather than self-worth. Our brain is wired to connect dots even when they’re not related at all.

We are designed to find patterns. I tell you to accept this fact and connect the dot of “failure” with “experience”.

Every successful person has consciously or unconsciously done this – believing failure is a learning experience rather than taking it personally.

Interpret your failures logically and rationally, from another person’s perspective, instead of interpreting your failures as your inability to do something.

Conclusion

I think I’ve checked pretty much of my outline:

  • Are you going to tell me to “never give up?”
  • Overnight success is a myth
  • Do you also think it’s that easy?
  • Oh God, now don’t tell me to “think positive” no matter what.

And….

Thomas Edison created bulb…but before that he failed 10,000 times. Of course, he couldn’t make it overnight. He knew it wasn’t easy. But he never gave up, because he did cognitive reframing of his mind about failure:

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways it won’t work.”

  • Please don’t remind me that Edison failed ten thousand times before he invented bulb

Go, fail fast and frequent. But don’t take it personally.

How being vulnerable can significantly improve your life?

What is the first thought that pops up to your mind when you hear the word ‘vulnerable’?

Some people think about being defenseless. Some people’s stomach churn.

Some cringe. Some feel exposed.

Whatever it is, most people associate a negative emotion with it.

And I was no different. I wore an armor, a shield to ‘protect myself’ until a few years ago.

That’s why we all resist to be vulnerable, isn’t it? So that we can “protect” ourselves.

Then I found out how vulnerability can be a positive thing. And since I’ve started living by being vulnerable, my life has significantly changed — for the better.

And I want to do the same for you. 

Lets start by busting the most common myth, shall we? 

1. Vulnerability ≠Weakness

I know you’ve associated vulnerability with weakness since years.

Vulnerability does mean exposing your weaknesses. It requires letting everyone see your flaws out in the open.

It requires to be real. It takes courage to be so authentic.

And it might feel uncomfortable, icky and weak.

But allow me tell you something: Being vulnerable does not mean you’re weak. Period.

I don’t deny that being vulnerable opens doors for us to easily get hurt, heartbroken and disappointed.

But it also makes us more joyous, open and free.

I used to ponder for hours over something someone had said to me that hurt. I started overthinking. But I never even thought of saying it out loud.

Soon, when I found this to be harmful, I started giving myself a choice:
A. Shut up and put it all inside
B. Share, communicate and feel exposed

At first, I was petrified of choosing the second option. But when I did it, I could not have felt better.

I thought vulnerability feels like weakness, but it felt like courage.

When I simply put my feelings out in the open, my mental health improved. My relationships became better. And I started to feel happiness.

This is how exposing yourself to be heartbroken also actually makes you free.

To be human is to have insecurities, weaknesses, sensitivity and flaws.

Being vulnerable requires  more strength than resisting vulnerability. Having a wall up is easier than freeing yourself of cages.

And guess what? Vulnerability has a sly unexpected advantage to it apart from liberating you…

2. Vulnerability makes you attractive

It’s true.

In dating, in friendships, in relationships, vulnerability makes you likable. It makes you connect.

In the book “Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People” , Vanessa Van Edwards mentions several experiments that prove vulnerability is attractive.

One of those was a study conducted by Richard Wiseman where two actresses were supposed to sell smoothies to mall-goers.

The first actress was perfect. Flawless. She gave a yummy blender to the audience without a single mistake. On the other hand, the second actress “accidentally” forgets to tighten the lid and spills the entire smoothie over her.

A total loss of likability, right?

Wrong.

She sold more. She was also rated better by the viewers.

Why?

Mistakes humanized her. It increased her influence over the audience. Admitting to your weakness can do more harm than good.

So instead of trying to be perfect, just be yourself. 

And I know it’s hard to embrace your flaws and laugh at your mistakes. It’s not easy to love your insecurities.

So, don’t.

The problem isn’t that you don’t love your flaws, or don’t love your insecurities, the problem is you don’t accept them.

You don’t need to love that you’re anxious. You just need to accept it.

When you’re honest in your flaws, people meet you halfway. And that’s how you build relationships…

3. Vulnerability improves your relationships

In this TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, Brene Brown, a social worker who studies human connections, tells her story of finding the importance of being vulnerable.

She made two groups: first one had a really strong sense of love and belonging while the second one struggled with the mindset.

What was the difference she found? She found that those who had a strong sense of love and belonging believed that they are worthy of love and belonging.

Yes, it’s that simple.

But, they also demonstrated connection, compassion and courage. They let go of “what they should be” and instead became “what they were” . In this sense, they were authentic- to others and to themselves.

This group also embraced that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.

They believed in the importance of saying “I love you” first, about doing something willingly even when there are no guarantees.

By letting others in, you’ll feel more connected, more confident and more cheerful.

You make deeper connections with someone when you tell them about your sorrows. You will feel more close to someone when you listen to what makes them cry.

It is through these little things, through these little vulnerable moments that you feel connected, these are the things that truly nourish your relationship.

And if you think that vulnerability only gives you a boost to your personal life, you cannot be farther from the truth…

4. Vulnerability makes you a better leader

People misunderstand that being a great leader is to have all the answers. But one of the critical components of leadership is the ability to be vulnerable with others.

I know it is easier said than done. Being vulnerable is not crying in the middle of a meeting. It is asking questions rather than always being the expert. It is accepting that you don’t know something. It’s taking feedback.

Even as simple as asking for help can do wonders to your professional life. You might always be reluctant to ask for advice from someone –they’ve got their own problems to solve– and it might make others think less of you.

But actually, asking for help makes you look smarter. 

Yes, that’s correct. When you ask for advice, you boost the advisory’s ego and he might think, “This guy is smart for asking advice from me.”

Just like in life, there is no guarantee for success in work. Instead of hiding behind perfectionism, allow yourself to be truly seen.

5. Vulnerability makes you say “yes”

It’s important to say “no”. It’s important to set boundaries. It’s important to spend your time wisely.

But it’s also necessary to say “yes” more often. Especially to the things you’ve never said yes to.

And you all know where the amazing stuff takes place, outside your comfort zone.

Saying “yes” to an opportunity is saying “yes” to vulnerability and saying “yes” to vulnerability is saying yes to stepping out of your comfort zone.

When you let yourself be yourself, you learn that you’re not indestructible. When you become vulnerable, you take the risk, instead of wondering.

Those thoughts that make you say no do still arise. What if I fail? What if I’m no good at it? What if I embarrass myself and others laugh at me?

But you take a deep breath, and you say yes anyway.

Vulnerability does not make you fearless.

It requires practice. It takes courage, every single time. You will still fear. But, that fear won’t hold you back.

When you do something scary, towards the end, you realize that it wasn’t that hard. It was the energy consumed in not being vulnerable that made it so hard.

How do you inculcate vulnerability in your life?

Don’t hold yourself back. Ask questions, express your opinion, confess what hurts you. 

Say “yes” more often. Don’t let the fear in you stop you from going at something you know you should do.

Is it easy? No, of course not. It requires uncomfortable moments, rejections, courage, patience and practice.

For the split of a second, it’ll seem like the hardest thing to do.

Like the scariest thing you’ve ever done. Like a terrifying nightmare.

But after that, everything will become simplified.

You will make better connections. Your relationships will be more meaningful. You will accept yourself and will truly embrace your imperfections.

There’ll be no “What if?”

What if you dropped the need to protect yourself? What if you accepted that all of us go through struggle, learning and growth? What if you believed that regardless of your imperfections, you are worthy to be respected, valued and loved?

Drop that shiny, sparkly facade of who you are. You’ll be glad you did.

Start here. Start now.

Answer in the comment section below, share, what holds you back from being vulnerable in front of others?

Social comparison: Why your life can’t be compared with other chumps?

Admit it.

We’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to our peers
or 
movie stars
or our parents.

Guilty? Because we all know how bad it is for our self-esteem, can cause depression and even sacrifice our ability to trust others

Being aware of this, we all secretly or openly do it.

 

Why do we compare ourselves to others?

According to Festinger’s Social Comparison Theory, we do this in order to make accurate evaluations of ourselves. Leon also says that comparison is necessary for knowing the truth about ourselves, or for defining ourselves. 

Or we do it because our parents always told us to have grades like Johnny and waistlines like Barbie.

We determine our social and personal growth on comparing it with others. And maybe sometimes it’s necessary for precise assessing of ourselves.

But all this comes at what cost?

Most of us understand that comparison is draining, foolish and time-killing. We readily accept that no good ever comes out of it.

Yet, we’re all sorry of doing it sometime or another. We catch ourselves falling in this glossy trap frequently.

I believe if we understood why comparison is unrealistic and unhealthy, we’d be able to get to the roots and chop them off from growing.

So, here I give you five reasons why your life cannot be compared with others:

1. It’s limitless

Let’s face it: The comparison game never ends.

You might get a bigger paycheck, a more expensive car, a sexier partner and yet, someone is going to have a better house than you.

There are billions of people on this planet: some of which will always have more than you and some of which will always have less.

You’d look at others and wish you had that too.

Or, you’d look downwards and pass judgments on others to make yourself feel better.

One makes you feel inferior and one makes you feel superior.

Neither makes you feel happy.

Upward comparison can lead to dejection and downward comparison can make you feel sadness and worry.  

Even if you do feel good about yourself for a split second by looking down on someone, you take pleasure in their failures and misfortunes.

And this joy is never equal to happiness.

2. It kills happiness

People think that if you get envious of someone at work, you might work harder and do better.

Or if you compare to someone less fortunate, you might feel gratitude towards life.

Neither of which is true.

If you clearly think about it, you benchmark your worth on others’ achievements and failures.

“Michael has a better car than I have, I should strive and get the best one.”
“Julie earns more than I do with the same experience, I should try to get promoted and earn more.”

We tend to forget that,

net worth ≠ self worth.

And it’s not just materialism that we compare.

“He has a smarter partner than I have, maybe I should break up with her and hook up with someone more intelligent.”

“She is slimmer than I am. So, I should hit the gym and have a thinner waistline.”

And you might get the smartest woman in the world or the smallest size on the store, and you may even feel good about yourself.

But that doesn’t last. And that isn’t an accurate measure of who you are.

Soon, someone else will get the best interior designer and have a better home.

Or someone will have someone you can never have.

It spirals back to point number 1. The list is endless.

Instead of placing your happiness on someone else’s life, be you.

You cannot be the best in anything except at being yourself.

When you feel dejected, appreciate what life has offered you. When you judge, have empathy and realize what someone else goes through.

And what someone else displays of their lives isn’t what it actually is, anyway….

3. You don’t compare accurately

You compare in the following ways:

Your worst VS Someone’s Best
OR
Your best VS Someone’s Worst

But, there is much more to you than your best or worst parts.

So does everyone.

Everyone’s got their goodies to put on the table. Everyone has got their worst sides too.

But all of this is a part of their journey. Not yours. Comparing your journey with someone’s else’s may seem like a healthy form of competition. 

But you may have roses on your journey now and they may have thorns.

What I mean is, your journey is unique to you. Don’t compare your path with someone else.

Because literally, you have no idea what is going on their lives.

Someone might get promoted at work over you, but you may have a healthier social life.

Or someone may earn less than you, and still have innate talents that you don’t possess.

As comedian Tom Shillue explains that everyone is a package deal. 

You never really want someone else’s life, you want your own life better.

You want to have all the bests of someone and never their pain.

We worry more about how well others are doing rather than how well we are doing ourselves.

And you’re happy with less, but not if anyone else has more.

Instead of doing what’s best for you, you do what−in your mind−is above other people.

When you compare your mundane life with someone else’s Instagram life, you are bound to have low self-esteem.

Because what people portray on social media websites, isn’t what their life is.

Do you ever post pictures of yourself crying in the bathroom? Do you viral a video of you and your partner fighting?

If someone asks you “How are you doing?”, do you ever say, “Life sucks. I haven’t been able to work and have a deadline tomorrow. My husband keeps fighting with me and I cried yesterday because I’m loosing my mind.”

You just hold back and say, “Everything’s going great!”

A study in Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin has found that people are less likely to reveal their positive emotions than their negative emotions.

It also found that we overestimate the positiveness in someone else’s life than negativeness.

So, it’s not just incomplete information you compare yourself with, it’s also distorted.

Next time you catch yourself comparing your real life with someone else’s reel life, hold back and remember that you don’t have all the information.

Comparison can turn something beautiful in someone to something cruel. So, instead of peeking on someone else’s life, look inside your own.

Compare yourself with your past self. That’s the only one you should be better than.

Conclusion 

We’re all guilty of comparing ourselves with others. Everyone knows that it could harm relationships, (when turned into extreme form of competition) damage your self-esteem and put you through unnecessary stress.

In this article, I got to the root cause, why your life is incomparable to anyone else’s.

1. It’s endless

Literally, get everything you can and possess all the skills in the world, there’s still going to be someone who is doing better than you. If you list all the attributes you want to be above in—cars, homes, partner, social life etc—you’re still behind someone who has more. And ahead someone who has less. The solution is to not get into any comparisons at all.

2. It kills happiness

The gratitude you feel over someone else’s failures isn’t healthy. The motivation you get to get a slimmer waist isn’t nourishing either. Neither upward comparison nor downward comparison is going to keep you happy. You may get some short-term happiness, but it doesn’t endure forever. It isn’t something that gives your soul true joy. Comparison can turn something beautiful into something cruel. Helping others below you and appreciating others above you is what will keep you happy and satisfied.

3. It’s inaccurate

Your mind compares best VS worst. Comparing your best skill with X’s worse ability isn’t accurate and vice-versa. Also, if you fantasize someone else’s life, you don’t imagine getting the worse parts of them. You desire having Y’s social life, Z’s money and A’s house. You cannot have the best of everyone, each is a package deal. Y maybe poverty stricken, Z may have no time for his family and A may be struggling to pay the bills. Having your own life better is what you really want.

So, compare yourself with your past self. Are you a better conversationalist than you were before? Have you improved in your social life? Does your boss like you better?

What has comparison taught you? Is there anything you learnt that you’d like to share? I’d love to know in the comment section below!

3 Theories On How You Can Stay Motivated

Unmotivated employees cost companies $300billion each year.

How many times have you set well-planned goals and followed them for days until you finally lost the motivation and sprung back to the start?

All of us have been there. The puzzle of motivation has webbed everyone.

The struggle to stay motivated is real. These fluctuations are a part of success and everyone is guilty of them.

You might get motivated to accomplish something and follow the schedule you set strictly, for a week. After that, we’ve all experienced our energies and inspiration melt away.

However, there are still theories that you could use when you just “don’t feel like” working towards your goal.

Let me tell you all about these theories to help you become productive even when you don’t feel motivated:

1. Don’t Make Goals, Make Habits

92% of New Year goals fail by January 15th.

I’m gonna break the big bubble to you: Your goals are overrated.

Like everyone, I also relied too much on self-discipline and became overconfident in my abilities. Little did I know, staying motivated required much more than that.

You don’t need goals, you need habits.

Habits are easy. They stick when goals don’t. And habits are specific, you know what you need to do and when do you need to do it.

The reason why most of us make goals and not habits is because, goals feel much more inspiring in our minds than habits.

But the reality is, you need to develop the underlying habits for you to change yourself.

Goals finish and swing back to where you started. With habits, you have to just consistently repeat what you’ve been doing for weeks until it finally becomes a way of your life.

In Mason Currey’s book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, he notes how many of the famous artists followed a consistent ritual:

  • Anthony Trollope, who wrote more than two dozen books in his lifetime, wrote 3000 words every morning.
  • Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4AM, writes for five hours and then goes for a run.

Creative work isn’t created by setting up a fancy, sexy-sounding goal, it’s done by following consistent rituals and practices, developing them into habits.

When you say something cliche like: “I will write a bestseller this year”, it becomes much easier to put that goal off till June, July or at whatever point when you realize it’s too late.

On the other hand, habits only take 66 days of consistent effort to become automatic.

So screw goals, no matter how cool they sound. Adopt habits. Make rituals. Pick any small component of your goal and do it for the next 66 days.

Did you read that? I said pick any small component of your goal:

2. Start Small

If you keep the difficulty level of your to an epitome you cannot reach, you will become demotivated to continue it at all. It is too difficult.

On the extreme, if you keep it too low, you will get demotivated because it is too easy.

Tasks that are below your current abilities are boring, tasks that are beyond are discouraging. You have to set a target that’s right on the boundary. Keep the difficulty level juuusst right.

You shouldn’t need motivation to start. Starting is the most important part. Keep it so simple that you cannot deny it.

So, let’s go back to: “I will write bestseller this year.” Start by writing just 200 words each day.

That shouldn’t be hard. Anyone can sit down to write 200 words. If you procrastinate on this as well, make it even smaller: Write just 10 words each day.

It doesn’t take effort to sit down and write 10 words. And yes, you aren’t allowed to judge how those words are.

They can be crappy, meaningless, boring, it just has to be 10 words.

A common misconception about motivation is that, it is a cause of action. In real life, it’s the opposite.

Action is the cause of motivation.

That’s why keep starting simple. When you get started, you’ll realize that it becomes easier to continue.

You don’t have to be willing to finish, you have to be willing to start. Willingness to start is the tiniest things that makes the biggest difference.

But, how do you get the willingness to start?

3. Create The Right Environment

Environment is often underrated.

Sure, your self-discipline, willpower and luck matter, but these things are overvalued. Environment matters more.

Unknowingly, environment shapes human behavior. You’re more likely to study in a library and more likely to blow away all the hours amidst your peers.

One of the easiest and crucial tricks to not falling into procrastination is creating an inevitable environment.

Create an environment that makes it harder not to do it rather than doing it.

Environment overpowers your personal characteristics. Your determination matters, but the odds of your success are maximised if you work in an environment that accelerates your actions.

You will be willing to start your bestseller if you go in a silent place (probably full of scenery) and you feel all poetic and quiet.

Let the environment put your decisions on autopilot.

Conclusion

Staying motivated in the long run is a tricky business. We tend to lose inspiration after a couple of weeks and swing back to where we started.

With the following tips you can stay motivated even when you don’t feel like it:

  1. Build habits instead of goals. Goals may sound cooler in our brains, but habits are easier to build and to achieve. By forming a habit, you don’t only achieve your goal, you change way of your life.
  2. Start with the smallest component of your target. Design simple tasks that you cannot deny. If you keep the difficulty level just right according to your abilities, you will not be demotivated.
  3. Environment is often underrated. Create an environment that makes you take actions that you scheduled.

What strategies do you follow for keeping yourself motivated? How did these theories work for you?

I’d love to know in the comments below.

Fight Club Lessons: Why You’re Not As Special As A Snowflake?

You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

-Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Or Tyler Durden.

All of you know this name from 17 years ago. The freedom Tyler taught us still live and exist as principles to liberation.

And, do you know what’s the greatest liberty? What’s the thing that Tyler Durden had and you don’t?

The acceptance that you aren’t special.

Tyler didn’t believe that he is a revolutionary stud to change the perceptions of any unnamed protagonist like Edward Norton.

Do you know the statistics of what your experiences or your pain matters after you die? 0%.

Sad? I don’t think so.

 

The Universe Doesn’t Give A Fuck About You

Do you know how the world started?

It all starts with a Big Bang and the energy that is released takes a million years just to cool down and form stars. Stars ignite, form clusters and become galaxies.

Finally, rocks collide and planets are created, including Earth.

And life on Earth doesn’t start until a few more billion years. And you humans? You are just 200,000 years old.

Do you think that the space and the not-so-tiny-twinkling stars give a fuck about why you cried last night?

photo-1444703686981-a3abbc4d4fe3

It has a life. It has too much going on. You’re too irrelevant to notice. You aren’t the center of the universe.

Not only you, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tyler Durden, Angelina Jolie, everyone you think is special – isn’t to the universe. They too are, just like you, another human that’s gonna die and decompose.

You have a nanosecond on the universal clock to do whatever you want with this life. Do you want a major part of that nanosecond whining?

Who are you complaining too, anyways? You might think people care, but…

 

Nobody Gives A Fuck About You

Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.

Everyone has their own share of baggage to carry and cry about. They don’t give a tiny rat’s ass about how you’re dealing with your miserable life.

You may take every action of people personally, but it’s almost never about you.

Dushka Zapata, a top writer of Quora, explains beautifully how setting your ego aside helps you suffer less, get offended less and suffer less.

Paranoia is just narcissism.

Sure, you may have your family and some close friends that care about you. They help you whenever you need.

But they don’t think about you, as much as you think about yourself.

Why? Because they think about themselves, just like you.

If you live in a constant anxiety of how people are judging you, you live in a little ugly nutshell that you created for yourself.

345h

A big part of becoming an adult is realizing that people think about themselves, not about you. They think about how their workday went and how they’ll get that promotion, not about how brutally your boss scolded you today.

The opinions of people you’re worrying about don’t think ill of you. They don’t even think bad of you. They just don’t think about you, at all.

Now that I’ve successfully made you realize how you don’t matter at all, let me tell you why it’s awesome…

 

Being A Snowflake Sucks

Angelina Jolie was suicidal. J K Rowling battled depression. Lincoln suffered anxiety for years. Art Buchwald had bipolar disorder.

These are extremely successful people, who fought emotionally before fitting in your image as a perfect snowflake.

Those ‘special’ CEOs, have double the rate of depression than general public. This is despite their success. And sometimes, even because of it.

Being unique is nice, but it isn’t sufficient for a total well-being and happiness. It surely isn’t the answer.

Success has so many counter-intuitive effects that sometimes it can put people into mental instability.

Even if you get to become the most special of all, you will still be lonely. You will still be frustrated. You will still doubt yourself. You will still worry.

You think you could enjoy all the attention you get, if you ever become that perfect famous snowflake, but it’s not that pretty a picture.

If you don’t get pleasure in mundane activities, you won’t get it anywhere. Simplicity gives happiness more than anything ever can.

Everyone more or less, is an average human being. Thinking you’re born a rare endangered butterfly in the 21st century is just idiotic.

It’s not so bad, being regular. You aren’t entitled to being special. No one is. They just worked the impossible with a tinge of luck.

“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

I know the world is SCREAMING in your ears about how special each and everyone is in the universe, but narcissism is just making you unhappy. 

There is one thing as loving yourself, treating yourself right, respecting yourself, celebrating your individuality and another as thinking yourself as the only lily left in the world.

A fine line, egocentricity and self-love.

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Taking yourself so seriously ruins the fun. If you’re God’s unwanted children, so BE IT!

Have you ever thought yourself as ‘too’ special and took things too personally? What was your experience?

I’d love to know in the comments below.

How To Be Mindful And Cultivate Self-Control

47% of the time you’re thinking about something else than what you’re doing.

Mind-wandering is common. And sometimes, pleasing too. But concentrating on what you’re doing will always make you more happier.

Even if you daydream about something pleasant.

Mindfulness just doesn’t make you happier, it helps improve your memory, increase your concentration and even helps you sleep better.

But controlling yourself from distractions isn’t just a piece of cake, right?

When you pay attention to how many times you’re paying attention, you’ll notice, more often than not, you’re not fully aware of what you’re doing presently.

While meditating is the language of mindfulness, there are several other ways that could help you gain mindfulness.

Here, I give you some tricks to gain mindfulness and develop control towards distractions:

 

1. Notice The Routine Tasks

When you stop and notice the tiny, routine tasks that you do, you may realize something unfamiliar – they’re interesting.

Start early: Pay attention to how you brush, ever thought of that? 65% of the time, you’re not paying attention. Or noticed closely how the water drips off your body when you shower?

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Try listening intently in an conversation when someone talks to you.

Practice this often. And even if you start thinking about something else, it’s fine. When you realize your mind is wandered, slowly bring your attention back.

In the book, The Mindfulness Manifesto,  Dr. Jonty Heaveresdge and Ed Halliwell, tell us to focus on day-to-day tasks which we may ignore unknowingly. It could be more engaging than we’ve imagined it to be.

Controlling your mind from distractions isn’t easy, I know. But self-control is like a muscle that gets stronger with use: The more often you practice it, the better you get at it.

Willpower is an old solution, but it’s still what resists temptations.

 

2. Take A Walk, Not A Drive

Of course you could’ve walked to that nearby mall to get some grocery.

But half your attention would be split in driving, and you’d focus on the road in limited horizons.

So why not, take a walk?

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Walking is one of the best types of meditation to boost your mind. Be fully aware of your surroundings and enjoy each step.

Walking could trigger ‘involuntary attention’, which allows room for self-reflection too. See? It just doesn’t help the waist lines!

In her TED Talk, Got a meeting? Take a walk”, Nilofer Merchant talks about how ‘Walk The Talk’, could drive fresh thinking and bring new set of ideas.

The real miracle isn’t to run on water of run on fire, it’s to walk on Earth.

 

3. Uni-task

Debunk the myth of multitasking.

Multitasking makes you loose control over things you thought you’d climb a mountain of. And you don’t do any of the multiple tasks efficiently.

It also soaks away the joy of enjoying focused attention.

When your mind is engrossed in doing three activities simultaneously, it’s impossible to be mindful in any.

Of course, you can chew gum and clean at the same time. But what I’m talking is about two distinct tasks that require your full concentration.

Keep away the phone when you’re having a conversation. Look up from the screens. Take all in what is.

If you turn off your TV and just focus on every bite of the food you chew, you might notice the process itself is, delicious (even if the food isn’t).

When you do just one task at a time, you enjoy more of how it feels.

 

4. Go Through What You Go Through

Mindfulness isn’t about being happy all the time.

Nobody can be happy all the time. Everybody’s got their own baggage of unsolvable addictions and problems.

But what mindful people do differently is, they don’t avoid pain.

They completely and willingly accept what they feel. They don’t try to change it or avoid it. They feel it wholly.

While positivity is a nice thing to carry, it can have counter-intuitive effects: It might not help you get rid of any problems. But sometimes, it could make them worse.

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In his TEDx talk, ‘The willingness to crave’Jonathan Bricker, tells to be aware of your cravings instead of running from them.

He tells that the biggest secret to self control is to let go of self control. He tramps all those advises that tells you to distract yourself from distractions.

He says to be aware of them instead. Being willing and mindful of cravings and seeing them as just a thought, a thought separate from you.

 

5. Don’t Take Yourself Seriously

Mindfulness is knowing that you’re really tiny in the universe.

Don’t be carried away by emotions and anxiety all the time. Sometimes, taking things too seriously than they actually are just piles more shitload.

And eventually, everything, every problem is going to pass anyways. So better enjoy it rather than whine about it.

The right self-control is knowing you cannot control everything, and allowing yourself to cut some slack is necessary.

Else why would they have cheat days on diet plans?

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The ability to laugh at yourself helps you deal with stress easier, makes you more humorous, happier and more mindful too!

In fact, meditation and laughter look same in the brain. Amazing, isn’t it? 

I promise you this, laughing would make look everything easier.

Conclusion

While meditation is the primary key to mindfulness, there are several other easy-to-apply steps that can help you enhance control over your life:

  • Noticing the menial tasks could increase your focus level on the task in hand. While they may seem boring, paying close attention would make you realize how interesting they can be.
  • When you feel low in life, take a walk. Just as simple as it can be. Taking a drive over a walk would narrow down your attention on the road. Walking is one of the best types of meditation.
  • The myth of multitasking traps you into frustration and low productivity. Avoid doing two distinct tasks at the same time. It steals the joy of both.
  • Finally, laugh at yourself. Your problems are too tiny to be acknowledged by the universe, and that’s a good thing. Laughing and meditating look same in the brain, take the hint, laugh it away.

What problems have you faced in gaining mindfulness? How has these techniques helped you?

I’d love to know in the comments below!