Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We make our happiness beyond our own reach

Today, I asked a few people how happy they were on a scale of 1-10. One person said she was a 7 because she had bought a pair of earrings. So I asked her what it would have been, had she not bought them. She said “I wouldn't be so happy then”. Another said “I am not very happy because if I am very happy, the chances are I will be unhappy soon” A few more people gave somewhat similar answers. It was obvious that these people felt that they aren't in control of their own happiness. They sought for their happiness in the external; other people and things such as another new gadget, a new friend, further education, more money, blah blah blah..none of which will ever bring them the lasting happiness they yearn for.Happiness is beyond our reach simply because of one insight; we look for it in all the wrong places.

Reaching outside ourselves for our happiness is akin to chasing a mirage in the middle of nowhere. No matter how close you get, you will never truly experience it. Eventually, you die feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. We have given the remote control to our happiness, to others, without relying on ourselves for our own happiness, while overwhelming evidence suggests that “Happiness is an inside job”. It is illogical to place such a central concept to our existence, in the hands of others, because nobody else can relate to you perfectly, each and every time. Making ourselves happy should be our own number one priority that isn't worth giving up for any reason. It’s your birthright to be happy every single moment of every single day, day after day. I am going to wrap up this short post with a couple of questions which I hope you spend a few moments pondering over; - How happy are you right now? Why do you feel the way you do? 

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Meaning of Life

It’s what we dread the most, having to ever stop and think about the meaning of life. This question has bothered everyone,be they sinners or saints, politicians or philosophers. So, have I found the answer? I am sure everyone would be very skeptical about it, but then you have every right to be. So, here’s my answer..I found the meaning of life to be absolutely meaningless. But then I realized the profound nature of this meaninglessness, it being tied to one of the most important things we pursue in life; freedom. So, to put it directly, in plain and simple language, it’s the meaninglessness of life that gives us the freedom to pursue what we want. Imagine for a moment that there was some meaning to life. Then we will have no choice but to follow this meaning and our lives would be imprisoned, locked inside this meaning, unable to deviate from it.

I would assume that if there was a common meaning to life, there would be a far greater number of depressed, unhappy people jumping off balconies because of their inability to engineer their own lives. So the absence of a meaning is the ultimate blessing in disguise, because now we can assign meaning to our own lives in whichever way we want and follow that from the very core of our beings. So, here’s to the meaninglessness of life!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Being an out of form cricketer

The form of just one or two players in every tournament can ruin our hopes of winning it. Now that the T20 World cup is gathering momentum, we are likely to see a few players going through a bad patch. Here’s a quick take on it from a psychological perspective based on the conscious competence learning model. The best way to explain this is to wind back to our own childhood days and think of something that we really wanted to do. In my case, Cricket.

Rohit Sharma - under fire 
When I was about four years old, I was unconsciously incompetent, meaning that I didn’t even know whether I can play cricket or not. Then I started bugging just about anyone who could throw a ball at my tiny plastic bat. Even though the ball came at me at the speed of a thousandth of a Malinga delivery, most often than not, I missed, fumbled and fell. Now I had successfully graduated to being consciously incompetent. Then I tried playing more often, before school, after school, inside and outside the house and later on, by going for cricket practices. That was my attempt to be consciously competent. But that still won’t make a great batsman like Kholi, Amla or Mahela. That also explains why I am only writing this article and not playing in the tournament. As one keeps practicing, one becomes unconsciously competent. You no longer have to think of the shots to play, where to place them, how hard and at which angle to hit them. All of it comes naturally, almost like the ball wants to be caressed by the bat. That’s when you are a good batsman. You are on autopilot.
Thinking is an exhaustive process and a player can’t bat through many overs with higher levels of mental exhaustion. So, a few shots after a batsman has walked in to the middle, his autopilot needs to take over.  Imagine the kind of pressure the reflective system that handles thinking has to deal with; playing for the country, the atmosphere, the target to reach and the overs remaining, with the speed of the delivery, the spin, the angle, the muscle co-ordination. It’s just too much. That’s when a batsman miss -times a ball and gets out. It’s purely because the reflective system in the brain is slower and this is further hampered by the situational pressures. He can play only a few deliveries with this kind of pressure but can’t keep it up for long. It is when the transition from the reflective system to the autopilot mode doesn’t happen, that a batsman is out of form, much to our dismay.

Not being a sportsman doesn’t mean you’re spared from being out of form. It is something we all go through, in our daily lives. Fortunately for us though, the entire world isn’t watching us when that happens


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Selling the unsellable

I just can’t get enough of this. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to trick your mind into dropping those few inches from your waist

Google pics
Have you ever used your own bag of tricks on your own self? I have. Remember the way I quit smoking? It’s been a year and half and I am still off those cigarettes. And now I am on a new mission. To lose a good three inches off my pot belly.

The curse of being over-weight could be attributed to many factors, from genetics to culture, but really, it is mostly due to the sheer lack of will power, viz: not committing to regular exercise and giving in to the moment. The whole of last year, I set my mind on trying to walk regularly and going somewhat easy on my poor dietary habits. Both have failed miserably. I could say the walks failed because it rains here all the time, with no apparent weather pattern, even though I didn’t walk on perfectly fine days, sometimes. Going easy on food seems really hard considering I eat out all the time, but more often than not, I am guilty of giving in to my taste buds rather than choosing the healthier options out there. Since the strategy of trying to burn up the calorie intake has clearly not worked, I have now revised my approach to, ‘Reduce the intake and walk whenever possible’. So here’s how I have reprogrammed my thinking and am strengthening my will power. I have hung a regular measuring tape outside the wardrobe and every morning, I spend just five seconds measuring my waist and telling myself, “I am not eating high calorie stuff today”, then I open the wardrobe and survey all the clothes I can’t fit into any more.

So far, it has worked. It has been fifteen days, since. Hopefully, it will work.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The rich alone, can save the planet

Let’s assume that Al Gore and his goons were right about global warming. And that, we, being the most dominant species, are again the very core of the center of things. Which means that, we all need to unplug our chargers on time, may be even just take a nap instead of driving down to the park during weekends. While all eco messages burn a rather morbid image  into the deepest recesses of our minds, that post Sunday mass we will all either be burnt toast or unprocessed-blast-frozen-human-meat (they are not sure which one yet), actions clearly scream otherwise, considering that all ecologically made products, be it solar panels or eco cigarettes, are exorbitantly priced.

Marketers seem to follow the same old ice-age marketing tactics, like first capturing the innovators and then finding ways to spread to other segments. Now, is it due to sheer lack of imagination that they can’t find another way, whereby more people could be converted, or is it born from the belief that only the rich can save the planet?

Anyway, here are a couple of easy things to do if you are broke and still want to do do your bit for Al. Make it hip to wear crushed clothes. It saves a lot of electricity and I absolutely hate ironing. Go back to basics and to our savage ways by eating uncooked veggies and meat. If the Japanese can, so can we, emancipating those millions of women from legal slavery while we are at it.