Clock’s ticking!

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Time

Leisure enriches our lives with gratification. Work, on the other hand, adds value and meaning to our lives. Imagine an absence of either of them.

You wake up one day and find yourself in an 18th-century workhouse. You are forced to hard labor for at least 18 hours each day. You are overworked and sleep-deprived, yet you continue to toil for a shabby meal. You dream with open eyes, thinking about blue sky and distant stars. Any fleeting thought or memory that might distract your mind from your present turmoil becomes your companion in misery. You want your suffering to end but you are stuck in a loop. Your soul dies a little every day. Your body becomes diseased and starts to rot. You hate your life and you want to end it. Sounds horrible! Doesn’t it?
Let’s experience the other end of the rope.
You wake up one day and find yourself in a mansion, surrounded with numerous helps. You have clean rooms, clean clothes, timely meals, and a tended garden. In short, there is no activity which requires your attention or supervision. You read interesting books and listen to music from all over the world. Days pass by, weeks vanish, months flee; the only constant sound is the ticking of a clock. Books appear uninteresting, music stops calming you down; you run around the mansion in a manic fit, trying to find something worth doing but all you see are clouds of leisure spread evenly till your eyes can see. You start acting crazy and pull your hair in a raging fit. You hate your life and you want to end it. Sounds horrible! Doesn’t it?
Leisure enriches our lives with gratification. Work, on the other hand, adds value and meaning to our lives. Absence or abundance of any of them can lead to a disaster.
A unique distinction between humans and animals is the understanding of time. We constantly live in all three avenues of time; past, present and future. We constantly ponder upon the past and waste our present, worrying about the future.
The correct way to go about is to understand that time is an expensive commodity. Even if you were born poor, you were showered with this priceless bounty called time. But it’s also so fleeting that anyone can steal it away from us. So, we have to use wisely, the little time we got, before it all runs out.
Most of our time is wasted in useless actions, entertainment, and things which are not of purpose.
You start working on a writing assignment and minutes later you find yourself on YouTube. You have no clue, how this happened.
You begin your day by trying to tidy up your room and end up playing PS4. You did not do it deliberately, I know.
You decide to go out to get groceries but end up chatting with a friend. Not your fault!
Let’s try a different approach. The first step about fixing any problem is to acknowledge the problem. You need to understand that you have limited time.
This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.
You are dying daily and you need to grab every hour in your grasp.
Even with all the wealth in the world, you cannot buy a single second; that’s how priceless time is!

Once you have understood that your time is running out, you have won half the battle. Now plan and execute!
Your 24hr day should be divided in 3 components – Work, Leisure, and sleep.
Work – An ideal job steals 8 – 10 hours of your day. It’s important because it’s easy money. Till the time you have not achieved financial independence, you need to work for someone else. You cannot be master of your time; you cannot be totally free until you have earned the right. So happily lend 10 hours to your job. But shit doesn’t end here. What about your dreams? What about investing in you?
You thought of that great business idea, you want to monetize your creativity; for all of these, you need time to acquire new skills and hone them. Set aside 4-5 hours for self-improvement.
Leisure – After 15 hours of work, you earned the right to waste maybe 1 hour. Text that attractive female you wanted to go out with. Ask her out for a date. Listen to Morrison. Read Dostoyevsky.
Sleep – Good night and sleep well. 8 hours of training ahead. After such a disciplined day, your subconscious would train you in your sleep for another exciting day ahead. Nothing beats good, old, sleep after a hard, productive day.
What better way to end this chapter than a quote from the masters!

“Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity—time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.” – Seneca

How to sustain meaningful relationships

Good Evening Planet

Before we begin, let’s revisit our understanding of a meaningful relationship. Predominantly there are two sorts of relationship. One is referred as therapeutic wherein you enjoy your time together and get healthy. The other one is based on a primate dominance hierarchy in which one party is a slave and the other one is a master. Such a relationship is mostly considered unhealthy and damaging.

Let’s pause for a moment. Prior to understanding complexities involving relationships and how to overcome them, we need to understand if and why we need them. New age kids have found a pseudo mechanism wherein relationships are replaced with short term acquaintance. Internet has brought people closer but feelings are as distant as they were in medieval ages. The first step towards an amicable solution is understanding the importance of a meaningful relationship. I am going to make a very strong statement – We need people. Yes! Irrespective of how relative we consider freedom of existence, we cannot be totally free from the basic genetic social component. Even a hermit is delighted with an occasional visitor and cherishes a disciple. In the same manner meaningful relationships nourish us as a human being and help us get better.

Now comes the most challenging part: How to sustain a relationship? I have met countless individuals who have great social skills and make friends easily but none of these relationships last longer than few months. One needs to wonder why?

Well, the problem sounds complex but the solution is too easy. We do not communicate. Communication means listening and then talking efficiently. Most of us in this fast paced world skip the first step. We do not listen. We wait for our turn to speak. Whenever we meet someone, our first goal is mostly to acquire dominance. We barely pay attention to what they are saying or feeling or expressing. We focus on putting our point across as quickly as possible. We are quick in brushing off their issues with remarks like – Ya I know, yup life’s difficult, shit happens, blah and blah and blah. What we fail to understand is we are actually minimizing their personal conflicts and making them feel petty. This in turn helps us feel better and we walk away from the conversation as a confident person. All we are doing is acting like a primate and giving way to our most basic primal urges.

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A better way would be listening and trying to learn from the other person. Each individual would have at least one new thing to offer us, if we listen. We can always ask questions to seek clarity. We can always paraphrase. Instead of being on top of the conversation we can stay in the conversation and after few of such sessions; both the individuals would have a healthy flow of ideas. So if you really want to have a meaningful relationship unlike baboons : Listen.

That would be all folks!

How to deal with procrastination

Good Morning Planet

Waking up is always the most important part of the day. You wake up, you look around, you find everything you care about is falling apart. You prefer going back to bed. Your stomach growls, makes some noises, you grab some leftovers with a little booze and stuff it inside. You are aware stuffing in or not – nothing would ever change. You feed yourself because you do not have the constitution to starve yourself to death. You further intoxicate yourself to numb your senses. You indulge in a handful of other escape phenomenon – watching tv shows, playing video games, mastrubating; then you go back to bed. Sounds like an ideal day!

A little more productive day would be maybe working for a corporation while you are zoned out. You are there, you are present physically but your soul keeps on wandering off in the gallows of nothingness. Not that I am questioning your lifestyle but what if I can suggest you a better alternative?

Your life is perfect. You are a philosopher. You are not an average Joe. You are the most unique Joe. You belong to the long list of awakened souls – nihilists. Any action you take has no meaning so you prefer not to give a fuck. That’s my philosophy too. I am pretty aware that the less you care, the simpler is your life. The only challenge with this philosophy is – you cease to exist. There is no hope for a better tomorrow and no longing for a missed yesterday. Not that it matters but a little hope isn’t that bad.

So, here a working model for a better tomorrow suited for nihilists-

  • Stop punishing yourself: The world was, is and would always remain an ugly place. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to make things better. What you can do is make it bearable for yourself and people around. So, the first step is stop punishing yourself. You are suffering and more suffering wouldn’t ease your misery.
  • Find a goal: Easier said than done, I know but it’s essential. While figuring for a long term goal develop micro habits. Get up and make your bed. Clean your room. Those empty walls around you have committed no crime. Cover those naked walls with some paintings, quotes, inspiring celebrity posters, whatever turns your crank. Cook your breakfast. Wash your clothes.
  • Measure your success: You would fail. Not once, not twice, countless times but remember whenever you fail, you never begin from the first step, you only repeat the last step, hence technically you didn’t fail. Someday you would succeed and you would feel better.

All said and done, the reality would still remain the same. This world is an ugly place and it would continue to haunt you till your last breath. It’s your choice how to look at it. It’s your choice how to interact with it. Whether you want to numb yourself or feel the occasional joy amidst tons of sorrow, choose wisely.

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