Buckle up


That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there – on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU), as part of the Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System.

If we ever looked up at the night sky we will see a plethora of stars, twinkling. Realizing that we are just one of the 100 billion people on a planet with a star that is one of the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, that is one of the 2 trillion galaxies in the known universe, is rather humbling. This leads us to the next question. What is the purpose of life? One of the humorous answers to life, the universe, and everything is Fourty-Two. But what exactly is the purpose then?

The millennials are unhappy. We are unhappy at work. We are unhappy at home. We are unhappy at vacations. And that’s not because of any of the old times were simpler craps. We have made our lives miserable. We don’t care about others. Hell, we don’t care about ourselves. Sure, we are richer, we are fitter, we are smart. But yet we are unhappy. Is this because we are busy chasing one thing after another. Or is it because we have prioritized money or success over meaningful relationships? Or is it just the way it is? Is the sense of entitlement making us more miserable now? Or is it just that we are just frustrated our lives with the lives of others and we realize that we are doing nothing?

We lose hope after every single failure. We measure success in terms of materialistic gains. Sure, we work hard. But we fail harder. When I introspect I feel that I am no different. It’s easy to fall down (gravity -.-) and it’s hard to get up. We don’t realize the importance of failing. We don’t learn if we don’t fail. When we teach modern computers through reinforcement learning, it takes thousands of tries to get things right. But not with 100% accuracy. And mind you that’s a computer. For us the learning process is difficult.

The first step towards self-improvement is realizing that there is something to improve in the first place. To accept that we are not perfect. To ditch the sense of entitlement. To throw away that always positive attitude (more on this later). Realize that the purpose of life is just not to earn money or get a house or buy a car.

Now, look up at the stars one more time. Tell yourself. The past doesn’t matter. The failures don’t matter. The problems don’t matter. What matters is what you are going to do right now, to make your life a little better. You are part of a bigger picture. If that doesn’t humble you, nothing else will.

The Milky Way panorama

By ESO/S. Brunier – The Milky Way panorama, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15001611

Advertisements

Lost purpose


It has been almost a year since I have been living in the United States. I remember the day I got my admit for MS. It was a thrilling feeling. An opportunity to live the American dream. An opportunity to learn more. When I retrospect over the last one year, however, I feel I lost my way somewhere.

What is it to learn at foreign universities? There are infinite possibilities. That was my thought when I stepped on that flight from New Delhi to Gainesville. I didn’t realize that life is rerouted the same way one of those flights occasionally do. Somehow, somewhere, I lost the purpose.

This might sound pretty depressing but it isn’t the way it sounds. Maybe it’s for the best that happens. We as individuals are so used to planning for things we forget what lies ahead. We have trapped ourselves in a box. We have a fixed set of priorities and another one of the goals. We fail to rediscover ourselves because we are so tied up in the unending struggle of failures and successes. We are afraid to step out and witness the world.

We forget to understand that these struggles make us who we are. If we stop teaching a struggling kid after he has failed to learn till the number 10 he won’t understand the beauty of another million that lie ahead. The same thing happens with us. When we fail to keep up with our plans, we start getting a feeling of a lost purpose.

Life is the most beautiful thing that happened to us. The only thing waiting for us is to take another step forward. Another step to fail and then pick ourselves up again. Another step to witness those well-laid plans go up in ashes. Another step to get out of that box. Another step to getting lost on purpose! 🙂

 

 

Dreams


A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said ‘Dream is not the thing you see in sleep but is that thing that doesn’t let you sleep.’  Sadly, it’s only when we grow up we realise what is the difference between that fantasy world and the real one. Everything ever quoted seems so right but it fails miserably when you apply that in real life. We dream of achieving big things. If only you could go in the past and tell that little guy, how tougher the world was.

Does it really makes sense to hold onto the dream when you grow up? That takes us to another question. Does it really have to be absolutely necessary for someone to know what exactly they want when they were a kid. What do we call the other half of the population? Losers? How often we miss the fact that most of those dreams were in fact influenced by some or the other person in our life. It might have been our friends who were busy ‘figuring out their life’; or our parents who didn’t fail to make an impression that one profession was more noble than the other.

When I look back, I am really confused between what I wanted and what I should have wanted to be. At some levels, I guess I haven’t even figured it out yet. People said good grades gives you a good college, so I did that. People said good college gives you a good job, so I did that too. But in the end how it doesn’t it all add up? Even now? I am not a pessimist. I sometimes really feel confounded by the sole idea that everyone needs to have a dream.

Maybe it will take some time. Maybe it will take time to find the true passion or the true direction. Life does gives you many chances and I guess I am just one of those who couldn’t figure out the right one. Maybe then I will be able to understand what every other quote means in this world. And someday, maybe I will be the one who wakes up and knows, this is what my dream was to be. Till then, I guess I need to follow my instinct. Because, I guess at some level they already know what you want to be. 🙂dream2

   Image from here: http://www.insideaspergers.com/2015/06/15/dreams-and-aspergers/

Smiles


Imagine your favourite food kept on a table. It can be a chocolate, a candy or anything you wish to be. You are down to the last piece and still you crave for the last one the same way as you have craved for each one of them. Now, imagine the effort you put to resist eating the last one, because you want to savour it for the next day. Such strong effort is hard to get by. But, what happiness it brings when you open up the packet next to find one still left, lying still there.

Life sometimes behave the same way. The things you want the most are the things which are difficult to get. And no matter how much you crave for it, sometimes you just have to bring out the strongest of effort and savour it. Maybe, because the longing somehow gives you a greater pleasure than even having it by your side.

There are people in your life, you are so sure to be with. You love everything in them. Their smiles, their face, their cute nose, their smell, their voice. And still somehow you can’t be with them. Sometimes, people are just not meant to be. The longing sure gives you heartache, but somehow the happiness to be with them in the current moment is greater than the easy option of running away.

Somehow, life has taught me so many things. Some have been easy and some have been hard to learn. One such thing I learnt was to worry less about the future and live more in the present. Sure, the future is what you should think about. You know something is impossible to happen and the easy option is to just run away from everything. Easy it is, ain’t it? But what about the present? You love a person, you love being with them and though it’s not going to last forever, do you part ways. Nothing last forever. And the sad thing is that, generally it’s the good things which end soon. But is it fair to live in the fear that some things will end soon? Why not enjoy the present?

Happiness is overrated. But isn’t it the pain that makes us value the happiness in life? People say letting go is the toughest thing in life. I say it’s the easiest thing. The tough thing will be to stick by, knowing that things will end soon, knowing the pain when that happens, and still being happy in the moment and whatever is left in it.

It’s easier said than done. It’s hard to live in the moment without being worried about the future. But, somehow I have learnt to appreciate the smaller things which give happiness. I have tried to live in the present. And I know it’s not going to last forever, but somehow I feel, isn’t the short smile worth the efforts? Because, when the moments end, these smiles are going to be remembered. And these smiles, will be savoured in life, forever. 🙂

Inspiration


Inspiration. When I think of the word, there are so many things that come in my mind. The world has been a source of inspiration to me. I don’t believe in ‘inspirational quotes’ or ‘inspirational movies’. They are experiences of a different person. The source of inspiration for me has always been the people around me.

There are so many stories around me. A guy who went on to achieve so much when born to a simple household with no facility. A girl who is making her family proud when every one of her relatives had written her off. A person who is working day and night to make his ends meet and yet is a proud father of someone who just got into a great college.

I seek inspiration from my family, my friends and those around me. These are the people who taught me to stand up when I fell down. These are the ones who taught me to dust myself when I hit a bump. These are the ones who taught me to not care about people who didn’t think I could achieve something. When I failed, these were the ones who told me to never lose belief in myself. When I seek for inspiration, I don’t look at some quote. Because, there are real people and their stories which inspired me to never give up.

Life teaches us so much, right? Yet, why is it that we choose to ignore so many of the lessons. There are things I have done in my life that I regret, but I am glad those things happened because they taught me so much. They taught me that past never matters. That past is a lesson which helps you achieve what you have always wanted. That past is best forgotten.

Next time you feel demotivated, close your eyes and forget everything. Feel yourself flying. Wings spread. Winds gushing against your face. It’s intensity making your eyes wet. The wind is against you. The storm forces you to stop, but you don’t. You keep moving, forward. Winds intensifying and clouds thundering. But you don’t give up. And when the storm is done and the wind is settled, you see the rainbow. Because, that my friend is what life is. There will always be a storm. But there always will be a rainbow. When you feel demotivated, think of the rainbow after the storm. You will know what you’ve always been working for. 🙂

image

Never stop dreaming


Life is full of ups and downs. The downs give you the strength you can never believe you had hidden inside you. There is a life beyond a single person. A life which is connected to many other persons in the life. There are times in your life when you think its all over. There are times in your life when you think why all this happened to you. You loved someone, you worked hard for something. But you didn’t get all you worked for or life betrayed you in some way or another. But does that mean life stops being beautiful? You know what the funny thing is, no matter how hard a position you are in, there is no way there won’t be someday when life will be beautiful again. There will always be a next day. If it can’t be today it can never mean that it can never be,well, someday.

There will always be a dream. A dream in your heart. A dream to be free. A dream to be loved. You can cry now over what you don’t have. But free your mind for once. Think for a second here. What is that you truly wanted? You might not have it now. But imagine of endless things you have in your life right now. You didn’t tell your parents you wanted that. But you got, apart from whatever you dreamt of, much more that you never expected.

There are hard conditions in everyone’s life. Hard conditions teach you many things in life. Well one thing for sure is that they always make you a different person. The more you longed for something, the more you learn from it. Never ever stop dreaming. Dreams may hurt you today, but one day along the road when you are sitting in your comfy chair, may be a with a cup of warm coffee and a newspaper on a quiet Sunday afternoon with your family in some apartment in some fast city, do stop for a while and think- What if you had stopped dreaming!

Remember one thing- The one who dreamt did fall down, suffered the pain, were hurt, were crushed but when finally tasted the fruit, had the tears which was far beyond that pain or failure. Who never dared to dream, never knew 🙂