10 Best Moves That Changed My Life Forever


Here are the top 10 moves that I started adapting over the few years which changed my life for good.

  1. Never announce your moves before you make them. Keep it to yourself and journal it for your daily reference.
  2. Save for today.
  3. Plan for retirement in your early 25’s
  4. Decrease your dependency towards depreciating assets and plan your finances carefully.
  5. Always have emergency funds at your disposal. If you are wondering how much should I have in my emergency fund now, calculate it here.
  6. Distance yourself from people who no longer fuel your ambitions. Read how you can achieve it here.
  7. Take good care of your body by exercising daily. Your body will thank you later. These seven minute workouts are really going to help you begin the journey.
  8. Prioritize your life first. Declutter rest everything from your life. Don’t know where to start? Here are some simple and effective ways to begin with.
  9. Do not burn your opportunities for temporary indulgements in things which serve no purpose a year later. Always apply the 1-3-5 rule when in confusion.
  10. Start reading a book every day. It is always hard in the beginning but you will love reading once you start embracing it as your daily routine. ‘

What are the best moves in your life?

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#125 – Why Should You Switch Your Job Atleast Once In Your Lifetime?


P.S. This post is purely written based on my opinion and experience. So, please do not hold me responsible for your mood swings after reading the article.

November 30, 2017, will always remain one of the most memorable moments in my life. Primarily because for the first time I decided enough is enough and tried to pull plugs off my big MNC job and hunt for something else in the market. My mom said “I was insane” but never mind, I have learned a good deal of things during my 60 days notice period.

It all started with this Instagram post (please read the caption) which I composed during my commute to office:

My favourite question for myself is always WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING. 😁 Most of the times, this is how I jump and take a leap of faith. Yesterday someone asked me in office asked me how is it that you never give a fuck to anyone. My simple answer is I always ask myself this question. Panic and anxiety will never take you anywhere. The moment you understand who you are truly from inside you overcome most of the bullshit that u keep fooling yourself daily. Somebody's perception about you will never change the fact that you are invincible. People might label u with hundred different names. But how much of it actually matters. If someone calls you lazy, unorganised, mediocre let them be… Critics are born to criticize. You do your work with 100% honesty and leave the rest to the Universe. If something is bound to happen it will. Else fuck it. 😁 #iphone #photooftheday PC : @impatient_biker + @arpith_rai

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Sometimes people say “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”.  

But, just like all the modern applications on Android, your mind asks for 2 step authentication.

  1. Do you really wanna resign this job? *question I asked myself*
  2. Hey dude, I am going to put down my papers. What say? *question I asked my best friend Anudeep*

For the second question, a quick call to Anudeep was sufficient to make me hit the resign button. (I can’t thank you enough for this motivation)

So why the fuck did I decide to resign after 6 years of stint in the same comfort zone?

Here’s the sequence of events which kept happening with me for around three long years.

  1. My daily office hours would start with a cup of coffee and end with several cups of caffeine in order to keep myself awake.
  2. You have literally nobody to look up to and learn.
  3. You stop hanging around with friends and start spending more time on long walks around the office figuring out how to get out of this place.
  4. You no longer wake up early with enthusiasm.
  5. You are just task driven animal waiting for a paycheck at the end of the month.
  6. You are desperate for a change but do not know how to start and where.
  7. You try moving around inside the same old stagnant workplace looking out for internal job postings but end up settling down for something the same.

And then comes the final push… “A nudge which makes you quit all this bull shit. ”

That’s it. With no second thought in my mind, I resolved for once that this large MNC ain’t serving me any good. The comfort zone had become too complicated for me to figure it out. Before I could lose my sanity, the two month notice period served me as a mirror of how much people are capable of hurting you, if given a chance. Right from passive reinforcement to negative brainwashing, I was subjected to all of that in the name of “Employee Retaining”.

There were people who genuinely wished I should rethink my decision. And then there were people who wanted me to stay just because their lives would be smooth as butter in the coming few months. There were people who played a very nice game of creating negative perceptions about me (You guys are going to get a nice post dedicated to you, relax). And then there were people who took me out for long walks and encouraged me to not come under any pressure.

Amidst all these things, the best decision I ever took was to stick to my decision and never dilly-dally. Salary was not a constraint anymore. Because I had come to terms that “Work satisfaction is more important than anything else”. A lot of offers came which offered me a better pay than the current company but they once again lacked the freshness in them. And finally, I ended up signing up for a startup. A place where I am learning so many things each day and growing.

I don’t say that MNC’s are toxic places to work because the first three years of my life in the same MNC were the best. But as and when you move up the ladder, you start seeing something like this.

You start seeing who your leaders are and what are their true psychotic features up close.

“Except true work, you can see rest everything happening”

Quitting a job which offers you comfort, job security is sometimes a too big risk. But if we keep seeing the below cartoon daily, we will very soon realize what is ultimately going wrong in all our lives. We are too afraid to get out of our comfort zones.

The 60 days notice period helped me utilize the time efficiently by reading about new trends in my domain.

At the same time, I have something to say for those who come to MNC’s from outside this large MNC ecosystem. If you are someone who is reading this blog post, is currently working in a startup and wants to move into a large corporation, then please read this article and save humanity.

Working in a start up makes you so agile and sharp that, once you go into an organization where to even get a pencil you need 2 business days from the facilities department, you are bound to get upset with the process and people around you. You cannot expect everyone to nimble along with you at your pace.

Your aggressive tactics of getting things done will never be appreciated. Instead, your patience and levels of tolerating bullshit will be welcomed. The learning curve will be very slow as compared to startups.

If you are joining an MNC from a startup, please please please remember that you are an alien to that environment and not the employees working there. So, stop feeling very proud of the new culture you are getting into the company and start expecting others to behave like that. It hurts really hard when a management team which acts like a sloth gets on your way and throws their two cents on every innovative idea of yours. So, try to switch only when you want to feel how being brain dead feels like.

Getting out of your comfort zones is one of the toughest jobs you can take up in your life. But, trust me its worth it. You might feel like pulling your hair when things get messier and you end up losing sanity. But a calm sea never made a good sailor. In order to sail from one place to another and to grow, we all need to quit the same old lake and start training ourselves in the art of sailing on turbulent seas. You will drown a few times, but in the end, hardships bring the best out of you.

Try switching jobs at least once in your life and see the changes for yourself. 

Wishing you good luck,

ARK

#124 – One Indian Girl – A Review

red-lips-wallpaper

As promised earlier this year, that I will be reading lots of Indian Fiction books and publishing my 2 pointer review on the same. Here I go presenting my new review on the very famously under rated book “One Indian Girl” written by Chetan Bhagat.

  1. Did I like the book? Yes. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5 (Punch on my face later). What seems like another annoying fictional Chethan Bhagat story is actually “the story” of many high achieving, unlovable women in our society. Inspite of the fact that they are so much capable of handling multiple roles in their lives, men force them to choose only one role and when they ask “Why” they are dumped ruthlessly or even worse termed as “You are not wife material”. The book is one time readable and explores peripherals of one amongst many issues that career-oriented women face in India.
  2. One of the key statements that touched my heart was when the protagonist Radhika asks her parents

“He (father) used to tell me, “Beta, when you grow up, you can do whatever you want. The sky is the limit for you. Why do people tell girls all this? You ask them to achieve things, but when they do, you can’t handle it. Why does it become “you are not even a girl anymore”?”.

In addition to this, I also liked another line by the character Brijesh Gulati , protagonists would-be husband telling her

“Frankly you or for that matter, any girl, doesn’t need a man to define her. You need a man to support, inspire… understand you. Help you be the best person you can be, banker, mother, both, whatever. And until you find a man you can trust enough to do that, why settle?”

My next pick will be from authors Savi Sharma or Robin Sharma. Will post a review on both the books soon.

Keep Reading. Keep Inspiring.

Love,

ARK

#123 – See Sunset Even On The Darkest Days


That was her magic. She could still see the sunset Even on those darkest days. – @atticuspoetry Never ever give up. Other people might say and pass judgements over you. But let them not decide where you go and what you do with your life. Even when everything and everyone is against you. Stand up for what you believe in. Do not die at 25 and get buried only when you are 75. Life is too short to tolerate bullshit and be amongst wrong people. Learn to value yourself. Picture captured at Gandikota. #sunset #nature #igers #mondaymotivation #traveldiaries #motorcyclesofinstagram #traveller #travelgram #phonephotography #snapseed #wanderlust #poetsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #blogger #andhrapradesh #karnataka #touring #storytellingphotography

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That was her magic.

She could still see the sunset

Even on those darkest days. – @atticuspoetry

Never ever give up.

Other people might say and pass judgments over you. But let them not decide where you go and what you do with your life.

Even when everything and everyone is against you. Stand up for what you believe in. Do not die at 25 and get buried only when you are 75.

Life is too short to tolerate bullshit and be amongst wrong people.

Learn to value yourself.

Picture featured above was captured at Gandikota.

Love,

ARK

#122 – How I Survived 4 Years of Blogging


Everything comes with a price in life and everyone has a story to tell in this world. – Savi Sharma

Savi Sharma’s books keep on stressing the same thing over and over again. Today I met few friends of mine in the evening when they asked me “How do you manage to write so much”. I was like

“Writing has become like food for me”

When I write, I don’t really count how much should I fill on the given space. I write until I feel “This is it. Publish it”.

For me, writing has always been a kind of escape from distractions. When I start writing, it is just me and the pen + paper. On WordPress, it is just me and the editor. I do not drift between multiple tabs nor start browsing too many things when I am writing. The train of thoughts just flow and all I do is give them a voice.

Today one of my colleagues pointed out that even on Instagram I write mini blogs in the name of a caption. Well, that was a nice compliment. And this is not the first time people are telling me this one. A lot of people say “It’s so good to see you writing since 2013 (although I initially began in the year 2009 and then kept my blog idle till 2012), we cannot write because we don’t write like you”

Whenever I hear them talk like this, I feel like telling them, that

“Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books and some are confined to hearts.” – Savi Sharma, Everyone has a story

I don’t know how many of us deny this statement. But the fact remains unchanged that we all have stories within us. All we have to do is give them space and voice to see the daylight. Becoming a blogger was one of those many dreams I had in life. And here is how I became one.

It all started when I was in my first year of Bachelor’s Degree i.e in 2009 when accidentally I saw few Telugu bloggers writing serial blog posts which were going viral all over blogspot. The posts were hilarious. And the response they were getting was tremendous. I was very surprised to see how a writer sitting in a remote village can inspire hundreds of people with one post each week.

I too wanted to be a blogger and pen down each and every feeling inside me. But I didn’t know how. Accidentally I created one blog and then I forgot how to go and access it again. Blame it on my poor tech skills back then. With no internet connection at home, I sort of occasionally kept following those Telugu bloggers until there came a day when I really started one. Thanks to MNC life. Creativity often sprouts after frustration.

WordPress came to my rescue. There was no tension of what theme should I use, or what should I write. WordPress had this Daily Post blog where any novice could go and see how to start and what to do. Each day, the daily prompts section used to host a topic and all I had to do was just sit and think what to write. For days, I used to be blank, but then slowly I started writing one post a week. The initial posts were very terrible. It did not have proper theme or structure. But after a month or so, when I started following few reputed bloggers like Rarasaur I understood that blogging is not just writing what you feel. It is about giving love and care to your readers as well. It need not have any specific structure. You just had to be yourself.

This kind of gave me a new hope that in this big world, I can write what I feel and also discover that there are a hundred others who feel similarly like me. I did not hesitate to put up my first blog on Facebook and Twitter. Lot of them laughed at my writing, but I kept on writing anyway. I always cherish the quote of aerodynamics and bumble bee.

bumble bee quotes

Few people on WordPress told, I was good at writing and that sort gave a huge boost to my confidence and I kept on writing. In 2014, I sort of got into serious blogging, spending my time and energy on improving the theme and writing quality. I took feedbacks from people and started working diligently towards it.

There are no shortcuts to success.If you want to be a writer, then you have to write daily. As simple as that.

 

With each post, my writing improved. I made more mistakes, more people laughed. I learned new things. But most importantly I did not give up. I did not aim to be the kind of long-form writer I am today. All I wanted to do was to express my emotions to the outside world as clearly as possible. On the contrary, bloggers like Belle Jar inspired me to come out of my shell and be as vocal as possible turning me from a stumbling writer to a long-form writer. These bloggers gave me a new ray of hope that being too loud, too outspoken is okay in a digital space.

But just like any other blogger, I too lost my focus due to various reasons. My focus shifted to motorcycling and gave myself completely to Duke Machas. Thanks to my favorite blogger on Medium, Mr.Srinivas Rao, I once again came back to blogging. His blog post on “How Writing 1000 Words A Day Changed My Life?”

And as he says, everything starts with being very terrible at the beginning. But a consistent practice will elevate your skills and make you better. So, I urge all of you to start writing from today. Do not be afraid to put yourself out in the digital space. What can happen if at all you write something very funny? People might laugh. That’s it. Over a period of time, nobody gives a fuck to anyone. People get busier with their own shit that they seldom would have time to come and keep checking your blog.

So do not cage your emotions. Give voice to those unspoken words and blog it out. Whenever you get stuck, do leave a message here. I will always be there to help you out.

Stay hungry. Stay Foolish. Stay Humble.

Love,

ARK

#121 – This Is Not Your Story – A Review


This year I have decided to finish off every Indian fiction book review of mine in just two pointers. A lot of people said that I become very verbose when I write a review and end up giving them spoilers. So, to prevent it here I go with my first book review of the year.

this is not your story review

My 2 liner review of this book is:

  1. Sometimes we look at our own lives and settle down for the easiest option which satisfies our comfort zone. Hardly we ever know that everything we ever wanted is on the other side of the comfort zone.
  2. Everyone has a unique story. If only we take the leap of faith and choose to follow it, we will understand what is our true story.

Beautiful and simple book. Savi Sharma you nailed it.

What are you reading now? Let me know about it.

Love,

ARK

#120 – 20 Things I Learnt After Reading 2107 Pages

woman enjoying city view

Thanks to Goodreads Reading Challenges. Every year it helps me to break the monotony of life and set some time for my reading habit before crashing on the bed. As Anthony Moore on Medium once said “Consistency Beats Talent, Luck, Good Intentions, and Even Quality”. I am happy that my consistent efforts in reading atleast few pages each night before retiring to sleep has finally paid off.

Here is a list of 20 lessons I learnt from the books that I read during 2017 which equates to 2107 pages on a whole.

Imperfection is beautiful

Imperfection is beautiful: In life it is okay to not be perfect all the time. But always strive hard to become better version of you each day. Sometimes the excessive greed to be perfect can sabotage the chances of getting better and achieving better results in life. – Learnt from Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute.

Creativity never runs out

Creativity never runs out: Lot of people just try to hide the knowledge that they know and think that sharing is not so cool. If you are one amongst them, let me tell you something. YOU GOT THIS THEORY WRONG DUDE. Creativity is something which never runs out. Creativity is abundant in this Universe. The elixir to have an abundance of creativity inside you is simple “You got to dream a lot”. That’s it. – Learnt from Things a Little Bird Told Me – Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone

Asking questions is freeAsking questions is free. Getting a lot of NO’s in life also is free:  So when in doubt, do not hesitate to just ask that question and get your clarity. At the same time, getting a flat NO is also free in life. Be prepared for rejections and do not get disappointed when someone says NO. Just keep trying hard towards your goals in life. – Learnt from Things a Little Bird Told Me – Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone

Hustle HarderHustle Harder:  The road to success does not have any esclataors. Be prepared to have zero social life or zero weekends at times, when you want to achieve that big thing in life. Some sacrifices are worth it. – Learnt from How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh.

Say no to Piggy Back ridesSay no to Piggy Back rides: Piggy back rides are cute in pictures but not in real life. It’s important to know the difference between supporting people and giving them a free ride. Many times in life, once you achieve your goals, there are lot of people who love to latch onto your back and try to extract some benefits from you. You should be aware of how to stop being used like a doormat by such characters. – Learnt from How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh.

we all have a dark sideWe all have a dark side: “The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.” Everyone of us have a dark side inside of us. It’s just that sometimes it comes out in its true form and other times it is just hiding beneath a neat layer of “i am just being nice bro”. To understand our inner demons is important in order to not fall into the trap of dark circumstances in life. – Learnt from Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Chase your dreams and fight for it: Hardships often teach us the value of relationships and true meaning of success. Nothing comes easy in life. It all comes in the form of bruises, sweat and hardwork. Sometimes you have to be the David who took on the Goliath’s in the boxing ring and win most of the time – Learnt from Unbreakable: an Autobiography by M C Mary Kom

“The purpose of a pitch is to stimulate interest, not to close a deal.” : One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind, when you are creating a PowerPoint slide to pitch your solution is the 10/20/30 rule. i.e Your presentation should have 10 slides, it should not last more than 20 minutes and contain no font smaller than 30 points. If you are wondering how do I do that? Then here is the article which you need to read. – Learnt from The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki

Reward people for stopping something: “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders in real life, don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop”.

Say “Thank You first”: Whenever someone compliments, just shut the fuck up and say “Thank You” then followed by your other explanations. Many a times, the person who has complimented you would be baffled to hear anything other  than a simple thank you. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Not all suggestions are worth implementing: Whenever someone suggests you anything, keep calm and say “Thank You”. You don’t … I repeat… You don’t have to act on every advice that is thrown at you. –  Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Seek honest feedbacks from people near you: If you want to find your blind spot in career, walk upto people who work with you and ask “What is that one thing that I need to change in myself in order to become a better ________”. You would be amazed at the honest response that follows after you shoot this question. Ask me why? People love giving advice and suggestions all the time. And also, people love the fact that you are trying to improve. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Follow up is not just for call-centres : Follow the simple rule of “Ask – Listen – Think – Thank – Respond – Change – Follow Up” in life.  Follow up is a very important ingredient in life. You cannot stop once you have made a significant change in your behavior. You need to consistently ask and take feedback so that you can improve it. This simple cycle transforms your professional career by 2X. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Do not cut people when they are trying to give you suggestions: Just listen quietly and thank them. Cutting people when they are trying to convey something, makes you come across like an arrogant asshole. So the next time someone suggests you or brings up a new idea at your desk, stop using the words “NO”, “But” , “However”.Instead try to listen and observe. – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Harness the power of an apology: Apologize, if at all you find yourself crossing your limits and hurting someone. Apologising helps you to navigate seamlessly across all genres of people and makes you less prone to non-cooperation movements in any organization – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Always be patient and listen. Mute the surroundings near you and make the person infront of you feel as if he is the only person existing on this planet. Respect people when they are saying something and listen to them intently. Never cut people saying “I knew that” – Learnt from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

Sometimes it’s the one thing that you need to change right now: You might think that there are ten things I have to improve in myself, How do I do that? and get mindfucked. But, the reality is, sometimes when you attempt to tackle one problem at a time, you would resolve four other problems simultaneously without even knowing.

  • Take this example: Your wife may be complaining that you never listen to her. But you know that this is not the only thing that bothers her. She has problems with your smoking, drinking, missing important things and hundred other issues. Instead of tackling all at once. How about you focus on the importance of being a better listener.
  • You go home and quietly listen to all her words (It’s hard but trust me you need to be patient). After she is done you sit back and think – thank – act on the things that made her mad – go and ask her “Is there anything else that I can do to improve _________”.
  • Once you are done addressing her issue, go and look at your own self.
  • You might have become not just a better listener but a better husband as well. You would have not missed that important grocery list which she had asked you to shop this morning. You would have not missed picking up your kid from the school. You would have been even more prompt in managing your office timings.
  • Did it not resolve your time management issues, your unorganized way of living and also made you a responsible parent ?
  • Always remember that if you want to change anything about yourself, the best time to start is now. Ask yourself, “What am I willing to change now?” Just do that. That’s more than enough. For now.”

You are who you think you are: Our self image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become.  So the next time, you go out and say something rude to someone, always remember how much your words can alter their self image. Girls who think they are ugly all the time are nothing but a  by product of the inferiority complex that is bred into them during their schooling. Guys who always think they are superior than others, and treat others with disrespect and bully/insult them are nothing but a reflection of their own insecurities that the other person is better than them. Our self image and habits tend to go together. Change one and you will automatically change the other – Learnt from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz

You are who you are today because of your surroundings and situations: Never do something which will totally alter the self image of a kid forever. The below infographic clearly describes how an environment can affect and alter a kid’s nature forever – Learnt from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltza0pzE7Z_460s_v2.jpg

See – Learn – Embrace the learning – Move ForwardAdmit your mistakes but do not dwell on them forever. Resenting on past mistakes will create a neuro-pattern in your brain that you will be a loser forever. Whereas remembering the past successes and rejoicing those moments can make your brain stay more positive and calm during crisis situations. – Learnt from Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz

Okay, that’s all folks. I hope I get to learn few more things this year from the books I read. Stay Happy. Stay Humble. And do not forget to love yourself.

Love,

ARK.

#119 – Gratitude – A Choice, A Practice and An Attitude

flower wallpapers

 

In 2013, ShahRukh Khan was awarded one amongst the 25 Global Living Legends by NDTV. The award was presented to him by the former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee.  Out of all the funny and witty lines said by SRK, one thing which stuck in my brain forever was the line

“Gratitude should be an attitude”.

He said

You have to be grateful to the Almighty, to your parents, to your teachers… not only them…. because that is something we all follow but we got to be grateful to everyone who works for us,works with us, makes us who we are brings us to what we become. Because on your own I believe you’re not unique you are just alone so gratitude should be an attitude.

But before making gratitude an attitude you need to follow two more steps in order to completely reap the benefits of gratitude.

First, you need to make gratitude as a choice and then second, you should make gratitude as a practice in your daily life. Then alone, it sinks in your skin and becomes your attitude. Grateful people also have bad days in their lives. But their choice to stay grateful for people and objects around them allows them to not get mind boggled. Happy people also encounter lots of set backs but the practice of staying grateful to each and everything around them, makes them less prone to anxiety, depression, getting mindfucked etc. It also further improves the quality of your life. Training one’s mind to stay positive and be grateful to every situation is not an easy task. It takes years of practice and patience. But once you achieve it, there is no end to it.

Being humble and grateful to life teaches you how not to take even simplest of the things seriously and lose sanity. For example, you wanted to start a new venture. Before even writing the business plan and pitch, what if you allow your mind to wander into all sorts of negative things and mindfuck your own self? Losing sanity amidst a world full of distraction is very easy. Gratitude is sometimes like gravity. When your mind says “What if I don’t get initial capital… what if nobody buys it… what if… this that etc” , gratitude makes you aware of the current situation and helps you stay grounded. It makes you realize that you are so lucky that you have atleast your basics covered.

Does this mean that even when the world is going against the grain you have to be super calm and peaceful ? No. You definitely should not. But that doesn’t mean that you tackle all the issues and start creating a dark ecosystem for your own state of mind. It is all in your hands whether to stay calm and think about a solution or get mind fucked and do nothing.

In my own life, I am grateful to everyone. This includes even those people who still doubt on me and say “I am useless”. I am so lucky that in every tragic situation of my life I never got any help. This not just made me super strong but it gave me the mental strength to deal with any situation now. Some people still think I am anti-social, but it is not true. I just choose people wisely into my inner circle now.

I would like to give credits to Yoga practice as well, for putting me into a fine balance and helping me achieve greater clarity on life. With each breath, I know I was better than who I was yesterday. I won’t stop until I become unstoppable. At the same time, I won’t change myself to someone who is not me, just because they were mean to me. I practice the power of gratitude daily and also try to make it a part of my personality.

How do you practice gratitude in your daily life?

Love,

ARK

#118 – Staying Loyal Is Also COOL. Try It Out !


Pinterest is a great app, especially if someone wants to skim through millions of quotes on a day-to-day basis. I usually keep scrolling the entire dashboard of Pinterest atleast twice a day. One such quote caught my attention off late. It read

Our generation thinks “It’s cool not to care”

It’s not. Effort is cool. Caring is cool. Staying loyal is cool. Try it out

For a second, I was awestruck. Because in today’s generation as the quote says everyone is high on the word “COOL”.

  • It’s cool to be in a relationship even when you are not ready for it.
  • It’s cool to break up when you feel that the other person is quite difficult to handle.
  • It’s cool to walk away and be rude in the name of “I am being ME” because you know you do not have the patience to deal with things.
  • It’s cool to be not kind and act like a indecisive person even when you know several others are depending on you.

How many times have we cursed someone for not showing up when required?

How many times have you been ditched in your dream projects when all you ever wanted was efforts to be equi-distributed?

We often get into relationships only when we feel we are too lonely. We take care of someone only when we are obliged to do that. We swap into multiple roles all at once in the name of cool and then get derailed from the real purposes of our life. Why is it that staying loyal to your own ethics is so hard? Why committing yourself towards success is so old schooled? Why only partying, chilling out and smoking up is considered as swag or cool?

Is it what the society demands us to be or is it something we have imbibed it into our own skins in the name of “I’M COOL”.

I leave it up to you… to take a call on what is cool and what is not.

But someday if you have some time, why not try to change the way you take things.

  • Try to show some unconditional love towards someone, even when you know the other person is eventually not going to give you the same kind of reaction from the other side.
  • Try to go for a long walk and help someone and show some care by lending your ears. He might turn out to be a very big talkative person who would talk talk and simply talk for hours together. But if you mute the entire conversation and watch only his body language you might find how lonely is the other person and all he wants to do is to just put out his feelings outside.
  • Set a goal for yourself. However small it might seem, just set a goal for yourself and try working towards it. Stay loyal to your dreams and keep working one step towards it each day. Eventually you will be amazed at how cool it might seem, when you track back your progress after 100 days. Stop giving excuses that I don’t have time and hence I am unable to blog. I don’t have time to work on my dream project. Everything is just a trick played by your mind to avoid the big picture.
  • It is cool to distance yourself from energy draining vampires.
    It is cool to walk out from the lives of people who no longer serve a purpose in your life.
    It is cool to not answer every fucking email that comes to your mailbox.
    It is cool to prioritize your happiness and mental peace before every fucking “other” person in your life. Place “I” before every other person in this world. And remember it is not being selfish. It is called “self-care”
    It is cool to work on your projects while maintaining a happy work life balance.
    It is cool to get your financial statements always on check.
    It is cool to take your parents for a vacation and give your time and energy to them.
    It is cool to take your loved ones for a medical check up and ensure their well being is taken care of.
    It is cool to take the most difficult path of letting go of your ego for someone who is worth every sunshine in this world.
    It is cool to quit the high paying job and take up something which your heart always craves for.

Why don’t we shift our perspectives and try to channelize our energy towards something meaningful.

As the quote says “Effort is cool.”

 

Writing Prompt Source: Daily Post

#117 – Her Popularity Comes With A Price


The term impostor phenomenon is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women. Certain early family dynamics and later introjection of societal sex-role stereotyping appear to contribute significantly to the development of the impostor phenomenon. Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the imposter phenomenon persists in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample object evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief. Four factors, which contribute to the maintenance of impostor feelings over time, are explored. Therapeutic approaches found to be effective in helping women change the impostor self-concept are described.

reads the abstract of “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention” – a paper written by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes from Georgia State University.

I was always fascinated by the term Impostor since the day I read an article about how even some of the great role model figures like Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson and Kate Winslet suffer from this syndrome. Popularity for women always comes with a price. And sometimes it takes toll on her self image and the scars last for a lifetime if not treated with proper care.

Impostor Syndrome is one such behavior. In their paper Pauline and Suzanne have gone to the depths of how this behavior arises and is prevalent among women. It’s not that Impostor syndrome is associated with specific gender. It is found both in men and women but it lasts longer in women as compared to men. The main reason for this being the stereotyping of women in our society.

It sometimes starts right from within the family when parents start being indifferent to their kids. When parents label one of the siblings as “bright, intelligent, creative” and the other as “sensitive, fragile, calm” kids presume those attributes to be true and act accordingly. Usually when a girl is always compared to her brother and told that she is a girl, so she has to be sensitive, compassionate, kind, and she is not good enough to pick a fight with boys, instead of empowering her, parents unknowingly are pushing her into becoming one impostor.

Ask how? The girl who has been now labelled as weak and fragile will continue to fight against that mental image painted by her parents. Each day she tries to break the glass cieling and fast forward this nature for another 10 years, you would get a perfectly crafted imposter syndrome stricken woman. A woman who would always doubt her abilities and always thinks “Maybe I just got lucky that my entrepreneurial debut is making a six digit income” , “Maybe the jury was being very considerate in nominating my name for the best business woman of the year”.

Added to all this, I have seen a lot of workplaces where if a woman has achieved something a man could never achieve all they would do is “Why not… after all she has got a beautiful face, boobs and pussy… she can get things done”. I might sound very lewd and disgusting for some. But the reality doesn’t change. In 2011, the Institute of Leadership and Management surveyed managers about how confident they felt in their professions – and half of the female respondents reported self-doubt in their jobs, compared to less than a third of men. It’s not that these women were inefficient or not qualified enough to take up their roles. It’s the constant fear of falling into the dilemma of whether to accept that she is fit for the role or to dismiss the entire fact and say “Hey it was just by fluke”. Either ways, she is not going to have mental peace until she accepts that she is as good as any other person in that role.

People should always remember that feminine charms are not everything in this world. A woman can be pretty and yet be dumb. These kind of women often drop off in the middle of their career in pursuit of love – marriage and – baby carriage. Taking these kind of women as an example you cannot target every other woman walking on the road as “She has boobs and pussy so she get’s things done”.

There are hundreds and thousands of women who are paying price for being smart, for being successful, for being pretty + badass, for being intelligent + creative, for being gutsy + sensitive and most importantly just because she is a woman. . They suffer silently throughout their teens proving their abilities to their parents, relatives and society. Once they get into their work places, they suffer even more because the stakes are really high. And how many more people are they going to prove if they become CEO’s of MNC’s , CIO/CTO’s of large tech firms (which is largely filled with male workers) , professors of reputed universities. The self doubt increases until there comes a point when each significant achievement they accomplish seems like “Ok. Maybe I wasn’t worth it. What’s next to achieve so that I can justify I really deserve this”. The loop doesn’t end. It goes on and on until it takes a toll on their self esteem and damages a part of their personality forever.

Here are some tips from famous super achievers among women who are dealing with impostor syndrome on a regular basis:

Sheryl Sandberg:

“Every time I was called on in class, I was sure that I was about to embarrass myself. Every time I took a test, I was sure that it had gone badly. And every time I didn’t embarrass myself — or even excelled — I believed that I had fooled everyone yet again. One day soon, the jig would be up … This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name — the impostor syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the impostor syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it.” —Lean In, March 2013

Emma Watson

“It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird — sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.” —Rookie, May 2013

Natalie Portman

On being a Harvard student: “So I have to admit that today, even 12 years after graduation, I’m still insecure about my own worthiness. I have to remind myself today, You are here for a reason. Today, I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999 … I felt like there had been some mistake — that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company and that every time I opened my mouth I would have to prove I wasn’t just a dumb actress. … Sometimes your insecurities and your inexperience may lead you to embrace other people’s expectations, standards, or values, but you can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path — one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be, a path that is defined by its own particular set of reasons.” —Harvard Commencement 2015, May 2015

Kate Winslet

“What people really think of me is something I remain blissfully unaware of most of the time. I love acting and all I ever try to do is my best. But even now I always dread those emotional scenes. I’m there thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m rubbish and everyone is going to see it. They’ve cast the wrong person.’ But I have come to realize that those nerves are all part of the process for me.” —The Mirror, June 2013

So the next time you hate a woman for being bossy and super successful, please remember the journey and the mental fight that she must have fought in order to feel super confident about her own abilities. Her popularity comes with a huge price. Respect the journey and hard-work of each individual irrespective of a woman or man. Before you judge others make sure you are “picture perfect”.

Quote Courtesy: http://ow.ly/1Wku30fU0jL