Overused words

As per the Dictionary (yes, I am someone who enjoys reading the dictionary from time to time, its also my favorite app on my phone), the word Word is a noun which is defined as a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed. 

That’s quite lovely, isn’t it.

So as someone who loves words, reading, writing, speaking, and generally everything connected to language, I find it strange when sometimes words, which are overused, just end up looking like (of feeling like) meaningless squiggles.  Even professionally, as a Lawyer, I read (and write) tens of thousands of words every day, and at times my brain tricks me into thinking that some words (overused, or most repeated) are incorrectly used/spelled or just plain nonsensical.  So much so that I HAVE to run a spell check just to be sure that I’m not using a word incorrectly.

Which brings me to my next sentiment about overusing words, while I certainly appreciate when people (or even myself) can articulate a thought well enough to get the point across, the flip side is that overused words tend to lose its effectiveness.  For example, I have a friend (who is one sweetheart of a man) who used to refer to pretty much everyone as his “close friend” or “best friend” including random strangers he has probably met only once.  I never paid too much attention to it till one day when he called me his best friend, so I was unsure whether it really meant anything, or if its just a word that he liked to use.

Often, words used by people reveal a LOT about who they are or how they feel. One only has to pay a little attention to understand what the other person is feeling.  So I’ve started to be more conscious of what I say/write, since I have caught myself over using words like random (when I can’t think of anything better), or love (instead of the more genuine sentiment of like).  This doesn’t necessarily mean that I am editing myself, or trying to be deceptive, or that am afraid to say certain things.  It is more about avoiding overusing certain adjectives/phrases to the point that it loses all meaning, and is reduced to a bunch of squiggles (or the emotional equivalent of it).  And reserving certain words for times when they deserve to be used.

Of course, the ONLY exception to this is any genuine expression of Gratitude.  Gratitude to me is an acknowledgment of not taking something for granted, and this will never seem/feel meaningless, unless done insincerely (which seems difficult).

Happy Weekend!

xo

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Sunday Planning

Photo Source – Google Images

Sundays are all about planning, I use the morning to tidy up and mentally prepare for the week to come, I plan for my exercise regimen, wardrobe, work related checklists, and (my favorite bit) my blog posts. My goal in 2017 has been to write every day (of course I haven’t been very successful in the beginning of the year) even if its just a paragraph, just so writing becomes a real part of my everyday routine. Certain people I know have even made fun of me and labelled me uptight & uncool, but such labels only amuse me, because I refuse to run around in life like a headless chicken, without a plan. (Yes, that’s what I think not having a plan would feel like)

After all, Excellence is a habit. Take any example, if you study the habits and attitude of some of the most successful people in the world, one of the common factors will be that they make a habit out of some of the key aspects of their lives, be it waking up early, or taking the time to read, or fitness. Excellence is not a one time event, excellence is being able to excel every day, and do better. More often than not, the people who have achieved real success are the most disciplined people you will meet. We all have 24 hours a day, the only difference is what you choose to do with it. If you don’t plan for your successes/accomplishments, who will?

So don’t let other people’s noise of how uncool they think you are for being such an uptight planner, keep your unwavering focus on your goals & make good choices every day and cultivate the discipline required to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Of course, this isn’t to say that spontaneity isn’t important, its just I have a very different way to define it. For me, spontaneity is not about being reckless, but it is the ability to make decisions quickly and act on them quickly. After all, we live in a era where speed trumps most other skills.

It never ceases to surprise me how often people forget their own autonomy over their own lives. You get to set the standards for your life and back it up with the planning and action. You may not be where you aspire to be today, but excellence, just like everything else has a lead-time.

So as another Sunday rolls by, my planning for the week has begun.

Peace & Love

xo

What will people say?

The single most important cause of abandoned dreams can be summed up into the phrase, “what will people say?” or the more local “Log kya kahenge?” (Hindi) or “Jana yen heltare?” (Kannada). I don’t know if this happens everywhere in the world, but in India, this is a reality! And given that most of us in India are (at least) tri-lingual, we get to hear this hideous phrase in more than one language, more than once in our lives.

In the most stressful moments, well meaning parents, sometimes give you these pearls of wisdom.

You failed in some subject – What will people say?

(In your teens/early 20s) You are dating someone – *Gasp* What will people say?

(In your late 20s/30s) You are not dating someone/married yet – *Gasp* What will people say?

You have a Tattoo! – What will people say?

You don’t have a good Job (as a software engineer, in the US, perhaps) – What will people say?

I bet I can fill this post with hundreds of examples, and still barely have scratched only the surface.

So who are these People, whose opinions we are so afraid of. More often than not, they are are people around us, extended family/relatives, acquaintances, Facebook “friends”, nosy co-workers, etc., AKA people who add Zero value to your life, but the first ones to give you their (often useless) opinions. These are people who have way too much time on their hands, whose own lives are probably so depressing and pathetic that they need to entertain themselves with the lives of others.

I read somewhere that love is the absence of judgment – both these things cannot exist simultaneously. So when we find ourselves the object of someone’s judgment, we can safely assume that they don’t love or care about us. They cast judgment because perhaps it makes them feel more superior.

So its up to us if we want to give any thought to what these people say. Also, the things people say is often a reflection of themselves. Think about that!

I have been fortunate enough to learn at a very early age that these people and their opinions don’t matter. I am also blessed with a parents who are as individualistic as I am. They have given me the resilience to drown out the noise that is “what will people say?”, and live my own life.

So before you care about what people will say, decide if their opinions matter based on the 3 F Rule-

Image result for unless you finance me, quotes

Photo Source – Google Images

Always remember, each life is independent of another, yes, we all co-exist, but for the most part we have to face consequences of our actions, not the people around us. So does it really matter if some inconsequential person doesn’t approve of someone else’s life, or how one chooses to live it.

So do yourself a favor, and stop worrying about what people think, or seeking validation from others, and live your life in a way which truly makes you happy.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

Lao Tzu

See you soon.

xo

 

Vesākha 2017

The teachings of the Buddha have had a profound impact on my adult life. So much of what I believe in, and often say are things I have learnt in my own journey into Buddhism. A philosophy so simple, its genius!

The principles regarding expectations, entitlement, detachment, kindness and compassion are those I try to embrace in my everyday life.

Happy Vesākha 2017 from my heart to yours.

Until next time, be kind.

xo