Effloresce23

Chronicling my thoughts, one post at a time..


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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

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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

 


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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


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Monsters in the Shadows

As a child I used to watch Scooby doo – the animated series about a great dane named Scooby and his gang as they go on the adventures in the mystery machine, and at the end of each episode, the monster would be unmasked and revealed as a person – this rings true even today, long after we have stopped watching the adventures of Scooby and the gang. Often, the monsters we fear are people lurking in the shadows, just out of sight, making their presence known just enough to create terror in our hearts.

Image result for monsters in the dark

Image Source: Google Images

Sadly with the kind of technology, connectivity and online presence we have, it becomes easier for these monsters to find us online and then use the information we so happily share, piece it together and find us offline as well. Online stalking, threatening, etc., is more common than any of us would like to believe. Unfortunately platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn gives these malicious elements of the society easy access to millions of profiles including their preferences, geographical location, their photos, their family and friends, etc.

Earlier this week, one of my social media accounts was subjected to a slew of hateful, threatening messages from a man I do not know. I have no mutual connections with this man and I am very sure I have never encountered him in my life, ever. Yet, he had decided that I had wronged him somehow and warned me that I had better answer his questions (if I knew what was good for me) before he was provoked to take more dire steps to reach me. He really wanted me to know that he hates me and can easily get to me or my family members. The tone of these messages scared me enough to delete and block this man’s account. However, the very next day he had created (what appeared to be) a new profile just to send me messages. This time the messages were more sinister and sent me to a mode of sheer panic, enough to file a formal report with the local law enforcement agency.

As I read these messages dripping with hatred, I had an out of body experience, I had to re-read it a few times before the malice began to sink in, my body started to shake involuntarily, I started pacing in my office, my heart-rate through the roof, I thought I was going to throw up. I kept wondering how the words of a stranger on a computer screen could have such an effect on me when I was in the “safe” confines of my office.

It felt strange to realize that we live in such a little bubble, completely oblivious to strangers who are watching us and (apparently) their hatred.

I have been a survivor of stalking even before the era of social media, and I ended up moving and changing my numbers and practically disappearing off the face of the earth, fell out of touch with all my friends because I was unsure of which of my friends was giving my stalker information about my whereabouts. I lived in constant fear for many years before finally feeling safe enough to reconnect with my friends on social media.

Today, this same premise seems to have returned for me to handle, only this time I don’t know the monster who lurks in the shadows, or what he wants, or what he’s capable of, and that probably is the thing that is still making me feel terrified.

I am presently living in a state of fear for the safety of my loved ones and myself.

Social media platforms and their ever changing privacy polices make to our information being accessible to more people than we realize. But being a survivor of such a thing in the past, and being a Lawyer myself, I tend to be quite vigilant of the privacy settings, and yet some monsters find a way. Its up to us to be careful, report such abuse and pray for the best, because after all better safe than sorry.

It also begs the question, what is the true price of having an online presence? Could it be at the expense of our own safety? Is it worth it?

Perhaps the scariest thing in the world is you never know someone’s true intentions with you.

Until next time, stay safe.

xo