“You cannot measure the net value of any person’s life.“
You would have to weigh the net value of all the people they affected throughout their life, all the people they affected.
Each person’s effect on others, on our species, is immeasurable because we are much more interconnected than your example illustrates. If you cannot measure it, you cannot compare it.
If your greatest desire in life is to own more things, you are selling your potential short.
Unfortunately, society has told us our greatest dreams should consist of doing well in school, getting a lucrative job, building a large retirement fund, and buying a really nice house with lots of cool things. And because we get told that deceptive lie so many times and from so many sources, we start to believe it—without even noticing.
Before we know it, we are accumulating more and more things hoping to satisfy the longing in our hearts for something greater. This is a shame.
We can dream bigger dreams.
We can dream better dreams.
As Eric Hoffer once said, “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.”
Our lives are worth more than the things that we own. Our lives can be lived for things that matter: love, hope, charity, relationships, contribution, spirituality.
But not if we sacrifice them by settling for possessions that only distract us from it.
A life of regret is no life at all. Sure, we all have regrets for things we’ve done, mistakes made and opportunities lost. But if we make a conscious decision every day to minimize those regrets, we will lead a happier, more fulfilling life. And hopefully those around us will as well.
“There is no agreed-on measurement or hierarchy of value.”
Money can give us the power to make a difference in the lives of others, but not the desire to do so. It can give us the time to develop and nurture our relationships, but not the love and caring necessary to do so. It can just as easily make us jaded, escapist, selfish, and lonely. How much do you need? What is it going to cost you to get it? It is keeping these two questions in mind that gives us a true sense of money’s relationship to happiness. If we have less than what we need, or if what we have is costing us too much, we can never be happy. We need money to eat, sleep, dress, work, play, relate, heal, move about, and enjoy comforts. We should remember in choosing our style that it comes with a price tag.
How much money it costs is not the issue, but how much the money costs us is important. Money should not cost us our soul, relationships, dignity, health, intelligence and joy in simple things of life. People who figure out what they truly value and then align their money with those values have the strongest sense of financial and personal well-being.
You can have all the money and achievements in the world. But, if you are grateful for nothing, it’s like no matter what you make or do, life simply will not get any better. It’s like everything falls into the black hole of things we take for granted.
This is one of the reasons why we end up striving for more in our lives. More friends, more money, more status. Because how can you ever have enough if you don’t appreciate what you have?
And you know what?
I think that’s a deep shame. Especially because most of us should be grateful for our lives in a way that’s almost apologetic.
And yes, we get used to things so easily. We take our luxuries for granted. We take the streets we walk on for granted. And at times, we even take our spouse’s love for granted.
Psychologists call this concept ‘hedonic adaptation’ and it’s a bitch if ever there was one.
And you know what’s the saddest part?
In getting used to the wonderful things in our lives, we are falsely assuming they will last.
The quotation above has a very important meaning behind it and it’s something each person should take with them as they go through life. It’s basically stating that problems are only an opportunity to change something or learn and grow from an experience you’ve had.
There is certainly no shortage of challenges in this world. I find myself many times in life longing for a life without challenge. However, this thought always begs the following questions: What is learned in ease? What is accomplished in a down hill ride?
Is that not the greatest story you have ever heard? Of course not. Why? Because there was NO challenge. The middle part is missing from the story. There is no glory, no trial, and therefore no accomplishment. A lot of time this is what we think we long for in life, ease with no middle part, success with no trial.
Our nation is facing some of the greatest challenges that I have ever seen in my lifetime. It seems to be very popular to talk about and focus on our trials and the negative aspects of our nation, economy, and government. I don’t believe that we should be unrealistic or ignore the issues at hand, and definitely one of our purposes here is to create awareness of these issues. We should become educated about the problems and their solutions and combat them with proper action. But this can and should be done with an attitude of gratitude for the learning and growing opportunity that is being presented.
“Times of great calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, even when you have your life all “sorted out”, so very intricately planned, feeding all of your paranoia, while avoiding every scenario of doubt and probability, you can still land in a pitfall of the unknown. Even with all of your master-plans, you can very well get into situations where you end up asking yourself –
“Where actually am I? What did I want to go after, to begin with?”
This can happen to anyone and everyone, and there can be a variety of reasons why. It could be because, you were busy chasing someone else’s dream/vision, or because you convinced yourself into believing that you were meant to do certain things, in a certain way, or because you started off loving whatever it was, your job/career/relationships, made heavy plans for it, but somewhere along the way, things fell apart due to internal or external circumstances, and you begin to question everything. Suddenly your tall castel begins to trumble to the ground.
“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.”
Moments like these tend to impose immensely self-destructive behavior.
Moments like these can also tend to show you, your true self. Who you really are.
Times like these have their own beautiful way of showing you, the truth, your real intentions, your value, your worth. Simply because you have nothing more to lose, nowhere to go, no big plans or long schedules. This is the time for you to ask yourself –
“Who am I? What truly makes me happy? What do I actually want?”
My smile hides my tears. My laugh hides my screams. It’s been this way for years. Things aren’t as they seem. I always seem so happy. With not a care in the world. But you should know, sadly Many things go untold. Nobody really knows me. They only know my cover. But I wish I could let it free. Let them know what’s under. But instead, I practice My smiles in the mirror. Then the next thing I do is Make my fake laugh clearer. What is wrong? Do you need help? Is all they will ask. So I have decided To live behind a mask. I hate feeling this way I’ve been like this for 3 months now I’m too afraid to tell someone so I keep it all bottled up inside me I want to tell someone but I just can’t The voices in my head aren’t helping either they just won’t shut up it’s so bad that I want to slam my head in a door it’s getting to the point to where I’ll do anything to get rid of this pain even it hurts my loved ones it’s literally like I’m fading away and nobody notices Nobody even bothers to ask me if I’m ok or how I am doing I just want someone to show me that they care I hate that I have to go through this alone I just want someone to hold my hand and say it’s going to be ok..
No matter how many countries, beers or women I’ve put in between that day and this moment, it’s seared into my mind like an emotional branding iron.
The sky was so blue when he said it too. Painfully so. Because blue skies mean sunny days. And sunny days mean good times. So why couldn’t I stand? Why couldn’t I move? Why couldn’t I breathe?
It was like my body was grieving already.
Heavy legs. Sombre steps. Until eventually the hospital welcomed me with open arms.
” If your life is worth discussing, it is worth sharing.”
Being human, we all starve. Sometimes we starve for love, sometimes it’s for success and mostly we die starving for happinesses. If it’s the hardships and struggle that makes us wise and kind, then why do we all look comfy. We do enjoy joys but when it comes to sufferings we are always on a move, shifting away from the forces that will one day define us as a human being.
As a 21 year old juvenile, basking in my own imperfections and flaws, I was busy enjoying the process of growing up. But reality hit me hard. Life entered my body in inhuman fashion. It was then I realized growing up is not always a gradual process. For me, it was an overnight operation.
There are no real failures in life, just the results. And the way you accept these results distinguishes you as a human being from the rest of the race. I always had a carefree and ignorant attitude. But as there is no running away from your reflections, so is from life.
It is not an ordinary summer day if you wake up with a soaring temp of 104 degrees. Well.
Hospitalization, diagnosis, discharge was all that followed, allowing a little room for me to understand this recent development. Well not every discharge means relief. Sometimes it’s more catastrophic. While I was still in a process grasping every information about this fatal disease cysts affecting eighty percent of my body, doctors were amazed by my survival instinct. It was hard for them to believe that even with such a high rate of infections running down my body, in the most important organs like lungs, stomach, food pipe and a lot more I showed no symptoms of ailment. It was some kind of unknown force working up for me, like it was stated “a miracle”.
Four days of captivation left no room for innocence to blossom. I knew something big and more devastating was about to follow. This is what we call human instinct. And yes, it did occured before I could barely gather my senses, the breast test.
I remember that bed, that operation theatre, those doctors. I remember every detail of that insanely long hour. They all were hovering over me as if I were an alien in their command who needs to be mutated. It was like a circus playing and me a vulnerable lion and out there some very keen and impatient audience. Fierce by character but now ready to be tamed and chained. I was alive but fading. All my senses were dissolving, but not dying. I felt like I was going to perish soon. Nevertheless, it was just a test, the outcome was awaiting. Waiting to engulf me, ready to shake my world. Ready to snatch my universe, on its marks to tear me into tiny pieces which may not cling together again. But life is like a tide. It goes on. Waiting for none. Reaching to none. Finding some and abandoning the rest.
Reports were just an indication that life was coming either to abandon me or to wash me with itself giving a little chance to sail by letting me up my guards. Well, you sail and prevail or just drown is the measure of your capability and not the tides. They are there to teach you the essence of life. They make you aware of the fact that you have more potential then you ever thought you had. They remind you that you are always more than you think you are.
Just waiting for the email to come. The phone notified two mail’s at the same time. CONGRATULATIONS and MEDICAL REPORTS. These are just some ugly reports, scribbled onto them something in black ink. I hope erasing the contents of the paper would erase this situation from my life. But as it was a pure and non- selfish demand so was the probability of its fulfilment. Well! Cover up, smiling faces, fake confidence was all before me. I never thought I would see so many reactions on a single face at a very moment. Every face around me was a complete theatre in itself, soaked in its own loneliness and glory. For me 80% of infection, hemoglobin level 5 were just numbers for now. Cracked masks through which I could see the real world made home inside my heart. Even a single expression has a diminishing effect that thousands of words can’t and I could see thousands of expressions flashing across at a go. A sense of emptiness flooded inside me. Time was running but I could feel it crawling in my veins, my arteries. I could hear my heart pounding, I could listen to the flowing blood, I could differentiate between various frequencies of sound. I was a body on the outside, but inside I was a vacuum.
” Heya! Wait! Survival is an art. You learn it when you want it. But, you master it when you bloody need it.”
I thought I had many to support me, my family and my friends, apart from this I had my own very new companion.But in reality no one. A complete blank page waiting for me. A new book to write. Well, I am glad for this. There are some particular things that you don’t want to share anytime in your life. This journey becomes beautiful if you have some good people around you, doing every single thing to make you comfortable, helping you to climb the steepest of slopes. Those gems in my life were never there during the journey.
I was suggested four chemotherapy sessions followed by three daycare sessions after each therapy. Killing a poison by poison, sounds amazing. Yes, this is what chemotherapy is all about, killing the poisonous cells by injecting more poison inside the body. Poison had its own effects. It not only wipes the dead and damaged cells but also has its own harsh side effects like killing the healthy cells as well, which ultimately affects the normal functioning like inactive taste buds, vomiting, hair loss, loose motions and many more. Vomiting in a gap of few minutes and sometimes every few seconds. Huuhhh! Tiring and even more frustrating. It makes body so weak that you may faint most of the times, more damaging when with low bp, particularly my case. This shit happens for 15 days after every chemotherapy session and survival in this period is damn difficult. I remember, I used to scream on everyone whether they were my mom or my dear didi and jiju when they used to force me for food.
Sometimes I found myself so helpless that I started to dislike pizzas which I used to love the most, especially when cooked by my sister. This may define my condition and adversity, the patches and scars of chemo-the dull face, bald head and physical weakness. I could see my parents crying, I could see them worried. But, the game of pretending provided a helping hand.
Cancer is not the physical illness, it is the fight, a war that our brain has to fight. A war which takes all your mental strength, renders you hopeless and make you a chaos. It uses every millilitre of fuel you gathered or savored throughout your life. It is the clash of titans. Titans being our hope and our soul. Well, if you want to live you better win this tug of war. The more determined you are, the easy is the sail. I have never been a strong person but, neither was I weak. I always cherished and appreciated life. This time, it was itself at stake. When you bloody existence is endangered you are left with no choice. So, I had to rise strong. So strong that life itself thinks twice before abandoning me. Fall. There is no wrong or bad in touching the bottoms, but, then you should know the art of rising, art of flying; only then your falling would be justified. We can never appreciate the view from the mountain top until we have touched the valleys. It takes a fierce attitude to reach those heights. Moreover, it takes a real heart to appreciate. I was in a deep valley. I longed for a mountain. I longed for the view I will have once I reach the top of the mountain.
They’ll tell you it’s the type of welcome between you and an old friend, that you’re in safe hands.
But it’s more like the welcome between the farmer and the chicken. A warm embrace in one hand, and a knife waiting in the other.
It’s strange how busy the hospital feels. And how infinitely alone you are.
“Everything will be OK”. “Surgery”. “Chemo”. “Cancer”.
Words flashed by. Every positive intention was hammered by reality. Like a flower desperate to bloom against a destructive thunderstorm. But you try, because you don’t have a choice.
I could go on and relive every moment. And there are days, weeks even, when I do. I live it out in my mind over and over again. You try not to, but you don’t have a choice.
But that’s the thing about thunderstorms…
They may be destructive, but when it’s all said and done, blue skies return.
But for other cancer warriors who lay in beds next to me, not all of them made it through the storm.
That’s why anyone who’s endured the trauma of cancer will know that cancer stories may be written alone, but they’re never told alone.
Because my cancer story isn’t just mine.
It’s the story of everyone I knew who passed, everyone who’s fighting right now, and everyone who will be diagnosed in the future.
Even you, reading this right now, know someone who’s been touched by cancer. And their story is the same.
When you own less, you have less to care about. When you own less, you have got less to protect. When you own less, you have got less to replace. When you own less, you do not have to earn more.
Minimalism is not about depriving yourself from basic comfort or putting yourself through hardships. It is about developing in yourself the mindset of a monk. We are on a journey on Earth. This journey shall last a few decades. In the grand scheme of cosmos, our lives do not last for more than a blink. When we travel to some place , we try to pack only as much as is necessary. Anything more becomes a burden, an inconvenience. Same goes for life. Pack only that is necessary. Everything else is a burden.
Minimalism allows for more of what YOU want to do. This just means that you have more time to enjoy the important things in life if there are less “things” to keep your attention. Spend less time focusing on less important things, and start to focus on your goals and aspirations.
It comes in all shapes and sizes. Minimising in practice, is simply getting rid of the clutter you don’t want. If that means actual objects, like getting rid of one or two things, then go for it. It can also mean clearing out your work life, getting organized, and stop focusing on things that don’t pay off. Minimalism is whatever you make of it. I don’t live out of one suitcase, or keep all my belongings in a small pile, but I do get rid of everything that doesn’t hold value to me, and it works.
Less clutter, junk, and unnecessary “things” lying around for you to trip on. You begin to realize how little you really need to hold on to. The reality being that you only need the things you use on a daily basis, and don’t miss using what you don’t use.
“I need to design my life like my well designed applications, iterate and simplify!”
Being minimalist is a choice one has to make and it can’t be done unless it’s strongly felt from inside.
Minimalism is not an overnight phenomenon, it’s a staged process which might take long to inculcate and there is no definable end point to it as well, it might very well mean denouncing the world and living like the age old monks, we read about.
Less does not necessarily mean none. Paring down your sentimental items allows you to focus on the most meaningful things. If this is difficult for you, but a step you know you need to take, try limiting your sentimental physical items to half their current amount. Rather than two boxes, keep one. These self-imposed boundaries often help us quickly realize which items mean the most.
Remind yourself what brings meaning to your life.
Almost all of our sentimental possessions belong to one of three categories: relationships, experiences, or achievements. We hold on to these things because they remind us what brings joy and meaning into our life: the people around us, the experiences we share, and the accomplishments of growth and achievement.
Unfortunately, too often, the physical possessions we accumulate in our lives keep us from those very things as they burden us with unnecessary stress and care.
Lighten your load. Unburden your life. And go create more moments of relationship, adventure, and accomplishment.
You’ll never reach for anything new if you are too busy holding on to yesterday’s things. Keep only the best.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
It takes a certain level of intention to be unplugged, to peel away from our screens, to pause the busyness of our day to day and devote ourselves to the slow and simple things. We too quickly forget about all we have in search for the constant more. We rarely take the time to declutter or even to simply savor a meal. Numerous studies show that people who focus on the experience of the present moment are far happier than those who are constantly multi-tasking.
Practicing a lifestyle of mindfulness, simplicity and thankfulness helps to remind us of all the beauty in our present life and keep us from piling meaningless things and activities into our routines.
Fill your life with stories to tell, not stuff to show.
Live in the moment, Just take it all in. Pay attention to everything, Right there and right then. Don’t let your mind wander To what’s coming next. Cherish this moment And give it your best. Don’t let tomorrow Make you rush through today, Or too many great moments Will just go to waste. And the person you’re with, In that moment you share, Give them all of your focus; Be totally there. Laugh till it hurts, Let the tears drop. Fill up each moment With all that you’ve got. Don’t miss the details; The lesson is there. Don’t get complacent; Stay sharp and aware. It can take but a moment To change your life’s path. And once it ticks by, There is no going back. In just 60 seconds, You may make a new friend. Find your true love, Or see a life start or end. You become who you are In those moments you live. And the growth’s not in taking But in how much you give. Life is just moments, So precious and few. Whether valued or squandered, It’s all up to you!
” In a world that is inundated with distractions, busy-ness, and addiction to hustling, there is merit in taking a step back and looking at the big picture. “
Are you familiar with “the hustle”? It goes something like this…
You wake up. Check your phone. Brush your teeth, go to the toilet, and check your phone again. You get ready for the day. Maybe you go to the gym, do your meditation routine, or check your email… or all of that. You rush to your job or coworking space, where you spend the day working and scarfing down meals in between meetings. When you finally “finish” work (because let’s be real, you’re checking your email after-hours anyway), you go meet a friend or spend the evening watching Netflix or another activity that will help you relax. You go to sleep and do it all over again the next day.
It’s exhausting, but hey, at least you got shit done. You’ll get your break someday… right?
It seems that everywhere we go, people are suffering from the “hustle culture” pandemic. By hustle culture, I mean the collective urge we currently seem to feel as a society to work harder, stronger, faster. To grind and exert ourselves at our maximum capacity, every day, and accomplish our goals and dreams at a lightning speed that matches the digital world we’ve built around ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, working hard is important. Being raised by immigrant parents who rose out of poverty and worked hard to build a better future for our family, I first-hand witnessed the value of being persistent towards your dreams, never giving up, and constantly striving for a better life. We can’t sit around expecting for our circumstances to improve without putting in the work and effort.
With that being said, I’m seriously questioning whether hours clocked in equals output produced. In both the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds, we’ve watched people run around like chickens with their heads cut off, rushing from one meeting to another, feverishly checking off tasks, and not making time for much other than work or other “productive” activities. Needless to say, under these circumstances, self-care becomes an afterthought.
This attachment to the hustle is doing us more harm than good. Just this year, Americans have hit record-high levels of stress, anxiety, and anger: 55% of Americans report feeling stressed about their lives, which is 20% higher than the global average. Working too hard is costing us our mental and physical health on so many levels.
It makes me wonder, how much of our work is genuinely productive, and how much of it is an addiction to being busy?
Take your time. Take care of yourself. And, Whenever you find yourself rushing through life, take a step back and ask: “Why the rush? What am I actually working towards?”
When you know what you’re working on and why you’re working towards it, then everything that doesn’t serve that goal can take a backseat.
I truly believe that you can have a fulfilling career, earn abundantly, and have time to do what you love. Not only do I believe it, but I’ve created this in my life. In a world that is inundated with distractions, busy-ness, and addiction to hustling, there is merit in taking a step back and looking at the big picture.
What would life be like if you slowed down, just a little? If you took your time waking up, scheduled breaks for self-care, were fully present when you were with your loved ones, and made your working hours as productive and focused as possible so that you had less of them?
Sometimes it’s better to take one step backwards so you can take two steps forward, instead of incrementally plowing through life and being forced to slow down when you inevitably burn out.
Whether you’re pursuing a career with a company or are an entrepreneur is irrelevant. We hustle too much, and it’s killing our focus and productivity. We are not like the machines we’ve built, and evolution is going to take a while (a few thousands of years, at least) to catch up with our biological bodies with the hyper-connected, lighting-speed, automated digital environment that we’ve created. At the end of the day, we are human, which means we need to eat, pee, sleep, connect, and find fulfillment and meaning in our life. We can’t do that if we are filling every single pocket of time with a task so we can build our empire faster.
Don’t lose sight of why you’re pouring your life force into your work in the first place — so long as you hold your vision close to your heart, your hard work will always produce instead of distract.
Life is magical. Each and every moment of our life is special and unique. All we need to do is look around, and this time, look around more carefully. Look at the raindrops that fall so gently on the ground and appreciate the rhythm in which they do so. We have stopped looking at these little things as we have kept ourselves busy in discovering our materialistic matters. We need to just open up to these little moments. Experience the touch of a cool breeze which can literally set the whole world in motion. This kind of richness when discovered will help us in our certainties and mysteries.
Greatest secrets are always hidden in unlikely spots. The little things which we avoid in our everyday life are the greatest treasures of magic and have the potential to bring happiness to us. Need is to open up to them and it will help us to open up to ourselves. The world is full of magic. All we need to do is sharpen our senses so that we can discover the magic and this discovery eventually will lead to self-discovery. Who knows, one day we can turn ourselves into some super magical creature like wizards or mermaids. There is magic and there are miracles and do not lose hope in them. If we do then our disbelief will make us believe in governments, materials, and business.
It is not true that magic does not exist in the world. The whole thing is that we are devoid of strong senses. Our senses fail us to sense the magic in the universe. Since we are not able to do that we create disbelief against its existence. Magic needs to be explored. It waits for us to reveal it. All we have to do is become a seeker. Just like outside, magic exists inside us. When we turn off that clock that makes us chase time, we will discover an undiscovered magical world inside us.
There isn’t anything that we cannot achieve. The stars which look so far away from us are actually aren’t that far. Our wishes which look unachievable are actually not so difficult to achieve. All we have to do is believe in our wishes and dreams. We are magical creatures and we have the power to mold our destiny. We are blessed with magic. Open those palms and sprinkle the fairy dust.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.“
Sometimes we feel like giving up. The universe loves and blesses the one who doesn’t give up. Magic is stubbornness. There should be stubbornness in not giving up and believing in something that the heart wants. Now, the world may oppose us, stand in our way, regard us as a fool, throw obstacles in our path and make every possible effort to stop us from achieving what we really believe. It may ask us to produce some logic. But do remember that logic and magic do not coincide. If we find logic in everything then magic may never get explored. Only when we lose the fear of failure and fear of being regarded as wrong, will we explore the magic.
If there is a scope for love then there definitely will be a quest for magic. As long as the heart listens to the silence of the stars, as long as there are colors in the rainbow, magic exists. Do not get far away from the essence which was born within us. Embrace magic, who knows, we can someday get to meet elves and live in a tree.
It needn’t be taken too seriously. We were put on this planet to live the life we are living for a reason that will be forever unknown to us. We live each day with the knowledge that one day, we will die.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
I know this, and I know that the Sun will set and the Sun will rise no matter what. I am insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Knowing this allows me to be at peace with anything; it makes me want to be a better person for the now. I will not live forever, and so I wish for my small, small contribution to the world to be a good one.
When you realize how insignificant we each are, you become free. Free from the fears of judgement, failure, hatred, and all of the negative thoughts possessing you. You are free to explore, to wonder, and to learn.
There is just so much to explore, to wonder, and to learn about! Each day brings us another chance to discover a new music album, to delve into the twists of a great novel, learn an interesting fact from a friend, and to try the tasty new dish your mother made for you with so much love.
Life is beautiful because we have the capability to not only consume, but to create. We can draw, sing, dance, write, knit, garden, and do anything we like. The best part is that you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it! All you need is a desire to do something.
Life is beautiful because you are a work-in-progress. Whether you are 13, 25, 50, or 100, you will never be perfect, nor will you be complete. Let this inspire you, and remind you that you are only human.
Be unconditionally kind.
Never stop learning, growing, and creating.
Romanticize the mundane tasks in life.
Respect nature; surround yourself with it.
Accept the rain, the sadness, and the painful things that a full life is bound to have. Be grateful about the good things, for I promise that there are just as many. We may not know why we are here, but that is no reason to disregard how many years we have left to experience in our lives.
Many of us are driven by inner restlessness and longing. A sense that something is missing in life although it is difficult to put our finger on what it is.
We have the belief (even though we may not be aware of it) that when we have a better relationship, a more fulfilling job, more money, the next vacation, a better body or a number of other things that we’ll feel satisfied. That our life will feel more complete.
And yet even when we get a new relationship, more money or whatever it is we still feel there must be more.
So what is it that we’re really looking for? What are we seeking?
At the heart of this seeking is the need to know who we are and why we are here. What is this journey we call life all about?
This sense that something is missing is often an invitation to become more aware of our essence and who we are beyond the surface level of our life.
I personally experienced a feeling of what I came to call “soul hunger” in my own life which manifested as stress-related health issues, relationship troubles and a lack of meaning and purpose.
This soul hunger is an invitation to embark on an inner journey in order to understand ourselves better and shed the limiting beliefs that are holding us back from becoming our best and most authentic selves.
It often happens at a time in our life when we’re acutely aware that we have a lot to be grateful for.
We notice an inner tug of war between the part of us that tells ourselves we should just be grateful and the part of ourselves that tells us there must be “more.”
And if feeling lost and confused isn’t enough we also feel lonely because we find that most people don’t understand what we’re experiencing.
I get it because I have been there and experienced these same feelings that were confusing and unsettling. I experienced a dark night of the soul and was really suffering even though I had SO much to feel grateful for.
What are these feelings and inner knowing that something is missing in our lives trying to tell us?
I began to see a pattern in the people I mentor and it usually boils down to three things:
We may be disconnected from our true selves. In this scenario, we have been so busy focusing on other people or fulfilling the many roles in our lives that we lose touch with our innermost selves. We may have put a lot of time and energy into raising a family, and/or work and then something changes and we’re left asking- Who am I without these roles or this job? What am I meant to “do” now?
It’s not uncommon to lose sight of our own unique values, gifts, needs and what makes us feel most vital and alive.
Our authentic self can easily get buried beneath a whole lot of layers and beliefs. We’re busy being a “good” person and doing what we should do to be productive human beings and in the process, we can lose touch with who we actually are and who we’re meant to become.
We may be longing for deeper and more meaningful relationships. As we begin to awaken we are less satisfied with living at the shallow end of life.
Our souls long for deep and fulfilling relationships where we can share our most intimate thoughts and feelings with those closest to us.
We want and need deeper connections with people and have a desire to share and discover our authentic selves with others in a safe and nourishing way.
Just as we are meant to grow and evolve, our relationships are also meant to grow and evolve. When this doesn’t happen it’s common to feel like our relationships lack depth.
While earlier in our lives we may be satisfied with relationships that enable us to share the tasks and manage the roles in our lives, there comes a point that our souls need something deeper.
I spend most of my waking hours either thinking about how we can live happier lives and do more fulfilling work, or talking to people about it. Sometimes, we can get so caught up with the challenges and struggles in front of us, and how to navigate through them effectively, that we fail to ask ourselves the most important questions that would have the power to unlock so much more fulfillment, joy and peace in our lives, if we only stopped to answer them.
Think about the one thing that you believe would generate the biggest breakthrough in your life today. And be specific – don’t leave it at the word “fun,” for example, but share in one word the deeper expression of what fun represents to you. What would “fun” make possible in your life, work, and family?
It’s vitally important to me to offer information and insights (and programs) that get at the heart of what we need and want as human beings. But more importantly, I’m interested in learning what is missing from the lives of thousands of people around the world that they can’t seem to find, connect with, or generate more of. And I’d love to understand why we seem to be missing these important elements in our lives. I’m not at all concerned with how to help people make a quick buck, or follow some get-rich-quick scheme and rise overnight to the top of the heap in their fields. I am interested, however, in the long haul – how we create and build lives that matter, and livelihoods that make a positive difference and impact in the world. And I’m keenly focused on how we can do that with as much joy, ease, love, and soulfulness as possible. I’m looking for clues as to what keeps us centered, secure, and serene in the process, so we can thrive through change and stay true to exactly who we wish to be.
For me, the one word that describes what I want more of today is “soulfulness.” Why is that? Because I find, unfortunately, that it’s been missing lately in a lot of what I’m confronting and experiencing every day. It’s missing in some of my relationships, some of my colleagues, some of my friends and clients, and some of the ways I behave, think and communicate. It’s been missing in my projects and in my goals. And when I operate without soulfulness, it usually goes very badly for me.
I get sick, sad and exhausted because I push hard and strive towards things that in some cases I don’t even really want (because I’ve been blindly following some role models in the world whom I later realized I don’t even want to emulate). And when I do identify important, authentic goals for myself, if soulfulness isn’t involved in how I pursue them, I find I’m left holding the bag, without the real power, juice and excitement necessary to sustain me to reach my goals. So it’s soulful for me that I want more of this year. What do you long for most in your life today?
When it comes right down to it, almost everything is a choice. Every single minute, we have choices in life. This is both a great truth and a hard lesson because it reminds us of our own power. Not power over others, but the hidden, untapped power to be our best and live out our dreams.
We are born with the power to manifest our future. It isn’t fate that determines our future. Our future is determined by the choices we make, don’t make, or leave for others to make for us. If we don’t like the present we are living, we can create a new one – the power is ours.
Future success is not the result of just one monumental decision. It is the result of a continuous series of choices every day. Those choices don’t just impact the moment, they echo throughout our professional and personal lives.
Some may say that we don’t choose our circumstances. However, we have more power over circumstances than we care to admit. Even if circumstances are thrust upon us, we choose how we respond to them. Some of the most inspiring stories are of those who overcame and chose to become successful.
Do you often find yourself thinking “I want to be successful” yet feel like you’re working too hard to achieve it? Are you successful on paper yet feel unfulfilled in life? Do you often work hard to achieve your goals, and then wonder why you’re not happy once you successfully achieve them?
If this is you, you’re not alone. In my experience, many high-achieving professionals constantly hustle and push themselves only to find themselves successfully unhappy.
” Success Isn’t Just About Achievement.Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself. “
Most of us define success based purely on achieving something – and it’s often based on status and/or money.
I used to think success was about doing and having “it all” and by hustling through the tough times. Like many people, I figured that eventually I’d get to where I wanted to be and finally find happiness. But unfortunately, after hustling for several years and finding myself feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and incredibly unhappy, I realized that success wasn’t what I originally thought it was. Because, although others considered me “successful”, I didn’t feel it.
The truth is: you can work hard and amass all the money in the world, be the leading expert in your field, and be thought of as successful by others. . . yet feel empty inside. That’s not success.
Being successful means that you feel like a success. If you don’t feel successful, then you’re not. Success isn’t just about achievement. The key to success starts with how you define it and how you choose to live your version of success.
Please note: I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have goals or work hard for them. Instead, I’m telling you that you’ll never feel good about your success if you don’t set the right foundation, regardless of how hard you work.
It’s time to redefine what success means to you, in a way that serves you better.
Your choices won’t always guarantee you success, but they will open the door, and each choice you make after that opens the door just a little bit wider. Success will never walk in if you don’t open that door and put out the welcome mat. It’s your choice.
Whether you’re selling them as an entrepreneur, marketer, writer, or any other kind of knowledge worker, or facing a serious crossroads in your personal life, the choices you make today define your future.
So it’s no wonder that when it comes to our growth and success, few skills are more important than the ability to make good decisions.
As Nobel-prize winning economist Milton Friedman wrote: “The best measure of quality thinking is your ability to accurately predict the consequences of your ideas and subsequent actions.”
Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.
It’s impossible to know whether the choice you’re making is 100% right. Instead of feeling powerless, remember that your gut can be just as powerful a reason to make a choice as all the research, data, and opinions you’ve already gathered.
Trivial decisions like what shirt to wear or what brand of toothpaste to buy may be easy enough to make—though some of us spend hours on research to make those decisions. It’s the gray area problems that are the hardest to resolve—ones where despite all the research you’ve done and experts you’ve spoken to, the answer is still unclear. Problems where it’s up to you, your experiences, and that pesky gut feeling to decide what is the best course of action.
Questions like: Should I take this job? Should I move to [place]? Should I marry [person]? Should I tell so-and-so about such-and-such secrets? Pivotal questions that are difficult and risky to answer.
So how do you put yourself in the best position when faced with hard decisions?
“Unless you’re winning, most of life will seem hideously unfair to you.”
The real rules are there. They actually make sense. But they’re a bit more complicated, and a lot less comfortable, which is why most people never manage to learn them.
We’re all in competition, although we prefer not to realise it. Most achievements are only notable relative to others. You swam more miles, or danced better, or got more Facebook Likes than the average. Well done.
It’s a painful thing to believe, of course, which is why we’re constantly ensuring the opposite. “Just do your best”, we hear. “You’re only in competition with yourself”. The funny thing about platitudes like that is they’re designed to make you try harder anyway. If competition really didn’t matter, we’d tell struggling children to just give up.
Fortunately, we don’t live in a world where everyone has to kill each other to prosper. The blessing of modern civilization is there’s abundant opportunities, and enough for us all to get by, even if we don’t compete directly.
But never fall for the collective delusion that there’s not a competition going on. People dress up to win partners. They interview to win jobs. If you deny that competition exists, you’re just losing. Everything in demand is on a competitive scale. And the best is only available to those who are willing to truly fight for it.
We judge ourselves by our thoughts.
“I’m a good person”. “I’m ambitious”. “I’m better than this.” These idle impulses may comfort us at night, but they’re not how the world sees us. They’re not even how we see other people.
Well-meaning intentions don’t matter. An internal sense of honour and love and duty count for squat. What exactly can you and have you done for the world?
Abilities are not prized by their virtue. Whatever admiration society awards us, comes from the selfish perspectives of others. A hard working janitor is less rewarded by society than a ruthless stockbroker. A cancer researcher is rewarded less than a supermodel. Why? Because those abilities are rarer and impact more people.
We like to think that society rewards those who do the best work.
Write an unpublished book, you’re nobody. Write Harry Potter and the world wants to know you. Save a life, you’re a small-town hero, but cure cancer and you’re a legend. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to all talents, even unsavoury ones.
You may hate this. It may make you sick. Reality doesn’t care. You’re judged by what you have the ability to do, and the volume of people you can impact. If you don’t accept this, then the judgement of the world will seem very unfair indeed.
“Life is not meant to be fair. It never was, never is and will never always be fair, so now what?”
We suffer because of the idea that life was meant to be painless and things should go smoothly as it is. If life was so smooth, then we would all still be a dunce and still be using stones to start a fire or still wearing animal skins as clothes.
You don’t expect life to be fair to you because you are a good person or you work so hard. Life has its own rules, it’s complicated and not the same for everyone.
This life is so unfair that we are being brought to this life without our consent, and as well die without death asking for our permission before taking us away.
Life is a mixture of myriad torments and baffling situations that may even compel one unconsciously to erase off all the joyous occasions that they lived. Every moment in life is a bundle of unpredictable surprises, some good and some really tough.
“From the school to the workplace to community, there’s no statement more damning than “You’re being unfair!” Born out of democracy and raised in open markets, fairness has become our de facto modern creed in this modern life. “
Everyone here is a victim of life unfairness. I just wonder sometimes why things happen to some people and wish I could just lift my hands and make their problems go away. But the truth is, I am also a victim.
Sometimes, humans are livestock and fuel to make this life thrive with the way newborn babies come into our lives and the way we see the people we loved no more.
Have you ever wondered why people suffer? Why do people die? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does everyone around you seem to succeed and all you do is fail? Why don’t you always feel special? Why do people disappoint you? Why can’t you get the job/offer/position you want? Why do you have that serious illness?
Well, all these questions are questions I have asked myself and come with only one thing: We suffer a lot because we only think about how life is unfair to us, ask a lot of whys, compare ourselves to others, we don’t want to accept it and just move on. Everyone in this life has a place they stand, orchestrated by the laws of the universe. You need to fight for yours. Don’t ever compare yourself.
As an adult, the moment you start dwelling in the thought that life should be fair to you, then it’s a thought distortion often called the cognitive distortion or Fallacy of Fairness. It basically means sometimes, we think life should always be perfect and fair to us in every way whereas it’s not. This often leads to depression because it’s basically against our belief system and our expectations.
“Life is unfair”, “No one can get everything he wants to get” and “You can’t succeed before you suffer” are some false beliefs that your mind might use as a decoy not to present you with the real facts.
If you tried once and failed then definitely you will discover that life is unfair. Life was not intended for those who try only once then give up but instead, it’s orchestrated for the determined and strong-minded people who keep trying until they get what they want.
You know, you can waste all of your energy and time stuck in that persistent thought on how life is unfair to you, or you can accept the fact that there’s no way life will thrive without being unfair to everyone in the universe.