Minimalism

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about minimalism, how leading a minimalistic life, i.e. living only with the things that give us happiness or something that we truly need to function, can help us in living a happy and successful life. It talked about how we often buy things just because we have this false need of validation that owning that particular thing will make us happy, or sometimes it’s just because we compare the things that we own with others, thus always trying to fill a void with useless garbage, but not realising that the void is always going to keep asking for more (it’s a black hole :|). It was very motivating and inspiring, and I ended up cleaning out some old stuffed toys from my parent’s showcase, that I had received as birthday gifts when I was a teenager. But this post is not about how to clean up your house or your closet. It is about cleaning up your mind.

Agreed that living with minimal things is satisfactory. But what about all the extra noise that we keep hoarding up in our minds? Signing up ourselves for infinite activities and bearing the burden of not being able to do them? Along with materialistic things, also craving for all the experiences that others are experiencing and feeling that doing that would make us happy?

I see a new book, I put it in my TBR list. That list keeps on getting bigger and I know I am never going to read them all, and yet I don’t stop. Watching that list only gives me anxiety and I have actually lost the names of the books I actually want to read in that junk. Same goes for trying to watch all the movies and shows, that I have been told are the most amazing piece of content ever created. I am sure they are. But do I want to watch everything, or can I even? The same way where we keep buying useless things to impress others, we keep on reading or watching things we don’t want to just to impress others or to get some sense of achievement, but the list never ends.

If that wasn’t enough, there comes travel. This earth is never going to fall short of the places where one can go to blow off some steam. And someone or the other is always going to go to places that you have not been to, and you will always keep craving for that, for more. More often than not, this craving is just out of FOMO and not because you actually want to see so and so place.

Along with that, there’s a crazy need for trying to excel in so many things, trying this out, trying that out, burning ourselves out. It’s good to be ambitious but it’s also good to know when to stop. And it’s best to realise which things actually make you happy, and not go crazy while juggling between activities because if you keep your foot on many boats, you are just going to fall down.

Minimalism goes a long way. I am not sure how ready I am to throw away many things that I own yet, but maybe I can throw away some items from my To-do list and get some peace!

Finding Peace

One of the greatest question, stretched across humanity. Something that we want to find for ourselves and for the world as well, something that we think will bring utmost happiness to us. There have been numerable books that talk about how you can achieve it, or can come closest to achieving it. I haven’t really read any such books because I am afraid that I am too messed up to find something meaningful out of them, and too lazy to make efforts and bring considerable changes in my lifestyle. But that does not mean that I have given up on this search for finding peace.

The meaning of peace for me changes often, because mostly it is related to giving a rest to what has been bothering me. Resolving things with a friend, having a good cry after long, letting out my feelings in front of someone, replying to that one text that I have been afraid to open since the morning, addressing the small and big issues that I didn’t want to, sometimes these small wins make up my day and result in a good night’s sleep.

If there aren’t these small wins in my daily life, sometimes (rarely but there are days) when my office life saves me. Even if I don’t like my work on many days, that one day when I do some good work, solve some bug, make that code work, learn something which changes my perspective, even if that something is small enough for the rest of the world, that day I feel utterly happy and at peace with myself. And sometimes, the joy of closing 10-20 tabs are enough for some peace of mind.

Sometimes there are days when nothing happens on its own, neither small nor big, that can make me feel good about myself and I need to put in some effort. I need to try something new, be it some dish or some yoga asana. If not something new, I have to fallback to following a routine because all the checked items give a satisfaction at the end of the day. Sometimes doing a small thing differently is great as well, like sitting on the balcony floor for a cup of tea or doing nothing and listening to good music (and not simply as a background noise while working).

Though on most days, I don’t find peace in anything. I struggle. I roam around, unable to enjoy anything. Unable to grasp any word of the book I am reading, watching episode after episode just to get lost, sometimes not liking even my favourite dish and simply swallowing it, having conversations that I forget within the next 5 minutes.

But when there are these rare peaceful days, I feel really thankful and enlightened, that the answer had been here all along. I am reminded of how sometimes some effort is needed to make your own day. For days when nothing great happens, it is important to have those small easy tasks that you can quickly finish off, it is important to do something nice for yourself, it is important to take a break, it is important to unwind in whatever way suits you and understand yourself better.
I know I’ll go back to my normal lost self tomorrow, but it feels good to say it out loud and be aware of the answer, that if I want to find that peace, even though temporarily, I don’t have to do a full fledged soul searching, cleaning my room might also work for me today 🙂

Going somewhere?

Going somewhere? Out of breath? Life, never stopping to take a breath, or let us take a breath. No time to calm down. You have to keep moving if you want to make it big. If you are doing something, it makes you angry, you want to stop, but not doing anything makes you even angrier and you surround yourself with work and responsibilities that are sometimes way out of your league. But you stay adamant, you want to prove your worth. Because if you don’t, then you would be looked down upon, or so you think. You keep slogging, every day, work to home, home to work. But are you trying to get somewhere? You have no idea where to go. You are just moving, just like everyone around you is moving. You want a big shiny car, a brand new apartment, but too afraid to take the big leap, aren’t you? You want to move to a better country, and still not sure what for. You want to go to that dream destination that everyone keeps talking about, but you actually wish to go to the confines of your hometown. Because trips are more stressful than stress relieving. But maybe that is because we want to visit every single place lest we miss out on something good. You go to the gym, not for staying healthy but just to get a better body. But this pressure of getting a better body is making you eat more and worse, isn’t it? You want to read that book on your nightstand, but cannot keep the laptop down. One more episode, and eventually you fall asleep. The book still left untouched, getting dustier. Sleeping late, waking up later. Cancelling plans because going out takes too much of you. Then cribbing that life is boring and monotonous. You don’t want to drink or smoke every other day, but the loneliness of the home seems worse than the hangover and the derailing body. And you cannot stop. FOMO. Your biggest enemy. Stressing over something that hasn’t even happened but you are afraid you will miss it. Spoiling something fun you were already a part of in the process. You complain that everyone else is happy. And one fine day you wake up and are mature enough to realize no one actually is. And this weird unhappy world gives you a little bit of contentment and motivation. You start learning how to live happily with this unhappiness and lack of purpose in life. You learn to live in the moment because you realize most of the parties are blurry and the same anyway. Learning how to keep promises, and not cancelling at the last moment, because people are better at listening than the walls. You start sleeping on time, even if not waking up yet. The more the sleep, the merrier the day is. You take out time to read, even 10 pages would do. You learn how to workout and eat, because atleast the scale still shows the same number. And the workouts are pretty fun. Taking the trips slow, enjoying rather than hurrying. Still not sure what to do with your life, still over-burdened at work. But life seems better, atleast you are happier. Calmer. You learn how to leave office in office, unwind and sleep.
Life might be getting to you right now, but you will get there, bit by bit 🙂