just be – you are enough

often times we find ourselves pondering over whether we are good enough. we drown ourselves deep into the darkness questioning our self-worth. and it mostly happens when we witness other people doing better than us. it is an ugly thought as it leaves us cursing ourselves for not being something that we are not.

imperfection is seen as a trait of guilt. we feel shameful at our imperfection. we forget that we are merely humans, not angels or idealistic utopian characters of some fictional world. reality is absurd and things are not perfect all the time. and so it becomes important that we remind ourselves that we are enough, no matter how imperfect we may appear to ourselves. and that is how we can remain ourselves in all situations.

authenticity is superior to perfection. it is all about how authentic you are despite being imperfect. it is important to be vulnerable because vulnerability lets your imperfections be seen and allows you to connect with other authentic beings. being yourself may just be the best thing you can do to yourself. it removes all stress and doubts when we find ourselves comfortable in our own skin.

each and every individual on this planet earth is a unique being and has an identity of his/her own. where we tend to fall is when we start comparing ourselves with others, and it becomes a reason of our misery. we must understand that everyone is running their own race and is struggling in one way or the other, and therefore, comparison does not make any sense. instead, if one at all costs wants to compare oneself with others, one must do so with those who are leading troublesome, difficult lives. this way, you would consider yourself luckier to have a better life.

viktor frankl, in his book “man’s search for meaning”, speaks about such perspective way of thinking, as he shares his experience in the nazi concentration camp. he describes it as his psycho-therapeutic method that involves identification of a new purpose in your life to think positive about, and then imagining that positive outcome. one may call it as a dream sequence that lacks reality, but such an identification really helps in most distressing times. in the book, frankl describes an incident when while in the concentration camp, he witnessed a prisoner being taken away to the cells, and how frankl wished himself to be that prisoner, a life that seemed better to a nazi occupation victim. get the book here.

picture source: http://thepagesproject.com

so, you see, whenever in doubt or not at your best, you must look at the positive perspectives to your life. you must find something that can uplift you instantly, some future goal or hope. you must believe that something different can happen, and you must never lose such hope. you must continue to think high in the most discouraging circumstances. and most important of all, you must simply be yourself and believe that you’re enough in this entire cosmos of amazement.

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what makes a work of art great

an artist longs to create such great work of art that astonishes all and outshines its contemporaries. he dwells upon his craft for long years in order to come up with one such masterpiece that shall immortalize his being in the artistic arena. but he does not always achieve that feat. in fact, only one tenth of the entire artistic clan or even lesser is able to book its name in the historical records of grandeur. the rest fail and are forgotten.

so the question that becomes important here is what is it that makes a piece of art great. what work shall stand the test of time and shall be acclaimed as great work for generations in future. is there a formula to such grand success or one has to make his way through subjective experiments?

scholars have believed that in order create great work in the present, the artist must study the past, because without a resounding knowledge of the history, any creation would lack investigatory strength. it would be as if it stands on its own and its existence shall be a transient one. if, however, one has studied thoroughly the traditional patterns of his craft, one shall be in a better position to create great work.

m.m. bakhtin, the great russian philosopher and literary critic, says: “a work cannot live in future centuries without having somehow observed past centuries as well. if it had belonged entirely to today, (that is, were a product only of its own time) and not a continuation of the past or essentially related to the past, it could not live in the future. everything that belongs only to the present dies along with the present. … in the process of their posthumous life, they are enriched with new meanings, new significance: it is as though these works outgrow what they were in the epoch of their creation.”

what a beautiful idea that is! and how true! in order to be remembered in the future, one must work hard upon the past practices that have sustained through the present. t.s. eliot had similar views when in his essay — tradition and individual talent — he says: “no poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. his significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. you cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead.”

perhaps, that is the reason why great artists like quentin tarantino never forget to mention the classics when they come to talk about their own films. they are always inspired by the great work already done by the erstwhile filmmakers. if you watch “the hateful eight”, you’ll find that tarantino has tried to create a similar film as has already been made before, in terms of the impact it has on the audience. he says that the 1982 classic movie “the thing” is very similar to “the hateful eight” as it creates similar atmosphere for the audience.

so, you see, great work is not a creation of the artist’s mind alone. rather, it is an observance of what has already been achieved in the past and what has lingered on in the mind of the artist for long years that finally gets released into a new form of art. tarantino certainly works this way and is one of the best directors we have today. his films shall continue to be loved by millions in the future because he has picked his inspiration from great works that have stood the test of time. the same is true for shakespeare too. and that’s what makes a work of art great.

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top 3 books on self-help in 2017

we are always striving to get better, to grow ourselves into the best version of ourselves, and the best way to do that is by consistently learning new ideas. growth takes time and effort. a person that does not acknowledge the novel ideas around him, shall lag behind those who capture these ideas and work on them.

if you want to lead your field and if you want to become the best version of yourself, the following books may be of great help to you. these are the top three best selling books on self-help in 2017.

I can’t make this up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart.

kevin is a hollywood box-office star and is one of the best comedians ever. however, he wasn’t born that way. he was an unwanted child of his criminal father and his cruel punishing mother. he was raised under difficult circumstances and could have easily become a resentful person. but he chose to be somebody that frees people off their concerns. this is a must read book if you want a new perspective to your life. after reading this book, you will definitely feel more joyful, blessed, and free.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.

mark is a successful blogger turned author. in this book, he talks about how you can easily reset your life by being concerned about a few important things only that matter to you the most, and avoiding or not giving a f**k about the things that do not matter to you, for example, how people would react etc. basically, this books frees you from always being pissed off at things that do not really determine your happiness or misery. the book can really be helpful to those who are always trying to please other people and eventually fade out their own interests.

The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins: 

this one book can drastically change your habits when it comes to getting a work done. it deals with one of the most important subject of our lives when it comes to self-development and that is procrastination. how many times we let go of a new idea that strikes us and prompts us to act upon it. mel robbins is a successful life coach who helps people achieving their goals. she has included her brightest of ideas to place the reader into action mode. this book can be life transforming for people who wish to act upon their dreams but lack the motivation. a must read if you want to see yourself doing some epic work without wasting any further time.

i hope these three books bring you great results this year. but remember that knowledge not put in action is of no value, and so you must work hard on your learned wisdom. paulo coelho writes it best when he says:

“the world is changed by your example, not your opinion.”

wish you a great happy life!

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how authentic are you

today’s times are tragic times. why? because image has become greater than reality. people often turn towards appearances, without realizing that looks are deceptive. authenticity is rarely valued and superficiality and artificiality has become the realm of the modern existence.

people no longer crave for art or intelligence. they are happy to go after the pseudo stereotypes that are prevalent, glossy and loud. i’m talking about the masses here. there are a few exceptions, of course. but largely, if you see, you find chaos, distractions, people following crap. The kind of songs we get to hear these days, especially the rap/hip hop ones, full of crap talk, it makes us hard to believe that it is the same country that have produced singers like kishore kumar and mohd rafi and musicians like SD burman and shankar jaikishan.

Now, you may call it collective stupidity or anything else, that’s what has doomed India’s progress on an international scale. Whereas in America, the masses are full of new startups and the youth is coming up with new ideas to change the world, in india, we are caught up in petty politics on the basis of caste and religion. We have leaders who are bent upon restoring the ancient practices back at the contemporary stage and we have youth in large numbers who blindly follow the traditional images of power and do not acknowledge democracy. During the day, these goons work in groups and assert power on innocent people on the basis of a specific traditional customs, and in the night, these goons criminally exploit and loot. Under such circumstances, where does one expect new ideas from the youth, where is the question of growth and meeting global standards.

Because everything has been commercialized, politics is no different. Politics is a good career option in india due to rampant corruption. A good candidate for politics just needs to have a great criminal background and several contact links in the existing government. That’s all and then your victory at the polls is confirmed.

Media plays an important role in this image and reality game. Being a part of the same commercialized structure of the capitalist economy of the country, media has to project and maintain an image that resounds with the general public, I.e. The masses, because if you can’t please the masses, you can’t keep the govt happy. Just like the masala movies, media has to add some masala to the news in order to feed the stupidity of mass audiences.

Tv channels are not so distinct domain from the media. In fact, they both fall under the same ballpark. Their most important value is TRP and they are willing to debase themselves to any level in order to maintain the TRP. Hence, the chaos. Now, the people like me, those who don’t watch TV, are blessed souls, because we can think, create and imagine new ideas. But the majority, the larger masses are devoid of this sensation. They are tragically trapped into the same blend of negative masala services that blind and numb.

I hope they come out of this trance and think for themselves what they are capable of dreaming and achieving. I hope india matures to be a world leader. Remember, there’s immense potential that lacks execution.

Image source: http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-YE077_icorru_G_20130712062808.jpg

how to write fiction – advice from a genius polymath

august strindberg, a name that might not sound very familiar but has a fascination behind, was a polymath playwright, actor, novelist, poet, essayist, painter, swedish modernist who married and divorced thrice. infamous for his scandalous behaviour, he was charming as a young man, always attracted to ladies.

his literature is prolific and his paintings are full of expressions with vivid colors. his fiction breaks free the shackles of orthodoxy, as he is a revolt on paper and anger is his most precious emotion as he sets out to write. this is what he has to say to the budding writers, a message he had given to his first wife who had an inclination to writing:

“write everything you don’t say as you sit over your knitting. say everything you would like to say when you are angry but must keep quiet… instead of playing some dumb sonatas on the piano, take some pen and paper. (don’t write poetry, for god’s sake. there is no room in those short lines — least of all when you are rich in ideas and everything floods over.) to write for you is simply to remember. think of some small significant event in your life. first isolate it. see that it has a beginning and an end. one has to know where it is leading…! if you get “angry” your style acquires color, for anger is the strongest of all spiritual emotions. you say you lack education! god preserve us from writers who retail what they have read in the books. it is people’s secrets that we want to know… think of an injustice, get angry, bring forth invisible enemies, create adversaries… be “mad” — it isn’t everyone who can be that and not many of those lucky enough to be able to, have the courage… there was something called the sin against the holy ghost! i think they meant by that: resisting one’s calling. that was said to be the only unforgivable sin. remember that!”

so you see, strindberg inspires. he wants you to be “mad” and “angry”, as he himself was. he wants you to have the courage to set out for your calling, because resisting it is a sin to the holy ghost, and that too an unforgivable one. another ‘tip’ that he throws off at us is to isolate any significant incident from life and start writing on it when you clearly see a beginning and an end to it. it is the secrets that the people want to know. so explore the confidential.

strindberg has written some of the most wonderful plays of the modern era. the taste of realistic drama may be relished at his writings. deeply inspired by emile zola’s essay on naturalism, strindberg strove to create fiction as a mirror to the real life. his characters are picked up from his neighborhood, people he had observed for long, and his plots were based upon the local gossips.

strindberg was a creative genius, and his creativity reaches heights of magnificence in his paintings. leading the impressionistic movement in sweden, his paintings till date are considered the most original works of the 19th century. the father of the swedish literature, strindberg is an institution of creativity and artistic excellence. we, the feeble lot of the 21st century, must learn the nuances from this polymath, a prolific playwright, who wrote over 60 plays in his four-decade career. shakespeare could write 39.

click here to find a few books of this genius polymath that you’ll enjoy reading.

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to spectate without a skeptical eye is to endure a potato existence

you must have seen potato. the ugly, lame, and shapeless vegetable. potatoes don’t question a thing. they’re almost colorless and easily blendable with almost everything.

that’s the image that comes across my mind when i witness the urban crowd with their office bags rushing for work every morning. man was not always like that. oh no. he was once a free soul. there were times when man was independent, working for himself in the countryside, fishing in the morning, sleeping in the afternoon, playing with his kids in the evening, and partying at night with drinks, music, and dance. man was happy. how did the man become a potato then? how?

well, industrialization and globalization through capitalism has taken its toll on man. money has become the supreme value of existence. the idea of capitalism is strategically placed in this world by some cunning fellas that wish to reign it over. why, if man is always after making a living for himself and his family, he has no time to wonder about existential concerns or to question his allowed rights or responsibilities. in a communist state though, man is free of the obligations of earning and can sustain on the collective surplus. thus here he has all the time to ponder over meaninglessness of his existence on earth.

similar is the case of sports. national and international level sports and games were invented to keep people’s attention away from the important concerns of the world so that man remains busy in entertaining himself with the sports watching the idiot box while his country’s wealth is being taken over by a hefty few. the people in power know exactly how to keep the people happy and silent.

the art of deception is lucidly played against the people. media is another huge machinery working under this deception. poor potatoes who believe in media are kept in the dark by diversion of their attention to trivial matters. the people remain aloof to the most important issues at hand and are not at all skeptical about the government’s moves, which ultimately works against the people, as the government remains unquestioned.

today’s man, thus, has been successfully turned into a potato. his vegetable existence does not raise questions of any considerable weight. he is always engaged in his daily mundane activities like a Sisyphus at work with herd mentality. whatever little time he gets, after securing a three time meal for himself and his family, is spent carelessly over the idiot box that keeps up with his potatoic idiocy.

where is the question of questioning then? and what is the need? the world is still being run and it will continue to find its runners in future too. the potatoes must not give a fuck. after all, nobody follows the constitution and it is not actually the potatoes that are in power as it says; they are merely puppets at the hands of the rulers, the so-called servants. so the potatoes sit back and relax, and stop thinking about it altogether while the national health and wealth is put at stake.

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