The L word

Learning is about inspiration, not information!

You are never really “done” learning. Learning is a constant process that keeps your mind alive and functioning. It can be thought of as breathing for your brain, once you stop doing it, your brain becomes dead<so to speak!> Idle mind is a devils playground. And when you stop assimilating knowledge, your brain becomes idle and starts wandering off in unproductive directions with you having no control over them!

When you do not feed your mind important, informative, intellectual <and other words starting from i that’ll make you think I’m smart> things to think about, it’ll usually result in you pondering over problems and overthinking, which is not healthy for either you or your brain. Keep your mind busy enough so it does not have time to think and worry about all the things that do not exist. Overthinking causes you to worry about the most unlikely scenarios <Imagine some witty example of why overthinking is a mess!>

We can all agree that education system, which says it is teaching something to kids, is heavily flawed. A bunch of kids — each definitely unique in their own ways, with obviously different interests, and who will all take varied amounts of time to comprehend and learn something are taught the same thing over a same period of time and are tested on the basis of their understanding of that! In my opinion, these tests determine the ability of the teacher to convey the information more than the student’s intellectual ability. <Many Indians nodding furiously in approval>

Since the obvious choice of learning seems to be below par, what do we do? Well, the Internet is a wonderful place to turn to at this time. We are fortunate to be a part of a world where you can Google anything and information about it appears for free, at your convenience.

Think about it, Internet is like your portable library+personal advisor+intellectual partner in crime.

In a world where information is so easily and readily available, the irony is that not many access and make use of it. We instead use the Internet for social media stalking and validation purposes. There’s nothing wrong with that but I urge you to take one small break from that routine and to focus on learning something new. It is a very small change in your life that could lead to many good things.


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Struggles in the last week

6R7KCXBEEE

There comes a time in anyone’s life when they feel like they aren’t worth anything. When everything they’ve done so far seems to be for nothing. Everyone around you seems to have it all figured out and making progress while you’re just stuck doing absolutely nothing. Well, this recently happened to me when I was dumbstruck by all the things that people around me – my friends, family – were doing. I felt worthless as if I was running out of time for some reason. I felt the need to do things and do them quickly. This urge, I thought was a good thing.

Turns out it isn’t.

When we feel like we’re running out of time and put ourselves under that kind of pressure when there’s absolutely no need for any of that, it causes more harm than good. Who set deadlines for the things that I’m yet to do? Who got to decide that if I start something now, it’ll be too late? Why should I feel like this is some sort of a race against time?

The answer is simple: The social pressure to ‘fit in’. Well, this pressure is the reason many of us are in jobs we don’t like and this pressure is the reason that many of us still haven’t taken that trip to explore the world because we have ‘commitments’ here. I’ve come to realize that we are fooling ourselves to a great extent by telling all these lies to ourselves. We do not have to do the same things that others do just because it is socially accepted. We do not have to do things at the same time our friends do. We sure as hell don’t have a deadline on our dreams. So, whenever you feel like ‘you’re falling behind’ know that there is no such thing as falling behind.

You have to work hard, sure. But that should come from within and be self motivated. You shouldn’t wanna do something because everyone around you is doing that. It’s not only stupid but also useless and never gets the results you’re hoping for. Worrying about the things that others are doing and worrying about the things that you haven’t done is never gonna change anything. So, get off the worrying boat and go kick some ass.

Stay motivated. Stay focused.

Opinions are not facts

Everyone in this world has many different opinions about many different things around us. We have opinions about movies, politics, cats, dogs, music, books, dance, guitars, cars, pens, sex, love, space and what not! No one can say they do not have an opinions about something; because we are human beings and we are supposed to think and create an impression about the things that happen around us and to us. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. We must perceive things and understand them and develop preferences for certain things over the other. We need to see all the different events and cultivate different views about them. That’s what we are meant to do and that’s why we are given the privilege think and if we didn’t do that, we’d be wasting our brain’s abilities.

So, all of us are entitled to our own opinions. Every single one of us. But..

We have misused that right. We have come to believe that opinions are facts and that what we think and how we see is the only way to look at things. Let me elaborate:

Just because you have seen something in a certain way and developed an idea about it, it doesn’t mean everyone in this world is gonna agree with you. In fact, most of them might disagree with you. You do not have to right to assume that your sentiment is a fact and you sure as hell should not stuff it in people’s face. Learn to respect other people’s viewpoint and try to understand that. Everyone can teach you something you don’t know. In fact, listening to their idea may help you to look at it in a way you never thought of before.

Discussion is an exchange of information. Argument is an exchange of ignorance.

Stop being ignorant of the people around you. In this world of social media, you can share your views across continents in a matter of seconds, which is what I’m doing right now, so you need to be able to accept others take on the matter and be open to new ideas and discussions. You might be used to the idea that you’ve developed but that doesn’t make it true; not does it make the other person’s notion less valuable.

Also, it is important to understand that your opinion of something doesn’t make it a reality or the truth. It is simply the way you have seen the issue or event and how your brain has come to understand it. I kindly request you to think before dismissing someone’s impression of a matter. Before talking about anything ask yourself three things

  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it kind?
  • Does it make a difference.

If the answer to any one of those questions is no, may be you should just keep quiet. Stop hurting and attacking others sentiments. Keep calm and love well.

Everyone can have their own opinion, everyone cannot have their own fact.

People don’t know what they want

Recently, I came across a friend who was very much engrossed in his smartphone. In fact, he was interacting more with the phone than me. I jokingly challenged him to stay off his smartphone for a week — like completely off (maybe, use a basic phone just for calls!) He laughed at it; I told him that I was serious and we could involve some money in the bet too. His face changed and he said, “I could stay off food for a week not my phone.” And continued texting away. This got me thinking, how and when did a smartphone become more important to a human life than food? (Well technically, it isn’t because you’d die if you don’t eat!)

So, I wanted to know if a lot of people feel the same. I asked a lot of people — friends, family and acquaintances. And I came with an answer and it was an overwhelming ‘Yes!’ There are many different types of people that you meet, and chances are most of them feel like their lives revolve around their phones. I’m talking about smartphones; it might as well be anything else — their laptops or the ‘internet’ (or WiFi), or the Whats App, Facebook, anything else… We are so involved and caught up in this virtual society; it feels like we are trapped.

The reason for this is people don’t know what they want unless told. You give someone (who hasn’t used a laptop) a laptop and tell them, this is an absolute need and that they would find it extremely helpful, they WILL believe you. In fact, a couple of weeks down the line, they’d be inseparable from the laptop and probably thank you for introducing them to it. This is exactly what advertising companies do; they lead you to believing that you need something even if you actually don’t. Look at our parents who didn’t have smartphones/laptops/TVs when they were growing up, and they turned out just fine.

Yes yes, I understand these innovations have their advantages but is it really something worth giving up food (Being metaphorical here!) for?

It is not. Simple as that. The phone that you use is a tool to make your life easier, a device to reduce your workload and thereby reduce stress. It is nothing more than a piece of finely crafted microprocessor, micro-controllers and other circuits to make you deal with your tasks better. But right now these instruments are causing anxiety, depression and make an individual question the purpose of their existence. The number of likes for your photo matters more than the way you conduct yourself in public and the tweet with the maximum number of re-tweets is having a greater impact than the rightful opinions of the masses.

We are so easily influenced, so easily manipulated, so easily tricked into believing anything that is thrown at us. We have been naive, malleable and really really stupid. But we can change that — stop letting the keyboard warriors to tell you that you aren’t good enough, stop thinking the number of likes on that photo is a measure of your beauty, stop letting the companies fool you and trick you into believing that you ‘need’ their product. And make sure that you only buy the things that you absolutely need and not because your friends have bought it or because the society thinks you need it.

Stay informed. Be smart.