It pays to NOT be the cool kid

Do you sometimes feel that your hard work isn’t validated?

Let me tell you a story of the cool kid.

It is easy to be the cool kid.

The cool kid does nothing significant.

The cool kid is just hanging around trying to look cool.

Does things that get attention of everyone.

Anything that escapes hard work and still brings in validation is what the cool kid lives by.

Except, that they themselves know they are hollow.

And that’s sad.

Because every effort of theirs is an attempt to look cooler by covering up that hollowness.

And in a sheer suddenness of move, the cool kid does something that they were supposed to do. When they do this, all of a sudden they become cooler. Because no one had expected them to do this!

Isn’t that a “virtuous” cycle?

Friends, we all come across “the cool kids” in every setup, in every work structure that we are a part of.

But you know what?

I have never seen a cool kid being trusted.

Or being entrusted with responsibilities.

Or even being looked forward to as a professional.

We can play around with colleagues. Because their validation was the first thing the cool kid was after.

However, rising higher is always preceded by hard work. Always.

Excuses that shouldn’t exist

The world is filled with wonderful people. And I mean it!

However, it is heartbreaking to see those really capable not hold themselves accountable for everything in their lives.

For example, some of the excuses that are given that shouldn’t exist:

  1. I couldn’t find that influencer’s email:
    O c’mon Bro! Digging out emails, creating permutations and combinations, and checking if the email is right is exactly what uncle Google is your home page. We can find out ANYONE’s email ID, if we are willing to do the research 🙂
  2. You are strong, so you can do it:
    Strong people become strong on the pillar of tons of tears and wisdom of words from the right books to minutest minutes of meditation that we think are insignificant. Being strong is a choice, and this comes from someone who has been through valleys of weakness and now does not allow those weaknesses to touch her.
  3. I have registered this event in my mind:
    Someone does something bad to us once by mistake and we forget all the good they did to us as well as all the time we spent in building that relationship. Is that the value we want to place to the people we love?

We are a product of either of two things: the imaginations we create without a limit or the non-existent limits we place on ourselves daily.

Parents and kids

When parents force their grown up kids to do something, kids feel pressured.

When kids finally take their plunge, they feel guilty.

And I want you to know – in either situations, do what is right. It never goes out of style. When you do that, you don’t need to feel guilty. Do your best. And then trust yourself.

A weird dream I remember

This morning I had slept again after meditating.

In that sleep, I witnessed two dreams in one. The weird part is, for the first time I remember such a weird dream.

One was from the first guy I (perhaps) loved. I received WhatsApp messages from him dropping me three locations where I would have to “meet” him later during the day. Of course I ignored those messages.

Later when I reflected, it dawned to me that this was the essence of our so-called love: “Meeting” as per his convenience and then becoming absolute strangers.

Another one was from a school friend. In fact, we were never friends in school. Very late, almost 2-3 years ago we connected on Facebook and became sort-of friends. But then he vanished all of a sudden. I was never told why or how, nor was any conversation brought in. He tried bringing his “forwarded messages” into my inbox quite recently but now I was unsure.

It was just friendship from my end. And his as well. But somewhere I always felt he needed something from me. Can’t point out exactly. But there was something. In the dream as well, he took my iPhone from me for making a call and as I moved around a bit, he had already lent my phone to a careless friend of his, who was just playing around with it. It was in a moment of luck that I saw his friend and got my phone back.

That’s it! These were the two dreams. I don’t know what they mean. Except that I do. Here’s what they mean:

  1. I still haven’t forgiven them. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think about either of them for a long long time, yet the subconscious knows everything. Sometimes, to move on, you have the grant the apology even when no one asks for it.
  2. If I still believe in these “shoddy definitions of love”, how will I ever be able to witness the true love that IS me?

That was it! Weird dreams that I weirdly remembered. Perhaps so that I could finally forget them!

The manufactured definition of love

Love. Such a beautiful word.
We are born with it. We are not taught how to love. It is our real nature. We come along with it.

We smile at our family and strangers alike.
We talk to anyone and everyone irrespective of their colour or race.
We trust people for who they are.
We forgive quickly.
We are just real, with no judgements, no gossip, and definitely no need to control anyone.

This is who we are when we were born – real and untainted.

Then a terrible thing happened.
We realised the world does not function this way. The world is sadly living in a manufactured definition of love. 

Where we will be loved when we recite a poetry in front of our relatives.
Where we will be loved when we get certain percentage in schools and colleges.
Where we will be loved when we pursue a life choice that isn’t ours but of people who “love” us.
Where we will be loved when we agree to making “love” with a partner otherwise they will question our character.
Where we will be loved by our “friends” if and only if we gossip with them about other friends.

And if we do none of these and walk our own talk, we will not be loved.

Be like him.
Talk like her.
Look at what he has accomplished.

Words and people that were meant to make us rise, end up diminishing our self confidence infinitely. 

And then we wonder why don’t we feel the love we used to feel as a kid.

At this point, each one of us has two choices:

  1.  Fall for this manufactured definition of love, follow the norms others have laid down for you, and be someone who again gives manufactured love. But wait, you will have everyone there with you, to “love” you. Other than you.
  2. Be who you are, being respectful of others yet doing what you feel is right. Own your life, and take the steps that you want to take. It will be easier. But guess what? You will almost always be alone on this journey.

Most of us fall for the first one. Not because we cannot hear our inner voice. But because the external voices of manufactured love will stop coming to us if we love ourselves. And that’s scary.

Very few of us, very very few of us, who take the plunge to love ourselves, live a life of real luxury. There are roadblocks and hurdles at the start, but when you overcome them (and you always do), what comes out is You. Real You. Who is love. Not manufactured. Rather real love. And then solving all problems becomes a skill that gets compounded and works in your favour 🙂

Every single day, we have two choices – be the Real Love or fall for Manufactured Love. It is not a one-time choice. It is a daily choice.

The choices that we make daily, will determine how much real love we become.
And give to the people looking at us to show them how the world works.

Disturbing in Simla vacation

Couple of days back, I had an inpromptu plan to visit Delhi, where I live. (PS: I am in the last month of my stay at my hometown these days :D)

When I called up my landlord a day prior to my reach, he and Aunty were in Simla, for a short break.

Yet, here’s what Uncle arranged to do for me:
– Asked his brother in law to come home and take out my room’s keys to the kitchen, which was being used by the servant.
– Told the servant to clean my room
– Told the servant to make sure he opens up the main gate, as I wasn’t having the keys

All this, while vacationing.

They didn’t have to do that, yet they did. As a matter of fact, upon reaching my apartment, I texted Uncle instead of calling him so as to not to disturb them, thanking for everything. He replied with taking the help of the servant, if I needed anything.

Just wow!

But why are we talking about it?

Because in a lot of homes, it is considered taboo to get out of your way to help anyone in family, let alone tenants.
In a sad culture that has been instilled, it is thought that if someone is helping us, it should be with some ulterior motive.

And if that was not enough, kids are taught that they should never talk to strangers, let alone help them.

No wonder why that generation has grown up to become mentally ill generation.

That said, if you are able to read this, you have the power to parent yourself. What our parents and our culture did to us is bad, however, if we replicate that to ourselves, nothing could be worse.

So, help others out. It will not be a disturbance on your Simla vacation. Be the one who is a giver, and EVERYTHING else in life, will be well taken care of.

The best thing of 2021

I recently conducted an AMA on Instagram about the best thing that had happened to people in 2021 so far.

The responses were surprising.

While I had expected people to say things like got a new job, promotion, etc., most responses went with:

1. Started prioritising myself.

2. Taking care of what I want.

3. Took up yoga to for myself.

4. Moved to a new city.

5. Learnt to live on my own.

And so on and so forth.

Loved it! When people take care of themselves, they are able to take care of others more. Which isn’t true vice versa.

Looking forward to having more of them and seeing people get more powerful.