Waiting

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Waiting to grow older when you are young. Waiting for a public holiday. Waiting for a weekend. Waiting to take a vacation. Waiting for someone to enjoy your life with. Waiting for that raise or promotion. Waiting for a better job. Waiting for your next big break. Waiting for that Europe trip. Waiting for more money in your account. Waiting for your children to grow older. Waiting for children to visit when you are old. Waiting for retirement.

Just waiting to be happy.. Waiting, as life passes you by smiling, but you are too busy to notice.

When will you stop waiting and finally live?

Note to myself: Never forget.. It’s always the little things. Always. Rest is cosmetic.

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Status Quo

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In my day to day experiences and interactions with people around me, this how I define Status Quo – “A state where no one is happy.”

Either it is – job satisfaction, being less paid, career advancement, relationship issues, body image issues, or simply a lack of clarity about the future – it seems that our generation, the millennials, always find a reason to be unhappy with the present. Even a mindless reason like, having no clarity about our future can make us feel stressed, disappointed and dissatisfied with the present. Isn’t the future supposed to be like that, unknown and unpredictable? But we always find a way to ruin our present, no matter how well off we are.

For me, old photographs are a great way of reminiscing fond memories of old times. And, many a times when I look back at a particular picture of myself from good old days, I realize I was in a really happy place back then, but I never appreciated what I had and used to constantly worry and be unhappy with myself. Oh, how badly I want to go back in past and tell my younger 20-something old self to take it easy, be happy and not so hard on myself; that life is not just about achieving career milestones, it’s about creating more memories and less regrets. But I guess, this is what happens to most of us, a quarter of our lives goes in chasing ambitions and money and then, BOOM, we start getting older and realize we haven’t lived the way we wanted yet. Enter, a lifetime of regrets and depression. During many such discussions with my friends and close ones, we have discussed mid-life crisis, which usually hits 40-somethings, and we aren’t even mid-30s yet! Wonder if the age at which mid-life crisis occurs is getting lesser. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true.

Is it so hard to be happy with your present being? Have our ambitions and materialistic desires crippled us of being grateful and living in the moment?

Thanks to social media and messaging apps, the constant need for likes and to be in touch with everyone, means journeycomparisons with peers have never been higher for any other generation. Even in our own minds, if not openly discussing with others, we keep contrasting our hits and misses in life with everyone else’s – from our kindergarten playmates, school and college friends, to the colleague sitting next to us in office. Sigh! We need to give ourselves a break and be kinder towards own self.

Despite all our education degrees, work and life experiences, what most of us fail to remember is that everyone has a different life journey, and may learn the same lessons (or different ones) as others, but in a different way. You may not be living in swanky apartments overlooking the sea, or in an upscale neighborhood; or traveled to places and stayed in exotic hotels; or accumulated exquisite belongings, but you can still have the most beautiful experiences and a serene, happy mind. Being ambitious is a great thing, but knowing when to switch off your brain from formulating future plans and – living in the moment, being grateful, appreciating what you have – is a wise thing to do for happy minds and healthy hearts.

In today’s fast paced world there are corporate trainings and books on how to be happy, that really sounds insane. Being happy shouldn’t be this difficult.

Here are a few more lines I will tell my 20-something self, if I could time travel.

Make sure you have an interesting story to tell at the end of it all, even if it is with a lesser bank balance and limited, or zero worldly accomplishments. ~ Yours Truly 🙂

Love the current version of yourself, no matter however twisted and complicated that version you think is – fat, idiotic, underpaid, unattractive, boring, without friends. Because, it is this very basic 1.0 version that you dream to upgrade one day. And you got to love this fundamental, twisted version and, every other version of you, for that matter. ~ Yours Truly 🙂

Needless to say, my resolution for the new year and life is to be in the moment and savor every second of it, not mulling over my worries, past, or future.

So, What’s New in New Year?

i-may-not-be-there-yet-but-im-closer-than-i-was-yesterday.jpgAnother year gone by and you start to wonder if things have really changed for you, or is it just a new digit at the end of the date showing up on your smart phone and laptop. It is true that not all the passing years will have the same pace of change in your own personal life, but sometimes the pace can be too sluggish, monotonous and exasperating. This can happen especially when you are trying to change certain things in your life like trying to – get a new job, move to a different city, find a decent partner or get into a stable relationship, save enough for life’s big investment, anything that you’re clinging onto with volumes of hope but things don’t really seem to be moving. Sometimes, even if you aren’t planning on changing anything in your life, the sameness of everyday, that daily mundane and humdrum existence can take the ‘New’ out of ‘Happy New Year’.

Life altering big changes might sometimes take time to transpire and the improvements we wish do happen after all, but in a different way. Life has a different and better plan for you, remember? By making small changes in our daily lives we can still kill the routine and embrace happiness, or maybe try to tweak our master plan a bit to pace up things. The small changes we put into our life each day, each hour will finally lead us to bigger achievements we are hoping for. Nevertheless, start the year with a positive attitude and believe in the master plan of the universe.

One great thing about hope is that it never dies. – Yours Truly.. 🙂

Personally for me, 2015 was a mixed bag of emotions with intense moments, sighs of frustration with multiple patience tests, and unforgettable memories of loved ones. Some things really worked out the way I hoped for, while some opportunities were missed no matter how hard I tried.

Things, at any certain point in your life, may not be the way you hoped for in your mind. Correction, actually things will never be the way you hope for in your life, because let’s face it – life is a mess. And an ideal condition exists in theory, much as fairytales happen in story books. The truth is today will never be more perfect for you than it is today, at this moment. Life is a work in progress at each moment and hence, never say never.

I have been addicted to the new song “Half the world away” by Oasis, and it just ends perfectly for me – I’ve been lost, I’ve been found. But I don’t feel down”.

Watch the video and if you wanna sing along, find the lyrics below. Happy 2016.

“Half The World Away” Lyrics

I would like to leave this city

This old town don’t smell too pretty and

I can feel the warning signs running around my mind

And when I leave this island

I book myself into a soul asylum

I can feel the warning signs running around my mind

 

So here I go

I’m still scratching around in the same old hole

My body feels young but my mind is very old

So what do you say?

You can’t give me the dreams that are mine anyway

You’re half the world away

You’re half the world away

 

And when I leave this planet

You know I’d stay but I just can’t stand it and

I can feel the warning signs running around my mind

And if I can leave this spirit

I’ll find me a hole and I’ll live in it

I can feel the warning signs running around my mind

 

So here I go

I’m still scratching around in the same old hole

My body feels young but my mind is very old

So what do you say?

You can’t give me the dreams that are mine anyway

You’re half the world away

You’re half the world away

I’ve been lost, I’ve been found

But I don’t feel down

You’re half the world away

I’ve been lost, I’ve been found

But I don’t feel down

I don’t feel down

Confessions of a brand social media manager

socialI won’t trade my area of work for anything in the world. (OK, may be owning an ice-cream store, or being a travel and fashion reporter! 😉 ) After years of experimenting and trying different stuff in marketing, countless hours spent in the meetings inside conference rooms wondering why the hell I’m there and having the urge to tell everyone in the room that the business strategy they are discussing is BS (at least, in my brain 😀 ), I stumbled upon social media marketing after doing a few social media projects and have really enjoyed it so far.

Working in social media professionally for a brand or a business comes with its shares of pros and cons, moments of ecstatic joy and sheer frustration. Others outside your field form different and ‘interesting’ (read condescending and demeaning 😦 ) opinions about your job. For some, you are this cool person with access to all the social networking sites even at work and they think you must be a really creative and smart chap blossoming with ideas. They come to you when they want to discuss about something intriguing they came across on Twitter, or that video that went viral, and quite often you feel flattered when they come to you to seek your opinion on new and innovative ideas they have about social and mobile apps.

Then there’s another set of friends and acquaintances (painfully, they are in the majority!! sigh!) who think your job description is so lame. Most of them openly criticize and make fun of your job in social gatherings and after a point you give up on explaining to them that your job is a lot more than pretty pictures and 140 characters! Not that conveying a brand message in 140 characters or through a picture is an easy job. A lot of time and effort has gone behind that picturesque Tweet or Facebook post on your timeline.

What you also can’t explain to people is that what is fun, addictive and a relaxing activity ‘away from work’ for most people, is actually work for you! You don’t scroll through your own timeline during free time anymore to see what your best friend Tweeted, or where is your crush holidaying on Instagram, or how many people liked the Facebook profile picture of your frenemy vis-à-vis yours. Since you work on social media round the clock, it sort of kills all the fun elements for you. Yes, it’s your dream job and you like that your work is so creative and instantly gratifying. But you don’t see these social media platforms in the ‘fun’ way like others do to spend time while not working, and constantly feel the need to find other ways to spend free time online or offline.

What’s empowering and really satisfying part about this job is that you (along with your team) are responsible for creating this brand image online that zillions of people across the world would come to perceive and base their opinions on about the brand  – via a single Tweet, picture, or Facebook post. The fact that you have been given this responsibility to create that brand image and perception online, is really a powerful position to be in.  Again, this is something that you can’t explain to the naysayers and the haters. 🙂

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Image Source: http://jeremywaite.tumblr.com/post/73311947985/17-great-social-media-quotes-from-jay-baer

At the end of it all what matters is were you kind?

At the end of it all.. God just asks you one question – Were you a kind person?

No amount of – hours spent working hard, slogging your ass day in and day out; that hefty bank balance; lavish weekend parties you attend to get sloshed and post pretty pictures to your timeline to feed your ego; competing with your peer group for that brand new car, promotion or flat in an upmarket location; clothes and pretty stuff you click and buy, or splurge in malls – are going to really matter when your day arrives.

A few days back while sitting inside the pristine and tranquil hall of St. Paul’s Church, Kolkata, just a few meters away from the loud and cluttered city traffic, I was wondering about the way my life had shaped up so far. There were all these questions in my mind and I was trying to figure out how did I fare. Am I doing good for myself? Can I be considered successful or influential by some social measurement mechanism? Did I have enough? And then there were doubts and the scary questions.. Did I fall back as compared to my peer group and friends? Was I earning the least of all? Am I going to die alone? Am I really an also-ran?..

Strangely and suddenly at that very moment inside the ancient and timeless walls of the church, time seemed to have stopped, everything around seemed so peaceful, and all such questions and doubts seemed to me so small and silly when compared to your entire life and more important things in it.

Did I love enough? Did I allow an all-encompassing love to consume myself? Did I have passion? Did I keep on learning as I grew old? Did I help others to learn? Did I remain humble with my gains? And more importantly, was I a kind person?

The sprawling space inside the church hall between where I sat and the altar with Jesus on the cross, made me realize how less you need in life to be really happy! And at the end of it all, all that matters is were you kind enough..

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You Know What’s Really Sexy?

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One of the nicest piece I have ever read. Had to record this somewhere to remind myself throughout life what sexy really means.

“Being really, really good at something–anything–and having the confidence to be that good and just let it speak for itself: that’s sexy. Being strong enough to speak up when you see an injustice and say, “That’s wrong.” That’s very, very sexy. Embracing every birthday with the attitude that you’re not one year older, but one year better. That’s sexy. Loving somebody with all your heart, even when he or she is not around to see it, that’s the epitome of sexiness. Being yourself, under all circumstances, being quietly and gracefully proud of who you are, and being selfless in sharing who you are with the world. That is not merely sexy, but divine.” — Robert Milton Ingram

P.S.: Discover more from the great writer and his music on YouTube.

www.YouTube.com/IngramMusic

Image Source: https://www.facebook.com/grammarly

Risked it All – I did it All

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We live in a funny world where successful attempts of risks are celebrated and unsuccessful attempts or failures are frowned upon! The cultural pressure of surviving a failed risk psychologically (let alone financially), at times exceeds the efforts that would take to succeed the very first time. Hence, risk takers are so hard to come across.

One of the biggest regrets in my life (Yes, I have regrets! I am not perfect.) is that I did not take enough risks to follow my passion(s) earlier on in my life. The fear of failure and playing it safe can be the biggest cause of failure. (What an irony of life, isn’t it?) The sooner one realizes that, the better. Sadly, we are brought up in an environment that teaches kids from a young age to take the safer route, have regular and conventional hobbies – most of the times not leaving any room for creative mindset building, out-of-the-box thinking. That’s just the way our society is, people appreciate creative art works and unconventional ideas when they are having “intelligent discussions”, but refrain from inculcating a culture of these for the future generation.

I am not against conventional mindset, it is equally important for the society. Being part of the millennial generation who survived the 2008 economic crisis marginally by a few months, I know the value of a well-paying established “conventional” job (to pay-back education loans!). Walking into my job interview a couple of months later, would have meant that there actually would have been no job to be interviewed for in the first place, a plight many of my friends did go through during that period.

At the same time, I do believe many of us let our creative ideas and passions die in the process of having a “conventional” life and regular routine. Also, you see many eyes rolling at those who follow their passion and take a break from the nine-to-five routine.

I remember someone at work telling me, “Why are you doing this? This is absolutely pointless.”, when I was making a crucial career move by following one of my passions costing me much of my life’s savings, which seemed risky (maybe even fatal) to some. I just smiled at him and told myself “You would never understand.” (Yeah, I love sarcasm style of humor! Don’t you? 😉 ) And don’t get me wrong here, I do believe in collective growth. Given a chance, I would love to be an agony aunt and give a lecture on the importance of following one’s passion and taking worthwhile risks. (This blog is intended for the same.) In-fact sometimes I feel sorry for those who don’t realize that by playing it safe, they are actually risking it all. But as the saying goes, ‘Unsolicited advice is seldom appreciated’ and more often than not a risk taking attitude is ridiculed and laughed upon.

Recently during a crisis situation, someone gave me the best advice in life  – with risk comes failures of all kinds and if you’re addicted to taking and enjoying risks, simply suck it up and endure it. (Yes, I Tweeted about it! I like to keep things dramatic. 😀 )

You gotta enjoy the bad days as much as you enjoy the good ones, and as they say there are more bad days in life than good ones. So may be you need to enjoy the bad ones more! And, I simply cannot describe the inner satisfaction I feel when all that hard work, tense moments, agony and hardships of following your passion pay off. (I cried during one such moment in my life. Happy tears, ofcourse! 😀 )

Absolutely adore the song by One Republic, inspires me to the core every time I listen to it.

Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises
You build a wall

Hope when the crowd screams out
They’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay

Hope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
Is give it all you have

And I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes
You’ll say…

I did it All

I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Image Source: imgquotes.com

Life has a better plan..

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Have you ever wanted something so badly in life and then didn’t have it your way.. only to realize at a later point that not getting what you wanted was exactly the right thing to happen at that point in time. You realize that you’re a much better and wiser person because of that one incident of deprivation you went through. (And hey, I am not talking about a ‘grapes are sour’ like feeling here!)

And after the suffering you endured, it feels better, much better to have passed that test and you realize you’re a changed person.

It almost seems surreal after everything is in the past, as you think of yourself ‘a crazy, insane lunatic’ to have wanted that thing in first place. It has happened with me many a  times. I keep obsessing and fantasizing, and wanting things the way they are in my head.. but life knocks my plans down all the time. When things don’t go my way, I think of it as cruel to have happened to me but then sometime in the future (after weeks or months or an year), the universe reveals it’s rationale to me. That’s when I say to myself, “Oh yeah right! What was I thinking in the first place?”.

Steve Jobs said, “Customers don’t know what they want”.

That’s true for us in real life, too. The truth is, we don’t know what we actually need and what is good for us.  Hence, we cling to things or circumstances or people that seem good to us at the moment. But we are meant for more, much more.. and that precisely, is the reason that life drives us to a different direction that’s better for us.

It doesn’t get any better..

The truth is, it doesn’t get any better! May be life will get worse still, at some point.

 

But there will be enough moments with your loved ones, or doing what you love all alone, or simply moments when you’re having a good time among people that will make you get through all of it. And may be you’ll even feel it’s all worth it after all.. so suck it up!!

 

Don’t bother about others opinion of you.
Do something new, go places you’ve never gone, talk to strangers and life will seem beautiful all over again. Because hey, it’s not like anyone has any better formula to life!!

 

Life is not just about that one moment, thing, person that matters (mattered) to you! Life is much more than that..life has a better plan for us than we could plan for ourselves. And as long as one believes in that, we can get thro’ no matter what.

 

Love this song by Eels! (The video is hilarious too.)

 

Do you know what it’s like to fall on the floor
And cry your guts out ’til you got no more
Hey man now you’re really living

Have you ever made love to a beautiful girl
Made you feel like it’s not such a bad world
Hey man now you’re really living

Now you’re really giving everything
And you’re really getting all you gave
Now you’re really living what
This life is all about

 

Creative Pain..

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“Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don’t have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It’s not a good arrangement. If I were God, I wouldn’t have done it that way.” ― Cormac McCarthy

The well-known American author Cormac McCarthy mentioned this in his interview to Wall Street Journal in 2009, when quizzed about his writing work and sources from where he draws his inspiration. There has been an ongoing debate forever now, on the co-relation between pain and creativity and many believe that they – suffering and art – are directly co-related. In a sense, the greater the pain one suffers in life at some point of time leads to higher manifestations of those painful emotions into creative works of art.

As crazy as it may sound, it is true for a large number of musical geniuses of the world too. If you’re a music aficionado like me, you’ve definitely heard of the 27 Club – greatest musicians of the world who died only at the age of 27, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, to name a few. Of course many of these were accidental deaths, though basically led by disturbed mental condition or substance abuse habits.

For the record, I believe in wishful thinking and consider myself a shameless optimist. And not to take any credit away from those creative artists and people who have their creative juices flowing even in a happy state of mind and produce amazing results. I am myself in a creative writing and designing job, and I am not a drug addict, not yet!! But I also think it is kind of sad that so much of exemplary creative work -art, music, writings and poetry- in the world is a result of the pain and suffering, endured by these talented artistic souls.

I asked “What about my eyes?”

God said “Keep them on the road”.

I asked “What about my passion?”

God said, “Keep it burning.”

I asked “What about my heart?”

God said, “Tell me what you hold inside it?

I replied “Pain and sorrow.”

He said, “Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi

Centuries before McCarthy gave that interview to Wall Street Journal and was even alive, Rumi the Persian poet wrote the above lines. May be it might be that true wisdom comes from pain and suffering and hence, the creativity that emerges from that wisdom is pure, honest and inspiring!


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Image Source: inspirationalquotestory.in