Hope is all we have

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

-Laini Taylor

I didn’t have a very comfortable life as a child. We had many financial and household issues to deal with. Everyday was a struggle for us, especially my mom. However, if I were to compare my mental strength back then to now, I was way more happy, hopeful and positive in the past. I refrained from overthinking every single aspect of my life, I was hopeful and positive of a bright future, I knew things would turn out in our favour sooner or later. I had something to look forward to, I had a lot of goals for my future, the future seemed like a happy dream that I was eager to convert to reality.

Things did work out in our favour. Most of my childhood goals have been accomplished (from earning a degree, getting a stable job, fulfilling the basic materialistic goals such as buying a branded cell phone to fancy clothes to renovating my house). Life should be amazing, I should be happy, I shouldn’t have anything to crib about anymore. Well that’s the issue, why does all of this still seem difficult? Why do we forget everything that has worked for us and always focus on the things that we don’t have? Why does my mind have to overthink every single moment of my life and present me with situations that always seem unfavorable and scary? I was never this confused during my childhood when we had very few reasons to be happy or grateful for. But now when I have a zillion things to be happy about, my mind keeps redirecting me to that one thing that I don’t have or that one goal I might never achieve!

I had problems back in my childhood as well. But I was hopeful of a happy future and that dream kept me alive. It gave me the energy to fight the devils of my mind and just focus on the task at hand. As I grew up and came across more failures in life, my hopeful nature lost it’s sheen and my mind started storing and reliving the real life experiences of feeling lost, disappointed, hurt and scared. Because of this I’ve reached at a phase in life where every new decision causes my mind to relive all the pain and trauma I’ve experienced in the past. Thus, I’m unable to think straight, hope for a bright future, work towards a goal or simply be happy without overthinking any aspect of my life.

Overthinking sucks big time. It makes every simple decision of my life into a life or death situation. It completely drains my energy and distorts my ability to think straight. I know happiness is not a destination but a life long journey. A single event or goal in our life doesn’t have the ability to keep us happy forever. It’s a daily process, a life long effort and developing a hopeful attitude towards life.

I might have mentioned this many times before but I need to reiterate it to myself as I’ve lost my track and fallen deep into the black hole of overthinking. It has drained me and is now clouding my judgement. It isn’t allowing me to enjoy a single moment of peace and happiness without thinking twice about it. Few minor changes that I’m planning to make henceforth to avoid my mind to take control of my life.

  • Practice being in the present : Focus only on the present moment
  • Focus on what I have control over : Ignore what we can’t change, work on things we can control
  • Write down your thoughts when it gets overwhelming : Maintain a daily journal
  • Figure out solutions than mulling over problems : Think about all the possible way out and how it can be effective in solving the problem
  • Become a person of action : Especially in making simple decisions, take decisions right away rather than pondering over it indefinitely.

I’ll share my thoughts and experiences on the effect of making these simple changes in my life soon. Till then, let’s be happy and focus on living our life to the fullest!

Curtain call

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

-George Eliot

As this extraordinary year 2020 draws to an end, I am reminded of the uncertainties as well as opportunities showered on us this year. The other day, my colleague called 2020, “a year of self discovery” and I couldn’t agree more. While I am aware of the pain and turbulence caused by this year, I might be one of the few people who is extremely thankful for the existence of 2020.

Before Covid-19 hit my country and a nationwide lockdown was announced in India, my life was pretty much the same. I woke up every weekday, squeezed myself in a local train, spent my time doing work that I absolutely despised in office, came back home, wasted my time on the internet and repeat. The only thing I looked forward to during those times were my runs and any impending running events that I registered myself to. The lockdown brought with it a halt in the mundane daily routine and blessed me with a lot of time on hand. I had never spent such a long time at home before that. Ever since I was in school, I have been running hither and thither throughout the day, each day, for some work or the other. This year, in 2020, I spent close to 3 months at home, with my family, with my thoughts, doing nothing, relaxing and rejuvenating. It was blissful.

I was depressed, disoriented, lacked passion and purpose in my life before the Covid-19 lockdown. The lockdown made me realize the importance of my existence and all the amazing blessings I have in my life. I try my level best not to take my life for granted. I try to find happiness in the small things that make up life. I try to give my 100% in everything I do in life now. This is how 2020 has helped evolve my thoughts and actions. I am eternally grateful for this year as it gave me the much needed break that I had been desperately seeking ever since I started working.

I have planned to blog every single day till 31st December to document my emotions till the end of the most special year of my life. I want to usher in the new year with a clear mind, positivity and unending self love. I aim to create a wish list for the next year, a detailed one, with a rock solid will to achieve every single goal I set for myself going ahead. I want to transform into the person my childhood self would be proud off. I am proud of myself now but I truly wish to challenge my skills, willpower and determination to become the best version of myself. LET’S DO THIS!

Gratitude for “Abundance”

“Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality.”

-Jen Sincero

If someone would have told me to count my blessings and be happy in the present 2 years back, I would have fumed at that person. Here I am in the middle of discussing my life’s problems, every single one of them felt life threatening back then and the reply I get is to “be grateful for what you have!”. This advice sounded simple and extremely useless to me.

Fast forward to the present moment, I am the one preaching the importance of having a deep sense of gratitude in our lives. How does being grateful help in transforming our life? When we shift the focus from our problems (lack) to our blessings (abundance), there is an instant change in our mindset to look at the brighter aspect of every situation. I agree, technically this doesn’t help us solve our problems, but does being anxious about it serve the purpose? It doesn’t, it aggravates the core issue and multiplies the severity by 100 or even more. Technically being scared, fearful, anxious, stressed also isn’t a big help. On the other hand, it makes the situation look much more dangerous than it already is.

Our mind is a powerful tool, maybe the most powerful element of human existence. The biggest battles in our life are fought in our mind in a much more grandiose manner than in the reality. It is extremely beneficial and useful to keep the mind in our favor so that it helps us when we need it the most. Dwelling on negativity hampers our growth and forces us to lead a life of mediocrity when we are capable of doing much more than we can ever imagine. Developing a grateful mindset requires consistent practice and constant effort. Once we develop a habit of practicing gratitude daily, our mind slowly learns to focus on the positive aspects of our life and every situation that we go through on a daily basis. Doing this consistently converts our mind into a magnet to attract abundance in our life. We are truly gifted with a lot of blessings in our life, being aware of them opens the doors to abundance and happiness.

Simple ways in which we can develop a gratitude practice

  • Morning routine : Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day. This could be anything from the food you really enjoyed last night to the presence of your friends and family in your life. This would hardly take 5 minutes but is the best way to set the tone for each new day.
  • Night routine : Before the end of each day, write down 3 biggest highlights of the day, something that really made you happy, excited or simply made you feel better. This is an incredible way to focus on the present and live each day mindfully than just pass it by.

That’s it. It’s this simple. Since we have reached the last month of this extraordinary year, I’ve made a pledge to follow this routine daily to welcome the new year with an “abundance mindset“. I would love for you guys to also develop this practice and let me know if it helped make your life a little better, each day!