Freedom, Choice and Life

A lot of people have told me that life is full of choices. Is it really, or is it a combination of a lot of other things, luck, fate, spouse, children, parents, responsibilities, liabilities, duties and innate desire. Is anyone free, really?

I don’t think there is an easy answer to this question. We all perceive things as per our experiences. We all have baggage and our vision gets coloured while viewing any situation by those very baggage. If we look closely we will find we generally make repetitive choices. Man is a creature of habit and choices also become a matter of habit. To break out of that mould is a challenge.

Freedom is more of a mental state i guess. If you are bound by your own thought process your own prejudices, and your own limitations you will never be free. One cannot imprison a free mind for very long, sooner or later it will break out of the shackles that are outwardly imposed. The challenge is with the boundaries created by one’s own self. Where we try and limit ourselves we will never be free to make choices, we will never be really free to speak our mind.

It is when we are at crossroads in our life, where the choice we make becomes so important. It has been my personal experience that it is better to just go with the flow. Because however much you fight, and try and impose your choices on life, life will fight back and impose its will on you. So again freedom is just a state of mind and it’s better to feel free and live life, than be cowed down by the pressure of making huge decisions for ourselves.

Sounds like a mad woman rambling, but then this exercise is also a challenge, a challenge to not be afraid of expressing who i am

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Prisoners of our mind….

What would you consider as an accomplishment?

Is it when you reach a certain stage in your career, or is it when you get a desired degree, or when you buy certain things you wanted or when you marry the person you love?

I mean what is it really? What should be our driving force? How do we say that this is where I want to be. I am asking this because I always feel that no matter whatever you have accomplished, at the end of the day there’s always that little something that’s not there, something you desperately crave.

There is no end to the wants of a human mind and life; and it’s not wrong too as long as you are not stepping on someone’s toes or ruining their lives to achieve your dream. What is a problem though, is making your own happiness dependant on the fulfilment of those wants.

I have the finest education provided to me that I could ask for. I have a very prestigious professional degree. Something, I am very proud of. I also had a successful start to my career, but somewhere along the line, circumstances changed and now I don’t. Sometimes I miss that hectic life, but when I ask myself very honestly, deep down my heart, maybe I am not too eager to go back to a life, which will be so busy that I will not have the willingness nor the energy to do things that I like or love.

All of us are prisoners of our own mind. We all say that we know exactly what we want from life, but I think none of us really do. It is up to us to break free of the shackles and enjoy the moment that we are living. Life does not work on planning it, it work by living it, day by day, and moment by moment as it is handed over to us. As it has been said very famously “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” as there are no second chances in life, well generally :).

Too corny??!!

The long walk….. from anger to happiness

Anger is a futile emotion. It does nothing for you, just burns your heart and makes you cry for revenge. All those endless hours of plotting and saying the right things that should have been said. All the pent-up emotion an a seething rage which is more often than not impotent. Impotent  because nothing can be done be about it, if anything could have, you wouldn’t be angry in the first place. Anger is a result of events that have culminated with an end which make no sense to you. It may have brought satisfactory end to someone else but not the one who is angry.

The biggest question that I face is, how to channelise my anger. There are many self-help books,many gurus, and many counsellors who suggest different ways to vent the emotion, but nothing really works. When I am done being angry, I become tired. the exhaustion that surrounds me sometimes lasts for days. I have tried a lot of things, but nothing is useful. I have tried mindless TV watching, walking, cursing, writing down choicest of swear words and burning them, nothing works. Sometimes, I have to literally shout at myself to just shut up; to stop talking or shouting.

The point of this article is to find out something that actually helps me blow the anger away. I don’t want to stay angry anymore. I want to be at peace, be happy. I guess the only way is to let go. till that happens it’s very difficult to find peace. One should remember the famous saying that “That’s the best revenge of all: happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good f*****g life.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and several other novels

I guess he is right, no matter what you do unless and until you are happy and content with yourself, you will not be able to throw the anger away.

Then and now

When i was younger there were a lot of things to do and learn, even though there was no internet and smartphones. Those days you were really thought to be smart or cool if you knew facts and figures or if you could answer current affairs and general knowledge questions without batting an eyelid. Shows like Bournvita quiz contests were not only popular but for most of us it was an aspiration that we secretly had. It did not matter if you were wearing branded clothes or not. The good old days, where reading was considered to be a virtue.

When i think about it, i feel our kids would not be at all able to relate to a time when we had to scour the books for information, it wasn’t available to you readily just by “googling” it. Nowadays, you are considered a cool kid if you have an expensive smart phone and a tablet in your hand, some free cash to spend on your friends. You are considered a geek or a nerd if you talk about education, books, or in general, gaining knowledge. I have nothing against this generation, it’s just that, materialism has taken over these kids and they do not understand that human values are not dependant on your material possessions, but who you are when you are stripped of those possessions. True self of a person is reflected when it comes to the most basic of things. Character cannot be taught. it has to be inculcated.

Sometimes, i really want to go back in those days when life was simpler and uncomplicated. I did not have to worry about keeping my phone charged or updating every second of my life on twitter. Today life has taken a back seat and the procurement of things that should make life easy have become our priority. Just like William Wordsworth’s idyllic wanderings amongst the land of Daffodils and the true enjoyment of solitude.

(Note; I tried to search for Daffodils on google and Wordsworth’s poem did not feature as the first search result on the page. What an irony)

Perceptions

I love surprises. small ones, big ones. they just make my day.

When I was younger I used  create these surprises for myself. I would never ask my mother what she had packed for lunch in school. the moment when I opened my lunch box was my own, filled with anticipation and excitement. My own daily dosage of surprise. The sheer joy that such a small action could give is unparalleled to many big things in my life. Those were some pure unadulterated moments of being happy. I still do it…. I save the best for last and am feel happy to “open”or “reveal” my surprises at the end.

I have noticed as children we used to simplify things, if the opportunities were not there we would create them, not whine about them. if surprise were not possible everyday, make your own surprise. We were not dependent on anyone for our happiness…………. As we grow up we forget to create such opportunities of happiness for ourselves,we forget that it is better to simplify things and be happy about them rather than being in your own complex mind web and depending on others to remain happy.

We spend our whole life in the fear of perceptions. We are busy in trying to project ourselves as someone we think we are. Most of our life is spent proving the same to ourselves and others around us. Sometimes I feel that I am not the person I think I am or the people around me see as “me”. Now at this juncture, when I am not too old and not too young, not too naive and yet not too wise, I would first like to stop for a minute and try to figure out who really I am.  Is the person I think I am, only in my head? I guess, parts of me only exists in my head. And this is true for most of us.

Also, perception of an individual also varies from person to person. for some I may be a very sincere, honest and trustworthy person; and someone else may find me the biggest snob around them. It all really is in our head.

We have forgetten who we are and what we really want from our life.

This photo, “Perception” is by Felix and is made available under a Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)