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Food For Thought

Being unusual does not mean “Pagal”

Nepal per my understanding is a very defined society.  Life path is pretty defined.  Once you are born, go to school, then go to college, finish it by 25; get a job or find an earning, get married, get kids, raise them up, get old, die.

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Somebody on Kmag page had once asked me “how come Rupchandra Bista, despite being such a genuine person, was little known all this time?”

I vaguely remember when I was a kid someone calling Rupchandra Bista, a “pagal.”

We all know that Laxmi Prasad Devkota too was labeled as “pagal.”

There are many such people in history being labelled as lunatic or “pagal.”

I never understood until recently why they are being labelled so.  That’s because because they were unusually different from rests.

Nepal per my understanding is a very defined society.  Life path is pretty defined.  Once you are born, go to school, then go to college, finish it by 25; get a job or find an earning, get married, get kids, raise them up, get old, die.

How a son should be is defined. How a buhari should be is defined. How one should act in 30s is defined. Actually every nitty kitty thing is defined and everyone is expected to act per the definition.

What happens if someone lives outside the definition? What happens when a son does not live or act per the definition? What happens when a buhari doesn’t act or live per the definition?

In that case, the person is considered as lost the track, “something not right.”  Must have lost mind.  “Pagal.”

Grow a dreadlock and you will know what it is to be different here.
Get a tattoo or pierce unusually and you will know what it is to be different here.
Choose not to marry or not have a kid and you will know what it is to be different here.
Choose to not walk the road and you will know what it is to be different here.

Why is it so hard to be different here?? So where this one-must-be-like-this idea came from? Why people can’t be just chill and not bother about anyone’s choice of living?  Because we are very defined.

A friend of mine had gone to US and she was quite amazed that somebody walked into Walmart with Superman costume comfortably.  She told me, “people there are pretty comfortable to live the way they want and no one minds.”  Imagine, you walk around with superhero costume here.

So how could one part of world has learned to be least bothered and another part of world is super obsessed about how everyone should act and behave??

Answer to all those questions is — we still haven’t learned to respect the differences; haven’t learned to accept and embrace those who have chosen to be different.

There are millions ways of living, there are millions of styles to follow, there are millions of ways to act and behave and still be normal.  Sadly, we don’t have millions of options given.  You gotta just follow the rests or prepare to be labelled.

That’s how Rupchandra Bista became pagal, psycho; so Laxmi Prasad Devkota, and many others.  I guess that’s why innovation is rare here, creativity is rear, diversity is rare.  Everything is quite uniform like a sheep farm.

We all are humans but we aren’t same. Let’s embrace and respect each other’s differences.

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Food For Thought

A harsh reality of life

Hello there, let’s take a reality bite.

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Most people don’t have any plan or ambition. They only have wishes.

They are mostly lost in their every days’s hits, floating around searching for one hit after another. One moment they want to be a writer, another moment they want to be a sport person, another moment they want to be something else.

They join college without any plan thereafter. They join organization without any desire to stick for long. They take training and classes never to complete.

Then somehow life forces them to pick up something to survive. And they get into to the rat race to meet the needs of life and that of dependents. In between, they fall in love, they fall out of love, they again fall in love, they get married, they make babies, life moves on like everybody else.

Boom! 30 years are passed just like that. Looking back, they wonder how time flied so fast. Their inner self screams asking “who are you? What have you become? what is your identity in the society?” And they realize, nothing as such other than maybe, falano ko bau, spouse, or mandir pachadi ko ghar wala.

However, in the very same society, there will be people with distinct identity – “is a judge at district court,” “is a politician,” “is a musician.” You feel small in front of these recognized and highly regarded and respected individuals. They all walked the same timeline, but only few succeeded to build an identity. Most end up with no distinct identity.

If you go back to the timeline of these people who succeeded to have a distinct identity, you will find one thing in common and that is they had figured out long back what they wanted from their life and had been consistently into the same path for 2-3 decades to reach where they are now. Be it Obama or Oli or Rajesh Hamal or Amitabh Bachchan or any singer in grey hair. They didn’t reach there by going with the flow. They reached their through their dedication and determination of becoming someone other thantyo ghar wala uncle or falano ko bau or spouse.

If you don’t like to be identity-less person by the time you reach 50, then start finding out what you want from your life. Be very clear about where do you want to reach, what to do you want to become. With destinations being clear, you are halfway through. Other half is all about finding the paths. If you know you want to reach Nagarkot, you will not take the road to Thankot. That’s how life works when you figure out where do you want to be. Sooner you figure out, better it is. From there onward, it is all about walking and keep walking towards the destination you have set for your life, regardless of challenges.

Without any distinct identity, that sense of being “nobody” in a society gonna be pretty heavy to carry because even after retirement, you have to live 20 years of life as a social animal. Who are you? What were you doing? What can you be counted for? What part of knowledge and life experience will be useful in making this society a better place for newcomers? Questions like that will pierce like hot rod if you don’t have answers for.

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Food For Thought

Remember why you started

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One of the chronic problems that many of us suffer from is not being able to complete what we have started. Remember the time when you were super excited to learn guitar, that you bought or borrowed guitar but then you gave up learning after a couple of weeks? Or you joined a gym, just to never visit again? At some point in time, we all have done that. Looking back, we feel bad that we could not do what we were so determined to do. So, what really happened? Nothing. We just quit. Of course, we had our reasons, like there is always a reason for anything and everything. Reasons could be because our time didn’t favour us, or because our priority shifted or because we found a “better” thing to do. Or, we simply lost interest. Whatsoever, the truth is we failed to complete what we started. In between, money is wasted, time is wasted. And for sure, that was not the only time. Again and again, we repeat the same pattern of starting something and never completing it, just to end up in remorse and regret.

This chronic state is something we must overcome if we truly want to succeed in life. After all, success does not come to people who quit. Success is not determined by starting something but rather is determined by crossing the finish line, and only those who don’t quit get to finish the line. Thus, trying is not success. No one calls a person who has tried to climb Mt. Everest but quit without reaching the summit as “climbed the mountain successfully.” Being successful in study means graduating with a certificate; dropping out has never been called “successfully graduated.” Being successful in business means taking the business to the height of self-sustaining and profit-making state. No one calls a business in loss a successful business. Being successful in a relationship means succeeding to maintain the relationship and stick together happily. So yes, success simply means “didn’t quit.”

Irony of life is, everyone loves to succeed, but only few actually succeed. If everyone wants to succeed, why are there less successful people and more unsuccessful people? It’s not like because they were competing against each other and only one could succeed. It’s because there are more people who quit than those who don’t. The beautiful thing about success is it’s not a football match that one must lose for others to win. Success has a simple rule – CROSS THE FINISH LINE. Any one who crosses the finish line is a winner. Some may cross the line in a month or year or decade. Does not matter. As long as crossing the finish line, is a winner. So, to succeed all a person needs is a winner’s mentality of “I won’t quit.” “No matter what, I will not quit. I will keep pushing myself even if my moods say otherwise. I will keep pushing myself even if time does not favour me. I will keep pushing myself even if priorities change.” “rain or snow, I will keep pushing myself to reach the desired state.” “May it take a day or week or month or year or decade, I will keep pushing myself until I don’t cross the finish line.” That’s the kind of determination and perseverance needed to succeed.

Easier said than done. So what is that one magical wand that works for the winner’s mentality? What kind of motivation do they inject to not get tired of trying and trying and trying? How could they keep pushing themselves everyday despite finding 100 reasons to not do so? That magical wand is, they keep reminding themselves why they started in first place.  

There is always a purpose behind whatever we want to do. Be it taking a guitar class or joining a gym or a writing workshop; or be it making new friends or travelling places or even collecting stamps. Yes of course, sometimes we begin something out of whim or some shallow reason like “I want to learn guitar so that I can impress my crush.” That’s not the kind of purpose we are talking about here. We are talking about the purpose that eventually will define us, shape us and carve us. Purpose that gives us the reason to wake up every day and pursue it.

We humans in general are moody and labile animals, and there is constant shuffling of priorities making us floating from one thought to another, one desire to another, on priority to another. Today, your morning schedule may be relatively loose for you to plan something out but in a couple of days or weeks, you may have to get back to your study as the exam is approaching. Today, you may have thought evening is for training, but you don’t know when your evening will be occupied with kitchen work. Our routine never remains the same. It keeps changing per the situation and circumstances. This is when we begin to get distracted, deviated from what you were doing. This happens to everyone and has happened to everyone. It’s not that Bill Gates had no shift in priorities and distraction or deviation. It’s not that Sajjan Raj Joshi had the luxury to stick to his plan to compose a song once a week. Just like you, everyone has some or other variables and factors to distract and deviate but only few succeed to not let them take you away from what they started. For others, day by day, they begin losing interest and motivation and finally they give up. And our brain starts feeding us the self-soothing pill to convince us “it’s okay to quit. Maybe, it is not for you. Hey look! this new thing is more promising and fun.”

Trapped between changed reality and brain’s self-soothing consoling, many find the reason to quit. Whenever you are in such a dilemma, remind yourself why you started in the first place? Ask yourself “did i come this far just to be this far?” Think about all the plans you had, thoughts and desires and expectations you had built, future you had seen. Your brain might have got moody but your heart knows your true want and when you remind yourself why you started, the purpose and plan, you will be rejuvenated with the motivation to not quit, not give up, but keep pushing. Amidst the odds, find a way to still pursue what you started.

This reminder works as a compass for a ship to navigate towards the harbour, without which the ship would be just floating across the sea without any clue.

Someone once asked Sharukh Khan in his initial days of hustling “aren’t you tired of doing the same thing every day? For a person like you, there are so many opportunities out there, which would be more fun and may bring more fortune than this whatever you are doing. What keeps you motivated?” His answer was “I remind myself everyday why I started it in the first place. It gets me moving.”

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Food For Thought

Culture of Gratitude and appreciation

What is Gratitude and why it’s important for every individual and how it helps in creating a healthy and happy society?

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Gratitude, or in simple term, thankfulness or gratefulness, is one of the greatest of virtues. As William James said, “the deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” Humans generally do thing for their own pleasure and satisfaction or per their own need and goals; however, there is always a receiving end who benefits from the action. A singer sings for his/her own pleasure and satisfaction, but the receiving end gets the entertainment. A writer writes for his/her own reason but the receiving end gets the knowledge and perspective. A shopkeeper sells for his/her own reason but the receiving end gets the stuff. A social activist fights for the cause but beneficiaries of the victory are the victims.

The importance of gratitude culture is, it motivates and encourages the giving end and cultivates humility and humbleness in receiving end. When you say “thank you,” to a shopkeeper for selling you a bag of rice, he feels appreciated, motivated and encouraged and same time, you cultivate a culture within you to value everyone because of who you are able to get the thing, be it free or paid.

Gratitude works as a key to joy for both sides. Humans have been practicing gratitude since the beginning of humanity. That’s where all the thankfulness act and ritual to God came in to practice. Humans expressed their gratitude to God for the foods on table, for having the children, for having the fortune. Even many modern research and study has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of subjective well-being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. That’s because people who express gratefulness to others for whatever they got or they have become have higher level of empathy and humility, which makes them less arrogant and obnoxious.

Think like this, there are two friends, Person A and Person B. Both of them are listening a song by Sajjan Raj Vaidhya. Person A holds an attitude of gratefulness to Sajjan Raj Vaidhya for composing songs and uploading them on YouTube so that he could listen and feel good. Person B holds an attitude that Sajjan Raj Vaidhya is doing for his own name and fame and there is nothing to feel grateful for. Just suck the benefit and forget. Who do you think is more happy in life?

In a society where gratitude is not a collective value, where there is no culture of appreciation, such society tends to be more arrogant, disconnected from each others, and less happy, as people from the receiving end lack humility and the giving end lack motivation. Think of a society as a family, where every one hesitates to appreciate each others work or effort; acts cold and numb versus a family where they express their gratitude actively, appreciate every work and effort and take a moment to thank and value each member for whatever they bring to the table. Which family do you want to belong to?

Gratitude also works as a positive reinforcement motivating to keep doing and get better with what they have been doing and been appreciated for. Put yourself in the shoes of writer or singer or teacher or social activist or even a shopkeeper and think how you will feel when someone says something like “thank you so much for doing it, because of which I am able to …..” Your self esteem will definitely boost and be more determined to get much better.

Conclusion

A society without the culture of appreciation and gratitude will only be hanging in lack of humility and motivation and driven only by self-centric attitude with zero regard and appreciation to others. There will be lack of acknowledgement of anyone’s importance and essence; no culture of valuing any effort and attempt by others and everyone judging everyone through shallow and narrow point of view, making it all about trading.

It does not take anything to express thank you or acknowledge gratefulness or drop a word of appreciation. Try it!

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