Oct 18, 2016

Lifeblog: On living "efficiently" and persistence (October 2016)

So here I am... listening to the soundtrack of Luke Cage (Season 1), looking at the calendar, and telling myself: "Wow... half of October is done already? That leaves me with two and a half months before 2016 ends." I sigh, give myself some really quick pep talk in my head for 5-10 seconds, and carry on with what I was wanting to work on on the good ol' reliable laptop.

I get this feeling that 2016 has not been a really good year for a lot of people... and I really hope that you, the one reading this post, do not fall under this category of people. If so, I'm really happy for you, and I really hope the year ends in a similar manner for you.

But this is for those who have also had a difficult year, and who feel like they haven't done as well as they would have wanted to. Here's the good news: it's still not all that bad! Enjoy the read :-)

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Disclaimer: I'm assuming some people will judge me while reading this, thinking about how could someone "living such a good life" like me is talking of things like "struggling", judging me based on my activity on social media and whatnot. I may have had some great moments this year, but I have also had some extremely painful and bitter times - I just prefer sharing positivity on my social media accounts, but that doesn't mean I have it entirely easy. Thus, I request people to read this with an open mind!

I realized recently that during my university days, I got the opportunity to understand the true meaning of a lot of words and concepts we use in our common everyday language. One of those words being "efficient" or the adverb "efficiently". In a nutshell, "efficient" is all about "having maximum output", while having "minimum input". It's basically doing the most you can, with the least you have, if I have to grossly simplify it.

As cheesy as this may sound (guilty as charged!), but when you really think of it... shouldn't we all just try to "live efficiently"? We are not all blessed with the right tools or right circumstances. But maybe if we "connect the dots", like my good friend Steve Jobs once said, and if you try and put together what you already have (as little as it may be), to achieve something greater, then maybe, just maybe, it could work in our favor!

Having said that, despite giving our best, there is always that chance of failure. That "make or break it" moment. Except that it does indeed break you. And oh wait - did I say moment? I meant moments (plural). Adversity is a great test of character, but we all had our personal sad moments - listening to melancholic music, binge-watching TV shows or movies, stuffing ourselves with junk food, and etc.

Taken in Olbia, Italy

And - as cliché as I may sound (again) - it's OK to be sad! (Yes, we see this line a lot in TV shows, used by the shrinks and therapists on screen. Guilty as charged, yet again!) That being said, there is some truth in that saying! The best way to overcome the hurdle, is to accept it and acknowledge its presence. So take your time to sink in the sadness, and most importantly keep trying. And that's where I come to my next point: persistence (also known as one of my favorite words in English language).

Persistence is often portrayed in Hindi cinema as "stubbornness". For instance, the song Ziddi Dil from the movie Mary Kom - where the protagonist is going hard at achieving her goal. But here's a reminder: stubbornness is not exactly the same as persistence. The first one has a more negative connotation to it. E.g. "I want the man to open his shop again to sell me that ice-cream, even though it just closed a minute ago. I will stay here till he agrees to open it again, I don't care!" That's stubbornness. An example for persistence: "Oh I'm so tired, I'm feeling breathless, I don't think I can run for another 700 meters. No I won't stop, I will keep going. YES, I did it!"

I recently watched this documentary on Netflix called Happy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_(2011_film)) - highly recommend it to those who need some motivation in their lives! In this documentary, they explain the whole concept of happiness through the lives of people who either are doing it right, or those who sadly couldn't experience it correctly. One of those components to happiness is how quickly someone bounces back from adversity. In a nutshell, they explain how people who are generally happier in their lives, are often seen as those who have "easier lives". In fact those people face the same number of issues or problems, if not more, but what makes them happier is the speed at which they were able to bounce back from the situation.

To sum it all up: living efficiently (doing the most with the little you have), and persistence (keep trying, regardless of an eventual failure). Easy to say, but hard to put in practice. But if you know you're trying your best, then you should not have any regrets. Just keep at it, and keep faith. Count the good things, accept the bad ones. And also: there's no shame in just laying around in your PJs, binge-watching some show, just to deal with the sadness. It's all very human.

And to give you some context (without going into any intimate private details), yes as I said above this hasn't been a really fruitful or good year for me. But then again, I kept trying hard to make it one. In the meanwhile I reminded myself to stay happy. My cousin had flown over here from India, and I decided to join him in discovering the Swiss homeland. It was the country I was born and raised in, so it was about time I get to see a few of those iconic places! I also kept going with my guitar and singing practice. I kept myself updated with nearly ALL the Bollywood soundtracks coming out. Kept trying my hand at photography, whenever I got the opportunity. (Have been using a lot of those shots in my blog posts) Watched movies and TV shows when time permitted it. Started my gym routine again. Met up with the few best friends I have over here, those who always stayed by my side, in my good and bad times. Cuddled with the pets at home, who have always showered the love in an unconditional matter, even when I was at many times a "loser", like the kids would call it. Used the support of the family when needed, and tried to give it back to them whenever it was needed.

It's the little things that matter. The glue that keeps you together, whatever it is. It's great to have the support of family and friends, but don't forget to put in the extra effort that YOU personally need to put in to stay happy and positive. Keep going, and don't forget to fail. Because maybe happiness isn't about "being happy". It's more about "becoming happy". Bouncing back from the failures and counting your blessings, because hey... if a bulletproof character like Luke Cage wasn't happy with his life, then maybe we could also do more with the little we have?

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