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Schedule Joy In Your Life

Schedule Joy In Your Life

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You know lately, life hasn’t been bad but it hasn’t been great either. There’s too much stuff to think about, act on and plan. Not to mention the big life changes such as not being in school anymore and friends moving away 🙁

Going to college is the easy exciting part. Knowing that I am not in school anymore and won’t see my friends every day in the familiar building is hard.

So yeah life’s not been easy exactly.

And I know I’m not the only one who can feel that way.

There are days when even though nothing particularly is wrong but things can still feel dull.

Dealing with the day-to-day can be tough and it’s easy to get bogged down by the mundane. But life is too short to be stuck in a rut! That’s why it’s important to find ways to add a little joy into your everyday routine.

One way to do that is by scheduling some joy.

It may sound a bit silly but bear with me. If you’re used to living life spontaneously, the idea of planning out your fun might seem a bit strange.

One might think that if you’re scheduling it, isn’t fun. But that’s not necessarily the case!

Scheduling good things in your life can be your saviour when things are monotonous. It’s a way of making sure you have something to look forward to.

So what exactly does scheduling joy mean?

It means setting aside time specifically for activities that make you happy.

This can be anything from reading your favourite book, taking a nature walk, visiting a new place, trying out a new recipe or watching a feel-good movie.

The important thing is that it’s something you enjoy and makes you feel good.

The benefits of scheduling joy would show up in times of extreme stress and worry. The joy that you have scheduled in your routine negates the specks of worry here and there in daily life. So when you do have to deal with a real problem, your mental capacities are free to do, instead of being stuck in trivial problems.

Scheduling joy is not only beneficial in terms of mental health but also creates a sense of stability and routine. Those little scheduled pockets of time could be anything you need them to be – time with loved ones, opportunity to explore something new or maybe reflecting on the day.

So go ahead and try scheduling some joy in your life! You may find that it’s just what you need to get out of a rut.

Why You Try To Make Changes But Fail

Why You Try To Make Changes But Fail

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Back when we were in school (woah that phrase feels weird to say), at the beginning of a new academic session we were usually allotted a different classroom than the one we had the previous year.

Pretty sure that’s commonplace in almost every school.

The funny thing is that during the first week, coming back from the ground after recess or a PT period my friends and I would sometimes end up in front of our old classroom.

Only after seeing the kids in the classroom who weren’t our classmates would we realise that the room wasn’t ours anymore.

If you’ve been out of school for some time now, let me give you another scenario.

You have have meeting with a friend at this new restaurant that’s beside your workplace.

You’re drive there and when you park your car, you realise you’re in the office parking lot. And not the restaurant.

You know what’s the reason behind both these instances?

Your brain is like a jungle and for everything you do, it makes a passage between different areas.

The tasks you do every single day, over time, have made smooth, wide, well trodden trails that are easy to access.

But some of these paths don’t lead you to good places.

Which is why, to make a change, you need to create a new path – a lot of times from square one.

But here’s a catch. There always is.

The brain is a jungle, which means if you don’t clear away the path and use it often, the trees on the path grow back.

Under times of distress, the brain will choose its automatic path, the easiest one, that is the older one.

Thus you need to keep repeating the new behavior until it becomes easier to access than the older one.

This also explains why even though we try to make changes we fail.

The simple and the obvious solution, then, is to perform the behavior you’re trying to develop as often as you can.

The reason why my friends and I would end up in front of the old classroom or why you could end up in your office building when driving to the restaurant is because those actions have been cemented in our brains after hundreds, if not thousands of repetitions.

Knowing this is  especially useful when you’re stressed.

If your first response to anxiety (like mine) is to become a nervous wreck and jump to conclusions, you might have thought of ways to stay calm.

Be it journaling, taking deep breaths or talking to someone logical.

But when it’s not a drill anymore and you’re actually anxious, you tend to your older panicky ways.

In those moments all you need to do is to recognise the fact that you’re using the older path.

Then, redirect your attention towards the newer path you have recently started clearing away.

It also applies when you’re trying to make a change in any other part of life.

Trying to reduce screen time?

Every single time you feel yourself reaching for your mobile, drink a glass of water instead.

It’s important to give your brain an alternate path to the previous one.

After this habit is repeated enough times, when you’re bored you’ll reach for a glass for water instead of your phone.

Being hydrated and getting to keep your mental peace. It’s a win-win.

Recap for memory:

  1. To do any task, your brain creates paths between different areas.
  2. The path that is the easiest to access and the most used (also often the oldest) is the one that the brain chooses first.
  3. Every time you see yourself resorting to old behavior, all it needs is your conscious effort to shift towards the better behavior.

P. S. This post was inspired by this video.

My Message To Board Students

My Message To Board Students

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Owing to the events of the past few days in my (as well as people my age across India) life, I’ll keep this post short and sharp.

In case you have no clue what I’m referring to, I’m talking about the CBSE Board results released on the 22nd. (Also, if you had no clue about that – do you live under a rock?)

By God’s grace, everyone’s got pretty good results and rightfully so because they worked hard for it. It’s heartwarming to see my friends who’ve worked their asses off get the outcomes they deserve.

All of this just drills one thing into my head, something which I’ve probably said before too – efforts are never wasted. They may be buried until they actually show up as results, but never in vain.

Here’s my message to those – 

who have put in the hours but didn’t get the results they think they deserve: your hard work is in the transit to become the results, hang in there.

who think what they have gotten is more than what they deserve (I’m one of those): don’t make the mistake of underestimating yourself, had you not been deserving of this, you wouldn’t have gotten it. It’s a fierce world and no one would spare a single penny more than the other person deserves.

who have worked hard and received what they deem fit for themselves: I’m proud of you and way happier for you than you can imagine.

I hope the best for all of us <3

Do You Make Up Fake Scenarios Too?

Do You Make Up Fake Scenarios Too?

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If you’re a normal human being who hasn’t ticked off every single thing on your life wishlist (kudos to you if have, but could you let me in on your secret?), there’s a high probability that you daydream.That you make up imaginary scenarios in your head (Ik I’m sidetracking here but I thought of a new word for imaginary scenarios – imaginarios. It sounds like a cereal name and I love that 🤭) and have fully decided what you’d do if we were in a zombie apocalypse or if you won the lottery.

While the fantasy genre of imaginarios doesn’t have many chances of becoming reality, the fiction genre on the other hand can come to reality in the blink of an eye. This is why even though apocalypse and lottery scenarios are more juicy, the fiction ones keep me hooked. Plus covid being someone’s brain child – and once an imaginario – was (is?) more than enough.

So coming back to the topic, when I daydream, more often than not it’s about what my life would look like after a major change or event and how I would react to it. I think about all the ways my life would be different, how I’d keep in touch with my friends if I was living thousands of miles away, if I wasn’t a student and was working, if I could drive around the city.

My point is, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for when a situation you want with all your heart actually comes to you. I know it sounds stupid and unlikely, but most of us would be severely overwhelmed and under prepared if what we wanted did come true this very second.

Some people might think that opportunities are a matter of luck, but I disagree. Ultimately, opportunities work out well for only those who were prepared for it. You don’t just get a big break. You get it when you’re ready for it.

Many people are not ready for their lucky break when it comes to them. Why? Because they have not prepared themselves for it. When you’re not prepared, you will struggle to take advantage of the opportunity and make the most of it. And even if you do manage to take advantage of it, you will find it difficult to keep up with the demands that come with it.

The question is – how do you prepare for an opportunity?

You develop your skills. Study your craft. Save some money. Build a network before you need it. Lay the ground work.

The prepared person is positioned to benefit from unexpected opportunities.

Be prepared for your opportunity. Be in the right mindset for it, prepare your tools, gather your resources. Your opportunity might be closer than you think.

Why You Need to Stop Learning New Things

Why You Need to Stop Learning New Things

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For the unversed, at the beginning of this June, my younger sister had taken some baking classes. (tbh even I’m surprised by the number of things I’ve learnt because she took those classes 😂😂)

Like the enthusiastic baker she is, she frequently bakes cakes which I get to eat.

A few days back she made a cake for our relatives visiting the city which received much appreciation from them. Upon conveying the same to her teacher, one specific thing that her teacher said got to me.

She said that what made her happiest was the fact that Siya (my younger sister) learnt baking and was actually practicing because of which the skills came to her much quicker than most people.

This got me, my mom and my dad pondering over something all of us in the family (well of course except Siya, cause yk the younger sibling’s always adopted) are culprits of – accumulating knowledge but barely applying it.

All three of us are ever ready to learn something new, and are enthusiastic about learning it but when it comes to putting it to use, we aren’t the first ones in the queue.

If you’re anything like us, I urge you to not make the same mistakes as us. A small action is worth a million ideas. After all, ideas are nothing until implemented.

Only after we take action do we realise what works and what doesn’t. As Tallulah Bankhead says in her autobiography, “If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.”

You Don’t Need To Read The Complete Book

You Don’t Need To Read The Complete Book

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A couple of weeks back, I picked up a book I had heard much about. It’s called Deep Work by Cal Newport. The book talks about the importance of working with your full focus, without any interruptions and the difference it can bring.

Prior to starting the book, I had watched quite a few videos which happened to be based on it and they were genuinely very helpful. So it was actually the videos that inspired me to read the book. 

The first few pages of the book were okay, but as I progressed further, the book started to feel long-winded and repetitive. I found myself struggling to get through paras, which usually isn’t a problem for me while reading other books (no shade to Deep Work tho).

Yet I tried pushing myself through the book in hopes of understanding the concepts better since I really liked what I had heard about it. 

But after a point, I realized I was just dragging myself through the book and not enjoying or retaining anything from it.

So I decided to stop. 

A lot of us – including me – have the mindset that if we have started a book, we must complete it, cover to cover. No ifs or buts. But that’s not true. 

If you realize that a book isn’t for you, or you’re not enjoying it, don’t force yourself to read it. You can always look up a summary of the book online, or even better – watch a video on it. There’s no shame in admitting that a book wasn’t for you, moving on and investing your time and energy in better things. 

The same goes for anything else in life. Just because you’ve signed up for something, doesn’t mean you have to continue with it if it doesn’t work out. 

There’s no harm in giving something your best shot and then moving on if it’s not for you. Life is too short to be spent struggling with something that doesn’t make you happy. I’m not saying that you should give up on everything as soon as it gets difficult. But if something isn’t working out, maybe it’s time to let it go. Your time is precious. Treat it that way.

So go ahead, read that book summary instead. It might not give you 100% gist of the book but it will be a lot better than reading something you’re not enjoying.