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Ira Varma

@iravarma1

India

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Real Success Is Individual

We understand success as something relative to others and not something by itself. Status, power, wealth and position is by default a relative rank to the rest of the contenders of society. This constant comparison is designed for unending misery for all rank holders, from the first to the last.

Real success is individual, and true happiness comes from identifying and cultivating your own inner strength and contentment.

@iravarma1

Defining success wrong hurts our happiness

fastcompany.com

We naturally seek validation from external sources like friends, family and social media (number of likes), but fail to realize that true happiness comes from within us, and real freedom is when we focus on ourselves, not others.

If we only strive for external validation we are simply giving control of our happiness to others. Antidote: Look yourself in the mirror daily and say ‘I Love You’.

Most people live and become their job roles. We simply don’t understand that we are more than just our work, and wake up in the morning as employees, not human beings on this beautiful planet.

When we are done with our lives, we will regret that we were only working the whole time and didn’t live our precious life. We would give everything we have to live just one more day with the people we love.

Relationships and connections are a bigger source of happiness than status.

Instead of constantly comparing ourselves with others(a surefire recipe for a miserable life) we need to compare ourselves with the person we were before, like a year or five years ago. We need to grow, evolve, blossom and make ourselves better and wiser in every sphere of life.

Everybody is running their own marathon. Train hard and only compete with yourself.

Introversion and social anxiety are separate

Introversion is how you’re wired, whereas social anxiety is something that is holding you back due to fear instead of a choice you're making.

Non-anxious introverts are very happy to leave a party early, but people with social anxiety often leave because they feel so worried and want relief.

A psychologist explains how to beat social anxiety

theverge.com

Ellen Hendriksen
"We have to put action before feeling confidence because when we see ourselves doing challenging things, we start to believe we can."
The Main Drive In Life

Psychiatrist Victor Frankl, whose classic book Man’s Search For Meaning promotes better mental and emotional health by discovering meaning in our lives, provided us with a dilemma: To savour the world or to enjoy it.

The main drive of life, according to many philosophers, is to find meaning in all the suffering we all inevitably go through. Troubling, bleak and disturbing news can be a source of anxiety or a call to action, depending on a person’s mindset.

Balancing Between Saving the World and Savoring It

psychologytoday.com

It is fortunate to be part of the solution to the world’s problems, making a positive contribution, and doing good things that help others. However, if we don’t strike a balance and keep our life enjoyment at bay, there will be a point of burnout where we will experience compassion fatigue.

Taking a walk in the park, a bike ride, exercise, painting, meditation and yoga can recharge our batteries and boost our happiness.

We need to balance our life with activities and relationships that nurture our mind and body while being beneficial to others. We can cultivate our inner resources in a way that allows us to impact others with kindness and caring.

Small things like a warm smile, kindness in one’s voice and a spring in your step is a beautiful way to touch others, rather than appearing irritated or foul. We all need to rekindle our own balance and increase the resources we have to offer to others while enjoying our time on this planet.

Goal setting

Is the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve.

Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay to achieve your goals.

Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals

jamesclear.com

The Rudders and Oars Metaphor
It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
  • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
  • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
  • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
  • If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

  1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
  2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
  3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”
It's very hard to stick to positive habits in a negative environment.
  • Use simplicity. When in doubt, eliminate options. It is more difficult to focus on reading a blog post when you have 10 tabs open in your browser.
  • Use Visual Cues, like the Paper Clip Method or the Seinfeld Strategy, to create an environment that visually nudges your actions in the right direction.
  • Opt-Out vs. Opt-In. For example, schedule your yoga session for next week while you are feeling motivated today. When your workout rolls around, you have to justify opting-out rather than motivating yourself to opt-in.
Measure Your Goals

Evidence of your progress towards a goal is one of the most motivating things you can experience.

The trick is to realize that counting, measuring, and tracking is not about the result. Measure to discover, to find out, to understand.

Purpose: A Journey To Experience

Everyone's purpose is different and where they stem from holds variety. We have no "one true purpose" but we are in charge of what it may be.

In spite of the truth it holds, purpose is something we can cultivate through conscious action and reflection, and it easily wax and wane throughout our lives.

How Purpose Changes Across Your Lifetime

greatergood.berkeley.edu

  • As teens, we were often told to find our purpose in lives so that when we grow up to become adults, we'll be able to see ourselves grow with composure and grace.
  • We start to find our purpose during the times when we explore ourselves and understand what it is that we could be fighting for.
  • In order to understand what our purpose is, we have to have a strong sense of self by knowing our capabilities, skills, and interests so that we can align it while pursuing our purpose.
  • As adults, we're expected to have our lives figured out and become well-put-together people. We often find our calling in our 20s and 30s but not everyone does.
  • Thus we look for a purpose towards building our career or a family. While young adults may see it as an adventure worth taking, many adults feel the urgency to get their lives together.
  • But despite the struggles we face, the ones who find a sense of direction do tend to end up having happier, healthier, and longer lives.
  • Many people who are in their mid-ages that still haven't found their purpose in life felt adrift. Only 30% of the people in this age group felt like they had a purpose.
  • Purpose for the middle-aged is like purpose for teens: to still draw in new skills, knowledge, and values that they've cultivated in their life time to start a new chapter.
  • Starting a new chapter in life is not always the sought out option, but it is what we should opt for since we already have the building blocks we needed.
John Leland
"Purpose is a practice. It is something continuously created, not sought for".
  1. Start with an incredibly small habit, one that is easy enough that you don't need motivation to do it
  2. Increase your habit in very small ways - start small and gradually improve
  3. As you build up, break habits into chunks
  4. When you slip, get back on track quickly.

How to Build New Habits: This is Your Strategy Guide

jamesclear.com

Jim Rohn
t;Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.&
LEO BABAUTA
"We’ll research something to death instead of actually just doing the thing. We’ll talk about it, read about it, buy all the equipment for it, but not actually do the thing. We’ll do our email, messages, small tasks, and check social media or the news — just real quick! — instead of doing the thing."

How to Do the Thing You're Avoiding

zenhabits.net

We often spend our days doing everything but that difficult thing we're dreading to do.

This happens because we're trying to protect ourselves from uncertainty. We don’t want to feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, to look stupid or to to feel overwhelmed.

Avoiding doing a task we're dreading actually just makes us feel more overwhelmed, more like a failure or disappointment, more stupid or not good enough.

Get into the action habit. We do the thing by deciding to do the thing.

  • Take the time to consider the fact that you’re really avoiding something.
  • Decide to do it, and then don’t waver. Don’t let yourself argue about it. When you decide to do it, just commit and do it.
Minimalist principles to apply to work
  • Declutter your workspace, including your computer;
  • Identify the essential and say no to unnecessary activities;
  • Whatever you do, make it worthwhile. Including your time off.
  • Fill your life with joy and consciously choose what you want your career to consist of.
  • At the end of the workday, reflect on what you accomplished and consider what you could improve.

5 Minimalist Principles That Promise To Simplify Work And Prevent Burnout

forbes.com

Effects Of Traumatic Events

The experience of trauma is heavy on one’s emotional, mental and physical health, leading to complications like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) along with anxiety, depression and other emotional issues.

The person experiencing trauma becomes fearful of human contact and socializing, shutting the world and withdrawing within.

How to heal through life writing | Psyche Guides

psyche.co

Expressive writing, or daily journaling of life events, feelings, emotions and thoughts, is a kind of therapy that improves our mental health, as we do not let life pile up, giving it space, distance and shape while reflecting on it. It acts as a vent to our sadness and deep-rooted pain, providing acceptance, and eventually healing.

Life writing can be a diary, journal, oral testimony, memoir or an autobiography, though personal essays or memoirs prove to be the most therapeutic.

Start Journaling Your Life Now
  1. Identify a key theme or topic that you want to write about, addressing a certain emotion, challenge or trauma, giving it acceptance.
  2. Develop your topic keeping it real, raw and personal, helping you gain metacognition and awareness through the process of reflection. You are talking and listening to yourself now.
  3. Reading what you have written, helps you reconnect and review your thoughts and feelings that are on paper. This can then optionally be shared with readers who would like to read, or you can yourself play the role of an objective reader.
  4. If you decide to publish, know your genre and do not go for click-bait or sensationalism.
The Dark Side Of Self Control

Agreeable, organized individuals seem to have a suppressed, dark side in their personality.

Model citizens, and people with high self-control, and those who are resistant to impulsive behaviour in daily life, maybe ‘bursting’ out their inner desires in one go all of a sudden, letting go of their willpower and even morality.

How self-control can actually unleash your dark side

bbc.com

People with high levels of self-control are generally seen to be healthy, well-rounded individuals who are ideally less likely to act violently or aggressively.

New research shows that this behaviour pattern may be to gain acceptance and tread the social norms as a means to one’s end, being selfish and self-centred in private.

People with high self-control have a surprising behavioural trait of being shrewd and cruel according to various studies:

  1. They are more likely to cover up an anti-social act to avoid getting caught, like for dangerous driving.
  2. They ended up being keener to kill hundreds of bugs in a grinder, without any feeling of remorse.
  3. They electrocuted their opponents in a TV game to a much higher degree than others, not knowing that the electrocution is being feigned by the contestant.

But more research needs to be done before we slot someone’s moral values and behavioural traits into predictable patterns.

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