Depression. 16#

This blog post isn’t going to be advocating for depressed people and their treatment. Rather than writing a huge essay on it, its time to write about a face, phase and perspective you might have not looked into. First things first, I want to clarify that depression is a real problem and people suffering from it need support and proper care by experts.

There was a time when the word “depressed” was taken a joke, parents and the community said, “go for a walk, it’ll be over.” But, now, everyone is aware of the fact that depression is real and a simple walk in the park won’t fix it. But my problem with the issue of rapid increase in depressed people is how this metric works in our minds. Depression is now known by many experts as an epidemic. And its not the war veterans, the bed-ridden patients who are the most depressed but the millennium. The teens who were cradled to death. The confusion is so massive that adults think just because you have had some sad days and you don’t feel so good, you are depressed, officially. That’s not how it works, until you are diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist for depression, you are just sad, that’s that. 

The problem is people, especially the youth is now using depression as a brilliant undebatable excuse for their short comings and incompetence in handling the struggles of life. And the icing on it is that parents are over protective in today’s world, kid gets in a fight, the parents jump in to save them, kid loses a match, the parents curse the officials. It might be that parents fear the safety of child to a unnecessary degree or worse, they fear that their kid won’t love them if they don’t protect them from every obstacle. 

Interesting is the fact that Dr. Jordan Peterson (Clinical psychologist) found out that many of his patients who were “depressed” were, so to say, cured of depression by having a full breakfast and sleeping on time. I guess the coincidence is not mere chance but fact that we knew that having a proper sleep schedule and having a good breakfast is important. We all were scolded to get to sleep and wake up and have breakfast in proper routine when we were school goings kids. The reason is the importance of maintained circadian rhythms and energy. Its simple as that, people are taking low energy for depression. And then they go to a psychiatrist for some pills and if its a greedy one he/she, besides knowing the fact that you are fine, will prescribe you pills and there you go, you added one more thorn in your life. 

The so called smartphone generation is the most depressed. I’d say the constant anxiety to post and get likes for validation gives the key to one’s own happiness to an anonymous person. That’s why I quit social media for some months, you should try it too. Unless you are an enterprise and do sales via social media, you can quit for some months, at least 30 days. 

One drawback in the life philosophy of “happiness” is that people go crazy, as to why their life is so full of problems, one after the other. Even in the movie “Pursuit of happyness” the movie ends with stating this, “…this part of life, this small part is life is called happiness…” I’ve always advocated for pursuing fulfillment rather than happiness. Even the riches of the riches have problems and face anomalies to degree unimaginable to the worlds below them. 

The face is what we put in front of others to decimate or validate, phase is what we all go through and will go through from time to time, bad and rough days or months or years, that’s life. Perspective is what you need, now look into yourself and accept your faults and improve on them, life owes you nothing, their are 7 billion of us, and no one is owed anything. Their will always be someone who has suffered more than you and still is better than you. So gear up for life and good luck.

“You can always die, its living that takes real courage.” – Himura Kenshin


How to have a conversation. #10

As I had promised, here is the process you should go through, to productively discuss dire matters and or preferences.  I’ll take you through effective and practical steps you can take to have a civil conversation and annihilate the aura of animosity. 

To take the steps required, you have to know how your beliefs were formed. Think, how did you come to the conclusion. Were there facts you looked into, or maybe you actually ‘just’ formed a preference? Messi is my favorite football player. Nope, don’t argue with me on why Ronaldo is better, because I didn’t look into the facts to an apposite depth, he is just my favorite, even if Ronaldo wins 7 Ballon d’Ors. Maybe Ronaldo is better if we look into the facts or maybe Messi will come on top, either way the latter is my favorite. What just happened? Well I have made a preference out of what I have experienced of the play styles of the two. You can’t argue with me with facts and you shouldn’t at all. There is nothing to argue about, my preference to one athlete has no effect onto your player’s performance. Same for any athlete’s favoritism one might have. Why in the world do you want to argue about it? Now take it a bit sideways, if it comes down to preference (made by experience regardless of facts) rather than differentiating facts and information, then compromise is the way to go. There is no, “Because Shimla is colder than Srinagar, hence we are going there!” The statement implies that the opinion was made out of facts, check the facts. “No, actually Srinagar is colder.” There you go, problem solved. The person’s idea of preference was based on temperature and it got debunked, now you know where they are headed.

Step 1: Think about your view.

Yup. As Bruce Lee once said, “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them”. Maybe, MAYBE, you ARE wrong. Just for the sake of worldly peace look into yourself. Take a good look into your opinion, is it morally correct, is it based on facts or is it just preference. Don’t fall for confirmation bias. Don’t go around looking for the ways your opinion is the best, look at the ways it might be wrong and then decide. Changing views, ideas, and beliefs is hard, our brains like to hold any thought for the sake of it, it hates change, it doesn’t care about right or wrong. But be conscious and think, thinking is hard, but powerful. You’ll also save yourself from a ton of embarrassment. These days social media apps like twitter spam you with chosen facts that make you ensconce on your ideas and opinions, it polarizes us all to an immense degree, be careful.

Step 2: Setting up the environment.

Okay step one is done and you know have come to the conclusion that you are right. How do I tell the other person that he/she is wrong? Right now, the question is, where do I tell the person he/she is wrong? Stop arguing over call and texts, I can’t emphasize this bit enough. Do not ever argue on calls or texts. I have been victim of text misinterpretation numerous times and the same on calls. I’m sure you have too. The voice tonality, facial expression, body language, all matter and now that they are missing, you can’t really  blame the other person on why they thought you meant, “Congratulations on your new job!” as a sarcasm. Because they have no way to figure out how you meant it. I have seen so many couple arguing over phone calls and the conversation turns to a death match in an instant. Just keep it in your head, don’t ever argue over something on texting or call. 

Find a quiet place, silent your phones and keep them in your pockets, don’t directly face each other. That instinctively comes off as predatory, not at all times but because the situation is already a bit off. That’s why conversation with new people seem much more relaxed when we walk, as we are beside each other, same for the teen lovers walking down the street, sit at an angle, you see that all the time in talk shows, there’s a reason for it. 

Step 3: Tape your mouth and unbolt your ears.

Even literally if required. A good way to do this is the talking pillow method. Assign a pillow the powers to talk that it transfers to person its with. Seems silly but incredibly effective. I’d suggest that you genuinely listen to what the other person has to say, even if they are wrong, it’ll let you know how they are wrong and how you can help them to take the right way. So, pass the pillow to them and until they give the pillow back to you, you are dumb as a pot. Take this seriously, don’t talk until he/she hands over the pillow, NOT EVEN A WORD. Don’t even nod in disapproval, that’ll come off as if you are in denial. 

Talking pillow scene Breaking Bad:-

Step 4: Time to talk.

Now that the person has talked for an hour and even let out a few piercing remarks or tears, your turn. Don’t care about the remarks, I mean don’t get back at them, act humble, be the wise woman/man in the situation. Now their are a few things to be taken care of: be careful of how to are going to talk, your tonality, your body language. Are you coming off as a wall or chair? Say, “Your coming late hurts me and makes me anxious”, rather than, “Your coming late is very irresponsible and childish.” If its an arguments on politics and stuff, facts are paramount. The thing is, if your way of stating the facts seem too offensive (in order to find the truth you have to risk being offensive) he/she might leave you hanging. Remember, the goal is the change of mind, not winning. So you have to improvise and act in respect to the person’s state. 

Step 5: Discuss and conclude.

This is a bit paradoxical actually. There is a chance things might take a U-turn and you are back at square one. Don’t worry follow the steps and repeat the cycle till you conclude. It all depends on the weight of the matter. The more lacerated the wound, the more intricate the process to heal it. George Bernard Shaw said it best, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”.

Now that you’ve had a civil conversation in ample amount. Time to take the points one by one, the points you differ on and weigh them on the scale of facts and preferences. As you take your problems one by one, over and over again, days after days, the small details of your life will be strong and well rooted. Relationships will be healthy and your perceptions will be well thought out. Goal is to improve yourself and help others improve. 

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” – Paul J. Meyer


Bad habits

A new way to end your bad habits. #6

What we do every single day is what we are. Habits are projections of our existence and reflection of our effect to our surroundings and ourselves. We have good and bad ones. If you aren’t a crazy person, you’d want, like any other dreamer in the world, to be an idol that you yourself look up to. The man/woman you imagine yourself to be (your persona). Friedrich Nietzsche once said; “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” Yes, but both you and I know how we talk to ourselves in the mirror of our bathrooms; like we own the world. So, we do know our illusions, we just momentarily acknowledge them and then shift our perception outwards. Delaying our improvement procedures and plans, if we have any. Well, that’s just human. We all want to be the person who wakes up at 4am and works till 8pm non-stop, making 10 million $ a year. Me too. But that won’t happen by watching meaningless validation seeking reaction videos. Yeah, why do you think people love watching those. I recently observed what was going on, we watch for one of the two reasons. Either we want their view or as we laughed or cried we want to see them feel the same and that gives a sense of validation and companionship. I think I’m going a bit too off topic.

Stop and think about the habits you have, nothing is an accident or nothing just happens in your daily life that makes it look like you have less hours than the other hyper-productive beings around you. Life is a routine, day in and day out. I want you to be self-conscious about them all. How and when you wake up, how you take your damn clothes off even. Literally everything. Now after that analysis (its going to take a while) what habits do you want to change. And let me tell you a thing, once a system of cue and triggers are set in the brain, they CAN’T be removed. Yup, you’re so screwed. I’m kidding, actually they can ONLY be replaced. I’ll go into all that some other day. 

I think we all know the circulating “fact” that habits take 21 days to change. Actually yes and no, it depends an ample amount on the degree to which you have the habit ingrained into you. There’s a new technique you may want to try, its a bit bizarre and metaphysical in a way, but, if you’ve exhausted every other option or are tired of mainstream methods, this might help. 

All you have to do is create an enemy that has a single goal in its existence; you see you crumble. Yeah, I told you its bizarre. Weather you believe it or not, many celebrities use it to get through their tough times. What they do is they create a “they/them”. Now what the hell does that mean? “They/them” represents the devil in a sense; an entity existing just so to bring you to your knees and make you give up hope on yourself and the world. DJ Khaled said in his interview on the Ellen Show that, “They don’t want you inspired”, “They don’t want you to win.” He later urged the host Ellen, “Please, Ellen stay away from them.” The ‘they’ aren’t real people, its what Khaled has created for himself to help him get a, you may say nitro-boost of a motivation. Its not just him, many others have also been known to do this. They create a virtual resistance which they convince their mind is real, be careful though, don’t dive too deep into it. You might just become paralyzed by the fear of resistance from the outside world. Just a heads up. Their is so much that maybe is against your dreams and goals, but find the one you care most about, the one that shouldn’t win over you.

We have habits and things we would like to change, smoking, internet addiction, anime (an addiction I had previously), TV and maybe something else. We need to change, and change is scary, its uncertain, and so is life. The world is a treadmill and if we stop, we don’t stay static, we go backwards, to keep up and move forward, we have to be in a constant motion of growth and positive change.

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche 

Health or wealth - Thumbnail

Health or wealth? What matters more? #2

I got the idea to write this blog when a couple of days ago a discussion came up with some of my acquaintances and as you can see the title, it was about the choice of health over wealth or vice versa. At the time I kept my mouth shut as I didn’t know how I should project my thoughts and maybe in the moment some cunning remarks might have looked really convincing, but drove the person towards a rough road. As I thought about it, a new question captured my attention; why this polarization? Why do we crave or rather want to pursue either health or wealth goals? Why not both?

“Yeah, yeah and make it harder to get either of them.”, is what some might say, and fair enough. But I want to include another variable in this equation; happiness. See when it comes to frames as to how we may decide to go for things, we should never forget the tantrum time can play.  To answer the question bluntly I’d say go for both at apposite times. If you have to submit your research papers that’ll get you into Harvard and you have 48 hours, dump your gym and 2 hour breakfast routine and get yourself into deep work and maybe even forget sleep. Because those 48 hours are going to suck, yes, but to not be depressed and full of stress and anxiety for years to come, because you didn’t reach you own and parental (if any) expectations you have to sacrifice your health for the time being. But one might say, “Isn’t that the point of working your butt off for years, for the well being of the 10 or so years after that?” Yeah, but to enjoy 10 years of peace (however you may define it) you have to work for 10-20 years (as the argument states; without caring for health), let’s say you are 25, so their goes half your life. It isn’t just about physical health, mental abnormalities are a problem in super successful personalities. You’ll have constant headaches, caffeine addiction from working overtime, you’ll have to distant yourself from even mild forms of entertainment like sports. “But I do play sports.” Then why are you even asking this question, you are already subconsciously caring for your health. Its quite clear in studies that older people (who are relatively rich) regret not caring for health as much in their youth. But the opposite is for not-so-rich people, they regret not working as hard. To be honest, in the end, not having enough wealth to cure yourself or your family in dire need is going to destroy you and so is working day and night and not spending time with you family. Going towards wealth road doesn’t in any conceptual universe mean that you’ll be spending time with your family and having regular dinners and stuff. And caring about just health is the same, how? Well their will come a time that you won’t have enough money to buy organic foods and or regular detox sessions. Life is about balance. 

If right now you are a 100 kg and have a good business, let your profits be a little lower for the time being, because you aren’t available for 2 hours as you hit the gym. The compound in a couple of years wealth-wise might not be as it would’ve been if you continued without it, but you won’t be having a heart attack as your daughter cuts her birthday cake.

If you are a student and in 2 weeks you have an exam for which you didn’t utilize the whole 4 months or something, time to dump the gym and jog and get to work. Because you don’t want yourself be a fit guy that later got an inferiority complex as your friend got a great bike for his son while you live paycheck to paycheck. 

Their is a ginormous amount of wealthy people who are ready to give up their parts of fortune for their health so as they may enjoy it. Going back to the happiness thing I mentioned earlier Gary Vaynerchuk has a great quote on it, “I’d rather be happy in my Toyota, than cry in my Ferrari.” See choosing between health or wealth is stupid, both are important for a person’s well being and fulfilling life, as one desires. Their will be times in life when one or the other will have to be suppressed. But in the ever varying and unpredictable life, the most one can do is to try his/her hardest to keep things in equilibrium, because when trouble hits and you have a stupid vulnerability that your ignorance or stupidity served you. You’ll regret quite a dear part of your being.