The Blindside Of Privilege

We live in a world where thankfulness is a sport of comparison and showing gratitude for our blessings often requires that we first place them against a contrasting background of someone else’s less-fortunate circumstance to see the extent of what has been done for us. In this twisted world, privilege (used here as an umbrella…

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What It Means To Live A Life Of Less

A stripped-down life may not be for everyone, but do you need everything you have to live well? Think about it, there’s a lot you can live without, a lot you can skip without suffering for it. But when you’re used to a particular lifestyle, it is easy to believe that your happiness, maybe even your existence, is dependent on the comforts you have surrounded yourself with. The daily assault of materialism in the world we live in does not help either. If you’re not being asked to buy something, you’re being asked to replace something you own (which is basically…

Practise Letting Go By Giving Things Away

The things we keep may be a reflection of who we are and what we carry on the inside. If this theory is true, and there’s some merit to it, we may be able to teach ourselves how to release people, anger, disappointment and hurt by giving away things in five steps. 1. Take stock of the things you own. This is a simple inventory of stuff, but with a twist: for every item inventoried, create a label that states how you came to own the item, how it is useful and what would happen if you no longer have…

Be Grateful, Deliberately

Making gratitude a lifestyle goes beyond the sporadic “thank you” and that equally infrequent overwhelming sense of privilege we feel, to a more deliberate attempt to cultivate a grateful heart. They say practice makes perfect, or at least gets us close enough to transforming a habit into a character. One way to practice gratitude is by going the extra mile of writing gratitude letters to people who have made a positive difference in our lives. An email works too, but this kind of “thank you” demands that we write on paper and deliver the letter in person. Very particular, I know, but if…

Are Your Life Goals Flexible?

From where I stand, doing too much is clearly connected to the absolutely natural norm of setting goals for ourselves. Sometimes, fueled by the flawed perception of achievement that convinces us to take on far more than we can handle (or equally bad, spend our lives hunting for breakthroughs), we set impractical goals that do not take our limitations into consideration. Everyone wants to ‘find purpose’, but we never want to accept that the most effectual life we could live may be a simple, unglamorous one. I’m not going to tell you how to define your success (even though we all…

Life Is Not A Sprint

I’ve been feeling stuck lately, trapped in the torturous repetition of commuting, working and getting whatever joyless sleep I can. I cycle the loop weekday after weekday from one month to the next till it’s “Happy New Year!” and the old beginning of the same old life arrives with muted fanfare wherever the first of three hundred and sixty-five midnights finds me. All activities outside this routine are brief intermissions between the dreary acts of an extended real-life drama, flashes of relief from the grind. I wish adulthood came with a warning label: ‘This train doesn’t stop till you do, permanently. Get on at your…

Talking To Myself At 21

I don’t know what your situation is, but ten years from now, life will not mean the same as it does today. Ten years from now, you will not have as much time. Pay attention now, I know what I’m talking about. Three things will call to you: money, power and respect. They will scream your name. Do not answer, do not even think about answering, and do not chase them. If you find the path that’s meant for you (and I pray you do), you will have enough of all three, the portions you can handle. Come second, bloom…