Happiness

In 2018, everyone is selling happiness. Be it Tinder, new bigger iPhone or your boss. Writers have become millionaires by teaching you how to be happy.

What exactly is happiness, is it something one can buy or own?

For some getting extrinsic appreciation acts as motivation. This is what has made all social media apps so valuable. The quest for receiving social appreciation fuels happiness. These people share everything in public: eating, meeting, traveling, running, et al.

I am not judging the seekers of extrinsic happiness. We humans are different.

There is another group. The ones who like living with themselves. A private life, happy in their own little-isolated world. External appreciation has no role to play in their happiness.

Which one are you?

Cascading anger phenomenon

Let me explain the Cascading anger phenomenon with an example.

1. Shyam is a software developer.
2. One morning he gets a SPAM call. He gets furious.
3. His maid offers breakfast for him. Shyam shouts at her because it has little extra salt in it.
4. Shyam takes his car, shouts at his watchman because he takes a minute to open apartments door.
5. Shyam is getting late, he over honks and gets in a fight with a bike rider.
6. Shyam in all anger and agitation reaches office. He asks his team for update an update and shouts badly at all the peers missing deadline.
7. Later in the day, Shyam participates in a customer call. He screws it badly and gets in verbal spat with an internal tech lead. The customer wants Shyam out of the project.
8. The dream of Shyam, settling in America is gone.

Later at night, Shyam does days introspection. He realizes how he screwed his entire day all because of one SPAM loan call.

He also realized how his action affected a dozen other people around him. He has doubt if he made an ass of himself.

That is when Shyam calls him best friend who is jobless, but happy. His friend explains him about “cascading anger phenomenon”. On learning, Shyam promises never to fall for CAP aka “cascading anger phenomenon”

Our life is limited, our friends and people should matter to us. We should not let our anger affect our loved ones.

Obsession

1. We are obsessed, since birth we are taught to be obsessed. It can be family values or maintaining the leftover fame of our forefathers.
2. We are granted name along with religion/caste, yet again we are told to be obsessed about the same.
3. We enter school and taught math, science, English again we are told to be obsessed with our learning.
4. We enter college you end up forcing yourself being obsessed.
5. We fall in love. Our harmonious relationship gets fed with control and obsession.

What do you think?

1. Is this obsession our ego?
2. A society fed reward system?
3. A disease making us go mad like street dogs?

Our life is in our hand. Who are we to control others? Why is this prejudice or bias?

Results of unmet obsession:

1. We turn into a psycho.
2. Get angry and depressed.
3. Become pessimistic.

Ooh. But media feeds you to be obsessed. Your investor, co-founder wants you to be obsessed.

Life is too short. Live it in peace. Think, observe, read and work on acquiring self-knowledge.

Dreamers

Are we on our own?
Who dictates on our course of action in life?
Our thoughts, our dreams, what we want to be?
Is this life we are living, is this what and how we wanted to live?

Every 40-50 years world gets an outlier. Someone who gives a fuck to the status quo.

Benjamin Franklin, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Jamshedji Tata, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and Henry Ford. There y are all on the list.

They had a dream.
They believed in it.
They changed the world for good.
They made the lives of others better.

Our current system wants everyone to join the rat race. Do same daily chores. If you are a parent, let your kids explore, think and do things which are not normal. Our world needs more dreamer.

Emotions

A human mind is a complex operating system. The circuitry neurons, chemicals and it’s effect on us is a research.

Philosophers, sophists, mystics and religious gurus have been teaching us to live a rational life. But is it possible?

1. You will get angry after being cheated by your partner. As a result, there will be a fight. Emotion will dictate over logic.

2. You part away from your partner because it was not working out. It has been a joint decision. You will cry or get angry or curse yourself for past mistakes. Emotion will dictate over rationality.

3. You don’t earn enough but will gift a costly phone to your partner, thanks to EMI. You secretly also worry about the relationship coming to an end anytime soon. Emotion will dictate and hamper your peace.

Is it possible to live life with logic, reason and least involving emotions?

Some part of my brain keeps reminding me of Buddha’s quote:
“Emotions are the cause of all our miseries.”

But what will happen to us if we are not emotional?
A Robot or a Vulcan?

Source: http://www.stoicdoodler.com/emotions/

Minimalism

Minimalism as a concept has been around for centuries. Japanese are pioneers at it. Rest of us are living in consumerism.

We are living in a world where preachers of marketing dictate our choices and guide us. Marketers and brands are selling us: more is good. Bigger soup bowl, bigger iPhone, bigger car, bigger house, etc.

Our ancestors would be laughing at us or worried about our lost consciousness.

Minimalism is getting more traction: product design, software development, and construction.

One has to be extraordinary to live a minimalist life. That reminds me, we are in Sale season.

Minimalism is a way of living. Will it make us happy, wise and healthy?

The practice of less is more sounds so outlandish.

Source: http://www.stoicdoodler.com/minimalism/

Other India

India is a country of villages and agriculture plays a major role in our economy. The population plays a key role in power dynamics during elections. Still, they are most oppressed, silent and lacking on all government benefits.

The incredible part is, even with all the shortcomings they are hopeful. Every parent aspires to see their kids succeed, settle in their life. They are not scared of selling lands or other properties for the child’s education.

I am a product of the same group. I visited my hometown last month, one of the poorest district in Bihar. Things are getting better over time. People are more optimist for the future.

On the other side, mass migration is another reality. My relatives have moved to metros for a job. They send money back home to their parents, wives, and kids.

The festival celebration and meeting all the relatives are things of the past.

Respect

I keep reading in magazines or on social media about respect and its importance.

I interact with people from various sections of society on a daily basis. If I start treating them according to their pocket sizes, I will make a big ass of myself.

Learning can come from anywhere, It has nothing to do with your pocket size. Most Stoics, mystics, and poets had no money but great wisdom.

Parents should foster the virtue of respect with equanimity to their kids.

Summary: I have to earn respect by respecting others.

Depression

Depression is a modern-day plague. There are shops, establishments, and organizations in the business of curing depression. Depression is a multi-billion economy. Books, therapy, yoga, mindfulness, good eating, exercises are on sale.

Few of us do need clinical help, psychotherapy, and medicines. For the rest of us depression is a modern-day self-created epidemic.

There could be two reasons :

External

We get on to the rat race of competition and fear of missing out. We are driving on our ego and intoxicated for some glory or appreciation. Passion and obsession are new persuasion keywords for overwork. The constant hyper-connected gadget and app-driven life for dopamine plays its role too. We are seeking immediate satisfaction and desire fulfillment.

Internal

We expect things to be the way we want. Our unmet expectations and unmet egos throw us to trash. We get angry. We crave for revenge and what not. In dreams, we build our perfect world – a loving partner, a high paying job, etc. We are not letting things go, not getting over past and not even trying to live in reality.

This world is a beautiful place. But it can never be perfect for us. We are humans with never-ending desires.

We can save a lot of our money by being logical, rational and by bringing self-introspection. A company of friends, healthy eating and living habits play an important role.

In the end, the choice is yours, you can be a dog trained in a kennel (therapist, mindfulness, yoga, spa) or be self-aware.

I finish the post citing Epictetus quote. This has been one of my life’s mantra.

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
— Epictetus, The Enchiridion

People

Socrates, Plato, Ben Franklin all had one thing in common. They all mentioned the importance of people around us.

People foster the growth of a commune, a society or an organization.

The interpersonal relationship trumps over organizational or project affiliation.

Screaming over Twitter about the hiring problem and employee attrition will not help. Finding the real cause, empowering them and understanding their needs will.

Why do your employees have to work 50 hours a week? It is your fault that you committed wrong timelines with your investor or customers.

Don’t expect honesty from your friends If you are letting others talk bad about them in their absence.

Why do you expect your partner to be loyal to you if you are flirting with your receptionist or hooking up on Tinder?

Being honest and empathetic helps in connecting with people. This relationship goes beyond the diaspora of caste, color, religion, region or country.

Ray Dalio in his book Principle talks about:
* Radical Transparency
* Radical Honesty

I am 100% with him on this.