How to ‘live’ life?

In CULTURE & SOCIETY, Mental Health

It is interesting to observe that the life gurus are talking about: how to succeed in life? How to become a millionaire or billionaire? How to manage time? It is pertinent to mention that all these questions pertain to systemic attributes of life that one is living. Nobody is talking about how to be human beings despite us living in the times when the same has become all the more significant and crucial. Why?

Economic statistics were good as the GDP of the modern civilization improved significantly due to three industrial revolutions. The numbers are looking gloomy since 2008 and the situation is like to, if not get worse, not improve in the coming years. However, the fourth industrial revolution has promised us that productivity would increase exponentially. What is amiss then?

Despite all the glittering, yet skewed, economic glory and the seemingly “bright” future based of complicated and sophisticated economic modelling or opinions expressed by economic ‘philosophers’, depression is increasing among people, divorce rate is sky rocketing, serial monogamy is prevailing, people do not tolerate others with opposing views, more people are leading lonely lifestyle, suicide rate is soaring high. The list does not stop and there is plethora of instances that indicate that humanity is going through a very bad patch. Couples, ostensibly in love, do not even look at each other in eyes on a romantic and instead are busy scrolling their Facebook profiles. They are physically close but emotionally and psychologically so far away from each other. Individuals are distancing from each other and falling in the abyss where they have hope that one day things will improve. In the wake of the same, they sacrifice human relationships and other qualities that, in principle, make us human. But, in the end, they end up lonely surrounded by “things” but will unfulfilled dreams and desires. Individualism promises many things but delivers nothing. What should one do then?

Smoking, drinking alcohol and drugs won’t get you out of the trap that you have woven around yourself relying on and buying into the attributes that society has wrongly come to allocate value to. Why did society allocate value to the things that are bad for human beings? Well, those things might be bad for the human beings but they are good for the business. The businesses have been pouring in money in order to not only coax people to consume more and more things discarding depth in personality and content in words. Lamborghini is an indicator of what is socially accepted and celebrated. Good human qualities count only in literature and motivation lectures. Once one closes the life coaching books or get of the conference hall, the reality breaks you down to your knees and makes you toe the line that has been drawn by those who control every aspect of it. It must be borne in mind all the time that escaping reality with drug or alcohol abuse is a temporary escape and the Monday will finally arrive. Therefore, instead of using weekends to entertain yourself, take a break and try to engage into institutional analysis of your life. Remember, the system that we all are a part of is not “given” we designed it to be the way it is today. In fact, only a few designed it but we bought into the hope or the dream that was sold to us in order to advance that system and therefore, we all have become party to the mess humanity is in. What to do about it?

It is important to go through the discomfort of a conscious institutional analysis of one’s life and the society, as mentioned before and not through the unacknowledged and thus unaddressed depression and stress. Being aware about the things that one is going through is a powerful experience. One might feel frustrated on this journey of realization but that takes one to a higher level.

The second thing is to start dealing with people nicely and without expecting anything in return. The non-expecting part includes acknowledgment. One should just play his or her part and forget about the rest. This will make one feel good for a longer period of time. Facebook notifications or other instant gratification through constant feedback loop does give you a dopamine hit but it doesn’t sustain for a longer period and what is worse about this is that it gets you addicted to that artificial stimulation.

In a relationship, one should only care about discharging his or her responsibilities and not pay too much attention to whether the person across the table is bringing something substantial to the table or not. If the focus is on what others are doing in and for relationship takes the focus of the very underlying idea of having relationship. Relationships are personal bonds and not some business transactions which they, unfortunately, have become in today’s times. Therefore, be ‘individualistic’ in the sense that you feel obliged to discharge your obligation. Once one starts living for others, real happiness gets ushered in and one feels more complete as a human being. The way to achieve this is tough but the pain gets translated into bliss with higher consciousness.

The next thing is to have an open mind. Having an opinion is alright but one should be able to entertain ideas that come from people who harbor a totally different perspective than yours. The discussion should be not to convince the other person to come over to your side. If that happens, there is no more diversity and finally you have a very homogenous humanity which is not that fun. Diversity is always interesting. Also, reason and logic manage to survive in discussion. In an argument or debate, one lose sight of everything and it only worsens the situation.

Perhaps the last thing from the point of this post is that never, even for a second, assume that you can change the world or what others think. I am not writing this post because I am expecting any change or I am trying to convince people that this is the only way to be more humane. The sole purpose of this post is to remind myself and others is that only knowing what one knows is limiting and being open to what entails different aspects of your life and thought process will keep your more content and at peace with yourself and others. It, for sure, leads to a happier version of one’s self.

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