What’s wrong in being a loser ?

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What do you do when you get to the point where the joy of winning dissipates while the pain of losing intensifies ? Just remember, losing allows you to gain perspective. It can help you realize that  isn’t all there is in life.

Icarus was a Greek mythological character whose wings were made of wax and glued together. His father had warned him not to fly too high as the sun would melt the wax nor too low as he would drown in the sea.
Unfortunately, Icarus forgot his father’s warnings and as he soared high, the sun’s blazing rays melted his wings making him drown in the ocean.
So what if he fell down ? He flew though with his artificial wings, every high has a low. The poet Jack Gilbert says in ‘Failing and Flying’ that Icarus just came to ‘the end of his triumph.’

 

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Life isn’t about always winning as much as it’s about participating in whatever you do wholeheartedly.

 

“Over the years I’ve lost a lot of games.  Thankfully I’ve won a few too so my sanity has stayed in tact. Losing can be difficult. It can be painful.

Sometimes you can work so hard, invest so much time and energy but the results you want and even feel like you deserve can elude you.

Losing helps you learn that life can be difficult. Things aren’t always rosy and its not a matter of if setbacks happen to you, its a matter of what you do when those setbacks come. Losing helps you learn humility. It can teach you that success is not defined simply by the scoreboard. The great John Wooden said that winning has nothing to do with success. That success simply is giving your best effort and being the best you can possibly be.

I struggle seeing coaches and teams who not only lose poorly but they also win poorly. When they are winning they show boat and disrespect opponents. When they are losing they blame others and disintegrate right in front of your eyes, barking at each other on the bench and the floor. Winning does cure a lot of ills but losing exposes them.

Losses will come. It’s unavoidable so the question is, what can you learn from them? Do you continue to give your best effort during a losing stretch? Do you draw closer together as a team and continue to work for a common goal or do you quickly fall a part and begin looking out for yourself?”

The basketball coach, Jiben Nett

 

 
You can’t always win without losing. If you believe you can, you’re fooling yourself. Sometimes in order to gain something, you gotta lose something else. The problem is when you start regarding something so priceless, you would have issues in losing it.
We think losing means a huge blow to our self-esteem. We think we gotta show the world we rock. But when we don’t excel at something, it’s a terrible blow to our ego. We confuse our ego with our real sense of self. Not all the time you are meant for winning.
Losing keeps you grounded.

 

Signing off with a poem I read and liked :

 

 
Sometimes you have to lose to win
You lose a lover but gain a friend
Oh, how lucky I have been
For love can be lost, but friendships
Need never end
So when in life when you least expect it
A friendship thought lost is resurrected
Out of the blue so unexpected
Just when you needed them most

 

 
David Kush

 

 

 

Ranting on ‘change’

“Things change. They always do, it’s one of the things of nature. Most people are afraid of change, but if you look at it as something you can always count on, then it can be a comfort.”

 

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You may despise change yet it is what that keeps you on the move. Life would be so static if change were not to be. We all hate change coz it makes us feel uncomfortable and out of control. Yet the fun lies in having no control over the spectacle called life. What unsettles you also grounds you to reality.

What scares you also moulds you. What takes away from you also gives you. Where there is change there is bound to be disappointment but not without desirable surprises. If we are always satisfied, we never realise the unknown can also make us happy in uncertain ways.

If you can’t brave the storm, you can’t bask in the sunshine.

 

‘Emotions recollected in tranquility’

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An overflow of powerful feelings.. well that’s how poetry is defined. Right now, I am in a multiple state of mind. I don’t know how to exactly say how I am feeling. I am kind of apathetic to life to be honest.
Apathy doesn’t mean indifference to me. It is when you can coexist with more than one frame of mind and yet not be attached to any of them. Let me explain.. ahem..
I am neither sad nor happy. I am happy at the same time scared of losing things precious to me. I know its confusing so in other words let me tell you I’m ambivalent and fickle now.
So I started reading a poem to soothe my sense of self.

‘Unlearn the constellation to see stars’ a phrase which tells you to actually see things for that they are in simplicity than going into their structure. If you wanna see beauty in nature or your life, just forget what you have acquired from your experiences, treat every situation in life as something new. Even if you make mistakes, it would be a new lesson. If you keep carrying over the past lessons, even though its advisable to do so many a time, you become reluctant to take in life with a fresh breath.The same old stinking breath stops you from living.

“We find out the heart only by dismantling what the heart knows. By redefining the morning, we find a morning that comes just after darkness.”

I just love these lines in the poem ‘Tear it down’. Guess who wrote it ? You may have never heard of this person still isn’t it worth knowing ? I felt he is an overlooked poet as I didn’t read his works when I was pursuing my BA in English literature.
There is this poet called Jack Gilbert. I read about him in a book named Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

She said she isn’t related to him (just coz of same surname) yet he is a memorable poet. Not all have heard about him as he never wanted fame, he just loved writing poetry from an early age.
‘Refusing heaven’ a book of poetry by Gilbert has been described by Dan Albergotti as “poems about love, loss, and grief that defy all expectations of sentimentality.

 

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Jack Gilbert says in ‘A Brief for the Defense’ Sorrow everywhere, slaughter everywhere depicting a society surrounded by grim and abuse. He mentions that there is someplace where babies are starving even if you aren’t a witness to it. Just because you live in a world where starvation doesn’t exist, it all the more means that there is definitely some other place unknown to you where starvation forms the crux of life.
“We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil. If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.” 

The world has been compared to a blasting furnace which doesn’t care what is on it as whomsoever is victim to the furnace is gonna get charred to ashes. Never take note od what is bad in the world rather rise above the sordid things in life. Death has been seen like an engine run by divine power and when it mows you over, just take it as if atleast there was some dramatic demise intended for you.

 

 

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Gilbert compares the presence of a woman’s being to Latin as it’s the source of many derived English words and her physical body to the clear language of English which is easy to understand unlike its origin that holds a lot of ‘immensities’.
Now who writes and thinks in such a way !! Its just totally a different analogy that I read in a long time. Never struck me. Guys, go ahead and read Jack Gilbert’s poems and you would love them for their profundity and ability to explain deep human emotions in simple contemporary mundane way. He describes intimacy as the great portals of knowing each other being “closed forever”. What a wonderful definition and an intense explanation !

Comparison – a frivolous habit

When you know you’re a person on your own with a unique set of needs, goals, dreams and obstacles, then what is the biggest act of violence against the self ? What steals the joy of living ?

Judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree. Thinking that another’s success is the measure of your failure. Someone’s happiness is he lack of bliss in your life.

We all have an innate tendency to compare ourselves with others without thinking about its repercussions on our self-esteem. Why can’t we be like a flower which just blooms without comparing itself to the next flower ?

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A dog which is limping as one of its legs is hurt never says ‘why is the dog lying happily across the street not suffering like me ? How dare it have all its four legs uninjured ? A zebra never sees its stripes and wishes to have spots like a leopard. Every living being except human takes pride in itself and is contented with the way nature has created it.

Humans endowed with the sixth sense look at everything on this earth in terms of comparison. If a thing isn’t worth comparing, nobody wants to possess it. People want expensive things so that they can tell their next door neighbour that they are posh and rich.

Have you seen anyone competing for growing plants at home ? Hardly anyone thinks ‘Oh she has such a beautiful money-plant growing in her balcony, let me also cultivate a home-garden in my vestibule.’

That itself tells you that comparison itself is a shallow concept and doesn’t benefit anyone. Comparison is inevitable in a world where we are constantly bombarded by advertisements and the way media embodies perfection. We aspire to be like someone who is better looking than us and more confident than us.

Someone who is successful yet maintains a coherent balance between professional and personal life seems to be the epitome of perfection to a normal person who is working hard to make his ends meet.

 

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We all bring with us our own destiny and everyone’s journey is different. If I want to be a famous tennis player like Maria Sharapova, but I don’t like tennis, then the whole basis of comparison in itself is a foolish thing.

 
We tend to compare with others just for sake especially when it comes to fame, beauty and money. We have a feeling that whatever the other person has got is the best anyone can get. When you’re already biased against yourself, comparing yourself to others can only produce an even low self-worth. Most of the times, when you compare it’s mainly to put yourself down. You gain a weird kind of pleasure by telling yourself, “Hey look she is more beautiful than me and hence she is popular.” Your ugly sense of worth is restored. Congrats !

 
You just love to feel bad about yourself and wallow in self-pity by constantly placing yourself against someone else with a totally different personality. You can’t compare apples with oranges. But still you do and end up feeling miserable.
When you start comparing yourself and make it a dominant mode of functioning in the society, that’s when the real problem arises. Comparison as such for noble causes isn’t a bad thing.

 

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When you see someone being kind-hearted to others and you want to emulate that quality, go ahead. But when you see someone being the centre of attention in a group if peers and you feel bad for not being the same, is definitely not called for.

 
If your comparison standards help you make a better person or enhance your already existing virtues, then it’s good you look upto others and learn from them.

 

What happens when you compare ?

 

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You either feel superior or inferior when you see yourself with respect to others. It never serves a useful purpose.
Either way your sense of worth is dependent on others’ happiness and what they have in life hat you don’t. Sometimes you don’t realise the meaning of being happy with what you have.

 

There is a story of a crooked tree in a forest which keeps cribbing that it doesn’t look tall like the other trees. Once a woodcutter comes and chops all trees except the crooked tree as it’s out of shape and not erect like the others.

 
Then the crooked tree realises how lucky it is and has been spared because of the same reason it pitied itself.
Beware of judging yourself based on the standards another person has set for himself based on what he has developed over years of trial and error.

 
Just because you didn’t end up where you intended to be doesn’t mean you look at where another person is in his life. Insecurity can bring out your worst side.

Stop!

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Happiness is such a subjective state of mind to achieve these days. Most of us from the crowd with the expectation of unbelievably materialistic achievements and to mark an an incentive to be happy. Students, fighting for either being a ranker or the most popular kid.

Employees, pushing themselves an extra hour for a fat juicy cheque which becomes a dream! Mother, Waiting for her family at 7pm to regroup, to spend the rest of the evening together.

Why is it that happiness is now a byproduct to so many external factors when it’s intention is internal?

I realise how dependent our emotions have become to the exterior surrounding money driven labyrinth that we live in. Everything we do these days is either to achieve or to please. The entire spectrum of public image from the stage performance to a selfie is nothing but a hoax to seek validation. Imagine…

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The sense of an ending..

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How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.

Julian Barnes

 

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“What did I know of life, I who had lived so carefully? Who had neither won nor lost, but just let life happen to him? Who had the usual ambitions and settled all too quickly for them not being realised? Who avoided being hurt and called it a capacity for survival?

Who paid his bills, stayed on good terms with everyone as far as possible, for whom ecstasy and despair soon became just words once read in novels? One whose self-rebukes never really inflicted pain?

 

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Well, there was all this to reflect upon, while I endured a special kind of remorse: a hurt inflicted at long last on one who always thought he knew how to avoid being hurt – and inflicted for precisely that reason.”      

Julian Barnes

 

What we know of life is sometimes just history handed out to us by our ancestors and predecessors. The ancestors being our own perceptions of the past and predecessors, our responses to external circumstances.

But there is a saying that history is that certainty produced at the juncture where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation. 

We have a very shallow observation skill when it comes to how we look at life. Take death for instance, till someone close to us passes away, we don’t aee death as a part and parcel of life. Death is distant to us till the time it comes in proximity to your near and dear ones.

We see life in terms of how we get affected by it. Whether it’s miracles that chance upon us or tragedies that befall us,   your experiences give a form to life. Experiences being subjective cannot generalise life as a blessing or a curse.

Did you know why remorse is a much worse feeling than shame or guilt ?

Barnes describes this feeling as too COMPLICATED, CURDLED & PRIMEVAL .

Nothing can be done about it. Period. Too much time has passed and sufficient damage has been done for any amends to be made. Life is like that sometimes when you look back and see that all that you did   cannot be changed nor repaired. You just have to let it go.

 

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Embark on those wistful hopes

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

The problem isn’t with dreaming but to make an effort in realising those dreams. How many of us are willing to toil day and night in making our dreams come true ?

Don’t relegate yourself into being a virtuous man who contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life. Sigmund Freud says that in his The Interpretation of Dreams.

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Having a dream is just one aspect. But nurturing what doesn’t let you sleep is what makes a difference. Everyone’s got a dream but not all wanna transform that dream to reality.
Writers transform their dreams into words. It’s not easy to verbalize what you feel many a time. But if you can then it means you have got the flair for it.
A dream makes ‘you’. It’s the uniqueness of your dreams that sets you apart from others. Sometimes I wonder what I dream about. If a dream is something that keeps you awake at night then what is it that I dream about ?
What keeps me going ?

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A dream isn’t dependent on another person. So it can never be the thoughts relating to someone else. A dream is never about possession. So it isn’t about making money. A dream isn’t about fame. So it can never be about being a star in the eyes of others.
A dream is waking up each day and feeling cheerful about what the day has in store for you. Dreams are mundane. When you make dreams a rarity and something that seems far-fetched, it obviously is gonna remain that forever.

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For a dream to become an experience, treat it like the ordinary.

Take small steps towards your goals without focussing on the outcome and the accolades you would receive after accomplishing a feat.
Those small steps finally lead you to where you wanna be someday.

Don’t trivialise those small steps by considering them as tasks. Rather it’s those steps that are the biggest undertakings that would teach you what dreams are really about.
A dream doesn’t have to be being recognised by the world. Wanting to be acknowledged is natural but to dedicate your entire life towards something just because people would applaud you, isn’t a dream.
It becomes a parasite as it haunts you rather wanting to be pursued.

A dream could be just wanting to stay beside the woods in a secluded cabin all by yourself one day but does your lifestyle resemble even a bit of what you aspire to be in future ?
Are you addicted to chaos ? If you are, let it go. Aim for a more serene style of living where you spend your weekends all by yourself contemplating reading a book. The way you live today would someday lead you to where you wanna be.

You wanna be a public speaker who gives motivational speeches to millions in agony. Well, ask yourself, do you inspire others by merely conversing with them about their day-to-day situations. If you cannot provoke others into taking smalltime actions, how can you trigger the spark ‘to be in charge of your own life’, in millions of people.

A dream is a dominant idea within you but let it not remain as an idea. The idea has to turn into action someday. Start small. You gotta walk before you can run.
Take Stuart Little strides before you take giant leaps into anything in life.

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

T.E. Lawrence