Stop and smile.

There are a few days when life seems perfect and there are most days when it’s an effort to even get up from bed. There are days when you don’t want to move and you want be alone. There are days when you’re lost in your own thoughts, worrying about things. You’d probably feelgood to hear that everybody goes through such days. And you might even strike a chord with my thoughts when I pen down the reasons I think make my days difficult. But before that, let me tell you what generally runs through my mind.

I’ve had days when I make sure I wasn’t part of a given crowd. I hate being a part of the usual, doing the usual. Sometimes, I want to just run away from things and people. At just 23, everything bothers me. It is not just me, but people in general – emotionally, physically and financially – things bother people. And then I sit down wondering if I can ever get over this. Maybe, it isn’t easy. Maybe, I can’t. But I think I can gradually make my days better. All I need to do is find a reason to smile.

Maybe you should stop here and just smile. Smile, for no reason. Imagine a cute little kid walking towards you with a bright smile. Imagine the moment when you made your parents feel proud of you. Imagine a special gift from a special someone. Imagine an incident when your crush messaged you first. Just imagine and feel that smile run across your lips. How good do you feel? I don’t know and I can’t tell you but all it takes to shift your thoughts is to think of something beautiful and smile.

And now, I’m getting back to those reasons.

  1. Expectations vs reality

Life, or happiness as they say, is defined as reality minus expectations. But our lives work in the opposite fashion. We set ourselves such high expectations in our careers, relationships and goals that we bring in so much negativity into our lives when our expectations fall short. A generation ago, most people set goals only for a secure job and a good shelter. But our generation focuses on becoming role-models, innovators and billionaires. And what’s worse? We want to achieve all that before somebody else, before the time we set for ourselves runs out.

The challenge is not about dreaming big but on what basis we set our goals. Just on what glitters on the outside? We strive for fame and money over positive impact and struggles when it comes to choosing a career. We focus more on looks, sex, and good times over compatibility, support and conversations when it comes to relationships. We concentrate more on achievements and quantity over experiences and quality when it comes to travel goals, bucket list items and hobbies.

  1. Seeking Attention and validation

As children, we have all looked up to people on stage – artists, politicians, diplomats- and somewhere or the other we also wanted to be on a stage to seek attention and convey something to other people. And then social media gave us this virtual stage to share our intriguing thoughts, our biased stories and our good side.

How often do we check your notification tab for the no. of likes, the kind of comments? How often do we check if some specific person has liked or up-voted our posts? Most of us are somehow lost in seeking validation and approval from others that we have started craving for more. Well, there is nothing wrong about it. Just that, once it becomes a habit, seeking validation and attention also becomes a form of addiction. And this makes us forget that real life is more about meeting people, building good relationships and not those compliments on social media.

  1. Failure to combat the first signs of depression

Everybody feels despair at times, times when it seems like nothing will ever improve. You probably are  feeling sad for a while or depressed. Sometimes, for a given reason. Sometimes, not. And there doesn’t seem to be any incentive to try, to dream or to hope. What’s worse? You don’t even care anymore that there’s no hope. Some of us are lucky, we get through such days by motivating ourselves, while for others, a few days become a few weeks and then a few months or years. To fight against depression is easier said than done. It boils you down to nothing and leaves you with no scope for change.

There is no definite reason – it could be from loneliness, heartbreaks, wrong lifestyle or even from falling short of expectations. There are moments when you start feeling that the world would just roll-out fine without you or maybe better without you.. And you just let it be, till it’s get worse. I got out of that stage by trying, trying to do something productive and talking to people. It could be the same for you. Maybe, not. It could be even therapy but you need to try to find the way out.

  1. Overestimating rejections

It quite intrigues me to think how rejections shape our mood. You fail at a course, you get rejected at a job, your proposal is turned down and you start thinking for a while that your world has come to an end. You start to believe that nothing else will work – you’re not smart enough because you failed a course, you’re not worthy of a relationship because somebody rejected you, and you’re not worth anything because you didn’t get that job.

I sometimes wonder why can’t we look at other options quickly? Is it deep-rooted in our lives that we have limited chances at love, career and success? I hope for a day when we start actively seeking for things beyond that dream job, dream girl and dream school. We don’t even know what gravity is. Let alone what love is, what success is or what purpose is. The mistakes we make are looking at our past failures or rejections and worrying that such future attempts might be disastrous too. I do like looking at some of those rejections for retrospection but I don’t want to live there.

We are not our actions and we are definitely not our mistakes. But we can always fix our mistakes. You’re not perfect and other people’s lives aren’t perfect either

“You are not your actions.  If you make a mistake, you are not the mistake.  And you can always fix mistakes. Other people’s lives aren’t perfect either. They’re just good at pretending it is.” – James Altucher

Maybe all that I said didn’t make sense to you. Or it might have. Either,smile.

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