Friday-September-3-2021 edition of Forward Positiwe, a community newsletter by Vishnu Goyal to inspire you do more, live well, and stay happy.
📋 I believe that an overlooked route to gratitude is exposure to difficult circumstances. There are many basic advantages of life itself that we too often take for granted. After all, humans have a natural tendency to adapt and become used to situations that are relatively stable. When individuals become aware that their advantages are not guaranteed, many then come to appreciate them more.
💬 Before COVID-19, my life was going great.
I got a new job in Feb 2020 and joined the new team on 2-March-2020. I was excited.
I got to travel from home to the office, daily, via Delhi Metro. I took it for granted.
I got to work with an incredible team in an office with a great vibe and exciting things to enjoy.
I got to meet new people on my daily commute and have a chit-chat, walked carefree without a “mask” and visit any place in the city without going under a “non-contact body temperature assessment” and do many other “usual” things.
Then, there was Corona lockdown, remote working, and do-all-things from home phase, and it’s still on.
Now, I do realize how things I did consider so usual were so special actually. Earlier, I took all those things for granted that I am now grateful for.
Now, I miss working in an office, traveling in Metro, having a chit-chat with colleagues on those small breaks, and every other bit of pre-corona life.
And I believe you must have experienced something similar during this entire Corona phase.
The lesson: Let’s appreciate things we have in life now. Those may seem usual only until those fly away from our life. Let’s enjoy whatever advantages life has for us now. Every bit of it is special.
🔗 The Opposite of Toxic Positivity – The Atlantic
📋 Depression is living in the past, anxiety is living in the future, and joy is found living in the present.
💬 Can we change whatever negative or sad happened in the past? Nope. So, what’s the point of keep thinking about that and stay in despair?
You, me, all of us have made plans in the past for our future. Right? No harm in planning. Still, did our future turn out to be exactly as we planned? So, what’s the point in staying worried about the future and thinking: “What’s gonna happen in the future?”
Past is history. It’s gone. Future is a fantasy no one can predict. What’s the reality? The present. Present moment is all that we have got. To work, to play, to enjoy, to be happy.
That’s why we need to let go of the past and plan for the future now but not worry about it, to stay happy in the present moment. Present is joy. Joy is present.
📋 Happiness is more about subtraction than addition.
💬 More often, we think buying new things, getting that promotion, getting that side-hustle or business to the next milestone will make us happier.
Yes, they do but only momentarily. The moment you get that new order delivered. The moment you get that promo. The moment you get your cheque from your first client.
Will you have to wait for the next big thing to happen to be happy?
Or can you change your daily routine to be calm and happy everyday?
I believe: You can.
And one of the best steps to make daily life happier is to subtract things from your schedule that are not that useful and at worst, bring anxiety, stress, and negative emotions.
You know your schedule best and only you know well what are those things that suck most of your time and energy but don’t bring any value.
Still, if it can help, let me share mine.
One: I have removed all the social media apps from my phone, except LinkedIn. Deleting unnecessary social apps has saved me time I would otherwise spend on scrolling.
Two: I am still using an iPhone 6S. No upgrade to Apple’s genius iPhone 12 etc. Because I have got all the essentials in 6S only. Don’t need an upgraded camera and all. [If you’re an Apple fan, please don’t hate me for this. Go ahead for your favorite Apple devices!]
Three: I was working on 5 different projects earlier and was not able to accomplish anything because of the time scattered all over them. Now, I am working only on Forward Positiwe and ZeroAdo. Just two. Those I am able to manage and grow.
Four: I uninstalled the work chat application from my mobile. I am on PC throughout the workday and can reply right from there. Why keep a mobile app as well then? So now, once I am logged off, I can actually take a break instead of constantly checking notifications from my colleagues after office hours.
To start, you can think about what apps eat most of your time – Can you delete them? About people in your network who make you feel negative – Can you try to keep yourself away from them? While shopping, think once: “Do I really need this stuff?”
Am positive that subtracting these things of very little or no use from your routine will make you happier.
🔗 5 Simple Things I Removed from My Life to Become Happier – Anthony J. Yeung
📋 The Dalai Lama said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
💬 Remember last time you did something to make someone happy?
How did you feel right after?
Let me guess: “Happy.”
Yes. That’s natural.
Whenever we make an effort to make someone else happy, we do feel happy too.
It’s simple humanity. It’s simply the essence of being human.
We don’t even need to know the science behind it. It just works.
Being kind to others and practicing compassion and gratitude can bring so much joy and happiness to you.
Few small and doable ways to go for it–
One: Maintain a journal where you can regularly jot down things and people you’re grateful for.
Two: Help people in need like giveaway clothes or home items you no longer need, volunteer for a cause you believe in.
Three: Handwrite thank you note for someone you’re really thankful to. I did this once and it brought huge smiles!
Others: Give it a thought. Am sure you’ll find new and creative ways of your own.
🔗 Finding Happiness – No Sidebar
📋 People always say, “Follow your passion.” Well, I tried that. I sang opera. It ended up not being how I want to spend my life.
I took, I don’t know how many, personality tests. Nothing ever said I should be a farmer, except this little nagging voice saying maybe I could.
💬 “What shall I do with my life?”
“What career shall I pursue?”
“What shall I become?”
These questions fill our brain space, more than we think they do.
We think a lot, discuss a lot, and then go for something we believe we’re passionate about.
Sometimes that turns out to be really good. Hurray!
But when it doesn’t, we realize that what we started didn’t come out as we thought it would.
And we say to ourself: “I made the wrong choice. I shouldn’t have gone for it. I shouldn’t have done this.”
Well, I’d like to say to myself as well as you that we didn’t make any wrong choice, perhaps.
While things didn’t turn out as we expected, but we got the experience at least. We got to do something that we thought was our passion. And now, we’re not hanging around the question: “What if I go for it?” Because we have done it. We have given it a shot.
Now, let’s go for another thing. Another career. Another adventure. Another untraveled path.
The new and unexplored path may not take you to the planned destination, but it will surely give you the experiences of a lifetime. And I think that’s what life is all about. Not the end, but experiences in between.
🔗 It’s Never Too Late to Ditch the City and Run a Farm – The New York Times
📋 “What’s obvious to you is amazing to others”
💬 We can be so good at something, some skill, some craft, that we don’t even realize how much of an expert we are in it until someone comes to us and sing our praises!
This week, I was working on the new design of my website vishnugoyal.com. I got everything completed but could not figure out the code to fix the website header on mobile and tablet screens. I spent about 2 hours in research to get it fixed but no luck. Next morning, I reached out to my developer mate Yogesh for help who I call “Code Wizard!” He looked at my website, took about 5 minutes to inspect, and gave me the 8 lines of code. I added those to my website and boom! There I have my website header, fixed on mobile and tablet screens.
When I told Yogesh that I did about 2 hours of R&D for what he just finished in about 5 minutes, his comment was: “It’s simple, bro.”
I thanked him in amazement.
Coding is obvious to Yogesh but to me, it’s magic. It’s amazing. I am more of a writer and marketer but no-coder.
That moment made me realize how special, amazing, and useful our skills are for others. And how each one of us has unique skills and powers that we can leverage working together.
Our skills might seem obvious and no big deal to ourself, but for others those are magic. Exactly as Derek Sivers says: “What’s obvious to you is amazing to others.”
So, if people have been telling you that you’re really good at something but you think that’s no big deal. Think again, please. You will find out how special and expert you are. And you can use that skill to make something creative, a project, a business, anything that can help people.
🔗 Music Tech Fest / Andrew Dubber – Derek Sivers
Before you leave, a thought from my Scrawlbook:
Excuse vs Cause–
Excuse: May find thousands of those. Still not enough.
Cause: Only one is enough.
Until next time, keep living your fullest, Mate ✌️
And feel free to forward Forward Positiwe to your family ‘n’ friends if sounds cool to you : )
Keep Doing Good Stuff
[P.S. You are amazing. Let no one tell you otherwise.]