Category: Random Philosophy (Page 1 of 15)

Why are we always looking for an Upgrade?

Any juncture of life, the element of ‘being content’ seems just a little ahead of us. Like a dangling stick with a prize stuck on the bonnet and you keep driving on the road that never ends. If by the sheer dare of it, you jump out to grab it, risking the drive you’re on, a momentous joy seeps right in. The photo moment of your glory filled with the silent applause of the world. The moment ends without your express permission. You try carrying yourself on the back of it for a while. Until you see an upgrade.

We keep filling our lives with our need for an upgrade. In everything. Crossing over the materialism of this recurrent exercise to even the realm beyond it. Even into the intricacies of human bonds. The idea of getting bored of things transposes onto redefining expectations, blaming it onto human nature instead of the associated greed. Knowing the moral conflict doesn’t stop us from this association. Our blame game is strong AF.

We’ve stopped even in indulging in the glory of momentary wins. Comparisons maketh them small. It’s not success if everyone can claim it. We want to be explorers not visitors on claimed properties. There are no idols. We want to be Idols. Not by emulating them or even joining them in the podium. But beating them at it. The world seems possible and territories marked doesn’t entice rather propels us towards newer (read better) avenues to explore. Even unattainable ones.

Where does it end?

Unanswered questions akin to the crisis that engulfs us. Existentialism. A constant need to fight this need of by bringing in spirituality that can bring temporary relief to the idea of few of those Whys. Few, yes.

In a society where living by the standards set by others was the norm. We question it. To better it. And yet follow their lead in bettering ourselves in comparison. Changing Yardsticks, and yet still a yardstick. Like beads in a rosary, something new and then back to the same after a revolution. Just craving for a new rosary, every time. Maybe that’ll bring a new joy. A new upgrade to our monotonous life as the cycle of upgrades become thus. A new launch is always anticipated for our tiring souls to lift spirits.

Why are we built this way?

Can our complexity not be simplified without us having to settle, but just in reduction of that need to an upgarde? Or should we always expect a new phone model to continue enticing us to stand in queues?

Of Hate

of hate

It’s powerful. Powerful enough to make people blind. Blindly giving away their humanity to the whispers of the devil on their shoulders. A strong resolve to avenge or teaching ‘them’ a lesson. The shape wriggling itself out like a reptile finding its way in the sand. You see its head, but not the tail. When you finally see the tail, the head morphs into plurality. Each spewing venom in multitudes. The whispers are gone. They’re hissing aloud.

You’re still not scared.

We’ll stop them when they’re done with ‘them’.

They’re not done with them. Not yet. The lessons have just started. It’s all about reforming them. To show them their place. Them.

Let’s call them 1. Let’s call them 2. Let’s call them 4. Let’s call them what is not us.

Their way of life is wrong. Offensive. Insensitive. Ours is the righteous path. The one to whom this land belongs. The one true owner of this landmass. Not them. Definitely not them. The outsiders. They will remain so ever.

The hisses are far gone. The whispers blare out louder with each passing day.

Where will you go now?

“Are they still not done with “them”?

Not yet, you dim-wit.

The hate is strong in this one.

Working Hours

There’s a lot of talk in workplaces and even outside, on working hours. What’s the ideal number an employee should be spending in the vicinity of their office.

We’ve definitely moved beyond the 9-5 routine. When was the last time you entered your office and left when the clock ticked a time, and you’re like, ‘Time’s up!’ ?

Not saying that people don’t do this, but I’m getting to hear less of this now a days. At least in the circles I move in.

There are people who do come to office early and there are many (like me) who take their own sweet time to swipe in. The philosophy that I intend to follow is to stay in office as long as you feel like working, swipe out when you don’t. Hours added to your time-in-office for the sake of it are nothing but a waste of your own productivity and strain your non-work life.

Agreed, unavoidable meetings and deadlines don’t always agree with ‘Oh! I don’t feel like working today’ but if you always get this feeling then there are bigger questions to ask. For instance, do you even like doing what you’re doing?

The general perception that offices have created is working late means working more. It’s evident in everyone who candidly remarks, ‘Areyyy! You’re leaving early?’. Your work output should be the only metric defining you at any workplace.

I tried sticking to this system in my previous organization and it did turn out well-Work till you feel like working, leave when you don’t. I’ll strive to maintain the same with the new one as well.

In an age when opening work even when I’m home, or commuting or out on a vacation, is such a regular thing, sticking to prescribed work timings sounds like living in the an olden era.

There’s of course, no hard-and-fast rule to it. Maybe even I’ll break this sometime. But having a philosophy to remind you, time and again, helps draw a baseline.

What’s your take on working hours, anyway?

Writing-first-thing-in-the-morning

Difficulty of Writing in front of others

Writing in seclusion is what I always prefer. Zoning out, and penning down my thoughts. Not caring about the world in motion.

What I don’t quite like is people starting on my screen when I’m trying to write. As of the words won’t just come out on their own. Self-consciousness-bs aside, the mind just goes blank. Even with the knowledge that nobody can actually read the small font sized letters that the screen is adjusted to, it just gets so difficult to write!

I tried writing on the bus, on my way to work, but the dude next to me preferred the WP-editor on my phone than the scenery of traffic out of that window. Then once in office, ended up responding to emails and then my desk got shifted and there-my resolve to write first thing in the morning went for a toss. It’s like getting out on a duck after promising to score a ton. Well..

But, why it is so difficult to write when people are watching?

I definitely don’t mind people reading once I’ve finished. It’s definitely not the fear of being judged. I threw that away long back. I mean, I don’t even do a proofread of my blog before I hit publish. Just like this one. Unless, someone points it out. Or months later when I re-read this (which rarely happens), and go like, why is there a typo?! And how come no one noticed this?

So.. while I try to figure out the reason. Please don’t go ask someone, when they’re writing, ‘What you writing?’. There are so many other ways to make small talk.

Please?

Also, let me know what do you think is the reason.

Writing-first-thing-in-the-morning

Writing First Thing In The Morning

The primary aim of my life has always been to be organized. A failed exercise about which I’ve talked endlessly. Not that you’ll remember. I mean, who remembers the rant of a blogger.

Last year, I tried to write a post every day. A Hashtag Day 1-n series that lasted more than 100 days. Kudos, right? I felt the same. Pushing yourself into a routine of belting out words every day. Those were the days. Remember?

And like every other good thing, it ended. Lived to be remembered as a hero and didn’t lasted long enough to be termed into a villain. Hashtag Dark knight reference.

And I’ve always felt like doing a 2.0 of the same. The Dark Knight Rises?

Okay, Okay! I’ll give the references a break.

But I’m very skeptic of the same, now. Sequels rarely succeed.

However, considering my work here in the new office is yet to give me a glimpse of a hectic Agency Life, I’ve got a plan. A plan to Write at the start of every day. And without the 1-n day series in place. Because, it’s okay to skip a few days when I’m not in the mood or when work catches up. Or worse, Meetings!

So, what do you think? I’ll probably need a few ‘Hey, that sounds good’ to sneak through my ears if I’m going to do this.

I know, I know! A lot of you don’t give a damn. And there’s nothing wrong in that. But some of you do, and your feedback would keep this exercise going.

So, yeah! A short post to kick-start another series of posts.

t-marketer-concept

Looking back (and forward) on the 4 years of my working life

Starting a new job comes loaded with so much of anxiety flowing throughout the day. The adjustments required to shift to a different gear gets to you in many ways. There’s just not one switch. A series of switches which you keep turning on and off, in anticipation of clicking the right one which fits perfectly for this particular job.

Leave aside anything else that comes with a new job, there’s such an uncertainty shadowing on the brink all the time. The looming questions of what-ifs and what-wills cloud everything you do, the moment you finally enter the new office. The endless comparisons with your previous organizations and the virtual pros-and-cons list you create out of thin air.

It’s exactly 4 years since I started working. 3 different companies and 4 different roles. And in doing so, I’ve been lucky to have been able to align my career goals with my aspirations and areas which pique my interest. Of course, support from all quarters of family, friends and some amazing bunch of bright minds to have worked with, has been a blessing.

But irrespective of it all, I’ve always had a bigger picture in me head and whenever that has felt to be little obscured, I’ve tried changing it. Only to find some more of it albeit initially. There’s been a clearing ahead and the sun does shine after a while, as long as the focus remained on learning something new. Fortunately, Digital Marketing has no dearth of ‘something new’ if you’re looking to find it.

But you need look for it. Because even in this growing field of Digital Marketing, the comfort of sticking to what you’re good at, following established practices as the holy grail and being jargon-ready at the drop of a hat has started becoming the norm. Trying something new even when the competition hasn’t tried it out yet, becomes a ‘risk’ for even the startup junta. Sad, but it’s catching up to align ourselves in the traditional aspects of marketing.

When I started working, I had the concept of a t-Marketer out on my desk. I’m still not through the entire T (yet). But apart from venturing onto Paid or learning PHP, I done it all. Not claiming to be an expert in all of them, but I do consider myself good in a few of them.

So, what’s next?

Well, the journey has just started. There’s a lot of alignment which still needs to happen. There’s a small side-project which I’ve started, a very minuscule one at that, about which I’ll update once things are concrete.

I’m a strong proponent of things falling into place and I definitely see them falling right where I intend to. Little apprehensive, of course. But, I guess, that’s part of the package.

This year is going to be exciting. Here’s to another Fresh Start.

Vagaries of life’s plan

The vagaries of our lives are like the waves. We wish that they discuss (among themselves) and come to us with a synchronized display. Entertain us. And warn us when they don’t intent to. Wishful thinking.

God! We’re fools.

The spectrum of our expectations: Downright pessimism to Pseudo Optimism. The happy notes don’t make us sing in joy while the gloomy disaster doesn’t throw us off. The balanced status quo travels through the spectrum with its own confusion. This or That.

Perceived changes for good doesn’t bring in the joy. It just lasts for that instant. Gratified? Done. Gone. There’s no after taste.

‘Now, What’s next?’ echoes habitually.

There’s a foot outta door before putting one inside. The long-term plan, which’ll be followed by another one of the same league.

Sometimes you start admiring the unsynchronized beauty of the waves. There’s no plan there. They just tower over you and then fall flat. Only to return. They seem to like the ritual. We just hate the uniformity until we find a new one to replace it. Changing batteries. Waiting (sometimes) until they run out, or just because we wanted to. Like, why not? Maybe this upgrade will excite us, we think.

The knowledge of mortality is a question mark that looms large and our attempt to squeeze in the experiences is practical. Don’t you feel, not knowing this would have helped us better?

Are we subjecting ourselves to become too aspirational?

An image of achievement guided by our society, fed by our past laurels and aimed at a shifting finish line?

Are we manufacturing our own disappointments ? Do this, do this and do that too. You can’t? That’s a shame!

Not that aspirations are an enemy. Neither is having plans. But perhaps subjecting ourselves to an interrogation of not meeting them is.

unfiltered conversations

Unfiltered Conversations

Conversations with strangers are what give rise to ideas with the absence of a filter. The unfamiliarity bares open your thoughts and even surprises you. It’s not suppression or the inability that plagues your thoughts, or holds them back but perhaps an understanding of the reactions of known vs. unknown surroundings.

Instead of caring for a response, the focus is on the outlet of thoughts and opinions.

While reading a book by Haruki Murakami, I came across a concept which defines subject vs. object. We are always our subjects, and everything else is an object(s) to fulfill our objectives. I know, this literally amounts to the objectification of everything. Even people. But for arguments’ sake, what if this is the key to achieving clarity of goals?

I’m searching what I really want to search and not just what I want. A constant ‘Should I?’ at the end of each of those searches gets added like a takia-kalam. How pathetically critical of me, some would say.

Pivoting back to the conversations with strangers, the moment of ‘you don’t have to look good in any story’ part, there’s so much truth to what flows out. The genuineness of thoughts, ably-helped by what you speak, is an unadulterated symphony which lightens you up.

And when you get that in return, the warmth is comforting and connecting. Ever so slightly, or momentarily you feel elated, of having got through. Or allowing others to get through a passage of opinion visible to you.

Sure, not all filters are bad. Few are critical and necessary for social life to prosper. But it’s always important to bring in conversations with the absence of these in the mix. Intentionally if not seamlessly. The hesitancy to add Question marks at the end of difficult sentences as well as to be able to take similar ones head-on. Not answer which we don’t know, and not ask questions to those who don’t know.

In a life where mortality is a question that looms large, living life should (sometimes) be about finding your path home and not always follow the printed map.

Clarity

Early

When you walk into your office while the cleaning staff is lazily sashaying the broom near your desk, the gloomy deserted aura of the floor appears different than normal. The switched-on lights make this space appear cleaner than usual. You get to feel the AC is working. Nothing’s better than this when you’ve cycled to work. Even by early morning standards, the sun is beginning to get hotter.
 
Summer is here, after all. Even Namma Ooru feels hotter. But the still-blooming flowers does make up for it. Silver Linings.
 
As the clock ticks, people trickle in, sleepy good morning exchanges can be heard around the bay. Glad that not everyone comes to office on time. You settle in, search for your coffee mug and damn! No hot water to brew yourself a cup of coffee. Not a good way to start your day at work.
 
Wait. Hate, but wait.
 
As emails load up on your feed and the numbers tell you stories. Scary ones, and occasionally, the happy ones. The fluctuations there, reflect here. Reports. Sit, create a few more. Wonder who’s creating your reports. Is there a graph capturing the mood points being visualized somewhere? Hashtag Musings. Hashtag Reveries.
 
Being systematic is a lifelong goal. The files on your desktop, a poor reflection of the lack of achievement for the same. Guess, the ‘lifelong’ is a long way to go. Hashtag Life Goals.
 
Finally, the water is here. And so are more people. But, hey, Coffee solves a few headaches (at least).

Breaking the leash

Decisions. Unlike the binaries which the world perceives it to be are complex. Complex enough to keep us anchored to our inertia. Disallowing us to move away. The imaginary leash is strong enough to allow us to peek out and yet pull us back.

Holding onto the current state is what we’ve allowed ourselves to function as, instead of striving for that something more on the other side. The one we always peek into.

I know, I know. Comparisons are wrong. But the strive for something better, compared to your own present state, is what keeps you working towards any goal(s). It is what keeps you up at night and the one that can get you started in the morning. The first goal, obviously, is to find it. Everyone runs on their own time and some get a head start in the right direction. While others float around waters to find their own course. Either way, we’re all in the waters. The ends may vary from shallow to deep.

So, how do we break the imaginary leash? How do we jump out of the nest? How do we dive into the deeper end?

“Yeah, smarty pants! We all know the questions? What’s the answer?”

Can the answer help the horse understand that the leash tied to the wood is easier for him to break than he imagines? But who’ll explain it to him? Unless he himself tries to do it.

Exactly.

No one can estimate their strength unless they try. Try to break that shell. Fall from the nest before learning to fly. Learning to pedal away without a few scratches. It’s the trial that counts. And probably the one that lends strength to our cause.

So, let’s head out into the world, trying to break our leashes.

The sounds of the wave

The sounds of these waves, the sand beneath and the moon up above, all so soothingly calming. Like the wind cooling down the days humidity away. Someone’s playing live music in the cafe nearby. All in the background.

I walk down along the horizons of the beach. It’s late and this end of the beach is all for myself. Shared by the waves, their sounds and the sand carpet laid out. But this is okay. I have this to myself.

This right here is one unique experience being added to the list of many. How easy is this to get? An unshared space in your head complemented by the nomadic view of this setting.

It’s scary too. Like the 100 odd things you do for the first time. It’s just so damn difficult to change even when you want to. Even when you know what to change. And yet, you stop. Unwillingly flow the way you’ve always been. The low and high tides, hardly counting as a major upgrade.

The waves crossed their marks in the sand, trickling down my chappals. Surprised.

‘There are things to learn.’ as I head back towards the other side.

Being The Procrastinating Tortoise

The more one indulges in procrastination in writing, the longer it takes to get the mojo back. Not that your head doesn’t brim up with ideas for a new post, but none of those seem good enough. There’s always that hesitation that puts up a red light in your way. You wait. And then get tired of the wait. Change course to find a new way towards your destination. Every post in your draft is a testimony to this ‘wait-and-change’ phenomenon.

Irrespective of where you are on the road, expecting red lights to pop up without warning, is ironically expected. The smart thing is always to choose a time when there is less traffic. The pauses in your life must be leveraged to steer you towards the ideal destination.

What’s ideal?

As far as the horizon allows you to see. Filled with uncertainty and yet the promise of displacing you from your current state. Change is better (maybe). Or at least it promises to be better. And perhaps that’s the whole game.
When you read more (the good stuff) and invariably compare your own (the yet to be good stuff), it worries you. Makes you think, will THIS ever be good enough?

I’m not even bringing in the perspectives of others, on how they find your writing to be, it’ll always be a mixed bag. Your own process, swinging in your head, automatically triggers you to judge your own writing. Helplessly, you heave a sigh! Tired of trying to match up. Crawling uphill on bare feet when the world zooms past you in their fancy motors. Blowing away their 2-cent wisdom on your face.

You, of course, don’t give a damn. Because you convince yourself that you’re here for the longer run. It is a marathon and not a sprint. You’ll be the tortoise.

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