I regret not having started Instagramming from the New Year’s Eve. This would have been so perfect. The Concord was the first racing push bike that I rode.
I have had the luxury of growing up in the countryside. Where the streets have no names. Where miles of ever-changing landscape surround you in perpetuity.
Pedaling faster to not be engulfed in a monsoon shower. Where every second’s pause would mean that the clouds would take over the dry country roads.
Slopes, and climbs are the frequent reminder of how life has it’s ups and downs. Where beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Only if you could ease back from that frantic pedalling. Only if you could look around you. See mirth growing all around you.
Seasons come and go. The landscapes don’t wither. Perhaps they change in shape and form. Perhaps they have a different set of hues within the abundance of nature. Perhaps they are the reason why I found peace in some of the most lonely years of my life.
All you can think of is how slowly this world changes. How it is that the slower things go, more beautiful do they become. The slower you go, appreciative is how you feel. Where the Concord comes to a halt. Where you can pause. Where there is beauty, and life. The wisdom to appreciate it.
Regrets come from wanting. A particular result. They are fears of the past. The cure for it, as for most things in life is gratitude.
In my past, I was fired in situations as people vied for influence. I have been shown how important, this power over someone or something can be. Our world is shaped by influence.
Freewill is an illusion. Some people are true bred consumerists for the reason that the market influences their own judgement to an extent that they consider their entire lives to be a product of free will.
A close friend once told me that I was influencable. That means you can influence me with ease. At that age, I found that reality bothersome. There was a need to control actions. A need to demonstrate control over life.
Now however, I realise that we are humans. Humans, by default, are influencable. This sure is vulnerable. This, like any other vulnerability, is powerful. The power lies in knowing what influences you.
Once you know what does, and how it does, you have won half the battle. The other half lies in catching yourself. The more number of things that you can find to have an influence over you, the more power you will have.
The ideas of fashion, beauty, and make-up are prevalent for a sole reason that these ideas are projected as a necessary element in human life in advertising. Popular media holds a large influence on human lives. Mostly for the reason that it is popular. I find that toxic.
As you grow older, popularity recedes into the shaded patch down the memory lane. The things that influence you change. Your interests, hobbies, and decisions, are based on ideas that are not your own. If you are not careful, influence can suck you into living a life that you never really wished for. Self awareness is the antidote.
Wish for wishes that make you burn as an individual. Wishes that make you rise up from those ashes like a Phoenix.
A MIND THAT CREATES.
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it. — Richard Whately.
This is a journal entry on routines, and behaviours that come from people who are successful in different walks of life. E.g. The 4am club.
I am a stern believer that the miniscule things that we do everyday amount to a lot in our life. If you have read James Clerk’s thesis on the Pareto principle, you will find that to the 1% of the world who happen to be winning at life, winning doesn’t happen. Winning is created. Curiously carved, over a long period of time. Waking up at 4am is an easy thing to do. If you differ with me on this point then that’s because it is also easy not to. The early hours of a day can give you the energy to get more done without much stress. Time flies, and at 4am it surely does. Every moment you spend in not doing or following your life’s purpose is a moment spent in undoing it.
Most of the successful people I have met, track time consciously. And they don’t do it by the hour. They do it by the minute. Some of them, do it by the seconds. Once you get here, your amount of focus will determine if you will track time by the seconds. Peak performance is not an aim, it is a way of life. If you can get yourself to a happy, energetic mood before the hustle bustle of the world around your begins, then you have half won the day. Preparation is often the only differentiator between what gets done easy, and what gets done hardly. Consistency on the other hand will drive you into a spiral. Forward going, or backward moving spiral depends on the habits that you cultivate. This cultivation is a daily activity.
So here’s a thing to do.
Wake up at 4am and read. Read whatever you think will spur your interest, and read something positive. Let positivity spur your interest. This is the beginning of a spiral. Most of my guests spend their mornings in utter silence. They be in the moment, and they design the moment as a stepping stone for all the moments that follow in the day. Some people run at 5am. Running/ any kind of exercise as Casey Neistat often says, helps you cover for lesser sleep. It means that if you sleep for 6 hours a day, and run for 2 hours in the morning. Your mind, and body will feel, and be healthier than sleeping for 8 hours, without any exercise.
Usually, no mind bursts into unproductive habits the moment it wakes up. You need to give it direction. You can only make a few good decisions in a day. And the surety of a decision being good lies on how early in the day do you make a decision. Capitalize on the silence that you get in the morning. Not by making coffee though. Not by trudging through whatever direction your mind picks. But by being wakeful. By consciously knowing where you want to head, and what do you want to achieve. This is what my guests spend an hour thinking in the morning.
They don’t take down notes. They de-cide. Our brain is a database. It has stored memory, years of daily experiences which form the basis of your instinct. When you ask it a question, the first answer that you will get, is the right answer. The answer that your mind tells you, not the answer you speak out. Things will slowly accumulate to give you an edge. E.g. It took me some many bullet points to write a paragraph without having to strive for it.
The most common mistake we do, is to not de-clutter. When you know how you spend your time, you have the power to question every action you take. And by actions I mean things like looking left or glancing right.
These small involuntary actions can shape a lot of your decisions. Because your senses will feed on the surplus of information that is now so easily available in this age. Your job is to consciously say “NO!” It might take you days before you start catching yourself doing this. It might take you another few weeks to start saying “NO!” with ease. So a faster way of doing this is by beginning the day with self scrutiny. Analyzing your usual. An hour spent knowing where to catch yourself will help you catch yourself doing dumb shit better. You now have an exact summary of where your time goes. If you relentlessly de-clutter, and spend your time doing only those things that you do in a day simultaneously, you will find yourself doing your usual at unusual hours.
This bit itself is curiosity inspiring. Being curious is essential at being creative. And if you do your work beforehand, you will end up with mass, and I mean MASS amounts of time in the same day, without a clue of what more can you do. This is like writing down a bucket list with a 100 things on it. Most people have to really start thinking hard about their dreams once they fill in about 25–50 things. You will have to really put your mind to work in figuring out the not so dumb to do things for the rest of your day. That my friends, is a dilemma worth being in. If you are a creative, let me rephrase that. Life is a creative establishment. And creativity is the only positive way to live.
Nothing in life is easy. You can be anyone you want. You could be anyone now. But you will not be joyful if you don’t innovate your way through life. You should essentially think of the solutions to your most daunting problems/challenges at 6AM, or to be more exact, in the shower after your run. And read closely. Think of the solutions/challenges, not of your daunting problems. Make it a habit to take an hour long shower. This does not mean that you waste water by keeping your taps running. It solely means leaving your phone outside the bath, and spending an hour thinking in that closed room, undisturbed.
Silence and solitude is an antidote to stress. See, the human mind zones out if it has to go through tremendous amount of mental stress, or physical pain. It zones out not as a cowardly response, but as a mere attempt to research for relief. It is searching for silence and solitude so that it can be less distracted when it is working on finding the solutions to the objects of stress. Change of jobs is also a means of taking a break. I don’t mean your day-job. I mean doing something else at hand for sometime. It’s like you can either dribble yourself tired across the football pitch and try to score a goal, or better, you can pass the ball from player to player and be fresh enough to try scoring the goal again. You can choose to edit your bath short, and zone out while you make yourself some breakfast. But thinking while your eating can set in a habit of daydreaming.
Rejuvenating your body without paying close attention to the activity is not that healthy. Let’s stick to longer time in the showers for starters. Once you are ready to go-to work or wherever without a roof on yourself, try to find your horizon. Not mentally, but physically. Look at the further point of the street. I bet that you have not taken this gaze intently before. You will see things that you did not notice before. It can be a busy street, or it can be a plant on a field. But you will see new things. This is helpful because here’s what funny.
Your life is the exact replica of the things you notice, the things you do, and the behaviours you follow — your habits. One of my Hungarian friends has a knack for cleanliness, a kind of an OCD. He told me that it was an Hungarian thing. But I don’t think it’s something that is specific to a particular race of people. What he told me was this. There is a reason why human beings behave in a certain fashion to others based on a perceived effect of the person they are interacting with. We are all blinking (refer Malcolm Gladwell) at each other without a moment’s restraint. We are looking for the things we do. We are searching for clues. We are sizing people up.
Largely because “How you do anything is how you do everything.” This is the same reason why we humans have things like dinner dates, and luncheon meetings. It is a neat way of figuring someone out subconsciously by watching them eat. No wait, it’s watching them manage their plate rather. The way you organize yourself at the table can help people gauge your habits or reactions to life. The way you manage your food, or say resources. The way you treat table manners, or rules. What you do with the leftovers, if you have any. There are a lot of clues if you look closely. It is essentially the most believable metric to the effect of how our behaviors connect.
Our habits shape us. We really have a few habits. Only different scenarios and variations of it. The most common habit that is widely evident in people is neglect. It is also one of the starting and fueling habits of all the downward spirals in the history of mankind. Looking at the horizon physically, will help you look at your mental horizon. Your mind stretches in a direct proportion to the depth of your gaze. This is the effect of space on our minds. Space can effect our minds, emotions, thoughts, and hence hold an influence over the behaviors that we exhibit. After seeing people huddled together in a tiny space under the pretext of an event or a gathering, in spaces designed to accommodate such affairs, I have gathered an interest in better understanding people, and the effects that spaces /emotions play in their behaviors.
SPACE IS AN EMOTION.
Space is an emotion, and a rather strong one. Space effects almost every aspect of a human life, not excluding what we share with each other. Every kind of space that you walk into or even crawl into at times, generate emotions that we experience in various spaces. Emotions contribute to the making of a place. Some of these factors that lead to changes in the subconscious thought. I understand that human experience is subjective. Sometimes beyond the human capacity to measure. Here, I attempt to illustrate certain observed notions between human emotions and the spaces we inhibit, mostly through my personal experience while pursuing my architectural works. The understanding of human behavior has been the key to designing event spaces or rather businesses that thrived on the concepts of people paying for their time spent at these venues.
It was crucial to dissociate money from the experience. A better way to put it would be to say that creating spaces that contributed so much more to wellness, so that most people would prioritize their lives around these spaces. My intentions for documenting are clear. To curate the intentions that I held while designing spaces in different times of my lives. To help you understand the lessons I have learnt in passing so that you may benefit from these design approaches. A human understanding of space is directly related to scale. This means that space, an empty space works differently for a dwarf, and for a giant. If you can imagine, yourself being still in any kind of a space, then you will also acknowledge to the existence of an extent of ownership that you would wish for on your surroundings.
Humans consciously limit themselves when it comes to territory, even in their own imaginations. This peculiar behavior exhibited by the human mind, differs for each individual. This is what makes people unique. Ownership, not belonging.
Humans have a way of observing a lot of detail in the first experience of any kind. This is why movie scenes seem longer, dialogues come of as bolder, and space feels blurry in the first instance of experiencing. Cats have a tendency to go back the same way they entered an area. This is also true for most of us. Since the human brain is wired to play it safe (a natural evolutionary approach to survival), we do not change our paths or explore new paths around a complex, involuntarily. A new approach takes deliberate effort. This can be played for the benefit of the designer, by placing elements in a specific manner. In ways that the usual suspects will follow the same guided path to receive the intended experiences that await them.
Museums use sign-ages or sentry to guide people along, into, or away from certain areas. Our aim should be to let the elements do the talking. The human mind is always listening. The individual space can be designed based on the tastes and nature of the client. In spaces where most of us have been to, to attend any form of social gathering are shared. This is where complete privacy walks out. Sharing works differently. Sharing creates bonds. And when sharing spaces it creates shared ownership first, belonging next, and a community later. Remember, birds of the same feather flock together.
It becomes essential for commercial venues to curate or contain the crowd they serve. Since these businesses are built around these communities. They may not be buzzing with activity like your grocer’s store. But the associations you hold do effect the choices you make. Hence while designing a space, it matters. Every space needs to be built around an idea, a social group, or an individual, else they will choose to continue in their own bubble, and business will not flourish. Privacy in exchange for belonging, and vice versa. An observation in the book, “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Campbell shares the September 11 tragedy of the world trade center twin towers. The idea of a plane crashing into a building was so filmy that you could pass it off as a bizarre movie trailer. But when told that it is really happening puts the mind in such a state of shock that it feels the event caused awe.
This emotion of awe freezes the sense of judgement and anything that you throw at such a mind, it accepts. This phenomenon can be applied to positive effect. In most scenarios of urban scale because the crowd mentality will further blur the clarity of an individual mind. As an architect, you can lead people from shopping districts to food courts, where they feel nurtured because the mind at this point needs a break. Once they have feasted, the resting mind will need activity which can be provided in forms of events. These events are absorbed beautifully by the mind and to memory. If you give them open, public but semi private spaces of urban scales now, your user groups will ponder well enough to bring about positive realization and inspired action. Experiences are important, but how would you conceptualize them? I think of spaces as an emotion.
The way you cringe when asked to walk down a narrow alley way. And the way you feel awe surge through your being when you reach an open field at the end of it. You can bet on a plant to act more of a landmark in that field, or you can inspire absolute freedom of thoughts where people can run free. A stump of the tree can bear negativity in the thoughts of this populace, because of the negativity that harbors the process that went into the creation of the stump. So you can see that energy is passed on through spaces, by virtue of the emotions that create them. I began taking notes on people when I joined Tinder as an app. The sheer overwhelming number of new faces that I met on a regular basis led me to see patterns. As a rule, Tinder is an app made with the intention of increasing meetings and social interactions in this highly behind the screens world of ours. Human nature as a basic form governs that most human activity aims at propagation of the species. But the opportunity to understand the patterns was not ignored.
So, here’s what I did.
Although the app’s website has kept it’s purpose vague, there is more to what can be done with it. The idea here is to improve your own self. So as to create a better understanding of human comfort. If you ever head out to meet a match, do not go home first. Instead, take a cab ride to any 24x7 open public space. The presence of the cab driver will ensure safety, and a decent conversation that breaks the ice. Conversations that revolve around a person’s life history do get boring once you have to tell your story to most of the people you meet. It is important to not ask the same questions other people are asking each other. Because now the conversation forces a need for new answers, a new story, and better questions.
Conversations should not revolve around popular trivia. E.g., Books, music, movies, etc.
This is helpful because this experience stays memorable. No one has revealed any personal information, hence privacy has been protected. Yet the need to share has not been satisfied. What works though, are those conversations which revolve around the events of the moment. This takes real work. Most people are rarely present in the moment. They spend their time skimming through the past and the future. But meeting people to practice presence of mind to be funny, macabre, or whatever you feel you are lacking serves a purpose. The ability to create helpful information from objects, and situations, in your environment to solve problems. If you have ever been to Times Square or Marine Drive, you will find people staring into space, groups minding their own business.
No one ever bothers you with, “Hey man! What are you doing?” People seem to understand. But they are all quiet. But have you noticed that when large crowds assemble at a concert, they start singing the lyrics when the artist pauses for a moment. It is all for one purpose — to russell. “Roads have given us a lot, but they have also taken a lot from us.” — The National Geographic Documentary on Pozuzo. I heard these lines on a National Geographic Documentary when I was 9. These words have stayed with me since. Travel is often a disconnect. Most of us find it as a means to escape our routine.
It is healing in sense because when the mind does not have a routine, it tries to occupy itself within the limits of time. The sudden availability of time reveals to us that there is so much more to life than what we had thought. The freedom tends to render most of our priorities as trivial.
The idea of a cab is in, “3 is a crowd, but 2 is company.” Most of us divulge from striking a conversation with the chauffeurs. This action allows us to zone out in the midst of a transit. And if we have company, then we often tend to involve ourselves in deep conversations about things that seem important or trivia to our lives. Most often, the strongest bonds between two people are formed in travel. The second strongest bonds are formed when one of them has a bad cold. For strangers, the idea of being in a cab, provides a sense of comfort and security that is a direct effect of the presence of the chauffeur.
It lets people talk about things that are socially acceptable. And then when they are off the cab, it gives them context and information to build upon. Walking is a subjective experience. While for most of us, walking ensues the focused goal of getting somewhere. That’s fast walking. But the opposite behavior of taking a stroll, has a very calming foreseeing effect to it. Some high performers, take a stroll to curate their minds with a walk. The process of taking a stroll gives us all the time and pace to jog through our thoughts. It gives a clarity to our past experiences, and lets us zone out into those to figure better reactions that we could have made to those, or in some instances, take a closer, deeper and better look at what we are up to. Walking pours in clarity to an extent where the only things that matter to us can be recognized.
Walking with another person can create a bond with them. It can be a setting for providing another perspective to the matter at hand. At the same time, it can give clarity to some concepts that we hold. If done on a regular basis, walking can help us share stories and abstract specific behavior patterns, likes, dislikes of another person. Walking in a group of three is often brisk paced than the other two instances. The joy of such a walk is in the quick sharing of information that comes with the process. Because the time share is now split into 3 parcels, everyone is more aware about the thoughts they run. This consciousness brings to them a heightened filtering of the clutter. The process then brings clarity to the most personal thoughts and spill out the rest. Making something is essential.
HAS BANGALORE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS?
I am from Bombay, and the two things that I have found to be missing in my rendezvous with Bangalore are, in my opinion as an architect, major reasons for the issues with traffic, and most anti-outsiders viewpoints that have been shared to me by most of the Uber drivers I have spoken to in this city.
Bombay does two things differently.
Let us take a closer look at what follows at rush hours. In Bombay, the way the city moves usually takes care of most traffic problems. When people leave from offices, the traffic is divided in a vast numbers into two major segments. Most people opt for the local trains. If you are a Bangalorean then this should translate as public transport. The rest of the crowd take to the roads and use the Western Express Highway. Please don’t read this article and build a fucking huge highway inside Bangalore. You don’t have the space for any expansion. Means of transport are one of the means to tackle rush hour traffic. But hey, Bombay does it because the British already did it for them. I want you to focus your attention on the second thing. Bombay has a particular case of what I call the seaside effect. Because there is a seaside available in vast lengths for most of the citizens. They have spaces like Marine Drive, and the Bandra Promenade, and well that’s all they need.
You don’t have that in Bangalore. I am not talking about the sea. I am talking about 24x7 open, safe, public spaces for all. This can change your entire city in one smart move.
Here’s how it helps.
When people leave from office, at say 7pm. Most people, especially those with families head for home. The rest, usually the younger generations, head for Marine Drive - If you are a Bangalorean, read this as the kind of public space I wrote about above. Not everyone goes to Marine Drive everyday, but you get the point - the population of office goers is split into two groups “home going” and “chilling”. What happens is that the pressure on the traffic is now split.
Some citizens in Bombay have a tendency of leaving later from work because the traffic is lesser. These people either work hard and drive a Porsche around on New Year’s Eve, or they go look at the sea and do life talks. Talk about the sort of controversial debate on the anti-immigrant view shared by the Uber drivers? I understand that Bangalore is more open to social drinking, at least when compared to my circles in Bombay.
Here’s what I see.
Most of the pro or anti western culture talk that the Uber local drivers gave me are just a matter of perspective. I think they are the locals so we should all respect their cultures. My point here is simple - people tend to drink inside spaces more than outdoors. Because as an immigrant, I will explore my human nature to the best possible opportunities. This is true for anyone, anywhere. People tell strangers their deepest secrets, and fears. And people are more comfortable in risking it out on anything but their home turfs. So if you light up your parks and keep them public, most of the nuisance that these drivers keep talking to me about, are out of the window. That’s how people are. People will be what people have always been - that’s people.
We don’t drink on Marine Drive. Marine Drive is sacred.
What you can learn is that Bangalore does not need wider roads, because they have no space for it, or matter of fact, I think spending tax payer’s money on road widening is wasteful when you can -
Here’s a solution -
Build a public space, or redesign Cubbon Park (or any other space that can be walking distance from your business districts) to make it as safe as Marine Drive.
Here’s a standard -
If you go to sleep with your belongings open on Marine Drive, like flat down on the Promenade, no one will rob you - that safe.
One public space will reduce your traffic, give people better things to do, and give you a healthier society in most respects, Got it?
If you are serious about these things, then two more examples would be The High Line Project, and Central Park, New York would increase the acceptance of this idea by some folds. Since if small roads are a problem then bigger roads is not the answer.
MUMBAI SUBURBAN RAILWAY.
I don’t know about you, but often I need more enthusiasm to jot down few words here. Maybe, it’s the accessibility of the platform. Although, Medium has an app, it’s not their fault. The trouble lies with the facet that writing needs space. It needs comfortable keyboards, quiet spaces, or rather spaces that inspire thinking.
Having stated the obvious, I will continue completing this article on my train ride. I have noticed a peculiar detail that the Mumbai Suburban Rail Network adds to the lives of the general population.
There is a thing about these trains that run around the city of Bombay. Most of these trains especially on the harbour line run late. Apart from the punctuality issue, there is a subconscious drive that is shaping the city.
The detail is an announcement. Whenever a train of 9 coaches pulls into a station that can occupy 12 coaches, they make an announcement.
Yatriyon krupaya dhyan de. Platform #x pe aane wali 12 debbo ki local, aaj 9 debbo ki aa rahi hai. Yatriyon Ko hone wali asuvidhase humein khhed hai.
This translates to
Passengers please pay attention. The train arriving on platform #x is of 9 coaches, instead of 12 coaches. The inconvenience caused to passengers is regretted.
The peculiar bit is an apology. The reason these trains are shorter than the length of the platform is not clear to me. Since the trains can be accommodated in the platform. The announcement seem to be unnecessary.
The apology drives into the subconscious, the idea that apologies are okay. The emphasis on saying sorry, has been in my belief a cause for the attitude of the citizens to be complacent of the mistakes that they make. Millions of people wake up, and go through this idea driven into their subconscious day in and day out.
A stark observation made alongside these factors is that people have a complacent subconscious. Our first response to the errors we make is sorry. Since, this is a concept common to the masses, it has made complacency a normal.
The prevailing attitude is reflected in all the business transacted in this city, regardless of the nature of the situation. Is complacency the reason that a majority of the local population cultivates habits that lead to beliefs such as lack of punctuality is an obvious Indian flavour.
This post was written to bring awareness about things that define the subconscious of the citizens every morning. It works with the idea that knowledge of a behaviour trait can help curb negativity.
Since, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. The long term impact of replacing old habits with a new set of habits will lead to a happier, mentally healthy, and productive society.
Today, let me share a short insight with you. After an influx of people in my life from architecture. dating apps, event spaces, or super-hosting on Airbnb, I have learnt these things. Things about successful habits, satisfaction in life, and generic human behaviours. Most people that I have met have been good at heart. Most people are searching of a piece that’s missing from their lives. They are all looking for an escape, albeit they cannot define it. For some of us, this search becomes life itself. That’s when you go person to person, thing to thing, looking for something. That’s when you splurge your money on shopping. But that’s not the answer.
A search for what fits, and what doesn’t will always leave you empty. Life is not a search for meaning. Life is a lesson in acceptance. Accepting whatever comes our way, and see how things work. At times, it’s starting new things, chasing a few others, or closing other ones. Life is an endless exploration. Aerosmith wrote “Amazing”, a song about it - “Life’s a journey, not a destination”. That’s the reason, I chose to work for Scootsy. So far, I have been able to figure that I find my escape in understanding habits.
Although, Bundl bought Scootsy, a month before I joined. Most of my well-wishers worry about the abrupt career change that I have made. I chose to work at a place full of people. People that come from different backgrounds, temperament, and life experiences. And experiences that fulfill the most humane needs that work can bring. Work that helps deliver emergency supplies, food, and merchandise in under an hour. In my experience, even the United Nations Resource Agency has not beaten this clock.
Here’s what I think is positive.
Scootsy’s delivery in a hour USP helps me condition my mindset to make quicker decisions, and execute them. This is contrary to what mainstream architectural good practices. If you have seen throughout life, “The way you anything, is the way you do everything.” For example, If you suck at finishing your food, you will never be a cleaner. Watch Video To Know What A “Cleaner” Means. That’s the jackpot. This new mindset does rub off on other areas of my life. So, your seemingly uninteresting call center has taught me habits worth keeping. A habit of getting things done, and that of being proactive. These make laziness, and procrastination, non-existent in my vocabulary. Outside of Scootsy, they help me get things moving at other enterprises.
A RULE OF THUMB.
Not the exact nature of woodworking but the idea of how things can be built. Bit by bit, block by block, or layer by layer. This layering is what everything around us is made of. From emotions to nature, even time. Relativity, or a better word to use would be relational-ity, is the key of how human understanding is formed. The ability to understand phenomena by adding known context is essential. Although this approach can make it harder for us to accept somethings because they don’t fit in our history of experiences. This bit can explain natural or supernatural occurrences. This bit can also explain why everyone ran 4-minute miles within a week of the first guy who ran it. The thing to take away here is that the most common mistake we do is to think that people think like we do.
Thought is an experiential concept. So is emotion. We are all living in a dream world. Our dependence on technology will devour all the humanness that is within us. Changing our sector of employment will be a need in the coming future. The only thing that is at the root of all our problems these days as a civilization is technology. The slot machine dopamine loops that we have shaped our lives around are something we will have to struggle to break out of eventually. Even though Amazon and other multinational companies are making lives easier by providing for most of the services that were relevant in the past decade. This move is going to cost humanity. I believe Jeff Bezos may have good intentions but the overall effect of his actions are going to be the end all for most of us.
Netflix may provide you entertainment and bring out the best of the entertainment world. But there is a catch. When I was a kid, I would literally have a season for theaters. I did not fancy them back then. Now I realize that the amount of social interaction that comes from being around real people, and interacting with other people on a daily basis does shape the overall personality that we hold. It shapes the risk we take, and also priorities our own comfort over what’s right. There is a storm coming. A storm of education debt that has accumulated in the United States Of America. It is something that we have not prepared for. If you have money to get through these tough times, you are safe.
If you have the ability to restrain yourself from spending your time, the most valuable resource, on dumb shit then you might not really need the amount of money the rich will spend in this time of crisis. I find it hard to accept the notion that most of us are oblivious to the obvious dangers of the current state of our civilization. I believe most of us are being lazy to chase less of social media, and more of life. There is so much more that we are missing out on by putting our heads down into our phones. There is so much more in libraries, theaters, and people that we haven’t tapped yet. Artificial intelligence may be claimed to be the best thing. But it comes with yet another catch. It comes with vast pockets of time that we haven’t thought of how to use. AI comes with idleness. And an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
The vast source of information that is available to us is lethal. I repeat, overdose of information is lethal. It will drive us into inactivity, indecisiveness, and sheer disconcern for the others around us. It brings lethargy. And this is the bubble that will burst with a lot of lives on stake. So what can be a the solution to this? Having a practical priority. Finding out what won’t change in the next decade for vocation. Gratitude towards everyone, and everything. Choosing others before you, collectively. Spending time together with people, not technology.
Our thumbs are probably a good indicator of where we are heading in our lives. Not the index finger that points out directions to others. Yes that’s correct. The index finger is for others. The thumb is for us. The things you hold, the things you make, and the things you tap on your screens have only one thing in common for all of us. The thumb. You may find the tone of this post hilarious, but then this is the only true indicator that’s right under our noses, that’s natural, from birth, and that’s devoid of any other need of technology. So if you are into profound thinking for making better decisions, asking better questions, and designing your own life then, start with your thumb. Your map will never be more accurate. Delete the things you can’t contribute to and delete the things that don’t contribute to you. It can be the things you hoard, your wardrobe, your friendships and enmities. Your time is valuable.
After the age of 18, with the ongoing rate of life expectancy in most countries, you will see only about 25000 sunrises. I hope this gives you a new perspective. Be present. Be present in the present. A friend told me that you cannot be in the future or the past. If you spend your mind being attached to the past, not only shall you miss out on what’s happening right now, but also be delusional. If only you can stay in the present, and let the universe explore itself through your creative senses. It takes a certain amount of physical exercising like running to feel ready and open minded to take in these expressions. Casey Neistat runs in NYC. Kushal Samant runs in Bangalore. No one stares at Casey, but they do at Kushal because Bangalore is more of a close knit community. This might explain why personal space is a thing for the Americans.
This explains why Viren Brahmbhatt snapped, “What do you care?” when asked when his birthday was. It might come of as rude to some of us, but he was in the right. Behaviours are dominated by the place we belong to. Behaviours are not a cultural thing. Culture itself is a vague idea. The people you keep are a bigger influence on your creativity than your past and culture. The point to learn here is that we should focus on creating, and not creativity. Creativity comes. The way to do is to begin. You might never know what you will create.
But if you take the pen and start scribbling, you will get past the first few lines of utter lack of clarity combined with wholesome words that have no direction to the conversations. But if you just begin, everything that’s messed up will start to fall into place. In ways that will make the mess seem like a petty folly.
The constant changes in variables that can be inclusive or exclusive of other factors are only as infinite as the human’s belief of infinity. We set our own limits. We set our paradigms. And we are held back, or propelled forward as we choose. Circumstances are merely a dream. Life is a dream. A dream whose limits you set. Acting based on the thinking that your problems will end in XYZ time is how long it will actually take for them to end. The only quotient that matters is the intensity of your actions.
Intensity is not determined by scale. It is determined by your belief in your actions. It is not determined by your motivation to act. But solely on how much you believe that A leads to B. Also note that if you have to get to E, then your life will pan out as A to B to C to D to E. But if you believe that A leads to E, then that comes true too. It’s all about your belief. It’s all about how real you think what others may consider absurd. But hey! If you think that your actions are absurd, then guess what, A will be absurd enough to not lead you to E.
There is no grey area here. Everything is black and white. Just as nature punishes a kid playing with a knife as much as it punishes an adult playing with a knife. The rules are equally applicable to us all. We are all here. Only the time that we have spent here may differ. Our lessons may differ. The number of times we have bled may differ. But the human potential inside of us is equal.
Human potential that you have is infinite.
How do you change the name of a city - You start with the local bus pass. Let’s be clear about this notion that what you see, and what you get are often not the best of what we will see happening in life. Most things revolve around to land nowhere. That, in fact, is a good thing. You can choose to bounce around in ecstatic motion for a certain number of years, only to have learned, grown, and prima facie, evolved. Evolution is the sole purpose of life. It is not progress, but paradigm shifts that challenge dogma, and act as catalysts to any decision making to the extent of being subconscious.
If our lives are an one time event, we might as well be vulnerable and prick ourselves, only to fly around the room like a balloon. Smaller. If you have read Stupid White Men by Michael Moore, then you would know that Men demand bigger things. Not the women of our society, but the men. As far as I am concerned, smaller things work for me. The smaller the plate, the lesser will be the food I would want to serve myself, the lesser will be the wastage if I don’t finish eating. Also, I will be concentrating highly nutritious food on that plate now that there’s a limit I chose to run with. Smaller has an advantage. Much as the fable goes, David and Goliath. You can complete daunting tasks by going one at it in bits. Bits, not pieces, see! That small.
So there is this entire idea of slow. Oftentimes we comes across a point in life while making a broth that it turns out to be better if we just let it simmer, and boil up with time. Without a rush, or a haphazard frenzy to make something out of it. I feel that the secret ingredient to everything is time. We more often than not, forget about it. We rush to get things delivered. We rush to deliver things. We expect so much of ourselves, and others that we forget. We forget to live. We forget to enjoy the moment.
We forget to experience what the moment has to offer. We forget that no matter if it’s pain, and suffering, or joy, and peace. None of it will be served to us in the exact same way by life. So we might as well experience it while it lasts. We forget to feel. We forget how if you leave it be, and wait, then most things become so much better. This is true of love interests, passion projects, businesses, and even making Maggi noodles. Some things end, some last. The focus here is in not being lost in thought. The focus is to experience the moment, consciously.
Slow things down, and everything becomes more beautiful.
Reading for the sake of reading is no good. Reading for the sake of understanding is no good. Reading only helps as a means of collecting perspectives from different authors. True knowledge comes from comparing notes, tumbling around with the information we have so gathered, and applying to our own lives. You can have read a lot and be astonishingly stupid, make dumb moves, and have gained nothing from it. Take my example for reference. Reading is an act of collection. The information once collected needs to be assimilated, and pondered over, and understood in the wide scale of circumstances that your mind can think of. This process of assimilation and understanding can be best fulfilled by writing your thoughts down.
In the exact way as a graphologist asks his test takers to write. Being, continue, and end by writing your thoughts using a ball point pen on a piece of blank white paper. The idea is to have a non judgmental state of mind. A state of mind that is not driven by the influence of public or popular thought /opinions. The fact that the test takers have to submit this piece to the graphologist after their flow of thoughts end, requires them to have a considerable amount of trust in the graphologist’s morals. A similar trust is expected from you when you are jotting down your thoughts to paper. The whole idea being that your written word then would remain true to reality, lacking any outside influence, whether social, environmental, or spatial. Spatial reminds me that you must be alone, and your most comfortable place will you are at it. I could have scrolled up to add the previous sentence. Avoid such edits on paper.
I tried walking, and recording a podcast on @anchor.fm today. I did this instead of my daily 4AM hour reading. The idea seems interesting, but there are hurdles, and glitches. The biggest hurdle would probably be people in vehicles asking for directions. They break your flow of thought.
It would I am guessing take practice to find relevant pointers to create impromptu content if you are stalled mid-way. To add to that, the app has amazing, and sensitive sound reception which does not differentiate between human voice, and surrounding sounds. The glitches would be the 20min segment that I recorded as a part to my hour long episode is stuck at “uploading to library”. Although the prelude got saved just fine. Maybe I should try doing 5min segments.
The other glitch was that the app does not record, or store segments if you think of reading written notes from another app such as Google Keep. The recording disappears, and you land up on Anchor’s home screen. I lost about 15min of content here. The app has a beautiful gallery of SFX, sounds, and music to use as Interlude, or background scores to your recordings. Almost to extent where you can create pure music mixes in anchor.
It’s fun how this helps if you are looking for more than just soundboarding to yourself. Anchor’s place the phone on your ears to record helps keep away insane attention from the insanity that you are doing. Maybe starting small makes more sense at my scale. Due to sheer lack of knowledge when it comes to editing audio. This bit might need strategies to create a better, and clearer episode.
One of which I think would be to record pointers in the comfort of your own room.
Love is like photo editing. Where you reach a point that you know there is more to be done by your standards, but the picture looks so good already that your standards fail to add to it eventually. Where the details cannot be better, where the thought of your first idea to be the best idea falters. When you have practiced so much that you reach a point where know bliss. Where the only thing that you can take away is; commitment, hardwork, and an enduring belief in the present, and a future.
I would have never thought that an unremarkable image would mean a start of something so huge for me. The whole idea behind getting on Instagram was to document my work in progress, or to a certain extent documenting the work that I had done over the previous years. It may be a lot that can be ignored, but every day has so far come to me with a learning experience. The things that are possible in this world that we occupy, and the things that I have used now and then to create a bright future with all those people who have touched my life. The entire intention now is to dump my personal experiences, and in simpler words, to maintain a journal here. Not a daily one, but a journal that intends to add words to images, all in one place. So that when they come together piece by piece, I can publish my own book, or maybe fuck that!
Creating for the sake of creating. Documenting for the sake of documenting. Leaving it all for civilization to decipher in the ways that time seems fit. The purpose of social media is not to hit a self set number as a goal. But to continue creating, and sharing a part of you. It is not to assign meaning to your life based on what you see in the life of others. But to see where you stand, and appreciate whatever it is that you hold.
This is a journal entry, not conscious of public discretion, in the now, or the future. I am afraid of the immense activity that I will have to put up with if I continue my not architectural job. I am afraid that I will have to face an existing piece of failure if I quit it. However, none of it let’s me do what I really want to do. The job does not give me happiness or the time to pursue those things that make me happy. The job does not give me any respite, despite the fact that the place is buzzing with people. The capacity to create would make it so amazing for myself since that is all that I want to do. As my handwriting seems to distract me, I am looking for objects/ ideas, thoughts to build a discretion around. What I want is no attachments binding me around my choices with time. I can write, I love to travel, I love creating Architectural design.
A part of me still doubts my love for Architecture. A part of me fears that there is much value placed on public opinion when deciding the course of action that I take. Often that’s not true, but more often than not, it is. Of this particular behaviour, I will need to be watchful. The best of me has come out in action when my aim, and purpose had not been built upon ideas of “What will look good on me?”. The best of me had often, and still comes out of the complete disregard of the above idea, and undoubtedly in the forgetfulness of it.
The idea of creating for the sake of creating does not make me money even if it may serve the society with no addition of art. I had thought of building a delivery service that’s by the people, for the people, and of the people. The only hurdle here is accountability. Sometimes, I feel lost when it comes to deciding the next best thing to do.
The fact of being alone in my practice, doing everything from measuring sites with a tape, regular visits at a print shop, to handing over the keys to a client. These small essential tasks do not bother me. What has bothered me for almost a decade is unavailability of a person to soundboard. Options that vary from deep design discussions, to choosing what meal to order, or cook for lunch /dinner. I have spent years looking. Although the dull mood of everyday life makes such relations stagnant at some point, it has taken me quite a lot of time to realise that every individual is alone in their journey. And as you get closer to the top, every decision is a lonely decision.
I have realised after tumbling around different industries in the search for a product /services, that the best ideas are often your first ideas. Usually the instinctive step that your mind tells you when you look at a person /thing is the thing to do that will get you the best outcome. Although most of life will ask a different version of you in the various stages of life, you are better off going with the flow. The plans that we often make are the second best options that are available at hand. Thought is the most delusional aspect of everything. Thought can often lead us to believe that everything has a step by step program. But we fail to realise /consider that circumstances change. That human potential to deal with changing circumstances is infinite. The power and nature to adapt is the sole reason why the human race has come so further ahead from the other animal species on this planet. Adaptability is the only lesson here. Executing your first thought or the instinctive idea that comes to you when you look at anything is the best step.
Somehow, your heart already knows what you need. - Jobs.
Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination, and its contents, my personality - it’s all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I’m attending here is a show with another set. And the show I’m attending is myself. - Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet.
Why should I do something about Facebook? Here’s what I know;
Mark Zuckerberg, aims to connect the world. Well that’s such a noble thought. I couldn’t agree more. But then simply put, Mark is making money off me. With or without my knowledge can be a perfect place to start a debate in his favour, but.
Do I need a friend who is as noble as a doctor, offers me chocolates, and then bills me for diabetic treatment?
This is what I think.
I believe that the way you do anything, is the way you do everything. This means that your failures/ successes will be same in every aspect of your life. This means that the amount of focus you put in brushing your teeth (usually the first task of the day for most people), is the amount of focus you will put in the rest of it. The amount of focus that you apply to your principles, are reflected in your habits. Your habits shape your weeks, day by day. All of these cycles of successes, or failures, start at every other action you make in your waking hours. P.S. I have a feeling your dreams count too. That’s why I dreamt of punching orders, and have certain nightmares which are directly synonymous with the happenings of a whole week.
I believe that if self respect is a concern for you, then it should be a concern to the T. Read that as, “If anything is a concern for you, then it should be a concern to the T.” Else I consider the lesser level of concern as hypocritical. I believe that any level of half heartedness is reflected back in every thing you do. So my question to you is, do you want a half hearted life? half hearted success? Oh! Thank goodness, that means your failures won’t hit you hard, because they are half hearted too. But then again, do you want failures?
Coming back to “Do I need a friend who is as noble as a doctor, offers me chocolates, and then bills me for diabetic treatment?” “No.”
P.S. because of the vibe that kind of duality brings into my life.
This is why I quit Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp.
To be honest, it is a matter of a question, more than anything else. To be honest, it is a matter of a revelation, more than anything else. To be honest, it is a matter of humanity’s future, more than anything else. Humanity’s future because posterity will carry the vibe, and that’s making everyone of us, “A friend who is as noble as a doctor, offering others chocolates, and then billing them for diabetic treatment.”
That future, is something I don’t want, because I think, it is hypocritical to the T.
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. - Christopher McCandless in Into The Wild (2007).
We limit our view of others by the reality we can imagine for ourselves. In my lifetime, I have been boycotted, spat on, stoned, ambushed, assaulted, and raped. Not been stabbed or shot yet. I told this to someone recently, and the response was, “All of that screams damage to me.” I hold a different view. This would have qualified as damage if I had chosen to whine about it. But I don’t remember feeling or doing that. The takeaway here is that we perceive the responses that people may have, based on a reflection of what we would do in a similar situation. That’s empathy. But empathy has a flaw.
Most of us are unaware or not remember often that everyone thinks differently. Thoughts are as different as fingerprints. No one thinks the way you do. That’s what makes us all unique. No one shares the same journey. No one shares the same resources. No one shares the same stories. Since we don’t keep this one in our minds when we go about our daily lives, we limit our view of others by the reality that we can imagine for ourselves. That’s assuming. But being assuming has a flaw.
Everytime you look at another, remember that what they may pursue as an ideal reaction or response differs from yours. The real stereotypes are the ones we hold about ourselves. These are not a part of what popular culture dictates. But more of what we wish for us, or think as ideal when we are posed with a new experience.
Awareness as such, is essential for happiness.