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Vishal Ostwal

Make life worth living

How Thinking About Death Can Improve Your Life

 How Thinking About Death Can Improve Your Life
“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” – Henry Miller

While you are looking at this screen and reading my words, I’d like to ask you a question.

Are you alive?

I am willing to know if you can answer me with a “yes.”

By using the word alive I’m not mentioning your physical existence but your whole life and every aspect of it. Wait and feel this breathe which you are taking in right now.

Recall some of the best experiences of your life when you felt like things were perfect and just couldn’t get better.

Does that make you smile? If not, recall something better. That was the time when you were alive. The time which was priceless.

Now focus on your current life. Is it the same or has something changed? I don’t whether you are as happier as you were then, but I guess that things might have changed a lot.

If you’re still as much happy as you used to be, then its a blessing. But if you aren’t, then there’s a reason behind it – life changes.

Life doesn’t always remain the same

Life changes unexpectedly. It’s unpredictable. You can’t even tell what might happen in the next moment.

In our lifetime, we face successes and failures, we feel joys and sorrows, sometimes we lose our loved ones or meet some new people, we go through financial barriers, and yet we manage to carry on somehow.

As they say – life goes on.

But I have a disagreement with that phrase. I don’t want life to just go on, instead I wish we could live every second of our lives. I also know that isn’t possible, but to some extent it can be done.

We’ve got this life to live, not just to exist and let it pass.

Sometimes I think we’re dead even if we claim to be alive. Our heart keeps beating just like the clock keeps ticking, without any difference. With every passing beat and tick, we lose life. We all pass our life pretty much like that.

Sometimes we aren’t really living

Everyone dies at some point in life. Not really though. But don’t our pains kill us by making our lives seem meaningless?

You die when you face the worst tragedies imaginable, when you have no control over what happens to you, or when when you’re forced to live in despair due to some painful incident. Yes you die when life seems to have no value of its own.

There comes a point when you feel like your being alive or dead doesn’t even make any difference. However, you still deserve to live with a head held high and can proudly wear a smile on your face.

After all, you don’t want to be wondering about how you had wasted the one life which you had got while lying on your deathbed. It might be your worst regret ever and you won’t even get a second chance to correct it.

You aren’t really living if

  • You are too busy judging people and don’t even make any minor attempts to understand them.
  • You don’t appreciate the small things in life and keep waiting for the heaven of your dreams.
  • You seek the wrong and unworthy things, and hardly recognize the worth of the ones which you’ve got.
  • You have got enough excuses for not doing things, and blames for the outcomes too.
  • You waste your time in proving yourself to others, even though it is useless.
  • You take criticism too seriously and ultimately lose your motivation for moving on further.
  • You don’t trust yourself and are easily shaken by the outer voices.
  • You quit before you dare to start and don’t take the leap of faith.
  • You don’t think that you’re born with a right to inspire, and keep yourself from bringing a change in others lives.
  • You keep waiting for your someday to arrive, and don’t even start.
  • You always underestimate your own identity, and keep waiting to be liked by others.
  • You hold yourself back due to lack of resources, and fail to take a stand for yourself or others.
  • You always keep comparing yourself to others, and then become stressed.
  • You don’t really define every term in your life, and look at things as they have already been defined by the world.
  • You don’t understand the value of  having values, and don’t have any principles of your own.
  • You don’t really have any priorities, and fail to hold on to what you value the most.

“What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?”
– George Eliot

Life is quite a big term itself. The above mentioned points signify just a tiny part of it.

But if you would ask me to summarize these in a short sentence, then it would be – do what makes you and others smile.

If both the cases contradict, use your wisdom to find a way out and do what is right. If you say that you’re alive, mean it. If that seems something difficult, try to do whatever you can to live happily.

Think about death

I’m not going to remind you that you are going to die. You already know that. Everyone dies.

Now tell me whether you want to be among those people who don’t realize the value of their life until death looks at them in the eye? Probably not.

We have a bad habit of taking our life for granted. We behave as if we are immortal.

You cannot really predict that which of your goodbyes will be the last, or what will be your last breakfast. At any moment death might strike you like a thunderstorm, and you still live as if you are unaware of this fact.

Think that it is now. The moment when you are going to die.You are unable to breathe, your heart is choking, you are losing control over your body, and want to escape this feeling somehow but you can’t.

You are thinking about everything that you will leave behind, your family, friends, money, hard work, respect, and much more.

You are thinking of your regrets, conflicts, relations, and some other things which you had made by yourself.

There are still some tasks which you feel are left undone. Still some words which are left unsaid. You want to tell some people words like “thank you” and “sorry.” You also want to clear some misunderstandings but you cannot do that.

Now while you are dying in this moment, you try to define your whole life within a few seconds which you have got, but can you? Maybe you’ll know the meaning and value of your life in that moment, but what’s the use of it now?

Yes you might die in peace, but wouldn’t it have been better if you had lived in peace?

You stay helpless like a loser, aware of the truth that everything’s gone now. You can’t move or say anything anymore. All you can do is to wait for the second of your departure.

You slowly experience some kind of blankness in your body, your eyelids get closer to each other and hiding what you can see, against your will, a drop of tear rushes out from the corner of you eye and then…silence. A full stop at the end of the whole journey of your life.

Over.

This was your life, which you get once, and which you lose once. The thing which was most valuable to you got snatched at once.

But guess what? You are lucky enough to be alive. You are able to read this, and still have a lot of time left to do your own thing and give your life a meaning. Come back to reality, doesn’t everything look anew after knowing what death might be like?

Now learn to live

Don’t be among those people who will try to find the meaning of their life at the last moment of their death. Instead make it meaningful from this moment. Turn your life where you want it to go, and put in it everything that makes it look beautiful to you.

Exploit every second and kill every moment. Give your life the value which it deserves by making everything the best for yourself.

Conclusion

The thought of death makes you realize the value of life. It makes you appreciate every breath which you have been bestowed with, and inspires you to make your life more meaningful.

Do you think that the thought of death can somewhat inspire a regard for life? What is it that inspires you to live your life to the fullest?

I’d be happy if you take some time to leave a comment.

Why You Should Stop Worrying What Others Think of You

Are you good enough at something? Maybe.

Do you like what you say you like? Are you sure?

Do you know it in your heart? Perhaps.

This is the real question. Do you know it in your heart?

Wait. Before you close your browser tab and run away from this post, let me directly come to the point.

How often does it happens that you meet some people who doubt you, point at you, and blame you without knowing much about you? Quite often.

It seems funny how people pass their own judgments without having any proper idea about us or our intentions, and then make us the fresh topic of their gossips and talks. We do nothing, except observing them while they make fun of us and convince us feel like a clown.

When it becomes intolerable to you, you jump into their conversations, and act like a lawyer trying to defend himself.

“Oh! no, no, its not like that”, “Wait, what I want to say is that..,” you say and try to save yourself as if you are your own superhero. So the people who were already ripping you, get an another reason to pull you down and have a great laugh.

Yes it feels bad.When people pass needless comments and spread rumors about you, blood gushes through your veins, you start chewing your teeth, and yet you stand silently and listen, when what you actually feel like doing is just clenching your fist and punching those people down to ground and shout,”What the heck do you know about me? Why can’t you just shut your mouth up and mind your own business?”

But its not always favorable to do that. That’s not the complete solution to the problem either. It takes nothing to arise new conflicts, have some new enemies, and get involved in new kind of mess.

Then what should you do instead?

Okay then, here’s a piece of wisdom. It may seem useful to some people, and a coward’s way of running away to others. But its totally worth your trying.

It goes like this – prove nothing.

Simple? As much simple as it seems.

You waste a lot of your precious time in proving things to others, even if unknowingly.

There are hundreds of people around you who’ll have several opinions about you. For some of them you may be the apple of their eye, and for some others you may be nothing more than a futile moron.

What people think of you, what they say about you, and what they say they know about you, shouldn’t affect you. Try to maintain your calm.

Will they lower your reputation in front of other people?

When some people insult you, those who know you well do not believe them, and those who don’t know you will soon realize the reality and learn more about you. One thing which about gossips is that worthless people pass them to the worthless people who hear them.

So stop worrying about what other think or tell about you. That doesn’t create you. You always remain what you are, and others don’t define you.

“I don’t have to show anything to anyone. There is nothing to prove.”

– Cristiano Ronaldo

Why prove what you already know in your heart?

“You are an idiot, yes you actually are one.”

What if I told you those words above? What would your reaction be then?

Either you’ll just conclude in your own heart that it is me who is an idiot to say such a thing, and walk away like a wise human. Or you may just start stamping your feet on the ground like a child and try to give reasons, clarify and justify yourself to prove to me that why you’re not an idiot.

But in both cases, the outcome will likely be the same. That you’re not an idiot. In one case, you took me lightly and forgave my nuisance, whereas in the other one you reacted.

Did your reaction change anything? My opinion? Nothing would change, because I’ve decided to think so.

Either keep proving yourself to others or be wise enough to take life easy. People think about something in a certain way because they’ve already decided to think that way. In your heart, you know all the truths about yourself. You don’t need to prove everything to everyone.

Do yourself a favor by not getting into situations where you need to prove everything about yourself and change others minds and opinions. You job is to live your life, not to waste it by explaining everything you do to others.

Not all your dreams need reasons, not all your decisions must make sense, neither should all the choices you make fit into the conventions of the world. Decide how you wish to live your life and live it.

Conclusion Prove nothing quote by vishal ostwal

Prove nothing.

Especially what you already know in your heart. People may not always believe you, but it isn’t necessary to make them believe all the truths about yourself.

You don’t always need to give an explanation for the life you live.

The Wishful Stone – A Short Story


A long time ago, I decided to come up with a tiny yet meaningful short story which could send a message to all humans. That’s how The Wishful Stone was born.
“Everyone is born with a purpose,” is the message I wish to convey through this story. I expect it to leave a smile on your beautiful faces. Enjoy reading it.

The Wishful Stone

“Oh! Being a stone, life seems so boring,” said the annoyed gravel to the other pebbles and rocks. They were all lying on a playground beside the village, while the evening sunlight fell on them and the bright red and saffron canvas of sky reflected its colors on them.
“So right you are my tiny friend! Look at those children who can laugh, run and play all day,” said the biggest rock among them profoundly. “And here are we, lying uselessly. Sometimes I wonder that why the hell on earth God created us,” it added. All other stones listened to it attentively since it was the most dominant one.
“Don’t say so. God is kind. He created everything for a reason. Maybe we too have a good reason for our existence,” said the medium sized oddest rock which barely spoke at times and was shy. Usually it was cursed and taunted by the fellow rocks for being odd, and nobody was ever concerned either to listen to what it said.
“Nobody asked for your philosophy you retard. And talk about things only as much as of your size,” said the biggest rock.
All the big rocks laughed as they found the joke funny. However the pebbles and gravels felt offended but didn’t protest.
“Okay” said the poor odd rock insecurely, swallowing the words which it wanted to speak.
Soon the sun hid behind the mountains followed by darkness. In the village the lights were turned on. The stars started twinkling, the moonlight covered the sky and brightened the ground. All the stones slept silently under the open sky, tired of doing nothing. But the oddest one among them gazed at the sky, wondering about God and his creations. Suddenly it saw a shooting star. Unable to control the excitement, it shouted, “Look! There’s a shooting star. Wish for something, wish!” All stones got disturbed and saw up carelessly.
“You must be a fool to talk such nonsense. Now go to sleep and let us sleep,” said a rock half asleep as he yawned, and all the stones went back to sleep. The oddest stone fainted. But not minding what the other stone told, it made a wish to the star. “May I be used up for a good purpose and be blessed by my almighty to justify my existence,” it whispered slowly and closed its eyes.
Next day at early dawn, when the sun was about to rise, birds were chirping and the morning breeze flowed. The ground, on which the stones slept, started shaking slightly. The place filled with harsh sounds.
“What is it? Is it an Earthquake or some disaster,” Screamed a big rock filled with terror and waking up as fast as it could. They all saw a gigantic machine marching towards them.
“Here! Bring the bulldozer and tractor here,” they heard a man wearing a yellow helmet say.
“They have brought two giants named bulldozer and tractor here. God knows what these humans want from us now,” cried the largest rock with fear.
“Those are machines they brought to take us, and not giants. They are taking us somewhere,” Giggled the oddest stone happily.
“I know, I know. I was just jesting,” clarified the big rock, so as not to be regarded as a coward and an idiot. “By the way, they won’t take a useless fellow like you with us anyway,” it mocked at the oddest stone.
Soon the huge machines began their work. The enormous fist of bulldozer grabbed away mass of stones at once and filled them in the trailer of the tractor and then repeated again. Stones waited eagerly for their turn to be picked up. It was after hundreds of years that they were being taken to a new place. The oddest stone too waited for its turn. Slowly, the machines took stones, one after the other. They first picked up the massive ones, and then a bit smaller ones and the gravels at last. It took much time to load the biggest rock on trailer.
“Sir, this rock won’t be of any use to us. What to do with it?” asked the man with notepad in his hand to an old man standing at a distance.
The old man came near and observed the stone. “Leave it to me,” he said, smiling and placing his hands on the stone.
All the stones were taken away, leaving the oddest stone behind alone. The oddest stone wondered like a child about the reason why it wasn’t taken away along with the other stones. The untainted stone had no heart but was heartbroken. It wanted to cry but couldn’t, as it was just a stone. “Is this what you give to those who believe in you God?” it wept bitterly.
Few days later, all stones were gathered on a site. They were sorted on the basis of their size. The little ones were used up to make concrete and the ample ones were left in the safe hands of sculptors who carved exceptional designs on them. Larger rocks were turned to gorgeous pillars. The biggest rock got special attention and it was turned into a marvelous platform. Now all the stones together formed a magnificent monument. It was adored by the people who passed by it and everyone sang its praises. Its grandeur surprised everyone who entered.
“That retard was right, that we all are made for a reason,” said aloud the biggest stone which was now a beautiful platform. All other stones agreed with him and didn’t object.
“But where would he be now?” questioned a puzzled little gravel stuck to the concrete on a wall which was not tiled.
“He must be still lying there alone, wishing to the shooting stars,” joked one of the stone pillars and started laughing hardly at its own joke.
Next morning, the whole monument was royally decorated. Garlands of roses, marigold and mango leaves were hung everywhere and all the corners were decorated with lanterns. A graceful rangoli was drawn at the entrance and the delighting fragrance of incense added brilliance to its aura.
“Why is this place so crowded today?” asked the biggest stone to a pillar, as it observed the bare footed people all around.
“They call this place a ‘temple’ and today is its inauguration,” it answered, staring irritated at the child who was trying to climb on it.
Stones observed the people around who had gathered for some reason. An old person entered the temple with something which was wrapped in a red velvet cloth and tied with threads. He kept it on the platform with assistance of some people.
“Brothers and sisters, it’s my pleasure to present to you the idol of lord Krishna without which this place couldn’t be called a temple,” he announced joyously.
“Hey! Hey! He’s the same old man who had come to bring us here with the other person,” shouted the pebble trapped in the roof peeking out an uncovered corner. “Shut up! You are disturbing us,” said another pebble to silence it.
The old man untied the threads, removed the red cloth and revealed the idol he had made. The pleasant idol caught a glance of everyone. Whole temple echoed with the sounds of claps. Everyone desired to get a look of it.
The idol had a rich and minutely engraved golden crown on its head which signified its beauty. It was studded with sparkling red, blue and green crystals which reflected the sunrays like a prism. It had jewellery on it made up of both gold and silver, which seemed to be a sign of finest craftsmanship. In its postured hands was a delicate flute made of sandalwood which had a pair of white pearls tied to its one end. And above all was the glittery peacock feather tucked inside the crown which clearly reflected the religious faithfulness that dwelled inside everyone’s heart. The idol stood grandly over the stone platform in the middle of the temple hall.
“Hey! Hey! That is our…our,” the pebble became speechless. The other stones too identified their friend and became startled.
The oddest stone filled with honor and pride. It realized that it wasn’t odd but special, and recalled how it was turned to an idol out of a useless stone by the old man who admired its beauty, and how he carved it with his delicate hands and antique tools.
Now all the stones realized it’s worth and humans bowed their heads in front of it. It became thankful to God for the highest position given to it while gazing in surprise at the people chanting mantras amid the sound of tinkling bells.
“Thank you God, now my existence is justified,” prayed the stone with the most sincere emotion as it realized the significance of it’s existence which once meant nothing to anyone. But now, it represented God himself on earth. With its belief it became God.
THE END
If you loved the story, feel free to comment, and share it with those who you think might like it. Thanks!
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Life Passing Too Quickly? Here’s How You Can Slow it Down

Each day, we’re dragged farther from life and closer to death.

The same is happening to everyone else. Time passes too quickly. Sometimes we feel like controlling time, slowing it down, or just bottling it up if we can … but that’s a fantasy.

Do you feel the same? Everybody else does

• It feels like new year was just a week ago or so.

• The children who were once crawling have now started walking.
• The saplings around your house have turned into trees.
• When you see yourself in your old photographs, you’re astounded by how fast you’ve grown up.
• The pages of calendar are turning with the passing days, much like the pages of a book.
• You can recall you childhood but don’t remember how the journey has gone by.

• It seems a kind of miracle to notice how technology has evolved during the years, and how you have witnessed it all.

Do you know what’s the sad part about all this? That time doesn’t slow down.

It will keep hurrying ruthlessly without getting tired. That’s what it has been doing since the ages unmemorable. It has got no brakes.

But we’re mortals.

We’ll die someday. Though we wish to stay alive forever, we know that we’re making a wish that will remain unfulfilled.

Still, we have a whole lifetime. We can live every moment and cherish this life.

Living our life to the fullest in every moment can give us the satisfaction which we have been yearning for.

This is how you can somewhat slow down your life (and start living)

Create

Have a hobby, learn to make art and create something.

Create anything that interests you – whether it’s a sketch, a gallery of photos, a coin collection, a blog, or something else. Creations leave valuable marks on the sands of time which cannot be erased.

When you’ll look back at them, you’ll be easily able to track your hard work and joys. Your creations will be an evidence of your creativity, and remind you of the time you had spent making something that you can proudly call ‘your own.’

Click

Click lots of photos. Make silly videos. Let them rest inside your cellphone or PC, and don’t delete them. You may find out that how big an idiot you were some years ago, but it will feel great to see everyone you know in their old avatars. Also, even if you’ll lose some loved ones, they will be with you forever in the form of those clicks.

Each old photo will tell you a story from your past and help you recollect the memories related to it. It’ll be enough to bring a broad smile on your face. You’ll live more. A lot more.

Be productive

Don’t just rush into whatever you’re doing. Wait, take a pause, and then reflect that why are you doing whatever you’re doing.

Are you doing it the right way?

We spend a huge part of our lives either doing the wrong things, or doing right things the wrong way.

Try to be better at whatever you do, save time by being innovative, change your working habits and invent new ideas. By doing this, you do yourself a great favor and add days to your life by utilizing time properly and learning new habits.

Have a task-schedule

It isn’t necessary at all to have a schedule in which you feel trapped. Make a schedule, not in terms of time but in terms of work. Exercise a bit, meditate, take a walk, or do anything that makes you feel good.

You must be able to decide your priorities, and have some time for the things that you want to do. Even not having a schedule can be your schedule, if you’re comfortable with it and can get everything done.

Keep a to-do list

Make a to-do list. Add anything that you want to do, no matter how useless or awkward it might seem. When you’ll see the checklist shorten, it will give you a sense of accomplishment.

You are free to include your desire of climbing a mountain, purchasing something, visiting a place, meeting a friend, or any interesting idea that strikes your heart. It will make you feel like you have released a burden of responsibilities by fulfilling them.

It’s definitely worth it, and will assist you in accomplishing your goals quickly.

Cherish your likes

If you are planning to watch a movie you’ve been waiting for, to read a book since a long time, or to travel somewhere you’ve been dreaming of, then do it right now. At least, as early as possible. If it makes you happy, you should be doing it.

You need to have some time for yourself. You aren’t meant to act like a robot that doesn’t get tired. Try to live like a human and make some place for yourself, no matter how busy a person you are.

Cutoff

Cut off the useless activities that eat up your time, cutoff the people who you don’t want to be with, cutoff the habits that slow you down, cutoff everything that makes your life a drain.

You already know how you should be doing it according to your preferences.

Quitting useless things matters as much as taking up useful things, as both are capable of directly affecting your life.

Live in the moment

Wait. Listen to the sounds that surround you. Pay attention to what’s happening. This is life while it’s happening.

Life doesn’t happen in imaginary aspirations as much as it does in ordinary chores.

Sometimes we just plainly ignore the beauty of simplicity that exists all around. We become careless and choose to not admire the life that we have, while craving for what we want it to be like.

You’ll be grateful for your now if you decide to give it the attention it deserves and learn to love it. This is life, ordinary yet beautiful.

I hope that these ways help you to live your life to the fullest.

Next time you feel like your life is passing too quickly, just remember that this life is enough. For everything that you want to do, and what you can do.

Although life might seem less, you can still make every moment count.

It will pass anyway, so isn’t it a wise idea to live it instead of merely passing it?

Conclusion

Live while the time is passing, it will pass anyway. How you think spending it might be right for you is right for you, if it helps you in ascending towards your betterment.

Slow down your life in your own wonderful ways.

Exploit every second, kill every moment, and make life worth living.

Life passing quickly Infographic - Vishal Ostwal

Why do you think life seems to pass so quickly? How do you slow down your life? Got something to share? Leave a comment below.