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Vishal Ostwal

Make life worth living

The Only Ways I Know to Find and Pursue a Passion in Life

A few years ago, I felt lost.

I still feel the same way, often.

But it used to be worse then. I felt useless, as I thought I was headed towards a never ending journey. My life was passing, but not the way I wanted it to.

All this while I wished for a reason – a purpose. Something to which I could dedicate myself and feel happy.

Then it changed.

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Want to Achieve Your Dreams? Make Your Own Mistakes

I should've sailed - a short story

I should’ve sailed

Once there was an adventurer who resided near the banks of an ocean. He explored the places near him – islands, mountains, rainforests and everything that was there in his vicinity. Quite content he was.

But there was one thing he didn’t do, unlike the other merchants and adventurers – he never sailed the other side of the sea.

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An Infallible Way to Stay Happy Forever

 

An Infallible Way to Stay Happy Forever

If you’re like other humans, which is quite obvious, you chase money, you do whatever you can to leverage your social reputation, and try to impress people.

You work harder to gain a greater sense of accomplishment and don’t miss an opportunity to do what can make you feel better about yourself – whether it’s buying fancy objects, eating your favorite delicacy or enjoying for a while.

Even if you think of yourself as different, you do what others do. We’re all similar.

In the end, you realize that nothing make you as happy as much as you had expected. Your expectations always turn out to be an illusion – and illusions break.

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11 Realistic Ways to Start Working on Your Passion

11 Realistic Ways to Start Working on Your Passion

We all have dreams and passions – those which can be easily believed, and those which we don’t reveal to avoid making a joke of ourselves.

Some dreams might seem enormous – hard to achieve and beyond your reach. Somewhat close to impossible, or unbelievably hard. You crave them and know for sure that it’s what you want to do. Still you don’t take a step further.

Following your passion seems risky. Mostly because you think you aren’t capable and worthy of achieving it, yet.

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6 Lies You Tell Yourself That Don’t Let You Start

6 Lies That Don’t Let You Start

Firstly, people don’t want to be seen as fools.

I mean no wants to be the social oddball who is seen as a dreamer. People think of themselves as dreamers, but they don’t want to be called one.

Being a dreamer makes you vulnerable all at once. Everyone comes to know what you’re up to – your plans, your tiny aspirations, and your intentions – there’s no way out. (more…)

How Being Childish Can Lead You Towards a Happier Life

Being Childish to Be Happier

Something changes.

When we grow up, call ourselves matured and when we stop being childish.

We don’t behave like we used to and turn into grown-ups who act as per the society. We begin to abide by the unsaid rules of the world, slowly concealing our identities and losing some fragile parts of our existence.

You need to be more responsible. More mature. But that doesn’t mean that you have to leave yourself somewhere in the crowd and abandon your childishness. (more…)

The Only Significant Purpose of Motivation in Life

Purpose of Motivation in Life

You know that feeling, right? When you feel like you can do what you’re planning, and become blind to all your doubts and probabilities of failures.

You begin to feel like you’re infallible. Nothing can drag you down. And even if something can, you won’t let it get you.

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5 Fears Which Don’t Let You Act on Your Dreams

Fears Which Don't Let You Act on Your Dreams
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” – Plato

It has been a few years since I’ve started working on my dream of becoming a writer. But now when I look back at the point where I had started, I wonder how I had even managed to start.

I don’t live in the midst of successful people having cheerful faces, who have achieved what they had once dreamed of, or who would inspire me to do the same. Instead, I doubt whether such people really exist apart from the ones whom I have seen on the television screen or read about in some books. I don’t see more than a handful of them.

To me, sometimes it seems like dreaming is a sin.

Why? Because the world makes me think so, people make me feel the same, and my insecurities are enough to end it all.

But I manage to go on, somehow, because my heart doesn’t understand such practical things. What I’ve learned is that we can survive failures with more ease than the guilt of not working on our dreams.

What our heart wants

  • It wants us to trust our faith more than our critics.
  • It wants us to take a leap even if it knows that we may fall.
  • It wants me us to give a shot, regardless of how good or bad we are.
  • It wants us to overcome our limitations by trying our best.
  • It doesn’t want us to quit before trying.
  • It doesn’t want us to accept being losers without pursuing our dreams.

Above all, it wants us to do the work which makes us happy, not for someone else but for ourselves.

In my journey till now, I’ve realized that what matters the most are our efforts. Though the outcome is crucial too, our work gives us the biggest contentment.

It doesn’t matter whether you succeed or fail, no one will be able to deny one fact – you tried your best.

In that case, even failures look equal to successes, because whatever be the results, they are because of our sincere work.

However, even when you start working on your dreams, you know that you might not be able to succeed. Neither is there any assurance that people would bother to help you.

But one thing cannot be denied – whatever you do will still make you happy, and that’s what matters the most. You will find a plenty of people who are experiencing the joys of chasing their dreams.

However, you will also come across the tribe of people who think that their dreams or ideas won’t ever work. These people are the ones who have already found some practical reasons and excuses for not working on their dreams.

In other words, they’ve decided to not ever start, and have also decided to fail by default.

You will often see such people talking about where and what they want to be, and also why they aren’t being what they want to be. Some among these are the ones who are really great at what they want to do and even deserve the opportunity to make their dreams into a reality.

But they won’t be able to make it until they start. What’s the point in being able when you don’t use your ability?

You might be among them too, if you haven’t started yet.

There’s one major thing which prevents people from starting for years, sometimes for a  lifetime – it’s fear. Here’s a list of 5 most common fears which every dreamer has to deal with.

1. Fear of starting

If you’re thinking about giving your best, making your dreams a reality but feeling almost paralyzed at the same time, then you’re not alone.

Even if we feel that we’re different from the rest, we aren’t. All other dreamers face the same kind of anxiety which is enough to drive anyone crazy. The ones who overcome it start in spite of the obstacles they need to tackle. And the ones who allow it to overpower themselves are left behind.

Starting is also the scariest part because it demands our trust while we are ourselves unsure of what we’re doing. However, like every other successful and content human, we need to start somewhere. Everything follows it later, whether it’s growth, success, ideas or something else.

2. Fear of being imperfect

The moment I gathered my courage, held a pen, and tried to write something, a voice inside me yelled that what I do won’t be that good.

“There are already thousands like me sitting out there who are doing the same thing, and there’s no more space for a novice like me,” I could hear my inner-critic say. I could’ve stopped at that moment and gave up forever, but I tried to ignore my imperfections and wrote my first short story, The Wishful Stone.

If I would’ve given up at that moment then it would’ve also lost my faith. Today, if I could be thankful about the one thing which I did in that particular moment was not holding myself back and doing what I could.

We all start as imperfect fellows. Slowly these imperfect beings try, learn, and put in their best to get closer to perfection, and that’s what makes them great.

Although we think we aren’t perfect, we get a chance to get closer to perfection. Each day. Making attempts to become perfect instead of quitting and scaring yourself to hell by thinking that you are not ready yet.

3. Fear of failure

Not doing something because you think you might fail doesn’t make sense. Not even gods can assure you success if you aren’t willing to take charge for yourself. Both your failures and successes make you better by teaching you, so shouldn’t you even expect failures?

You can only control your efforts, which in some way also means controlling the results. How good it would be if you could always win. Though, that’s not possible.
The remedy?
Always be prepared to embrace both failures and successes. Take a step further, risk being a loser, and start anyway.

4. Fear of rejection

Fear of rejection is the enemy of expression.

Our minds are filled up with questions which need to be abandoned at some point, because if we don’t, they become our biggest obstacles.

“I’ll somehow manage to write a book, but what if nobody likes it?” was one of those questions which haunted me each day. This was only one among hundreds of other questions I had in my mind. I had developed an habit of hammering myself with my flaws during those days. In some way, starting was always harder. But what I’ve learned after that is once you overcome that mindset, right things start happening to you.

We don’t speak the words which we think, we don’t perform the tasks that feel like doing, and then regret about not being our actual selves.

Nothing can make you happy if you snatch from yourself your real identity for the sake of being liked by others. Try to be what you are, even if you doubt that you aren’t good enough. It’s better than doing nothing or being fake.

When you’re a dreamer, you also have to be a rebel and break some rules. This might even mean doing something against the conventions which the world has set for you, escaping your limitations and what you think is right even when your people you against you to prove yourself right.

You can all this only if you overcome your fear of rejection.

5. Fear of  the unseen

“What lies beyond this?” is the kind of question which will always be there. Your insecurity forces you to reflect on your actions and asks you to check whether you are going astray in spite of the fact that it doesn’t make any difference. We dreamers don’t really know what we’re doing sometimes.
 
The road that leads you towards your goals is always blurred, and it unfolds it’s mysteries as you keep progressing on it with your actions. Eventually, you discover the unknown and soon become familiar with that creepy feeling which tries stopping you, and also learn to deal with it.

Wait for the suspense to break. What lies beyond is marvelous. You won’t ever get to know about the unseen unless you try to discover it. Your destination is right out there, it has something for you, but you won’t ever know about it if you quit.

Fears of Dreamers - Life Infographic

Conclusion

No matter how much insecure or awkward you feel – start.

Even if you think you cannot do something – try.

If you think you should be doing it – do it.
If you need to know something else, your heart is always there to guide you.
 

Dreaming isn’t only about expressing your materialistic desires or discussing impractical ideas endlessly. It’s about starting small somewhere and doing what is hard enough to be imagined.

The dreams that make you restless won’t ever happen unless you start.

Do you have a dream? Would you mind sharing it in the comments? What is it that often stops you and what is it that inspires you to go on? Let me know in the comments.

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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.

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.