Standing Still – 4 Warning Signs To Beware

Appreciating 2016-03-07 – Talking about the feeling of standing still, laziness, progress, and needing to constantly motivate yourself.

Have you ever worked from home while your family or roommates are out daily? Have you ever lived alone? If yes, chances are that at some point, you’ve felt like you’re standing still.

In a pressure-driven society, it’s impossible to be comfortable with standing still. We’re always pushed to make progress, to proceed, and to make more, buy more, consume more. While that societal trend is in itself questionable, there is no doubt that not making progress or working towards goals leads to a very lonely, dull, and ultimately unfulfilled life.

I’ve gone through the following little things that stood out to me. If you identify with any of the following cases, there’s a good chance you’re standing still.

Laziness to Leave the House

I live alone, and to fill up my time, I’ve set up multiple activities for myself. I’m allowed to work from home, but lately I’ve made a concerted effort to go to office – which is stupidly close by the way. I have a dance class and the office gym to go to, with the motivation being to lose weight and become healthier.Megan Fox - Leaving House | Standing Still - Appreciating | Thorough and Unkempt

The problem arises when I don’t want to go to those places – when I don’t want to get up and leave the house and go to a class or a meeting or a friend’s place. This laziness is both a cause and effect of a rigidity in the body, where the muscles are clenched and stressed. It tires the body out and affects the mind, and in it, like a deadly parasite, the laziness becomes self-sustaining.

Laziness to Self Sustain

In that vein, the self-sustaining laziness, ironically, stops me sometimes from sustaining myself. Too lazy to cook, but also too lazy to go downstairs and eat at a cheap joint. Solution? Throw money at it, and order in.

Too lazy to wash the dishes, so let the kitchen fester and breed illness. Too lazy to do laundry so let it pile up.

I’ve been through it, and only when it got really bad did I get shocked into action, and so I cleaned. An obscene amount of force is required to shake the cobwebs out of one’s head when laziness becomes regular.

Standing Still while Going Somewhere

Once I was headed to a class, and had been walking to the bus stop. Slowly, I stopped. I blinked. What happened? Nothing. I just stopped. Why?

That was the incident that inspired this article. At the moment, I was acutely aware of tension in my shoulders and arms. It was the rigidity of laziness, making me stop and just bob back and forth unable to form a thought.Cyanide and Happiness comic - Force Quit | Standing Still - Appreciating | Thorough and Unkempt

Keep in mind that this incident lasted all of maybe ten seconds – certainly not more than that.

Still it is definitely a warning sign if you hang, like old Windows OS used to do. Speaking of which…

Shutting Down

Standing Still - Appreciating | Thorough and UnkemptYes, it is a computer analogy, for a good reason. When you get used to standing still, it reduces your work potential. You get tired quicker, annoyed quicker and frustrated quicker. Eventually, if your sleep cycle is not correct, or you don’t eat correctly, you have a breakdown.

I call my breakdown a shutdown because it takes the form of sleep. I fall asleep early in the evening, and sleep for anywhere from 10 to 13 hours (The record is 16 hours). The next day, I wake up a little sore but refreshed and ready to work.

It’s fine to occasionally shutdown if it doesn’t interfere with your life (it is important to rest) – but if it happens too often, or if it takes precedence over your normal work and life, then it’s a red flag for serious issues that you might want to get checked out.


 

Bottom line is this – you don’t have to give in to a hectic lifestyle. If you’re content with yourself and your situation, then that’s fine. However, there’s a big difference between being content and being lazy – if you find that any of the four signs apply to you, it might be an issue of motivation, and not fulfillment.

What do you think? Do you shed the hectic environment of the world? Do you have issues with motivation? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, check out the previous Appreciating, Use Cases of the Indian Ego.

Use Cases of the Indian Ego

Appreciating 2016-02-18 – Talking about the Indian Ego, entitlement, its possible causes, and the youth movement against it.

Are Indians fragile? Are we special snowflakes? Is the Indian Ego too big for its own good? What is it about Indians in their 20s and 30s that makes them think so highly of themselves?

Note: I’m going to sound very holier-than-thou in this article.

There is a trend seen with a good portion of our country’s population – a trend of entitlement and self-importance. If you’re confused or already annoyed by what I’m insinuating, let me clarify – “Tu Jaanta Hai Mai Kaun hoon?“* Continue reading “Use Cases of the Indian Ego”

4 Primary Reasons to Talk | Appreciating

Appreciating 2016-02-12 – Talking about the primary reasons to talk, its purposes and its benefits – put down in 4 reasons.

Primary reasons to talk – t­his seems like I’m reaching, right? That I’ve run out of content to talk about? Well, no. This article is intended to serve two purposes. One, to dispel the act of taking the power of speech for granted, and two, to help children and young adults, as well as people who have difficulty speaking, understand the reasons to invest time in the skill of speaking.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating. Continue reading “4 Primary Reasons to Talk | Appreciating”

6 Reasons To Make Mistakes | Appreciating

Appreciating 2016-02-04 – Talking about making mistakes and how they’re okay and even beneficial to you – put down in 6 reasons.

Mistakes shall be referred to as “mitsakes” for the purpose of this article. This is for the exercise of teaching myself that not everything needs to be perfect and I’m allowed grammatical and other mistakes.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.

It is borderline shameful how we scare and belittle each other for making mitsakes. It is even more shameful when we espouse the virtues of making mitsakes but immediately chastise each other for making them. It is because of these paradoxical statements that we confuse and alienate people, especially children.

The realization that you can in fact mess up, therefore, needs to come from the self. Well done on taking a step in the right direction and looking up an article like this. Continue reading “6 Reasons To Make Mistakes | Appreciating”

Appreciating the Body Clock

Appreciating 2016-01-20 – Talking about Body Clock and the importance of sleep cycles. Also discussing my relationship with sleep.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.

As I write this at 2 AM, I feel the irony of my actions in my torso. My appendages are protesting, asking for the sweet relief of sleep. Continue reading “Appreciating the Body Clock”

Appreciating Empowerment

Appreciating 2016-01-13 – Talking about Empowerment and breaking through a sense of failure. Also discussing women empowerment through choice.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating. Continue reading “Appreciating Empowerment”

Appreciating The New Year

Appreciating 2016-01-06 – Talking about New Year’s day and new year parties.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.

Here we are again. You’ve been here before. It’s the time of year when you convince yourself that you are the paragon of discipline and consistency.  Continue reading “Appreciating The New Year”

Appreciating a Uniform

I discuss the psychological and social benefits of uniforms. | Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things. Welcome to Appreciating.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.

I studied for 17 years in two Catholic institutions – 2 years of kindergarten plus 12 years of school at Don Bosco school, Kolkata, and 3 years of undergraduate study at Christ University, Bangalore. In 17 years, I have donned several uniforms. In doing so, I’ve found some great advantages in doing so, and I’ve also found answers to shoot down the issues people have with uniform dress code.

For me personally, the biggest advantage has to be of the psychological advantage you gain over yourself. Clothes maketh the man, right? The way you dress has a direct effect on how you behave, and you begin to associate the behaviour with the clothes. e.g. shorts might instantly bring up thoughts of comfort, relaxation, home etc. Jeans might be associated with going hanging out, leisurely enjoyment etc. This correlation can be used to one’s advantage. By associating a shirt, trousers and a tie with productivity or working hard, you can effectively motivate yourself to work by simply changing your clothes. I have personally found this to be very effective. If this is the first you hear of it, try to identify the associations you have in your head and try to take advantage of them.

On a similar note, there is neatness in uniform. Both the tried and tested design of the uniform, the pleasant aesthetic, and the self-pressure to look good and take care of your uniform help build a satisfying aura of cleanness and wholeness that you would not find in dirty, sullied jeans.

The school uniform of Don Bosco Park Circus
My uniform back in school. I revered it, kept it clean, and prided myself in wearing it.

Side note: The priest in the centre of the image was the Rector (principal) for the entirety of my high school years. He taught us all many things, but a personal conversation I particularly remember with him was when he taught me the importance of walking without making a sound. My shoes do not need to make a noise every time they hit the floor. I value that highly.

The uniform is a responsibility. Whether one takes it as a fear of getting reprimanded by an authority, or as something to take care of and invest effort in, the student learns to appreciate responsibility none the less. In some ways, it is similar to giving a child a pet, you give them something to be responsible for and they learn to appreciate the gravity of such an undertaking.

The uniform is also a responsibility in another sense. A strict, rigid dress code (like the one pictured above) also invokes a sense of unitedness and brotherhood in people. If you don’t believe me, and think that students don’t respect each other whether they wear the same uniform or not, think back to a time when someone from another school would aggravate one of your own. Often, someone, if not most, in the vicinity would band together.

My class uniform, which we only wore on special events.
My class uniform, which we only wore on special events.

Side note: The person with me is my friend Puja. She doesn’t believe people when they tell her she’s pretty.

My college didn’t have a rigid dress code – we didn’t all wear the same thing, so that sense of unity was a little diluted in comparison. Instead we had rules about the type of clothing to wear, subject to department and occasion – shirts, trousers and ties for men, the same plus a selection of ethnic wear for women. Some classes, like my honours class, had a two piece suit for special events.

Finally, uniforms bring about a sense of equality. Race, religion,caste and financial well-being disappear under a uniform. The social parameters of your identity are wiped away, and a new defining element of identity comes through elements of uniform. While I was in uniform, I was not a brown, upper-middle-class Vaishya Hindu with ancestors from Haryana. I was, and am, a Bosconian, a Christite, and an Oracle employee.

Flags, emblems, badges and uniforms are all for that purpose. They wipe away the divisions we create amongst ourselves. They are there to be symbols of unity.

The most common arguments against uniform are that of comfort and of stifled self-expression. I fail to understand this. Cotton trousers are some of the most comfortable leg-wear I’ve ever worn. Shirts help me feel more important. What may be a matter of bad tailoring cannot be blamed on the entire concept of a uniform. And how is self-expression completely blocked by uniform? You are not in uniform all the time. Your expression need not be defined through your fashion. Uniforms give back with interest what they take away from your identity.

There’s any number of things that can be said here, but at this stage, it is better to open it up to discussion, rather than carry on with a monologue. Let’s discuss this in the comments below. 🙂

Hopefully this helps you appreciate the importance of a uniform dress code. If you know of something that needs to be appreciated more, please leave your suggestions for future posts in the comments below.

Keep an eye on this space for more Appreciating same time next week. Next week’s post is about “Obsessive Mothers”.

Appreciating a Father

Appreciating 3 – About fathers. | Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things. Welcome to Appreciating.

 

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.

In a sexist world skewed against women, mothers occupy a relatively more revered position as caregivers, protectors and providers. In contrast, fathers, while often getting some credit as the strongest man in a child’s life, largely go unappreciated because the focus, not undeservedly so, is more towards a mother.

Barring the absence of a mother, or the presence of an abusive one, fathers get the short end of the stick. While it is true that children tend to gravitate towards one parent, there needs to be a healthy amount of respect for and communication with both parents. Since Father’s Day is this Sunday, I thought it is a good time to appreciate my father, and fathers in general.

At the time of writing this, I was only a couple of days removed from watching the new Hindi movie ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (tr. ‘Let the Heart Beat’), I appreciated the movie for its multi-layered characters, and while the movie shoved in our faces the otherwise subtle traits of the characters’ personalities, it was a far cry from the typical one-dimensional, stereotypical characters in the Indian film industry (colloq. Bollywood).

Note: Spoilers in the following paragraph.
What struck me about Anil Kapoor’s father character was the tensions and fears that he’d vent by being overbearing, and by making others around him feel lesser, though most of the time he’d do it unintentionally. His worries about his business translate into the pressure he puts on his son, and the snide remarks he makes to his wife. He also takes his daughter for granted, being of the old-school, outdated way of considering a daughter as “paraya dhan” (tr. “Others’ wealth”, “Estranged money”)*. It is therefore very satisfying, very cathartic, and on a personal level, very therapeutic to see his redemption when he apologizes to his wife, stands up for his daughter, and puts himself in harm’s way to let his son have a measure of freedom. In three scenes, he goes from a tyrannical dictator and a conniving businessman to a caring husband and a protective father. Perhaps the reason he resonated with me so much is because he reminds me of my own father.

My father is not oppressive, but his language sure is. It has taken me the better part of eight years to understand that. He means well, and he is much more world-wise than I gave him credit for, but his manner of speaking and some of the words he uses get on my nerves very quickly. He is also quite overbearing, and he feels this need to get involved with and solve every problem that he remotely comes into the vicinity of. The problem is that he’s too short-tempered to do anything but dismiss it.

For the longest time, I couldn’t stand my father. He came across as controlling yet distant, obnoxious and uninformed. It was when I moved out (to study in Bangalore) that the situation improved slightly. The distance meant that I could cut him out if his personality became too much for me. That allowed me to start appreciating his better traits, and I started talking to him a lot more when I had begun job-hunting. As my sister pointed out to me once, I have a complex where all I want to do is impress him (I hated her for it), so it made sense that I consulted him during that time.

This past month, my relationship with him crossed a certain milestone. I am now able to comfortably talk to him about things. Although I have to manoeuvre the conversation in particular ways to get my points in, it is a far cry from several years ago, when major conversations would end in tears. This improvement helped me, in part, overcome a bad depressive state, and I felt good enough to start blogging again after a gap of three months. I think that in itself speaks volumes.

Now as Fathers’ Day approaches, I’m going to send him something, because I know he likes and expects a gift, but is too proud to admit it, and obviously won’t ask for one.

Hopefully this helps you appreciate the importance of a father figure. If you have a story about a father figure, let me know in the comments below. Suggestions for future posts are welcome. 🙂

Keep an eye on this space for more Appreciating same time next week. Next week’s post is about “Uniforms”.