Hey, it's me, Shreya :)
It's my birthday tomorrow.
You know, the day I'll be turning a year older, a year wiser (and I think a year more aware of the lengths of my stupidities)... yes, it's that day tomorrow.
Frankly, it doesn't feel like my birthday yet. I mean, it's over 40 degrees in Dubai and I feel like I'm in the middle of May. If I were back home in Bombay, my birthday would have been at least 2 months away, in the midst of the heaviest possible rains. But now it's less than 5 hours away. How strange...
Today I want to share some thoughts/ reflections/ learnings/ observations with you. In no particular order, here are 21 of them from the last one year:
- Contrary to popular opinion, authenticity is not everything. Along with being authentic, you need to be intentional in life. Without intention, you will drift, even become stagnant, and just keep hanging by the thread of "But but I need to stay true to myself..." Be intentional with everything you think or do.
- No one is "sorted" in life. Social media might make it look like they are. The way they conduct themselves in real life might also make it look like they are. But everyone has their own battles and demons. Don't make the mistake of assuming someone is "perfect" because they look so "sorted."
- Health comes first - Mental, emotional and physical. Health is one of the few things that money cannot buy. (Yes, money could pay your hospital bills, but even for that to work, your body needs to be strong enough to fight for itself.) Eat right, breathe right, move everyday, sleep well, and prioritise your health.
- You should trust yourself the most in this entire world. You should be the first person you can think of who will never disappoint you. And the only way to do that is to stick to the promises you make to yourself, give it your best, and not let yourself down.
- "Vibe" is a real metric to consider when you are meeting new people or facing new situations. The energy people radiate and how their energy radiates with you - it's not something to be ignored. Your understanding of vibes may not be accurate yet, but it will become more so with time. Just be aware of it.
- The only real way to eliminate stress is to get rid of anything that is causing you the stress. That could be spending more time to take action and get something done, or it could be learning to let something go. Either way, get rid of it as soon as possible.
- "How was your day" is a good question to ask others. "What did you do today?" is a better question to ask yourself. As time goes by, aim to increase the quality of the list of things you did in a day.
- There is nothing to "figure out." You figure something out and you realise it’s not what you wanted to figure out. Or you figure something out and realise it’s all still messy anyway. Just do what you've got to do, every single day, for months and years together. You will learn along the way and understand things better each time. And one fine day, the results will show.
- Move physically in some capacity every single day. And no, it does not mean only going to the gym. Dance, swim, play a team sport - Move in any way you like.
- Letting go of anything at all, people, situations, mistakes, experiences… is in your control. It is a conscious decision you must make and act towards. Rather than trying to hate these experiences, become indifferent to them. That's where the real mental freedom lies.
- I realised I am most productive under pressure. It was great to know I am capable of getting things done even with all the pressure. But I unknowingly started creating this unnecessary pressure for myself before getting anything done. Working under pressure is okay - but don't turn pressure into a prerequisite for taking action and/or making progress.
- Call your parents, siblings, family, friends often, even if only for a few minutes. You need them in your life - To help you overcome the bad, and also to be there to celebrate the good with you. They need you in their life too. Be there for eachother.
- Everything is your fault. Take responsibility for every single thing in your life. If you mess up, it's your fault. If you don't do it, it's your fault. If you do it but don't get results, it's your fault. The best? If you succeed in it, it's still your fault. EVERYTHING is your fault.
- Contrary to what social media makes you believe, there is so much good in the world. There is beauty, happiness, love, purity, honesty, loyalty, trust. There is something worth fighting for. All these things exist. You need to believe they exist first, only then will you be lucky enough to experience them and appreciate them.
- Keep things to yourself. Not every single thing you eat or goal you set or conversation you have needs to go online. Privacy is powerful and empowering. Stay private.
- Do something anti-productive regularly. This means doing something with no end goal in mind; no purpose other than for the sake of doing it in that moment. Add some sort of anti-productivity to your routine, and you'll manage to keep yourself sane even during the tough times.
- Make as much money as you possibly can. Money does not solve everything. But it does solve problems that can be solved with money (which is still a large chunk of problems.)
- Listen to your body. Every night that you don't sleep well; every morning that you don't have your usual appetite for breakfast, your body is trying to tell you something. It needs help, it needs "fixing." Don't ignore these subtle signs.
- Ask for help. When you are struggling, share it with those you trust. No matter how strong you are, you don't need to face everything alone.
- Always keep creating. Content, ebooks, newsletters, art, music, memories... Create for yourself; create for others. Create to publish online; create in privacy. Create anything you love and enjoy, and keep creating it. Creation will keep you alive.
- A lot of what is passed as humour on social media is self-deprecating. And it is a cope. Don't fall for it. None of these thoughts are healthy or normal for us to experience or celebrate.
That's all from me this week.
Thank you so much for caring about what I write, create and share with you online. I appreciate your love and support so much. Thank you.
Oh, and, yes it's my birthday, but I have a gift for you: All my ebooks are 30% off until tomorrow 4th July, 11:59 PM IST.
Click here and use the code "BDAY" at checkout.
(Or click this link: www.gumroad.com/shreyapattar)
See you next Sunday.
Lots of love,
P.S. If you'd like to share anything about this email and the 21 reflections I've shared above, just hit 'Reply.' Talk soon :)