One afternoon, months into the pandemic, I sat with my sister on the balcony playing Uno. The sun was scorching, someone was screaming on the streets and never mind the drilling that refused to stop in the building opposite to ours. But still, we had nothing else to do, so we played. One of us had the idea of playing battle music, you know, to tense things up a bit. But after a few shoddy games, most of which I lost, both of us grew bored. So we set out in search of something better to do.
I roamed around…
I see myself.
It’s usually in the few seconds after I pull my body off the bed, that I begin my game. Call it a movie, actually. Over the years, it’s only got more conflicted and chaotic. But that’s what makes a good story, right?
I do not remember ever willfully signing up for this game. Just something I have been playing ever since I started forming memories. Or maybe I started way back and I can’t recall any of it, anymore.
Either way, it’s a game I play fervently.
The rules of the game are simple.
There’s a universe…
It happens often.
At the moment, it makes perfect sense. I have a point to make. It sounds justified. Rational. I nod with certainty when I re-read the words I have poured out with utmost sincerity. It sounds like the truth.
“Of course it is,” I reassure myself.
I hit publish.
The words have left my fingers and are now imprinted on the screen, but the thoughts still linger on in my mind. Over time, the surety starts to wane. I encounter new viewpoints, stronger opinions, better explanations. On good days I realise that my arguments lack depth. On bad…
Why do we do the things we do?
This question might as well be etched on my skin. Call it curiosity, an obsession or insanity, but every time I decide to do something, I am always greeted with a one-syllable sound in my mind — Why?
Why? Why? Why?
It has its upsides, of course. Simon Sinek has a whole book on the importance of starting with why. In a world as loud and distracting as ours, your why determines your choices and actions. In a field of dust and distractions, it carves out a path. It pulls you out…
So it’s been five days into the new year, and, um, let’s just say it’s not quite ideal right now.
The habit streak didn’t last more than three days. The alarm was snoozed. Anxiety knocked down the entire door.
In. Out. In. Out.
There, there. It’s okay. We can start again. We will start again. It’s okay to stumble. It’s okay to fall right smackdown on your face, (avoid doing that literally though).
Just make sure to get up, dust off the mud and keep walking.
The habit streak broke? Start again tomorrow.
Said something unkind? Say something kind and balance it out.
Balance and perseverance are good friends. Befriend them.
It’s okay to stumble. Get back up again.
What story are you telling yourself right now?
Drop it. Let it go. Good or bad, it’s holding you back. Stories act as crutches. Hope is a handle. Anticipation gives you a rush of dopamine.
It feels good, at least in your mind. But it’s not worth it. There’s a world beyond your mind. Try living there sometimes.
Drop that story. You are more than a beginning and an end.
Let go of the stories you tell yourself.
If most things could be boiled down to their simplest forms, they would all be reduced to choices. As every second passes, you are being asked and constantly beckoned to choose. Even on days when it feels like you have no choice to make, you can still choose your perspective.
You could witness time withering away or you could choose to harness it. You may not be able to determine the consequences, but the choice will always be yours to make.
Every moment comes with a choice.
That’s how big Japan’s Pachinko industry is.
And if you’ve never been to Japan or read Min Jin Lee’s ‘Pachinko’, you are probably wondering– what the heck is Pachinko?
To answer that question we need to go back to 1924 when the Corinthian Bagatelle, a billiards-derived indoor table game was brought to Japan from Chicago. It became popular in candy stores to lure little children into spending more time (= more $$$) at the shops while they played with the arcade game. …
The skies stretch into eternity. The ocean is vast, the forests dense and the world too immense to be held in a fist. Unheard stories, unseen paintings and unexperienced moments abound. There are a million ways you could look at the same thing.
The water seems blue, but is it really? The sky is like a canvas of hues, but is it really?
There’s just so much in the world waiting to be known. There’s so much for you to find out, to figure out and to wrap your tiny head around.
You could never be right about it all.
Isn’t that glorious?
There’s always something waiting to be discovered. If you want to aspire, then aspire to be less wrong — a little less wrong every day.