Thursday, 22 September 2016

How Being Selfish Changed My Life !

I remember as a kid, when I was asked what do you want to be I always said "Happy!". And now, even after all these years, that's exactly what I want. It may sound a bit silly and unambitious but I want you to think about it for a while. Everything we do and work for is basically to be in a state of "happiness". But usually this happy phase is very elusive and doesn't last long. I was told that being a good person and doing selfless act gives immense satisfaction to oneself. So I tried it and it did make me happy (initially) but it was really tiresome to be nice! And all that selfless act didn't really work out because no matter how hard I tried, I was always disappointed by people. And that's when it struck me - being selfish is our true nature! Once you become aware of this tiny fact, everything changes!

You see, when I say selfish I don't mean being rude or mean person. It's just that we love ourself the most and our actions are driven by our own interest in mind. Let me give you an example, when I do anything for my husband it is because "I" love him. You would have noticed that when you love someone, you care about their interests and you do anything to keep them happy. So by keeping your loved ones happy you are just keeping yourself happy! In fact, the whole term "listen to your heart" is a way to tell "keep yourself happy" which if you really think about it is pretty selfish in nature.

Once you realize that, at the end of the day whatever you did is for yourself, you don't get disappointed. Selflessness and selfishness are just two sides of a coin. Classic example is unrequited love, where you continue to love someone knowing you won't be loved, why? Because your heart won't have it any other way, you do what you want regardless of anyone else.

Often the cause of our sadness is chores we have to do against our wish, or so it may look to you. For example, all you want to do is sleep but there is a family gathering and you are "forced" to attend. Truth is no one has forced you to do anything, yes if you don't go your family will be upset and THAT bothers YOU! So you are going because you don't want to be upset over the issue. Most of us are brought up with some moral values and social norms, breaking which causes us discomfort and often when we complain about being forced to do things, it is this discomfort we cause ourselves which we are worried about.

Now let me warn you, my next point may offend some and truth be told, i'm not very comfortable talking about it too. But alas! sometimes harsh things needs to be discussed. Why do you think we mourn when someone close to us die? For the deceased? of course, we regret the life they are going to miss out. But I think we mourn for ourselves more than anything else. We feel sad because we miss the gone, and the life WE have to live without them.

I think what we should desire is not selflessness, on the contrary if we love and care more, unconsciously we would make sure it is in safe state. Half the problems in the world are unresolved because no one cares about it.

So next time, when you have to wait for someone an hour, don't get angry but remember that it was YOU who choose to wait for whatever reason (maybe you love them too much or you genuinely believed they had a reason). But at the end, it was your will and no one else. Happiness doesn't always come from fancy things, sometimes it comes from subtle moments. Like knowing that you are not forgotten, that you are loved and cared for, if not by others but by yourself.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Why I want to be an Artist ?

It's my dream to become an artist. I am not sure when this love affair with art started but from past one year it's been pretty serious! So yesterday when I was asked by someone "Why do you want to become an artist?" I thought that's going to be easy right? Wrong.

I actually had a really tough time framing my answer. I had all these reasons coming in my mind but nothing which could exactly express my true feelings. You see asking someone why do you want to do it, is like asking why do you love? You could give countless reasons about what you like about a person, but that's just an excuse you come up with after you are in love with something/someone. Truth is you don't pick with whom you fall in love, you are pulled to it like a tide to an ocean! Even if you try hopelessly to ignore, there is no escape.

Although I can try to explain what I love about it. Imagine you are walking across a road and you see something beautiful, you are so happy and moved by it that you feel a need to share it with your loved ones or friends. So you take a picture of it and share. Now in this case the medium is photography - which is a kind of visual art. But sometimes, you see things which other can't (not in a spooky way). I mean an artist can find beauty in things which are often overlooked by common people. For example when you look at a painting of a flower, you are not looking at the real flower but an artists interpretation.

Like a writer, an artist is telling you a story. Sharing his/her most personal and intimate emotions with you, only difference is that in the art world there is no rule. I think an artist gets more freedom than anyone else in the world! In the real world, sky is blue and fishes swim in water but for an artist it can fly high in a green sky! I know for most none of this makes any sense, but sometimes it need not.

You see in this practical world, where we live to survive and make life more and more efficient, arts may not fit in. Of course an artwork is not going to feed you or provide shelter (for most). In fact, you can live an absolutely comfortable life without ever laying an eye on an artwork or listening to music. But is that what we should aim for? As human beings we are gifted with this unique ability to appreciate subtle things in life which are beyond "surviving". Unlike most of the other animals, we have needs beyond physical, we need to feed our mind and soul. We shouldn't be satisfied by just surviving life like a rat on the street! We should explore our potential and have pride in those differences which makes us different than any other species on this planet.

So why do I want to be an artist? I don't know. I don't know why I love art or why it pulls me towards it even though  I when tried to stay away. I honestly tried loving engineering/software or anything "practical" which would help me earn some decent money! But I failed, quite miserably (just like I failed to love coffee!).

 That's when I realized, that when you love something wholeheartedly all you can do is embrace it and let it take you wherever it wants. Be an artist at heart and let your life be your spectacular masterpiece.