Why We Should Break the Safety Wall Around Us (to be Happy)

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. ” – Seneca

We all have build ‘safety walls‘ around us that are unconscious to us, and are strengthened over time. They determine what we can and cannot do, what we try and what we don’t. Almost all our actions are determined by these safety walls.

But rather than being safety walls, they are more of a trap where we are stuck in a state of presumed comfort and our each decision is determined by these walls. They make us believe that life is tough outside of these, and there might be unforeseen dangers. So unknowingly, and only in assumption of some ‘danger‘ we don’t risk going over these walls.

I have found myself in similar situations many times. No matter how many fake assurances I gave to myself that I was doing good, the fact is that when you are in your comfort zone, you are still while life is zipping by.

When the world is moving ahead and you are still, you are on a decline.

If we stay in this zone, over time, our excitement and energy levels begin to come down. We feel more and more lazy and tired each day, and our eating habits (and with it, our belly too) go out of shape pretty soon.

It might look like life is going on FINE, but in reality we all know that we are not moving ahead while our limited time on this planet is passing by.

Be Vulnerable

The first step towards breaking the aforementioned safety walls around you is to become aware of the fact that you are trapped in your habits. Are these habits and patterns are running your life on auto-pilot? Or are you in control of your life?

Once you are aware of this trap, you can take steps towards breaking these so called safety walls and explore the ‘real‘ world outside. If you have to really live (rather than just exist), go outside and be vulnerable – to your fears, anxiety and become comfortable with them. Only then you will feel liberating and peaceful.

Outside of these walls, what I have found is that there are opportunities rather than dangers, there is excitement rather than boredom and joy rather than frustrations.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. – Randy Pausch

Have Faith

When you step out of your comfort zone, there will always be a little uncertainty and fear. But consider that these are more of an illusion created by your brain rather than real, and move on ahead. Have faith in life and face your fears by taking small steps.

It will do two things. One is that you will realise that your fears were more perceived than real, and two, you will expand your comfort zone. Very soon you will be comfortable in situations you weren’t before.

Dream Big

In our safety zone, we all tend to believe that we have something to loose if we step out and try something new. But take a moment and think, what do we have to lose?

We all have our limited time on this planet, and nobody knows when ours is ending. Life is a gift given to all of us, and when we stay in our safety walls, we are just waiting for it to get over rather than truly enjoying whatever it has to offer.

So do something, almost anything you like and the way you want to do it and see what happens. When you let go of whatever is holding you back, you will experience what real freedom and being alive is about. So dream big, and go for them, step by step.

If you win, you WIN! If you loose, remember that you didn’t had anything to loose anyways!

Stay Young, Die Young

I have always felt that age has nothing to do with being twenty or sixty. I can show you many 80 year olds more energetic and active than many 20 year olds. When you step out of your comfort zones, you experience being alive and that is what being young is.

Wouldn’t you want to stay young all life and die a young man, irrespective of your age? We should all strive to live our lives waiting for Mondays rather than Fridays, waiting for mornings rather than evenings, and waiting for beginnings instead of endings.

Each day is a gift, and we should be grateful for it everyday we wake up. Life is giving us this gift daily, and we must strive to make the most out of these gifts before they run out of. There is not a second to be wasted, not a moment to be spent without feeling alive.

Make out the most of what each moment has to offer. Because we never know when life will stop giving us this gift!

Keeping Faith Takes Courage

Around two years ago, I wrote an article on the importance of keeping faith in life and how it is very important to have faith, especially when the times are tough. I wrote about how these tough times can be life’s tests which will only make us stronger and wiser with time. In this article I want to write about why and how having faith requires courage.

To live faithfully means to live productively, but having faith is an act of courage which must be repeated hour after hour, day after day. Faith allows us to take risks in life, to go in the direction where the paths are unknown, and that is not easy for most of us. Faith also makes us ready to accept some pain and disappointments knowing that everything will turn out the best in the end. And it requires courage to all this.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

This courage comes from deep within the soul, and not from any kind of power or knowledge. It is the courage which is accompanied by a calm attitude, and is different from the courage required to declare a war on someone. It is not required to be physically strong or have a gun to have this courage, because it comes from faith. This is the courage of Gandhi, and not of Hitler.

This courage is required to face the setbacks and pains of life as a challenge which will strengthen us rather than treat it as something which should not have happened and which is unfair. This courage begins with small daily acts of faith, when we see that things are not going our way. It begins when you get struck in a traffic jam, and it only increases in magnitude when we have an accident, or loose a loved one. To have faith means to commit oneself to an act without any guarantee that our actions will produce the desired results or not.

We all strive for safety and comfort, but whoever goes too far in this aspiration and always seeks security doesn’t have faith. If we make different systems for our defense and security, then we ourselves become a prisoner due to the lack of faith and courage. It takes courage to have belief in ourselves, certain values and life itself and to take the plunge without knowing the end result.

A famous quote by Ray Bradbury so wonderfully says – “You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.”

The Importance of Keeping Faith: In Life, God, Destiny, Yourself

I am personally against the idea of God and the existence of a super being. Yet I am writing this article about the importance of keeping faith, be it faith in your religion and God, in life itself, or in yourself. Life can be strange, and it can make people change, and it has been the same with me. I have always been flexible and ready to change myself and my thinking about any aspect of life, and the last couple of years have certainly made an impact in the area of faith.

I was a god-fearing and ritual-following kid in my childhood. I can still recall a few instances where I followed superstitious rituals without questioning them only because my family used to follow them. But as I started to grow up, I saw my parents struggle in their finances, health, and business, day after day, year after year. I witnessed my father starting and closing down one business after another, and saw him being deceived by good friends and business partners. I saw my mother doing everything from handling multiple jobs, teaching us brothers and taking care of the entire household only to get sick with asthma, arthritis and later cancer. And all this while they had complete faith in GOD. This was enough to break my faith in the existence of God or any super being.

But I now think that I was too naive back then to understand the deeper meaning in what all was happening. All these years of struggle have made my parents what they are today. The tough times were life’s tests which made them stronger. And what I totally missed was how this childhood shaped me. It made me tougher, mature, and filled me with a desire to take on challenges in life continuously. And perhaps my childhood is the reason for my compassion and empathy towards the less privileged and weaker sections of our society.

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death

Life is a series of steps and milestones. Important events, whether positive or negative, mark these steps and our lives take a turn in a new direction. We always welcome the positive events, like marriage, a new job, or profits in business. But more often than not, we regret the negative events like the death of a near one, some major illness or some financial loss. We hold onto them and blame ourselves, others, situations, and sometimes even God.

What we forget is that everybody goes through these tough times. When we are going through these times, it is very easy to loose perspective and see only ourselves as the victim. In such times, having faith is very important. The faith which tells us to hold on, to keep our cool and maintain our strength and to wait patiently for better times. Even these negative events always have something positive in them, which we can not see at that point in time.

My mother says that cancer was the best thing that happened to her, but she never thought about it this way when doctors broke the news to her. But her treatment brought us closer as a family and helped clear a lot of doubts and misconceptions about many different people. It also made her see her priorities clearly as death was staring her in the face. It was only from her faith in God that she could gather the courage to fight cancer and emerge victorious, and three times at that. Similarly, we might not always be able to see the good coming our way in the future during a mishap or a disaster. We just have to keep our faith alive to be ready for whatever future riches life has in store for us.

As Steve Jobs said in his famous Stanford commencement speech, it is impossible to connect the ‘dots‘ looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking backwards. And so, in times of crises, it is very important to have faith that the dots will somehow connect in the future. The faith and trust could be in your destiny, God, life, karma or whatever.

For me, life was kind of shallow all those years I had lost faith. Each setback used to seem like a big conspiracy against me. And as humans, it is very easy to get into this mindset. And we only end up destroying our chances of future successes by holding on to these so-called setbacks. In Hindi, there is a popular saying, “Jo Hota Hai Achhe Ke Liye Hi Hota Hai“.. Now I realize it is not without reason we keep on hearing it so often from our elders.