Story of an Addict

I confess.

I am an addict. I am addicted to binge watching TV series and movies. I have even rewatched several TV series and I have lost countless hours like that.

Yes, entertainment is important but there is a limit to it. The entire weekend in front of a screen is not healthy.

Yes, its not officially an addiction, but soon it will classified as one. Since now I am atleast aware that it’s an addiction, always remind myself about it and whenever I see myself getting indulged in any TV series, I break all ties with my iPad. I know for sure that it’s a problem, I handle it the way I know best.

Think of a person who thinks it’s okay to binge watch. If you are one of them, starve yourself to check if there’s any craving for it. If the answer is yes, high chances are that you are also addicted.

Time is our most valuable resource and we should spend it wisely.

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Vipassana

I am near the end of the book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century I am near the end of the book by Yuval Noah Harari. This is the third book of his that I am reading.

Yuval Noah Harari is the author of the popular science bestsellers “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014)“, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018). While there is so much that he has talked about in his book he concluded the book with an explanation on how he has written these books.

Since the age of 24, he has been doing Vipassana (a type of meditation where the user concentrate on the breathing and the body sensation while meditating) for 2 hours daily. In addition to that, he goes on Vipassana retreat for 2 months every year. He shared in the book that all these insights have come from the introspection while doing Vipassana.

I have many friends who complain that they don’t have enough time to do 15 minutes of meditation daily, and here we have the best selling author who has brilliant insights on where we have been in the past and where we are heading in the future, and he manages to take out 2 hours daily from his super busy life to do meditation.

We all have priorities, the bitter truth is that we give meditation less precedence than everything else and it never becomes a habit.

4 Years of Meditation

For the last 4 years, I have been meditating for about 20 minutes a day. If you know me and think that this is how I have always been, you can not be more wrong. Meditation has changed my life for the better.

But enough about me lets talk about people who struggle while meditating.

They struggle because their expectation from meditation is that they want to become a zen master right from the beginning. They want a totally clear mind and when they fail to achieve so, they get frustrated and annoyed and just abandon the process altogether after only a few tries .

The picture above describe how I meditate till today.

For me, the idea is not to get a totally clear mind all the time. The idea is to train my mind to stay still as long as I can, and whenever the mind goes somewhere else bring the attention back to breath without getting frustrated.

We are living in an age where it is so easy to get pampered by technology. From binge watching Netflix to constantly refreshing Instagram feed in order to get the updates.

The mind wants pleasure all the time, and we now have so many ways to get that.

If not checked, the mind wants to consume everything, read all the blog posts, watch all the movies and TV series, get all the life hacks online, and still remains hungry for more.

Do you recall that feeling you get after binge watching a series over the weekend?

That’s the punishment for giving the mind too much pleasure in too little time.

Commitment

The idea is not to write something which gets a lot of eye balls, the idea is not to write something which is flawless.

The idea is to write from the heart every single day.

It may disappoint some people, some may say that the level of writing is degraded, others may say that I don’t write good enough anymore or I have run out of topic.

There are thousands of reasons not to write everyday, and there is only one reason why I should.

If I have committed myself to write everyday, I should do just that.

Book Review: Homo Deus – A Brief History Of Tomorrow

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It was a great book once again by the author Yuval Noah Harari, this book picks up from the present time and predicts the possibilities of the future. To tell you the truth it was pretty scary at times and it almost felt like a fiction but I the sad truth is that we are heading that way.

The books loosely revolve around the idea of algorithms and say that they will be in the front seat of the civilization, which is by the way already happening in case of searching(anything on the internet) and driving(google maps), in multiple occasions, he has shared such patterns.

He has also shared how we are changing ourselves to accommodate the fast-changing world and how that will affect us in the long run, (this particular bit was quite scary).

In short, as we are developing and our problems are diminishing (i.e. health, hunger, electricity etc ), but at the same time we are creating new sets of problems and we must at least acknowledge those problems. The book discusses those new problems and their possible solutions.

#AnIdeaADay

Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

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After a long time, I finally completed the book which I started long back, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. This book uncovers the decisions made during those fleeting moments which often get neglected otherwise. The author explains what the “gut feeling” actually is.

It may sound like a very small topic but those fleeting moments matter most when it is a matter of life and death. The author explains how police officers had to deal with this on daily basis and how difficult that decision is. There are many stories which discuss the events in the story, followed by the explanation of what actually have had happened.

Blink has a small topic overall but the author has shared some of the most dreadful events in history which got defined in those split seconds. It was an interesting read overall. I would give 3.5/5 rating to this book.

The Deadliest Species

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“We” are the deadliest species of all. But you might know that already! Sweeping all those animals to extinction was crucial for our survival and we wouldn’t have survived at all if our ancestors would have done anything different from what they did (30,000 years ago).

The author paints quite a picture in the book, “Sapiens” on how we killed millions of species which inhabited the world before the cognitive revolution took place. It doesn’t look nice nowadays as it was brutal and inhuman. But the world back then wasn’t a nice place too, it was hostile and sparing those species meant risking our survival. They basically it what they had to do in order to survive.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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Most of the books which I have read used to have direct application meaning I could apply whatever I read from the book my daily life and also write about it. In Sapiens things are much different, I am reading stuff that has happened 20,000 years ago. The author has described people with many different cultures who roamed the world thousands of years ago. It’s a kind of fun to read about and there is a lot to learn about the humankind in general but none of that stuff is shareable in a way that other people can learn from and apply it (like other books).

In that sense, “Sapiens” is a very different from the books which I have read earlier and I have very less to share on day to day basis. Right now the author is explaining why giants like mammoths and other animals in Australian megafauna vanished from the earth’s surface and how “we” became the new masters of the land. It’s a great story which we already know (thanks to our geography classes in high schools) but what the author is doing here is sharing the minute details of those incidents.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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source: wiki

The book “Sapiens” is very different from the book which I have read earlier. To write about things which are elaborated in the book is quite a challenge for myself. These are the things so trivial that we have never noticed them ever. The author is talking about how we have evolved over the millenniums. How religion came into existence and why it was important and crucial to our existence since the very beginning of the cognitive revolution.

What is the most trivial thing which differentiates between the Homo sapiens and everything else on the planet? How believing in myths and legends, and things which we have never seen or felt have shaped our existence. These are the things which we never talk about in a normal conversationbut they are kind of remarkably intuitive when I think about it and it all makes so much sense.

If this is just the start of the book, I am in for an amazing ride for sure.