In the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy, and humiliation. — Alain de Botton
The demand for online courses industry has shot through the roof.
In 2015, the global market for such courses reached $107 billion. Just two years later, the market grew to $255 billion — a whopping 138 percent growth within 2 years!
But there’s something more. And it’s not good.
A study revealed that the average completion for Massive Open Online Courses — MOOCs — is a dismal fifteen percent.
I’ll admit. I’m…
In 1896, Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda delivered a series of lectures in New York.
After one lecture, a journalist in New York sat down to interview him.
The journalist said, “Sir, in your last lecture, you told us about Jogajog (Contact) and Sanjog (Connection). It’s really confusing. Can you explain?”
Swami Vivekananda smiled. Seemingly deviating from the question, he asked the journalist, “Are you from New York?”
“Yeah,” the journalist said.
“Who is present at your home?”
The journalist felt Swami Vivekananda was trying to circumvent his question by asking personal and unwarranted questions of his own. …
In the movie The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle goes to various lengths to get her hands on Clean Slate, a computer program that can delete identities from databases around the world. In the process, she ironically ends up doing things she regrets, including presenting The Batman on a platter to Bane.
Kyle might be fictional, but her desires were real. She wants to wipe off her past and start afresh. (The beauty of fiction is that there are always hidden nuggets of reality in them.)
When I joined the corporate world, I was keen on climbing the ladder quickly.
The secret to achieving this was to be likeable, my seniors said, as did books and articles on the subject. But what did “being likeable” mean?
Did I have to appear smart? Did I have to establish my credibility? Did I have to say yes to everything? Did I have to do whatever it took for people to see me as a nice guy?
Nobody knew. So like everyone else, I made up my own answers. Unfortunately, many of them were wrong. …
Many people hate their lives. And hate is a strong emotion to feel for something as beautiful as life.
They don’t go through major trauma. In fact, their lives are what anyone would call normal. A stable 9–5 job, a monthly paycheck, a spouse, children, mortgage… But they hate it. And by association, they hate themselves.
For such people, there are two common remedy models.
The first is the therapeutic model, where they’re told (by others or themselves) that they’re sick. What torments them is a “condition” or “disease.” They rely on psychiatrists or spiritual gurus’ medicine or magic to…
Everything you think, say, and do, stems from one of two voices inside you. One is loud, the other is quiet.
The loud one is fear. The fear of failing. The fear of not getting what you deserve. The fear of what people think. The fear of loved ones leaving you. The fear of dying alone.
This voice is so loud it drowns out everything else. It makes people angry, jealous, stressed, anxious, paranoid, vengeful and egoistic. They look for the nearest escape when they face a challenge.
They call upon popular excuses like “not good enough,” “suffering from creators’…
In a few years, I’ll turn 40.
Ask most people how they feel when they hit the magic number and they either say “older” or “wiser.”
We all yearn for wisdom. It comes when we can see the world for what it is rather than what we want it to be, when we curb our expectations and increase our acceptance. Wisdom brings happiness and peace — two emotions that can change any life regardless of the circumstances.
But assuming wisdom comes by default with age is like assuming you’ve grown fitter just because you visited the gym for two days…
I’ve had a horrible career in the corporate world. For almost nine years, it was just a flatline with a few minor blips.
It wasn’t because I was incapable. Peers and managers told me I had the potential to a lot of good work, but I squandered it all away.
There’s an excellent quote by Neil Gaiman that fit perfectly in my situation:
“When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
There are days when I dread getting out of bed. There are days that I start filled with energy, only to see them turn into a drag halfway through. There are days when I wonder why the clock appears to stand still when I’m burning out.
And I know I’m not alone in going through such days.
Many people attend one meeting after another but no work gets done. The project they spent days reworking on has exhausted them, but it just won’t finish. Or a child has been ill for days and there’s no sign of her getting better…
It’s late at night. I don’t know how late, but it’s that time when it’s too dark to see anything. It’s that time when you have to squint to even make out my silhouette. But you know I’m beside you without squinting because you can feel the warmth of my naked body on your left, and my heavy breathing as I rest after yet another unforgettable session of lovemaking.
You kiss my bare chest. Then you whisper my name to see whether I’m awake. “Vishal?” The name sounds so dreamy, so far away, but it pulls me to you. I…