July 2021


Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing is a form of self-expression that can be used to express thought, ideas, musings, rants, entertain – you can either write what is worth reading or do what is worth writing about. Writers, write, bloggers blog and creatives create. The hardest part of any creative process like writing is starting: You do not need to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

Here are the top 30 quotes on writing:

Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold. Day after day, week after week, stage by stage, the object is cleaned, groomed, treated, healed, and finally enhanced. Nowadays it has also become a well-known therapy metaphor for resilience. Personal Development Coach and Blogger Céline Santini explore the art of kintsugi in all its facets.

Kintsugi is the art of exalting past injuries. The Way of Kintsugi can be understood as a kind of art therapy, inviting you to transcend your struggles and transform your personal hardships into gold. It reminds you that your scars, visible or invisible, are proof that you’ve overcome your difficulties. By marking your history, they demonstrate you’ve survived, and they enrich your soul.

This ancestral technique, developed in Japan during the fifteenth century, consists of repairing a broken object by accentuating its cracks with gold—instead of hiding them. But the philosophy behind it goes much deeper than a simple artistic practice. It has to do with the symbolism of healing and resilience. First taken care of and then honored, the broken object accepts its past and paradoxically becomes more robust, more beautiful, and more precious than before it was broken. This metaphor can provide insight into all stages of healing, whether the ailment is physical or emotional.

 Psychology Professor Dr. Jean Twenge and social psychologist W. Keith Campbell, known for his research on narcissism, chronicles American culture’s journey from self-admiration to the present-day corrosive narcissism that threatens to infect us all. They highlight strategies for identifying narcissism, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it or manage it where we find it.

A narcissist has an overinflated view of his own abilities, similar to the kitten that sees himself as a lion on the popular poster. Narcissists are not just confident, they’re overconfident. In short, narcissists admire themselves too much.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Life is short, we are all supposed to know that but unfortunately, we don’t. My first vivid recollection of grieving due to the death of a loved one was when I lost my paternal grandmother in 1998. I wept for a couple of days and kind of moved on eventually as we all do. I have lost 3 of my grandparents, recently my mum ( 2019) and my closest cousin (2013). The degree of my grief was kind of based on their age, my closeness to them, and the stage of life I was at the moment of their death.

   What these deaths have taught me is that no matter how long I live, I am going to DIE too. Death is the ultimate equalizer in life – The old, young, sick, healthy, slim, selfish, famous, selfless, healthy, narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, cheerful, depressed, gregarious, everyone is going to DIE at some point. The late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs quipped in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

Most of us lead our lives like we are coming back (Jesus), would live longer than Methuselah, like we are promised tomorrow, hence we delay, procrastinate, temporize, stall, we overestimate what we can accomplish in 10 years, and underestimate what we can get done in a year. We say to ourselves “Someday I’ll“, we wait for the perfect time, the perfect mate, the perfect weather, business environment, job, career move, you name it. Knowing that we are all going to DIE, I wonder what we are waiting for.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world; most people just exist.” -Oscar Wilde

Mental Conditioning/ Programming

One of the greatest challenge for most of us is that while growing up we have been mentally conditioned and socially programmed with self-limiting belief systems such as You are here to pay bills, amass worldly possessions, Go to school, get good grades, find a suitable mate, procreate 2 or 3 kids, pay your mortgage, stay in that location for the next 25 years while working for organizations you are not excited about with colleagues and bosses you can not stand, save for retirement till 65, get ill at 70 and DIE before your 85th birthday if you are lucky to live that long.

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown

Your Time Here is Limited.

  The average life expectancy in developed nations like Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland is around 84-85 years while the life expectancy in third world nations like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Yemen is around 51-65 years. If we use developed nations’ life expectancy as a case study, the average human would live approximately 30,000 days (84 years x 365 days) = 30,600 days. As short as these days are, we still waste it on trivial issues because we think we would live long and we still have time.

Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.” — Voltaire

 We spend one-third of our lifetime sleeping – 10,000 Days

We spend around 3,500 – 4,000 days working

On average we spend half of our lifetime sleeping, working, and commuting.

What do we do with the remaining time- We gossip, spend endless time surfing the internet and social media comparing our lives with those of our family, peers, and friends, we fight, litigate, have fun. recreate and little time examining our time here or deliberately working on our legacy.

“An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Most of us live a life of quiet desperation tiptoeing towards our graves. We follow and adhere to the scripts and belief systems handed to us by our parents, school, religion, peers, society, media, and the internet. We do not take the time to slow down and smell the roses. We are busy doing nothing, rushing through the maze of life like rats. As Lily Tomlin observed, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” Why become a rat when you are supposed to be a lion. As the African proverb says “The lion and sheep may lie down together but the sheep won’t get any sleep”. You are here to be extraordinary, stop settling for less, please, Go do epic shit.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

Social Media is Messing You Up

Social Media is by far one of the greatest innovations in the past 50 years and, like any invention, can be used for advancement or used for unintended purposes or consequences.  As with any innovation, Social Media is also beginning to mess us up as a generation with rampant division, misinformation, fake news, depression, wasted time online, decreased face-to-face communication, suicides. Lazy thinking, fakeness, narcissism, cyberbullying, to name but a few. As Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once quipped, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

Social Media is one of the major time waters for most of us as we prioritize sharing over creation, likes over self-esteem, retweets over self-care, Instagram stories over self-growth, and personal development. We are constantly comparing other people’s well-curated highlight reels to our own life. Instead of becoming of service to our community, we are obsessed with how we are perceived by the outside world. We spend an average of 1,000+ hours on social media/internet, which would amount to around 50,000 hrs (5-6 years) spent online.

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

“It may have short ears and it may have long ears; it may have a lot of hair and it may have no hair at all; it may be brown or it may be gray; but if it’s big and has tusks and a trunk, it’s always an elephant.”

We all deal with manipulative, narcissistic, and people with personality disorders on a daily basis at work, marriage, family, and life in general. According to Dr. George K. Simon: “Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it.  Often those they abuse are only vaguely aware of what is happening to them.”

When you’re being manipulated, chances are someone is fighting with you for position, advantage, or gain, but in a way that’s difficult to readily see.

Although the extreme wolves in sheep’s clothing that make headlines grab our attention and pique our curiosity about what makes such people “tick,” most of the covertly aggressive people we are likely to encounter are not these larger-than-life characters. Rather, they are the subtly underhanded, backstabbing, deceptive, and conniving individuals we may work with, associate with, or possibly even live with. And they can make life miserable. They cause us grief because we find it so hard to truly understand them and even harder to deal with them effectively.

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” -Steve Uzze

Multitasking is our tendency to split our attention on more than one task or activity at the same time. It is a concept emanating from the computing world -the execution by a computer of more than one program or task simultaneously. Multitasking is a great lie we all tell ourselves, we feel we can juggle 5 things at the same time, hence we open 50 browser tabs, listen to music while surfing the internet, at the same time vacuuming, etc but the challenge is that we do not get much done because of this divided attention. Our brain is not wired to do multiple things at the same time.

It is only possible to do two things at a time if they require different cognitive capacities like reading a book & listening to music, driving, and talking on the phone (handsfree). We live in a society where multitasking is seen as a superpower – you see it in job descriptions, productivity experts encourage it, social media enables it and we groom our kids to be natural multitaskers. While multitasking, it seems like we are getting a lot done but in reality, it leads to reduced productivity and ultimately anxiety.

Title: Deduct Everything!: Save Money with Hundreds of Legal Tax Breaks, Credits, Write-Offs, and Loopholes
Author: Eva Rosenberg.

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, known as the Internet’s TaxMama®, publishes the popular website, cited by Consumer Reports magazine as a top tax advice site, and a LIFE Magazine Editor’s Pick. In Deduct Everything, Eva shares tips, tools, and strategies for saving money through legal tax breaks, credits, write-offs, and loopholes.

After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen before – households surviving on virtually no cash income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $ 2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to one and a half million households, including about three million children.

The authors argue that in-kind benefits like SNAP (food stamps) are important—even vital. Yet in 21st Century America, they are not enough—cash is critical. The book is about what happens when a government safety net that is built on the assumption of full-time, stable employment at a living wage combines with a low-wage labor market that fails to deliver on any of the above. It is this toxic alchemy, the authors argue, that is spurring the increasing numbers of $2-a-day poor in America.

A hidden but growing landscape of survival strategies among those who experience this level of destitution has been the result. At the community level, these strategies can pull families into a web of exploitation and illegality that turns conventional morality upside down.

“Stopping the war of perfection that’s happening in your head is just the first step. Once you’ve quit trying to be who you’re not, you can make an assessment of the things you’re doing with your life.”

Journalist and novelist Will Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the “selfie” generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now. Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately―because it’s us.

Growing up most of us get asked a well-intentioned but somewhat silly question by adults: What do you want to be when you grow up? Really! How is a 10-year old supposed to really know what they want to become at that stage of their life unless they are a genius? The Irony of that question is that most adults are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their adult life but they expect a 10-year-old to answer the question.

 Young children answer the question with much self-assuredness and confidence, believing that anything is possible. They come up with answers such as I want to become an astronaut, engineer, medical doctor, lawyer, footballer, or basketballer. They answer the question based on their mental conditioning, media programming, societal indoctrination, religious dogma, and most importantly they aspire to be like their parents, caregivers, teachers, and their environmental definition of success, prestige, and honor.

 From a very early age, we aspire to become what our parents expect us to be. Sometimes our parents live their lives through us, they want us to do well and conform to the dictates of the herd, the group, and the society. The challenge most of the time is that we live the role self instead of following our bliss to find our true north or true self. The result is a life lived in apprehension, anxiety, fear, obligation, shoulds, musts, guilt, shame, and conformity. Based on our answer to the “What do you want to become when you grow up question? We try very hard in adolescence to be consistent with that answer, even when the reality is now different. We continue to want to become a lawyer even though, we are a not passionate about the profession.

At every stage of our lives we make decisions that will profoundly influence the lives of the people we’re going to become, and then when we become those people, we’re not always thrilled with the decisions we made

So young people pay good money to get tattoos removed that teenagers paid good money to get. Middle-aged people rushed to divorce people who young adults rushed to marry. Older adults work hard to lose what middle-aged adults worked hard to gain. On and on and on.

The question is, as a psychologist, that fascinates me is, why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?” –Daniel Gilbert, Harvard Psychologist

  We get sucked into the societal lies that we are here to just pay bills, drop two or 3 kids, pay a mortgage for 25 years, save for your retirement till 65, by which time you would be dealing with health-related issues. We slave our youth in the rat race of life, busy paying bills, working in jobs that are not fulfilling for us and we settle for less than we can become. We continuously put on the mask, play the role expected by our family, society, religion, and the world at large. We are afraid of becoming the black sheep, scapegoat hence we lack the courage to live life on our own terms. We settle and do not follow or explore our passions and inclination to become great.

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin.

In our bid to live up to the expectations and obligations of the world around us. We use the mask as a coping mechanism: we pretend, lie, mask, create a persona, project, gaslight, fake it, and we do not show our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. We want to fit in with the crowd, the peer and societal pressure are very strong, hence we conform and settle for less than we can become. We project an aura of perfectionism based on the fear of failure in the world.

“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

There is a great story about the howling dog:

There is a story of an old man and his dog sitting on the porch. It’s hot outside. The old man is sipping on his lemonade, and the dog is sitting next to him, howling in pain.

The neighbor across the street hears the dog howling for several minutes, and his curiosity gets the best of him, so he approaches the old man.

He asks the old man, “Why is your dog howling in pain?”

The old man responds by saying: The dog is sitting on a nail.”

Perplexed, the neighbor asks, “Why doesn’t he get away from the nail?”

The old man takes another sip of lemonade before replying and says – That is because he doesn’t find it painful enough yet.”

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. – Maya Angelou

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else is a book by Journalist and Canadian Politician Chrystia Freeland. The book’s theme is economic inequality, lives of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and the rise of the global super-rich.

“This book is about both economics and politics. Political decisions helped create the super-elite in the first place, and as the economic might of the super-elite class grows, so does its political muscle. The feedback loop between money, politics, and ideas is both cause and consequence of the rise of the super-elite. But economic forces matter, too. Globalization and the technology revolution—and the worldwide economic growth they are creating—are fundamental drivers of the rise of the plutocrats. Even rent-seeking plutocrats—those who owe their fortunes chiefly to favorable government decisions—have also been enriched partly by this growing global economic pie.”