[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] The Mayfly Effect //Surviving the After-Effects of a Viral Post//

You are sitting behind your computer screen, practically jamming the keysnot stopping for food or drink. NO. ALL THAT’S JUST SUPERFICIAL STUFF. You have FINALLY found your muse and YOU GUYS ARE CLICKING TOGETHER.

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You are in LOVE – with everything. Ideas seem to flow off your mind and onto the paper like water. You will NOT be stopped. YOU ARE THE KIND OF THE WORLD. YOU CAN CONQUER ANYTHING. This is the moment you have been waiting for. Your heart is bubbling with excitement. With each word you type, your confidence grows tenfold. It keeps on growing and growing and growing until it EXPLODES. 

You hit publish.

For the first time in your writing life, you feel confidentACTUALLY FUCKING CONFIDENT about your skills. You just know, deep in your heart, that people are going to adore your post. And so you sit back, relax, and watch notifications pop up on the screen every five minutes people are liking it, commenting on it, sharing it. YOUR BABY IS FAMOUS. OH SO FAMOUS. 

You hadn’t tasted success before this moment but now that you have, it feels like the most natural thing in the world, doesn’t it? The fame, the glory – ALL OF IT. It feels like you were born to this, like you are a natural. And let’s face it, you ARE! You are PRETTY FUCKING AWESOME! And the obvious popularity of your written word is proof of it. 

So, for the next 24 hours, you receive hundreds of compliments saying how absolutely talented you are and how they love the way you write. YOU ARE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD AND YOU LIKE IT HERE. You don’t wanna leave. E V E R.

You go to bed feeling all giddy, entertaining hopes of an even more exciting tomorrow. Your dreams – full of contentment. You are finally where you’d always dreamt of being. YOU ARE HAPPY. And so you should be.

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But the following day brings with it a promise of disappointment. No notifications now. If your phone chimes, it’s because your mumma wants to know whether you are still coming home for Sunday dinner, not because people are raving about your gorgeous writing skills. 

Your long-face and saddened eyes display every step of the breaking of your heart. You don’t understand how this could happen. Everything was going great yesterday, wasn’t it? People were in love with what you wrote and that gave you hope that MAYBE now they’ll discover your other writings too, that they’ll come to know how prolific you actually are and then THEY’LL NEVER WANNA LEAVE YOUBut they did, didn’t they? They liked what you wrote in a moment of utmost creativity and they moved on.

Ain’t nobody’s got time for your previous writing and stuff!! PFTTT!!

But you take it wayyy too seriously and now all your focus is on feeling that way again – THE STARDOM, THE IMPORTANCE!! You will go to harrow hell to bring that feeling home again. It’s become your drug now. YOUR OBSESSION. And you think that forcing yourself to write something EXACTLY the same way that got you in the spotlight is the way to do that.

But creativity doesn’t work that way. You used to know that when your mind was a humble being but it’s gotten too big for its own good in the last 24 hours and now it won’t listen to ANYTHING but it’s own ego.

Well, THAT’S NOT GONNA END UP WELL NOW, IS IT?
And it doesn’t!

Now, you are stuck in a rutnot being able to create ANYTHING because now you have this idea of how your posts are supposed to be INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO WHAT YOUR HEART IS TELLING YOU. 

That’s where it all goes downhill from, guys!

Going viral is all well and good and SO MUCH FUN but it creates totally unrealistic expectations in your mind – such that it’s not yet able to fulfill, and ESPECIALLY NOT IN THE STATE OF SO MUCH PRESSURE! And that’s the cue for creativity to go AWOL on you.

You must understand that although it was fun while it lasted, you need to focus on being yourself ALL THE TIME if you are to have a shot at being a most loved writer in the blogosphere. Know that your readers don’t want their minds blown away every single time you post something, they just want constancya steady stream of content to chew on. As long as you are doing that, IT IS ALL GOING TO BE JUST FINE, ALRIGHT?

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BE YOURSELF GUYS, EVEN IN THE FACE OF ALL THE STARDOMthat’s what’s going to set you apart and bring you the audience of your dreams.

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This has been my personal experience, you know! When my first ever post got MORE VIEWS AND COMMENTS THAN I’D EVER IMAGINED POSSIBLE, I went CRAAZZZYYY!!!

And I shouldn’t have. It’s all about the moment and as long as you enjoy what you are creating and doing all that you do with passion, people are going to adore it, no matter what!

DO YOU AGREEE!??? ❤
Have you experienced this before?

[A READER’S LIFE] How To Read a Book PROPERLY//My Reading Process//

I know. I know.

WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT READING ANYWAY?

Open the goddamn book, read the fucking words, pretend to be shocked/moved etc.

RIGHT??!!

Reading is an art. Each step needs to be savored, taken pleasure in. It needs to speak to your soul. Reading a book should incite a change in the deepest level of your being. AND THAT CAN ONLY HAPPEN IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

Luckily for you, I am here to enlighten you lost souls on how to properly read a book and this I will do by giving you a sneak peek into my own reading process.

Now, it may get a bit intense here but HEY! YOU KNEW WHAT YOU TOOK ON WHEN YOU CLICKED ON THIS POST, YEAH?!

SO NO COMPLAINING and let’s get to it.

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THE WALK

*sigh*

Having finished reading the very last page, I close the book. My mind is still in a haze, unable to process the surroundings I now find myself in.

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Seconds turn into minutes threatening to turn into hours when I snap myself out of a long lost dream, shake my hand off of the last shreds of the world I just left behind in the pages of the beautiful book lying on the bed. It’s a hard decision but a necessary one nonetheless.

I walk over to my bookshelf, admire the general splendor of all the hardbacks and paperbacks, bathe in the quiet reassurance of their utmost beauty and I just keep watching and watching….and watching…

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THE CHOICE

Awe turns into irritation real quick.

Standing in front of my magnificent shelf I become aware of all the brooding eyes staring right into my soul, trying to manipulate me.

EVERY SINGLE OF MY PRIZED POSSESSIONS BEG FOR AN HONEST CONSIDERATION. Making those sweet doleful eyes, crushing my heart.

 

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PICK MEEEE!!!

No wonder it takes me HOURS (sometimes even DAYS) to decide what to read next! But I turn my heart to stone and ignoring all their fictional pleas reach my hand out to rest on a random spine.

YES! THIS IS GOING TO BE MY COMPANION FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

With a heavy heart, I make my way backback to re-enter a world entirely different from my own.

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THE TRANSITION

Reality as I know it starts to fade away. The world around me crumbles – brick by brick- until it gives way to another dimension.

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Here, I am a captive of the writer’s words. They clutch the insides of my mind and pull me in. No longer am I aware of my previous life. I am living now in the minds of these wonderful, wonderful characterscrazy, flawed, AND MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN BEINGS THEMSELVES.

Yes. I LIKE IT HERE. Can I stay here forever? CAN I?

I am lost in a world of words and emotions and I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO COME LOOKING.

I FEEL SAFE.
I FEEL LIKE MYSELF.
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THE REVELATION

I have lived a full life here, have loved these new friends that I made just a few hours agoloved them like we’ve been together for eternity. Their laughs, their cries, their hopes and dreams, their fears, their shadowsall etched into my mind as if someone had carved them there with utmost care and precision.

But now these lovely people are about to reach the conclusions to their respective storiesall the hardships they had been subjected to are almost at an end. Their wait is over and the things they want are almost in their grasps.

And while that’s good news for them, it’s distressing to me.

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I will soon have to leave them – leave this beautiful world and all these wonderful people. I have come to love their lives more than my own but now I won’t be privy to the details anymore.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THEY WERE ALRIGHT TILL THE END? THAT NO DANGER BEFELL THEM AFTER WE PARTED OUR WAYS? HOWWW?!!?!

They will move away into the quiet recesses of their own little worlds, to live their own lives and I will become a mere stranger to themA ONE-SIDED LOVER who will continue to obsess over them for days, months EVEN YEARS TO COME!

I AM UNHAPPY. OH, SO UNHAPPY.

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THE HOPELESSNESS

Here I sit, with a closed book in my hands and tears welling up in my eyes.

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It’s agonizing to watch a worlda world that has made me feel more alive than I have felt in a LONG LONG TIMEfade away into nothingness.

It’s a tearful realization but I keep heart. I have faith because I know that these memories that I have stolen from the neverwhere world will now stay with me forever. Because I know that with a flick of the page I will be transported back to that magical world where everything will STILL BE THE SAME.

AHH!! SUCH A LOVELY PROSPECT.

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THE WALK

*sigh*

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Yes. I am back again, scratching my head, trying to avoid those puppy dog eyes!

GOD HELP ME!
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AND THIS, DEAR READERS, IS HOW YOU PROPERLY READ A BOOK!

*PHEW*

I also hope that all you people who think that reading is nothing but looking at words have changed your perception of it now BECAUSE IT IS HARD WORK!!!

*dies of exhaustion and a broken heart*

Soo..do you have the same reading process as I? What steps would you like to add/take away?!?! LET ME KNOW! I WANNA KNOWWW!!!

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Are Your Posts Good Enough?// COMMITMENT AND LACK THEREOF//

If you are asking this then chances are they are NOT. 

The constant little voice in your mind that keeps nudging you that you need to do better is usually correct in its assessment. You see, the thing is that once you start asking yourself ”AM I DOING GOOD ENOUGH?’‘, one of the two things can happen:

🌸You fall into a well of depression because although you agree with what your inner self is trying to tell you, you are directionless about what to do to fix it.

🌸You take the challenge head-on, work night and day, day and night to make sure that this voice never annoys you again.

If you fall into the first category, you need to ask for help. IMMEDIATELY. Don’t be ashamed. Everyone, at one point or the other, has gone through the problem you are facing right now. But the ones that got out of it are those who ASKED. Who didn’t care what people might think. THOSE are the ones that won.

They didn’t let the failure stick.
They did something about it.
THEY GOT BACK UP AGAIN!

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The second one, however, is a CONSTANT battle. Because once you make sure that what you are doing RIGHT NOW is perfect according to your standards, you will be faced with new challenges. And you have to be ready when they arrive.

Blogging is no different from any other thing in life.

You have GOT to be committed to it, even when it sucks.

You have GOT to MAKE time for it. We all have the same number of hours guys. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. The most proficient bloggers out there, killing it at everything every area of their lives, don’t have A SINGLE FUCKIN SECOND MORE than what’s been given to us.

It’s all about PRIORITY. 

THEY MAKE IT THEIR PRIORITY TO DO EVERYTHING TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITIES. OR THEY DON’T DO IT ALL. 

I could tell you that having fun is what matters. And it does. Absolutely. BUT those of you out there who want to take your blogs out of the ”hobby” phase and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING WITH IT have to let go of that mindset. That ”I won’t do it today because I don’t feel like it” attitude.

IT WILL DRAIN YOUR POTENTIAL. It will ingrain your mind with a defeatist approach and little by little this thinking will seep into every area of your life. IT WILL BECOME A HABIT.

I know because I have struggled with it for as long as I can remember and only very recently have been able to win against all that negativity and sluggishness. 

Persistence is something that all of us at some point in our lives struggle with. Some of us even have a record of not sticking with ANYTHING we try. 

NOT A SINGLE THING.

We give up too easily sometimes, guys. TOO FUCKING EASILY. But we need to CONSTANTLY remind ourselves that even hobbies have to be taken out of that FUN phase and exposed to hard-work – EVEN WHEN IT SUCKS – if we want to get something out of them.

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Hey, I am not saying there’s anything wrong with just having fun. But what I have a problem is that people confuse having fun with a lack of persistence, of commitment.

Does being committing to something mean it’s not fun anymore? DOES IT?

NO. FUCKING NO.

It just means that we have just entered the phase WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE A ROUGH RIDE to ensure that whatever comes after that, whatever uncomfortable circumstances we may face in the future, WE ARE READY FOR IT.

IT IS SUPPOSED TO GET VERY FUCKING DIFFICULT BEFORE YOU REACH THAT AUTO-PILOT PHASE WHERE CREATIVITY BECOMES YOUR BEST FRIEND. Where it becomes FUN again. 

So keep pushing. Don’t give up just yet, you beautiful people. Stop being okay with just doing GOOD ENOUGH! Because —

‘The thing about good-enough is that you don’t know if it’s enough.” – Greg Pitt

AND WOULD YOU WANT TO TAKE THAT CHANCE? Because sure as hell wouldn’t! NOT AGAIN. I have had my fill of inconsistency and I AM DONE. YOU SHOULD BE TOO.

Take your blogs out of the hobby phase. COMMIT TO BETTER YOUR WRITING EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Not for fame.
Not for the stats.
JUST FOR YOURSELF.

[A READER’S LIFE] The Crazy Book-Girl// Things I did as a kid that earned me this title//

Books and Me = inseparable.

For as long as I can remember.

I have loved them, lived in them, sometimes hated them as well BUT WE HAVE NEVER BEEN APART. Even during that phase when I used to despise the very existence of the written word – yeah that did happen to me as a teenager – I still ensured the well-being of all the pretties that adorned my shelf. 

And people noticed that. Called me obsessive.

BUT it’s not like I didn’t find leisure in other things as well! I was not the kind whose nose was stuck in a book every hour of every day. I liked being outdoorsplaying badminton/volleyball with my friends after finishing the homework, running, thinking of world-dominion. (AND WE CAME UP WITH SOME PRETTY CRAZY IDEAS! xD)

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But reading was still one of my FAVORITE things to do. And as my love for it increased, so did the number of extreme and crazy things I used to and I am here to share them with you. ARE YOU READY???!! 😉

(PLEEEEAAAAAASE DONT BE TOO SHOCKED!!!)

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I BEAT UP A GUY ONCE

BECAUSE….

he took one of my books out of my bag during lunchtime when I was out with my friends. IT WAS A JOKE, he said! A JOKE? What about the fucking heart-attack I suffered from when I thought it was lost? Add to it the fact that it was the illustrated collection of fairy tales that mumma had gotten for me as a present!

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I was fuming. THIS TIME HE WENT TOO FAR! So I punched him in the eye REAL HARD and took my book back. Sure, it got me a strict tete-a-tete with the principal, my parents were called, I was scolded A LOTBUT IT WAS ALLLLL WORTH IT!

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THE DINOSAUR BOOK

There were some books in our library that kids below a certain age weren’t allowed to read. And the ENORMOUS and ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS book about Dinosaurs and how they became extinct belonged to this category.  I saw a guy reading it in the library once and the next time it was our class’ turn, I asked our librarian for it. But upon hearing my request, she made the ugliest face imaginable and said,

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BUT I WAS DETERMINED TO HOLD THAT BEAUTY IN MY HAND NO MATTER WHAT!

So, I called my grandpa and told him all about it. As a kid, he was the one I went to with all my school-related trifles and this incident was no different.

The next day during our English period, I was summoned to the principal office and there he was, my grandpa, talking to her and I KNEW THAT MY DREAM OF READING THAT BOOK WAS GOING TO BE A REALITY REAL SOON because right then and there the principal wrote a note granting me permission to read whatever I book I desired.

 FORM THAT DAY ON, SCHOOL WAS A B0OK HEAVEN FOR ME! ❤

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MY BOOKISH NEEDS ARE ABOVE YOUR CHILDREN’S

My aunt used to have this little copy of Captains Courageous that I was drawn to. It was a very beautiful – faded and soo fucking cute! The very moment I saw it in her house, I knew I had to have it. So, I, doing my best puppy-dog eyes, convinced her to give it to me. I WAS SO THRILLED BY THE FACT THAT IT BELONGED TO ME NOW!  

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Fast forward to two years later. 

One of my cousins, my aunt’s daughters, asked for her mother’s copy of Captains Courageous. I led her into my room where it was proudly sitting on my night-stand. Upon seeing it, she asked me if she could have the book back now that I had already read it. I refused and offered to buy her a new copy but she wanted her mothers’ which was OUT OF THE QUESTION, as far as I was concerned. She cried about it but I DIDN’T BUDGE.

Listen, THAT BOOK BELONGED TO ME NOW. THOSE PAGES HELD THE MEMORIES OF ALL THE TIMES I HAD READ AND RE-READ IT AND THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GONNA GIVE IT UP.

(YEP! Now that I think about it, the title was well-earned. 😉 )

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart ObjectTAPING THE EDGES
(I still do this.)

Bent corners add to the beauty of used books but they are a blot to the beauty of the new ones. There is nothing I hate more than seeing the perfection of a new book being compromised and my little self used to feet just as keenly about this.

And to tackle this problem of ruined edges, I started taping the edges of all of my paperbacks AS SOON AS I BOUGHT THEM! Sure, it took a bit of time but IT RENDERED THE COVER INDESTRUCTIBLE (at least from rough-handling)!!

 

LOOK AT THEM!

These editions are 10 years old, have been read MANY MANY TIMES and they are still in impressive condition, aren’t they??!!

YEAH, THAT’S THE MAGIC OF TAPING THE FUCKING EDGES! ❤ ❤

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I know. I know.

You must be judging me for some of these. xD BUT WHAT CAN I SAY!???! That’s how I used to roll! And although I don’t make little girls cry anymore, I am not completely unwilling to throw the occasional punch should any threat may befall my precious paperback companions. 😉

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT MEEE!! I WANNA KNOW ABOUT YOUR CRAZY EXPERIENCES TOOOOO!!!
So, let’s talk.

A BOOK REVIEWER’S Prayer + Promise + Warning.

YOU MUST NOT READ MY REVIEWS for I will let my heart judge the words, without any inhibitions.

When I am holding a book, my mind is no longer the master. For it is my belief that once you let too much reason in, it muddies the effect the story has on you on a much deeper level. 

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Having read a book, I will jump straight into the review with emotions hanging over my head like a sword, threatening to destroy me lest I pour them out on the paper. It pains me to not be able to talk about what I read right away so I will always be very passionate and most insistent while talking about the merits and the faults of a story.

I will not be led by anything other than what my feelings dictate.

There will not be one shred of dishonesty in what I write. Everything will be in strict accordance with the feelings invoked and the thoughts reflected upon during the course of the reading. So you can imagine that it will, sometimes, prove to be a daunting read. And I am okay with that.

When the reader is wholly invested, in a book nothing but a true account of every movement of their mind, owing to the story, will ever give them satisfaction. So that’s what I do. My reviews are much too intense and hold true to only what I thought about the book, not influenced by anyone or anything else. In that way, they will be brutal, and forgiving accordingly.

You must not be in a delusion that you will be told a detailed account of what happened with whom, who did what, and how it all ended for them. No. The only things you will find in my reviews are what moved me, what incited feelings of passionate hate or ardent love, of ignorance and indifference or that of continuous awe. That’s all I can offer you by the medium of my humble writings.

But frankly, why would you want to know anything else anyway?

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Isn’t the real reason why we read book reviews to know what the reader FELT about it? Not what happened, but their REACTIONS to the said events? THAT’S the beauty of every single review out there, isn’t it? Their singularity, their originality.

You must not read my reviews for they will be an honest account of my shattering heart and all the reasons behind it.

They will be raw, overflowing with emotions, and you might then be inclined to suppose that I am blind to the faults of the book. I am not but to think so is your choice.

You must not read my reviews because then, you will HAVE to read the book concerned with as much an open heart and suspended belief as I did, to experience, IN IT’S FULLNESS, the story those pages hold.

YOU MUST NOT READ MY REVIEWS IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DO THAT.
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Such are my thoughts on review writing, how they should be and why a reviewer must NEVER be forced to do otherwise. Doing justice to a book, according to our opinions on it, is all we are required to do and THAT’S ALL WE WILL DO.

EVER.

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] A RAT RACE // Surviving in a World Where EVERYONE Wants to be THE BEST//

I don’t remember the last time I felt pure joy while reading a beautifully written blog post. I sure felt enchanted BUT my heart was impaired, just a little bit. With a hint of envy.

How are they writing such gorgeous things?

Why can’t I too?

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Such were the background thoughts that kept me troubled. And the sad thing is that I lost the chance of learning a thing or two from those amazing writers because I was too invested in my jealousy, that awful feeling clutching my mind in its trap – making me feel like I was doing something wrong.

The blogging world is as harsh as it is friendly. Sure you will find some awesome people here, writing beautiful things but you will also feel your heart getting corrupt as you will grudge them their talent. And then, you will try twice as hard to reach their level.

Now imagine that there are hundreds of bloggers going through this exact same process, thinking the exact same thoughts, taking the exact same steps. 

EVERYONE is in the race to become perfect. Doing their best. And then some. To reach the top.

When this realization strikes your mind, you become ruthless in your efforts, not even stopping to take notice of what you are missing out of in the process. 

My view, however, is a bit different now.

I like to imagine the world to be much more generous. I believe that THAT PEDESTAL AT THE TOP is wide enough for all of us to stand together and enjoy that unparalleled feeling of accomplishment.

And as far as I have seen, that’s the only way to surviveIf you start getting too competitive and forget to be kind, then you trample the dreams of others and trust me, building your own castles on the graveyard of someone else’s hopes and wishes is no way to live grandly. You will not be happy because there will always be a sneaking fear that someone might come from behind and knock you off. 

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But if instead of being nasty, you lend a helping hand to your fellow bloggers and friends, provide them with resources and advise them on the things that might help THEIR blog grow as well, then it won’t just be beneficial for them but for you as well.

No man is an island.

Together is the only way forward. We grow by helping others. And the road to success is wide enough to accommodate everyone. Then why not make some friends, help them grow and enjoy the trip?

Why make becoming successful a  tedious task when it can be so much fun instead?

Don’t you adore that feeling when someone you generously helped succeeds in their endeavor? The fact that you contributed to their success makes you feel lovely, doesn’t it? So why not support all those wonderful blogs – help them instead of being envious?  It doesn’t cost you anything. And it CERTAINLY WON’T AFFECT YOUR OWN SUCCESS! It will, however, add a hundred times to your personal satisfaction. DONT YOU WANT THAT? Don’t you want to feel lovely? Generous? Kind? Good? Beautiful? 

We are drowning in our dream of BEING THE BEST. The water is soo far up our heads that it has made our thinking all fuzzy. We have forgotten the very simple fact –

“THE BEST” isn’t a title that can only be awarded to one person. Hell, EVERYONE CAN BE THE BEST! And it’s when all of us are helping each other realize each other’s dreams that we become THE BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES.

Every single of us is trying our hardest to succeed, feeling exhilarated that we finally made it, but if we reach there with a rope made of twisted and broken dreams, our excitement will be short-lived because believe it or not, even at the top of the world, you need someone to share the view with you otherwise it’s just a hollow accomplishment.

You’ll soon become lonely and ultimately lose the passion that kept the flame burning because the reason behind that passion was a corrupt one – ENVY AND A DESIRE TO OVERTAKE SOMEONE ELSE’S SUCCESS. Such a hunger eventually subsides, leaving you aimless and devoid of hope.

Why condemn yourself to go through that?

[A READER’S LIFE] Confessions of a VERY picky, VERY moody, VERY stubborn reader.

Reading is a habit I formed very early in life. One of the very first books I read was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. That kid irked me in the beginning, to be honest. I only had the abridged version of the book and since I read it a very long time ago, I have forgotten most of what happens with him but there is ONE THING I DO REMEMBER and I REMEMBER IT VIVIDLY:

”Tom”
No answer.
”Tom.”
No answer

And then Aunt Polly just loses it!

Continue reading “[A READER’S LIFE] Confessions of a VERY picky, VERY moody, VERY stubborn reader.”