The importance of keeping it real!
Are you a Millennial? Generation X? In the age group of 16-35? Read on. This is for you!
Most times I write about Architecture, Design, Interiors and Art. I stress the importance of good work, encourage people to have a passion, write How-to posts to transform your spaces and your homes. However, today, I want to write about the importance of transforming yourself, your mind space and your life. Here it goes!
Success – Money – Rat Race – Competition – Making it big – Goals – Targets – Expectations – Deadlines – Struggle – Crisis – Anxiety – Stress – Depression.
How many times do you think about the above things in a day? If not all, there are definitely atleast 4 of them constantly circling in your mind.
Millennials, the most judged generation of all time, is like everyone says, “Going through a phase.” We are judged by young and old, rich and poor, the World over. Our choices and decisions are scrutinized in social settings, social media and social subjects! We are constantly on the radar, and this feeling of being watched or observed is making millennials lose touch with their own realness and life. It has lead to a sort of fakeness, not only towards the World, but towards one’s own self. If it wasn’t enough to be judged by everyone, we judge ourselves too. In reciting the above mantra over and over again in our minds, we have created a bubble of unrealistic expectations for ourselves which when unfulfilled, leave us hollow and disappointed and constantly unhappy.
Millennials are under so much pressure from all directions, family, friends, teachers, elders, juniors, kids, strangers on Instagram, that in trying to please everyone, we have somewhere forgotten to please ourselves. It is a sad reality in today’s World, that instead of making ourselves happy, we struggle to meet everyone’s expectations and often fall short leading to low self confidence and even lower self esteem. We try to imitate the latest trends and social media challenges and keep abreast with the most popular series and comedians to have something to talk about in parties which will be Instagrammed and Snapchatted, just to appear cool. Also, just because I am saying this, doesn’t mean I am taking the high moral ground. I am equally guilty of all of the above. I mean, who hasn’t seen someone’s epic Red Velvet pastry story on Instagram and craved one? Who doesn’t long for exotic vacations akin to their friends’ snapchat updates? Who doesn’t wish they had cool hip friends like others when you see someone else’s reunion photos on Facebook? We all do. There is no denying that. We often torture ourselves for hours on end, surfing between these three social media outlets, feeling how not happening our life is or how everyone is doing great except for us.
Added to this social media craving is the craving for success. On top of that, if you are an Indian Millennial, your definition of success, by default is Money. This thought has been ingrained in every Indian kid’s mind that your success is directly proportional to the amount of money you make and the hours that you are busy. If you are busy, and if as a result of that busyness (business) you get a fat check at the end of the month, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL. If not, you are a loser who needs to work harder and slog more and overdrain and exert yourself to make more money. Happiness? Work Satisfaction? Life? Reality? We just don’t have the time. In the time that we do have, we chase things that we aren’t even fond of, just to be cool and validate ourselves on social media.
Our parents grew up playing with the kids on their streets, whiling away their time at the local ponds, having not a care in the world, doing what they wanted, having no one to please but themselves. They did not care how many likes their ‘OOTDs’ got, so they wore what they found comfortable. They din’t need to go to Spain for a vacation to be cool, they chilled out in Darjeeling. Moreover, they were happy with the amount of money they had. Ofcourse, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t work hard or do enough. But, they understood the importance of having a life. Having something beyond work, beyond success, beyond validation – something that is intangible, but real nevertheless. In tripling our followers, we are losing our friends. In being perfect, we are becoming fake. In trying to please everyone else, we are becoming more and more unhappy and stressed.
Any 22-35 year old person you talk to, has some or the other problem in their life. They are trying hard to cope with these – firstly because of rejections and failures, something we have been conditioned to think are the opposite of success. Millennials call themselves Urban Poor if they have to eat chapatis on a Saturday instead of ordering their favorite Italian Pasta. They want to have a filtered perfect lifestyle and feel inadequate all the time because of their own unreal high benchmarks. Friends only reply on stories or Snapchat updates or tag each other in memes. But, come a day when someone wants to have a real conversation, an actual heart to heart discussion or real talk as they call it on social media – there is no one around. We want to associate ourselves only with cool people, people who are all smiles, confident, good looking, people with interesting lives or good social media presence, people who are too good to be true.
SO what can you do for more mental peace? Here are 6 ways to reduce stress and anxiety and have a more fulfilling life. I am no doctor, but I am also a Millennial who goes through these daily struggles and these are some things I have experienced which help me reduce my everyday discontent. Hope these can help you out too!
- Reality Check – Check out your stories on social media, and ask yourself are you really that happy? If the answer is no, do something which actually makes you as happy as you look. The catch is – Do not put it on social media! Be secretive about these things. You don’t need validation for your own happiness.
- Friend filters – Yes, its a thing I have developed to identify your real friends! See who comes through in your hour of need and not just comments on your pictures. Now the filter the ones who don’t. Know the difference between friends and followers.
- No more FOMO – If you have a serious case of FOMO, get off social media for the day, and try to be content with your own surroundings and life. Call a friend, listen to music, cook, drive or just sleep. That’s what we did before Instagram anyway.
- Trash those Judgements – Don’t take comments too seriously. Trash them. Also, stop judging yourself. You are thin enough, your liner is good, you are working just fine, you are doing pretty good. Ofcourse this doesn’t mean, don’t dream or don’t aim high. Just don’t create unrealistic expectations.
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you – Give someone an honest compliment. And really really mean it. Help someone without an ulterior motive. Just, be nice! It’s free.
6. Stop Imitating! – Seriously! You don’t have to drink green organic smoothies just because everyone else is. You don’t have to do a challenge or post an opinion or join the brigade just because everyone else is. Stop participating in fads just for the heck of it. You are a person, not a goat.
Whew! So this is me, being as real as I possibly can. Yes, I rant, I crib and I have limited patience. Sometimes I am boring, sometimes I am super boring. But this is me. The really real me. Hope this blog can help you become who you are too!
Because YOU, my friend, are AWESOME!
Author: Jamila Sidhpurwala
Jamila is one part artist, two parts foodie, and all parts traveler. She is a patron of good art and design and loves to immerse herself in books and music. Simplicity and minimalism is her motto as an architect. A writing enthusiast, she surrounds herself with all things creative. She actively shuns all “ists” and “isms” and firmly believes in a “no – label” world! She isn’t afraid to take risks, speak her mind, push forward and challenge preconceptions. She is a visiting faculty for Interior Design at Cindrebay Nagpur.