Be Your Own Element

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Nature has an interesting way of organizing things. Let’s say we take a look at something as small as an atom of an element. We can find that it has its own set of properties. Depending on its characteristics, the atom will either bind with more things of the same element, or combine with something else to make an entirely new thing — to help that element find its most balanced state. This is very much like us as humans. We often hear the phrase “in their element” applied to people who are comfortable in their surroundings, and perhaps in the flow of what they are doing. To be in our element implies that we are the most simplest version of ourselves, amplifying our true self into the world through our words, actions and creations.

Often times, when we attract things into our life that don’t seem to feel right, people will also be prone to saying that “I’m sending out the wrong vibes into the universe.” There is some truth to it, but it is not as abstract or mysterious as we think. But rather, living any version of ourselves other than our true nature requires energy. There is a reason why actors go through intense emotional detox, possible psychosis, or take a hiatus from acting after a serious role: it requires a great deal of energy to pretend to be something we are not. When we yearn for the weekend, a drink, a vacation, or anything else outside of ourselves for a release, we are actually seeking release from the role we have convinced ourselves to play. Instead of giving ourselves permission to leave this play, we continue acting and hiding the true element of ourselves — the irony being that what we sought has always been within us. To find the people who are truly valuable to us, who bind well with our element, and to create the tribe or community we seek to enrich and uplift, we must first have the courage to expose our vulnerabilities and strengths, and unearth the hidden element of ourselves.


This article was originally posted on Medium.

Advance Through Your Fears

The constant and often unexpected challenges in our life can be exhausting to deal with. Fortunately, we are sometimes given respite from our struggle by experiencing moments of happiness. This temporary dose of endorphins helps us forget the daily grind and many of life’s deeper problems. There are many ways to achieve this sense of euphoria, but ultimately it can be achieved by two modes of action: retreat or advance from our problems. I would like to suggest “advancing” as a way to create a mental environment in our minds where happiness is more likely to grow. To advance towards the things we fear, by heightening our self-awareness and consciousness, relieves us of the need to get away, to exhaust ourselves from over-analysis, and to waste our time with indecision (retreating).

The way we perceive the world is through our minds, so it is important to cultivate a fertile environment where the seeds of peace and happiness can grow. For a good portion of my life, I thought that the goal of life was to be happy. But then, that belief metamorphosed into the philosophy that happiness isn’t the destination but the way. But something about this belief seemed to lack a balance between eternal optimism and the harshness of reality. I recently heard a piece of advice from @ryannicodemus from The Minimalists that helped me find that balance:

“I stopped chasing happiness once I realized that happiness is a symptom and not the purpose [of a life lived well].”

There are many things outside of our control in life, but the choice to advance towards (or retreat from) our fears is entirely up to us. Peace and happiness are scarce in many peoples’ lives because it is easier to run away, ignore, or justify our problems as a victim. If we handle our life as most other people do, then we too shall live an unremarkable life with unfulfilled dreams similar to those who complain about lack in their finances, love, health (exempt from certain situations) or career. The upside in demonstrating courage is exponentially high: to advance towards our problems, and realize that nothing short of physical death will stop us, allows us to go through them. What we fear, once conquered, transforms into an invigorating energy within us. We have been transformed. The new us can now aim higher and achieve things that our former couldn’t even concieve.

Advance through your fears, advance through your life. Retreat from your fears, retreat from your life.


Jay-Ram is a former Industrial Chemist turned writer who aims to help others use deductive reason and the scientific process to gain deeper insight into people, and create deeper, meaningful relationships between his fellow humans.

Why Long-Term Goals Lead To Deeper Fulfillment

We are what we repeatedly do. — Aristotle

One of the skills that many of us can improve is our ability to make good decisions in spite of tempting short-term distractions. I’m probably just as guilty as the next person when it comes to being easily distracted, so I wanted to share with you a perspective that has helped me greatly ignore distractions and focus.
When it comes to decision making, most of us know the better decision, but we don’t necessarily do the better decision. This inconsistency comes from a lack of a challenging long-term goal that can give purpose and direction to our short-term goals. Without a challenging long-term goal, many of us end up living a mediocre complacent life consisting of unrelated short-term goals with no real direction. Buying a house, entering a serious relationship, having children, owning a business; other people are doing it and they seem happy, so we should too right?

We sometimes compare our decisions with others to see who is happier, but most people are just as clueless as we might be. Continuing to chase happiness in the dark and leaving things to chance will disallow us from achieving a deep level of satisfaction that comes from building something with purpose. Internalizing this truth is an important step towards truly understanding ourselves. If we know better, we should do better for the long-term goal. Many of us may have learned to focus on short-term thinking for a variety of different reasons. Learned habits from childhood, the illusion and seduction of temporary benefits (both material and pleasure), underestimating small harmful actions as being insignificant. Regardless of the reason, thoughts don’t have power unless they are manifested into the physical world through action. The smallest good action will have more gravity than the most evil thought and vice-versa. Our long-term goal should be coupled with massive actions completed through our short-term goals.

For good ideas to have the greatest positive effect in our lives, we must combine great thoughts with great action. We need to do as much as possible to cultivate and improve ourselves.The more we enrich ourselves spiritually, physically and intellectually, our words and actions will create an equally enriching life. Our actions are a testament to the way we think. As Aristotle once observed: we are what we repeatedly do.

The more we learn about others, the more we learn about ourselves. As Bruce Lee once said: “All knowledge is self-knowledge.” A good example of people achieving difficult long-term goals are artists and musicians who’ve successfully translated their abstract spirit into tangible art. We venerate these creative geniuses for giving shape to the abstract (seemingly) effortlessly, after many years of unseen practice. Leonardo da Vinci spent years observing cadavers just to figure out how muscle fibers, tendons and bones connect to one another. Frida Kahlo turned tragedy into deep self-exploration when she fell ill and spent many months confined to her bed.

Our physical world is shaped and transformed by our actions, so it’s especially important to make better decisions towards a specific long-term goal. Our job as a creative human species is to turn the abstract into the tangible–feelings into words, emotions into paintings, intensity into music–to achieve a level of unparalleled satisfaction. We are the artists and creators of our own life and the happiness within it. The words we speak and decisions we make can have consequences that will last much longer than our own short time on this planet. If we choose to live a happy life, that happiness will spread into the lives of those around us, seeping into the upcoming generations. Creating a positive, memorable and happy life is arduous work, and a privilege reserved for those of us willing to endure hard work and grow. Set your eyes on the big prize, and let everyone else fall for the shiny objects on the road. We have work to do.


This article was originally posted on Medium.

“Why Long-Term Goals Lead To Deeper Fulfillment” by Jay-Ram Rajendra https://link.medium.com/fnDR0dpSNU

Happy 2019! We Have Infinite Potential, Tap Into Yours This Year

We can always improve ourselves in small ways. But when we stop believing in our ability to make a change, we begin to suffer. If we try to live a life detached from reality (usually characterized by a false defeatist mantra of “life sucks”), this can translate into trying to live vicariously through others (i.e. parents’ expectation for their children, friends expectation of friends, etc.) because we relinquish accountability for ourselves. Sometimes, we expect so much more from people other than ourselves, that we forget that we are the only person that we have the most over. The foremost person we should expect anything from is ourselves, and the rest is just icing on the cake. We all have the infinite potential to create an inspired, joyful life; but only if we believe that there is more to life than our current difficulties.

@itsjayram

Quote: Tom Bilyeu

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

One of the things that many of us have in common is a past we cannot change. We’ve often heard many life coaches and motivational speakers talk about continuing to work on the present and moving forward, that we should keep the past behind us. As appealing as this advice may be, I feel that ignoring an important part of ourselves isn’t really complete advice. Ultimately at the end of the day when we are by ourselves and we become introspective, where does our mind go? Often to the past.

Since the past isn’t something we can change, it’s important that we look at it from different perspectives. Just like with people and situations in our lives, if we can’t change them, it’s important to change our perspective. As I sit here, I think about all of failures I’ve had in the past. For some, reflecting on things that’ve gone wrong might be debilitating and discouraging. But with the right perspective, it can be liberating. Each time we’ve failed at something, it means we’ve displayed courage and took a risk. And most importantly that we’ve survived.

We fell down seven times, but something made us stand up an eighth time. What was your reason for continuing to keep trying? And can we cultivate that into a passion that keeps us interested in life?

Dear Friend, Love is Worth it

This is a letter I wrote to a younger friend about why it’s important to believe in positive things, especially love. It might not work out like you planned, but positivity gives you the strength and humility to learn in any process. I hope you find value in this as did I in writing and reflecting on it.

Dear Friend,

I understand that it can be difficult to find the right person to date. But I can’t just stand by and let you believe that just because it’s difficult, that it’s not worth it. When you find the right person, maybe you won’t be together forever. Maybe things will go wrong. But you will most definitely learn. We often see perfect relationships on social media, but these are ultimately fiction — a fragment of people who are a lot more dynamic and strange than just a few snapshots. Try not to be fooled by any narrow concept of what a relationship should be. Get out, be vulnerable and get to know someone. And don’t believe that a handful of negative people represent the whole: it’s simply not true; this type of thinking only propogates negativity and suffering. I’m sure that right now, someone valuable and worth it might be thinking the same thing of other people out there. And maybe like you, they have a friend telling them that not all people are the same, and hopefully they’ll snap out of this negative thinking. We cannot let negative thoughts ever stop us from achieving our goals, be it career or love. The path you’ve chosen for your life is probably difficult. I’m sure there are many people who tell you that it’s not worth it, or that you’re crazy for pursuing it – but you still pursue it regardless because it gives you and others around you happiness. Romance and relationships are the same way friend. We cannot let the world convince us that it’s not worth it. Everything that’s worth it will take time, right? Let’s encourage others to not only give happiness, but hope that their dreams about love and success are valid and attainable.

Your friend,

Jay-Ram

Robin Williams and an Angry Kid

The first stand-up special I ever saw was a day I came home early from school. It was also the beginning of my school suspension from the Assistant Principal for retaliating against a bully. I felt so much anger, resentment and unfairness that day, especially because the person who caused me so much hurt for making racist comments went undisciplined. I flopped onto the couch, flipped on the TV, and started watching a guy on stage with multiple water bottles behind him, sweating like a maniac, making an entire theater roar with laughter. The more I watched, the more I laughed and the less I felt anger and rage. “This is fucking crazy!” I thought. How is a person able to give laughter and kindness to millions of people he didn’t even know, in that theater and on TV combined?  There is something magical and powerful about that.

Robin Williams is one of my life’s greatest inspirations and reasons why I enjoy doing comedy so much. He is one of the few people who inspired me to believe in myself and be courageous. Thank you for giving me the courage to pursue my dream, my friend.young-robin-williams