Powering your way through life

Got up late today. Thought it was going to be one of those lazy, unproductive depressing days. But guess what, I decided to just push myself to go for a jog. And though I couldn’t cover my usual distance I still had a good workout. Got back home, had a nice shower and awesome breakfast and got two calls for doing gigs. For those of you who don’t know me I am a singer who quit her job recently to get into music full time. I’m hunting for a job again now but pursuing music remains my number one priority and today just turned out to be a lucky day.

I believe in this sort of thing. Good things and bad things happen in a flow depending on our state of mind. If our state of mind is of positivity, happiness and gratefulness, good things just start happening and we start feeling lucky. And when we feel lucky we get lucky. And the vice versa is true too, which is why some days we go from feeling hopeless to finding and getting new reasons to feel hopeless. But I don’t want to focus on that today.

I want to focus on the fact that I have two gigs now. Definitely getting more and more opportunities for getting into music professionally.

So much for starting the day positively. I think working out every day is probably the best thing I have done for myself recently. It is difficult sometimes. To wake up in the morning and find the energy to leave the comfort of your house. But when you do it you find so much more energy. And that one act if pushing ourselves first thing in the morning, kind of sets the mood for the day. You feel more organised and disciplined, not to mention energetic. And obstacles don’t bother you as much because you are able to power your way through.

So moral of the story for today, work out work out work out, preferably outside the comfort of your home.

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Morning madness

I have a problem with starting the day right. I spend most of the first half sunk in my bed with empty cups of tea and breakfast lying around. Even if I do get up for an errand I sink back right in. I’ve tried a hundred different things – morning exercise, early morning music practice routine, stretches, doing my bed, talking on phone with good friends, yoga, meditation and what not. But nothing seems to be a permanent solution that sustains for more than a few days. And before I know, I get into the other feeling of uselessness and depression for not having accomplished my music, job search and weight loss plans.

Up until yesterday, when I decided to restart all my blogs. I am thinking I may have come up with a solution. Reading and writing seem to be activities that I can accomplish even while I am lying around in my bed. So my physical passivity won’t come in the way. And it will definitely take the edge off the feeling of uselessness that I end up with.

I can end the first half with some exercise and start music practice in the afternoon after I am out of my morning lethargy problem.

May be this will work. May be this won’t. The answer to this question can only come in the next few days when I do or don’t post new stuff here. And if there is no more new stuff, then it means it’s not working and you can refer to my previous blog “The never ending loop” 😛

P.S. I have also started working on a music blog to share whatever I learn through my experiments in music. All you music lovers and well wishers, please follow if you like it:
https://thepathofmusicblog.wordpress.com

Getting out of the rut

I think I am doing these days all the things that I should have done as a child but couldn’t do because of restrictions. And my greatest fear always is whether I can afford them right now as an adult.

It helps to talk to myself as a more mature version of myself. I imagine that Asmira from five years later is standing right there, watching me and telling me that it’s ok, there is a much better life on the other side and I am going to be much more peaceful and full of wisdom. I just have to hang in there and keep giving it my best shot.

And sometimes when I am stuck in a rut I imagine that I am watching myself and giving advice as I would give to my best friend if she was in my situation. One always thinks with a clearer mind while giving advice to others and this helps me to do exactly that. And then I force myself to follow my own advice as I would’ve forced my friend. Like I tell myself, “Girl, you need to first get up and take a walk” or “Girl, you need to first make that phone call before you worry about anything else!”.

Sitting at home and not having to go every day to work feels very unnerving because there is nothing to discipline you. You could just sit there, doing nothing and watching movies without paying heed to that nagging sensation that precious time is getting wasted. And the possibility of falling into that chasm and never recovering is very scary. Also the fear that all your efforts are ill-advised and you are wasting time without realising it. There is no sense of security. I don’t have any idea how things are going to work out. No concrete plan. Some vague plan is there about learning digital marketing or data analytics while continuing to work on music. But no concrete schedule or result that would give assurance that things will work out.

I have taken a leap. A premature leap perhaps. But it’s already done. As they say, there is no right or wrong decision. You take a decision and you make it work. Instead of wondering whether I made a mistake or whether things will work out. I have to decide to make it work somehow by doing whatever it takes. And most importantly never stop however hopeless it may seem to be.

The never ending loop

Feeling good for nothing.
Depression.
Mood swings.
Making each day work.
Sticking to the plan.
Not sticking to the plan.
Feeling everything tumbling down.
Getting a grip and making a new plan.
Sticking to new plan.
False hopes.
Stumbling over an unseen problem.
Falling sick.
Stop Following plan.
Lose your grip.
Realise how much time you have spent and how much you have really achieved.
Getting up and trying again any way because you have no choice.
Calling it brave.
Telling yourself that you finally have it figured out.
Depression strikes yet again.
Chuck everything try to reset things.
Realise that it’s too late.
Go back to square one.
Make a plan.
And the cycle continues.

I am really stuck in this loop. But if there is anything that MBA has taught me, it is that at first nailing the project seemed like an impossible task to everyone. But those who stuck on and kept working on it without giving up somehow did nail it. And I was always one of those who got intimidated, who felt this was impossible to do. The solution always seems simple when someone gives it to you.

But what I learnt was that not giving up and consistently trying something was the way to go. A solution has to come out.

And so I shall go back to my never ending loop with this one ray of hope that may be not giving up will somehow magically give a solution. May be.

How To Deal With A Narcissist – Post #1

Do not argue with a narcissist. No no no. Just don’t bother, and don’t take the risk of arguing with a narcissist especially if you are still living with the narcissist or if he has some sort of control (financial or work related) over you.

See when you come to a point where you see the narcissist for who he is, you will start to question all his statements, claims and advice. So there are going to be many arguments. But the point is you are wasting your time. Worse still. If he is a malignant narcissist or if he is just in a bad mood, he will try to get back at you for making him lose. You see, you have just increased his insecurity and narcissists react to that by either pretending that the incident never occurred or getting revenge for what you did so that they feel again that they know better than you do.

My advice is: give the narcissist exactly what he loves to give everyone. Verbal fodder. What I mean is, if he is forcing you to do anything just agree with him verbally without really doing anything for as long as you can.

Let me explain this with an example, you told your narcissist husband (just for the records, I am not married, this is just an example) that you are learning a topic and you love the way it is explained in one book. The most obvious reaction of Mr. Narcissist would be, “I know a better book on that topic. That author is really good. You should read it; I’ll get it for you.” See? Total disregard for your good opinion about something. He doesn’t like you liking anything other than him or something that HE recommended to you.

Now what would you do in this situation? If you are anything like me, you would react by trying to defend your book. Useless verbal argument that he will quash or just ignore. Then he would actually bring this book to you the next day and you will probably obey him and read it. Well and good. But someone like me wants to finish what she has started, so I generally say, I’ll read that one when I am done with this.

Now that is where the trouble starts. You will see all sorts of obstacles when you try to read. He will try to make other plans when he knows you are planning to study or he will just come and disturb you and start talking about HIS recommended book again. Someone like my dad would even yell at you for reading such a despicable book on the topic and not respecting his experience and advice. A subtle narcissist would make fun of your book or probably hide it or destroy it when you are not watching.

So ok, those are the problems we face, but what is the solution? It’s easier than you think. Just agree to what he says. Nod your head in agreement. Show interest in the book he has recommended. Pretend to read it for a while when he is around. Then he will lose interest in the whole thing and you can continue to read and learn your way when he is not watching. Whenever he does ask you about it, throw in a few praises for the book he gave you, thank him for it, give him credit for his help and he will probably give you a few more books on the topic (which for all you know may turn out to be useful).

If you perform well in the topic and achieve something in an exam or competition, do not forget to give him credit. WHY SHOULD HE BE GIVEN CREDIT? Because for him you are just an extension of his person. So if you have an achievement where he does not have a role to play, he will not let you keep it. It makes him insecure to find that you could have an existence and success independent of him.

So in our example situation, if you get a prize and don’t give him the credit (in a convincing manner i.e. by pointing out how he helped you by giving you such wonderful books), he will let you keep the prize but he will not let you further improve and get better at that topic. He will not rest till you either lose interest in it or start to think you are not good at it. DO YOU GET ME? He cannot tolerate you having an achievement if it does not somehow translate into his achievement. So, for as long as you are under his control, agree verbally to everything he says and give him credit for any achievement or talent that you like and want to retain in your life.

I would like to quote here Law 1 of the book “48 Laws of Power” by Roberte Greene: “Never Outshine Your Master”. It says “Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity”.

So you get what I mean. Do you? I hope you do.

Of course all this advice is assuming that you plan to one day distance yourself from the narcissist and RUN for your life. Just subtly move out. Agreeing verbally to everything someone says means you are lying. It is not healthy. But it’s a necessity for surviving with the narcissist so that you can plan your escape when you are ready. See like many others, my advice will always be that you have to eventually let go of any relation with a narcissist. You have to bear in mind that you have just one good life and if you leave it in his (or her) hands, he will use it as his toy and then take you along with him to doom. Your purpose in life would basically be self-sacrifice for his amusement, satisfaction or betterment, with no independent identity for you.

Since it is a bit related, I would add one more thing here. As far as possible, never let a narcissist know of your weaknesses, your innermost desires or anything that is very important to you. Why? Because a narcissist is conditioned to pull strings and he will certainly manipulate you by giving you the hope of helping you fulfil your dreams and desires.

And why not let him know if an object or person is very important to you? Because if he knows, he will destroy it. Nothing should be more important for you than HE HIMSELF (or herself as the case may be). If you are already in this situation, try to solve it by giving him some credit in it, if it is possible. If somehow you can convince him that it is his gift and reminds you of him somehow then you may have a chance. But if you are not convincing enough he may still retain the insecurity, so it’s not easy.

For months I was trying to find a good article on how to deal with a narcissistic parent when you are forced to live with him and need to manage for some time, but couldn’t find one. Then in the last few days as I was dealing with my own issues I suddenly had the answer . So here is my first post on how to deal with a narcissist. Many more will come in time.

To all those who are suffering terribly under the control of a Malignant Narcissist, you may find insightful observations and useful tips from the experience of this awesome blogger:
http://walkingnarcissists.wordpress.com/

Update: When I say “agree with him verbally without really doing anything for as long as you can” I also must ask you to be careful. If they find out that you are deceiving them this way they will be enraged. So you must be careful about what you do secretly and how well you hide your deliberate avoidance from them. If caught I would recommend you pretend that you tried but could not succeed in following their directions instead of rebelling as you would be tempted to do.

Dreams..

Never lose sight of your goal. NEVER EVER. Never let go of your dreams.

If your goal seems impossible to achieve, it means you are not willing to try hard enough. IF you have a goal THEN you need to make a PLAN to achieve that goal. Things may not always work out according to that plan, that’s OK. We can always tweak the plan because the plan is not important. Our goal, our VISION of where we want to reach in life IS important.  

Whatever path we take, whether it is long or short, whether it is straightforward or twisted, CAN always lead to your goal. Perhaps the long and twisted path will let you pick up along the way something that will make it easier for you to face the HARDER problems you are going to face when you are CLOSER to your goal. The reasons why you needed to take that twisted path will all be clear then. For now don’t question, just take whatever you get along the way, and keep thinking how you can use what you HAVE to reach where you want to BE.

What you really need is the FAITH in yourself, the faith that YOU will never give up. Because if YOU don’t give up, if you KEEP TRYING again and again and again AND again, you will surely succeed. LUCK can run out ONCE, luck can run out TWICE. But luck DOES NOT run out every time. Only the person who is truly passionate for his dreams to come true WILL have the patience to wait for the one time that luck WILL work in his favour. He is ready to take any test, even if it means waiting in agonizing uncertainty. Because he BELIEVES that the present situation may be uncertain but his GOAL is still important to him and he KNOWS he is going to get there some day ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.          

Nothing can come between you and your dreams. Nothing really. People who tell you that you cannot achieve your dreams are SHORT SIGHTED. But you must keep your vision far ALWAYS. Remember if your dream, you goal means something to you, then your every action, every step, every decision should be taken with an eye on your goal. ALWAYS. What you are doing today may not seem in any way related to what you wish to do in future. But if you stop in your tracks for this reason, you will never reach the destination. Keep walking; keep doing your best in whatever you do. Sometime in your life you will see how it all fits in the bigger picture. Each and every thing you did in life, each and every event, each and every person left something behind for you to use to achieve your goal. It is up to you whether you get stuck or you take what you were given and try to find ways of using it to move closer to your goal.

If your dream really means so much to you, then be willing to face every set back you face on your way. Haven’t we all heard the saying “When life throws lemons at you make lemonade”. Those are only WORDS if you like it that way or they can be the story of YOUR LIFE if you wish to make it that. It is all in YOUR hands.

Good Mood Days :)

I am in a very good mood since the last two days. I am being able to acknowledge that there is something beautiful, something wonderful about every living person. Yes, I mean EVERY living person.

I know this sounds strange coming from a paranoid person like me. But I am starting to think that every person has a role to play in the world and in your story. The evil abuser, narcissist, sociopath, controlling mother, abusive husband, all of them were there in your life to change you in a certain way, to take you ahead in your story.

I feel today the need to nurture the best I can see in every person I speak to. I have a feeling that it will lead to something good. Not for the person, but for me. The feeling that I don’t have to live in suspicion but can love everyone and give everyone reason to smile is very liberating.  

So does this mean I want to take the risk again? I think it is more on the lines of what one friend with narcissistic personality disorder under treatment had told me. Don’t change yourself, but define your boundaries. So you will know when someone tries too hard to get past your boundary. All you would really have to do is ensure that no one gets past it. Don’t avoid, just know where to draw the line. Protect yourself but don’t avoid living because you fear getting hurt. Don’t tolerate when things turn bad, but don’t avoid the situation altogether. Just learn to raise your voice once in a while and fight for yourself.

I think these happy thoughts are a result of my good mood today 🙂 I don’t really know how long this will last, but I hope it lasts longer and brings real change in me 🙂

The bottom line is ………….. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ……… The ruthless truth. Crib and complain all you want, but if you don’t like something, you have to change it. There is no other way. If you don’t change it then you are just weak and nature will eliminate you. So better just decide to fight because surviving is YOUR RIGHT!

My Blogging Tip #2 – Limit the Number of Posts per Day

Why? Why? Because when I get many email updates for the same blog in one day, I read only the latest one. It is not to say that I don’t want to read the other posts, but after one post, I decide that I will read the remaining later. And later never comes.

And I’ve been doing this since almost a month. I feel guilty that I did not read all those posts, but then I have only this much time in one day 😦 and there are so many good bloggers out there!

I experienced this with my blog too. On Thursday morning I published one post. I was happy about it. I was looking forward to seeing what people would think about it. But by evening, something happened that made me all emotional and unstable. I really needed to vent out and I did. I wrote a poem without thinking much. Just wrote whatever I felt like writing. It almost felt like my hands were typing independently without inputs from my brain 😛

At the end of it I had a poem. And I badly wanted people to read that one, because this blog is the only place where I can talk openly about those feelings. So tada, by late evening, there was another post! A lot of people read and “liked” it. I got some new followers. It made me feel really good. Some of the people who liked that post are blogging on topics that I really relate to. So I am really glad I posted that poem.

But the post before that. Poor thing. No one cares about it now. Hehe. So well that’s the thing. To do every post on your blog justice, you have to give readers time to read. Publishing one or at most two posts per day is what I would recommend if you want to do justice to each of your posts.

Again this is not criticizing anybody. This is just my objective observation and inference based on that. People are free to tell me if they disagree or have experienced otherwise.

Hope this helps. Have a good day 🙂