The Past a Prison

I often list, in the middle of the night, how far I have come and how many things I have done in life. I know I have not done much, but it felt good to count all my little accomplishments and feel a sense of self-satisfaction.

Is this a good thing? I believe so. After all, if we look back and see the great heights (or not-so-great, as the case may be) we have covered, we would look at the mountains in front of us and think that, well, we have gone a long way so why would it be a problem to scale a few more miles?

So what is the problem? For me, it is reliving the past so much and basking in it that I found myself wondering if the present is as good. The past is safe; it is comfortable. Everything is familiar, and we are accustomed to it. When we have left an occasion or a person, often we find ourselves unable to think of anything but the good.

Like yesterday, for example, I was stuck in a train station in the middle of nowhere because of an accident. There was nothing but storage chambers and darkness all around me. One lady kept on complaining; a group of people were shouting drunkenly. The glow of the station lights was harsh, unforgiving against the rails and concrete and the faces of the anxious passengers. At that time I was frightened, unable even to leave my seat to go to the restroom; now I laugh about it and tell it to my friends. Where is the horror and the anxiety that I felt back then? They were all eclipsed by the relief I felt, and had become an ingredient for a good story.

And then there is  the future. It is uncertain while the past is set. One can pluck the grandeur of the past and makes it one’s own. That is much easier than working towards a future that appeals to us. Now this is the core of the problem. If we continue to hold on to our safe-zone, to the past that we know is not going anywhere, how are we going to progress? Knowing how far we’ve come gives us hope, true, but let’s not live counting our past ‘glory’. Let the past be a lifeline, not chains holding us from living the present to the fullest and looking forward to the future.

Measured in Numbers

Time, money, intelligence. Why is it that everything we ever want is measured in numbers?

Ever since the dawn of time, man has been obsessed with numbers. The kings of old would attack bordering kingdoms to magnify his territory. People would count their sheeps and their servants, and the one with most belongings are considered ‘to be envied’. We dreamt of living in houses and building things that reach the clouds. Thus they started counting…how much bricks, how much mortar, how high we can climb the skies. The brilliant minds would wonder at the phase of the moon, at the shadows on the ground, and start counting the years, the months, the days, the minutes, and finally the seconds of our lifetime. And while that has been a blessing, it also comes with a curse.

Man becomes the slave of numbers. Nothing is really important unless it has been measured.

We work and work to achieve numbers in a paper, which we consequently put in this place called a ‘bank’. Some believe that the more numbers there is, the happier you will be. We never stop because numbers don’t stop. There is no end to our search, and the more we have, the more we realize that they can achieve the impossible, the more we work.

We study and study to get the highest mark in our report card. The higher the number, the easier it will be for us to get money, and that will make us happy. IQs are counted, compared, and we are left displeased when we realize that our brother is cleverer, or our daughter is below what society claims ‘average’.

We count our days. There is a timer that is ticking for all of us, and while we used to never mind it, as we grow older we begin to hear the ticking. There are so much to do, so much to achieve, and so little time. We try to fill every single moment with things that will make our lives richer, but most of the time we forget that we live simply to live; not to meet the expectations that either we or other people have created, not to get as much money in our bank, and certainly not to count down the moments we have left. Rather than live a long, hollow life, it’s better to have a short but happy one. I recently lost a loved one, but she lived her life to the fullest…loved and was loved, wrote a book, and taught me many things I otherwise would never think of.

Don’t forget that there is more to life than numbers. Live and love to the fullest. Keep in mind that our days are numbered and that we have responsiblities, but never forget that life is much more than that.

Our Limit

Hello everyone, this is my first post. I hope you will enjoy it 🙂 Feedback will be greatly appreciated.


I read a beautiful quote today. Not only is it motivational, it also set me thinking about a lot of things. Here is how it goes:

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them

I thought that the person who said this must be such a poser. After all, how can we accept our limits and go beyond them? Accepting our limits means putting ourselves in a box. We can only exist within that space. I was inclined to say that this is stupid. The walls don’t really exist…they are only in our heads, and why would we stay on the ground when we can fly?

I was very intrigued, so I searched about the quote. I found out that it was Albert Einstein who said it, and we all know how he truly went beyond the limits that other people set for him. How can someone who surpassed such obstacles have, and accept, his own limits? Either he was lying, and he really was a poser, or he knew a way of making the knowledge of his own weaknesses into an advantage.

Thinking about this reminds me of Sun Tzu’s principles: if one knows the enemy’s weakness and not one’s own, one would be sure to lose the battle. If one knows one’s weakness and not the enemy’s, one would have a fair chance of winning. If knowing our own limits is more important than knowing the enemy’s, that would mean that boundaries would actually help us to grow.

The thing is, we are humans. There are always things we can’t do. So why bother trying if there is no chance of moving forward? Sometimes it is good to know that there are walls, if only to know when to stop and which way to go when it becomes impossible to move forward. After all, life is always a bunch of wrong turns and detours…it is never a straight line.

Most days, I am in need of this reminder. It is easy to give up when we hit a wall, and easier still to never acknowledge it, until all we do is press against it in a futile attempt to go forward.

Now the question is what we should do about our limits. We can disregard them and fail to realize when we bump against them, or we can accept our limits, find a way around them, and go beyond.