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Motivation

Don’t Give Up: Lesson From Famous Failures

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don't give up

When nothing seems to be going in your favor, it is easy to just give up. It is easy to blame the situation, the whatever, than to keep going. There will always be thousands of reasons to give up, but what matters is that one reason to not.

When nothing seems to be going in your favor, it is easy to just give up. It is easy to blame the situation, the whatever, than to keep going. There will always be thousands of reasons to give up, but what matters is that one reason to not.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”


-Anonymous

Look at it as a bend in the road rather than a dead end. Giving up on your dreams means giving up on everything you have worked on up until that point, giving up on yourself. When you give up on yourself, who do you think is going to take a chance on you?

Just because you failed doesn’t mean you have to stop. It means you need to change your course of action and try again. Try again and again, you have to keep working. Failures teach you the lessons that you wouldn’t have otherwise learned. Think of them as a wise teacher you have been blessed with.

If you hadn’t failed in one thing, you wouldn’t have found out a more efficient way to do it, and wouldn’t have been better because of that.

When you give up, you might not have to face failures in that field again, but you end up failing big time. Let me tell you why, when you don’t work hard enough, try every hand at the game, you disappoint yourself. You can deal with others being disappointed in you, but when you are the one disappointed in yourself, it has the power to turn your life stagnant.

Popular proverbs from different cultures all point towards not giving and trying until you succeed.

“Try and try until you succeed.”


-English Proverb


“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”


-Japanese Proverb

When we were younger, most of us read the story, “Robert the Bruce and a Spider.” It is a perfect example of this proverb.

Robert the Bruce was the king of Scotland and was at war with the King of England. They fought six times, and finally, the army was scattered. The King was forced to hide among the mountains. One rainy day, while he was hiding in a cave listening to the rain, he saw a spider trying to throw her thread from one edge of the wall to the other. The thread fell short each time, it happened six times.

“Poor thing!” said Robert the Bruce. “You too, know what it’s like to fail six times in a row.”

But the spider didn’t lose hope. She threw her thread the seventh time, and this time she succeeded. Watching this, Robert the Bruce gained hope, he called his men and prepared to fight for the seventh time. This time they won the battle.

There are various versions of this story, like the spider climbing the wall and falling, or even the spider being replaced by an ant in the story. The moral remains the same. If you really want to achieve something, no matter how many times you fall, you have to get back up.

“If you are not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you are not doing anything innovative.”


-Woody Allen


The struggle stories of successful people are something that inspire others and give hope. I read a lot as you might have figured if you are a regular reader. How many times do you think popular authors or books were rejected?

When something is popular, the possibility of it ever being rejected doesn’t cross our minds. Do you know, a lot of popular books were rejected hundreds of times. Let’s talk about a few before we jump into a discussion.

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul faced 144 Rejections. This book eventually ended up becoming a bestseller, and then a series.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig was rejected 121 times.
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, that sold over 30 million copies worldwide, was rejected 38 times.
  • Carrie by Stephen King was rejected 30 times.
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a book that sold millions and is revered by literature students, was rejected 21 times.
  • Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling, one of the highest selling books, was rejected 12 times.

What do you think is common among these authors?

Let’s take it a step ahead and look at people who failed in various stages of their life, and still managed to sail through.

  • Charles Darwin: dropped out of University twice, was considered a failure by his own father.
  • Albert Einstein: couldn’t speak until 4, failed an entrance exam, struggled to graduate from university, did poorly in his course.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders (Founder of KFC): worked lots of odd jobs, started a motel which was destroyed by fire, sold his business during the war and got divorced, another failed restaurant, and when at age 65 he set out to sell his franchised-chicken model, he was rejected by 1,009 restaurants before one agreed.
  • Oprah Winfrey: Lost one of her first jobs because she was “unfit for TV.”

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”


-Oprah Winfrey

These are just a few stories that I have mentioned for you to understand where I am coming from. What do all of these people have in common? They did not give up. This many rejections can break anyone’s spirit, but if you believe in your work and yourself, and you can find it in yourself to keep going, chances are, you will see the result.

Why do you think their words mean so much to us now, may it be in the form of quotes, speeches, articles, books, interviews, why? We try to grab onto every piece of advice they have to offer. That is because they dared to do what many of us can’t or rather don’t do. They dared to get back up, no matter how many times they fell, no matter how hard they fell, they managed to turn the hurt into success.

don't give up

Rejections and Failures are part of life, the sooner you accept it, the sooner it will lose the power to destroy you.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”


-Winston Churchill



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Motivation

Why it is Hard to Stay Motivated

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motivation

Change is the only constant.

How many times have we heard this in our lives? 

Do you realize this is not merely a saying but an experience every individual goes through multiple times during his entire life?

None of us know what the next second has in store for us. Right now you may be elated and you might find yourself in complete folds the next hour.

Relatable?

Well, these are the times when you need to chomp in a well-prepared meal.

No no, not your regular food, this meal has special ingredients which when cooked together, give you the dish called ‘motivation’.

It is extremely important to sense when our morale starts losing for if not paid attention to, it can turn into a habit and you might find yourself quite comfortable.

To be able to pull yourself out of lethargy, an understanding of what motivation actually is should be taken into consideration.

When defined, motivation is the power that activates the engine of success and moves you to act. It is not some external drive but comes from within and is very much related to your ambitions and desires in life.

Keep reminding yourself that this is a recurring process, you’ll have to be your own source of encouragement every day, sometimes even more than once a day.

Easier said than done right?

 I am aware.

However, a strong and logical mind is sure to overrule your emotions. After all, you are not your mind but much beyond that.

To be content and motive-driven, you need to have clarity. Like I mentioned above, a strong mind has control over your emotions and will help you keep track of your visions and goals. It is usually easy to get distracted by external factors but if you are sure enough of what you want ahead, nothing can come in your way.

Let’s see some things that you could do when you feel like there’s not much productivity flowing out :

  • The foremost thing is to stop and take deep breaths. A calm and relaxed mind is capable of viewing different point of views of the same situation. A moment of panic is sure to push you away and impact your ability to work.
  • After you find yourself quiet, drink two sips of water to give fuel to the brain.
  • Now, look closely at what you have in hand. An assignment to finish before the deadline? An examination to prepare for, due the day after? A project you just stepped into? Well, the list obviously is endless.
  • Having the work outline made, sit and divide it into smaller tasks, hence now you have shorter goals which are comparatively easier to achieve.
  • When a 4-5 hour project is broken down into sets of half an hour each, after the completion of every 0.5 hours there will be a sense of contentment and pride. The satisfaction thus attained will be far greater than anything else.

Now, this was just a little glimpse of what can be done or something that I usually adhere to. However, is this the only standard procedure? 

No.

Every individual is different and has his own psychological being. For some, a pep-talk would do wonders while for others just a 10-15 minute alone time is enough to get back to normal.

Therefore, don’t try to follow any steps mechanically. See various things, read about various things, and in the end, come up with different permutations and combinations that suit the best for you.

Enough of how to get motivated and why to get motivated. Let’s step into the deeper issue – ‘Not being able to work and to not be productive does not mean I am any less serious about my career. I am not making excuses just so that I can get off of responsibilities easily. Why does no one believe when I say this?’

The thoughts that we ponder over every time we are hit by a wave of disinterest. The problem is not anybody not believing you, the setback is of how society isn’t accepting of low workload times.

The pressure of watching every other person excel and hear stories of how people work 36 hours a day, has made this the notion of how one should approach his professional background.

The fear of not being able to report in time and the stress of being a few steps behind others always is daunting our subconsciousness. It’s high time we as individuals accept that this is what it is and it’s completely okay to be not okay somedays.

Embracing your own shortcomings will give you the courage to stand by yourself and fall back into action with double the motivation and power.

You know that these aren’t mere excuses, you know your mindset at that point in time and you know that you will give anything and everything to not be in this position and this is all that matters.

A sense of belief and confidence will automatically provide a boost and you’ll see yourself springing into ideas and creative techniques to give shape to the same project.

Hence, two things are the highlight of your gloomy days – One, that targets smaller goals to reach the bigger goal in less time and with less stress. Two, to accept and face the fact that you will have no willpower one day and it’s okay but at the same time knowing that you have to get back on your feet the next day.

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Habits

How Reading can impact your Day to Day Life?

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Reading is a healthy habit, which, if practiced daily, can change your entire life around. Do you want to know why? Through Reading, one can not only gain knowledge but also stay acquainted with the outside as well as the inside world. The best thing about reading daily is to have an isolated place for yourself in your mind, where you can run off to. Most people don’t have the patience or intention to read, and that too, daily. Though this is a habit that takes time to settle in but trust me, once it does, you would never regret it. So, here is a list of reasons why you should read daily?

Why should you read daily?

  • To gain knowledge

Once you start reading daily, and by Reading, it can be anything – you can read few pages of a novel, or a magazine, or newspaper, or even poetry – you would notice within weeks how much your knowledge regarding the outer world has improved. Through Reading, one can have clear information regarding the current affairs, and hence, stay updated.

  • To improve your vocabulary

Through Reading, you can definitely learn new words and hence, improve your vocabulary. Most people make it a habit to learn a new word from the dictionary every day, but if you read daily, you are bound to get new words and make a list of them on a notebook with their meanings, which is definitely going to be helpful for you.

  • To have a make-believe world

The most beautiful consequence of Reading is having one’s own imaginary world, where one can live a life full of magic. This is the extraordinary superpower one acquires while reading. In this busy daily life of ours, we all look for a secluded place where we can feel the essence of peace. Reading can fly you off to the imaginary land of sunflowers, daisies, and cats who can indeed talk.

  • To become more attentive

Most people lack patience nowadays. Being impatient and restless has become a severe problem in today’s world. Here, Reading can help you calm your mind and improve your observation skills. It works like meditation. In no time, you would find your mind focusing on details and becoming more attentive to events, which used to go unnoticed.

  • To reduce stress

Reading is similar to meditation, and hence, it definitely helps to reduce your stress. Books always have a calming effect on one’s mind. It takes you away from daily problems and stressful situations and helps your mind to gain stability. Not only it helps in reducing stress, but it also helps to decrease the anxiety levels of a person. 

Everyone should make reading a daily habit. One should switch off the mobile phones, turn off the television and take some time out to read. It works wonders on one’s day-to-day life and changes one person’s entire personality. Though it can be hard at first, with time, you would cherish the moments alone, reading in a corner while your mind is flying off to Narnia.

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Motivation

Is this Shoe the Right Fit: Gender Stereotyping in Fairytale through Cinderella

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joy

Growing up the first source of literature, children are exposed to are fairytales. These stories are read to them by parents as bedtime stories or watched by them on television. These stories are great influencers on a child’s’ mind, and therefore start conforming to its stereotyping, especially gender. Fairytales truly do educate and instill in children’s morality, but children get accustomed to the fairytales and thus begin to identify with the character in the story. The stereotypes in fairytales concern both genders and lay their roles out for them, but at large, the stereotypes are targeted at women. 

One of the biggest and widely spread fairytales is “Cinderella” and as a child one watches her beautiful transformation, her damsel in distress moment, her prince charming who saves her and with everything going on in her life still being the ‘kindest soul’. There are about a thousand various versions of Cinderella, and also different movie adaptation, one of the famous one is by Disney. This fairytale has portrayed so many genders stereotyping that as a child one doesn’t realise but going back to the text, the stereotyping seems a little too evident. 

These stories nearly always start with the phrase “once upon a time”. Cinderella was no exception, her story was once upon a time. It revolved around the tragedies in her life with her mother passing away to, father remarrying, treatment by her step-family, and finally meeting the prince who rescues her. These stereotyping are witnessed in stories depicting the higher class and hence talks about the consumption market of the same. The story is said to inspire girls to behave ladylike even if you are not born into nobility. Someday such beauty and grace, not just physical, will get them their prince. Which, will further give them approval from society on their shift from a girl to a lady. Taking the abuse pushed on her by her family instilling the idea of female leads being submissive in nature and continuously requiring help and support from various characters in the story. To have something good, one needs to face hardships in life; this concept is portrayed in the idea by depicting Cinderella as a servant, who is abused and works hard to please people. The prince saves Cinderella, and intern becomes the writer of her destiny. Cinderella further depicted as a perfect template on how to be a proper lady 101. As she doesn’t argue nor talkback makes her the ideal woman. 

As far as beauty is concerned, Cinderella is described as a beautiful woman with her feminine features and wearing a stunning gown to the ball makes her even more attractive. This has been propaganda sold to girls at a very young age that she doesn’t need to sound intelligent as the prince in Cinderella did not care about her intelligence instead only cared for her beauty. This ideology is even seen today where people tell girls they need to ‘dress to impress’, that the only way to grab a man’s attention is by looking ‘beautiful’ adhering to society’s definition of beautiful. The society’s interpretation is influenced by Cinderella and various other fairytales. Who has sold the idea of a small waist, fair and clear-skinned, having her hair always almost perfect – has made girls feel insecure about their body and physical appearance. Due to the obsession of having a smaller waist leads to a lot of girls developing bad eating habits and trying to obtain fair and glowing skin. 

The prince in the story is a strong character who is portrayed as a rescuer and knight in shining armour who comes in and rescues Cinderella from her miserable life and showcases that the whole story revolves to lead to this moment. Cinderella also had to prove her identity to the prince who did not recognise her. 

The love story between the two main characters – Cinderella and Prince Charming seems utterly unreal and cringe-worthy. Love termed here is physical attraction and no interaction to know each other’s personality. Adding to the standard of beauty is applied to boy’s as well. They have to look a sure way to meet the standard of being ‘handsome’. Further, the knight in shining armour syndrome makes boys believe that they are entitled to rescue girls and marry girls based on their look. They think that they need to look for a girl who will take care of the house and not talk back, which leads to a biased society where females and males are conformed to stereotypes. This further makes children believe that marriage is the end goal. 

Cinderella is just one classic fairytale that is discussed and portrays gender stereotypes, but other stories like Sleeping Beauty, snow-white, Rapunzel to formulate stereotypes. As Cinderella is famous and is one of the widely read novels, it made sense to use that as a platform to prove that fairytales are a source of gender stereotypes. There has been a surge in positive and unbiased fairytales and children’s movies such as Shrek, Mulan, Frozen, Brave to name a few but none the less the other stories still exist and propagated to children widely. 

Final Thoughts 

The end of the story is, do we really want children to have unrealistic standards on gender and beauty, and do we want them to believe that vulnerable and weak women are the only ones who grab men’s attention. If we need to formulate change, we need to start with fairytales. Being a fairytale fan myself I don’t mean to say scrap out fairytales all together, fairytales are an essential source of literature that shouldn’t be taken away from children. What we might think about doing is change the stories, portray roles of men and women as strong characters, who value equality and that stereotyping has to take leave from Fairytales. 

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