Hunzla Zahid



Hunzla Zahid


Lockdown Life Lessons

Lockdown Life Lessons

16 mins

During uncertain situations, it’s normal to feel bothersome. Whenever there’s any major change that takes place in our surroundings, we feel uneasiness. The board change that the COVID-19 pandemic has added in our lives from jobs to relationships, monetary stability, and fitness. We are trying to deal with varying one zone of our life, the anxiety and the pressure that we feel from changes is extremely heightened right now more than ever before. Considering that we can’t change the global uncertainty or what’s happening, we can change the personal certainty of what we can learn from all this.

This the conversation between no one else, but you and yourself. Peace of mind is one of those instants in life that are hard to enunciate, but easy to know. We all know consciousness. In those fleeting instants, there are no qualms, disquiets, or overhauls. If you put a glance, life is totally under the amendment of feelings. It is a sensation that we all wish in life somewhat for a brief moment. Thich Nhat Hanh, 

“Peace in Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.”

Routines are one of the best ways to feel a sense of purpose. Take a moment to be thankful or grateful for a person or place in your life. For example, you could give thanks for old memories from a trip you took, or a time when your family visited you. There is so much greatness in our life that our mind tricks us into forgetting. Peace provides us a way to solve or to deal with a problem. To overcome the growing problems is to grow yourself along with them. Staying productive and motivated while working from home can be a challenge for some people. The reality is that you’re going to feel distracted sometimes. How do you stay sanguine when the news is so gloomy? First, find something to look at every day that brings you joy and it could be a piece of art in your home or a memory. Then, indulge in a scent that you find palliative. The scent has certain supremacy. ALBERT EINSTEIN;

“I have no special talent, I’m only passionately curious.”

Today we don’t feel we’re able to dig deep into our souls and bring out that spark of brilliance. Creativity comes out of our insight. After interconnection, it evolves into a splendid spectrum/ kaleidoscope of opportunities. Today we are entrapped by those bubbles that only entrap us in the ideas of our own and became the prisoner of our assumptions by surrounding ourselves with the same type of people. A diverse set of experiences allows us to open up our eyes and mind to the possibility of something else that exists. That’s why creativity is the thing that exposes you with your ambiances because you can’t be what you can’t see.

When we enter the new extension of technology, it can either be used for entertainment, or we can elevate our consciousness to engage them for higher values like empathy. How it will be to see through the eyes of someone feeling anxiety and stress. For starters it may seem quite startling and be quite difficult but could you extract deeper meaningful forms of empathy. Would our gratitude grow from the experiences of someone else existence or lack in anything? Can we change our perspective and shift our paradigms by looking through the eyes of someone we never thought of?

Virtual reality has already been used to treat phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even train surgeons for different surgical methods. But what if it can be used to cultivate compassion, to trigger more forms of care and concerns into the minds of our own? Imagine increasing our intimacy with the issues that could cure our indifference. It can dissolve our apathy to activate us towards a change. Compassion is the compass of good leadership for what virtual reality could be a door to it. It could be the greatest empathy machine. The idea of the engulfment of humanity by artificial intelligence has been around us for decades but it seems like getting closer to reality. It has already permeated our lives beyond our imagination. We have to clear the clutter of power, arrogance, greed, and control from our minds to make Artificial-Intelligence better for the world. We should have to prioritize the acts of kindness, empathy, and compassion. If we emphasize empowerment than power, gratitude than gratification, harmony than harm then that will be mirrored in whatever we create. Our fear is the reflection of our flaws.

Whenever humans have felt disconnected physically they have built bridges. Mankind has always built bridges to connect two distant lands and it’s a genius idea because they lead to different findings, discoveries, and opportunities. Several bridges are yet to be built. The bridges that we need to build between families, between friends and strangers. We all have bridges in our lives that need repairing those we took for granted, need to complacent about, we neglected, and even those that didn’t even exist in the first place. Some of these bridges will take a longer time to build, some may never be built at all and a lot of them are going to require a big investment of patience and tolerance. Some of them seem scary and it’s natural to feel uncertainty and anxiety about laying the foundation to another side where we don’t know what to expect and in these times of fear it’s easy to shut down, hideaway, and grow apart. The architect of these bridges will be the leaders of tomorrow. If we want all the world to be all-inclusive and all-encompassing then we can’t leave anyone out but in this critical moment, we need the architect of the future, those who can differentiate between building a fence or a bridge. Building a bridge doesn’t mean agreeing and accepting but its understanding and engaging. TINY BUDDHA;

“A lot of problems will disappear if we started talking to each other instead of talking about each other.”

We need a bridge to come together and the only way to see what’s on the other side is to cross over that bridge.

Life is a lot like bowling, a game of team support. In bowling, the best player struggle and others that were less likely to do well surprise you to make all the difference. Focusing on someone else score doesn’t yours make any better. It’s easy to get distracted by how well others are doing. You see their score going up, they bowl a strike or spare and you are calculating in your mind what you think that could be. But all that does is, it distracts you from your game. Similarly in life, focusing on someone else success doesn’t make yours any better. Focusing on what others doing for work and what they are driving, doesn’t give you Improvement. Focus on your role, duty, and strength that will make all difference. There are different ways to play a game. Some people spin the bowl, some go for a straight, direct roll and some use two or three fingers. So, the list continues. You will see some people succeed in a certain way and others doing it in a completely different way. The goal is to find your way, approach, and strength that will work for you. Sometimes, your balls end up in a gutter, again, when you felt completely prepared and confident but the ball still ended up in the gutter. But, when the ball appears again, you grab that opportunity and try again learning from past mistakes. OSCAR WILDE;

“All of us are the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars.”

Sometimes you hit a spare and threw your best shot with the perfect angel but that one pin is still up there. Despite our best efforts, we don’t get what we want, not everything aligns with what we planned. Keep your eyes on the ball with the concentration on the game and mind out of the gutter.

In a world that tells us ‘this is beautiful’ and ‘this is not’, we all have to realize that we are all different having different ideas and qualities. Beauty is subjective just like art. Not everyone thinks the Mona Lisa is the most beautiful painting or masterpiece. This is the same for beauty. Have you noticed that something becomes more attractive to us when someone else values it? But before that time you didn’t even notice it to be valuable. We ended up liking and wanting the things that others like. If we chase what others want we could end up with so many things that we don’t even care about.

By creating a system in which you can able to play with your strengths. When we invest our 100 or 80 percent in what we good at we excel at it and became unbeatable in that field. If we invest our time in the area where we are about at an average level as the result we will get an average score. The more we invest in our strength the more we invest in our skills. This will not only allow us to excel in that field but also gives confidence and makes a difference. You can outsource and find other people to fill the gaps in the skills you don’t always have. When it comes to your skills, invest in your strengths and when it comes to your qualities invest in your weaknesses.

We can either choose to make money and trade our passion or we can choose to make our passion and trade money in the beginning. When you look at the lives of the people that are living their passion today they traded something in the past to be able to get there. So many of us are too scared to choose our passion because of the golden handcuffs. I have seen so many people get comfortable with a particular level of job, a status, a salary, a home, a lifestyle, a car, but they feel like a prisoner. They are trapped from the life they truly want by the life they think they need. And there’s nothing wrong with trading your passion if that is what you truly want. The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to feel safe or to feel alive? Or do you want to feel secure or to thrive? When you choose your passion you also have to know what you are signing up for. You are trading your 9 to 5 for a 24/7, weaknesses for work, evenings for education, Netflix for networking, and certainty for spontaneity. When you don’t sacrifice for what we want, what you want becomes the sacrifice. It’s not going to be easy but worthwhile and not simple but meaningful. TOM HANKS;

“Of course it’s hard, it’s supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Being hard is what makes it great.”

Many of us settle for what we think is our reality and limits. But the truth is we don’t know our limits until we test them. When we start pushing, we start figuring out what’s actually possible for us. Up until that point, we just believe that we are already leading our maximum potential. Today, we hear about self-love and self-care but neither of these is possible without self-knowledge, self-awareness, and self-realization. If we don’t know ourselves, we can’t love ourselves.

      Saying Yes to too many things due to the fear of letting down others and as a result, none of my dreams were coming true. I felt like I was on everyone else’s time and making everyone else’s lives happen, but my whole life was falling apart and it was debilitating. We have anxiety and stress around the things we have no boundaries around. Boundaries make room for our blessings. Picture boundaries as your fence and your goals as your brand new garden that you are trying to grow. Without that fence, you are inviting everyone to go trample across your hard work and take whatever looks good to them, leaving your garden empty. Boundaries protect the things that need nurturing especially, in the beginning, the most fragile phrases. The first step to do to reach towards a goal, instead of adding something new, first create a room by creating boundaries. These boundaries can be the line between your life and goals, and everyone else’s. By not doing this you allow others to treat you however they want. It’s not that the people who are taking some from your garden are trying to hurt you, it’s that they think your harvest is actually, for them, because your garden is always accessible. Without boundaries, you resent good people who mean no harm to you. If want a different outcome you have to change your response.

When you broke, cellophane tape can’t do anything for your shattered heart. So allow your wounds to breathe in the open air until they fade into scars. I know breathing feels like pushing weight off of your heart and it would be easier to stop breathing then bearing this but hold on. Because things work out, you know? Even if doesn’t feel okay for a long time, or even if it feels like things will never be okay again, everything works out in the end. Inside every delay, there is a blessing. Just don’t judge the moment. You presume yourself a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire universe. You are indeed the evident book, by whose alphabets, the hidden becomes evident. The relationship you have with yourself is the most complicated because you can’t walk away from yourself. You have to forgive yourself for every mistake. You have to deal with every flaw. Even in dark times, there are always bright places. And if isn’t you can be that bright place with unbounded capacities. Surrounding yourself with walls of rumpled dreams will only let you down hereby increasing your insecurities.

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.”

It is the saddest part of growing up that sometimes you have to let go of the things you wanted to hold on forever. These are the days in which if you survive that’s the biggest achievement. Whenever you see a successful person you only see the public exaltations, never the private sacrifices to reach them. When their skies are grey put great effort to be someone’s sunshine. Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to others. Truly, when you compare yourself to others you think there is nothing special in you. But, when you don’t, you see yourself as you, or as the way you are. Try to accept yourself just like the way you are. Mary Anne Radmacher;

“Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”

Prayer, meditation, gratitude; all of these practices and habits have been around for thousands and thousands of years, not just because people have felt that those things connect them to a higher power but also with their inner peace and power. They feel that they connect them with themselves. When you pray, what do we think about what we are doing? We are speaking and thinking out loud. How often do we take a moment, to reflect on our thoughts, how to speak ourselves, and the words that get processed up here? But, when we pray/meditate we get an opportunity to get a snapshot of what’s happening into our minds. So, we can say it’s a way by which you actually get to know yourself better. Whichever the meditation form you do, it’s probably the only time in the day when you actually gives your mind space, when you are not giving it pressure that cognitive load of having to process all the insignificant rights and sounds of the street, of the horns of cars and traffic, where your cognitive load is not stretched. When you yourself that silence, you can truly hear what is going on inside, you can hear in between the lines because it’s the finest time that you are allowing yourself to switch off all the noises. Fyodor Dostoevsky;

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

Life is a series of choices; producing results that match your values. People call it a good choice/ correct answer, but some of us are still confused about the values of their life. Fast forward where you are, look at yourself after 10/15/20 years’ time, and ask yourself a question. Is that where you want to be? If you are in a company, look at the person who is 20 years ahead of you, and yourself a question. Is that where you want to be? If you are in a startup look at where others startup and go similar rows and go, and ask yourself a question. Is that where you want to be? And if your answer is NO then you need to find your path. Open yourself up to the new experiences and role models because most of us can’t see ourselves in the boxes made by our judgmental society then we try to fit ourselves into the boxes we see. This is the way we think and live in perception over perception about others. As Cooley has rightly said;

“Today, I’m not what I think I am. I’m not what you think I am. But, I’m what I think, you think, I am.”

Hence, my personality is thru by what my parents think I should be. My identity is made-up of what my college and university think I should achieve. While you are living in that bubble, it’s impossible for you to get what really you want to be. So for the process of self-excavation, firstly you have to be exposed. You can’t be what you can’t see. Being exposed to unique live out gives you a great understanding.

“Detachment is not you own nothing, detachment is that nothing owns you.”

Usually, people see, detachment is about away from everything. Actually, the greatest detachment is being close to everything and not letting it consume your own. Being able to overcome ego, greed, envy, jealousy, and negative competitive state. These are the stuff that is destroying us inside. To able to have enough clarity to purify these things is going to alleviate your anxieties and depression. So the noises that I describe in life whether it’s your parent's expectations or the standards or pressure of society, they sternly drown our ability of intelligence. If you see anything wrong going with yourself you must have to think that is it’s my element going out of alignment or my environment or my energy out of alignment? You only have to do is to bring that back into your alignment. Kevin Hart's;

“Some people may hate you for being different and not living by society standards, but deep down they wish they had the courage to do the same.”

One small crack in you does not mean that you are wrecked. It means that you were put to the trial and you didn’t fall apart. Don’t feel bad to give up on good to go for the great. Sometimes, we have to let go of something that once meant most important to us, not because we need it, but because we have to. You have to learn from the mistakes of others because you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. Sometimes you feel like running. Running away from yourself, wishing that you don’t feel the same way you do. Why me? Why now? Why this hard? Perhaps it’s time to stop. Take a deep breath and answer those questions. You will find that this happened because you are strong enough to take it because it’s time to learn something because it’s the way to grow. It’s like the principle of life that everyone suffers. There are many hard times in which you have to survive. But rather than sad days, we hope to have better days. That is what makes us live. That’s what makes us dream. As Tennessee Williams has well said that:

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.”

Life is very obvious. We all grow old and then die. But we all try so hard to live a decent life. It feels like life is a circle of chaos. Your life might seem repetitive but no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Not even a single day is predictable for you. Some days will be hard-hitting and wretched for you but something fun always comes along every once in a while. Who knows when your boring life might turn in to an exciting one? If you will try to keep everyone happy the only person that won’t be happy in the end will be you. So follow your heart and be yourself and live a life without regrets regardless of the consequences.

 “The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.”

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