Be the Change

Violence, hatred, corruption.

It is there. Everywhere.

It is not easy to cleanse the world at once.

So, let’s keep it simple.

One person at a time.

Listen to your inner voice.

Let it be your guide.

To do what is right.

Don’t ever let yourself down.

Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires – Lao Tzu

 

 

QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Self-Help|Heart-Felt|Insightful|Behavioral Psychology

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Book Review

QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, written by Susan Cain is a book about introverts. It is a wonderful guide for all the introverts who face self-doubt and find it difficult to live up to the challenging demands of a society that is dominated by extroverts. This book, Quiet, inspires introverts and teaches us to embrace ourselves.

So, who are Introverts? Introverts are quiet, reserved, prefer listening over talking, enjoy conversations with a small group of friends, and feel comfortable being alone.

This book is not just for introverts, it also needs to be read by extroverts. In fact, this book is for everyone. The society sometimes fails to appreciate the innovative and creative minds of the silents ones. As a community, we need to understand the personality traits of introverts and know why introverts behave the way they do. It helps in changing the perspective of people on how they need to regard introverts. 

What Can You Expect from this Book?

  • This book discusses the temperament of introverts and shares success stories of famous introverted personalities. Revolutionary leaders such as, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks, though shy, brought a change to the world in their own way.

“Eleanor, Al Gore, Warren Buffet, Gandhi, and Rosa Parks – achieved what they did not in spite of but because of their introversion”

  • It talks about the society which has adopted the extroverted ideals in schools, colleges, and workspaces. The enthusiastic, expressive, and confident students are considered to be smarter, attractive, and interesting to be around. Whereas, the shy, skinny, and quiet ones are regarded as slow and bland.

“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

  • So, to negate this myth, the author cites examples of some of the legends such as, W.B. Yeats, Chopin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Warren Buffet, and J.K. Rowling, who though quiet, have made a powerful impact with their intellectual creativity. Imagine living in a world without them!

“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”

  • At workplaces – group thinking, team activities, and collaborated methods of working are not always effective. Susan Cain proves this point with her research and statistics by elaborating that majority of the people are most productive and brilliant when they are working alone.

 

  • She also talks about how different cultures in the world have different ideals. The Western culture is prominently extroverted where being talkative, athletic and vivacious is considered ideal. But, the Asian culture is more on the introverted side. It discourages students from talking in class and encourages reading, listening, and writing. In this part of the world, introverts are admired for being contemplative and reflective.

“It was no coincidence that the 1920s and the 1930s, Americans became obsessed with movie stars. Who better than a matinee idol to model personal magnetism?”

  • The society needs both introverts and extroverts. Extroverts can continue doing what they do best and introverts don’t have to change themselves to fit in. They just need to accept themselves for who they are.

 

  • Also, it does not mean that introverts are not suited to be in a field of work that requires them to be more outgoing. What is important is that introverts need to get the adequate amount of downtime to unwind.

“Proust called these moments of unity between writer and reader “that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”

  • Introverts need to recharge themselves and this can happen only when they get to savor their solitude.

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

  • In the book, the author also talks about how introverts and extroverts are often drawn towards each other, be it friendship, a romantic relationship, or at work. This is why, the book is vitally important for both personalities to understand each other.

 

  • Quiet, is also great for parenting. Introverted kids need to be encouraged and accepted for who they are, instead of pushing them towards becoming someone else.

Now, I am going to take some time to appreciate the title of this book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. This hit me in the right spot and was the sole reason why I decided to read this book. I am an introvert and I really needed someone to tell me that’s it’s okay to be me. Well, introversion is not a choice isn’t it, we are just made this way!

Most introverts will agree that they are tired of answering the question,

“Why are you so quiet?”

Probably, people asked me this because they were just curious. But, it is not necessary for people to always be loud and talkative. 

I remember my teachers writing remarks in my report card, “Good in studies, but quiet.”

Every time people asked me this question, I would go deeper into my shell. I started feeling that there was something wrong with me, why can’t I have conversations easily with random people? Why am I not good with small talk?

Earlier, I was not sure about myself to give them an answer to this question with confidence. Maybe now I can or maybe I will continue holding myself back, but what’s more important is that, now I am a lot of more comfortable in my own skin. 

This question does not bother me anymore. In fact, I am glad that I come under the “quiet” category. Yes, I am reserved and I feel lost in large groups but I love one-on-one conversations with like-minded people and you will have my total undivided attention. 

I am extremely thankful to Susan Cain for writing this book and for helping me and thousands of people out there in understanding themselves, or their introverted partners, family members, and friends.

“You are told that you’re “in your head too much”, a phrase that’s often deployed against quiet and cerebral. Of course, there’s another word for such people: Thinkers.”

Highly Recommended

At least one-third people that we know are introverted according to Susan Cain. Reading this book will give you a unique insight and perspective on how thinking minds work and hence I consider this book to be a must-read for everyone!

PS: Apologies for getting too carried away while writing the review of this book and peppering it with personal anecdotes!

Snowing Cats

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On a fine snowy, winter evening, I donned my cozy layers of warmth and stepped out to buy a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread. Walking down the hillside I noticed something rolling down the snow.

“Must be kids playing with snowballs.” I said to myself and continued walking.

Then all of a sudden the snowball landed near my feet. I stopped when I saw something glistening under the snow. It moved and I could see a pair of shining crystal eyes, it purred and wiggling itself out of the snow.

I bent down slowly, “Hey there, you furry little friend!”, she replied with a soft mew and followed me all the way to the bakery. I fed her a few crumbs of cheese, she purred contently and we walked back home together happily.

 

Basket Full

At 8.52 AM, I left home to get to work. I need to walk a kilometer to get to the bus stop. A pretty sunny day so I walk faster to avoid getting tanned. A long walk uphill, carrying my bag of bricks on my back. Huffing and puffing, I finally reach my stop, hoping the bus to be on time.

The bus is supposed to arrive by 9.15 AM but it is never on time. Sometimes it’s early and sometimes it’s way too late. However, I am always on time, peasants such as me cannot afford to be late. It arrived by 9.25 AM, surprisingly the bus wasn’t crowded and I got a seat by the window. Today, seems to be a fine day!

People who take public transport would understand the importance of getting a seat in a bus. You need to pray, pray really hard for the bus to be less crowded so you can get a seat alone by the window. Now, praying for it to be empty is asking for too much!

Overcrowded buses are a nightmare, human life is very cheap here. Nobody finds it surprising to see people hanging from the doors of a moving bus. In fact, they find it disturbing to even look at something so unpleasant so they turn away as though it’s an open can of overspilling garbage.

Sometimes, it even becomes difficult to breathe in buses stuffed with humans, you get tossed around in the bus as more bodies come rushing towards you. You try to adjust your position and try to squeeze yourself, hoping you will shrink in size when the bus gets fuller, managing to balance yourself holding on to your heavy bag, while also keeping a careful watch of not being robbed or molested. However, today is not one of those days, today I will sit like a king on my throne and enjoy the view outside from the window.

While being stuck in a jam at a traffic signal, I notice two little girls selling marigold flowers by the corner of a street. Such innocent and happy faces they have, inviting busy bodies to come and buy their fresh yellow marigold flowers.

The girls are mostly ignored, some quieten them down with a wave of their hand, some ridicule the girls, and very few stopped by to buy. But, the girls didn’t really care, they are happy sitting next each other with a basket of flowers in front of their laps under the open sky. I watch them giggle, laugh at people passing by while also managing to sell flowers because they do not want to upset their parents who are just by their side.

They do not understand the meaning of hardship, they are content. No worries of the world can take those smiles away from them. I sat there in the bus admiring their joy and their simplicity, wishing the miseries of the world do not take away their innocence and beautiful smiles.

While I complain about the hardships of my life, I realize I have a job that pays me every month even when there is no work at times. Unlike the girls, who will have to sleep on an empty stomach if they do not manage to sell their basket full of marigold flowers.

girl smiling
Photo by hitesh choudhary on Pexels.com

Rambling on One’s Life

When life gives you with options, one always wonders, what is the best possible choice it can make for it to be the right decision..

When one has the time in hand, one feels guilty about not making productive use of it.

But, what does that mean? Does working for somebody else make one productive only because one can get money out of it?

But, is it right to be the master of one’s own life? To only do things that make one happy. Is it being selfish or is it just self-love?

When one spends all the time doing things that mean nothing to the outside world, but everything to yourself, is it good enough? Is it called art?

Or, when one spends all the time doing things for others without giving importance to one’s own desires is that good enough? Is it called a successful career?

What one fails to realize is, it is one’s own life. One should choose to do whatever it wishes to do without worrying about what the others do, what the others think, and what the others might say.

There is no purpose to fulfill in this world. There are many ways of looking at life. There are different paths to explore and innumerable things to learn. All one needs to do is learn to survive and choose to always remain happy.

Shine on me Wisdom

Day 62

Give me inspiration, oh lord!

To write a few words,

That sound pleasing to the heart.

I am yet to complete my daily tasks,

Before I return to my chamber of slumber.

Strike me with a divine light of wisdom, dear God.

So I can learn to master,

The art of meeting with triumph

and not the disaster.

A Drifting Leaf

Day 31

Drifting in the air

A dried leaf

Sometimes lying on the ground.

Flying with the blowing wind.

Floating away

With no direction.

Wind, water, soil or rain

It settles wherever

Doesn’t complain

Glad about the change.