Relatable Quotes #3

A man’s emotions are what define him and control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feelings is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.

– Brandon Sanderson, Way of Kings ❤

This line was like an awakening for me where I had to tell myself out loud, “See, did you read that. It’s ok to have so many emotions but stop being a child.” The Stormlight Archive has my heart and soul.

If you have to get obsessed, then obsess over,
reading books without any breaks
walking for hours without knowing where you’re going
watching the stars and wondering how it would be like to be in space
playing with animals and taking care
obsess over loving yourself every single day.

Mood on a Swing

I am just sad, a sad lad. My eyelids feel heavy, brain is foggy. I’m in that state where I can think of a hundred things and make myself sad. Like, ah the weather is so beautiful but I can’t go travelling. I want to go for a run but I’m feeling lazy and my legs are tired. I feel dirty, I need to shower but it’s too cold to get wet. I wish my friends lived next door. I wish people could understand my deep inner emotions. Stuff like that you know, but who wants to go down that lane.

What can I do instead?

Make a sandwich? Done. Drink a cup of hot coffee? Done. Watch a crazy TV show? Done. Wash my laundry? Done, I just need to remove them from the dryer. Read a book? Done. Play video games? Done.

I guess this is another problem, I’m too good, I’m too cool, I’m also a fool.

Okay, I think I am feeling better now!. Time to go and throw out the trash. Trash all the sadness and negativity that’s pulling me down.

That was easy, all I had to do was dwell on those feelings, write them down, shout them out, and understand what’s wrong. Now that I’ve given those emotions some attention I feel I am ready to take on the world. But hey, I am just a lad, not a sad one anymore, a normal lad.

Educated by Tara Westover

Memoir|Self-help|Inspirational|Family

Book Review

Educated, is a memoir written by Tara Westover. Before I begin the book review I have to say that I am in awe of Tara, she is my hero and I aspire to be as brave, determined, and confident as her, someday.

This book recounts Tara’s experiences of growing up in a Mormon survivalist family that is always preparing to survive an Apocalypse. Tara does not get a proper education until the age of seventeen as her father believes that the public health and education system are corrupted by the Illuminati. Stuck between the curiosity of exploring the outside world and the confusing dominating views of her family, Tara has a troubled childhood. At the age of seventeen, Tara finally decides to join school and get an education. The path of self-discovery from hereon, though not smooth, slowly brings a profound change in her life.

“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”

Tara’s life begins at the Buck’s Peak mountain in rural Idaho. She lives an isolated life with her Mormon family. Her father is paranoid, extremely religious and owns a metal junkyard. Her mother is a midwife and later gains recognition as a herbal specialist.

Tara is the youngest child and has six siblings – Tony, Shawn, Tyler, Luke, Richard, and her sister Audrey. The children are expected to work at the junkyard with their father from a very young age. They are loosely homeschooled by their mother. Tyler, was the first child who takes serious interest in studies and decides to leave home. Tara being close to Tyler feels betrayed when he leaves her. Soon, Tara like the rest of her siblings is expected to work at the junkyard.

The children face multiple accidents at the junkyard but they are never taken to the hospital, all injuries are attended to by their mother. Luke gets burned while working with his father, Shawn has multiple accidents at the junkyard and while riding his motorcycle, Tara injures her neck in a car accident, Tara’s mother has a serious brain injury, but every time the father refuses to take any of them to the hospital for treatment. He believes that it is all a part of God’s plan and they can only be healed by Him. Tara also faces abuse from her violent elder brother, Shawn, soon she starts believing that her actions must be sinful for which she is being punished.

“It’s strange how you give the people you love so much power over you.”

I often had my hand over my mouth or I found myself on the edge of my couch while reading about these horrifying accidents. But all these incidents do not dampen Tara’s spirits, she keeps going, keeps trying and believing that only she can make her life better. It takes tremendous amount of courage to continue on a path that is explicitly forbidden by your family. While reading the book, I could feel Tara’s state of mind being torn between her family and her idea that she controls her life. Tara through self-education passes the ACT examination and joins BYU. Her dedication, interest and enthusiasm to learn new subjects eventually earns her a doctorate in history at Cambridge University.

“He said positive liberty is self-mastery—the rule of the self, by the self. To have positive liberty, he explained, is to take control of one’s own mind; to be liberated from irrational fears and beliefs, from addictions, superstitions and all other forms of self-coercion.”

Not everybody has it easy. Children expect love and support from their families, they believe that their parents always know best and they grow up trusting them. But, every family has a different way of raising kids. Just because Tara’s parents did not bring her up in a conventional way does not mean they did not love her. All the tough times and trauma that the children face made them stronger. Despite the hardship, there is nothing that they cannot possibly do if they set their minds to it. The fact that Tara could articulate about the trauma and abuse that she faced in her childhood reflects how strong she is physically and emotionally. Her past experiences might have broken her many times, but she is now living her life on her terms and this is why she is a real trooper.

The reason this book feels personal is because each of us have been put in a situation where we feel like an outsider and do not know any of the rules. Her story is inspiring because of her absolute self-belief and determination to continue down the path that she has chosen. We can all draw on Tara’s strength while in a similar predicament. Educated, is a wonderfully written memoir by Tara Westover and I consider it a must-read!

“To admit uncertainty is to admit to weakness, to powerlessness, and to believe in yourself despite both. It is a frailty, but in this frailty there is a strength: the conviction to live in your own mind, and not in someone else’s.”

“But vindication has no power over guilt. No amount of anger or rage directed at others can subdue it, because guilt is never about them. Guilt is the fear of one’s own wretchedness. It has nothing to do with other people.”

Tara Westover

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!