We live in the illusion of free will, when all our actions are a result of the pull of the chains that bind us. We fail to realize the pull of these chains, and that we are nothing but puppets because we don’t act with awareness. Our egos make us think that we are the ones in control. We just act, we do not think about why we are doing things beyond the superficial level. Scrolling through social media for example, we mindlessly scroll for hours through our Instagram or Facebook feed, we never ask ourselves. Why am I scrolling through it? Is it giving me pleasure? Why is it giving me pleasure? Can I do something more fulfilling, something which would make me happier? We need to ask ourselves similar questions.

The question is who controls these chains. There is no one answer, but if we go to the root of it, it boils down to desire and the desperation to fit in. If we look back and analyze our life without bias, we will see that some of our biggest decisions were the result of the societal pressure, and the most of our time has been wasted in petty temporary desires. Many might work 100-hour work weeks because society expects them to earn a certain amount, while they might be content in much less. Our desire for delicacies prevents us from achieving our fitness goals. Though, we are born free, we enslave ourselves pretty quickly. Even as toddlers often do things to attract attention from our parents or older siblings.

Let me share with you two solutions which seem to have been working for me. First, spend at least ten to fifteen minutes a day doing nothing. It sounds counter intuitive, but you will be shocked at how uncomfortable we are doing nothing. Let your thoughts flow, don’t put thought into them, let them free. The next solution is also the next step to the previous activity. Now analyze the thoughts you had during those fifteen minutes along with analyzing your activities of the day. Try to find the reason behind your actions and thoughts. This will also enable you to disengage from unwanted thoughts and activities because you will be able to get to their root, and once you snip it from the root, the chances of it coming back are reduced drastically. These activities and acting mindfully are extremely important in my view because though we think that all our actions are adding value to our views, we are dancing to the pull of society and desires.

Choreograph your own dance and it will bring you joy, let someone else pull the strings and you will just go through the moments. But, don’t forget to dance. 😂

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Samarth Khanna

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