Tag Archives: #Creativity

Do dreams freak you out? Your brain might be trying to tell you something!!

And it doesn’t mean that a downright naked-in–a-crowd nightmare is waiting to happen!

Here’s what happens after you nod off.

Image source: ‘Can lucid dreaming help us understand consciousness?’ by David Robinson in theguardian.com on Nov. 14. 2021.

Did you have a dream last night that has left you bonkers? Is it the one that drops in on you day after day?

Spooky!…Maybe it’s trying to tell you something.

Or perhaps it’s our brain’s way of communicating while we sleep. It’s wired like that but…

Oddly our mind isn’t. It’s as recklessly restless as ever. In fact it stays as active as it is while we are awake. Of course it doesn’t work like a neon sign, flash momentarily and do away with the dreaming business. But while awake it gushes around analyzing things happening around us…feel, touch, emotions, events; just about anything that we bump into.

Strangely enough, all of this can turn into dreams, though it’s not always obvious what dreams try to tell us. Sometimes we get freaky ones that stick out. At others, these could be downright frightening.

What does it mean when you dream you can’t find your shoes? What if you go blind in dreams? What if you dreamed of getting divorced? Right from abysmal fall to a frightening abduction by ETs, every moment of your dream has something to speak of about yourself that you wouldn’t realize otherwise.

So…read on for some startling revelations! Here’s to few common dreams and what they might be trying to tell you!

You are running like hell

You definitely are mobbed by some insecurities. You worry too much about what people at work think of you; how’d they react to anything new happening in your life. Just about anything and everything disquiets you.

I wouldn’t wait for anything steroidal happening, if I were you. I would let go anything and everything crazy and creepy.

You can’t find your shoes

You couldn’t make up your mind over some important decision you have to make or some cracking position you have been asked to assume.

If you find you have misplaced something of value in dreams; it’s just that you don’t think much of yourself and value yourself a little less in real life. You could be steaming low on self esteem in waking life.

You are falling into an abysmal depth

It’s a huge red flag for you! It’s a sign that you have some major issues in life; work, relationship, just about anywhere. You would feel as if things are running out of control and there is very little you could do about it. You are rather hanging too tightly to something particular in waking life. So simply relax and let go of it.

You dream of your loved ones suffering

Would there be anything worse than to wake up from a dream where you watched your loved one suffer. It feels valley low. Guilt pangs have hit you hard for having done something wrong in your relationship with this person. Atone it and feel wonderful.

You dream of death

If you die or feel like dying, it might be that something in your life is coming to an end. It doesn’t necessarily mean foreboding death or you having some terminal illness you didn’t realize you had. In your waking life this signifies that a part of you is changing. How you react to the event in dreams is the only way to know if the change is a welcome one or has been forced upon you.

You are late

…And you couldn’t find ways to make a rush for some very important date! You are not a White rabbit yet you have panicked for being late! This simply means that you are overwhelmed and inundated with work stress. Being late makes you feel as if you’re making promises that you can’t keep. Don’t leapfrog but strap your boots tight!

You have become stinking rich

You have struck gold! You have won the lottery and you are feeling at the top of the world. This sudden richness in dream reveals your deepest desires- from being rich to traveling the world and mean that you have become more wiser in waking life. Not so much material as spiritual wealth, it would also mean elevation of your worth to others. No pep talk this one! It’s the beginning of a new you.

This is great! Now that you know of it; chase them.

You’re in love

This is serious! If you bump into a passionate date in dreams and feel as if you are about to fall in love, then kick yourself!! You lack this kind of intimacy and passion in your waking life. Your love life, if any is all flattening and your uniqueness is being ignored.

You have missed the ride

You find yourself stranded on a platform or tarmac for having missed your flight or the train has departed. It’s a sign that you are weighed down by too many commitments. Maybe you are pushing yourself too much in waking life and fallen from grace one time too often. It hurts. But you can get to redeem yourself once you become intensely aware of your deep seated priorities. Just leave unnecessary baggage behind and be friends to your internal vibes. Remember; you cannot beat the clock!

You have done horrible things

You dream of having committed some satanic crime and trying desperately to cover it up. This could mean that there’s a problem inside you and you need to address it fast before you get a meltdown. Besides a whole host of other wild dream-crimes might leave you feeling evil.

You’re unable to speak

If your voice fails you in your dream, this could mean you are bedeviled with some unresolved tension in your waking life. You really want to be out with what’s in your mind and to speak and be heard. Begin with addressing issues in waking life if you feel ignored and have found no way to make your opinions heard.

There’s always a better way to shoot the breeze!

Image source: ‘The serious health consequences of not dreaming’ by Derek Beres in bigthink.com on Mar.25, 2018.

You’re flying

Flying in a dream is extremely freeing. It encourages you to let go of things you couldn’t handle and let things happen the way they should. It’s a sign that you have freed yourself from something frustrating and difficult to overcome. Good times or mere coincidence?… may be; but even this feels only when you have managed some weighty decision or whacked through some serious responsibility.

That’s a dream I wouldn’t miss to get onboard with!

You are being intimate with a coworker

Strangely enough, intimate brush in dreams isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. If you dream of being physical with a coworker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a crush on them. You could actually be looking for an inner connect with that someone having ‘positive traits you admire’ and would ‘welcome in your own life’.

You showed up for an exam but weren’t prepared

You have showed up for an exam and suddenly your heart sinks! you realize you are totally unprepared for it! You feel weird. Bile is swelling in your throat and a sour taste fills your mouth. You fear, maybe you have prep for the wrong subject or just can’t make anything of pages before you.

This dream is a sign of something positive in you; you are a high performer, hard worker and believe in doing things right. So, no heavy hearts! Simply put, it’s your fear of being unprepared that keeps you stoked to be totally ready to perform.

You need to pee, but couldn’t find the wash room

You need it badly, you’re trying but couldn’t find a toilet! If you get bogged down with this dream, may be you’re not addressing your own needs rightly in your waking life .

You literally want to let the crap out of your life. You want to declutter and let go of something or someone you couldn’t hold onto any longer. But you just couldn’t!

Of course!… you might actually do need to go to wash room because your subconscious is tipping-off with dreams of you looking for bathroom in vain.

Search yourself and get rid of dark afternoons!!

You’re getting married to a stranger

A sense of unawareness about your partner to whom you are getting married, is a manifestation of untold fears. You are not totally sure of yourself, what is expected of you and that you might be committing to something that you are uncertain of. You doubt if you will have enough time for yourself if you commit.

You’re getting divorced

You are crass enough to have filled your schedule with too many things and are overwhelmed if you dream of this. Should you despair?

No! this one is trying to tell you that you have failed to balance your commitments and keep up the promises you made to someone close to your heart. You are succumbing to perils of your obligations and everything feels going murderously berserk.

You’re standing stark naked in public

Have you ever woken up in a dream to find yourself completely naked? If you feel at ease being buck naked, you probably couldn’t be more comfortable in your own skin. However, if you are scrambling for cover, it could just be that you feel vulnerable and not happy with who you are right now.

It’s a relief that it’s a dream only, but it might be time for you to find ways to get comfortable opening up to others. An improv class might just be the right choice to begin with.

People from waking life keep showing up

It’s perfectly normal to find friends and family in your dreams, but it’s confusing when you stumble upon an acquaintance. This may mean that someone has left impression on you and might turn important to you in the future. If you dream of someone you like (or love) with someone else, it would mean that you’ve lost the fire and aren’t so passionate about them as the other people around you are!

You’re in an empty room feeling trapped and scared

You’ve got untapped talents for sure. But if you are in an empty room with closed doors or barred windows and feeling spooky and all, it could be about something old that you haven’t look at before; anything related to your life—your job, a relationship—that you’ve shut the door on.

But…no need to be eternally skeptic. It’s only about trying to open that door, even if you’re scared. Take your gloves off and do your bit. If you can’t switch up something major, it wouldn’t hurt to go on holiday for a bit.

Image source: ‘Lucid Dreaming’  by Daviona Plowright in driveforwardfoundation.org on Jun.22, 2020,

You’ve gone blind

If you suffer blindness in dream it could just be that you’re overlooking something in life or worry that you aren’t able to see something. You are in a situation in life or your personality where you have hit a blind spot. You debility in dreams may be expressing areas in your life that you have been dismissive and cruel to.

In waking life you need to go beyond what the eyes see and find out ways to respond in a legit way.

You’re searching for someone

If you dream you’re searching for someone, it would mean that you are trying to reconnect with your own identity that you haven’t touched for so long. Dear me!…nothing to do with that particular person.

You’re lost in sea and drowning

These ones are pretty scary!! You are lost somewhere mid-ocean and you’re boat is sinking fast. This tells you that you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsupported somewhere in your life –either by your loved ones, friends, or at work.

You have found heaps of yummy food

Did you went to bed hungry? If not, this could be something deeper. Food symbolizes energy, knowledge, or nourishment. So, when you dream of it it could mean that you long for more knowledge or somebody or insights about something.

Demons have scared you to death

Whether or not you’re the one of them, if you dream of running around in their midst, it tells that you are secretly feeling as though you should change your behavior. You’re worried stiff about it lately.

It’s time you get rid of that garbage ways and earn some basic respect for yourself!

You’re paralyzed

This is the scariest thing that can happen to somebody in dreams. Dreaming of paralysis indicates that you have a lack of control in your waking life. Sleep paralysis though can occur at the moment between REM sleep and the waking stage of sleep.

Your teeth are falling out

Events in your life are in upheaval. You’ve probably lost something of value in life; maybe a job and with it, your feeling of being in control. Your teeth are the symbol of your confidence and how powerful you feel. So if you dream like this; something is definitely causing your confidence to crumble in waking life.

You’re accused of a crime

If dreams where you find yourself an accused or actually having committed a crime, torment you then probably you’re hiding something from yourself in your waking life—and it isn’t always have to be negative.

The hate dreams where we commit or stand accused some crime usually mimes a conscious choice that we make in waking life to gain wider social acceptance.

Worrying for a lifeline! Ignore some of your personal needs; purge yourself of any guilt and try fitting in. It’s perfectly alright to stay in your lane and redefine yourself.

Feature credits: ‘Interesting Facts About Dreams’ by Kendra Cherry in verywellmind.com on Feb.11, 2021.

So, does this all mean that you should worry! Are your teeth actually going to fall out?

Hell no!!…

Don’t psyche yourself out!

If you are all worked up and fear losing sleep over what your dreams might be trying to sell you, you need not dwell over it for long for one simple reason…

You are not alone!!

We all share more or less the same fantasies and nightmares and rummage for the meaning behind those strange way of messaging. It’s only the way we interpret them that matters.

What dreams speak of is not always as undisguised as you would want to; but you would sleep a little more soundly tonight if only you knew what your mind’s trying to tell.

Besides who said everybody is #perfect?

“I could never make heads turn” and I never rued for not being the object of desire.

People around me could never gather enough courage to say that they never found anything attractive in me, but somehow I knew. I was no freak and I had no great looks… at least not good enough to be an object of desire. I just couldn’t make heads turn..! I was the one who desired rather than be the one who was desired.

Still, it’s taken some getting used to.

I would be lying if I were to say that I didn’t miss the thrill of being wanted. The subtle pleasure of acquiescence to somebody’s needs, the opportunity to say ‘yes’ instead of being asked,  ‘would you’?

The other day, a man -friend of a friend, distantly acquainted sat next to me in a local coffee shop. I could never figure out this day why he said what he said a little while later in a low voice leaning across. I can never make out, if it’s the academics that make everything desirable or if it takes sensuality out of everything”. He held my gaze after he’s done. It occurred to me that he was mocking me. Not giving up…so I smile and say, “It’s probably a little bit of both” and lean in for just a moment. The brazen ugly sparkle in his eye bemused me… the way he took a jibe at me. Then I lean away again and say, “But it’s’ probably more of the former, because I am married, happily so and gotten everything I want from this happenstance.”

I felt uncomfortable for quite some time … It scared me. Are we so free to say about things that are so unshakeable part of how we are to ourselves?

Today, though it’s a relief. I have seen people hide the truth of aging over their lives, chasing the desires and fantasies that I have neither had the time nor the inclination for. This is my body and I live in it more happily than I would endure the awful things I’d need to do to make it appear young again!

That the years weigh heavily on me, is because they were good years lived well and I have no intention to bid farewell to good things that lit up my sky today… everyday.

I wonder what makes us yearn so fervently to be desired, to wear a charm mesmerizing enough to change moods and make heads turn. What stokes the fear of being left behind’ that would otherwise carve an emotional wreck out of us ? Is there a way out?

Slight Smiles, Head Tilts, Tousled Hair: what this ‘allure’ is all about!

When it comes to beguiling, your looks could make you incredibly appealing even if for a short while. But deep down, we all are attracted more to carriage than other elements.

Humans are not as mysterious as they think. We have fairly expressive facial and body language cues to reveal our inner thoughts. Smile amongst them serve best in igniting the attraction even though it is not a definite facial cue.

The truth behind attraction rings differently for different persons.  I have always regarded it as a kind of invention. I think of it as an irresistible force to which we usually are in so thrall that we ignore its power to limit our choices. When we desire for someone, this all-consuming feeling turns overwhelming.  And when we become icons of attraction, we begin to fulfill all the slush fantasies.

Maybe… this is how it is meant to be. An overwhelming desire for another person stemming from a good deal of good looks!.

“If you knew the secret of Life, you too would choose, no other companion but Love”.- Rumi

It’s hard to believe in crush at first sight,  but I do believe in desire at first sight and I also believe that the knowledge of how to look attractive “has the highest regard and selling price tagged to it these days.

The inevitable business of finding happiness begins right here, something that is so hard to come by that we just couldn’t find it once for all and keep it safe in our pockets! Weirdly, as we chase it in seemingly brighter spots outside of us, describing happiness has turned complicated and experiencing it even more expensive.

The world is changing and so are we…looking for honest answers to how to be a head turner.

Searching for Answers in happiness sales!!

I am not getting into details of the trillions spent in selling happiness, but isn’t it true that every year with an increase in happiness sales (beauty products, luxury possessions, marquee outfits), the incidences of mental health concerns are only rising?

I find that our biggest mistake is that we have come to commercialize the path to happiness. From buying confidence swelling beauty products to selling vacuum cleaners to a happy family, all are there with the sole purpose to catch an eye and externalize happiness.

The joke is on us. It exists for free and not far, within each one of us. Haven’t we overrated our sense of happiness? Aren’t there so many other emotions to embrace besides this blind hunt to look great?

It could be the very cause of unhappiness!

I looked beyond grudges

My woes would have had lived on if I were to keep raking myself with this one single thought. What could possibly be wrong with me? Why people do not find me attractive enough to be desirable? Instead I chose not to shoot myself in the feet and  went about living a life aging gracefully and chasing desires and pursuits I never would have thought to be such a joy…the thrill of wanting myself…the joy of yielding to somebody’s needs.

Beyond the man made myth of finding joys in unseen lands, I realize that I am actually happier today for having struck fascination to myself.

It all adds up. Being okay with both the troughs and crests and not demanding highs alone, is all about growing subtly in life. I withdrew from this mindless chase to be wanted’ one out of a hundreds of emotions, glamorized and boldly coveted. I probably saved myself from pitching into dark depths of depression, anxiety and other inconsolable personal and social challenges.

Believe me, we cannot be happy “at all times”. That would be a manic behavior. But once you realize that it’s not inlooksbut in the meaningwe put to it that we find or miss this amazing emotion. The more we see it in what we have” and appreciate “what is”, the easier it is to find it.

After all I could succeed in hoodwinking my identity crisis!!

FIVE SIMPLE LIFE LESSONS THAT COULD MAKE PEOPLE FIND YOU MORE #ATTRACTIVE- BESIDES LOOKS!

Not everything’s always about looks.!!

Being attractive to other people is not always dependent on how we look. How many times have we seen the attraction go flying out of the window, the moment he or she opens his or her mouth? Truth is…the key to everything that fascinates others lies within us.

Find out what could make people find you awesome and more attractive- beyond the physical.

Sometimes even science can’t convince me. The most important characteristic is also the most basic. If I were to ask you what quality would you prefer most in a person, wouldn’t it be … kindness? Predictably, this is one positive sentiment that is shared right across the board and perhaps one benevolent choice that could make heads turn in appreciation.

This is kind of baffling!!.. because no where would you find advice on how to be niceexcept that we’d all be so much better off simply by being kind rather than spending hours in front of the mirror. And it doesn’t take a lot to reveal this. Being on time, letting the other order first and choose where to sit and being polite to the waitress… these small acts of kindness are clear ways to show that you are concerned…. and in all probability kind too.

But isn’t it true that when it comes to make a choice, it’s what the other person represents and symbolizes is more compelling and attractive? None of us would miss the opportunity to be rather the one that others look upon us to be, than judge ourselves the way we truly are.

Believe me, we all would readily gift ourselves this much of concession whenever the need arise.

The ultimate hunt : It’s ‘nice’ and ‘sensible’ that finish first

When men think of a companion they imagine a woman who is open for adventure, sensual and cares little or nothing for what others think of her. These are the women who prefer to play by their own rules and live by their share of ikigai.

Women also have their share of stumbling when it comes to being hearty in their priorities. Sensible choices manifest in laboratories only. It’s a bit different in real life. Slave to habits, women usually have a hard time breaking cycles of poor choices and keep falling for the wrong kind of guy. Even after they get burned they would go out and do it again.

Sadly, expectations do sometimes turn into ruined intentions. In a world where we endure a monotonous life with an overwhelming number of rules and regulations, we find allure of even bad mates as incredibly appealing. Sometimes the temporary excitement that this fascination represents is too much to just let go..

So, how do you find preference over others, when you know that people may doubt what they see in you but will believe what you do?

The fastest way to do this happens only if you turn yourself into a bundle of curiosity and start learning a few simple but rewarding tricks.

These three simple actions are the recipe to quick and amazing results. Follow them and you could actually redefine yourself as more attractive a person besides your looks, to be the right choice for those who prefer a healthy and everlasting relationship.

Forget playing it cool.

Even speed dating events – where decisions are made in mere matter of minutes- simple interest builds up attraction. So how to make heads turn and others take notice of you? Listen closely, inquire moderately, hold your tongue so that you appear more polite and less inquisitive and ask questions that are witty but not frivolous. Believe me, these are known to work like an aphrodisiac!!.. could kindle a flame in your companion and in all probability make the other person find you more attractive than ever before.

Consider body movements.

These simple muscle flexing activities are controlled by the limbic part of the brain, the one that is responsible for our feeling of fascination, attraction and eventually love. Leaning towards the other person, smiling, keeping eye contact, are the three positive body actions that needs no words to build a connect to your advantage.

A smile is worth more than a thousand words.

“The things  I found most beautiful about a person are almost never physical”. # Slickwords

A positive personality always bridge emotions and physical attractiveness. It’s not groundbreaking of course but men are indeed attracted to pleasant, cheerful and positive women. These personality attributes blend easily not only because of their intense physical appeal but because they carry social attraction as well- a key issue when it comes to choosing a soul mate.

Of course, a lot depends on the context of the man in question, his age, maturity level, relationship status, and current needs in life— just a few of the many factors that are key to his attraction toward women.

This isn’t to say that you need to put on a happy face 24/7, but if you focus on being friendly and are open to meeting new people, it’s a win-win. Wisely put it’s all about having a open mind, warm heart and longing soul behind a smiling face that makes the day for those who are in the fray to win.

The truth holds something more respectful for a woman. It’s her unique hobbies, skills and interests that make her more attractive as a relationship partner. There certainly is no need for her to be the same as everyone else to be attractive. Being herself is always a much better choice. The more she could demonstrate her true self, the more she could make a man feel as if he has met the most wonderful person of his lifetime.

Happiness is actually is one most attractive emotion expression and a smiling face draws admiration all round. A scowling one definitely isn’t the right choice for anybody to draw attention let alone win over appreciation. When you smile and generally look happy, you look more open and less intimidating.

Remember…a smile could move mountains!!

Down to basics of attraction

Deep down, do guys really prefer nice women?

Yes, but men strongly associate nice woman as one who is not twice as funny, exciting and open as they fantasize.  Of course this is not meant to be a blanket statement and often not true, but then perception is everything.

And how could a girl attract a nice guy?

The best she could do is to demonstrate alluring qualities of a bad girl as imagined to have, without actually being bad. Its not a hard guess to know what guys want. She could show that she is open to trying new things, love being funny, adventurous, exciting, and has a sensual side too, without staging all the drama that a typical male fantasy brings to the table. The more she could portray these while still being the one elusive nice girl, the more she could make a man feel weak at knees.

For men, the excitement of an adrenaline rush would not be easy to pass by.

Don’t let go of people who could make you smile, laugh and feel loved

Being and remaining attractive to other person could be hard when you are looking for a long term relationship. Even in a new one, finding ways to spruce up your attraction don’t come easy. But, lesser attraction doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed. If you run out of luck to look attractive to your partner despite having tried different techniques, its time to revisit your relationship.

Sometimes attraction thins away when we ignore what we have faltered in.

It’s all about priorities and deciding what one truly wants in life. Once we come to terms with the poor choices that we make while trying to look amazing to other and what we truly want in the other person instead, we can help ourselves and make the right decisions. Could there ever be a better emotional reward for us than to turn compelling and truthful in our choices?

Being attractive and building upon a soulful relationship has its own share of sins and doesn’t come easy. You need to take time off to get to know the other person, change from strangers to friends and see them in every single light you ever wanted in the first place.

So, learn to revel in your true self and the better side of you will find ways to reveal itself… beyond physical of course.

With any luck you might find the mysterious connection of being attractive –inside out more rewarding than you would have ever thought!!

Winning over a heart is no big deal if you know what it takes to make you ‘so desirable’

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” – Oscar Wilde

You could be a good looking person with a fair iota of intellect yet you secretly marvel at the ease with which your BFF earns attention than chasing it.

Or you could be in the midst of your admirers and still reel in awe over his or her ability to get the heads turning.

But when have you ever been yourself …just what you loved in the first place?

There is nothing more unappetizing than that desperate urge that comes with needing the approval of others. We all have felt it at one time or the other. If you constantly try to assure yourself and barge into other’s lives for the sake of being noticed then you are not the standout choice to be reckoned seriously. Attention earned without begging for it is what I call admiration and the one that you get by throwing yourself at others face is no better than a sign of pity.

Is it difficult to be compelling?

The good news is that being desirable, stealing someone’s heart or even storming into it isn’t as complicated as you would think!! So long as you are honest to yourself and treat the people around you well…. heads will turn. Of course, not everyone around you will look your way but you will draw attention of the type of people that are there for the right reason… to enhance your life.

Some of the biggest decisions we make in our lives are driven by desire to draw attention. We look for things that appeal us most even if we can’t explain why a particular person seems more attractive than others.

So if you are looking for ways to make yourself a standout choice for a warm heart- so discreetly drawn to you and un-apologetically storm into it, consider following these powerful yet easy to follow choices that go beyond the physical;

Closet your sorrows and look happy

Too often we fall shy of our passions and hobbies… ashamed how others may judge us for them. What we don’t realize that by doing this we make ourselves more boring and unappealing. We believe that hiding ourselves like this is one way to impress others around us. But bruised conscience is what makes people see through that false perfection. It isn’t about being perfect, it’s about impressing people with what you truly are. So drop that scowl and smile… .Your genuine self is more endearing and attractive than you would have thought. It’s generally regarded as sexist and patronizing when we are told how we should look in our faces. Obviously this hurts .One should never be told how one’s face should look but it does give an insight to what  is meant  when we say  ‘I would find you more attractive if you smiled’.

Happiness is actually is one most attractive emotion expression and a smiling face mirrors your state of your mind. A scowling one definitely isn’t the right choice for you to draw any attention let alone win over somebody’s heart.

So when you smile and generally look happy, you seem more open and less intimidating. It certainly helps if you look like you are not going to reject immediately. If you want to be approached then you should look approachable. For once just flash a warm smile and you will find a compassionate heart right under your nose in no time. All it needs is to open your heart for others.

And remember…a smile could move mountains!!

Help yourself with a great sense of humor

There is no denying that humor is important for both sexes but in different ways. Even by modest standards, gals are drawn easily to a man who is funny, makes them laugh or at least listen to lighten the mood. Guys’ choices on the other hand find favor with a gal who thinks he is funny and will laugh at his jokes. Whatever… it works great if you give the other a break, laugh politely howsoever terrible and unfunny the joke might be. Just laughing a bit helps both feel good.

Your excitement could ruin the vibe

It’s normal to get excited with the hope of a massive emotional reward . You consider this ‘important’ as the idea of getting ‘connected’ to somebody makes you feel special… the mere act of bringing it to life couldn’t be more thrilling.

However, the excitement and idea of ‘falling in love’ is usually short-lived. What allows you to really dig into it, get good at it and reach some level of success, rests on one basic attribute- modesty.  Be generous with it – though some of us find it an ugly trait for those who wish to shine. And restrain your ‘excitement’ even if it means being uncomfortable and smily ..all at the same time. How often would you find a person who would admire your little weird habits, pick up your dirty pieces and still say they like you at the end of the day?    

So… go gentle with your thrill experience .Your quest to find somebody who can make you laugh, smile , grow, want, crave, feel, make you mad but happy will have a perfect end.

Be ‘nice’ and ‘natural’

One predictable behavior that makes people find you attractive is .. you are nice’. You wouldn’t have found a guy who would confide; I’m so into her because she’s a shrew!”?  or a gal who would  jump around gossiping; hey! I fell for him because he is a jackass!”? Just as much gals won’t consider dating a jerk, guys probably won’t prefer a sulking grouch either. Being genuinely nice to people around you is what makes you more attractive than those who either don’t care or just don’t find it worthwhile to dig any further.

So, if you want ‘somebody’ nice to enter your life, be who you want to attract. People who are kind are attracted to like-minded and are turned off by morons.  Be polite, say ‘thank you’, listen attentively, don’t take anything for granted ,be your natural self… and eyes around you will start rolling admiringly.

Another interesting fallacy that makes us  so desirable, is equally perplexing. Gals tend to wear far more makeup thinking that guys like and would find them attractive and end up with way more of it than guys think they should. For guys less is always more, wear too much of it and you have jinxed it even before it all began. Nothing is anymore different for guys either. Rage of stylized haircuts, reeking deos , high-fashion clothing and accessories, offensive breath and you have begun on the wrong note.

It helps to have a great Life plan

Ambition and goal are the two most desirable attributes that make people follow people. These make you think about what you want to achieve and how you will get there. That you are capable of making informed decisions and a have sense of control over life, makes you the right choice to be desirable and attractive. Your willingness to consider other choices shows that you are capable of compromise and make other people want to go on the journey with you.

Spoil yourself

Most of us spend our adolescence and early 20’s for some kind of a forever’ love, one that is enchanting and mesmerizing.. one that we could melt ourselves into to be happy and ..loved.  That’s so insane!!

We all are blessed with an uncanny sense to spot those who fail to take care of themselves and always lean on someone to ‘complete’ them without lifting a finger to be ‘complete’ on their own.

Don’t let yourself be dragged into this. It’s miserly and lonely. Learn to be okay all by yourself. Eat healthy and to your fill, Exercise if you may and find things that makes you happy and joyous. Listen to those nice things that you have always wanted others to tell you. Be kind to yourself for who else is more worthy of it than you? And remember… self care doesn’t stop even when you are single. Push hard and make it your daily practice.. for you do not want a relationship  you want one to last you a lifetime.

Stop worrying

No need to worry if you keep striking and miss out miserably. It could be just because you’re choosing the wrong ones at the wrong times. More likely it could be something to do with you.

Now is the time to make a new beginning. Mend your ways and find peace with yourself. With some little reminders you can start doing things differently and see where that takes you. It’s always so easy to fall in love but so hard to find someone who could catch you.

Whatever… there’s always that one. And when you find them, you will get to know!!

Retiring before dad is no longer bizzare or insane!!

Why shy away from retiring early when you needn’t? An early retirement is more possible than you think!!

For me an early retirement simply means that I no longer have to work for money and I have created enough of it to work itself for me.

Image source: ‘How to retire early’ by Matthew Makowski in investmentu.com

I am 46 and hung my boots last week. Since then I wait in bated breath, for all I know I may have stirred a storm in my cup of tea. Nothing dreadful has happened so far and if I am any good in reading patterns, nothing ever will.

Here’s why,

At 26 I was a lead manager in an IT major. The desk that I graced smelled of bad upholstery. It at times reeked of an incapacitated future, especially when I had snappy conversations with a miffed senior or peeved track lead. Mulling in quieter moments I used to wonder what will happen 15/20 years hence when the cloud become so dense that no more data would stick to it, when the environments like Reddit   run out of inspiring ideas, when skills  will feel betrayed  and a dismayed outlook  will leave hundreds in a lurch. The rut will not take long to turn into a cesspool. For me the future felt weak and uncertain.

I now realize that our ancestors never taught us everything about future. Choices have an uncanny way of echoing narratives. We are always okay with choices what we love to talk about fundamentally but do not understand them at all.

It’s complicated but I felt nowhere anymore clearer in my choices than I did at that moment.

I decided to let go of things.

It was dreadful and I feared if I was leaving little room for a stupid decision. But then decision is where everything starts from. It’s meant to cut off all options and decide on one path. Good or terrible… decisions are the firepower that make you unstoppable.

Leaving a cushy job meant changing life forever. Everything shades dark for a while. I may easily regret it later. An unknown destiny may conspire to draw me to a choice I knew nothing about or what lay beyond. Whatever, predicting consequences makes you no less a fool. Even mystically I couldn’t have foreseen the future.

For once I felt being mobbed with a million $ decision. Did I ever get to choose wisely? All I knew that time was worth more than the money and with less time I could be making poor decisions with worse consequences.

However, I am not allergic to facing the truth.

I decided to hustle things and make the change worthwhile. Not every time charging your Smartphone wirelessly could mean a disaster is waiting to happen.

What it’s like to stray out of the way and succeed

Retiring early is not end of everything. I had drawn plans to focus on bigger things, larger projects. For once I felt for no- nonsense pep talk. I wanted to make it big and beyond. No longer a remotely paged skit to be rehearsed and updated every weekend night. No Monday morning briefs, mindless meetings, meaningless briefs. For once, I craved to shut being gaslit. Crappy, but quick and simple enough reason..

It’s ok not to be busy always and I do not underrate the rest either.

I am not a minimalist but I know how to ease into my present.

So, the first thing that crossed my mind, how much I can spend each year without running out of money if I retire early.

I surfed through customized retirement plans, advises and toyed with online calculators. There were several underlying assumptions that I decided to keep in mind, if I were going to go ahead and retire early

In most cases, the beginning happens to be your worst nightmare. People usually tend to withdraw at a higher rate and drain their resources much more rapidly. Re-balancing the corpus annually unmistakably ends in trimming of expenses. Annual spending increases every year keeping pace with the rate of inflation, howsoever hard we bite our tongue each time. These adjustments just happen regardless of  inflation even if it exceeds 10%. You just could not make adjustments to the annual distributions on your invested assets and rate yourself ‘excellent each time, for these are largely market driven. You are hapless and you could do no more.

The labyrinthine equations and combinations had then left me scarier. I knew that the other side of planning and investing for early retirement has an ugly face, the one which is replete with loose ends.

What those twenty years changed for me

I had hung my boots then and I don’t regret it now. A free lance developer, a consultant, an avid reader, happy family, increasing circle of influence … if this is what my choice has landed me with, I think I had figured it out right that one time. I am glad that I didn’t wait for it to happen.

I am now all the wiser about building wealth and achieving financial freedom. Research and data analyses with refined results that I have gone through over the time, have surprising takeaways. I could now evaluate the longevity of my assets using assumptions other than those I was reluctant to accept in the first place. 

At the beginning I had reckoned that we could live comfortably on about 2% of our nest egg, yet I was worried stiff that I might somehow someday run out of money. It was natural but It felt like I was on a life boat in the middle of ocean rationing what little food I had left.

I had gone from earning and saving money to hiving off it!!

Retirement is scary even for the most passionate persons who gut their entire lives working ten-to-five and then are left with a miserly retirement purse to cling on to for the remainder of their lives. And to retire so early!!… I might have bitten the bullet.

I followed the 4% rule and discovered that half the battle was won

Most of us have heard about ‘The 4% rule of retirement spending”; the one that says that you can spend 4% of your nest egg in the first year of retirement. Thereafter you can adjust your annual spending by the rate of inflation. If you follow it, you shouldn’t run out of money during a traditional 25-30-year retirement. Having spent years studying retirement investment and spending, I know that relying on market is a recipe for retirement disaster.

But a combination of bucket strategy and 4% rule saved the day for me and helped me to brace for bad returns.

Here’s how,

What lies in a bucket is what will help you tide over the worst

This strategy works best when you divide your savings (it’s early to call your retirement money) between short term spending needs and long term investment needs. Its simple; just call it two buckets incarnated- Cash and Investments.

And let me remind you one thing; when investing for long term cash needs, you face a marathon and not a sprint, so don’t dare to rush.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Your cash bucket is meant to hold three to five years worth of living expenses in cash (savings, term deposits, short-term bonds, mutual funds). Remember to deduct any other type of retirement income (eg. annuity plans, money backs, social security support etc.) when you decide on the amount that you are going to put in this bucket.

For example you need a modest Rs. 8.50 lac a year before taxes and inflow from other retirement income is Rs.2.50 lac then your cash bucket for a five year horizon should hold Rs. 30.00 lac ((8.50-2.50)x 5 yrs). If you have worked for say, twenty years in a middle management job, it will not be difficult to save Rs. 70.00 lac  to Rs. 75.00 lac within this time horizon. This assumption is based on monthly earnings pegged at Rs. 75k and savings at a religious 35% of net. Interest accumulation, annual increments, DA raise, bonuses etc. are enough to keep inflation or contingency hiccups at bay.

Your Investment bucket could sail you through rough weather

Investment bucket will hold the remainder of your ‘other monies in  diversified  low-cost index funds. The question, however, is exactly what asset size to hold in this bucket. Is it 100% in stocks? A 50/50 in stocks/ mutual funds and bonds? Or may be something else?

Just how much stake to put into this bucket? To give you an example; adjust the annual inflation rate @4% with what you will require from sixth yr onward, anything between Rs. 45.00 lac to Rs. 50.00 lac @12% rate of return shall get you what you earn today for the next 25 yrs. Your corpus of Rs. 45.00 lac would have earned you a whopping Rs. 91.10 lac in all these years and another Rs.28.73 lac @10% for the first five years of investment.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Few of you would argue that with diminishing buying value over the years, it may not suffice to be enough. These are no more than negative voices in your head and are irrelevant. Don’t let them win. They do not serve you, so don’t give them any undeserved attention or energy.  Remember every day statistics have a strange way of revealing secrets. None of our forefathers ever lived in penury, nor shall we. What  more, at 46  your drive to learn and earn is still young.

While you make these decisions, just be watchful of your overall asset allocation. So long as you follow the 4% rule, you will survive even a Bear economy. This IWR (Initial Withdrawal rate)  is considered “safe” because it works best when things turn worst.

Add guardrails and breathe easy

As popular as the 4% rule is, it’s hard to imagine that you would follow it through a 30-year retirement. For one thing, who spends the exact same amount of money, on an inflation-adjusted basis, each and every year for three decades? More importantly, it is natural for you to cut back on your spending once bearish sentiments sink in.

This is where you need to put up guardrails.

It works simple. When the bears are raging, spend a little less than the 4% rule would permit. When bulls lock their horns, its time to spend a little more.

This ‘simple’ approach could prompt to you to ask .What do we mean by a ‘little less’ or a ‘little more’. Just how much the economy should swing up or down before these guardrails take effect. There is no end to complex spending rules but one popular and easy one says that you start your retirement with a 5% IWR adjusted annually by inflation. To stay protected from over or under spending, do not allow the annual withdrawals to go below 4% or above 6%. One potential downside to this rule however is that, every year distribution is adjusted for inflation. This adjustment occurs regardless which way the economy swings. Here you could do well to;

Cap the inflation adjustments to no more than 6% and skip them when your asset value has slipped.

Only 70% of your last year’s distribution determines what you will have in your purse this year. So make good the difference. Multiply 30% of your last year distribution with your portfolio’s year-end balance and then take 5% of that amount. Settling with a lesser IWR has a tendency of better leverage.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s Your Call

After retiring early, I’ve spent considerable time studying umpteen articles on spending strategies and I am clear on one thing; even the best planned strategies are somehow checkmated. So, it’s your call to make success happen to yourself. This world doesn’t owe you one damn thing and it won’t deliver anything without a price.

Dare take a shot and who knows success may reshape your early retired life for good!!