Tag Archives: adulthood

How free is the free market?

Do you sometimes feel that we humans complicated our world too much for our own good?

As an early career professional, I have been thinking about different types of investments for my personal finance. In the times that we are in, Cryptocurrency does come into one’s purview, especially when you have so many social media influencers pitching it and you yourself understand very little of the complex economics.

Anyhow, today’s rant is based off of a series of YouTube videos I’ve been watching on Cryptocurrency to understand why is Bitcoin so expensive.

To the extent that I have understood, the so called “FREE MARKET” comes to play. It’s basic supply and demand, they say. If someone is willing to pay 10 million dollars for something they deem of that value, who’s to say it isn’t? If there’s someone willing to pay, do we even need a regulator to exist?

I’ll give an example closer home. I’ve lived in Bangalore for years to know how expensive security deposit for renting a flat can be. It’s a norm which has stood its time, at least until Covid, because there’s always demand for renting in Bangalore and there are people who can pay that amount. So the owners can charge what they want. However, not everyone can pay.

For cryptocurrency, you could say it’s okay – no one is forcing you to buy one, so why do you care if it’s expensive? Very true. But when it comes to renting, it does affect me. So it does so for many other people.

The comparison here, between renting and cryptocurrencies, hold valid because at the end of the day, it is the free market that’s allowing this to be. For prices to be jacked up because few players can afford to buy and sell and rest everyone can be forced out of that little, private game.

And I know this isn’t new. For the longest time, this is how human society has operated. It makes you question, how do things get their value? How valuable is water, air to you? How valuable is an iPhone? Especially for crypto, if there’s no underlying value (and when I say that, I mean not many governments today has accepted it as currency – so how is it that it’s getting its value?), then how can it be so expensive today?

Anyhow, it is perhaps on me to do a lot more reading to figure that out myself. But the larger question is, can there be a different world where prices can be controlled for the benefit of the majority and not selected few? If so, would the forces in power today allow that? As humanity, what should our goal be? To thrive as powerful families in a few hundreds or let the majority thrive? Maybe there’s merit to capitalism – maybe, billions of humans are indeed a strain on Earth’s resources, so there needs to be elimination of few in natural, social, economic or political ways. But as I say that, I also know that we can’t know of sure what is right and what is wrong. What is a strain and what isn’t. At any point of time, we are doing the best that we can, but our worldviews are always narrow.

Adulting

Being an adult is not an easy task. Of course, when you are a kid, you don’t even think about it. You think about what you want and the fact that you want to achieve them. But the older you grow, you learn that getting what you want to get comes with its price tag. You have to make compromises, you have to make decisions. Decisions which are always not black and white. It’s a constant dilemma of weighing pros and cons of every decision. If nothing, you end up feeling like a weighing machine! 😛

When you are an adult, you realize sleep is the best thing that can happen to you. Sleep is magical. When you sleep, the biological fairy waves her magic wand and wounds heal and tissues repair. And you wake up brand new, fresh, ready to take on any challenge that the adult world throws at you.

When you are an adult, you learn to look at the impact of your decisions in the light of how it impacts others. It’s not easy to do, because even though it means you are more sensitive to the needs of others, sometimes it also means choking the throat of your own desires. When you are an adult, there is no time to think about your deepest desires, because the world may not consider them proper.

But having said that, in an adult world, you live in waves of possibilities. You could be an influencer. You can find the best of both worlds. You can be a great weighing machine. When you are an adult, you have a choice. You have a choice of weighing the pros and cons, and you have the capacity to identify the pros and cons. When you are an adult, you are not at the beck and call of anyone.

The world is your canvas, and as an adult, you can paint anything you want in it.

How to keep your hobbies alive, or, how to keep being who you used to be?

A big part of growing up (read graduating college and joining the workforce) is learning that we are very different people that we thought we were. Or, coming to terms with the fact that we could be very different person a year from now. In a way, I guess a lot of us feel that there is something eternal about us, something unchanging.

I’ll give an example: growing up, I had been an avid reader. I used to be among those bookworm kids who hid storybooks behind their coursebooks and got caught and chided by their parents. I used to gobbles books by the day!

Cut to mid 2017 – I have been working for almost two years. Work pressure is high. I am struggling with relationship issues, poor sleeping habits (I had always been a morning person, and just can’t figure out, how on earth my sleeping patterns changed). I rarely read books – can’t remember when was the last time I visited GoodReads or reviewed a book there or on this blog. Only in 2015, I had promised myself I would read a lot, and in turn focus on publishing my own books. Na-da! Nothing of that sort is happening.

So, what filled the gaps of time in 2017? I watched a lot of TV series, some movies. That seemed like an easier way to entertain myself. Investing myself to go back to reading was hard: it is just so easy to see things when a motion picture is playing in front of you. So hard to imagine stuff when you have to make out all the motions from reading words! I could not remember that part of myself who used to stay up in the nights to read books. Did that person really exist? Who had I become?

This resulted in a bunch of guilt trips, and did not help with my depression. Not being able to identify with yourself, struggling with an identity crisis, is probably the hardest of all struggles. In your mind, there is a person telling you non-stop that you are not living your life the right way, the way that you have always known as right. You should do something about it, but somehow, you are not sure how and where, you lost that element of willpower which made you do things in the past. What is the cause? Is it work? Is it the pressure of dealing with adult life: living alone, interacting with strangers every day without having any family to go back to? Could be.

Yet, it could also be that what you are going through is a phase. People evolve. Most often when we say so-and-so has changed, we mean it in a bad manner. As if, people are always supposed to remain the same person who we knew. Our cells grow, die and new cells regenerate – that is the law of nature. We change our habitats, adjust to new surroundings. So, it is quite natural that our emotional and mental evolution will be impacted as well. There will be years in which we won’t be able to find ourselves. But the good news is, a small part of us which makes us us, never really dies. It might be sleeping for a while, trying to cope with all the changes that we impose on it, but it is always there.

So, if you really loved painting, really loved reciting poems, chances are, after this rough patch is over, you will get back to it. You just have to wait it out. And what should you do meanwhile? Explore other things in life, go out with people, watch some great movies, or maybe just sleep! Do whatever your current situation needs you to do. Maybe, one of them will become a new hobby! The key is to live life guilt-free. If you cannot spend time doing the thing you loved most right now, it is likely that there are a thousand other things which needs your attention at the moment. Have faith that, this phase will be over too – there will come a time when you have learned to manage those thousand things within reasonable amount of time, and there will be a glorious slice of ten minutes in which you have nothing to do: well, pick up that book lying on your coffee table and read it!

It is 2018 and I am again back to reading and reviewing books. Maybe my routine does not permit it to be as frequent as it used to be, but guess what, this is what life is all about: making way for new things while sustaining the good habits of the past. There has to be some compromise, somewhere!

The Happiness Project | Day 3

A Matter of Chance

For the most part, I believe that what our hearts desire is often rewarded by the Universe. Oftentimes, I would want something badly and would not be able to figure out how on Earth would it be possible to achieve it. And then, voila! Out of nowhere, the Universe would present my heart’s desire to me.

However, as I said, this is true only for the most part. I can definitely remember countless other things that I have wanted and they have not been fulfilled so far. I have made my peace with that and moved on. In fact, in retrospect, I realize that I do not really need those things in my life.

Which is what brings me the question, in the grand scheme of design, how does the Universe decide which wants to fulfill? Especially, when there are more than one person involved in the process of fulfilling that desire? How does Universe know how far to go? Does it automatically know what is best for us and it is best to make our peace with that? Should we really leave things to chance?

How far do we have the capacity to change, what they call, the course of our lives? Am I simply destined to travel the world or can I make it happen by my sheer grit even if I was not destined to?

In my mind, I can imagine the Universe sitting at this table, with a constant flow of requests flowing in queues. It takes but a moment to decide which want to grant and which to reject. The rejected piles, with the face of dejected humans, stand by in a corner. Some of them probably accept their fate, while others decide to challenge the ruling of the Universe.

Who is the cleverer of the two? Is it always better to challenge the Universe? What if your plea was a wrong one in the first place? And your appeal is rewarded with a burnt out future? Wouldn’t giving up in the first place have been a cleverer choice?

What if you do succeed in your appeal and you really get your heart’s desire? Maybe, the appeal was all that you needed for the Universe to change its mind.

How do we decide? Growing up is perhaps this balancing act: to weigh our options of possibles and impossibles and deciding what is worth fighting for. That said, the results are never guaranteed.