3 Lessons from the Vampire Diaries

About Vampire Diaries

It is an American supernatural drama TV series based on the book series of the same name written by L.J Smith. It consists of 8 seasons with an average of 22 episodes in each one. Throughout the course of all the seasons, the characters shower unconditional love, unbreakable friendship, make myriad sacrifices for their loved ones,  learn to cope with death and realize the importance of family. Each and every major event that takes place in their lives accentuate one of the mentioned values and its significance towards the general betterment. On the same note, there are some habits that we can incorporate into our lives by analyzing some of the characters in the show.

1. Journaling

Elena Gilbert, the female protagonist of the show is portrayed as an orphan as the first episode unfolds. A car accident leaves her parents dead while her, miraculously alive. She’s filled with a plethora of emotions ranging from grief and sadness to hopelessness and anger. So, she uses her journal as a way to vent off that pent up baggage and move forward with her life. This habit can be easily adopted by sparing a couple of minutes at night. It is an efficient way to track one’s progress in life. You don’t have to record everything that takes place in a day. Instead, jot down some moments that made you laugh, feel special and just made you feel good in general. Adding further to that, you can also pen down the lessons you’ve learnt, the best practices you’ve discovered, or the mistakes that you’ve committed. This will give you a new sense of perspective everyday and make you wiser. After a couple of years, it’ll give you a perfect path for walking down the memory lane and reminiscing all the moments that life has given you so far. You’ll figure out a lot about yourself in the process than you ever will through somebody else’s input. Give it a shot and relish its benefits!

2. Banish negative thoughts through the mind-control thingy.

First, a little info on the past. The witches (one of the many supernatural beings in the show) are gifted with the ability to craft spells and bring the impossible into existence. One of their safety spells from vampires when performed, causes high-level pain to their ears and head . Normally, we tend to do things that make us feel jubilant. If it causes agony, our first instinct is to avoid it at any cost. So, whenever a negative thought enters your brain, visualize yourself with that kind of pain that drops you down to your knees. (The one that Damon Salvatore so beautifully pulls off)  The thought of dropping down because of the pain will drain a lot of energy. So, the act of eliminating that negative thought is a lot easier than imagining yourself with that kind of pain. If it doesn’t work very well for you, try relating the consequences of having negative thoughts , such as wastage of time to something painful to hear. For example, wastage of time could have been swiftly replaced by doing something that you enjoy and would like to cherish for the many years to come.

3. Act on the problem!

All the characters in the show are confronted with zillions of problems and dire situations. The amazing part of it is that they act on the problem then and there. They don’t let their enemies get the most of them. Granted, there’s a lot of violence involved. But again, it’s just fiction. What I’m emphasizing here is this:  When something is bothering you, don’t just sit idle and wait for the pieces to fall into place. Try everything in your power to abate the storm. Life isn’t always supposed to be all rainbows and butterflies and pleasant weather. It’s a package of experiences that lift us to cloud nine, shatter us, give us  hope and help us climb up to the paradise. Remember the 90-10 rule; Your focus on the problem should only be 10% while the remaining 90% should be directed towards the solution. Concoct all possible solutions and in the meantime,  try not to cook up all the ways it can go awry. Have faith in the action.

Life Advice

Most of us are movie fanatics. Before you grab your bowl of popcorn for the next one, make it a point to watch it with an intention of gaining something valuable at the end of the movie. By doing so, you’re making a decision to become prudent which will aid you in the long run in different manners.

Karma 101 – Uplift your life right away!

We all have our moments of doubts, failures, misunderstandings, ego, jealousy and downright depression. When life challenges us, it forces us to unlock our reserves of inner strength and stride forward with a smile on the face even when the heart frowns. Some of us can surpass all the difficulties independently. For others, it takes a push from friends, an encouragement from loved ones, a warm heart-felt embrace or even advice from old-aged people to cross their darkest periods. But what if your access to them is denied? What if all your circumstances turn your plans awry no matter what you do?

When this case arises, you can assert that it’s because of the ripening of your negative karma. Debts in this universe have to be paid. Every action that you undertake in this life will be met with an equivalent amount of reward or even a punishment, depending on your intentions and the people involved. This is when you need to be strong and look for solutions as opposed to the problems.

First, a little history.

Karma is a sanskrit word and it means action and the consequence of action.

Actions can be pegged as either, “kind” ,”uplifting”, and “hopeful” or it can be regarded as “harmful”,” evil ” and “malicious” . The law of nature will nurture kind gestures when performed and bring them back to you manifold. The reverse is also true. So, it is extremely important to think twice before you say or do something as even a small wrongdoing can instigate a chain reaction that’ll lead to your downfall.

Each and every person brought onto this world carries three types of karma: Sanchita karma, Prarabdha karma and Agami karma.

Sanchita karma refers to the karma piled up due to all your actions in your previous lifetimes. Prarabdha karma is directed at the one you’re currently experiencing. The truth is that if you’re destined to lead a life filled with luxury and happiness, then you most certainly will, even if you commit a lot of mistakes. This certainly justifies the times when bad people do evil stuff and still get away with it. Agami karma refers to the one that you’re creating for the future by your current actions.

So, if you’re experiencing a bad time due to your negative Prarabdha karma, below are some ways to neutralize it and also prevent it from germinating again.

1. Social Service

It is one of the best ways to work on your karmic debt. Take a firm resolution to become a part of any social service group and help out whenever possible. You can visit old-age homes and orphanages and donate basic amenities. Even the hope and comfort you offer them during the visit will benefit you a lot. You can organize events to clean the environment. These include beach cleanups, recycling drives or cleanups of parks.  You can also donate blood once in awhile.

2.  Sharing your resources

Make it a habit to donate ten percent of your income, either monthly or annually to those who are less fortunate. This supports the fact that says, “Give more of what you lack to get the very thing in your life”. It is also important to support the people who had given physical sustenance to you in the past (It can be parents or close relatives).

Sharing also encompasses teaching people who are eager to learn and grow. When you do so, you’ll be carving new opportunities for yourself in the background that’ll propel you towards the realization of your goals. If you have a special skill, conduct workshops and educate others.

3. Avoid gossiping

Try not to indulge in group discussions regarding the ‘Week’s hottest rumours’ about some person. I’m sure that many find it an arduous task as our primal nature unknowingly urges us to that path. But, it’s critical to put ourselves in the subject’s shoes and see how much pain we are capable of causing them. I mean, if people were chatting and laughing about something that you never did or never told, how would you feel? Wouldn’t it hurt real bad?

If you feel that you’ve tarnished someone’s self-esteem and honour through your words, ask them for forgiveness and do everything possible to help them get back their hard-earned reputation.

4. Practice forgiveness

If you really want to work on the karmic imbalances between you and someone else, it’s essential that you forgive them. Otherwise, the unresolved issues between you two might stay dormant and manifest later on in another lifetime.

Pick a phrase that has a meaning along the lines of, “I forgive you for all the harm that you’ve caused me in the past and forgive me as well if I’ve hurt you in any way”. By silently affirming this everyday, you’ll slowly diminish the karmic imbalance and welcome many positive transformations into your life.

5.  Send blessings to the people and the world

By blessing the poor and the suffering, you’ll indirectly give hope and strength which will in turn brighten your life and aid you in many ways. You may use any phrase that you want. For example, you can say, “I bless you with the spirit of happiness. May you cross your problems and emerge successful.”

You can also bless people with whom you’re having a difficult time to heal unresolved karmic issues with them. If you’re a regular meditator, send blessings after your daily round of meditation as it’ll have more power and will make a larger impact.

I really hope that my article has helped you gain some new insights regarding the whole concept of ‘karma’. So, do follow some of the above mentioned and elevate all aspects of your life.

Reference:  Secrets of Karma by Vee Jay Attri.

 

 

 

How to Resist the Urge to Bunk Classes

Imagine the following scene:

It’s the night before your midterms and you’re engrossed with the Season 4 of Sherlock Holmes streaming on Netflix. Add your friends to the picture. They have their noses in their books with eyes wide open, trying to visualize how JFET actually works. You’re not haunted by the same issue because of your professor’s one-hour thorough explanation that your friends traded, in exchange for simple pleasures.  Domination of perennial laziness or barfing another snack or resorting to a quick nap are the most common ones that a college student faces. Of course, it’s hard to say “no” when your bestfriend is determined to drag you along to the canteen but deep down, you know that it’s not the most sensible action to take. In that instantaneous moment, it’s natural to follow the easy way out. The question here is : How do you take the road less travelled by?

Below are some ways to confront this predicament.

1.  Calculate the cost of your each class.

Take a piece of paper and write the following down and fill it up.

Tuition fees:

No. of working days:

Average number of classes per day:

Alright, now, divide your tuition fees by the no. of working days. The result that you get is the amount of money you’re technically paying every single day. So, next time, when you plan to take the whole day off, just remember the loan you’d have to pay off in the future. The whole “clearing-off-debt” is unavoidable. When the times does come to return the money with interest, you’ll feel proud of yourself if you had leveraged the classes.

If you further divide by the average no. of classes, voila! You’ll have the amount you spend on each class. Ingrain the cost into your brain to help you fight the urge to skip next time.

2.  Remind yourself of the less number of hours you’d have to study

If you put your full focus on the lecture unfolding, you’d gain a lot more knowledge than you ever will while studying with an unfocused mind before the exams. When you open your textbook to a new chapter, you’ll be overwhelmed with the behemoth amount of information. There’ll be multiple sections and the human brain will begin giving equal attention to each section. This is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can ever make. We end up squandering our energy on the sections that are not that important instead of focusing on the content that is essential for understanding a topic.

This is where your professor’s lecture will help you manifold. The professor would’ve prepared in advance and will convey the stuff that he/she believes is important in a chapter. You’re far better off picking that info up into your brain surrounded by your peers while asking questions as opposed to the mindless scanning of the pages.

When you open the book after class, you’ll definitely connect the text to the instances in your professor’s lecture. This will act as a second reinforcement of the concepts/ideas. You’ll be far ahead than your numerous sleepy-head friends.

3. You might receive a Certificate of Appreciation!

Many universities have the habit of honouring their students who have distinguished themselves in various aspects. One such is the “Attendance” aspect. Some universities demand a 90% above overall attendance, while the others are satisfied with a 80+%.

This will serve as an incentive to the students who are fond of having a folder full of certificates and a collection of awards. If you’re one of them and your university offers it, you must not let this opportunity slip by! It’s hard, but you’re harder than that. So, make sure you note down the criteria for the certificate before the advent of the semester. In this way, even when you feel like binge bunking, the tiny piece of info that you took time to write down will swerve you back on track.

4.  How bad do you want that scholarship?

The scholarships that the universities themselves offer have a list of criteria that has to be met.  Some of them include paying fees on time, maintaining a certain CGPA, availing only a particular no. of permissions to go home etc. It also includes a certain percentage of overall attendance as well as a subject-wise attendance. Many people have “praise-worthy” CGPA(s) but an overall attendance that’s not so great. When the notice gets put up and then you realize that you need an 80% attendance and you go like, “Damn! I should’ve been more careful!”. Yeah, you get the picture. I’m sure you don’t want to be in that crowd.

5. Bunking leaves a negative impression on professors

When you’re off to college for the first time, you will sooner or later realize the importance of your professors in your life.

They are the sources for recommendations to attractive internships, for research projects, and for uplifting your life when you’re not sure about the direction of your career. Maintaining an amicable relationship with them should be on top of your priority list. When you skip classes, often, it’s essential translation (at least to the professor) is this : “I have other stuff that’s a lot more important that your class”. Not cool. At all. So, make sure you don’t skip a lot so as to gain that good impression.

I really hope that reading these above five reasons will make you hesitate while taking the decision to bunk a class. With that all being said, there’s nothing wrong in “once-in-a-while” skipping because life will become unattractive with the monotony if you don’t. Just be prudent when it comes to the no. of classes you bunk on a weekly basis.

 

The Goodness of Gratitude

A large portion of the world’s population squanders time by worrying about the past, the present and the future. They let their situations dictate their journeys and fall prey to the concept of ‘unfairness’ and ‘inequality’ of life. You see, there are only two ways a person can handle an affliction— be so engrossed in agony to the point of immobilization or be responsible of the problem and feel grateful for the present while working for a fulfilling future. Simply put, gratitude means thankfulness. It can be thankfulness for the simple pleasures such as a long, relaxing shower, the breathtaking scenery the sun paints while setting, or even the laziness on Sundays. The fact that you are alive today, conversing with your family and friends is in itself something to rejoice for.

Practicing the art of gratitude is one of the greatest gifts and investments you can make for yourself. It shifts your focus from the vacancies to the abundance that’s already present. You can do this by listing out three to five things that you’re grateful for every day. It can be done either right when you wake up in the morning or before you lull yourself to a blissful slumber at night. When life throws one of its impediments at you, like it always does, just looking at your gratitude list and changing your vibe can be of immense help in putting you back on track. You can also write a gratitude letter to a person whose presence adds value to your life. Not only will it brighten up his/her spirits, it’ll also serve as a remainder for you to be cautious with your words when matters go awry between you two.

Research shows that being grateful on a daily basis leads to more happiness, better health, deeper relationships and increased productivity.

So, it’s for you to decide whether you want to be bored, miserable, and sad or be energized, enthusiastic and full of joy by incorporating this small habit into your life.