Procrastination and Purpose

I wake up early in the morning, wash myself, have a forced breakfast (better than missing it as my doctor said), then a forced driving to reach office (better than being late or absent as my director said)… hence a day starts… a day which some people can only dream of.

On my 9 to 5 job, I spend time doing the least important things. Listening to rubbish supervisors about things we never do. One hour job surrounded within an eight hour day service. Then I question myself why I procrastinate? What else can I do?

I do read articles on internet on avoiding procrastination just to pass time. Liking and sharing procrastination on social media is a trend. It’s a highly-appreciated hypocrisy today.

Evening is the beautiful part of my day. I drive home and enjoy the sunset in the ugly smoke of traffic on busy roads. By the time I reach home, I am too exhausted to do anything… but then start the priorities of relations. Sometimes I do play football on a nearby ground, and sometimes on Xbox. Other times I do have commitments like appointment of my family members with doctors or dentists, visiting relatives, or something… something which requires driving through the road traffics to reach an un-wanted destination.

There is pursuit to reach destination after reaching destination… another of modern-day-internal-chaos.

By the time I reach bed, there is too much smoke in lungs through burning of both nicotine and oil which makes my head heavy. The same exact day is waiting for me which makes me over-excited to sleep well.

Weekend is another part of self struggle. On weekends, I over-enjoy myself by meeting friends, arguing with them on different macro-economic and political topics, life’s shits, cholesterol, lack of exercise, and similar interesting topics. By sleeping late on weekends, I make my Mondays very struggling. The struggle with eyes and head is so hard that I have to share something bad about Mondays on social media to get likes and similar feelings that we all had an awesome weekend.

But where was the “living” part. I don’t get it.

People say you earn “living” by having a good job, bank accounts, savings, good food, happy family, nice car, and house. But I didn’t meet any “living” standards the entire week, month or a year. How can I live with all these commitments around me?

So many commitments and so much procrastination.

Making excuses with friends and family members of hectic routine, while always finding something to pass time… thanks to smartphones and 3G.

Life is highly overrated. If this is the life, then we have to re-think and re-evaluate. Living is totally missing in these living standards. Saving holidays for future which never comes. Avoiding absents to avoid what? Always dreaming of holidays on peaceful mountains but never trying for peace. Always trying to buy expensive materials to impress all expect ourselves, but never trying to buy a cheap peaceful home in north. Why all our priorities are against living and for chaos? Why not internal peace?

Li

The “I” World & Sufi Entrepreneurship

We have divided our lives into disconnected moods, feelings and formats which make it very tough for us to define ourselves. Sometimes while driving or sitting idly, we do think who we are actually? Am I the one sitting in the office working on business analysis, career development and money making? Or am I the one who listens to pop songs and starts jumping? Or am I the one who gets sad while listening to ghazals of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib? Or the one who reads Sufism and gets deep into my own world of seven continents and four oceans? Who is the real “I”?

We are born to act in different ways in different scenarios. We have to behave and be modest with our parents, as it is ethically and religiously right. We have to be more frank and more interactive among friends so that the whole gathering can enjoy with us. We have to be sad and supportive during funerals while happy during happy events of people around us. Our behavior must have to change in accordance with the situation. It is what we are supposed to do in society. But what about the inner “I”?

Why we enjoy pop songs and gets sad on ghazals? Are we bad listeners!

Why do we have an ultimate feeling while reading one good book, and then next good book (entirely different from the previous one) changes the whole previous aura? Are we bad readers!

One has to leave “I” outside the door of Sufism and spiritualism. “I” has to be left in Islam, Buddhism and other spiritual domains of almost all the religions in the world. We live in an “I” world when others are dependent on us in organizations, offices, games, gatherings, etc. Similarly we try to be in the “us” world when we are dependent on others or want to show association with certain groups.

Sufism is humbleness, knowing oneself, unleashing the “I”, exploring internally and externally, and letting us know ourselves. We can have the same aura within the inside and outside world while anywhere. Sufism and spiritualism are not separated from our working lives. With Sufi approaches, we can have better success in our careers.

A  Sufi Entrepreneur will not focus on his goals but the overall goals of the organization. He will focus on the needs and wants of others, will not insult or embarrass anyone, will go on ethical business means, and will try his level best for win-win situations of everyone. He will earn money, will try to earn more fortune, but will remain within approaches of Sufism. Sufism can be the soul of a successful business. One who listens to Sufi poetry frequently and uses unfair means in business and career development, is perhaps a hypocrite.

Sufi business and Sufi entrepreneurship are related in the modern world today. We should be the firm-one internally regardless of the external set-up. We have to be the same person internally regardless of an external situation. We need to be emotionally stable. As said, a good person is not the one who is good with you at a restaurant, but the one who is good with everyone including the waiters.

Our business education system has to introduce Sufi and Spiritual approaches. The current focus is on career development and making money which is generating humanistic machines running for same materialistic goals in life. Colleges and Universities are hub where one learns about himself. They should remain such hubs of internal prestige where students are taught with a less materialistic (if possible) and more spiritualistic lessons. We need Sufi entrepreneurs in the modern world to end hunger and poverty all over the world.

We need to learn more of the “I” world than the outside world. 

 

And We All Shine On!

When All India Muslim League lost Indian Provincial Elections of 1937, they didn’t lose faith in Jinnah or the league. It was blow on their movement and ideology but they didn’t adopt violent or abusive approach. They accepted the results without complaining about anything, and re-started their homework. In 1940, they had a remarkable Lahore Resolution which set their momentum again, better than before. In 1946, they won 425 seats out of 496 in Constituent Assembly Elections and made a decisive blow on Congress and British Raj.

I don’t want to compare PTI with AIML (All India Muslim League). There is no such intention because there are differences… of time, leadership, momentum, approach, attitude, and acceptance of reality. What PTI is doing after Elections of 2013 is not what AIML had done after Elections of 1937. But this is from where we can learn.

First of all I congratulate PML-N for having a victory in the National Assembly. They have done some homework and were well above in some domains than PTI. For example Nawaz Sharif was way more humble than Imran Khan throughout the campaigns. Similarly, followers of Nawaz Sharif were not as aggressive and intolerant as of PTI followers.

Secondly, PML-N has won, but this does not mean that PTI has lost. PTI has won in majority in KPK and have made their significant impact in Punjab. They were able to get millions of votes throughout Punjab which means they can get more by doing better work in future. Similarly, now they have a practical chance to prove themselves as the best ones by making KPK as an exemplary province of Pakistan.

Thirdly, there is a world outside Facebook and Twitter which is not entirely supportive of the views of PTI. There are villages and backward areas where no one knows about Tabdeeli and Naya Pakistan. Social media is a good approach to work on, but to “clean sweep” there is a significant need to work all over Pakistan… not only major cities and virtual media.

I hope Pakistan will get better in coming 5 years and will prove to be a growing economy. I wanted Imran Khan to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan, not Nawaz Sharif, but now we all should respect the mandate. If I will hope that Pakistan will see that they have made a wrong decision on electing PML-N, then this hope would be on Pakistan’s expense… which is against the ideology of PTI too. We all should hope and work for the growth of Pakistan regardless of the government, and meanwhile we can improve and prove ourselves to be the most competent ones by 2018. Allah has given a chance to PTI in KPK, if not in Pakistan. Now is the time to prove with a blow and let PML-N work federally with best of intentions for the people of Pakistan.

Imran Khan should come forward. He should tell the followers to keep calm and accept the results (which he has done already but not very clearly). There is no need to accept defeat as there is none. It is victory from various angles. All we need to do is change our dimension mentally and attitude practically.

There is no more ANP, APML and PML-Q. People have proved that they don’t trust PPP either. Separatist have lost their seats in Baluchistan. KPK has given their mandate for change and better governance. Sindh has risen against MQM. Punjab has accepted PML-N in the majority and has criticized them where they tried to make their influence. Overall, for me, there is a significant change in Pakistan and people have proven themselves that they can change the destiny of political parties. Now there is a competition between PML-N and PTI. It should remain healthy and PTI should prove itself better than them in all aspects… from behavior to political matters.

Hoping for the best, I accept the results of ECP, except for areas where the majority has come out for re-elections. Overall, the job of ECP was good in the most challenging of the times when terrorism, load shedding, violence, bomb threats, and worse five year tenure was present. Next time, we will be able to have better elections than time In sha Allah.

It’s all a matter of time… an organic process. We wanted evolution, not revolution… and we are on our way!

Walli – Pride & Peace

You are finally here to bury the old man. He was always proud of you two. You gave him pride. He always wanted the three of us to be best in our fields. You became an admirable doctor, and you became an immaculate broker. You two made the name in your fields and the pride for the old man.

He wasn’t proud of me because I wasn’t a genius in education or in career. I didn’t do well in studies and hence ended up as a cashier in the local convenient store. The good news is I got promoted and now I am a shift manager. Don’t sigh! I know it’s nothing as compared to your career hierarchies, but for me it is something.

When you two finished your studies, you moved out as there were not good opportunities in our town. You pursued your careers. While you were gradually ascending in your careers, the old man gradually went down in his health. He became lonely, though I appreciate you were used to come twice or thrice a year which was very kind of you in your extremely busy lives. I know it is tough to find time even for our own children today.

Anyways, old man was diagnosed with the kidney problem, which gradually increased his time span on bed. I looked after him as much as I could. All my time was for him after store hours. I gave him company and he was fondly used to talk about you. We were used to talk a lot about you. You realized his dreams and gave it veracity. You were pride of his life.

I don’t have much to say. I shared days and nights, sorrows and laughs, high times and low times with him. But I was not the pride of his life. I know why but I was unable to satisfy myself and became resentful slowly but surely, I’m repentant. I was with him, I lived with him. His hand was in my hand when he took his last breath; though his pride was associated with you.

But I got the answer today. As soon as I saw you I got my answer. There is no issue that you two were pride of his life, which I wasn’t. But I got the answer for who I was for him. I was peace of his life. He didn’t say it ever but I know now.

A question I am left with is either pride superior to peace or contrariwise? I don’t know the answer yet. But I’m sure I’ll get the answer someday. Let’s go now. It’s time for funeral.

Peace for the old man!

Together we Stand! Together we shall See!

From the ending of 2012 to the beginning of 2013, the predictions of Mayan Calendar and Doomsday proved to be true for Pakistan. Apart from having a victorious cricket tour of India, Pakistan faced gruesome crisis. American drones were continuously thrown on innocent people on western border. LOC on eastern border is shaped into a before-war scenario. Within the borders, situation is further bloodcurdling. Killing of Shias in Quetta/Hazara got bloodier, threat to lives of Punjabis are higher in Baluchistan, target killing in Karachi didn’t take a break yet, and suicide bombings in Peshawar have increased in last some days.

Destruction has become fate of Pakistan. From north to south, the whole country seems to be covered in shroud. Game of pimps has started in political affairs of state as elections are approaching. Tahir-ul-Qadri is on his way to Islamabad for restoration of constitution in relevance to elections, which seems to be a complete drama. Altaf Hussain just attacked his “political drone” by targeting Quaid-e-Azam. Imran Khan is still with unfinished agendas and party. PML-N is Punjabing in their Punjab by not speaking in national crisis which makes them coward. Lastly PPP, it never cared and doesn’t give a damn about anything.

Internally and externally, Pakistan is totally shattered at the moment. There is nothing developmental or cultural on which we can be proud of. Pick up the newspaper or click on any channel, we see dead bodies, blast news, drone attacks, victims, victims’ families, death, hunger… and yet no one is speaking for change, apart from political stakeholders.

We can easily blame it on America or India for atrocities happening in Pakistan. There is no doubt that certain events lead us to this belief, but the real problem is within ourselves. Is Pakistan so weak that anyone can intrude? Is Pakistan so naïve that foreign agendas can jeopardize the whole country?

At present there is one organization which appears to be most benefitting; i.e. military. Pakistan Army is now being called by protesters to hold emergency in Baluchistan. Many are advocating martial law over the country. Words and actions of Tahir-ul-Qadri reject all political parties and favor the army. Army is again playing “big daddy” role while sitting behind the curtain.

Calling army would be another smack on wounded Pakistan. Army has failed miserably, within or without politics, in FATA, western borders, and northern areas. It has failed miserably in dealing with messy situations of Raymond Davis, OBL Operation, attacks on GHQs, dealing with drones, and missing people in Pakistan. From Musharraf to Kayani, there is nothing about army to be proud of. Calling them for help would be welcoming another disaster.

I don’t have any conclusion as I don’t know who is loyal, honest and right for this country presently. Many believe Khan, others believe Sharif and another crowd believes Qadri. Honestly speaking, I don’t think anyone of them is good but may be Khan or Sharif, together, can be the best option. They should unite for the sake of Pakistan and clear all this mess of violence, burglary and corruption.

Even in the worst case scenario, I don’t believe that Pakistan will have to lose its region. I also don’t believe that it will be defeated by any external or internal powers. May be we have to sacrifice more, so what. We are sacrificing before its creation. It is dream of our Iqbal, a reality of our Quaid and “oonthni” of Prophet Saleh A.S. as mentioned beautifully by Ashfaq Ahmad. No one can tell the future of Pakistan but we are sure it is not depressing. We are hopeful and we are struggling. Hoping it best in words of Faiz;

We shall see

Certainly we too, will see; we shall see

The day that has been prophesized
The one written on the Tablet of Fate
We shall see
When all crowns will fly
When all thrones will fall

Then only Allah’s name will remain
Who is unseen, yet ever seeing
Who is the sight, as well as the scene
When the anthem of truth will be raised
Who I am too, And so are you

And the people of God will rule
Who I am too, And so are you

We shall see
Certainly we too, will see; we shall see
We shall see

I Am Hazara!

I was mother of a son till yesterday when a bomb blast took this privilege of life from me. My son lost his life in this attack. Unfortunately, I am not alone. See there! these are all mothers and sisters who have lost their loved ones. These are all those who have a reason not to smile for rest of their lives.

I don’t know what my son did, what was his crime, what did he do to be killed brutally? I know he was Shia, but is it a crime?

Someone has killed my motherhood. That someone calls himself a Muslim, I know. How dare he can call himself a Muslim when he cannot call himself a human? Who gave him this right? Who the hell gave him this duty to kill? Who is he? How can I curse him? Oh Rabba!

With all other ill-fated families, I am not burying my son. For the sake of our breathing ones, we are taking this bold step of not burying our non-breathing ones until we get a promising word of justice. We want protection. Your silence has killed my son; now speak with me to stop this genocide. If you have a reason, talk to us. You can teach us, you can argue; but you cannot kill us.

Prophets didn’t kill people. Companions of Prophets didn’t kill people. They were used to preach through harmony and peace. In the worst cases, they were used to leave. They never killed. They never started genocide.

I remember how my Prophet PBUH treated Abu Jahl when he reached height of disrespect. My Prophet PBUH just changed his way. He PBUH didn’t kill Abu Jahl.

What is the reason behind your killing? How you encourage someone to this worst level of act against humanity?

Do you use money? Shame!

Do you blackmail? Shame!

Do you use religion? Shame!

Do you use Islam? SHAME!

How dare you use my religion to kill my son?

Before yesterday, I was full of motherhood, love, harmony and peace. Since yesterday, I have become a body who is cursing everything around her. I wish all the mothers die before seeing their motherliness lying in front of them with such brutality. I wish I would have died before yesterday.

This is the body of my son. Yes this is his blood. This is blood of a Muslim, a Muhammadi, a Husseini, a Pakistani and a martyr. I’m not burying him till I get a promising word of safety for all other sons around. You cannot imagine at what stage of life I am now as I myself never thought of it. I never thought that this life will take me to this verge of obscurity. But here I am standing with my dead son.

I will leave quietly as soon as you will give me justice. I will leave when you guarantee the protection of my people. Then I will bury my son. I will leave this road. I will go back to my home where I have enough space and life to grieve.

Please give me justice and let my son have a proper burial. You didn’t treat him right when he was alive. Please treat him right when he is no more. Stand beside and speak with me!

 

Book: “Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence” by Jaswant Singh

Following are some fragments from book “Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence” of Jaswant Singh which created a lot of controversies in India.

It was the turn of the century. Great Britain was at the height of its imperial glory, Queen Victoria reigned majestically supreme, the lords, the ladies and the sahibs who ruled on her behalf in India saw not a speck of cloud obstructing their imperial vision. Not a single troublesome dot. How in such a scenario socially very far from nawabs of India, not the inheritor of family wealth, standing or name, etch his name so boldly and so indelibly on the social and political firmament of India? That was Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

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Jinnah was a source of power. Gandhi … an instrument of it… Jinnah was a cold rationalist in politics— he had a one track mind, with great force behind it. Then: Jinnah was potentially kind, but in behavior extremely cold and distant. Gandhi embodied compassion. Jinnah did not wish to touch the poor.

For Jinnah, a secondary status was galling, what he had always sought and mostly attained was the centre stage.

(Page # 78)

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Both (Jinnah & Gandhi) born of Kathiawari trading communities… One shaped religion to his political ends; the other shunned it on grounds of principle. Gandhi, in a very real sense was deeply under the influence of Tolstoy. Jinnah recognized the political impress only of Dadabhai and Gokhale. Gandhi led his personal publicly. Jinnah led even his public life close to his chest.

(Page # 99)

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Nehru himself set the tone with his haughty remark in March 1937. “There are only two forces in India today, British imperialism and Indian nationalism as represented by Congress.” Jinnah was quick to retort: “No, there is a third party, the Musalmans.” History was to bear him out.

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Gandhi admitted failure in his quest… He (M. A. Jinnah) won Pakistan with the help of just a typewriter and a clerk. (Chapter # 2)

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We went always to Europe not to those great cities, the great centres of civilisation, our historical and cultural kin: Baghdad, Istanbul/Ankara, Cairo, Tehran.

(Page # 153)

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Answer to letter of Nehru;

When you said that “I am afraid I must confess that I do not know what fundamental points in dispute are”, I am only amazed at your ignorance.”

(Page # 247-248)

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The celebration of 23 March as “Pakistan Day” did not start before 1956. It was first celebrated as “Republic Day” to mark the passage of the first constitution and the emergence of Pakistan as an independent republic similar in importance as “26 January” for India. However when General Mohammad Ayub Khan abrogated the constitution and established martial in 1958, he was faced with a dilemma. He could not let the country celebrate a day commemorating the constitution that he had himself torn apart, nor could he cancel the celebration altogether. A way-out was found by keeping the celebration, but giving it another name: “the Pakistan Resolution Day”.

(Page # 272)

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Notes from Lord Wavell’s Diary:

August 27, 1946: “Gandhi said that if a blood bath was necessary, it would come about in spite of non-violence.”

August 28, 1946: “During the morning I received an abusive and vindictive letter from Gandhi… It confirmed the view I have always held of Gandhi, that his professions of non-violence and saintliness are political weapons against the British rather than natural attributes.”

(Page # 391)

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On 7th August, with Ahsan, the Naval ADC, Miss Jinnah, and the Quaid, we flew from Delhi to Karachi, in Mountbatten’s white Dakota. There were only a handful of people to see him off. Before leaving the house Jinnah had given me a cane basket full of documents to take to the aircraft. Before we took off, he went out to be photographed, but he did not speak. As we taxied out he made only one remark; he murmured, “That’s the end of that”, meaning, I supposed, the end of the struggle on Indian soil.

He was perfectly dressed, as eve, in a white sherwani, and his Jinnah cap. Dark glasses. Miss Jinnah sat in the front and I sat opposite the Quaid. He had an immense bundle of newspapers which he read immediately and during the entire flight. Only once, he spoke. He handed me some of the newspapers and said, “Would you like to read these?”

This was his only remark during a journey of 4 hours – all he said in what one might describe as the greatest hours of his life… We reached Karachi in the evening, and as we flew over Mauripur, Jinnah looked down and saw thousands of people waiting for him, including many women – waiting on the sand, to greet him… Even then there was no change in his expression and he did not say a word. He was the first to emerge from the aircraft, followed by Miss Jinnah. All the Muslim big guns were waiting for him. He shook hands with a few o them, and then got into the motor-car.

The thousands of people were cheering, “Pakistan Zindabad!” “Quaid-i-Azam Zindabad”, still he showed no signs of pleasure. He was very tired and he entered Government House, for the first time, without a word. After two or three days he changed his apartment from the left to the right side of the house.

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Retrospect by Jaswant Singh;

Pakistan and its citizens have doubtlessly suffered grievously in the six decades of an independent existence. A break-up into two, in the emergence of Bangladesh; four military dictatorships during these decades; on top of which came the civilian governments that did not exactly serve the land, all this has inflicted upon the citizens of Pakistan untold hardships. There were then these several conflicts with India, each draining the land of resources. Whereafter arrived extremism. The country is now ravaged by all varieties of sectarian and provincial divisions, extremism, violence. And yet, it demonstrates a great vitality, enormous natural creativity and exuberance and, of course, always an outgoing heart-warming hospitality. In comparison so much of the past pales, for Pakistan has overcome many near impossible obstacles. However, the dream of the late Quaid and the current reality do not entirely harmonize, which is a saddening comment for the lad, for its people, in trust, merit so much more.

(Page # 522)

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Note: Page numbers are according book’s edition of 2009 by Rupa Publications, New Delhi.

Tragedy

At 2:00 am in the morning, he opened his draw of side-table. There was a pack but only one cigarette left. Whole night and one cigarette made him depressed.

He went to the balcony. Due to load-shedding it was pitch black time and cold breeze was moving with light creaky sound. He moved to the corner, put cigarette in his mouth, and lit it. It was strange as cigarette didn’t burn properly and fire was gone. He did it again and same thing happened.

He moved back to his room, took the cigarette in front of laptop’s light and it was the filter which was all burned… the last cigarette was gone and the whole night was left.

Things I Don’t Need

I have a wish to never drive or sit in a limousine. It surely sounds absurd or epic or perhaps lunatic, but to be honest, the answer to this question is as simple as the title of this blog. I will quote Aristotle here, who once said that there are thousands of things in this world that I don’t need.

Today, the whole world is about media and information technology. They are loaded with advertisements trying to convert our needs into wants; and thus making us the most miserable creature on earth.

The miserable and unsatisfied expression on the face of a homeless man can also be seen on faces of billion dollar gurus of “corporatocracy”.

This rising misery within all of us is mainly because we are taught and fed with lies of not-needed-wants daily. During my professional education, none of my teachers were impressed with lives and living styles of Prophet PBUH, Edhi, Rumi, Bhudda, Kafka, Tolstoy, Mansur, etc. All were fans of Steve Jobs, Gates, Mittal, Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffet. We were mostly taught how to make money, and never about spirituality. We were taught to avail opportunities, without moral or ethical considerations.

We sometimes run into someone different during life moments. It is said that we can have tens of teachers but only 3 to 4 mentors. One of my mentors, who happened to be the only spiritual teacher in my professional education, focused more on teachings of Ibn-e-Khaldun, Karl Marx and sufism. Being a teacher of a professional business course, he never emphasized on making money, accumulating furniture, carrying handheld devices, buying cars, attires, formalities, or being artificially smart and unbeaten by plea.

But, with around forty materialistic teachers and one spiritualistic, I turned out to be more of a machine. The biggest problem that Pakistan, perhaps the whole world, is currently facing is the problem of being someone else; like being famous without doing anything, having heavy bank balance without working physically and being recognized for someone else’s work. Unfortunately.

Answer to this dilemma is simple: having patience, being conscientious, living within limits, understanding the cycle of life, reading regularly…

We need to shift focus. There are beggars and there are advertisements on the billboards at a road signal.

We simply have to change the seeing and thinking attitude and change in preferences will follow.

I have been in problem that I have mentioned above, but I am not the solution that I have described above. I am working on it. You have to pin your own bubble of wants yourself. Only then you will realize there are billions of things in this world you don’t need.