I was waiting in the car while my Dad ran out the car, across the road to get some hot “bhajiyas” (It’s cool to eat fried foods when it rains here in India). I looked across the road. A white Mercedes Benz car flashed by. The rich car swiftly passed the pedestrians who were obvioulsy jaw dropped. And gone it was. I smirked, “Posh business, that’s not for us… But why not?”

“Us middle class people stay that way not because of reduced resources, but the reduced mentality of not being entitled to high achievements”, I thought. I did not want to be one of the many dreamers, I decided in a jiffy. What would I actually have if I was a rich entrepreneur woman? Would I ask for a similar car? Maybe something better! Wait, does it get better?

For the next few days, I thought about what I wanted to have in my life, without taking into consideration the middle class mentality I subconsciously possessed. I made a mental list. Like a note. Precisely, had a car, a bungalow, good furniture, well-furnished ceilings and walls, Lots of travel funds, an extravagantly high paying job, six figure Bank Balance, and everything else the middle class thinks richness is all about. 

Now I knew why I was taking tests, getting good grades at school and studying. I knew how I limited my idea about luxury and how suffocating and shelled my thoughts and aims were. I laughed at myself with shame and then I was determined to change. 

Mind you, all this began with a list. A LIST.

I figured this list making was a really cool thing to do. With time, I changed my ‘life goals’ list from Car, House and Money, to Travelling, taking care of my parents, collecting all kinds of experiences before I was dead. A drastic change as such took place because I made that list.

Everything is easier with a list

I’m trying to make a point here. Make a list, people, if anything you’re doing, anything you’re aiming for still seems to be unrealistic or unworthy. You don’t understand how to spend your vacations? Make a list of things you can’t do during the semesters and during exams. Add cycling, cooking pasta(wait, what), gardening, watching your favorite movie playlist, hitting the road, going to a workout thrice a week, visiting grandma, night strolls, Long phone calls, sunshine and baths to your life, to your list. I promise you’ll discover a whole new level of things to do. These were already in your head but you never knew they existed.

That’s the catch. We got so much potential but it’s a mess in there. So put it down on paper and one at a time. It won’t be long before you can’t stop writing. 

When I really needed to reconstruct what I wanted from life, I put experience. What kind of experience? It’s a never ending list now, but at first I had no clue. It seemed like the dumbest list ever made. Now I look it up every time I’ve to make a decision. It’s just about clearing your mind space by putting all the thoughts out on paper and then introspecting the direction. As simple as that.

You can’t seem to stop overthinking? Sit down and make a list, “Thoughts in my head right now” and watch unnecessary thoughts leave your mind like mindless chatter. It gives a direction and you judge right of wrong with your thoughts at this point. And then you’re clear with the whole Matter! 

You can’t choose a major at school or college? Take papers. Write what you’d like to do, forever and ever, even if you never got paid for it. You’d choose something you absolutely love, right? Maybe Football? Some nerds might want to spend eternity taking care of dinosaur museums, others may like to cook the best of food for people. Still, without getting paid ever. Now choose, what your innermost liking is. You’ll instantly get an Ideated summary of all the thoughts scattered throughout your head. Now they’re all classified and simple to analyses.

Making lists clears your head

To me, making lists is like a therapeutic massage. To the mind, of course. When I’m hung up with all kinds of thoughts and there’s no storage space for anymore, I just start to put it down. “What’s the problem? What are the possible solutions to this problem? How can I execute these solutions?”

I couldn’t choose my major in college as well for over three months because of this human indecisive dilemma. I loved writing, literature and poetry, art and dance, travel, food, photography and videography, psychology, and so much more. So I made a list. Would I paint and draw art all my life, still without getting paid? Would I never grow tired of paints and brushes? Will I never run out of ideas? Maybe the answer is different to everyone. To me- I instantly knew I wasn’t meant for that, even though I liked doing it as a hobby…

Make any list. Watch your mind speak clearly and concisely and then you can take decisions. 

Another great idea is scrolling up lists. People write lists. TS made the list of 30 things she learnt as she turned thirty. You’re just 23, but that could be an eye-opener to you! I’m telling you, lists are a God given thing! 

More list making ideas:

  • Summer vacation to-do list.
  • Groceries/shopping list (stick to it like a sticky note and see how you won’t overbuy hence.)
  • My ambitions – what I aim at, what I think I deserve as a result of my hard work.
  • Things I’d love to do as a job/ career.
  • Things I need to change in myself for personal growth and success. 
  • Positive aspects of my decision/ negative outcome of my decision. (More like a pro and con list)
  • My personal achievements (just to feel loved, appreciated and cared for)
  • Things I 
  • A BUCKET LIST. I bet this one’s familiar.
  • People who inspire you (people you look up to as “goals or role models”)
  • Books to read.
  • Movies/shows, to watch.
  • Places to go. 

Summary:

  • A list easily and very simply puts down your overly concerned thoughts to paper.
  • Making lists helps you define the quality of your thoughts, dreams and aspirations. You’re able to see the direction you’re heading in.
  • Lists help you become more productive and economical. No scatter, no clutter.
  • Lists de-clutter your mind space. 
  • Making a list can lessen your anxiety and keep you focused only on what matters.
  • Making lists can help you remember stuff, like a to-do list. (So, they won’t call you a forgetful girl anymore).
  • Lists further help you take decisions about stuff by tossing a coin. Just kidding, by thinking simply and clearly. Because thoughts come and go, things in a list don’t change.

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