Sometimes our life and decisions ultimately come down to whether we kept pushing on, or took the easy way out and gave up. We see so many examples of people around us everyday and they’re all either pushing through the shit they face or have given up, on something or the other, in some way or the other. It may feel like I’m excessively generalising here, and I felt so too for a while, but I believe its true for a lot of people, if not all of them.
Recently I saw a new TV series, which is ironic since it wasn’t aired on TV at all. The name’s Jessica Jones. You may have heard of it, considering the rave reviews and internet fanfare its been generating since it dropped. Obviously it has had its fair share of negative reviews which is understandable since the show has a unique tone and style to it so its not for everyone.
The show follows the struggles of the protagonist, Jessica Jones, when a mind-controlling ‘mutant’ called Kilgrave resurfaces and starts killing people again after Jones had seemingly killed him. Jones has endured trauma at the hands of Kilgrave as he mind-controlled her and ordered her to kill another woman against Jones’ wishes. As a result Jessica Jones has PTSD. Now, she is also a ‘mutant’ and has superhuman strength and the ability to fly so in a way she is one of the best equipped to stop Kilgrave so when she realises he’s back to killing people with his powers, she feels a sense of responsibility since she can stop him and probably should but is hindered by her trauma and she must push through it if she is to stop him. Or she could just run away and do nothing. There’s one quote by Jones herself in the show that sums this up very well:
Knowing its real means you gotta make a decision. One, keep denying it, or two, do something about it.
What do you think Jessica Jones decided to do?
It all comes down to whether you have the balls to dig in and work your way through it. If you put your heart and soul into it, then maybe, you have a shot at success.
So, at what point does one give up?
Let me rephrase that.
At what point should one give up?
How about never?
Dig in. Push through. Nothing’s as bad as it seems.
“I’ve never played for a draw in my life.” – Sir Alex Ferguson
And that’s how Manchester United have been playing in their last three matches. They come to win, and no less. Granted its not a perfectly polished outfit yet, and there are chinks in the armor and there is a lot to prove, to ourselves and to others as well, but its closer to perfect than we’ve ever been in the last couple of years.
If you don’t think that the games against Tottenham and Liverpool were the best games we’ve seen from United in this season (and most of the last season too), then you don’t know much about Manchester United, or football.
If you didn’t see these two matches, then let me sum it up for you.
Think of a sports team. Any team. But it has to be one you care about, one you have a connection with, one that’s close to your heart. It could be any team. It could be your college team, or it could be the current world champions. Got a team? Good. Now imagine they’ve been the best in their particular field for a really, really long time. Imagine they’ve been winning league after league, tournament after tournament, championship after championship, cup after cup, for the last ten, fifteen, twenty years. Imagine them at the top, the world at their feet. Imagine the jubilation, the aura, the halo of ‘invincibility’ about them. But there’s no such thing as invincibility, really. Harsh, but true. Now imagine your team losing. And its not just a loss that is a minor dip in the graph, followed by another one of those all-familiar never-ending spikes. Its a loss followed by a dozen more. And then a few. No more aura, no more halo, no more jubilation. But then change is the only constant in life and then things change at the team. And it takes time but you finally see your team resembling the team you saw during ‘their years’. You finally see the team you’ve missed for too long.
That’s how it felt watching Manchester United maul Tottenham Hotspur on the 15th of March and subdue Liverpool on the 22nd of March.
Below is a little analysis of the current state of affairs at Manchester United, English football and other little things that I may want to say about the same so all those who aren’t into football and ‘Understand Football/Soccer’ isn’t on your ‘Things to do Today’ list, then look away right now.
Tottenham didn’t exactly have a terrifying line – up coming into the match against Man Utd, but then even though United did, they were proclaimed the underdogs. The only way this can be explained is by the golden word, ‘form’. The Spurs were in form and were very much battling gallantly for a spot in the top 4, as were United, only less convincingly. Three matches later, United are now the in – form team in the top 4, along with Wenger’s Arsenal. The battle for 4th place is still open, mathematically, and as much as I would love Manchester City to slip and drop below, I don’t see that happening. As for Manchester United, I very much see them fighting for 2nd place now, and, owing to any errors Chelsea and Arsenal may make (the latter will invariably make one or two), for pole position too.
Speaking of math, here’s the Premier League table, as of the 11th April, 2015:
With about half a dozen (or a little more) games to go for every club, the title looks mathematically available to a lot of clubs, but factor in form, injuries, upcoming fixtures, and a gazillion other psychological, physiological, historical and environmental variables and you’ll realise that it really looks possible for any one out of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United to take the title, with Chelsea holding almost too many cards for anybody else to do anything, really. However, if United can get through the upcoming fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea with victories, I can really see them challenging for the title and it could well go down to the final fixture.
United are undoubtedly the better side when put up against Chelsea or Manchester City. City’s form has been very poor lately and Chelsea are not only faced with injuries and potential suspensions (Matic and Fabregas are both one booking away from a match-ban) but have struggled against almost every team in the last few months. Even against an extremely poor United squad back in October last year, Chelsea only managed a 1-1 draw where United were by far the better team in terms of possession, tackles and shots on target.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were very adept at snatching victories in the dying stages of a match and ‘Fergie time’ was there for just that reason. Sir Alex himself gave it a uniquely cheesy name:
“Its getting tickly now, squeaky – bum time, I call it.”
Its that time of the season again.
All player images above are taken from various fanblogs on Tumblr, and I don’t own them in any way.
At the expense of being very blunt, I’m going to say that writing can be very tough. Getting someone to read what you’ve written can be even tougher.
I don’t mean to disconcert those just starting out in this very competitive but equally rewarding field that demands you to be constantly spewing out word after word, page after page. Hell, I’m just starting out in this field too. And at first, this fact probably disconcerts all. I hope it does. You are constantly reminded that you need to find inspiration and put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, whichever works for you) and this, sort of prompt, pushes you to write. Fear isn’t bad until you allow it to be so.
However stupid or illogical it may sound, inspiration is everywhere. Not all of us find inspiration in the same things, people or places, obviously. Inspiration doesn’t necessarily have to mean complete ideas of what you should, must or want to write. That would just be plagiarism. No, inspiration can mean different things to different people. Two things that mesmerise and intrigue me to no extent are clouds and the sky, its hues, shades, the fact that it is basically endless. I find a lot of my ideas when I’m just staring away into the sky, admiring the patterns that the clouds make, some thin and wispy, others thick and bulbous.
And that’s all well and good, but there are no local inspiration stores and at times it disappears as swiftly as it came to you. And that’s why you have to create inspiration. And that’s obviously easier said than done. I ain’t got no philosophy to that because it is as elusive to me as it is to you. Probably more.
Sometimes I catch myself backspacing a lot. Or scratching out what I just wrote, if I’m using pen and paper. And it’s not always because there was a mistake or I wrote a word in the wrong tense or anything. Its because there’s this little thing inside all of us called The Critic, whose job is conveniently described in his name. And he’s arguably the worst critic of all physically existent as well as non-existent critics. Trust me, he’s the worst. I can’t seem to emphasise that enough. I’ve been at the mercy of that critic for a long time but his words slowly mean less to me although they are always taken into consideration but never shown the way to the heart. We must all show this critic his place and keep him there.
Recently I’ve been a little off with all the fiction writing and all and I thought it was because I wasn’t giving it enough time or I didn’t have inspiration. I found out that, yes, I wasn’t giving it enough time but the inspiration was there all along. I even wrote down lots and lots of ideas down in my notebook or in the note-taking app I have. Why I couldn’t materialise that is a lot of factors actually: I was out holidaying and returned just before Christmas after which I had to complete pending college work while also studying for my tests (which just got over today (yayy)).
So, today I was just staring into the sky, because I have nothing to do for a few days now since college is temporarily closed for us 11th graders, and I got to thinking about why I’ve been writing relatively less fiction lately and I came up with this idea of sharing what I’ve learnt about writing over the short number of years I’ve been writing.
This is intended to be motivating and uplifting when you’re fishing for words to put on that blank page or generally when you’re looking down the barrel of another barren, wordless day. Or anytime, really. Reminding myself of these things definitely motivates me.
Criticism – both positive and negative – is a part of life, whether you like it or not. There are always those who do not hesitate before hurling careless pieces of ‘advice’ at you. It takes some grit, heart, and determination to get through times like those. You have to believe.
Okay, enough of the humdrum serious introductions, let’s lighten up a bit here. The last edition of Awesome Quotes was serious enough. This time round, though the theme sounds pretty deadpan, I have tried to make it as humorous and lively as I can. These kind of features can get boring real quick.
So, with a fresh collection of quotes at your disposal, enjoy and get inspired!
“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde
I guess we can all agree with that.
“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle
“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.” – Dave Willis
“A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.” – Kenneth Tynan
Amazingly explained, don’t you think?
“Throughout the centuries, there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.” – Ayn Rand
This one sounds so much like something Tolkien would say. Add a little upbeat soundtrack and have Cumberbatch read this and you have inspiration on-the-go!
“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” – Drew Carey
So, stop whining and go have yourself a little session of therapy.
“Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticise them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” – Jack Handey
This one is definitely the best of the lot.
Aaand, that’s it for this week’s Awesome Quotes! As always, please comment down below and tell me if you have a cool idea for a future edition of Awesome Quotes and do not forget to drop in again next Friday for the next collection!
Welcome back to Awesome Quotes! As the title announces, the topic for this Friday’s Awesome Quotes is work. And motivation. We all gotta do the former and for that we all need the latter in varying degrees. Sometimes a little motivation gets us by while other times you gotta dump it by the kilo.
So today, I’ve got ya’ll a collection of some of the finest, most motivating, uplifting and (hopefully) rejuvenating quotes to push you on to complete that assignment or that brief or go through that pile of files. I’m in need of some myself, in light of my upcoming exams and journal submissions and whatnot.
Enjoy, get motivated, take a good look at the pile of stuff you got to do, and then don’t look away, turn away from the screen and get down to work. And finish it. Preferably, listen to some Hans Zimmer or Jablonsky soundtracks while you’re at it, because that’s what a soundtrack – loving idiot like me would do.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – R. Collier
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss
“Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.” – Anonymous
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams
“The main thing, is keeping the main thing the main thing.” – German proverb
““They said you can’t go to the moon. They said you can’t put cheese inside a pizza crust, but NASA did it. They had to, because the cheese kept floating off in space.” – Stephen Colbert
Aaand that’s all the motivation I could muster up for you guys today. But if you really look, you’ll see that motivation’s sprinkled everywhere. You just have to find it.
“People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Good bye folks, wishing you a very motivated weekend and feel free to have a second glance at these quotes before you head out for another dreary Monday!
Don’t forget to come back for the first, very special, Awesome Quotes of 2015 next Friday!