Cheat codes and spoilers

Most of us love them. Cheat codes for games. That level you are stuck on forever and then you get hold of the cheat code and yippee! You get through the level. You feel awesome. You brag about crossing the level (and psstt.. you don’t tell anyone how you got through). Scrounge through the net today and these cheat codes are available everywhere. While many are for free, some are paid too. And the fact they are paid, means there is a market for them.

Spoilers are excitement too. We hate them (even though we are dying to find out what happens next) and we love them (when we are the ones doing the spoiling). Back in college, when there was no Internet, somebody had put up on the notice board that Kajol is the killer (can’t remember the movie)! Now we get to know the plot and pretty much everything on the web. Long before movie comes out, there are previews and ‘making of the movie’ stuff that keeps happening.

So you must be wondering why am I going on about this? Cheat codes and spoilers.

Life. That’s what I am about. There are no cheat codes or spoilers for life. Sure you can cheat your way through life, but that’s not the cheat code. It’s what most people do to get ahead and do well and make money blah blah. All that cheating has materialistic connotations to life. How to live a fulfilling life, there are no cheat codes to that. If you are stuck, you are stuck. You have to work your way out. You don’t have a cheat code ṭhat will get you to next level. And no matter what level you are or how well off you are (the benchmark of being successful in this world), there would have been occasions when you wished like hell that there was a cheat code. 

Authors of self help books, pretentious and profound writers though make money out of supposedly providing these cheat codes. Ha! The books sell a million copies. Enough to suggest that there are people out there who look for help to get to the next level. I don’t know of anyone who has transformed his or her life after reading any of these books.

There are no spoilers to life either. We never know how life is going to pan out. We never get to know the climax of every life stage beforehand. We all work towards a certain something in life but have no clue what will happen ten years from now, five years from now or even a year from now (life turns on a dime). We can make all the plans and have all the things in place but it al that might fall like a house of cards. A gust of wind will just blow things apart.

Of course, there are astrologers, tarot readers and what not who promise to tell you how it will turn out. Ever seen an astrologer sitting under a staircase in a mall, eager to be the spoiler. Wanting to tell you how your life will be. Did he or she ever figure out from their own horoscope or palm that they will be spending their life under that staircase? Oh maybe they did but they didn’t have the cheat code to better their lives :p

Talking of cheat code again, they give you the cheat code. The Stone they want you to wear on your finger or around your neck. That mantra they ask you to chant. Supposed cheat codes 🙂

It’s all a big scam. Worse than a ponzi scheme.

We as individuals are extremely insecure. As i wrote in my last post, we are constantly looking for divine intervention. We become the Mark (term used by conmen for suckers) for all these writers, astrologers, palmist and tarot readers. There is money to be made from insecurity of people so lets make money. It’s a big business. This insecurity. We are like lemmings walking up to them. Ever consulted any of these people when the times are good? The fact that you are reaching out to them is a big signpost you got on your forehead that says am in trouble and I need divine intervention. 

They send you back with enough optimism that future is going to be bright for sure (their spoiler) and wear this Stone for that (their cheat code). And we go back home happy. Knowing that we have now put our faith in that black string around our neck. That emerald or ruby or whatever. When things don’t quite turn out right, we seek second opinion… another astrologer or whatever… the cycle continues…

If you have read this far, you are hoping that i will have a revelation or nugget of wisdom which can help. Sorry, no such thing. I am not selling anything. What I have got here is experience of many I know and my experience. Am still looking for the cheat code and hoping I get a peak at the future ahead… 🙂

The ‘what if’ of life

Last year I had posted about a phrase that we love using often.. That was – l told you so.

Apart from that, we also love playing the ‘what if’ game. We play it with our past and we play it with our future.

We look back at key events of the past, usually the not so happy ones or the ones that had an impact on the way things are in present, and wonder what if we had done things differently, reacted differently, taken a step that would have led to a more favourable outcome. We do that and live with regret. We promise ourselves that if similar situation occurred, our response will be different. But the point is, we did what we did. Yes the impact was not favourable. But so what?? Will thinking about it make any difference? Why dwell on it and consider it as a big mistake. Move on.

But move on we don’t. We start using the ‘what if’ for our future decisions. Second guessing the outcomes. And that leads to us not taking a risk. As is our penchant, when we play what if with the future, we dwell on the likelihood of a negative impact and then choose not to take the step. We choose to deprive ourselves of experiences. We choose to take a path that’s safe. We choose to maintain a status quo because the ‘what if’ of the past is governing our future. Makes us scared. Makes us wary.

Yes I have also played this ‘what if’ game with my past. But the big difference is that I have not done it for the future. Taken what life has to offer. Gone ahead and done things.. taken the risk. Yes all risks have not paid off but at least they have helped me get stronger. And the ones that paid off, have increased the appetite for venturing into the unknown.



We all live our lives in future.

And by that I mean we obsess about it all the time. we fret about it all the time. For us it is all about what will happen in the future. We make plans. We make friends. We make business relationships. We make relationships. All with an eye on future. Future drives. Motivates us. Sends us into depression.

But what really is future?

It is a passage of time. Plain and simple. It is ticking of a clock on to next second, next minute, next hour, next day, next month…

And yet we attach our lives to that movement of time. We let it decide our lives. We take decisions now based on future. We question people. We put trust in people… or not put trust in people and let this trust decide our here and now.

We miss out on what is the best happening to us right now in anticipation of the best in the future. What if the best was happening right here and right now while we were focusing on future best?

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” standard interview question when you are perhaps under 30. And we all worked hard on preparing an answer that will sound very profound and hopefully impress the interviewer.

People get into relationships and the question in mind always is how do you see the future of the relationship.

Living for now is considered a sin. If you lived for now, people will tell you that you lack foresight. They will tell you that you have no focus in life. They will tell you that you are going to be a failure. They will tell you that you lack maturity. They will tell you that you are impulsive and it is so wrong. I say bullocks to all the nay sayers.

I know a whole lot of people who do actually take the time to read my boring blog would comment it is very easy for me to say all this but very tough to follow it.

All of you are probably right. I was also probably one of you. Always thinking of the future. Getting optimistic about it at times and depressed at other times. But as the life progressed, it has taught me that all of it is a load of rubbish. It taught me that your best laid plans more often that not, do not quite pan out the way you wanted them to.

There is a phrase I live by now – “Life turns on a dime”. You cant predict and plan every single move for the future. There are way too many variables that define life. And more often than not, you will be hit by a variable when you are least expecting it. You can be blindsided and wont even know what hit you. That is how life turns on a dime.

I don’t plan anymore… at least never a long term plan. And that plan too is always fluid. I never get rigid about every step. It is about a moment and the moment after that.

I would rather let the life pan out than to push and shove it in a direction I want it to go.

Ever tried that? Living in the moment and telling the future to go take a walk… I bet you haven’t.

(image courtesy