Makarand Utpat

How to Cheat at Diwali Festival and Get Away With It (Legally)

In US, during the winter time we start to think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. While I cherish it, I also look forward to one more festival in the mix, which is, Diwali.

It is one of the biggest festivals that is celebrated by millions of Indians across the world. Diwali stands for “Festival of Lights”. Although many legends exist, in general, Diwali is about celebrating the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

This year, the festival begins on 17th Oct and will last for 5 days. I’m excited and looking forward to the festivities.

Historically speaking, Diwali festivities include exchanging gifts with family and friends, spring cleaning house by getting rid of the old clothes and unneeded things, wearing new clothes, filling the streets and outside home-fronts with colorful drawing called Rangoli containing beautiful designs.

It’s also the time to worship Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and seek blessings to receive good luck and wealth where the homes and public places get decorated with oil lamps, fancy lights and garlands. It is considered as auspicious time to buy new homes, cars, jewelry, and start new ventures.

I so much used to look forward to Diwali during my childhood days since it was full extravaganza of 4 to 5 days of eating sweets, deserts, and special food (that is only prepared during Diwali) and opportunity to light up the various fireworks with friends.

To me, Diwali time is a time for forgive-n-forget, closing the old chapters and opening the new page. It also presents a perfect opportunity to think clearly by untangling ourselves from the minor or major things that holding us back (including but not limited to professional goals, career challenges, relationships with family and friends) and creating new beginnings.

It is time for disassociating ourselves from old self, looking forward and looking at new possibilities of overcoming to become.

It’s time for the reflection.

Diwali time is considered as auspicious to start new ventures or new business dealings. However, I don’t think we need any festivals as such to remind ourselves of what we should be achieving in life or if we should start new beginnings.

To me, every day can be a starting point.

Many starting points come and go right in front of our eyes- our birthdays, marriages, becoming parent, kids’ graduations, kids leaving for college, thanksgiving holidays, christmas holidays, new year celebrations etc.

They prompt us to launch new beginnings or new resolutions but do we really act on it?

So while everyone is rejoicing in eating sweets and deserts, buying new clothes, lighting the oil lamps and doing the fireworks, you can actually cheat Diwali by getting started on new beginnings or sustaining the lasting changes, which most people won’t succeed with.

Here are 6 aspects to consider to do little bit of cheating the Diwali festival by doing non-traditional things:

1)Getting Started

Creating opportunities out of the moments presented to ourselves, starting with where we are and doing what we can without worrying about the perfection. Ideas will never come out to be fully formed so remember to get started. Also, recommended reading at Zuck’s commencement speech at Harvard University.

2)Think about Possibilities

Often, we shackle ourselves when faced with difficulties or setbacks. It happens because of many reasons such as negative biases, confining to social norms or protocols, depressing experiences from the past or our self-limiting beliefs. That’s just how our brains are wired. However, the success is really about changing the narratives and rewriting our own story. We are in charge of driving better outcomes.

3)Not Worrying about Perfection

In the Forbes article, Dev Patel talks about Perfection is enemy of the progress. We’ll never have the right set of tools or resources at our fingertips. We’ll never have perfect kids or perfect spouse or ideal career where everything goes smooth like a well-oiled machine. That’s a utopia. 

4)Exhibiting Mental Toughness

Achieving success is not an overnight strategy. Remember, if you are preparing for a game, the game never actually starts on the game-time but rather, it starts weeks or months before that. It is also about staying in the game and not quitting it once started.

5)Taking Risks

In many ways, it comes down to building an airplane while coming down from the sky. Per the Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, success is about being comfortable with unknowns and about finding the solutions. Success comes to those who start where they are, taking risks and be ready to fail, expecting the best.

6)Raising Your Standards

Finally, it is also about raising your standards and renewing personal commitments. We try to make decisions based on how people would judge us and thus, try to stick to the confines and within boundaries. Time and again, it has been shown to us by the successful people that real success occurs outside our comfort zone. It is about making a decision and being deliberate and disciplined.

In the end, if you are striving to achieve any goals (starting a blog or a podcast, learning a new instrument, monetizing your passion, getting certified in your field, becoming a better husband or a better parent) or waiting to complete your bucket list, don’t wait for festival such as Diwali or Christmas holidays or look for a perfect occasion.

You’ll never find the perfect time and tomorrow will never come. Reality will set in before your know it so get started today.

Wishing you and your families a very happy and prosperous Diwali!