Empty the Trash

Abhishek Pratapa
3 min readJul 5, 2019


Sometimes I find it important to empty the trash. Restart your computer. Clean your glasses. Wash your sheets.

It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, and sometimes your own expectations.

  • Goals aren’t met.
  • Projects fall behind schedule.
  • People leave.
  • Life flashed before you

All the meanwhile you’re left jaded without even knowing it.

Maybe you’re insecure, maybe a majority society doesn’t accept you, or see you. Maybe you’re loud and rambunctious just to hide your doubts. Maybe you have trust issues. Maybe you have been burned. Maybe you don’t feel like anyone cares about you.

Maybe you need to clean your engine.

We aren’t perfect, that’s why we’re motivated. Life can sometimes be more difficult than we first anticipate. We may have the urge to press forward. To push through the pain. To blindly trust that we’re moving forward.

burnout — the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary and spinning its wheels, causing the tires to heat up and smoke due to friction. (Wikipedia)

Feeling like you’re staying in one spot without growing is the best way to feel burned out. But like any feelings it can be corrected for.

We can fall in the trap of comparing ourselves to those younger than us. People that have accomplished more than us at a younger age. We can feel like we’ve wasted our time.

We also fall into the trap of looking at people older than us who have accomplished more than us. We can feel like we aren’t smart enough.

Finally we can fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to people like us. We see what they’ve done with their life. And how they’ve been successful. We can feel like we’ve been dealt the wrong deck of cards. If we were just a little taller, a little smarter, a little prettier, a little less afraid…

But it isn’t the here and the now. And sometimes the weight of our past decisions can affect our future actions. As humans we index on the negative. Pain aversion was a primary driving factor for evolving humans. Most pain today is percieved. Let’s not evolutionarily over-index on it.

It’s imperative that we focus on the positives and objectively think about where we want to go. It’s the only way we can correct for this emotional imbalance.

Empty the trash. Reshuffle the living room. Try a new hair cut. And don’t be afraid to be a different you. You don’t owe anything to anyone, even your past self.

An addendum to my South-Indian Americanized friends and whoever else this applies to.

It’s hard to accept yourself when you fit the stereotype. And internalizing these stereotypes can lead to a very unhealthy mindset. I grew up in a house hold where the biggest risk we took was moving to America. Culturally it was hard. I was living double lives where my Telugu heritage ruled at home and a more American one ruled at school. It was hard to get over the stereotypes because I turned out to be a true nerd in the purest sense. I’ve heard stories of people who were pushed into engineering and science because it was a cultural choice (engineer, doctor lawyer). My parents never did. I was taking apart RC-cars to figure out how they worked from at the age 5, and I’m glad my mom let me do those things. But it made it hard to accept myself for it. It was my guilty pleasure. I didn’t want to share my nerd-ness for fear of being mis-categorized as a conformist and submissive Indian kid. But at the end of the day we have to accept ourselves first.

Forward: To all those that aren’t familiar with Indians, we aren’t all the same I promise. We come it all different flavors and varieties just like you.

If you’d like to chat about anything tech, life, plans to take over the world. Text me, maybe could get together and eat a bunch of caramels:

(five — one — two) nine — eight — three — one — seven — six — seven