The Shape of Things

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Have you seen a film called ‘The Shape of Things’?

IMDB categorizes this as a comedy-drama, with a hint of romance; but I think the film is much more than these categorizations (as is life, right?).

Would you change yourself for anyone?

Would you change yourself for anyone?

The film title actually puts the ideas (on the subject) into perspective – The Shape of Things. Most of us are so obsessed with the surface of things, that we forget what is underneath. It takes strict meditation, regimented daily exercise, introspection and sometimes even weekly visits to psychologists to appreciate the body that we have. Even though these aspects of pseudo-socializing and self-observation hold due importance in our life, why do we let our physical appearance dominate our inward appearance?

Let me tell you this – unless you drink like a fish, smoke like a chimney or eat like a pig – it is very likely that you have a healthy body. Obviously, sometimes people get diagnosed with unexpected illnesses, some of which are terminal. When my uncle was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML), there was little we could do for a healthy 65 year old. Even two rounds of golf a week, healthy eating, relaxing holidays and a loving partner cannot turn around our terminal, physical misfortunes.

We complain about how bad we look and about how our body is slowly dying as we grow older. This is something we all need to wake up and face up to – as one gets older, our body undergoes physical changes that can be slowed through healthy and plentiful living, but the ageing process cannot be reversed. Death and Taxes are inevitable. So enjoy every aspect of your body, be thankful of what you have. If you really think you have it tough, check out this guy.  See how your life compares to his. I am certain that he is happier than anyone would have expected him to be.


Would you change yourself for anyone?

Now I must remind you that this question is asked in the context of your body. Would you change how you look or the way you dress if someone close to you suggested so?

Chances are, someone probably has – maybe it was your partner, maybe one of your parents, or maybe even your PE teacher. We all are so obsessed with the shape of things, that we judge a book by its cover. It is easy to look at someone on the subway or in the supermarket and assume everything about them.

That is why we dress well.

That is partly why we want to look fit and healthy, more so than feel fit and healthy. Our sub-conscious pushes us to prove ourselves to others on a daily basis. In this Rat Race, being healthy and self-sufficient is not as important as looking better than the person standing next to you.

To that, I say: No worries. We all have some personal standards to live up to. We all have different social standings and wish to maintain that through our life. But what I urge you to do is respect your body, appreciate it, and even love it. This cliché gets thrown around a lot, but let me tell you – you are unique! You don’t have to be perfectly built to enjoy life. You don’t have to have a 6-pack to attract women. You don’t need to have a stick-like figure to feel wanted.

In answer to my previous question, it is ok to change for someone. However, before you jump head-first into revamping yourself, think about this: Will the change be helpful to you? What is the objective of the change – is it betterment of your mind, body and spirit? If so, feel free to change, feel free to improve, but remember to put your heart into it.

In the end, I will leave you with this quote from The Shape of Things:

As my subject became handsomer and firmer and more confident, his actions became more and more questionable. Against medical advice, he had work done to his face and insisted to those around him that he had merely fallen down. He also started to deceive his friends and myself with greater abandon during this period, while showing increased interest in other women…..He is a living, breathing example of our obsession with the surface of things, the shape of them.

Don’t let change….change you.

So will you change for the better? How do you plan to change your appearance, if at all? Share with us.

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About Neeraj Sachdeva

Neeraj is a life-geek, who enjoys talking about Psychology and Freelancing. His freelancing endeavor focuses on kick-starting start-ups and small businesses by using practical and timely experience. In his free time, he helps budding freelancers, and you can read about his journey on The Freelancer Diary.

About Neeraj Sachdeva

Neeraj is a life-geek, who enjoys talking about Psychology and Freelancing. His freelancing endeavor focuses on kick-starting start-ups and small businesses by using practical and timely experience. In his free time, he helps budding freelancers, and you can read about his journey on The Freelancer Diary.


  1. Nice article Neeraj. It really made me think. I like the video clip too. Thanks for posting!
    J Farnsworth recently posted..Aiden and SilasMy Profile

  2. Katie Lambert says:

    I think it’s sad too. As a woman, I sometimes feel that same kind of pressure to change (although I don’t think it’s unique to just women).

  3. I enjoyed that video clip. Good lessons for everyone to learn.

  4. Christine Lee says:

    It’s sad to think about the pressure people put on themselves just to please others. I like your take on it.

  5. Neeraj, growing up hearing-impaired, I had a horrible battle with low self-esteem. People called me stupid because my constant “Huh? Whatchu say?” was considered just slightly more intelligible than Moose’s “Duh?” (Archie comics – dang, I’m as old as “Typewriter” Larry!)

    That low self-esteem bled into every area, except one: my own acknowledgement of intelligence. The straight A’s and encouragement I received from teachers were my shield against the daggers of ignorance. Eventually, I began to love myself and, like that proverbial rising tide, my spirits and emotions elevated accordingly.

    Would I change my body? For me, yeah. For my wife, maybe, LOL – though I draw the line at cosmetic surgery. I’m looking to get into green juicing, and maybe some kind of more physical activity that won’t mangle this 50-year old temple.


    Mitchell Allen recently posted..The Tribe the Jungle and the Terrifying IdeaMy Profile

    • Mitch, when I was growing up in India, I came across instances where some kids were bullying hearing-impaired kids. I didn’t know better then, for if I did, I would have made a stand. Bullying is a big no-no, it can really hurt a kid’s self esteem. Glad to had writing to fall back on, and you have clearly used the instrument well.
      In India, arrange marriages are very common. Me and my dad were once talking about his friend’s daughters, I (curiously) suggested if the middle one of the three was still available?!? She is – my dad said – and hasn’t been married off yet because of her ‘disability’ (which by the way is hearing-impairment). Real shame, as this wasn’t a life threatening issue. Just highlights the perception we sometimes hold in our minds.
      Neeraj Sachdeva recently posted..Should You Rent an Office Space?My Profile

      • Wow! Just like Rachel Pirzad, the character on “Alphas” – her synesthesia was frowned upon by her dad (until she used it to save is life.)

        I wasn’t bullied. Just considered dumb. Even today, if I’m forced to use the phone, I get that callous perception from able-bodied(?) speakers.

        The difference is, today, I can laugh about it. some of the miscommunication even makes its way into one of my weekly stories.


        Mitchell Allen recently posted..Is Your Boss a Bozo?My Profile

        • I’ve never seen “Alphas,” Mitchell, but my daughter wrote a paper on synesthesia a few years ago. It’s an interesting phenomenon. I remember one of our earliest conversations, Mitch, about “Silence.” You wrote about it as an evil entity; I was wishing for more “blessed silence” in my life. But I certainly wouldn’t be eager or willing to have hearing impairment just to get more quiet time in my life, either!

          • LOL, I remember the conversation, Holly. It struck a chord because my dearest friend unintentionally insulted me when she once said, “Be glad you can’t hear all this drama, Mitch.”

            I was livid. For a minute. She just didn’t know how that even sounded.



  6. Great Post! Our obsession with “The Shape of Things” is immense.
    It often gets confusing to decide whether a particular change you wish to make is for better or for worse. The question we must ask, and the question that often remains: “Will I lose my own identity?”

  7. Wonderful post Neeraj – very inspirational.
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  8. Ntathu Allen says:

    blog and video reminded me of the value and importance of appreciating what we have -our health. In yoga we say “health is wealth” – and that is so true and Nick is a living inspiration of that. Thanks for sharing

  9. Hey Flo, appreciate you commenting. When I first saw that video a couple of years ago, I was floored! I mean Nick is so full of life, I can only aim to be as carefree and easy-going as he is!

    Thank you for the feedback on the blog, we all like it too! Keep coming back, we need more positive people like you here 🙂
    Neeraj Sachdeva recently posted..Should You Rent an Office Space?My Profile

  10. Hi Neeraj,

    This a very positive blog post. I’ve always admired Nick and how positive he is about life and the rest of us should be ashamed of ourselves for always complaining about everything. Sometimes we complain that weather is too hot, but this guy can’t even wipe the sweat off his face on a hot day. He is a true example of how we should be happy in whatever shape we think life has moulded us into.

    And I love the blog that you and the team have put together here. At first glance the design gives me the feeling of opening a nice present 🙂 It is really refreshing. Welldone guys and keep it up.
    Flo recently posted..Nigerian Food VideosMy Profile

  11. I loved this post.

    I met a girl, many years ago, who wanted to starve herself into non-existence because her boyfriend thought she was fat. She was, in fact, anorexic. I told her that what she really needed to change was her boyfriend – and she needed to learn to love herself before there was nothing of her SELF left to love.

    No, I would not change my body for anyone but me. Love doesn’t ask it of us, and nothing BUT love would justify it. Having said that, I should admit that I would change it – for me. I recently underwent major surgery for cancer treatment, and it required some pretty massive reconstructive surgery. I shouldn’t say “required” – without it, I’d have been just fine, physically. My recovery time might even have been shorter, more comfortable. But I could not even imagine looking in the mirror. I wanted to see ME looking back. The me I was used to, and had known all my life. It was surprisingly important, for some reason, and I will admit that I have no regrets. No one would’ve loved me less had I not done it – had I thought for one second they would, or that it would motivate me to have major surgery (a 12 hour procedure), I’d have had my head examined, thoroughly, first.

    It’s one thing to “grow old gracefully.” Admittedly, I’m not even doing that the way I’d always planned; gray hair is overrated. 🙂 But I’m not out to look 20. I would not trade my 48 years’ experience and life for a 20 year old body – no way.
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