Why do I crave relevance?

I crave for relevance because feeling relevant truly makes me feel alive.

Isfandiyar Shaheen
4 min readOct 14, 2017


Days when I feel irrelevant are terrible, and often bring out the worst in me because all my insecurities get triggered when I’m feeling irrelevant. I’ve still not reached a level of emotional awareness required to navigate through those days.

I can explain away my behavior as cause and effect, but then why do I grudge another for also craving the feeling of relevance?

Why am I unable to internalize that when those craving relevance don’t receive it, their insecurities get triggered and they react badly (same way as I do).

Why is relevance so hard to share?

Is relevance finite?

Why does relevance always come at a cost?

In a world of scarcity the mind has grown to internalize that anything that really makes us feel good (like the feeling of relevance) must be scarce because hey all good things are scarce. In fact some even think that unless a thing is scarce, it can’t really be good. Is that really the case though? I’m not sure. What do you think?

I think it’s critical that we move towards a world of abundance and start with making the feeling of relevance abundant to all lives we touch (including our own).

Why do people still try to steal credit for other people’s work in efforts which are truly in everyone’s best interest? Why do so many people publicly proclaim that they want to make the world a better place but rarely do they talk about their need to be admired or their need to be loved?

Why do I publicly proclaim that I want to make internet access affordable for all and that I don’t care whether I receive some sort of recognition, even though I do!

Can I feel relevance without recognition? I don’t think so. Can anyone feel relevance without recognition?

Why then do I grudge another for craving recognition?

Why is it so hard to love insecure people?

Why must we hate insecurities? Why must I hate insecurities?

Interestingly I’ve found that love is an element of abundance. People who love the most number of other people also get the most most amount of love back. Such people also don’t find it hard to love themselves. A loving environment minimizes the chances of triggering or creating more insecurities, thereby reducing the desire for people to seek recognition, thereby helping share relevance more easily with more people.

Can being gentle and loving towards other life become the most important thing we do?

Why is it to hard to love the self? Is there one self? I don’t think so. What do you think?

I’ve found that I can be the kindest person at the same time the harshest, cruelest, most evil person. There’s plenty I’m proud of there’s plenty I’m utterly ashamed off.

I was asked recently at TEdx San Francisco, what if I were known for the absolute worst thing I’ve done? The thought shook me. I then thought about how luck has played a role in shaping my life and how luck is random.

This lady from defy ventures asked a crowd “how many of you have done something borderline illegal before the age of 23”, about 40 pct hands went up. Then she asked, “how many of you were actually arrested?”. 2 pct of the hands went up. Maybe the percentage is actually higher because some may have opted out because it’s embarrassing to admit such things but that exercise made me feel grateful that life has been extremely kind to me. Life has been forgiving of my mistakes.

It made me wonder how forgiving I am of other people’s mistakes?

How can we make the feeling of relevance abundant?

Can we get there by just being nice to one another?

Can we stop grudging others for trying to steal our good work?

I mean so long as a good outcome happens, why is it important that the world know that it was ME who actually engineered it?

I think because I still think that without recognition I cannot really feel relevant so to some extent I optimize for recognition but say I’m optimizing for purpose.

I hate my own hypocrisy, but that doesn’t help.

I’ve found that I’m more loving on days when I’m not feeling insecure. I’ve found that when I’m loving towards others, they also feel good and a virtuous cycle develops.

It’s all really about love’s ability to create virtuous cycles. I think all my life I’ve been wanting to create a more loving environment. I’ve experienced a genuine loving environment most of the time, at times I haven’t. Whenever I haven’t its usually been the time when I’ve not been loving towards myself .

I’m trying to create a loving environment now in an effort that is going to make internet access affordable for all because I genuinely believe that everyone should have the ability to ask a question and get an answer.

I also believe that everyone should be able to feel relevant because everyone deserves to truly feel alive.

Thank you for reading this till the end, I would love to hear your responses to my questions.