Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lesson on how to ignore

A big finding of the day is to resolve problems just by ignoring the problem makers - issues or people. Does not make sense? Does not sound simple?

Let me say how it works. When there is a statement or comment or opinion or advice that is troublesome to you or not in agreement with your policy or simply not your cup of tea, then the best way to deal with it is to keep quiet and not give a comment. When probed once, try to answer as politely as possible. When further disturbed about the point, simply smile and say that it is just your view of things and try to leave the discussion table.

This works better than arguing and proving yourself right at times.. which has been the way I was unconsciously operating all these years. Today I observed that 'To Ignore' is the best way to avoid conflicts and stress to our heads with people who are capable of landing you straight to the hospital ward for a blood pressure shoot up. I gave my views and walked out of the discussion not because I thought it is what I wanted to do, but because I wanted to just take care of my shooting temper. Again, I observed that the other person on the table who was also a part of the discussion simply kept silence.. When I answered back and argued a point, it back fired to me.

When I stepped out of the discussion and started doing whatever was my next priority of the day, I felt a wonderful sense of victory and suddenly realized that the other person who kept silence on the table already won. The one who gave the subject of discussion actually heard herself out; that is all. It only showed that she had some thoughts deep down inside her and showed her real person to the rest of us.

It seemed perfectly illogical and a solid waste of time and energy to make someone with that persona understand our views and beliefs. It also struck me as a lightening that none of us have to prove ourselves to anyone else in this world.. So most arguments that waste our time, effort and energy can be avoided simply by the ignore formula.

The Final Big Note : The ignore formula applies only to topics and subjects that become discussions and arguments  because of generation  gap for those who are above 28 years of age. IGNORE is not the standard way to resolve issues.. It is the last way to resolve a problem and is subject to the persona and issue that is creating the stress. Use your head to decide when to use the formula.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fear of the Unknowns

By this I mean, the many things that run in our heads as often as it takes to spell the word OFTEN. Taking a quick stock of the thoughts that run through our head on any given time frame, I recently figured that most of them are either directly or indirectly related to the "Fear of the Unknowns".

I caught the phrase from a friend's email and am in complete agreement with it. We are generally assured 90% of the times about things that we know and the remaining 10% uncertainty is there even with the most tried and tested facts, practices, and know-hows. So, we discount that 10 percent as 'Exceptions'.

For instance, we know that it takes fifteen minutes to drive from Place A to Place B out of practice or hear say or the map. Almost 90 percent of the times, it should not take us more than fifteen minutes to get to Place B. However, an unforeseen diversion in the route for an unpredicted reason on the road, could cause that unexpected delay of another few minutes. Now this is what I meant when I said, Exceptions and does not happen all the time.

Such predictable and known issues are really not issues in our mind, if you think through carefully. We are not really bothered nor do we invest more time than it took to read the previous paragraph on such known facts that we really know we can handle. So there is no fear here. Only clarity that either our situation will take the 90% route or the 10% route.

It is a recent discovery for me, as recent as yesterday that you could portray yourself as a completely different person by the various thoughts that govern your mind at any given point in time. People see you as a changed person - on the good or the worse side.. It is totally your mind that shows you to the world and yourself. May be hard to believe, you can become a stranger to your own self if you allow some thoughts to get into your mind at any given point in time.

Now, in our minds, as we grow through the thin and thick of life's maze, we think of many many things - facts, problems, solutions, resolutions, figures, people, places, emotions, and pre-conceived notions - that mostly change the person we are.

Most of these things that are getting processed in your mind, even as you read this post, may not be exactly what you want, relevant, correct, applicable, practical and sometimes even existent. Most of the things may fall into one of these categories;
  • Things that have not occurred; Only you fear they might happen.
  • Things that do not attach importance to yourself as a person; Only you fear that they are too important to be ignored.
  • Things that are just unproven notions based on a prior happening in the distant past; Only you fear that it might happen again.
  • Things that are beyond your control; Only you fear that you will be hopelessly miserable if you cant control it.
  • Things that are just not practical; Only you fear that you must be able to make it happen.
  • Things that you heard from somewhere; Only you fear that it might happen to you as well.
  • Things that you don't know about; Only you fear that it might be!!
Ultimately, the truth is nothing of what you fear or worry about is happening now.. just an expected distant future prediction getting processed in your mind, depriving it of your natural self confidence.

It came as a complete surprise to me yesterday that I am into such a mode at times and sometimes forget that what I fear is not Today!!! :) and so when it comes lets deal with it.. The more we think of tomorrow's unknowns, the more the fear factor eats our memory and mind, shaking us of our balance completely, making us a totally different person, not letting us be sane today to deal with Today's time. Negativity clouds us more than we know and people prefer to keep off the negative energy although unknowingly.. I mean, it is natural that positives are boosters and negatives are avoidable.

So lets try and shake off the fear of unknowns and dwell in the present in our mind first. There is confidence, there is God, there is Almighty, there is a super power that is unknown, but knows what to do with the unknowns in our lives. This we all know, although it may translate to different names or Gods or beliefs to each of us.

Unknowns are beyond comprehension; Its practically useless to think through and resolve the mystery of tomorrow. So, why fear??

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conversations - a totally diffferent take

I just received a phone call from a cousin of mine. We have not really spoken to each other in a long time, but when we started talking, time just flew. I realized it was late and we then chose to end the conversation.

After the talk, I sat back relaxed and happy not because I had any information or any news or anything else significant, but then a complete free and joyous feeling of just having spoken about nothing in particular.

I just realized that it is possible for long conversations without a particular serious issue or significant pre- planned discussion.  And to top all realizations related to conversations, is this: All it takes is two people who can speak on the phone for a continuous five minutes without getting bored or driving others to boredom. If you can engage someone on the phone for five minutes without getting bored with their talk, then you will surely be able to continue conversing with them for longer than that...

Weather, studies, school, culture, traffic, tradition,work, home were all our topics; Of course all these are my after thoughts.. And what a relief  it is to talk about nothing in particular and still enjoy the conversation. And I did feel a welcome warmth in the talk and hopes of meeting the person the next chance I get.

Another realization.. Serious talks last long may be, but also leave marks at times... Once in a while serious talks with people are okay... But for the most part, to enjoy life and to learn different practices and places its best to keep talks light and easy. Could be long talks, but light is the need of the hour... to stress less and to live life better. :-)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Wish animals could talk!!!

Never a great animal lover, but I always have thought that they are  nicer than human beings. I always think that people in the pretext of caring and loving animals unintentionally harm them and curb them of their freedom.. And besides am super scared of animals, whereas never of human beings... ideally it should be the reverse, I know!!!

When I was on my usual walk one morning, I saw a cow approaching our main gate. Instinct said that the cow would stop by my gate and it did!!! Surprise of surprises, as for the first time I could guess the move of an animal right in my life.

On the cow's eyes, I saw a look that I don't know quite to explain. I just decided that I will go inside to fetch a banana for the cow to eat. Again a bold move according to me.. Also wanted to make sure that the cow does not misunderstand my going in as indifference.. I still don't know where I got this kind of compassion from, but was glad to know this undiscovered truth about myself.

I gestured the cow to wait, like a police man would give a stop signal on Indian roads if the traffic signals do not work and hoped to God that the cow would understand. I rushed as fast as my feet would permit inside the house and brought the banana for the cow. I was happy to see that the cow did understand my gesture.

The next biggest challenge was to give the banana to the cow. From childhood, the idea of feeding a cow or any animal for that matter scared me. Since, it is a practice in our Tamil families to feed cows on the day after Sankaranti ( Harvest Festival that falls in the second week of January every year ), I was quite conscious of the many times I jumped away from the cow after almost dropping the banana in front of the cow every time... Trust me, it has been every time a big grand failed attempt.

Now this time, I was sure that I wanted to neither drop the banana or jump about like I used to. So, safest bet was to keep the banana on the compound wall. The cow attempted to take the banana and in the process the banana fell inside the compound. I picked it up and put it outside the gate for the cow to eat. It was nice to see the cow eat the fruit.

A wave of satisfaction spread all over my head. Quite unexplainable. Then, I stood watching its next move. After waiting for a minute or two, staring into my eyes, the cow slowly started walking its way down the road. I noticed that there was blood dripping from one of its sides. I now understood the look the cow gave me; It had been a look of pain.

How sad, that the animal could not talk!

Man with his ability to talk, to express, to think does not realize the value of all of these really big gifts. We don't talk when we must, don't express the way we should, don't think what we must. Will we ever improve??!!!


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...