Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, but empowers the frog within the well

It is a pity how some people think that they are learned enough and know it all. On the contrary, I presume that there is actually so much to learn, if only one was open to it; from meanings of words in a language, to an entire language altogether, new skills, new traits & even attitudes to deal with the vagaries of life.

If one is curious enough to ask questions, (someone needs to be patient enough to answer them too) seemingly simple everyday things too can lead to knowledge enhancement. When you spend some time in the company of a small child, you realize that the child asks numerous questions relentlessly. Most of us still have that child in us. But most of the time, out of a fear of being ridiculed or to avoid seeming stupid, we let those questions be, refrain from asking and either stop seeking answers or form our own perceptions. Perceptions that may be false too.

It makes sense to seem stupid, be curious and seek answers rather than continue with the ignorance of the subject. Simply put, if one is content with status quo, then their existence would be similar to the frog in the well; limited & oblivious to the changes in the world. The choice is simple and clear, dive into the sea of knowledge or be stuck like the frog in the well.

 

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Orations that linger on.

An early morning walk, on a pleasant winter morning, with the headphones in place cutting out all the noise; listening to a speech of one of the most well-known motivational speakers is one of the most positive ways to begin the day.

Irrespective of whether one believes in all the positivity talks that the motivational speakers give or whether one wants to follow the tips/lessons/advice that are shared by them, one should nevertheless listen to these talks once in a while. The passion with which they speak about having a positive mindset, making changes to one’s thoughts and thereby altering one’s lives, etc. etc. may seem too elementary and yet too good to be true. To some, it may all seem unachievable and difficult to practice. Nevertheless, such talks definitely uplift the mood of a person. Suddenly a mundane task of changing dirty linen into fresh ones and clearing cobwebs seems pleasant. Just because of the passion with which these speakers express the ideas and thoughts.

Although, the steps suggested involve a certain amount of efforts, these orators make it seem really simple. The ease and energy with which these things are communicated makes you want to drop everything and start working on those very things ( I am a firm believer in the fact that changing the thoughts can change lives). However, not everyone may agree to these or want to take the necessary steps.

Irrespective of believing these advices or wanting to implement them, it seems like a very nice way to start the day. When we begin our day with such positive vibes and thoughts, we tend to carry the positivity throughout the day and thereby handle stress relatively well. Listening to these orations could be like listening to radio. Although we may not remember every song that we listen to, one or two of them just lingers on in our minds and we even end humming a tune or two. Likewise, positivity too may just linger on.

Try it; it may not be a bad idea, after all.

Why do we need sufferings, to nudge us towards Happy Endings?

I am a diehard romance story fan and I have grown up reading romantic novels. As every normal teenager, it first started with Mills & Boons and then as I grew older, I moved on to some of the best selling novelists like Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Nicholas Sparks and a few more authors. Needless to say I grew up watching the mushy romantic movies as well. More often than not ( specially where the male and female protagonists are at loggerheads initially) towards the end of the story, there is a pain in the form of a near death situation or a death of a loved one, a separation or a suffering of some kind which forces either of them to profess his/ her to the other. But that’s not how it is in real life. We don’t necessarily have to wait to endure pain to profess our love to our loved ones. All we have to do is to get past our egos, believe in the truthfulness of our love and profess it. In a 400 pages’ work of fiction or a 2 hour movie, such a situation is CREATED. Not necessarily such a situation will arise in our lives before our loved one has drifted away and actually we don’t even NEED such a situation to hold on to somebody. It is just a matter of looking beyond imperfections and acknowledging the presence and the efforts of a beloved. I fear that maybe by portraying that suffering and pain may lead to a success in a relationship or strengthening of a bond, subconsciously this is what gullible and vulnerable people may start believing in. Maybe the writers need to portray more about leaving aside menial differences and looking at how lovable their partner can be. But then probably the readers too love this cotton candy that is offered to them, which may not entirely be true but is not a myth either.

What is gone, will not be back.

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All of us encounter different people in our lives; some in the form of friends, some as mentors & some as mere acquaintances. However, at various stages of our lives, there may be few people who tend to be much more special than the others. They could be just friends or someone who means more than that.

Parting ways is unavoidable

We wish that we never part with these people and that they stay on with us forever. But, for obvious reasons, that is not the case always. Sometimes, we have to deal with separation, owing to death or sometimes just out of circumstances or our own will. When the reason of severance is death, we have no choice but to move on with our lives. But when we are disconnected due to circumstances, then sometimes we tend to hold on to the relationship in the hope that things may turn around. In some cases, people tend to latch on to someone in the hope of developing a relationship. But certain things are just not meant to happen. Instead of accepting the fact that some people may not be destined to be a part of one’s life, & to keep hoping that things might just work out, is like setting oneself up for disappointment.

Fairy tale endings are not for everyone

Yes it is tough to believe that you are just not enough or right for someone; to acknowledge that someone you love so deeply prefers to choose another person over you.  But if that is the case, there is no running away from it. By not accepting someone’s absence from our life, we are only causing more distress to ourselves. The acknowledgement of a failed relationship or lost love is a short term pain. But hoping for a resurrection of the relationship or reappearance of the same love is asking for disappointment over & over again. Living in denial about a situation doesn’t change the situation. It only makes it worse for us in the long run.

How much and how far can you run away from reality? The world doesn’t end at one person. Every life doesn’t have a fairy tale ending where Cinderella finds her Prince. In some cases, either the Prince never shows up or sometimes he just moves on

Moving on is difficult but not impossible.  

Life too is about moving on. God gave us this life, for us to live it fully with happiness & joy; not to be sulking over someone who fortunately or unfortunately is not a part of your life anymore. Although it is easier said than done, it is not impossible.

Remember, what is yours will stay with you effortlessly and what is not yours will go away even with all the efforts under the sun. So know when to give up and how much to try and learn to live your life as if nobody or nothing makes a difference.

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You are worthy of all the happiness & love. Seek love, seek happiness. Spread love, spread happiness. Life is not limited to one person, one relationship or one achievement.  There is always something better waiting to unfold, if only one has the willingness for it.

 

Dreams – Don’t only see them. Live them!

The New Year is here!

For some people, it signifies new beginnings, new goals, and new achievements, in their professional or personal lives. Contrarily, a few people rebuke the excitement of the New Year saying that it is just another year. My question then is what stops such people from making this year a remarkable year for them too?

Make this an important year too

Most of the times, our life is what we create out of it; a series of consequences of the choices that we make. Certainly, there are times when circumstances are beyond our control, yet the way we react to them and what we choose in such situations has a lasting impact on our lives.

Likewise, we tend to train ourselves to follow certain routines, as per societal norms. At times, we do this out of a need for security; a feeling that since everyone is doing it, it must be right or it would be safer. However, there might be times when a routine or a monotonous life seems boring and devoid of motivation.  What is it that is missing? Maybe somewhere in the back of the mind, is a wish that is unfulfilled, a dream that is waiting to be achieved or a passion that has been ignored. The daily hectic schedule in our lives often forces us to push our dreams/passion to the rear and our responsibilities become our key focus in life. Taking out some time to do what you love and pursue your dreams is bound to bring excitement into a dull life. Thereby, making you look forward to each day and each year of your life.

Never too late to start

Not every person is born successful neither does everyone have an early start. From childhood, I had a penchant for ‘words’; whether they were in the form of stories, short poems or lyrics in a song. Yet, only in my 40s did I realize that maybe I should pursue my hobby of writing and let other people read what I write.  And here I am trying to put my thoughts into words and passing it on to others. At times what I write is just an emotional outburst, sometimes it is sharing my experiences and now and then I just write few words of motivation. Whatever the case maybe, it still is a fulfilling thing.

Similarly, a couple of days back; I attended a show by a standup comedian. This person also happens to be the CEO; a full-time professional during the day and a standup comedian, at other occasions. He too started doing what he loves, only in his 40s. (No, I am not promoting 40s as the lucky age group).  I am just trying to say from my personal experience, that it’s never too late to start. As clichéd as it may sound, it is a fact.

It will not be a cakewalk

Yes, there will be troubles initially. For instance, you will have to balance your time for your daily commitments as well as your hobby. That’s where the true test for your passion lies. If you are really passionate about your dreams and intend to do something about it, you will find the right balance.  Like Paulo Coelho says ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires you to achieve it.’ It’s your intention that matters the most.

The fact remains that you may not attain success in the first instance or overnight. There may be failures and people may discourage or ridicule you. But remember, these opinions are what they think of you, not necessarily the reality. What you are capable of, is hidden within you and only you can judge what you are worthy of.

Robin Sharma has a few words of wisdom in this regard; ‘Every Master was once a beginner. Every pro was once an amateur’

Fulfill your responsibilities, but don’t disregard what you love to do. Life is too short to put off your actions for another day. As long what you do makes you happy and is not harmful to anyone else, go for it. You may or may not get a thunderous applause for what you do. But getting a single pat on the back, for doing what you love to do, will give you immense satisfaction.

Money v/s pure joy

Of course, we can’t give up our jobs or whatever we do for our livelihood. Who can deny that money is required for all our necessities and luxuries too?  But for me money is just a means to achieving a purpose. On the other hand, doing something that I love to do is absolute contentment.

Don’t let the nitty-gritty of your daily chores hold you back.  Take out time for what you love, gain more knowledge with regard to your skills, hone them up and follow your dreams. I am no expert and cannot guarantee you material benefits, but all I can say, loving what you do is definitely a gratifying thing.

Remember you can start working towards your dream whenever and however you wish, with or without external support. As long as the dream is alive in you, it can definitely be fulfilled, with enough efforts.

Fruition of your dreams needs your action. Don’t forget, your dreams are your prerogative and your responsibility.

 

Travel Sojourn – a best escape!

People travel all the time. Traveling is a part of the job for some of them and they are always on the move, and practically live out of their suitcases. For some others, it is an annual routine, to take off to some beautiful and exotic location, stay on for a few days and get back to routine. For certain people, traveling is a must! They love to go off to new places, as often as possible and experience all the beauty of that place, indulge in adventures and so on. I belong to the category of people, who travel to beautiful locations once or twice a year, spend a few days there, and are back to the routine life.

Best escape

Since I don’t travel too often, whenever I do, it is the best escape for me from the monotony of routine life. We are so busy in our everyday lives that we just keep running around to finish our tasks, one after the other and in the process, most of the times we just forget to enjoy the little things around us. How many of us can actually boast of being able to savour the break of dawn, a beautiful sunset, a bright full moon night? My guess is, not many of us have the time to enjoy the same. Our commitments, the deadlines are all the hindrances for us.

For me, travelling is the antidote for all this. Some may say; that even while we travel for work or leisure, we are on the go, from one location to another. Be it for sightseeing or just reaching the destination. Yes we are, but I would say that we still have the choice to slow down, and admire the beauty around us. While on a holiday, I could bask in the glory of the morning sun, with a cup of coffee in my hand and listen to the chirping of the birds (if I am in some remote location).  Would we have such a choice in our daily lives? I guess not.

Self Discovery

Moreover, I can confidently say that every time I have traveled, I have discovered something new about myself; it could be the most minuscule thing. But yet, it happens. On my recent holiday, I did something out of my comfort zone, for the first time, much to the surprise of myself and my family members. It was just a reaffirmation for me that once we set our minds to something, nothing is impossible.

A trip to a foreign land often makes me learn new things about their culture, their lifestyle which is probably so different from my own. On certain occasions I have come across people who surprise me with all that they endure regularly for the sake of their livelihood.

I could cite many lessons from my travel trips, whether it was learning to stay calm when I was on the verge of being deplaned at my transit point or enduring absolutely cold weather, without being well-prepared for it, warding off motion sickness on a boat cruise or even surviving on unpalatable food for a couple of days on account of my own restricted choice of food. These things may seem very common but in routine life, they serve as reminders to me, of what I am capable of.

So much to see

Travel for me, is spending time exclusively with loved ones, without distraction. It is time alone with friends or family and sometimes it helps me reconnect with my childhood as well. It is a prerequisite for me in life. There is so much beauty in this world; vast oceans, magnificent snow capped mountains, beautiful valleys filled with flowers, unexplored land with minimal urbanization and even manmade wonders. Be if the beautiful beaches of Seychelles, Maldives or Goa, the mountain ranges of the Alps or the Himalayas, the ever so beautiful English countryside or the culturally rich cities of India, every place has its own relevance and a lifetime may be insufficient to see all of it. But being able to visit even some of these places rather than just seeing postcards of them is a privilege.

Nothing equals travel experiences

For me, traveling is not only about selfies or good pictures, it is an escape plan and in some cases, is a dose of self improvement too.  No classroom sessions, no amount of pampering in a salon or chilling away in a pub can accomplish for me, what traveling to a new place can.

As  Rumi said “Travel brings power and love back into your life”.

Grief for the ones lost or Gratitude for the ones present?

There is enough pain in the world & in our lives in the form of separation, betrayal, rejection & so on. Yet, it is surprising that people prefer to talk and discuss more about such matters.  By talking more about the pain, we are refusing to let ourselves get over it. We are just spreading the negativity of the pain, to the people whom we speak to.  Contrarily, if we speak more about the happy moments and happy times with the people gone or focus more on the people who are still with us, around us, the grief will wane.

Limit the grief

How would it be different, if we spoke about the pleasant times that we shared with the person gone? Instead of wailing in grief about the loss, how about being thankful about the presence of this person in our life? It’s difficult for someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one to do this. But the next time, you are consoling someone who is devastated; remind them about all the good moments that were shared between them.

Majority of us have suffered separation at some point of time in our lives, either in the wake of death or maybe a break up. The most common reaction to a separation is obviously grief.  It is a rare occurrence to find someone expressing gratitude for having had such people cross their paths.  However, that is one of the most sincere ways to express your love for that person.

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Forgiving oneself

Yes it is painful to move on with your life, when you have lost someone who meant so much to you.  Betrayal & infidelity are unpleasant experiences to deal with. Maybe it was a mistake to trust someone so much and so easily. Maybe you were too naïve & vulnerable for someone to be able to cheat on you. But that is not a crime. We are humans and each of us makes mistakes. But we have to forgive ourselves for it and move on. You may feel like giving up on your life, due to that one person who gave up on you. But what about all those others who still are with you, and are a part of your life, be it your parents, your siblings or your friends. Don’t you owe it to them to be content and be well? Would you keep sulking for the one who chose to leave you or would you rather appreciate and be grateful for the people who are still there for you?

Goodbyes are unavoidable

Death is unavoidable. One of the harsh realities of life is that there will be goodbyes. There is no escaping it. We have no choice but to deal with the loss of loved ones, owing to advanced age or sickness or some other reasons.  A loved one would always want your happiness, no matter what the circumstances are. Suffering is not the only way to prove your love for someone.  To follow the principles that they believed or to live with the values that they taught you and carrying on their legacy is the best way to prove your love.

Choose gratitude over grief

Having said this, grieving for the loss of a loved one, is a right that cannot be negated. Nonetheless, to keep ourselves drowned in the same, to be immersed in the self-pity of how someone has treated us and to keep going over it again and again in our minds, or with people around us is uncalled for. While we are deprived the presence of maybe one person, we should be grateful for the numerous other people who still are a part of our life. Thankfulness is the key to everything. Being grateful for someone’s presence in our life, is the simplest way of acknowledging the importance of that person. Showing gratitude for the presence of a person, no matter how long that presence lasted, is the best way to remember a person and show your love for them.

Divert your grief into something constructive. Get involved in a charity or social service, pursue a hobby or even a thing or two related to what the lost one loved.  Keep the memories alive in the form of poetries, stories, paintings and if you think you are not the creative types, then just write a few lines in the memory of the loved one. It is okay even if it is the shabbiest stuff that you have written, it will be still be heartfelt and something that will help you overcome the pain.

Stay strong, remember that person with in a pleasant way and shower the same adulation on the people who still are a part of your lives. In the process of mourning the loss of someone who is gone, don’t forget to appreciate the ones who are there for you. Take care of them lest you lose them too.