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Thank the sharks in your life!

Ever noticed a life line going up&down on the pulse rate monitor in hospitals? What does it indicate? What does it do to you? And how about the same life line going flat on the monitor?

The life line going up & down say there’s life…the person is alive and is a relief to see it moving in waves. While a flat life line indicates death and we fear it seeing it on the monitor. But do we even understand the message that it gives about life?

The heartbeat monitor teaches us that the lifelines going up & down is all what means life and when it goes flat..it means no life. We all understand this but when in life, situations goes a little up or down, we complain and expect life to be smooth and that’s what we wish our lives to be.

I came across an interesting story that I thought I must share with my readers. 

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So the fishermen had to go further out to sea to catch their supply of fish, the fishing boats got bigger and bigger.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh and they lost their fresh taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. Also, the frozen fish brought a lower price. So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference; because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste.

The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish. So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies added a small shark to the tanks that the fish were kept in. The shark of course eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state due to the fact that the fish are challenged in the tank that keeps them super active to survive through challenge.

Do you find any familiarity with the state of fishes? Do you realize the importance of problems or challenges in life? I believe the challenges are blessings in disguise, Trust the plan of God – Challenges mean you have an option of a better life if you choose to fight. So when challenges come, face them eye to eye and strive to survive. They are meant to be there for a reason.

And if you are blessed with a comfortable life with not much challenging situations, you may be prone to feel tiered and dull with the same repeated churn. Add some challenges in your life, even if it means learning something you never thought you can, or doing something that you think is difficult in your capacity. Life with new challenging objectives will always keep you active as does the shark do in the story.

Thank God for the problems in your life and pray for capability to handle them. Change your perspective towards the sharks in your life and let not your life line go flat.

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When life gives you no option

One of my coachees met me yesterday and she looked horrified and stressed. She had been going through a rough patch – late working hours, very high targets, no appreciation, health issues due to stress and above all, political battles to survive. All of this was also affecting her quality time with family and hence personal issues with the spouse. She had worked for more than a decade in this organization and had given her blood and soul to its success. Lately, there were leadership changes and the effects had started showing up at all hierarchical levels. She had been living under the fear of losing her job while being there was also taking a huge toll on her life for past 8-9 months.

She said she along with a few other peers have been finally informed about the mutual separation agreement. She was so worried that all she could see was fear and confusion about what she should do next. I could see a chaotic messed maze in her head. And I knew that needs to be sorted out.

I asked her – What does the agreement say? What is the offer?

She said – 3 months of notice period + a month pay for every completed year.

I: So that means you get more than a year’s pay? Right

Her: Yea. But what do I do now?

I: What options do you have?

Her: I don’t know.

I: Do you think you can or even if given an option, you would want to stay back?

Her: There’s clearly no such option. I have struggled for the past 9 months and know it. It had been humiliating every single day.

I: So is it not good that it finally got over? Were you expecting anything different?

Her: No I knew this was to end. But I have been given a mutual separation – What do I do?

I: What’re the options do you have than to simply accept and move on?

She was in an extremely victim state. Didn’t say a word.

I: Okay, let’s see what is good about this situation?

Her: Good about this situation? Really? What more can happen to me?

I: Let’s try once. Think about it.

Her: My day to day struggle that I was going through is over. It is like the result has come and I have failed.

I: Did you want that to continue?

Her: No, that way, I am happy that it is over because I couldn’t take it anymore and my personal life and health were taking a hit.

I: What more good do you see?

Her: I have 3 months left for which I get paid + 11 month’s pay for my 11 years of stay here.

I: Yea, so its 14 months of pay that gives you financial security for 14 months. Moreover, you have 3 working month’s where you can actively focus on finding another opportunity for yourself while being paid here for doing nothing much. Am I right?

Her: Yes that’s right. But what do I do?

I: Why do I feel you want some complications to mess your mind into while there is none? You say you don’t have any other option than to accept the agreement. You didn’t want to stay back and had been struggling for the past 9 months putting your health, personal relationships and your peace of mind on stake. And now that the organization has offered you a cake that you could not just have but eat it too, you are wondering what you should do? You are not ready to accept the situation which you knew will happen but perhaps happened with a much better deal than what you feared.

Isn’t this the best thing that could have happened to you in this given situation? Can you think what worse could have happened?

Her: Yes, I could have lost my job on some unjustified reasons like performance issues, could have not paid anything beyond my notice period, I could have been sitting at home looking for a job with challenges justifying why I left my job without having another opportunity in hand, All of this could have been so tormenting for me and my family….I am actually scared to even think of what all could have happened.

I: Don’t you see how all of these not happening has been such a blessing in disguise. You could focus on finding a job in these 3 months, spend quality time with family, rejuvenate your health and relationship while being paid monthly. More so, even if finding a job takes a little while, your finances are taken care of.

Her: Yes, I feel much better.

I: You must. Be glad that there are no other options that you have than to just float and flow in a much desirable direction.

Her: Yes, there are actually no options that I have that I should put my thoughts into. It feels so good right now to not have too many options.

I: Good luck!

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We are so used to stay complicated in our minds that we do not realize that having no other option in life could also be a comforting thing at times.

We keep looking for so many options first and later feel complicated and incapable of taking decisions.

We are so accustomed to seeing misfortune and stresses around us that we forget to find goodness in the situations that we are into.

Believe that when you have given your best effort, anything that happens will have goodness enveloped in it. You need to find it and anchor it to move on. There is nothing that is pure misfortune – Look for what’s good about a situation and you shall surely find it.

Face Off Against Fear

Does fear hold you back from taking day-to-day decisions?

Does fear hold you back from taking action?

Does fear impact your relationships and your experience of life?

Basically, does fear overpower and paralyse you?

A widely-used interpretation of FEAR is “False evidence appearing real”. Do you concur to some extent?

Fear is an emotion, but it is driven by the thoughts we carry in our head. And have we ever questioned those thoughts? Do we ever try to learn what it is that we fear? Or do we just surrender ourselves to that emotion and use it as an excuse for non-action?

Here are a few steps that will help you overcome your fears and get unstuck.

First, understand that the Mother of all fears is the fear of the unknown. What will happen? What will people say? And loads of ‘what-ifs’ on top of that. Basically we look for security and the ‘best possible choice’ without first having clarity of thought.

The mind is like an over-protective parent who, with the best of intentions, prevents us from stepping out of our comfort zone towards growth. And hence we feel paralysed. We don’t know how to take that progressive step. We feel stuck.

If we want to become the masters of our minds and move forward, we need to find solutions. But if we remain slaves to the mind, we allow it to give us as many fears as it can to keep us in our comfort zone and keep complaining.

But the question for those who want to progress is: how? Let’s do this.

  • Let’s make the unknown known first. What is your fear? What do you fear will happen that is stopping you from taking action? List down all that you think can go wrong.
  • Now imagine that your worst fear comes true.  Think about every fear that you have listed.
  • What would you do if that happens? What would be your plan B? What are the options?

With this exercise, you familiarise your mind with all that you think could happen. Hence, nothing remains unknown or a surprise.

You also prepare it to respond well in any situation by making it familiar with plan B instead of reacting in panic. The mind gets prepared to act rather than fear the risk of unknown outcomes.

Most importantly, when you put your thoughts on paper, they look more doable and manageable than in the mind. That’s half the battle won. The rest is your action that makes it possible.

The key is to take one step ahead from where you are. And you are good to go!

Basic essentials to establish yourself as a coach

Having worked for corporate as a senior HR professional for more than 2 decades where coaching my employees was a vital part of my role, I had been very successful and respected. I also got myself certified from a global institute to practice coaching that added to my credibility and confidence. Only at a stage when I decided to take a break from corporate with a plan to be an independent professional coach, I met the reality and I failed.

I always had a natural knack of coaching and it had been my passion. And the certification added to my professional skills as well. I had been coaching people within the corporate so well but why did I fail then? I realised that coaching your own employees and coaching people privately were completely different ballgame.

I also realised that the certification courses would give you skills to coach but would not prepare you for the real challenges that one may face to start professional coaching, ie. setting the sound ground. I learnt it hard way through failing, through experience and through the guidance of my mentors. And hence sharing it with you so you could benefit through my learning and save your time to succeed.

The basic essentials to establish yourself as a successful coach that must be adhered to are –

First and foremost – Get the skillCoaching is a responsible job and having the right skill is very important. So learn the skill. Even if you are a natural coach, a certification will be a good to have as it not only would add to your confidence and proficiency but would also be an added advantage to be added to your profile. Before people invest with you, they may want to get some assurance on your capability and that’s where a certificate may help in your credibility. Apart from this, read a lot.

So you now have the skill but that’s not enough. You would learn more on the run but important is to set the sound ground first so you don’t fall when you start.

Have the right intent While coaching in corporate, my intent had always been to help people get better but as an independent, my intent shifted to find clients who could pay me for my help and I started hunting. And I realised that the intent matters big time. A successful coach would primarily have a genuine intent to help people and see money as a bi-product. When your intent is right, you attract people who need help naturally. But when you are hunting for clients, your energies get affected and hence it becomes challenging.

Identify what you want to help people with and what kind of people you want to work withYou must identify what problem do you want to fix and identify the audience that you would like help and enjoy working with. It could be a specific age group, a specific gender, a specific issue/ area. Narrow down to specific niche- a topic that you are not just good at but also passionate about and enjoy and the target audience to be more affective. Be specialised.

Build your credibility & be visibleA certificate surely adds to your credibility but there would be thousands of people with the same certificate, so how do you build your credibility that’s more creditable than others? How do stand apart?

You must start building it up every single day consistently, efficiently & effectively. Having the title of an author is the quickest way to build your credibility. So write a book related to your niche. Not everyone does that.

Use social media to your advantage because that’s the only way to reach out to the world and be seen. Write relevant blogs, posts, articles, quotes on LinkedIn, Facebook, Insta, upload your videos on your Youtube channel, Podcasts, do speaking assignments even if you have to do it for free. Commit yourself to be doing this actively every single day.

Start expanding your network. All of this may not cost you money but would demand your effort and time. With time you will realise what platform works better for you in terms of finding you your clients, but initially, be active on all of them as the audience will be different for most of the platforms.

Apart from holding a certificate, I had nothing when I started. I was non-existent on social media apart from LinkedIn. But practicing what I preached above, gave me so much visibility and confidence that my first 2 clients themselves approached me through LinkedIn since I already had a presence there and had started building up on that. And later I realised that Facebook worked equally better as few of my clients both domestic and international ones approached me through FB.

Hence all that I am sharing is through my experience and tested.

Charging clients – Asking for money and that too for helping someone was not my cup of tea and hence had big challenges initially. But I had to reset my thinking that it was not asking for money for the help but was the fee for the value that I provide to someone’s life.

How much to ask was right? That was the second challenge. So I did the research and fixed a fee for my coaching sessions which was competitive and aligned to the value that I was confident of providing.

Believe in yourself and be resilient – Understand that you may have people and situations that would intentionally or unintentionally discourage you but your belief in yourself, having the right intent, putting the right efforts and being resilient is all that would define your journey towards success. Surround yourself with empowering people and positive environment and have the courage to ask for help when you need.  Coaches too need coaches like doctors need doctors for themselves sometimes. So it is absolutely okay and normal to seek help when needed. Ultimately, do whatever it takes you to do to keep moving ahead every single day. Understand that Rome was not built in a day and so will your success be.

Our world need coaches today more than ever, so, decide and take the first step and you will find all that you need on the way!

Managing Conflicts through Emotional Intelligence

Conflict is inevitable; and managing it right is the key! Most of the people tend to give themselves into their conflicting emotions and thoughts and there are few who learn to understand their emotions and thoughts intelligently and find a solution that works for them. And that’s called being emotionally intelligent.

Whether you are emotionally intelligent or not, you can’t avoid conflicts wherever you go. But what these conflicts do to you is all based on how you manage them. And while the world is struggling through a global crisis at the moment and everything seems to have come to a halt with people confined to their homes under lockdown, why not use this time to understand ourselves a little better and to help ourselves be more aware and skillful of managing our conflicts efficiently.

There is a higher scope during this confined situation that has made us all move from our comfort zones, and put us into an environment that’s different than what we were used to, to get into conflicting mindsets. Think about working professionals whose daily schedule included travelling, meeting so many people and a variety of activities but are now confined in their homes with a complete change in the environment and schedule. Fears and challenges around job insecurities, falling economy, delivery expectations, getting work done by the teams, maintaining excellent understanding with seniors and managing the opinions and disagreements–and everything to be managed virtually. Moreover, expectations from family members while being at home 24X7.

Think about homemakers whose work load suddenly increased, having family members at home 24X7 with their increased demand of attention and service, with almost zero me-time.

Think about school- or college-going children having a variety of schedules in their timetable for the day are now homebound with no outdoor activities and parents controlling and watching over them all the time. No scope to exercise their high energies and feeling confined and suppressed.

Imagine the scope of conflicting situations between people that may arise while everyone is struggling within themselves because of the sudden unexpected changes in life patterns that didn’t give anyone any time to prepare for.

And if not the COVID-19 lockdown time, life otherwise also keeps testing us through different situations where we are bound to cope with new circumstances, people, situations, emotions and thoughts. So it is vital that we have good self awareness and the right skills to manage conflicting situations.

While this global crisis has also come with some pros of providing quality time with families and loved ones, it has also come with an opportunity to learn to cope with a different way of life without too many options of people and engagements, that can be frustrating at some point in time. And what happens then is a conflict because it catches us unaware and our behaviours happen naturally, without us being thoughtful at that moment, thus we tend to react than respond.

That in turn leads to frustrations, guilt, sadness, regrets and other negative feelings. Let’s now take some time off to understand and use these moments to learn something about ourselves so we are in control of how we want to respond to situations and people because you can’t bring a change by changing others. No one can change anyone, so it’s a lost battle anyway. The change in the world around you comes when you change in a way that drives an experience that you want. And that happens when you have clarity, control and consistent practise.

Important thing to remember is that it will not change overnight. It takes time and consistent conscious effort.

What is conflict?

Conflict is an experience of strong opposing views, emotions, beliefs, arguments or thoughts. Conflict can both be internal as well as external. Internal conflicts are driven through our own thought patterns, destructive emotions like fear, anger, insecurities, behaviour patterns and limiting beliefs. External conflicts on the other hand are driven by people, circumstances, actions, and words. 

However, both types of conflicts lead to an emotional hijack and one is forced into certain actions/reactions which are not by a thoughtful choice and that further leads to regrets. 

How to be emotionally intelligent when in conflict?

The most vital part is being self aware and then being self regulated. Fundamentally, one must have the intent to take ownership and improvise, only then does this work, or else the ego and self defence limits you from bringing about any change. One is also required to be utmost honest and objective with oneself.

How do we get self aware?

Self awareness is the ability to be conscious about your emotions, thoughts, behaviour patterns, events that trigger a predictable reaction so that you are able to choose your response that is thoughtful and not impulsive. When you are self aware, you are in control of yourself and your actions. It is about looking through your behaviours and understanding the thoughts and emotions which led to it. 

Here are some ways to attain this:

1. Maintain a daily journal: Note down (a) the situation, (b) your reactions, (c) your triggers, (d) your body responses, (e) how you felt about it, and (f) what did it do to you (result). Observe closely and repeatedly, especially during the conflicting situations and express yourself in your journal every day. This will help you identify a pattern if at all it is there, how your body responds before your actions that gives you a window to be immediately conscious of your predictable reaction and control it.

2. Ask yourself these questions and be honest in answering them in your journal.

* What did you say/do that you regret?

* What were the options that you had and what got in your way to make a thoughtful choice?

* Are there any commonalities of the incidence and your reactions from your previous situations? What patterns do you find?

* What impact has it had on you or on your life?

* Was there a better way that you could have managed yourself or the situation?

To be emotionally intelligent in terms of conflicts, it is equally important to understand and empathise with the other person’s emotions to have better clarity of perspectives and be in better control of the situation to find a win-win outcome.

Add these to your journal exercise:

  • What was the conflict or argument about?
  • What view did you assert & what made it right from your perspective?
  • What view did the other person assert & what made it wrong from your perspective?
  • Do you really believe that you were 100% right? Or you had a need to win?
  • How differently could the situation be handled from your end?
  • What did you learn about yourself through this incident?

Practicing the journal exercise regularly will give you better awareness about yourself in situations that will help you gain control over your thoughts and actions for future. Being self aware is half the battle won, however, the other aspects about self regulation, finding a strong WHY for yourself to change and being aware of other’s emotions as well, are equally important to learn to manage conflicting situations better. 

Managing Teenage is a mindset that can be joyful and interesting!

Teenage is special. Teenage is sensitive. Teenage is a stage where individuality starts shaping up.

It is interesting to see the perspective of this phase from the eyes of the child and the parents. While the parents, when being a child, experiences the same fire in themselves, they seem to be in denial or fearful when it comes to their own children. Ofcourse, the times have changed and children these days have much more exposure than we used to have as kids, but the spirit that starts shooting up is the same. That’s basically inevitable. The acceptance and right approach towards it is the key to helping your child grow through this phase in a meaningful way.

Most of the time the child is excited to step into a teen age, which they believe is the beginning of the era where they are treated as grownups, they are heard than most of the time being told what to do, having freedom of thought and action, being seen as responsible, allowed to take decisions, and what not. While parents turn into fearful, nervous & anxious souls, policing their kids and completely into denial of letting the reins loosen a bit. And hence tussle arises.

No one is wrong and no one is right. It is just about the balance and we as adults need to be more responsible in managing & supporting this change in the lives of our kids than blaming our kids to have turned into monsters (on a lighter note). And that is because we have gone through it in the past and we are aware. Kids are only exploring and witnessing the natural change in themselves which they believe is giving them power to breakfree and giving them their individuality. It is new for them and anything getting in their way of joyful experience is unacceptable to them. And most of the time it is their parents who are seen as obstacles. And hence this phase is seen as troublesome for both kids and parents.

I see it as a game of expectations – perhaps the kids expect an overnight shift in how they are treated and parents become over protective and insecure of letting their control get loose on their kids and hence tighten it more. Both fail to acknowledge the overlapping phase that is sensitive and their reactions impacts the quality of relationship as well.

While the fact is that is the best time where the seeds of a new relationship with the kids can be sown – and that new relationship is that of being friends. And this will happen when you accept that these changes will happen and more your try to control, more they will get out of your control. So the best is to do this journey along with your kid, being around and letting them feel that their parents are in support of them and not that they will have to fight their parents out to live.

Now, it is important to understand what does supporting mean?

  • Be genuinely interested in listening to them – schedule some mutually convenient time to sit with them and ask them about how did their day go, know about their friends, what they talk and do, what do they aspire to do etc. This will give you a good understanding of what kind of people your child is with, what kind of thoughts and perspectives your child is developing, what are probable influencers around your child etc.
  • Give them safety to talk and share – The moment you attack them on listening to what is not aligned with your thinking, or start preaching them your ways of things, they lose confidence and tend to filter things out of their conversations. And that’s the last thing that you would want.
  • It is also an opportunity for you to learn about perspectives through the eyes of a new generation and that can actually change your way of thinking is some cases.
  • Share a lot of stories – Stories are the best way of learning. Any direct preaching doesn’t work with teenagers, in fact no one likes it. Share stories of yourself or even others through which they could derive lessons/ messages that can help them pause to think before taking action.
  • Negotiation is important – It is said that teenagers have boiling blood which basically means super energy, super confidence and super fire to act and because they lack experience of life, there are chances they may make mistakes. And that should be okay as we all mostly learn through experiences. But what is important is that you are around, aware and with them to support through a situation than to be caught unaware of what your child is upto. Ofcourse anything that is high risk is what you need to avoid, but that will only happen when out of 10 times, you listen to your child 4-5 times. One way charge doesn’t work at this stage. Keep your 5 chances for crucial topics and let your child win over the simple or manageable ones. This way negotiation will be easier for you.
  • Do things with your kids – It is an opportunity for you to relive your teens and it will be a different experience than when you were actually a teen. It will keep you younger.
  • Share perspectives and have healthy discussions than to tell them they are wrong. In their mind, the discussion ends where they are told they are wrong. And chances are that they may do what they wish to behind your back. Help them understand that every action has a reaction and they need to be responsible for their actions and face the consequences. So while they feel responsible for the results, they would think about other perspectives as well.
  • Ask them their opinions and allow them to take decisions – This must be started small. It helps them feel significant, being treated as grownup, consulted, involved & responsible. This will also help you letting lose the reins that you ultimately will have to sometime or the other in life. So better get used to with easy things.

Be in complete acceptance of the phase in your child’s life.

Let your child teenage be a joyful one. Let them believe that no one else but you understand and support them the best, not because they are being told so, but they feel & know so.

IMPORTANT TIP – Be like a parent that you wanted your parents to be when you were in your teens. If you could honestly answer this question, you would not have to ask any teenager about what they want.

Parenting with empathy makes the journey effective

Lately, I met a good friend of mine, Monika, who looked anxious and worried. She said she wanted my help. I asked her what’s wrong and she started off about her daughter.

She shared that she does not know how to handle the changes that she is seeing in her daughter and was worried that there was something wrong with her. Preet, her daughter, had become aggressive and had also started losing self confidence. That was strange to me because I had known Preet to be a very sharp, confident & an extrovert child. On probing further, Monika shared that Preet has become overly conscious of little things about herself. She is always comparing herself with others and find herself lesser than them. She has started noticing hair on her arms & legs which until now were never given attention, she would even notice a pimple on the forehead that she thinks make her look ugly, she would all the time keep comparing the size of her nose, shape of her lips, eyes, skin etc with that of her friends and define herself as not so beautiful enough to get the attention from others. She has also become repulsive and gets into conflicts very frequently. Telling her that she is beautiful and that she shouldn’t compare herself with others doesn’t work for her. And hence every time this talk happens, it turns into a heated argument and blame that Monika doesn’t understand her.

All the symptoms that I was being told only indicated that perhaps Preet was stepping into her teens and may be Monika was not able to relate to.

I asked Monika if she has ever been so myopic about her features, her looks, her weight and wanted all the attention of people and sense of being noticeably beautiful. She laughed and joked that all women are like that irrespective of their age. But yes, she was frantically conscious when she was 12 or 13 years of age and how every other girl around her was far more beautiful than her. She described her thoughts and experiences and those were no different than what Preet was experiencing.

I smiled and asked her how it was different than what Preet was experiencing?

Monika responded – “But Preet is a baby. Isn’t it too soon for her to start focusing on all these things?” And then the complete dialogue was full of SHOULD’s.

I asked about Preet’s age and Monika looked nervous & in a state of shock when she said she was turning 13.

 I smiled and asked Monika why she was over reacting and not finding this normal with teenage kids? Monika literally asked me again if that was normal.

I wondered why we forget our journey at different phases of our life, especially the growing years.

Anyways, she wanted my help since she said she has no clue of how to handle her and what to tell her. So we decided that I would spend some time with Preet and hence visited their house the next day.

I met Preet and could so easily see a growing girl. I wonder how as parents, we only live with an imagination of our kids to be just kids or babies and not accept them growing up.

It was decided that Monika would use an excuse of some work and be away in the other room for our initial discussion.

So I started off telling Preet that it was good to see her growing up and that she reminded me of my teen years. I shared a story which frankly was true or else I even would have made it up. But fact is that every child experiences similar moments so can’t be not true for anyone. My story had set the ground and Preet was listening to me very attentively. I wanted her to come up with her issues than me telling her which could have looked like our meeting staged by Monika.

She started relating and gained the confidence that I would understand her. So there she goes – talked me through all that was going on in her mind. We spoke like friends.

I told Preet that though I definitely find her beautiful & charming, but it is important that she finds her beautiful as well. Because unless she believes herself to be good, no one’s thinking would matter.

I asked her what is it that will make her see herself as beautiful.

And she started listing things down – from her clear skin to her features and what not.

So we agreed that there was no way we could change her features – the size of the nose, eyes or lips etc. so we listed things that we could – and that included her clear skin, the hair on her arms and legs, her hairstyle, her waist etc.  She used to be very impressed by the pictures that her friends used to share of how beautiful they looked. I clicked her with my phone using camera beatification tricks and helped her realize that the beauty in such pictures was not real and that getting influenced through them was harming her confidence. We discussed, what all other things add goodness to the personality in a person and listed out things other than physical features and did an assessment where she thought she was at present and where she wanted to be.

I told her that she would have to work really hard and narrated a made up story of my efforts, challenges and failures and successes when I was like her. I guided her that there are stages when the body develops which is natural and temporary so she shouldn’t worry much. I purposely carried one of my awful pictures from my growing years and showed her secretly as friends do that gave her a lot of hope & acceptance of the process of growing up. She gave her commitment – for her it was like anything to be like how she wanted to be. She had a strong a WHY and I swiftly navigated her to some good habits and disciplines that for her were her own decisions. Her focus had changed to building herself into a better self, she got hope that things will get better with her efforts and a sense of self responsibility showed up on her charming face.

In 10 days time, Monika called me to share how happy she was with Preet for how wise and responsible she has become about herself. I was happy for both of them.

Isn’t that easy? All you need is a strong intent, empathy, patience and ability to think how you would have wanted it to be had you been the child.

Preet’s story is every teenager’s story & its also a story of every parent when they were in their teens. Ironically, as grownups, we generally tend to only think like a parent with our children than accepting the universal phase that’s part of everyone’s life.

Empathize with your child and it will be magical!

Ability to ask for help is a virtue of strong

Is it easy to ask for help? Try it for yourself and see how you find it.

You may see that your self-image of who you think you are comes in the way. The image that you want people to think you are comes in the way. And what happens is that you choose the unreal image over the life’s desire and stay where you were & even get worse – unhappy, longing, and struggling between who you are and who you pretend to be. Because deep down your reality echos and you continue suppressing it with noises of disbeliefs louder than it. And what you make people believe about you anyways doesn’t do any good to you in reality.

This is ego and this is what it does to you.

Have you ever helped someone who had asked for help?

You may have felt great or empowered about yourself, but did you perceived him as a weak man?

There was a time when i used to find it difficult to accept that i needed help and ask for it. The reason for me was the conditioning of mind and the self image where by asking for help meant seeing myself small & weak. I never questioned it and never thought there was another option. But then I realised that i was not happy, was struggling and nothing was changing in my life. When i used to see someone effortlessly asking for help, i used to envy for how simple it was for them. I wanted to be one like them when i could ask and have what i wanted with no noises in my mind. I started aspiring to be one like those who could ask for help. That’s when the image of people with ability to ask for help in my mind changed to a strong person because when i transitioned from who i was to who i wanted to be, taught me that it was not easy. The noises in the mind, the unreal self-image, the fears of how would i be perceived stopped me coming out from my comfort zone. But my perception for those i admired and like those who i wanted to be and a strong urge to achieve what i wanted gave me strength. And trust me it is only the first time that is an effort.

Once you are through, the next steps become natural and effortless with practice.

All you need to do is to re-define and decide. It is only we who have time to judge ourselves through critical parameters. No one else has. And if at all others do, that shouldn’t matter because that will only limit you from who & where you want to be.

If you help people but hesitate to ask for help, it is only your ego. Kill it – for it only needs one effort to get over the thin line and you are sorted.

You are rich already!

A man with a net worth of 100 Million dollars doesn’t feel rich and happy & lives a life with vacuum because someone else has a net worth of 200 million dollars.

A man who found a job that pays him 5000 more than his last pay while he was hoping for atleast  Rs. 1000 per month increase in his pay feels rich because he is now able to fulfil his wants besides his needs and still save Rs. 2500 every month.

A child barefoot on the road been donated a pair of shoes with a hole in one, feels rich and happy because he will no longer be hurt or have to suffer the heat of the burning road.

Life will never be 100%. Your experience of life will be based on what you focus on – abundance or misery, reasons to be happy or reasons to feel victim.

  • The day we learn to see everything we have as a privilege and not our right, we would start experiencing happiness & bliss.
  • The day we learn to stop comparing ourselves to others, especially who we think have more than us, we would start experiencing contentment and abundance.
  • The day we learn to thank for what we have got (because we could not have had it too), we would start experiencing the power of gratitude, because we attract what we thank for.
  • The day we learn to give out to the world what we need for ourselves, we would start experiencing the power of universe that gives back manifolds what you give to the world.

Your state of mind is a magnet that attracts what it is – choose a mindset of abundance, happiness, gratitude and the same shall multiply in your life.

Define how much more is enough for you? Because without that, you will only keep seeking without enjoying what you have and that chase will be for life because you don’t know where to stop.

There’s a quote that I read which said, “When your needs are less, you have more”.

This doesn’t mean the irony that people who need less get more. Unfortunatley that’s what usually people misunderstand of this. What this basically means is that when you are aware of your needs (and I mean needs), you will find anything over that as richness.

Like that little boy who got the shoes – his need was to protect his feet from walking barefoot on the road, or like that man who expected a 1000 rs increase in his salary but found a job offering him 5000 more than his current salary. These people are aware of what their needs are unlike the man who has no clue of what his needs are and keep comparing what he had with what others had. Imagine the happiness factor in the lives of these people.

Being aware of what & how much makes you happy is the beginning of richness. And once you define it, you may realize you were already rich long back.

Define how much more is enough for you? Because without that, you will only keep seeking without enjoying what you have and that chase will be for life because you don’t know where to stop.

There’s a quote that I read which said, “When your needs are less, you have more”.

This doesn’t mean the irony that people who need less get more. Unfortunatley that’s what usually people misunderstand of this. What this basically means is that when you are aware of your needs (and I mean needs), you will find anything over that as richness.

Like that little boy who got the shoes – his need was to protect his feet from walking barefoot on the road, or like that man who expected a 1000 rs increase in his salary but found a job offering him 5000 more than his current salary. These people are aware of what their needs are unlike the man who has no clue of what his needs are and keep comparing what he had with what others had. Imagine the happiness factor in the lives of these people.

Being aware of what & how much makes you happy is the beginning of richness. And once you define it, you may realize you were already rich long back.

Crisis Mindset – Understanding choices through Covid19 phase!

Mindset 1 – The world is suffering, people are dying of Corona virus all across the globe and there is no cure yet, it’s a global lock down, people are confined to stay at their homes, no one can go out to work, to meet their friends and family, economy is down and recession worse than 2009 is on its way, stock market is crashing, there is fear & uncertainty everywhere.  Would our jobs be safe? How long would it take for our businesses to get back to its normal operations and profits? Would this virus have a lasting affect to lead to something more severe? When will this end?

Mindset 2 – The world is going through a health crisis and that would have an impact on the economy too. But what is it that I can do to stay healthy, stable and prepared to face the uncertainties of life. I am blessed to have a life, to have a home where I can stay and protect myself from the virus, family & friends who love & care and who give me a strong reason to take good care of myself, I have food to eat, money to take care of my basic needs during this time. And what all is uncertain, is not something that will happen just to me. I am blessed to understand that the current situation too shall pass.

Is there anything wrong with the above two thoughts – they both are true. And they are the mindsets that people have during the current crisis situation. However, the fact is that –You have a choice.

Either you could chose to think of all that is going wrong & can go wrong, to which you have no scope of control because its global and you are just one person on this planet earth, feel impacted, fearful and frustrated and be more prone to the emotional and mental impacts that may last longer than the virus. Or you could chose a mindset of what is it that you could do or contribute to the current situation to ensure least damages. And that is to take responsibility of your own mindset, your own & your loved one’s life and stay in charge.

And this doesn’t mean that one had to be a positive thinker and ignore the reality but what is important is to be aware of the reality and focus on what you can contribute to make the situation better in your span of influence. You can’t change the world, but if every single person willingly takes the responsibility and ownership of their own lives, the world is sorted.

Change is inevitable and world is changing. And you have to go through it to get through it. And when everyone must go through it, why go through it with a mental & emotional suffering when you have a choice to just observe, experience and let it be. This is a life time experience, though a tough one but that’s what it is. Accept it and let it pass.

Be in the moment and be grateful for what you have, be creative to find ways to cherish this time wherever you are because this very moment will never come back again. Create memories with your loved ones as those would last till you last.

Respect and allow those people like doctors, nurses, police forces, cleaning staff to do their jobs and make it easier for them by taking your own responsibility and following the guidelines. They are doing so putting their own lives at stake and giving you a priority over their own loved ones.

It’s simple. You can’t avoid passing through the current phase that the whole world is going through. But how you pass through it, is a choice that you have.

Apply this to any life crisis that you may personally be going through as well. Chose your focus on what is it that you can do, identify what you can’t change and accept that as is, feel grateful for what you have and remember, whatever the situation may be at hand, that too shall pass. Stay strong, stay focused – chose the wise mindset.

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