Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dealing with Criticism

Accepting Criticism An issue For You? For me it was. For a long time, I shielded under the cover of “sensitivism”. I reacted & defended, had mood swings and felt unhappy for a long period of time.

Then the understanding of human behavior (especially my own) started to make sense. I learnt that somebody else’s criticism is not a reflection of my entire character. It was only related to a part of service that I had offered them, or some action that they witnessed. They were the same people who had praised me in past, or were nice to me otherwise. So the mind started identifying the situations, which weren’t plenty. This led me to make a five step plan. While it wasn’t possible for me to use all the steps together, I just made it a point to remember them at the right moment and try the best option.
  1. I learnt that not every situation demanded a prompt action, and that sometimes, it was on me to control it. Learning this helped me to control my reaction time, gave me more than a few moments to think, and plan my response accordingly
  2. I stopped defending myself. It helped to break my ego and accept others’ point-of-view gracefully as doing so was not only an act of futility, but also proved that I had done something wrong. Instead, I began using the feeling of “free spirit”, realized that I’m an adult who lives in the land of the free, and acted like it.
  3. Gave in to ignite the introspective mood. I accepted that nothing is perfect, and I only needed to work a little more to get closer to it. There was a lot to be thankful for, and counting my blessings helped to lift the spirits.
  4. Informed the criticizer that I was aware of the underlying causes, and showed that I cared about improving myself. It helped me gain myself confidence, and brush aside the comments that weren’t given in the right spirit or motive.
  5. Read the feedback about others –authors, artists, actors, public figures, companies- no one was actually free from criticism. At some point or other, each one of them had to deal with unfavorable responses (most of the time in complete public glare). It taught me that no one actually cares, and the best way to deal with any form of criticism was to move forward.

Now, it’s been sometime that I’ve let anyone’s criticism hurt me. Though the journey to achieving complete inner calm is on-the-way, I feel proud of improving myself day-by-day. There’s a lot to be done still, sort jumbled emotions, and so the effort is still on.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Story of My Life

My husband beats me every day. I'm used to it now. I don't complain. I don't cry any more. 
It's time to get up and move on. I stand on my feet and put the chessboard back. One day, I'll beat him in the game he has conquered in!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fail. Learn. Move On. My Life…Heck My Rules!

I’ve wasted time and I’ve failed. Repeatedly I’ve failed to get new work. I had my lowest percentage in XI. XII was tough. I couldn’t understand in physics. It just floated above my head. Result in board exam was poor. I had to take the physics paper twice to clear. Gave competitive exams after XII. Dad wanted me to try, but I was afraid. Didn’t study well, wasted money on multiple exams. Shifted to Delhi and had to stay with various people for a month before we could take our place here. It was embarrassing. The turning point came when I secured admission in Jesus & Mary, that too in the first cutoff.

But going to college wasn’t fun. I was a geek. Couldn’t make many friends, spend much on clothes or pursue my favorite hobby of dramatics. Felt left out for such a long time. Began my first job at 21 and shifted quickly in succession twice. Got placed in a corporate year later with a decent salary. It was good to begin with, but things changed slowly. I was young. Couldn't mould myself to the dynamics of office politics. Foolishly left it three years later, without anything further in hand. I was confident I will find another one quickly. Unfortunately, no one found me suitable. Took me more than 600 days to discover my true calling – “writing”. Made 20 cents on the first assignment, and even though the money was with PayPal for a long time (could withdraw only after reaching the minimum level), it was liberating. I began exploring. Got some odd jobs, took everything that was offered.

It’s been six years in writing now. I work as a freelancer. I haven't taken any formal training, but the results have been satisfactory. On good days, I get offers to do entire corporate websites for biggies like the British Council, Shri Ram School, Times Internet, BenQ, Sansung, Marc, etc. (Who knew they hired freelancers!!) or get great new ideas to work on. On bad ones, I lose inspiration to write or to do anything else. I waste time. Currently, I’ve no work. It’s been two months, not a single project. Hadn’t happened till now, but hey – this is life. Nothing moves smoothly. May be I’m not trying hard enough. I just don’t have the continuous will to try. I give up too soon. But cursing myself doesn’t help.

For the last few years, I’ve made a consistent effort to improve myself. I’m learning to get rid of hollow emotions. I sometimes fail, but the attempt is continuously on. For me, happiness has become a daily decision. I think less, feel more. Talk less, listen more. Judge less, accept more. Complain less, appreciate more.

I get up early and meditate daily. It’s such a power booster and has helped me to increase my concentration power. I do Surya Namaskar followed by 10 minute exercise routine. I go out for walk every morning. If for any reason I miss, I carry sneakers in my backpack and walk back home from work meetings. I don’t eat outside food. It gives me a control over my taste buds. I don't go out for parties, they are time wasters. I like quietness of where we live. It motivates me to read. I also like music and have attended some great live performances - the  sufi ones are mind blowing.

Don’t limit yourself. Every success story we hear has a grueling past. Understand that you can do more only if you are healthy. Squeeze active working out routines in your daytime, even if it’s for five minutes. Sleep early. Get up earlier than your neighbors. Don’t keep television near to where you sleep. Switch off your phone and laptop by 9 pm. Talk less. Observe more.  Make the day count.

Do something that makes you happy. Learn craft, one small creative act at a time. Question your values, your routine and make changes to it. Do not check your Facebook every day – the lives people show on it aren't that upbeat. There’s a lot of difference between showing photographs and maintaining that smile forever! Most of us are neck deep in similar conditions. Accept it, judge what you stand for, make one small change a day and move on. You'll feel blessed!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Am That Woman

I walk
I talk
I feel
I heal
I possess a heart that you may tear apart
But it's my spirit that I inherit
I am the woman
With the "man"

I make
I create
I love
I cannot hate

I am the woman with undying strength
Who will go to any length
To bring things together
Whatever may be the weather

I am the woman
That woman…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time, Spirituality and Happiness

A corporate executive takes a vacation in a small coastal village. There, while strolling by the beach and taking in the scenery, he meets a fisherman who’s coming back after catching his day’s prize.
“How long do you take to get these two fishes?” he asks.
“About two hours” answers the guy.

“Why don’t you stay in the sea for a longer time and catch more?”
“Why? This much is sufficient. It meets the needs of my family.”

“But this takes you only two hours. What do you do for the rest of your day?”
“I play with children, take care of my plants, and spend time with my wife. Sometimes I go to other villages to meet my friends, we sit, talk, dance and make merry.”

The corporate lad says – “I am an MBA, and from my knowledge I can help you do so much more. You should spend more time in fishing, with which you can catch a few extra and sell them off to buy bigger boat. It will help you get more fishes, then you buy another boat and a third one and so on until you have your own fleet. Then you can expand to a bigger market, make more money and someday even build your own plant. As your spending power grows, you can move to a bigger city and direct your enterprise.

“Hmm….how much time would this all take?” asked the guy.
“About 20-25 years,” replied the executive.

“And what would I do after that?”
“When your company starts giving you that much profit, you can invite others to buy your stocks and make crores!” said the executive with excitement.

“Crores? Really? And then?”
“And then you’ll be able afford a retirement, live in a small village near to sea, leisurely catch a few fishes whenever you want, relax with your family and see your friends every other day”

Fully realizing benefits of the current time is bliss. Time management can only teach you some good ways of managing your time but you do to make it work is entirely on you. Ask yourself the hard questions everyday – what you want from life? Why are you doing the things you’re doing? If you want to be authentically happy, this is the only way.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

12 Time Wasters and How to Avoid Them

So you want to know how to stop wasting time? May these 12 ways help you!

People waste time on what I call useless activities, like by chatting unnecessary or spending minutes (that convert into hours) on the internet, clicking on one link to another. Meanwhile, they miss things that can actually add a value to their day, such as finishing off the work at hand, or doing something proactive.

We're often tempted to slide a few minutes (for me, it’s always five) to take a break and do something recreational. However, these minutes always take at least 10, and before we realise, precious time gets wasted. Take a look at how you use up — and waste — your time. Check your activities against this list:

  1. Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter — No need to really explain what these sites do to any of you. If you’re reading this blog, you are smart enough to know how social media, when followed rigorously, can be a huge waste of time.  
  2. Emails: Wise men say “Don’t start off your day with emails”, and I think they are right. Over reliance on emails, refreshing your inbox every five minutes is a colossal waste of time. Reply your not-so-urgent emails after lunch hours because that’s the time mind starts to wander for “juices” to keep the creativity going.
  3. Self Grooming: The way you look is important. Put your time and effort to groom yourself before you step out, but spending more than five minutes on it is a way to bomb time.
  4. Exercise: A workout session that runs into two hours is a waste. The researches say you can burn more calories in a rigorous 25-30 minute session.
  5. Excessive Talking: If you like to explain your viewpoint to everyone you talk you, you become responsible for wasting their (and yours too!) time. Additionally, such forced-listeners will spend 91%  of their time during the talk to daydream.
  6. Games – First it was Angry Birds, then came Candy Crush and now Flappy Bird… I agree playing games is recreations but  how about timing yourself? You might also want to look at your log of the past few weeks to see how much time did you literally waste on it.
  7. Online Videos: YouTube videos take three-five minutes to download, another five minutes to play, all to listen/see something that you probably wouldn’t even remember after two hours. Organizations lose over $50 million per year (in wasted salaries) on this, not to count the value of time that you as an individual lost.
  8. Multitasking: The buzz word of the last decade has everyone thinking that they are good at juggling multiple jobs at the same time. The truth is we are not. All human beings, with an exception of a few specially made ones, are most productive when we concentrate on one thing at a time. Don’t believe me? Think about any such day when you rushed from one job to another and thought you got too much done only to realize in the evening that your “to-do” list doesn't has anything you can cut it from.

Worth your time, for a one time read 

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