Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1 Step Plan to Kill Arrogance

As you know from my two previous posts, Being Humble and Time, Spirituality and Happiness, I’ve been an avid encourager of practical spirituality.

Usually during the middle of week, I feel the urge of sharing my experiences. Today, in honor of the “Tolerant/Intolerant” debate, I’m going to share the best self improvement tip in my arsenal. This may not be the most valuable advice on killing your arrogance you ever had. Heck, you might not even remember it after an hour, but I’ll still share. Are you ready?

Accept others’ mistakes.
That’s it. Whether it’s once or even 10 times – accept the people as they are and move on. Day by day, build this habit. Keep a journal of your feelings, challenge yourself in new situations. Seems pretty simple, but it’s something all of us struggle with at one time or another. Improving oneself is important, and many posts on this blog and others can be helpful – but you can’t progress unless you try. I know that’s not what you want to hear, and I truly wish there was an easy way, but I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is. Nothing is easy, especially not being tolerant in relationships.

I also know you want to improve – otherwise you wouldn’t be here, would you? Maybe you are thinking about making yourself a better human being, and once you’ve read everything, you’ll become a stunningly amazing individual. May be you’ve tried to shed arrogance but it attacks you at your weakest moment, and disheartenly you backed out. But not anymore.  

Just do it. Become more receptive to others’ ideas, their nature and their way of handling daily crisis.

Accepting others the way they are is hard. Only people who have never worked on themselves will tell you otherwise. You’re not alone in feeling that way. More than one of great saints has likened acceptance of others as living the awful parts of life,  wounding yourself, bashing your head against the actual feelings. But you still need to do it. For now, don’t worry too much about how may hurt you again, or you might not be taken seriously, or any of that serious stuff. For now, just worry about taking a step into practical spirituality and divorcing the arrogance.

Maybe you are already aware about your feelings and know the ways to overcome them, and you really just want to know how to control your frustration, irritation, anger, or a different method of finding your peace. That’s great. Please see the tag cloud to the left. I’ll be back soon with another practical spirituality article. This week, however, I need to work on a few writing projects.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

RIP Dr. Abdul Kalam, My President Till Now

Today is turning out to be one of those days that you wished had never come. After terrorist attack at Gurdaspur, one of my favorite persons - APJ Abdul Kalam - has died. The last I felt such sinking feeling in my heart was on the death of Jaspal Bhatti.

Of all the things I've learnt from him, two come to my mind instantly:
  • Simplicity: No body can imagine that Dr. Kalam, after leaving Rashtrapati Home, stayed in a one and half room hut with a small bathroom till the time he was allocated a permanent home.
  • Motivation: He was born to motivate people.Even today, he died in the moment he loved doing. When we read about Dr.Kalam, he has written that he wanted to be a pilot but couldn't clear the physical tests. But its amazing how many people he gave wings to fly.
There's so much more that i want to write, but words are failing me. Will continue later.

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.

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. 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 inner peace is still on, 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!