Thursday, October 31, 2013

Learn to Respond

Many of us respond to the past. Don’t we? We worry about what might have been, what could have been, what should have been etc. By doing so, we become party to draining our emotion and time and locking us in the past! Can we respond to the past? No. We cannot respond to the past even with our best responses! We cannot turnaround the past. None of these can be done about the past. The past is past! Can we do anything else? Yes. We can do one thing for sure! We can learn because the past can be a great teacher! It can teach us and provide us guidelines for the future. Learning from the past and not worrying about is a great way of living. It can enable us to respond to the present!

Those who worry about the past, construct their past in the present. And they respond to the past. Often, they react to the present and recreate past mistakes and failures. Those to learn from the past, respond very well to the present and plan for the future. Learn to respond! Or worry to react! It is your choice!

Learning from mistakes is good. It comes with a huge cost! Those who are wise, learn from other’s mistakes, instead of having to learn from their own!

Whether you ‘learn to respond’ or ‘worry to react’ or ‘do something else to do yet another thing’ depends on your attitude. You have the freedom to choose your attitude in any circumstance.

“We who lived in [Nazi] concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way… The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action. There were enough examples, often of a heroic nature, which proved that apathy could be overcome, irritability suppressed…..Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp.”

-- Man’s Search of Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl

One of you may say, “Neither do I worry about the past nor I learn from it. Every day happens to me as it happens. I take one thing at a time and deal with it. What is the big deal?” Well. To those who live in solitude, it may work. This is not for us, who live with our families in our communities as it will lead us to frustrate others around us! Do we want to?

Let us learn to respond!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Everyone of Us Wants to Arrive!

Everyone of us wants to arrive but some of us want to arrive without making the trip. That is annoying. Isn't it?

People who want to milk should not seat themselves
on a stool in the middle of a field
in the hope that a cow will back up to them.
– Elbert Hubbard

You know what I am talking about. You want to accomplish something but you want to accomplish it without doing anything about it. Here is a universal truth. You have to make the trip if you want to arrive. When you make that trip, you will be confronted with problems. What you do with such problems is your choice. You may choose to do nothing but hope that things will become better. When you do this you suffer. Or you move out – you quit or move away thinking that the person who triggers such problems will cease to exist in future. Or you confront the problem and find a solution. Unfortunately, many of us choose to suffer. When you suffer, the trip becomes unpleasant. It does not encourage you to arrive!

Fixing a broken window is good. It is good, if you have the ability to fix it again in future. It may become an expensive affair unless you find ways to stop it from happening. Fixing a problem will help you continue the journey but it does not improve the journey when there is a recurrent problem. You may have to find what causes the problem and fix it. Or you may have to change the way something is done.

What do we do with the fear of the unknown? How do we understand it and decide on a course of action? Are we ready to confront it? It is true that failing to confront fear of the unknown means living a life of quiet desperation?

When you live a life of quiet desperation, you don’t know what stops you from moving forward. You live with fear of the unknown. When someone asks you why, the answer is, “I don’t know.”

When you give up like this, you fail. It is a failure when you don’t rebound or get back. Failure is never permanent. You fail when you try something. You fail when you try something different. When you keep trying you see some improvement. Improvement is a way to avoid permanent failure.

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.
- Michael Jordon

Let us make the trip. Let us not fear the unknown. Let us be courageous and solve our problems. No doubt, we will arrive!