If there is one movie that singularly and without exception, always resonates too many feelings inside me, that is Ranbir and Deepika starrer ‘Tamasha’.
The story of a man who is an unconventional story lover and teller but is forced to live a conservative, conforming life of a meek and tame man. While holidaying abroad he meets a girl, doesn’t tell her who he really is and pretends to be the fun loving, witty tale teller he had always wanted to be but never got to be. He lives his hidden reality with her for few days and goes back to the pathetic, fixed-patterned life he had been forced to create back home.
Every time I watch the movie I can’t help but think that what actually is a drama or show – living the unconventional life we so believe in and in reality are or the normal norms-abiding life we have to live to adhere to the norms? The comical dance moves and dialogues between the protagonists in an equally out of the world Corsica are really the spectacle (Tamasha) or the man who loved and inside his mind lived the tales and their twists, living a straight, untwisted life is the performance he is giving to the world everyday?
Our norms and conventions are so rigid and believed to be correct that anything non confirming to them is a Tamasha. A child wanting to be an artist, actor or athlete, a girl wishing to be independent or by herself, someone expressing a different love orientation, a desire to not get married or to not become parents, all such deviations are a disturbing drama and are opposed by a much intense and disconcerting melodrama.
The male protagonist of the fabulous film, is like most of us, a victim and surrenderer to a similar situation but he luckily finds someone who falls in love with his other side and later chases him to find a completely different person who she can’t bring herself to love.
This is when the second question gets raised inside my mind – we do find people who love our, free-spirited side when they see it but why don’t they continue to love that unusual, unorthodox persona forever? Especially when their love was enough to help the exceptional to find voice and claim their individuality and distinction in being themselves.
Deepika’s played Tara’s rejection of Ranbir’s played Ved’s common man’s life pushes Ved to rediscover his exceptionality. We all need Taras to see the distinctions we all hold and to encourage us to stick to our stands and the most painful thing is we do find them but with time they forget the real reason they fell for us initially.
The norms come back to fore and are required to be complied with at the end of the play. The reality is again forced to look like the show and the show must become over when the curtain falls after the act and then the actor must become a common man or woman completely at ease with the act of pleasing the hard to please world.
Life again becomes an act and the act has to be called life. This is the most unfair thing that happens to the exceptions, outliers and the extraordinaries of the world and the effort that they have to make to wander between the two extremities and to fit in the undesired life takes a toll on them.
Take a moment and think of the people in your life. Did you fall in love with the normal classic version or something rare and remarkable about that person? If you did, then are you helping him or her enough to live the remark-ability and rarity which is the other person’s strength as well as source of happiness or are you the one now detesting him or her for the distinctions?
Tara’s love for Ved’s antics and dramatics brought his exceptional talent to life. And did Tara get attracted to Ved because opposites attract? The third question the movie raised and my answer is no, not at all. This is another myth. People with the same values attract each other and not the opposite.
Tara’s value was having fun and freedom in life and so did the hidden and real self of Ved did. They might be different in backgrounds, status, aspirations, strengths and struggles but they were similar in their values.
We always get attracted to the people with shared values. Some of us just unfortunately let go of the exceptional streak and get comfortable conforming to the demands of world. Feel free to do that if that makes you happy but do not leave the hand of your soulmate who has been still holding the fight and flag for both of your values. Just be there with your strength for him or her and that will give enormous life to your bond and he or she will win the battles for both of you.
Whatever you loved him or her for – the exquisite looks, the intellectual mind, high ambitions and drives, a unique talent, fun loving, happy go lucky attitude or a beautiful, kind heart, whatever you fell heads over heels for, keep loving him or her for that and do not force him or her to forgo it and become someone else to fit in.
That will be your biggest act of love. Tara won our hearts because she was first alive enough to love the lively Ved and then strong enough to not settle for his meek act.
Blessed are those who find their values and love in one person. Just be brave and let the Tamasha play and persist and not perish under any piddly pressure.
Some of the most miserable people I know are not unhappy because they are living a life of drudgery and deprivation or are struggling to stay afloat in trying and testing times like right now. They are pathetic but not because life hasn’t been fair to them and haven’t bore fruits to their labor. They are neither worried about their uncertain future nor they are weary from the efforts and exertion done in their unkind past.
The ones I am talking about here are those, who life dealt a good hand to. They were born with the proverbial spoons in their mouths and are fortunate to have almost everything, rather too much of everything. They neither lack any comforts nor they are aware of the daily discomforts and struggles of common people as they hardly know any commoners personally and yet they crib and complain.
When these affluent, “A” leaguers lament that life has been uncharitable to them, the reasons quoted by them are often unfathomable to common minds. A normal person would be worried because he is not earning well, hasn’t created enough buffer to take care of his loved ones in case of an exigency, hasn’t built a house, is not able to fulfill some mediocre dreams like a trip abroad, hasn’t yet found a compatible life partner, fears a job loss in recession, is struggling with ill health, has lost a loved one and a similar comprehensible list.
But these lords and ladies of ultra lavishness and luxuries do not have these common concerns. Their troubles are uncommon and extraordinary as they themselves are. Problems and concerns if they say they have, then they definitely have but to a commoner they would seem more like self inflicted pains owing to their privileges and over indulgences. Just like a young boy causes himself stomachache by over-consuming rich foods, the filthy rich of the world mostly invite inconveniences by engaging in extravaganza.
They make a huge house and then there is a full time job to maintain it. There is a platoon of maids and staff which needs 24X7 management. There are a million instructions to be given and accountabilities to be taken. The fleet of cars need regular upkeep, updating and upgrading. Same goes with the gazillion gadgets. The clothing, accessories and other finery needs to be the finest. And why not?
How will the world know that you have made it big in life? Your lifestyle speaks of your abilities and accomplishments. The mansion, the motors, the bags and watches, the labels are bought for a reason and so need to be showcased. These “frills” are aspired and amassed because they are admired by all.
These “frills” are the well deserved and earned trophies and evidence that you have made it to the top echelons of the society that worships the worthy and the wealthy. And most importantly if you can afford the frills then you must own them, but if you do own them then you must, must and must enjoy owning them.
Exactly, you must enjoy them and not cause a stomachache because of them. It should be made an established universal law that “anything that is in moderation can be benefited from”.
Excesses of any means and materials are bound to cause pain. The pain that first goes into procuring and then preserving the wares. Then the daily pain and time that goes into managing, maintaining and measuring those excesses and the worthiness that they come tagged with. There is another pain that is caused by the fear of losing the collectibles and the constant pain of staying at the top of the game by acquiring the latest toy or ware put out by the high-end creators.
Then there is the excruciating pain (women know it best) when you are occasionally told that you have done nothing to own what you so proudly own and flaunt. And the most agonizing pain is when you do not find your successors befitting of carrying the legacy of neither works and nor wares created and collected over a lifetime enduring a lifetime of pain. And worst is realizing that the heirs were again made less capable and too much complacent by the expensive things you only pampered them with. Now the stomachache becomes chronic and incurable.
All the pain taken would be absolutely worth bearing if it brought peace, mental and emotional growth of the pains-takers. But ironically it mostly doesn’t. Because amassing and exhibiting excesses is now a never ending race thanks to the capitalistic world we live in. There is so much value that has been attached to the materials you own that your worth and validation in the world around you is dependent upon what own and not by what you become. The race doesn’t even leave much time and energy to seek light and live more purposefully.
So the focus is only on acquiring the right things and not becoming the right person. Money is lavishly spent on useless luxuries but will not be spent on useful learnings. An overpriced cup of coffee at a top notch lounge is fancied more than a cheaper life skill class. And that’s because you are not recognized for your skills but your ‘fancy frills’.
This is probably the worst that has happened to humankind. A man or woman’s worth is measured in the materials that he or she owns. And so a majority is miserable because they consider themselves worthless because they don’t own the frills and those who have managed to own them are pathetic because they are in reality owned by those fancy frills.
Shocking but it’s true that their time, attention and whole existence is owned by the things they were only supposed to own, if at all own, and then forget and occasionally remember and take a notice of. The things that are just trophies and are meant to be treated as trophies. Just the way champions treat their trophies. Showcased well and dusted occasionally. The champions don’t get owned by the laurels because they are owned by their passion for the game and playing well is always the biggest reward.
Similarly the materials are trophies and if you are fortunate enough to acquire a few, do not become obsessed with them. However valuable they may seem, yet living a happy, peaceful and productive life is the biggest human value and need. If despite owning the fanciest and flashiest of adornments, you are still unhappy, lack peace of mind, live a hollow, superficial and aimless existence, have a low self esteem and are clueless about the reasons, then be mindful of the fact that you don’t own the things, rather you are owned by them.
Check your daily schedule and routine. Are you doing much more than just living a fancy life in a fancy house in a fancy locality? Are your daily hours spent productively and engaged in learning and living the more significant values of life? Are you grateful for all the things that you have and are doing something to share your fortune with the lesser fortunate ones? Do you have friends who value you for who you are and not what you possess? Are you friends with some people who are not as materially wealthy as you are but are much richer in areas that you lack in? Are you investing some time daily in your emotional and mental growth?
Remember, you don’t eat excessivelyjust because you can afford to buy a lot of food. Similarly you shouldn’t be consumed by excesses just because you have the means to buy them. It’s time we realize that things and materials should be used for their utility and not to boost the egos. It’s time you freed yourself from the fangs of filthy, fancy and flashy frills and focus on creating a more fulfilling and eventually living a fulfilled life.
“There are two things we should give to our children- one is roots and the other is wings.”
Since I was a child I had heard and read this quote many a times and it did make me believe in the importance of having both – roots to know where we came from and belonged and wings to fly and know where we could reach.
I was completely sold off to this beautiful, profound idea and made extra efforts to remain attached to my roots while first developing and then fluttering, flapping and flying with my painstakingly discovered wings.
I was among those fortunate ones whose parents too believed in the theory and thus gave us the luxury of higher education enabling our wings of freedom.
Living the idea that promoted the importance of learning was fruitful and like most of my well educated peer group I too tasted some dosage of freedom and happiness by becoming financially independent. The liberties that came because of the self reliance further strengthened my belief and I advocated the roots and wings analogy of human growth and development for a very long time, until I realized something novel.
A new analogy which is far more liberating and way less limiting and quite unlike the much popular and ancient roots and wings philosophy.
My realization moved me away from the well loved theory and that had its reasons. To understand my reasons, let’s first understand what the popular analogy really meant. It meant that to be free in this world we should get educated, find a vocation or profession which allows us our financial freedom and at the same time we stay closer or attached to our family, culture, place or country and contribute to them.
It is like aiming to become a bird and have the freedom to fly around and feel the occasional wind beneath the wings and at the same time remaining attached to a tree, with of course roots, and return to the nest in the tree after a day’s flight with the twigs and worms for the dependents.
Just picture it inside your mind, a bird having small, restricted flights and returning to the same place everyday. When I visualized it, it appeared very restricting and limiting to me. The wings that were so hardly earned seemed to tease their owner about his original wish to try new heights or make bigger trips and mocked him of his self bounded limitations.
In a time when the whole world has become a small village, people can so easily connect with the entire world, there are bigger platforms available to make the world your play field and when the issues and challenges are global and you are required to make bigger contributions, why settle for small wings and a small perimeter of living life and flying?
Why restrict your worldview and become myopic when you actually thought you were getting educated to see the world and think big? I realized that our old philosophy didn’t have the scope of dreaming big and making any world changing impact. It only intended to make us providers for self and a few dependents and live a life of drudgery and discontentment without having a clue that what was even causing the dissatisfaction because theoretically all seemed well and accomplished.
I felt the discontentment with my short wings and had always rebelled with the roots. So my yearning made me discover another philosophy of growth and I call it “satellite and remote control” analogy.
Yes. A satellite. We can become a human satellite that revolves around the whole earth serving bigger purposes, enjoying the detached freedom and remaining attached with its benefactors through a much bigger force. It’s a much more valuable and significant way of living while enjoying being in a much much bigger, unrestricted space.
Think again. Rather than small wings given by basic education, we acquire a launcher that would be a world class, skill oriented, professional education and in place of flying in the limited sky with limited opportunities and cut throat competition, we float in the open, boundary-less universe with more meaningful options and opportunities.
Become a human satellite and do what the satellites do. Revolve around the whole world, guiding and navigating the seekers or aiding in communications, keeping an eye on the climatic changes or the outer world happenings, in whatever way making a bigger impact. If you think of it, satellites have played the biggest role in the evolved world we live in today.
In the world that’s changing at a unparalleled pace, roots aren’t purely progressing and wings aren’t sufficiently sufficient anymore in the overcrowded sphere where the big and small birds are dashing and crashing into each other and the flying around is less fun but more of a suffocating race.
If you wish to fly high become a world class scientist, techie, economist, analyst, author, psychologist, entrepreneur, environmentalist, activist, artist, physicist, academician, philosopher, orator, designer, sportsperson, musician, singer, game changer. Become a world class player making a big difference to the bigger community and world you are a no B B part of, rather than just serving the interests of four people in the name of roots. Mind it, the four people and the roots will never be abandoned, rather they will be the biggest benefiters from your world class legacy. But initially they may not understand as the roots analogy is well rooted inside our heads but they will eventually realize when they see your growth.
History has many examples to prove this. Limitations, boundaries, attachments were never great for creative minds with bigger purposes. Great minds were always reclusive and preferred being distant from the trivia and nuances of a mediocre person’s life. Buddha in ancient ages and Einstein in modern times were distant from the world and hence discovered their geniuses which served a bigger purpose to the same world and their kith and kin wasn’t less grateful for their chosen paths and progress they made for themselves and the humanity.
Thanks to all the modern technology and advancements we can achieve their level of detachment, enlightenment, purposefulness and remote attachment, all simultaneously without really becoming reclusive. In any case today people are withdrawn from the near and dear ones and are lost in a different world commonly called digital world which has much better uses than just entertainment or infotainment.
Living in a physically distant world seems far less dangerous to me than losing one’s self in a self centered, digital and material world. Parents who still wish to own their children by keeping them at their side need to see that they are already too distant and only self focused in the technological era they are born in. So why have the pretense of keeping them attached when in reality you that they aren’t?
If your young one or you yourself are a highflying seeker, if you have a strong burning desire which is the fuel that fires up and gives the throw, you just need to find your launcher that can successfully launch you and get you established in your far from worldly trivia, your personal orbit from where you will be doing the big things and being more useful with the remote controls well in place.
Your skills and a world class learning can become your launch pad. Your personal traits, habits and qualities will ensure your smooth transition without you exploding under the pressure and your bigger purpose will act like the greatest force, the gravity and will keep you established in your distant orbit while your emotions keep you attached to your roots, irrespective of where you are.
In the world of today, personal achievement has to find a bigger meaning. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is almost achieved by the children of well to do parents. Their basic, psychological and self esteem needs are amply met by their providers and that’s why they are going off the old course and the old philosophy is of no great good to them. They don’t value the wings or the roots anymore.
It’s time we give them bigger goal of self actualization which gets achieved when a person lives and works to realize one’s true potential and not just to fulfill the smaller needs. Needless to say, any self actualizing person will automatically fulfill those lower needs.
The Generation Alpha who I have majorly written this article for and their predecessors if they too wish to fly high, need to change their approach and discover ways and means and invest time in enhancing and building skills that can take them to a world class level of fulfillment and accomplishment and a way of life that’s more whole, holy and holistic.
That would be actually aiming for and reaching the stars. And isn’t that the only thing left for we mortals to achieve?
Yesterday while watching a movie that was based on a real archeological site’s discovery in England in the year 1938, I was stuck by the simplicity yet the focused devotion of the people of that era towards their passions and professions.
The lead character who was an amateur and impoverished excavator, and yet was also very well read and self educated in his profession, worked day and night to dig and discover a historic relic for a very unhandsome sum. I felt that he tirelessly toiled under scorching sun and soaking storms not only because of his passion for his chosen craft but also because he was fortunate to be born in a time of least pretentiousnesses and distractions.
Yes. Before the technology took over the entire humanity and gobbled up all its time and energy, people had nothing much to do but devote their fewer and precious resources to pursue what their hearts strived for.
Researchers did researches, painters painted, composers composed, writers wrote, workers worked, traders traded, explorers explored and homemakers made homes. And they all did what they did with a single minded devoutness that must have been so fulfilling that I assume they probably never complained of being bored or ungratified.
The man in the movie was digging earth for two pounds a week and didn’t seem to be much concerned about his meager compensation or his impoverished lifestyle because most men and women in that time lived a very basic, unpretentious life. All his concerns and cares were for his job and its outcome.
How I wish I could find myself living in a period and place like that. An era when work was truly worship. When contentment came from the fruits of your labor which were definitely not the excesses and indulgences bought with the money earned.
The goods produced, the services rendered, the creations and compositions, the discoveries and development were the prizes earned and celebrated at the end of a day’s hard work. The compensations were hardly enough to sustain and survive life and yet, gratitude was in abundance.
What a way of life it was. Wake up in the early morning, have a stomachful of homemade healthy staples, go to work and immerse yourself into what you loved to do without having to hear an annoying beep or ringtone of your smartphone and come back straight home to a hot and simple dinner with your family. Read, write or simply stare at the stars in the sky at night and fall asleep without a worry.
No wonder the world saw so many inventions and discoveries in the past two centuries. People had begun to understand and unveil the wonders of nature and had no diversions and distractions eating up their daily hours and attention.
Work and passions were the precedence and that’s probably why even in times when technology wasn’t available to offer infinite assistance and instant solutions and people had to do everything from search information to record finding of endless trials without any aid from technology they were probably inventing at the time, they created marvels.
And look at us today. We have every information at the tip of our finger (quite literally) and yet we procrastinate and waste our expensive lives doing nothing significant only because we are too busy indulging in the inessentials and yearning for more.
Work is no more worship. It is just a means to get richer and procure a petty, pretentious position in the world. The aim is no more to create something new and unique and feel creatively contented but is to consume all the superficial specimens being produced in bulk for the unthinking users and feel materially accomplished.
Simple living and high thinking is passé. The new motto is flashy living and useless thinking. The very few thinking minds that are there are mocked at and are labeled as boring and old fashioned but even today they are the ones mostly making headlines with their originations.
In the fast paced, technology driven world creating copies is easy and abound, and it might be well paying but is it really gratifying? The answer is evident from the fact that despite all advancements human spirit is at an all time low. The superficially visible and well celebrated success doesn’t offer any true joy or solace to the yet to be completely evolved mind that still needs the deep purposeful connection to its day’s work and the people around.
Alas, both are missing because the champions of the ongoing race are too busy running after the material success and boosting economies. They fear that if they paused and slowed down they may actually realize that their real needs are still basic and real happiness can be found by simply giving your best to your passion or profession, they will lag behind in the contest.
But do they realize what they have truly achieved by fairing well in the competition? Unhealthy lifestyles, unhappy relationships, ungrateful minds, an unkind world and now maybe an unforgiving nature.
I suggest we visualize a life in a different time and place when and where we lived simply but well, enjoyed true relationships and derived happiness and a sense of achievement from the work done well. A time and place where less is more.
Writing this piece, how I am craving to leave the madness of my city life and run to the small hamlet I am soon going to call home and live the slow, old school way of life where there is no rush to complete jobs to attend parties, spend hours deciding what to wear and how to look, planning and attending useless events and then feel unappreciated and burned out. Where I will enjoy the basics of life appreciating the bounties of nature and will spend hours everyday pursuing my love for writing.
Luckily I have always been quite old school but watching the way Basil Brown and many of his likes lived simply yet so well creatively accomplished and gratified, I feel I need to forgo the few ounces of vanity, and social and materials cravings I still have and only then I will be able to give my hundred percent to the pursuits that make my heart happy and my life well lived.
My reader, I get maximum joy when I spend hours thoughtfully penning down my deep-felt thoughts like this. Writing, offering solutions to my clients and spending time with my children are my favorite things to do. My only indulgence is the occasional travels I so love to undertake and those I can allow myself as an incentive for a good year’s work.
I know you too have a very similar, simple and inexpensive yet fulfilling to do list. If yes, then ask yourself do we really have to remain a victim of excessive consumerism? I know my answer and I am all set to pause, rethink and reprioritize my life.
And then I won’t have to sigh and say, “How I wish to be in a different time and place.”
It’s been three months and I haven’t written one single article. Before this unintended and undesired break from my most loved literary pursuit, I would easily pen down at least two to three articles in a week. First, it had taken me years to start and when I did, it soon became an essential ritual of my daily life. And then just when I had begun to revel in the fact that I had finally set the ball rolling in the direction of living my long cherished passion and dream of writing blogs that the daily practice came to a halt.
This sudden discontinuance of a good habit happens with so many people. It is a pattern that many of us must have experienced in our lives. First, we are not able to start something and then when we do, we become addicted to doing it everyday. And then some event happens and there is a pause which again goes on indefinitely.
School students were going to schools everyday for so many years and then corona outbreak forced them to stay at home for almost a year and now many of them aren’t ready to leave their current, however unhealthy, routines and go back to the old habit of going to school everyday just like they had done for so many years before the pause.
People after years of resistance start reading books. Then they read a few good ones back to back until a break happens and they stop altogether and again years go by and they remain deprived of the pleasure only reading provides.
Thanks to our busy lives, excessively spending time on gadgets and little differences, we sometimes go adrift in our closest relationships. Despite wishing to spend more time together and doing things the old way, we are not able to make the move and restore love, passion or friendship. The ice that gets set in the once warm bonds doesn’t easily melt or we simply refrain from enough efforts to break the proverbial ice.
Why does this happen to so many of us? Why aren’t we able to start that physical fitness regime that we have been thinking of starting since long and keep wanting yet deferring? Why do the addicts so easily stop living their clean, substance free lives that they had lived for so long before that unfortunate moment and go on using the substance despite knowing and living the harms that they do to them?
Why aren’t we able to break old habits and form new habits easily?
That’s because the things that we start doing on a regular basis become a set pattern in our minds and it is very difficult to break the set patterns. Our brain actually understands and works in patterns or a fixed design. The neurons through their synaptic connections form patterns that our brain finds quick and easy to follow subconsciously.
The complex machine loves working in the loop and prefers following the code that gets embedded with a few days’ repetition of the act. So when I started writing daily it got into the loop and when some circumstances (actually my domestic help took a month’s off) prevented me from writing for a few days the old pattern broke and the new one formed.
In between I did find few times and opportunities but I just couldn’t get the rhythm back. On some days when I tried I couldn’t start, on some I felt I was too tired to think and write and on a few I simply preferred the new habits that had replaced my favorite one.
Now today I am finally able to write this one because I found the answer to my frustration and annoyance of past three months with myself over my disability to restart what I had become so natural and well versed at.
What actually happened to me was that my previous pattern which once took years to form got broken and in its absence a new one got established. I had to spend so much time attending to the chores my help earlier attended to that the writer’s routine got abandoned.
Our brain is such a smart and lazy fellow that once it starts finding some routine difficult to follow it not just stops trying, it also starts giving a hundred excuses why that task can’t be done anymore. This is how procrastination starts and we go on delaying and postponing the once loved task or way of life. We don’t deny it but we also don’t do it.
So how do we come out of the rut and start again?
By simply breaking the pattern. Your brain unlearned the old code in its absence of a few days or weeks and learned a new one. Now you simply make it unlearn this new one and relearn the old one. Sounds easy but you haven’t been able to do it because it requires following some rules.
1. Become conscious to the fact that you really wish to break a pattern. You need to be desperate to go back to the healthier and more useful habits or to acquire completely new ones. There has to be a burning desire to be in that desired state.
Most of the time the pattern doesn’t change because the will to do it is not strong enough. There has to be a strong longing or motivation to be in the craved routine or way of life. If you are too comfortable in your current routine then you simply can’t get out of it. So the realization, self acquired or found through a mentor’s words, that you want to be doing something very different from your present day activities is very essential.
Once the awareness is there, you need to ignite and fire it up everyday, till the time your wish becomes your reality. And for that use the power of your words.
2. Use the power of spoken words. The words that we speak are the instructions that we give to our mind. So start saying it everyday, every few hours that you wish to deviate and depart from this undesired way of living life. Pick up your favorite phrase and say it again and again. My favorite is, “I have to break the pattern.”
At the same time don’t say what you don’t wish to do. Like, “I am not able to write.” “I think I can’t do it anymore.” “It’s too difficult to be like that again.” These negative phrases will never let you break the rut so refrain yourself from using them. Rather tell yourself that it was you who did it earlier also and in case you wish to form a brand new habit speak of your other previous accomplishments.
Speak in affirmations and give an assurance to your mind that it is doable. Don’t scare it by speaking otherwise.
3. Start immediately. When the burning desire to form a new or reacquire an old pattern is so lit up that it starts making you restless and impatient, do not wait for a perfect moment or day but start immediately, then and there.
If you wish to really shatter a bad pattern of complacency and lethargy then do not resist taking an accurate action for another day. If the enlightenment happens at the end of a day then don’t wait for the next morning sun to rise. You can gear up wherever you are and set off on the new path. The neurons inside your brain may take the cue that it must be very important and may work overtime to form the new pattern.
Rather it must be a fact that the more excited and enthusiastic you are in starting something may become a habit more quickly. So the third rule is not to procrastinate again and start then and there.
4. Do extreme and intense action. If you really wish to break the pattern, then little and infrequent effort is not sufficient. Rather the pattern hasn’t been broken yet because you have been investing little, occasional time on the desired activity. Remember that your once moving cycle came to a sudden halt and to restart the stationed wheel you need to be in top gear.
So once you start immediately, go to the extreme. Set some audacious goals and press the pedal. If you wish to stop being lazy, then wear those running shoes that have been lying gathering dust and go out for a long, refreshing walk. Walk long enough to know how much fun and beneficial it is.
You might be thinking that too much action might be taxing. You are right. It might be taxing initially but if the realization to change your current design is strong and you know the benefits, you will endure the initial pain of doing the extreme. So to ensure your endurance, keep repeating the right phrases, just like I have been telling myself that I need to break the pattern of not writing anything.
Once I understood that I had done enough dilly dallying for months I knew I had to go to the extreme and write something immediately. So here I am, almost done with another heartfelt write up that I have managed to finish in record time because I can’t let my distracted neurons to come to play and spoil the pattern I so desire to put back in its place.
My friend, our life is a constant conflict between the subconscious habits that form mostly due to our ignorance or negligence and the conscious choices that we fortunate ones sometimes realize and recognize that we need to make. The first and fast mover wins the war.
If like me you too think that you too need to get back to a once forgotten habit or acquire a new one, then get up and break the pattern.
“Why don’t you say anything to her?” “Why don’t you get angry with her?” My husband who was infuriated with our twelve years old daughter asked me the other day. He was somewhat right in being enraged with our super stubborn, strong willed, usually unyielding first born, who he loves and pampers to the core, but whose not so infrequent insubordination, as frequently, he can’t tolerate.
He asked me the question and it got me thinking that why I really don’t get angry with my beautiful bullhead. I know she is difficult and stubborn, she doesn’t agree much with our suggestions or viewpoints, has to differ with and resist all our advice and instructions, has a logic for all her contradictory opinions and actions and goes to all lengths to put across her arguments, but still I don’t get enraged by her mostly uncompromising conduct.
Because I know that my unruly, almost teenager is just like me. I too have always been known as stubborn, strong willed, obstinate, unyielding and all the same meaning words and I am today what I am because I never did anything that my mind didn’t approve of and had to do because people around me wanted me to do it.
I was called a rebel in my own young years and the rebel became the first girl in the ultra conservative clan to go out of our small town and study, get a professional masters degree, make a well paying career, earn own living and become independent. The rebel married the out of religion love of her life and has been happily married and well cherished since then.
I am not a self obsessed narcissist but I am proud of the way my life turned out to be and the fact that it happened because I was strong headed and believed in and stood by my own convictions. That did get me all the labels initially but now everyone I know is happy for me.
But the same important people who are happy with the outcome of my life are now concerned about the unconventional conduct of my junior self, my girl, who has to challenge every convention and custom.
Her grandmother and my mother is mostly miffed with her because she doesn’t accept any age old beliefs without a reason. I can understand my mother’s displeasure because I too was a cause of similar offense not too long ago. I can also hear her sometimes silent, sometimes spoken question that why I don’t get mad at her.
Again I have the same answer. Because she is like me so I can understand her inability to accept and follow anything she doesn’t understand and believe in. I know that she has a thinking brain which ponders over everything and comes up with original thoughts that hold her conviction and when she has a conviction she can’t be deterred.
I never did and still don’t believe in logic less conventions and stereotypes. I too challenged the dogmatic ideologies. I questioned the reason and relevance of whatever I was told to do and not do. “Why can boys do this and I can’t?” “Why do we pray to a thousand Gods?” “Why can’t I take care of my parents when I grow up?” “Why do girls have to go away from their family after marriage?”
Being born in a very conservative family and questioning everything the way I did, I did receive my share of criticism at my age but education helped me forge ahead and leave behind all that I never understood or believed in. My stubbornness in marrying the man I chose to marry against everyone’s pleasure was due to the reason that I found him to be someone who would not expect me to be someone I wasn’t willing to become.
I was an unorthodox, unconventional, radical, revolutionary thinker and this identity was important to my being and I am still not different.
And now I am also a blessed mother of a twelve years old bright, beautiful, intelligent and abundantly unorthodox, unconventional and original thinking girl, so how do I get angry with her. If I am anything, I am happy for her.
I don’t really applaud her misdoings for any encouragement is as useless as her discouragement and I personally feel resistance is fuel for thinking. Support makes the thinkers complacent. So I don’t support her but I don’t get upset with her either.
Being a mother of an independent, intelligent, inquisitive, strong-headed child is not easy. I am equally a target of her questions, annoyance, discontentment and displeasure as she doesn’t know I am like her too. For her I am not too old fashioned but still not as novel as her, so I do get my share of “You don’t know anything.”
But I still don’t get angry with her because though she is like me but she has to outgrow me as well and which she is doing already. She was probably born like me but she has to learn her own unique lessons, evolve, become much better than me and her own self and find her own path and journey.
So when she challenges my viewpoint too and offers her own piece of mind I don’t get offended, I rather feel pride becoming a lump in my throat which I swallow with the tiny bit of anger I too feel at times. After all I too am a humble human.
But I honestly don’t get enraged with my precious one because along with a hard, thinking head she also has a soft heart which melts and yields when she sees that hurt look on my face and hears a motherly emotional appeal that I occasionally make to tell her to agree to something to make peace at home with the people who love her equally but do not empathize with her unconventional ways and behavior at some occasions.
Finally, I don’t get mad at her because I can empathize and understand how hard it is be an unconventional thinker. Those who believe easily have, however flimsy and fake, but a footing under their feet and those who question have to create their own solid bedrock which when formed gives a new way of life to the world.
So rather than being angry with her I find myself sympathizing with her because I know it’s a lonely journey she has undertaken just like her mother and I so wish that she grows up into a mature girl real fast and we can find our allies in each other.
I also so wish that everyone would see her with my eyes and mind and could accept her uniqueness as I do. She is her mother’s pride because she is the embodiment of all that her mother could be and couldn’t be because she is not alone. She has herself and her mother who is rooting for her, always.
Almost every day I come across at least one woman who is emotionally agonized and is leading a miserable life. There is nothing unusual about it because life is meant to be full of agony but still I feel it is not right for these women to be distressing over the issues that are causing them pain.
Now what’s wrong with having the issues they have? Issues or problems are a normal part of human life. But still I find myself thinking that those concerns could be easily avoided or they are not the real concerns of a progressive world we live in.
What are these problems I have so much problem with? The concerns these women have are the concerns they have because they are women.
The infamous “Venusians” are miserable since the beginning of this world because they are born as women. They have always been the suppressed ones and have been told, “you can’t do this, you can’t be this, you can’t go there, not alone, you have to do this, you have to be like this, this is expected of you and so on.” Just because they are women.
There are so many prejudices and stereotypes attached to both the genders and women are on the loser end of these beliefs. Let me be more specific.
“Women don’t need to work if their husband is providing them well, they have to cook and look after children, they can’t go out alone, they can’t drive on the highway, they have to listen to their husbands and the elders, they have to ask before doing anything important and even unimportant.” The list is endless and varies little with the social and economic status of the family.
This is how the world has always been. Telling women what they can and what they can’t. Women lived with being told for a very long time because they were not equipped or prepared to break the stereotypes and thus change the world. But now the women of this generation are miserable beyond imagination because now they are well equipped and prepared and absolutely capable of doing everything but still they are told they can’t.
This generation’s women are well educated, well groomed, are mostly earning or have the potential to earn, they are capable of being independent, are well informed to make decisions and have ample opportunity to do and are doing all that men did and proclaimed supremacy for ages.
This generation of women is much more capable and independent than all their predecessor generations and yet they aren’t as happy and peaceful as they ought to be and that I feel is a shame. The well educated, well read, modern, intelligent, well earning, independent, professionally successful women are not living a very happy, content and peaceful existence and that makes me cringe and wonder at the same time.
Cringe because I am a woman and wonder because I don’t believe the reason. The reason is that they simply don’t know how to claim their glory and their rightful place in the world.
The place now that has come to be theirs after thousands of years and ages. So many generations before us might have wanted it so badly but couldn’t have it because the world was not probably designed by a woman and hence was created to be difficult for the women to operate and run.
The physical toiling was tough so it became a man’s arena but things aren’t the same now. Everything happens with a push of button so thanks to the men and women who designed the new world it is now easy for anyone. And imagine maybe the men too wanted that and that’s why didn’t mind designing it that way.
Then why aren’t the women taking advantage and treating themselves as equals? Why don’t they recognize and acknowledge the fact that they are born in the time of their species’ liberation and they have to play a role in it.
Yes. Women of this time and age, rather than playing the second fiddle, have to be the harbingers of the change and usher their unparalleled race into the new world that just treats them as just another human who has needs, motivations, emotions, abilities, capabilities, shortcomings which do vary but not from man to woman but a human to another human.
It’s the time of the world that would be noted in the history of the world when the gender stereotypes broke and distinction between men and women finally got erased and they began to be treated as equal human beings.
Time when employees got selected as per their capability and qualifications and not because of the gender. The time when women drove lorries and men cooked fancy meals in the restaurants as well as at home. The time when both men and women earned the living and spent quality time bringing up their children together. The time when women chose not to cook if they didn’t fancy that and men dropped kids to school because they loved doing that. The time when both girls and boys took care of their parents and ran family businesses if they had it and wanted to. The time when women married for love and companionship and not to be provided for, hence chose the most loving and compatible one instead of the most financially well off one.
Isn’t this all already happening and hence proves that the time is already there? There are women CEOs, astronauts, innovators, heads of nations, lorry drivers and deep sea divers. There is a Malala who fights for her rights, gets shot in head, survives, wins a laureate and becomes celebrated. Today a Priyanka Chopra marries a younger Nick Jonas not for money and support but maybe because her alpha, super-ambitious self needs a soft and sweet beta companion.
So the time has already arrived and the world is already an equal place now. Then what’s the problem? The problem is that most of the women have not acknowledged this fact. Their mental programming of thousands years hasn’t much changed and they have passively remained seated in the backseat.
As a result, they do not assert their now equal rights and wishes and still have remained being the lesser ones in the house, on the job and in the society as a whole.
Women of today are supposed to be their brand new selves, to be the representatives of the new liberal age because in the history of mankind they are the most well educated, well brought up, equally treated, pampered and prepared to create their own identity and place in the world.
But those same women do not think like that and are rendering themselves wasted when they think of working outside home as an option, by wanting a husband who earns more than them and can promise financial security, by tolerating abuse and not walking out because who will look after them and the kids, by not taking care of their own parents because they are not their responsibility.
The ultramodern women have chosen to be more miserable because they are living a conflicted life of a lioness outside in the world and an expected to turn into a meek cow back at home. They are enduring this misery because they still think of themselves as just a woman who is supposed to be the lesser one, the younger one, the less successful one and the less wiser one.
Wake up women. You topped the ranks in school and college, you got that job because you were the best candidate, you are smart enough to run a house and an office with equal ease, you are intelligent enough to make the choices you make and you are still the best mother and wife. You are not less.
Why have you submitted yourself to a place and position in this world which warranties unhappiness and misery? Why have you made the volunteer submission as the humble inferior one?
Yes. It is the women who have submitted themselves to be agonized in the world that is ready to accept them as the opposite. It is we women who are keen to please everyone, who are not being assertive and keeping their wishes and feelings inside for the fear of being judged. It is we women who judge another women who break the stereotypes and choose to live differently.
When a woman decides to leave her husband because he slapped her ‘once’, it is the women who questioned her reaction in the cult movie “Thappad”. This movie is the proof that the new age has been around since quite some time but is just not hailed by the lot.
Women, you are not from a lesser planet nor are men from a superior one. We are all made from the same draft. For some generations’ convenience we were allotted different roles and the act just went on.
Now after generations of change the stage is set. Life’s act has to go on but little role reversal is required. Men have been left with no choice but to create the place for their truly better counterparts and we women have to accept our rightful place and take charge and responsibility of at least our own lives.
Yes. Women have to take responsibility. For their lives, their dreams, their happiness, their freedom and all of this for their dependents’ too. Freedom never comes without responsibility and maybe this is the reason despite having all the reasons and resources to live a more dignified life the women of this new world are still being told that they can’t.
Or is it that they are the ones who say to themselves that we can’t. “I can’t stay alone. I can’t do this all by myself. I can’t say what I want. I can’t say no to them. I can’t be the disobedient one.”
Women are not ready to stand for themselves because they are the adjusters, accommodating ones, the ones who sacrifice and keep the families afloat.
So the well educated, dreamer, intelligent, independent woman is still not living an equal life where her preferences and interests are primary, her needs and aspirations are central, her freedom and choices are respected.
This wasn’t too much to ask especially in the homes where they are equal contributors but even there they remain the secondary mistress not the head master of the house.
Remember, men have little to do with this plight of women. They are just continuing to enjoy the power the women have complacently not decided to share with them. Because they are either too scared of being labeled as headstrong dominants or are too scared to be nastily shown their place.
As a result, women are just maintaining the illusion. Illusion of a happy person living in a happy family whereas they are seething and dying from within because the enlightened and empowered minds can’t survive in the powerless, dark place that is allotted to them.
Women, don’t be scared. Let them call you names. Let them label you selfish, mean, proud, arrogant, self centered, egoist, whatever else. They do not understand why you are hurting but if you are hurting, please stop hurting within.
The pain of loss of some ungrateful relationships is nothing in comparison to the pain of humiliation that you go through everyday, the pain of not knowing who you truly are – the successful woman outside the house or the unwise nincompoop they make you think you are in the inside.
Ask yourself, who you are. Because you know who you are. Take pride in that and do whatever it takes to live with dignity and respect. Offer yourself as an equal partner and make the terms clear. The old prejudices are passé and don’t shy from asserting the obvious if the other side seems oblivious.
Honestly, not much fight and rebellion is required for our cause. The world is ready to hand over the baton to us, it is just us who haven’t asked for it. Consider yourself worthy and take it over.
Tell them that you don’t want to rule because you know how it feels to be the ruled over one. Tell them you just have to be equal because you need to do justice to the evolution that slowly and silently has happened and has happened for a collective good. The evolution is done, the revolution is awaited. And it is for your doing.
Live and let live. That’s our motto.
PS. This strong write up is for the women who are empowered and enlightened but yet aren’t being given the respect, choices and place that they are worthy of. If you are someone who could connect with my thoughts, then this entire piece of advice is for you. And those who think it is too much to do to live with dignity, stay where you are and let it become a new norm and then you may get to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s struggle. Just keep yourself alive till then.
I live in that part of the world where even today if you are expecting a baby, especially the second one and the first is a girl child, people expressly anticipate it to be a boy.
Everything from the glow of your skin to the lack of it; your constant, incurable nausea; the shape of your growing stomach; the pattern of your sleep and the way you look, everything implies that it is a boy ‘this time’. Your friends, neighbors, family members, all think that they are pleasing you by telling you that ‘this time’ you will be blessed with a boy.
Some of you may not believe it but I know this because this is exactly what happened with me last year, when I conceived for the second time at the age of 38 years, after years of denying any need of a second offspring. We took the plunge because our first born, my then 11 years old daughter, had been begging us to give her a sibling and we couldn’t say no to her anymore. So we decided to try granting her her wish and God listened to her as well.
And the new chapter began. Everyone was thrilled. The grandparents on both sides, uncles and aunts, our friends and neighbors, whosoever came to know was exhilarated to hear the news. More so, because it’s considered important to have two kids and it might be a boy child ‘this time’.
And the anticipation or rather manifestation of the male child began. “This time it will be a boy.” I heard this almost everyday and almost always replied that it could be a girl too.
I almost every time said that because one it was a logical thing to say as we couldn’t be sure of what it would be. Second, it didn’t matter to us and we were as thrilled to have anyone as our second born. Third, I didn’t want my unborn child if it was a girl to feel unwanted or not talked about. She was as much wanted as the he was.
I have never understood people’s, especially Indians’, obsession with a boy child. There are special rituals and celebrations related to the birth of a boy whereas girl’s birth sometimes doesn’t even considered worthy of congratulations. This is how things had been since generations and I had begun to think that things had improved but I was mistaken.
There is definitely some progress now. A girl as a first born is celebrated because the childbirth is celebrated and she is a child and the hope remains that there will be a second time soon and with a different gender and so when the second time comes another girl is not expected, and definitely not verbally.
When it happened with me I was sickened by this biased anticipation. I am a well educated, modern, working, independent, proud woman and I was shocked to realize this brutal reality. Of course there were some exceptions who spoke neutrally but mostly it was the boy anthem I heard everywhere.
Personally I did not anticipate any specific gender because to me wanting one means not wanting the other. And that is so unfair. To the unwanted one.
And I didn’t anticipate anything in particular because I feel if is not what we wished for, then it is God-sent.
I just wanted a healthy child who would become our little companion for years to come and make our life’s journey more beautiful, abundant, adventurous, somewhat challenging and eventful.
And isn’t that the reason why we have children? To make our lives complete and hearts full with the love and care we feel for them and to evolve and become better persons as we are given the opportunity to become while bringing them up. And what does this beautiful life process has to do with a bias towards any gender?
We eclipse the light sent to our lives because of an age old belief that sons carry our names and legacy.
How wrong this obsolete belief is? Have you seen any name known in the history of this world because he or she was someone’s father, mother or grandparent?
People become famous and are remembered for their own deeds and contributions. They are known for their own accomplishments and attributes and not because of their successors’.
Our children are not the bearers of our negligible and insignificant names and legacies.
They are our gifts to humanity who come through us and because they come through us they get to be with us for many years. And for those years they become our companions and teachers.
Yes, I call my children my mentors. They have come to my life to teach me.
To teach me unconditional love and compassion in their initial years when I am required to just adore them and take care of them.
To teach me the value of my life, youth, good health and the way I live my life because that leaves impressions on their quality and perception of life.
To teach me patience and wisdom in their growing up years as without the two I can’t nurture their uniqueness and bring out the best in them.
To teach me all that I never learned as a child but have been given the opportunity again as their guide and companion.
To teach me humility as I have made and owned maximum mistakes as their mother and not in any other role and realized how fallible I am.
And one day they will teach me the value of my freedom and time for self when they will fly away from my nest to try their own wings.
Our children are our companions for many years in our own journey of life and its high time the society learned that the gender of our tiny companions is of no real concern in the world we live in today.
They are not for us to own, they are certainly not born to carry the burden of our unfulfilled desires and insignificant inheritances. There are here for their own journey and purpose and not to carry on with ours.
New life means new journey and new life’s arrival is an event of celebration because it brings with it new hopes, dreams, another carrier of the virtues and legacy of humanity.
Yes. Legacy of humanity is the only legacy we need to pass on.
So whenever I prayed to God, which i did very often in those months I was carrying another life, I prayed Him to bless us with a healthy baby and the wisdom and ability to bring him/her up to be a good and contributing human being.
And then His blessings came as a beautiful tiny bundle of joy who we named Rubayat which means God’s verse and lovingly call Sria which means joy. And it was a girl ‘this time’ too and we couldn’t be happier as our little girl brought into our lives much more happiness than we had dreamed of. Her protective father, her doting elder sister and her thoughtful mother, which is myself, have been on cloud nine since then. She is a dream come true and why not.
She has made our family complete and our hearts and house full to the brim with love, joy, beauty, cuteness, her smiles, her cries, everything that wasn’t there before she came along.
And another reason why she is a dream come true is because subconsciously I think I wanted to have her. I think I had always felt fascinated with the idea of becoming a mother of and bringing up two beautiful, bright, lively girls. Whenever I would come across such a family – mother, father and two daughters, I loved looking at them and would fantasize having a similar one myself.
To me all children are good, boys and girls, but it was a very personal emotion I never consciously thought about or even verbalized because I am not biased. I actually realized the feeling when my subconscious fantasy became a reality and filled me with an unparalleled joy. I would have been very happy to have a son too but having you, my most anticipated one and the God-sent, I became ecstatic.
Thank you God for being so kind and listening to the said as well as the unsaid and thank you my little girl for choosing me as your bearer, companion and guide for the years to come.
Mental health has finally gained some much needed attention in India. In a country where till a few years back and in some parts maybe even today, mental only meant a mindless or mad person, mental disorders and their cure is now being talked about.
Almost two decades back not many people had probably even heard of mental disorders like depression, stress or anxiety. In case someone was suffering from any of these disorders, he would visit all kind of doctors thinking he was physically sick, doctors would get all his medical tests done and when nothing would be diagnosed the patient would visit all kinds of astrologers, healers & God-men and keep on suffering till things changed or came to an end.
Times have changed and now quite a lot of people are more aware of the mental concerns and when the symptoms persist or become unbearable, they sometimes seek help.
And when they seek help, they mostly visit the psychiatrists who are medical practitioners who treat mental disorders by prescribing medicines. They diagnose the illness by listening to the symptoms and sometimes by conducting some tests and prescribe medicines as treatment. Antidepressants for depression, mood stabilizers for bipolar and other mood disorders, anti anxiety pills for anxiety and sedatives for almost everything.
But is medicine the real cure for the illnesses or issues that get triggered or aggravated because of a person’s mindset, attitude, thinking pattern, emotions, beliefs and influences? Can a few doses of dopamine and serotonin alone cure the causes behind the depressive state of a person which probably got prompted or provoked because of a financial loss or heartbreak and his own reaction to it?
The answer is no, medicines aren’t the treatment of mental disorders. Medicines are temporary cure of the symptoms and give immediate and temporary relief to the sufferers, who are both the patient and his family.
The permanent or long lasting solution is curing the causes of the disorder and it is the job of a psychotherapist who is an expert in human psychology and uses psychology to find out the causes and cure the disorders.
The psychiatrists are also trained to do psychotherapy, in layman language counseling, which means treatment of mental disorders through psychology and not medicine. But there are many psychiatrists who prefer giving medicines because medicines are easier to prescribe whereas therapies are time consuming and needs expertise and empathy.
Then who provides psychotherapy? Another professional called psychologist is trained and qualified to do that.
A psychologist is an expert in human psychology and psychology is the scientific study of the human mindset, behavior and actions and the factors affecting the same.
There is another big difference in psychiatry and psychology. Psychiatry is the study and treatment of mental illnesses which is one of the many areas of psychology and psychology is the study and treatment of human behavior, mental attitudes and mindset which also give birth to mental illnesses.
Point here is that mental illnesses are mostly caused because of the mindset and attitude prone to that illness and are triggered by the circumstances that negatively affect the illness prone psyche.
Understand this with an example of a 30 years old person, Amit. Amit is a very ambitious person who wants to achieve big in life. He started a business which was doing well and Amit was proud of his work but now due to the lockdown and its effects Amit’s business has suffered huge losses. As a result Amit has started feeling very low and hopeless, he cannot sleep properly at night, feels anxious and agitated.
If Amit decides to visit a psychiatrist, the latter will diagnose his problem as depression and prescribe medicines for the same.
If Amit chooses to see a psychologist, this professional will empathetically listen to him, diagnose his psyche by conducting a personality test and some other psychological tests and by interviewing him and will give him therapy or counseling. The psychologist will be able to understand that Amit is a result oriented, ambitious person with a high Emotional Quotient and hates facing failures. His business losses have caused him stress and anxiety which have led him to his depressed state of mind.
A good psychologist will not label him as depressed but will comfort him with the knowledge that it is normal and natural to feel low in such a scenario. He will alter his mindset by showing him a positive side to the current problem, give him hope and suggest ways to relax his mind and use his mental and emotional strength and intelligence to find opportunities in adversity.
A good psychologist is an empathetic, non-judgmental listener and an expert counsel and advisor who can change the thought process, perceptions and beliefs of a patient by giving the relevant therapy and thus can teach him to deal with the highs and lows of life.
A good psychologist counsels, guides, mentors, motivates and does almost everything but does not give medicine.
And medicines do nothing that a psychologist does. Medicines do not listen to a person’s worries and anxieties, they do not offer new insights and viewpoints, they do not turn a negative thinker into a positive thinker, they do not give hope and faith.
Medicines only alter the chemicals in mind but mental illnesses are not only the result of chemical imbalances. Chemical imbalance does play a role but it too is an effect of change in mental state and thought process of the person.
If dopamine and serotonin are feel good chemicals they also get released when a person is relaxed, eats and sleeps well and feels good.
So why not change the patient’s attitude, lifestyle and life itself for his betterment and make him better equipped to live a peaceful and joyful life.
The psychiatrists who are also trained to do psychotherapy can use the therapy sessions and cure the causes. If they do they are your “go to professionals” for mental health.
The actual debate is not psychologist or psychiatrist, but therapies or medicines.
Mental illness patient doesn’t know what is the right treatment. He follows his doctor and he too prefers getting the prescription as medication is easy to be administered whereas therapies involve changing lifestyle, way of thinking and mental and emotional transformation.
Little do they know that their illness is actually a signal that the ongoing way of life is doing them harm and needs some change and transformation.
Medicines may make you feel good for some time but they in no way transform your life. Rather they make you dependent upon them and their prolonged use have many side effects which are harmful for the body as well as mind.
So in case you ever choose to visit a psychiatrist ask him/her if you will be given therapy sessions and not just medicines. If the psychiatrist downplays the role of therapy or introduces you to a young intern as your counselor, go somewhere else as your therapist needs to have a good experience of own life to help you deal with yours.
In some illnesses medicines are important. They are maniac disorder, acute depression and schizophrenia as in these cases the patient is not in the right mental state to go through the therapies and benefit from them. In these mental illnesses the medication improves the patient’s condition and then therapy becomes more effective.
In all other cases counseling or therapy alone is sufficient. Other than curing illnesses, psychotherapy or counseling has many other benefits too.
Mental illnesses are never immediate, rather they take years to reach the stage when they get noticed. That’s because they get attention when the worst becomes apparent.
No one gets depressed overnight or suffers from an anxiety disorder in a day. People have tendencies to be depressed and anxious and to a good observer and an empath it would show at a much earlier stage.
For your knowledge, people who are more emotional and intellectual are more prone to being depressed and anxious because overthinking is a big cause of these mental conditions. So actually there is nothing wrong with being occasionally low and worried.
Mental issues are actually oversold as illnesses to sell the chemicals. Naming the illnesses and labeling the patient helps in selling the chemicals.
Out of the hundreds of mental disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the official book of mental disorders, it is possible for every person to have at least one or more disorders.
If you have a mind then you will occasionally have an ailment of mind.
In the long human life span of 60 – 70 years, there will be many tough times which can make even the strongest of minds to become worried and low. What we need in these times is not to be labeled sick for life but an empathetic listener and guide who can teach us to accept the tough times as a part of life and take lessons from them and be strong again.
If you are going through a tough time and need help from another person’s perspective and expertise, go see a good psychologist or psychotherapist and take benefit from his unbiased and open minded counsel.
Psychologist do not just cure, they also do preventive counseling. They diagnose their patient’s personality and psyche and thus can say what kind of response the person’s psyche will give to certain circumstances.
Human mind is our very complex slave and its mastery is the key to a happy, peaceful and contented life.
A good psychologist can suggest many dos and don’ts to a person and can teach to live a conscious life in place of letting the unconscious to control the person’s thoughts, beliefs and actions.
There is reason that I have again and again written good psychologist/psychotherapist because like any other profession there are few not so good psychologists/psychotherapists too. A good psychologist can teach you to know, discover and discipline your mind to help you reach your full potential and live a peaceful existence.
A great psychologist will not make you dependent on him/her for long because his/her real job is to help you awaken the buddha inside you and help you become self sufficient in resolving your inner conflicts and be peaceful with life.
So next time when you are low, anxious, worried, aggressive, stressed or depressed, seek a good psychotherapist’s help and if you benefit from your interactions with him/her, make your therapist your regular ally and ask him/her to teach you mind management for life.
Adolescence brings with it one of the biggest concerns of an individual’s life and the easygoing young minds get all stressed out after the carefree school years get over, deciding about the future and in particular the choice of career for a bright future.
Why is it imperative to choose the right career option?
Let’s start by understanding what is career.
Career means profession, occupation, vocation, employment, work that people do to earn their living.
After spending the young, dependent on parents years of life everyone has to choose a vocation or profession and be employed and established in order to earn a living.
Starting a career is important because a person’s career makes him/her self dependent and in many ways independent .
Career gives a person freedom, identity, income, busy hours, a healthy and productive escape, purpose, reason to work hard, sometimes even life’s calling, sense of achievement, happiness, self satisfaction, a space to go to on daily basis and be one’s best self, the list is endless.
Career is important but more than career, choosing the right career is important. The job that you have to do daily for 30 to 40 prime years of your life, you need to love that job and be good at it.
Yes, these two are the most important criteria to keep in mind while choosing your ideal vocation.
One, choose something you would enjoy doing and second, you would be excellent or at least very good at doing.
The career option one chooses decides how successful (by being good at it) and satisfied (by being in love with it) one will be in the future. Of course our happiness depends upon many factors but a successful career or lack of it is a very crucial factor.
Choosing the right career is also super essential because it is this decision that decides what area of work you will be a part of, what kind of income you will earn, what your lifestyle will be, who you will marry, where you will live, what kind of friends you will have.
Almost every aspect of your life will be affected by the career option you choose today.
But it is not at all an easy task to choose the right career option out of the thousands of professions, businesses and jobs in this world. One can choose to become a doctor, an engineer, architect, fashion designer, corporate executive, chartered accountant, banker, teacher, scientist, journalist, writer, actor, cricketer, sportsman, salesman, business analyst, data analyst, policeman, civil servant, lawyer, environmentalist, activist, artist, entrepreneur, anything that he/she is interested to be. This is a very small list.
The options are endless and the barely 15 to 18 years olds have to decide any one of them. I am repeating that because the options are too many it is very difficult to opt one out and imagine the pressure of choosing that one best option perfectly.
Unfortunately, most people fail to choose the right option that fits them perfectly and then spend most of their prime years struggling with the work they are either not very brilliant at or do not enjoy doing or in worst cases both.
The luckiest people choose the ideal jobs for themselves and those people become the Gods of that chosen profession.
A perfect example is Sachin Tendulkar. He chose cricket at a very young age, never got detracted and probably nothing else would have worked that well for him.
How does one choose that one option that is exactly cut out for him?
Before I answer this understand, why do people end up choosing the wrong options.
Because their reasons for making choices are wrong. Some very common reasons or grounds on which this lifetime decision is taken are:
Peer pressure. “My friends are doing this, so I too will do this.” This is the most common mistake, making your choices under peer influences. The young minds do not realize that everyone is different in their abilities and interests.
Family pressure. In India, career selection is a family decision. Parents exert their strong opinions and beliefs and in many cases tell and make the child to do what they feel is right. In some cases they may not force their own wishes but might also not let them follow their heart.
Poor self awareness. In many cases the students don’t have any idea about their interests and abilities. At such a young age it is actually very difficult to expect them to know themselves well.
Lack of awareness of all the options. There are very few career options that adolescents and their parents are aware of. Everyone knows about doctors, engineers, C.A., lawyer, management and that is it. There are too many specialized, niche professions that may fit an individual perfectly but he/she might not have heard of them.
Limited school assessment. The school curriculum till tenth does not evaluate and assess many critical abilities like imagination, visualization, critical thinking, management skills, leadership, communication skills, creativity, out of the box thinking, etc. Rather school system assesses students on very limited parameters which are logically and linguistically. Hence students do not realize their potential for many new age professions and worst is if they lack on the school parameters they feel incapable of doing anything at all.
Selection based on marks. Worst is the students form their self esteem on the basis of their school performance and choose their career path on the basis of their poorly perceived and undermined self worth. It is possible that a very able student may get distracted and score less. After all adolescence is all about distractions.
Misconception that degrees make career. Degree courses are important as they give knowledge about the chosen field but career primarily requires skills and abilities. People think that by getting admission in a course a career in that profession will be ensured. But degrees can be a minimum required qualification and get someone an entry job but cannot ensure success in that job.
Then what should be the selection criteria?
It should be the inherent and/or acquired skills of the individual. Skills are primarily inherent and can also be acquired or enhanced.
A person has excellent, average or poor logical, linguistic, creative, musical, artistic, visual spatial, physical, musical, leadership, management, entrepreneurial and all types of skills by birth. Our education system merely helps in showcasing some of those skills.
By this I mean, a child born with excellent temporal cortex will excel in languages taught in school and the one with an average temporal cortex will be average in languages and communication.
Though a good education system can enhance and improve the skill but till it hardly does. That’s the reason some students are good in languages, some in mathematics and science and others in arts, sports, music or something else. After years of schooling no one excels at everything but only in a few areas because of inherent skills.
Irrespective of the source, it is the skill that is crucial for a job. And skills have very little to do with degrees.
This example will help you understand. In the old times when there weren’t any colleges and universities giving diploma and degree courses, there still existed all forms of occupations and professions.
The architects of Taj Mahal did not have a degree in architecture but possessed the skill to make the masterpiece with perfect arches and symmetry.
Similarly there were artists, philosophers, economists, inventors, physicians and all type of intellectuals and professionals and all without degrees but with skills that they knew how to put in use.
Every job requires certain skill set and all individuals have certain skill set. There is a right person for every job and there is a right job for every person. Right career selection is about finding the perfect fit.
Once you know what is your core skill or skills find the most suited professions that require those same skills. If there are many options, now see what are the options you are most interested in. Out of those options find the ones with maximum scope and monetary value and that is your right career option.
Education is important and comes to picture here. Now find out what all you have to study to get a start in that profession. Education gets you the entry and also teaches you the basics, terminology and all the theory and practical knowledge that is already there to learn about the profession. So take the education because it is available now.
The professionals of past did not have the chance to learn before starting a job and maybe learned by trial and errors while being on the job. Today you can acquire all the knowledge before starting a particular work. So education with the right skill can be your sure shot success formula.
There is one more self understanding that is required to make that perfect choice. Your psychology.
Each job is very good for people with certain psyche and can be equally miserable for the opposite type.
So a psychological assessment with skill assessment makes the selection criteria almost airtight.
So find out if you are an extrovert or an introvert, with a high or low emotional quotient, dominant or compliant in personality, a caring empathetic or a ruthless taskmaster, a rigid thinker or a flexible learner, an influential leader or a follower, stability seeker or a risk taker, emotionally charged or vulnerable, resilient or prone to anxiousness and self doubt.
A good psychological assessment can help you see yourself in a different light. A combination of your skills and your psychology or nature needs to find its perfect mould.
If you are not able to do it yourself, a very good career counselor can help you discover everything about yourself and make a fair choice.
A good career counselor does not just help you discover yourself and find the right fit but also mentors you to develop the right mindset to follow through.
Now remember one more crucial thing.
However diligently you choose your perfect fit today it may become imperfect in a few years time, because jobs and professions become obsolete and out of trend.
The jobs that are everyone’s dream today may not exist in 10 to 15 years from now and those you haven’t heard of today may become the most desired ones then.
Professions like event planners and managers, bloggers, you tubers, gamers, app developers, stylists, food and travel journalists, inspirational speakers, therapists, life coaches, yoga trainers, environmentalists, nutritionists and many more that are in vogue now weren’t even heard of 15 years back.
The same will happen in 10 years and new professions and industries will be born.
You too will become wiser in all those years and may consider switching from the now so diligently chosen career to the new job on the block. It will happen to many of you as professions are evolving everyday and there will be jobs which will suit your future evolved self even more perfectly.
Don’t hesitate to make the leap and be a pioneer in that industry because now the growth stories are not vertical anymore. They are about adapting and evolving and starting from scratch as a pioneer and wearing many hats.
Thanks to the fast paced world we live in businesses start and become multi billion ventures in months and get acquired by a bigger player in another few months.
So today plan your beginning of the career on the basis of the skills you have and keep investing in your skills that will help you again to adapt, learn, evolve and reassess and reselect when the time comes again.
Today you are choosing a career and one day a new career will choose you. Grow your perspective, be well read, become a master of your skill and keep discovering new applications of your skills.