Monday, March 23, 2015

When wisdom sounds like a cliché

Have you come across situations where you find yourself in no mood to take any advice? When no words of wisdom seemed to comfort you? The theme of this post is to share some of my thoughts on dealing with such situations. A lot of these come from my experiences (so do not assume them to be unbiased) and some lessons I learned - not while going through those rough times but once I get through them and look back. You're not wrong if you are thinking that this article is no less than a piece of advice and so if you are not in a mood for it now, I know that feeling. I hear you!

#1: First of all, accept that you are going through a rough patch. At least acknowledge that inside your heart. You may not want to share your problem with people outside and this can be for any reason. May be you do not have the right set of people around, it may be because you like to take time before sharing your problems or any other reason for that matter. Sometimes we tend to enter into a denial phase where in our attempt to be bold and strong, we try to believe that the situation is not that hard.

#2: We hear this phrase very often -'Everything happens for good'. Over the time, I have started to believe in a slightly different version of this which goes like:- 'Everything happens for a reason'. This may sound like a pessimist tone but it is not. My logic behind adopting this variation is that when I tell myself that everything that has happened is for something better in the future; I tend to create a sense of expectation and hope based on my definition of what is *good*. As an example, let's consider a situation, where you apply for an interview and things do not turn out your way. Someone may tell you that do not worry and that may be you have a better job waiting for you. You see what just happened? I created a hope (if not consciously, then in my subconscious mind) that I'm going to make it to a job higher in my list than the one where I just interviewed for. You can draw a parallel to this example with possibly every situation in your life. 
        Now, let's look at the perspective which says - 'Everything happens for a reason'. First of all, you are embracing what has happened in its current and raw form.  Without coating it with any dream and imagination about how things will turn out in future. Without labeling it as good or bad. This feeling is liberating and can also empower you to sit back and may be reflect on the outcome. You may be able to identify some things that you would like to change before you try again next time. Or you may even reach the conclusion that this was indeed a strong or best attempt from your side. So, it may be a matter of time. When the destined time will come, it will work or destiny will weave another path for you to follow. But a word of caution with this ideology is that we need to be honest to ourselves to say that we did try our best. 

#3: Other strategy that can be helpful is to be alone for some time. This gives one a chance to calm and silence or at least slow down one's thoughts. I no longer need to pretend to be happy or at least as if everything is going normal. What I have learned over time (have not yet put into practice) is that talking about problems over and over is only going to make you feel worse. You may want to talk about it with someone (to seek advice or just to vent out your feelings) and that is perfectly fine. In fact one needs to do that to some extent otherwise it can weigh very heavy on your heart and sap you of all your energy. But after sometime, if you find yourself repeating it and especially when deep down your heart you know that there is nothing new in what you are going to say and sometimes we also know that the other person can not help much, then I feel it's better to be quiet. I think that when we repeat our problems, we are creating negative energy for none other than but our mind, body and soul. Our energy that should go towards finding solution or may be just to maintain our sanity, it is instead flowing towards these negative thoughts. Thoughts such as - "I cannot do this", "If this thing does not work out, X, Y, Z in the future, all of those will fall apart and so on". 

I have to admit that I am not immune to failures. I still struggle to stay strong when faced with repeated failed attempts. But when I sit back and think with a calm mind, what keeps me going is to see myself trying towards emerging stronger and wiser.

-- Dippy
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