Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Is Every Advice Useful?

Nowadays, we can get advice from anywhere and everywhere. It need not be from meeting someone in person but the digital world offers numerous other sources as well - blogs, videos, articles, forums. I myself read a lot of articles and I'm very fond of watching interviews. Over the course of time, I have found that while some set of advice may be absolute in nature in terms of whether it applies universally to every person regardless of his or her current situation. Guiding someone on the importance of honesty or being kind to others. This is the behavior that each one of us would like to conform with.

The question that I raised in my post here is in the context of another set - which may work for some people but not for everyone. The same advice of following your heart and choosing a career that you you feel passionate about may not be possible for someone who is really trying to make ends meet and so on. As another example - we all understand and read about the importance of perseverance. Keep trying, don't give up and eventually you'll succeed. But Albert Einstein also said: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid". 

So, right there, we saw an example of two pieces of advice. Each of them accurate in their own respect but if you place them next to each other, it makes you wonder. The first one is telling you not to quit until you succeed while the later also calls for paying attention to the feasibility of the goal in terms of your capacity and abilities. The second one may seem to be more practical, but the way I look at this is the following: If I only concentrate on the later one, the chances of quitting and giving up will become higher because mind does creates a sense of fear in struggling times. Confronted with some tough situation, we can easily create self-deflating thoughts and feelings of self-doubt. We can begin questioning ourselves about our abilities. 

I agree with both bits of advice. But to answer and respond to the sense of conflict, I try to balance them off. I have started to realize that everyone's capacity is different. A quality or habit may come naturally to someone while for some other people it may require significant amount of effort to cultivate it. If someone is really disturbed or hurt, the same advice that he or she would have nodded to may not be that easy to accept. Things can differ based on person's life's circumstances. 

My take on whether every bit of advice is useful and accurate is that in an ideal situation, yes it is. But that's not how life goes - ideal! So, I would think that as long as we are honest to ourselves, it is not wise to beat ourselves too hard in following some principle or advice only because at the core, we may know that it IS actually right but you do not have the capacity at the current moment at least to adopt it. Give yourself some time, decide which pieces to pick up at the current moment, make sure to revisit the ideas with a calm mindset and you will be able to resolve the conflicts in your mind clearly.

I wonder if you are going to buy my advice here?! :) Look at it as my opinion and I'd be happy to know yours. 

- Dippy

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Self-discipline - Art of overriding our minds

You have set some goals and are determined to pursue them. Started to work towards them. Got success one day and feel super motivated to work harder and keep going. But then, on another fine day, something happens and you don't feel like doing it. May be you are tired or running low on confidence in your abilities. Your feelings at that moment offer enough reasons to allow yourself to digress from what you had once decided. You choose to go with how you are feeling and put off the task for sometime telling yourself that you will come back to it. What just happened? I would say the race between self-discipline vs. motivation has just begun. 

Self-Discipline involves giving higher importance to what you think or have once decided is important and not how you feel about it in the moment. 

Now one may wonder that if someone is not motivated or passionate about working on something, then how can you push yourself. You will do it halfheartedly and then results will not pan out. Yes and no. I think motivation is the main factor when you are in the goal setting phase. Asking yourself if it is worth doing? Why do you want to do it. What if things do not go exactly the way you expect. Are you ready to still take the risk? Answers to all these questions will come through the level of motivation. However, motivation is fleeting. It will come and go once you start working towards your goals based on your current situation. But self-discipline is sustainable.

You will face challenges. They will vary in degree for different people. But what is important to remember is that during these hard times, it is the self-discipline that will pull us through that phase. Self-discipline is when you do not let your feelings at a particular moment in time dominate your vision. Motivation fails to help at those low points in life. Our self talk tends to be weak. But the principles we had made at the first place and our dedication to stick to them is what is going to make all the difference. 

How to cultivate this trait? Whenever I find my self-discipline being tested, this is what I repeat to my myself: - When one gets success, anyone will feel motivated to do more and keep going. Practicing discipline may seem hard at this point but I will feel good and empowered afterwards. So, sometimes it does becomes important to tell our mind to just shut up!

I hope you enjoyed the post. 

- Dippy

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ordinary..yet special

Came across this scene today morning.  Found it very beautiful.

Pedestrians have right of way!

As I saw them from a distance, slowed down the car and stopped. The way all of them were moving at their own pace and  cars from both directions stopped to yield way - I just smiled looking at them and then quickly took this picture. 

There wasn't anything spectacular I guess? But somehow I found that moment of waiting for them and watching them cross the road very amusing and thought of sharing!

- Dippy