optimism, Personal Excellence

You can defy and define the darkness like a candle

One of the worries as individuals or employees or as entrepreneurs, we come across is people who appreciate you with resentment. Let’s make a positive assumption that, they are not doing it on purpose. They are neither unkind nor mean. But this is common, amongst some peers, collegues or employees. We get pulled down on these thoughts. Sometimes, they eat into our productivity. It costs us a day. The question that immediately arises, how can we avoid these thoughts?

The first and foremost is acceptance of the people as they are. Once we know, that we have people like that around us , let’s accept them as they are. Because, the moment we delve into these thoughts, we can sense

  1. A kind of anger grows inside us
  2. We feel being cornered.
  3. We start to worry too much.
  4. We start to think how they have taken us for granted and drive us in a direction of becoming resentful like them.

What these kinds of thoughts leads us into? They ultimately destroys the peace inside us. We don’t give much of eye contact. We don’t show the good gesture towards them, when we happened to meet them. The best way to overcome is the candle’s philosophy of sharing is caring. I would like to narrate a story which I heard as a kid.

Quote by Dalai Lama

It was a stormy night. There was a little hut at the end of the street. In the hut stayed a father along with his cute little daughter. His daughter’s name was Anisha. As they were in dark, the father, went in search of matchstick. Once he returned, he lit a candle. It was so bright. The hut was glowing by the light from one little candle. Suddenly there was a thunder strike. Anisha, hearing the sudden sound screamed. The lightning was so bright, she was scared. As the wind blew in their little hut, the candle light flew off. Her father, again lit the candle.

Anisha, asked “Father, why do you light only one candle? We have so many, why don’t you light all?”

The father said, “This is the best of all the candles”.

She asked “how?”

The father replied, “This candle is called as Hope. The one which can hold on against all challenges and be positive to believe that the storm will stop”.

Anisha, asked “Okie Father. If it is hope, they why can’t we lit all other candles at the same time”.

The father replied “Only when there is hope, all other things can exist. Without hope, nothing can prevail in this storm”.

He further added “The candle of hope, can show us to have faith in what we believe. As we have faith, it shows love and empathy. It guide’s you to peace. With peace, comes joy and happiness. Fulfillment and serenity. Acknowledgement and acceptance. Forgiveness and fortitude. Thus be a candle of hope. Once you be the guiding force as hope, you can light all the candles and make it bright for all the one’s you meet in your life.”

Anisha, believed and lived as a candle of hope.

As in the story above, let us be a candle of hope. Let’s believe, in our work of excellence. It cannot be ridiculed by resentful people. Let’s be positive and build ourself forward with a smile. An assurance that we will with stand the stormy nights as a candle of hope.

When we become the candle of hope, we can defy the darkness. We can define and light up, thee dark spaces. We as candle of hope, be as the light to show the light for the hopeless, the broken, the resentful, the painful people. The best way, is to keep doing our work of excellence. Let the excellence speak for itself. That will fill the world with hope. And us too. As a candle of hope, we never loose anything by lighting other candles.

optimism, Personal Excellence

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines

How many times, have you across this statement? But why is that every time, when you face a problem, you always feel much worried. You sometimes get into fear zone, you get anxious and sometimes you belittle yourselves. One of the reason, is you overestimate the problem. The ability which you have, to solve a problem is far more greater than, the problem itself. Most of the occasion, the reason you fear a problem is because of uncertainty paradox, the problem possess at that point in time. So how do we navigate through any problem. I would call it as APPLE approach. For each of the state I will try and relate a scenario, which can be of close relevance. Help you to look at the problem from a different angle and use them as a guidelines to navigate it.

The Apple approach involves the following

  1. Acceptance
  2. Puzzle
  3. Perception
  4. Learning
  5. Engage

Acceptance – The first and foremost is when you face a problem, face the problem. At the first instance, accept to yourself that you are in a problematic situation. Hiding away or disowning the problem, is not going to elude you away from problem. It’s only going to make it worse. Let’s assume, you have lost the job. You have credit card dues to be paid. You are slipping on your payments. But when the credit collection guy follows up with you relating to the payment, not picking the call is going to mount internal pressure on you. At the other end, the call agent is going to record that, you haven’t taken the call multiple times. The best way is to accept the situation, accept the reality and accept the fact that you will not be able to pay it this month. Once, you have accepted it, you can handle the call better rather than getting panicked about the call.

We cannot change anything, unless we accept it

Carl Jung

Puzzle – Once you accept the problem, you will get to know there are many puzzles that exist with the problem. There are many unanswered questions. Proceed one step at a time. Acceptance bring you a clarity as to what is that you can act upon immediately. Relating to the same example of job loss, the acceptance of the problem, make you to think what is that you need to do? One step at a time, whom you can reach out to seek help to refer you for a job, where you can apply or how can you quickly adopt yourself, to engage in a part time work.

Thus, you would have realized, the puzzles started to pave ways, when you started to work on what is in hand at that point in time. Anything will still remain a puzzle, if it is after 1 week or a month or even a year. Hence, focus on the current point in time activity, so that you are not puzzled and struck because of the problem.

Remember, even the hardest puzzles have a solution.

Perception – The moment you get into a problem, you face fear. The fear leads to bad visualization of something that’s not in existence. It implants in your head a visual which you get worried much about. This is not even in existence in the first place. Hence, start to perceive positivity. Think positively, how the situation can turn around. Think, what if the rental owner accepts my request for delayed rent payment for the next couple of months. Visualize the same. You would be surprised for sure, how this can turn the course of the events.

It’s not so easy to build positive visualization at tough times. But the speciality, is that the positive visualization acts far more stronger during tiring times. They send those positive vibes of energy around you. The energy around us reflects the vibe what we carry. You would realize whenever you are happy, you carry a positive vibe while when you are sad, you carry a negative vibe. Practice it. Associate yourself with positive vibes. Always bounce back swiftly and quickly like a tennis ball.

Thoughts become perception. Perception becomes reality.

Learning – Every problem is placed in front of you to teach you a lesson. You cannot really know what’s the future would be for you. However, you can plan, how the future has to unfurl itself. The best way, is to carry the learnings from the problems. When you slip on credit card payments, it gives a clear lesson that you spend more than you earn and we don’t control those unplanned purchase. However, this would also teach you, the better you start to save, you would be in better position to face the challenges. That’s the lesson. Start saving.

Every problem when it occurs, can also show you who helped you; the books that inspired you; that dialogue from the movie which pushed you to act; the Starbucks delivery person, who passed on a smile on your worst day, to cheer you up. Look into every bit of activity in those tough times, and each would be an act of kindness, love and support you would have received. Do pay it forward with good gesture, because you would never knew, when you might need it for yourself.

Learning is so wonderful, when it’s from our own life experiences, because we can be mentors to the one who faces it.

Engage – Finally, once you had faced the problem and came out of it do engage yourself to move yourself forward. Don’t be holding on to the same forever. This relates when you loose someone in your life. When you miss your loved one, due to unforeseen situation, it takes time to recover. Take your time. But never hold on there. Because, you might be that light for someone, whose candle is yet to be lit. Gather your hope. Build your strength. Engage yourself again with this beautiful world. Every loss cannot be answered with a purpose. But we can build a purpose out of it, to ensure we can be a guiding force to someone.

“When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.”  -Barbara Bloom
Image source – pin interest https://bit.ly/2TU0Ilg

You can turn out to be a transformation agent for someone out there. You are never alone in your problem. There are so many people out there similar to you. The only thing is that, you don’t know who they are. Advance yourself with optimism. Embrace it. Be empathetic, so your compassion can help someone. Consider the experience as a thread stitching your broken pieces together. Something similar to Japanese kintsugi – meaning golden repair. In Japanese art of kintsugi, the broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. Embrace and engage. Believe once you sail through a problem, you would be far more different, matured and glowing as like this kintsugi. For your information, everyone in this world is a kintsugi. Some glow, because they share; mostly others don’t. Let you be that candle. A candle that looses nothing by lighting other candles.

optimism, Personal Excellence, Teamwork

Repeat your thoughts to actions

Actions speak louder than words. The phrase that we had heard multiple times. The phrase that had grown with us, irrespective of our understanding about the same. Have you ever looked into your actions? What made you to act? What pushed you to perform a task?

As you deep dive into this, you would understand that, its your thoughts. Think about a simple scenario. Cleaning of your house. There is an upcoming long holiday. You would have said to yourself, that you would clean the house during that time. You would have repeated the same with your family members or friends, whomever you share you accommodation with. If you had been staying alone, like me, you would say it to yourself.

When the holiday comes, you would feel bit lazy. You would think, let me do it tomorrow. But suddenly, when you think that you would clean the house, which you had said to yourself, you quickly swing into action. The action is a result of your repeated thoughts. Thus, once you had cleaned your house, you feel a sense of fulfillment. It clearly proves, that when you repeat your thoughts again and again, it gets into action. This remains the same across any field. In a relationship, the heated arguments happen just because of the repeated thoughts that ran in our brain. That’s the reason, we burst out one fine day. Similarly, politicians and media uses the same strategy to repeat their agenda or advertisement again and again. This gets registered and connected in our life as thoughts. When there is a call to action like supporting a cause or buying a product, these thoughts quickly push us to action. Thats when you buy a specific brand of chocolate or that ticket to support a cause.

When you have a work to do or task to complete, visualize the same as an end result. How that task would benefit you or your office upon completion? How much workload for that, day would have got reduced. The moment you happened to do so, you would have realised that the one which you procrastinated during the first half of the day, you would start to work in the second half post that coffee. We attribute it to the coffee, which made you brisk to complete the task. But actually, it’s the thought that got that spark in your subconscious mind to get the job done. Coffee was just an instrument. Had you been drinking tea, it would have been tea too.

Your only limit is your thoughts. The way you think, defines your action.

optimism, Personal Excellence, Professional Growth

Choose your stage

In our life, we dream a lot. We dream about becoming an entrepreneur. We dream about becoming the CEO. We dream about becoming a writer, an artist and many more. Dreams are the visions. As famous past president of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam says, 

“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep”

These dreams are visions. The reason they are visions because those are just wish. Occasionally, when you watch your favorite author, you wish one day you shall turnout to be an author. The same way, you see your friend who is an entrepreneur, you wish yourself that you can also become one in near future. As long as they are just wish, the dreams remain far fetched. Because, whenever you happened to hear your favorite author’s speech or meet up with your entrepreneur friend, you happened to wish. When you have this kind of vision, you are in stage 1.

In order to move from stage 1, of vision to make it a possibility, you need to envision it. Envision is all about visualizing yourself in that wish. Visualizing yourself as an author. Visualizing yourself as an entrepreneur. You relish yourself in the view of how you as an author, would give the speech. Probably sharing a smile on your face wholeheartedly, when you sign an autograph. Visualizing yourself as an effective boss for your team. When you have these repeated visualization, you have started to get immersed in these thoughts. There are sparks inside you, pushing you to capture some elements of the visualization, like what would you name your business?; or what would be the title of your first book. When you started to capture these details, make those notes you are in stage 2.

When you had started to list down the names for your business or started to write those pages for your book, you are already entering the execution stage. Execution is all about making things happen. Turning your dreams to reality. Going from vision to victory. The execution of turning dream into reality will not be an easy task. But your passion will keep you active, as like the oil to the lamp in the midnight. You will burn through multiple nights, rigorous focus on solid goal of realizing your dreams. That’s stage 3.

Now, view yourself in which stage you are. Push it forward to the next stage. If you are on stage 3, have you attained the desired result of what you visualized at the first go. Build the fountain of energy to make it happen. Sow the seeds of workmanship so as to bloom soon. 

As a poem line in Tamil language goes, 

What you sow in the west, will shine as Sun in the east. 

Be the one to shine.