Life Lessons: In Retrospect
Since times immemorial, sages on their stages, personality development gurus, globally recognized motivational speakers, coaches and a host of other experts have been trying their level best to enrich us with precise guidance for the elusive recipe of SUCCESS. Each one of them has his/her own version of Do’s and Don’t that they expect the throngs to follow.
The situation gets out of hand when laws of human interaction take over and make us forget most of the lecture even before we exit the large Convention Hall with its expensive chandeliers, ornate light fittings & fixtures, and the ultra-comfy chairs.
Unfortunately, I do not feel confident enough to claim my membership in the above group of intelligentsia. What makes me say that?
I am a “Guide by Your Side, Not a Sage on the Stage,” that is why!
It is not my intention to show disrespect to anyone by any means. However, the point revolves around the real aim of the convention by itself. Is it real development of the attendees in a measurable way? In most cases, unfortunately, the organizers get richer by thousands of dollars with not much to show for the poor hapless individual. His/her only take-away is to keep attending such events at frequent intervals to keep momentum going. They equate such gatherings to the same significance in life as taking a shower everyday to stay fresh. Do you agree? Sorry, I do not and I say it categorically!
Taking a shower is a matter of personal hygiene. Motivation MUST come from within. It requires introspection, self-realization, all-round assessment vis-à-vis. possibilities, and opportunities. You can only get truly motivated upon setting a goal, no matter how ludicrous, but there must be a goal for you to chart a course. As you take steps towards your goal, motivation starts taking roots.
There can never be any motivation in the absence of a target to achieve. Compare this scenario to taking a bath and what do you get other than feeling fresh? Well I leave it your better judgement!
True momentum comes in life by changing our perception and acting differently. It gets nourishment by our accountability so we could make necessary adjustments at the nick of time. It brings rewards when we overcome challenges and forge ahead.
Here is the first one in a series of Life Lessons that I learned. I would love to share the same with anyone willing to go beyond the norm:
Out of the so many extremely challenging, ultra-formidable and unimaginatively difficult situations that I managed to not only survive but also put them to use so I could thrive, I like to call the first one: Winging!
STOP WINGING: ‘Winging’ means having no written goals or plans; going without knowing where you are, where you intend to go and how you are going to get there without a road map, without a compass and without a guide. It is a universally acknowledged fact that action without planning is no better than inaction.
Who are you to tell me how I should live my life?
Why do we do things that we need to look back upon and regret?
When exactly is a good time for us to decide what we should do in a given situation?
What makes us think we have every right not to face the consequences of our actions or lack thereof?
Where can we find answers to some of the most difficult questions that we face in our lives because of others’ actions?
In my struggle for survival, I had to devise plans on an almost daily basis and then adjust them per the need of a given situation. This taught me to be resilient, be at my creative best at all times, to be always goal oriented, and to take all challenges as thorns in a rose bush.
Adversity taught me some of the most important lessons in life, not because I was a gifted child, not because I was looking for ways out of difficult situations, also not because I was a meritorious student. On the contrary, I had no choice but to learn all those lessons. My family situation did not permit me any luxuries with ‘time,’ the most precious, and irreplaceable resource Mother Nature has given us.
Another thing I did differently was learning from the mistakes of others. To be born the youngest of seven siblings, I had the unique distinction of observing the antics, the habits, the mistakes, and the good deeds of my older brothers and sisters. That was an added bonus on top of the guidance from my parents and others outside of the immediate family. The mistakes they did saved me a lot of aggravation and disappointment as I could change my course prior to hitting any roadblock.
I never allowed defeats, failures, challenges and negativity of the surrounding naysayers stick to me. I kept forging ahead, same as a valiant soldier with the ‘Motto of Life’ engraved on his forehead: “Keep Forging Ahead, Victory Shall Soon Find You!”
I learned how to Dream lofty dreams and then wrote them down. I took yet another crucial step in sharing the same with minimum one other person whom I dearly loved, liked, or respected. What made me do that? I wanted to become answerable. You see, just writing down the goal is not the ‘Mantra’ by itself. Hold yourself answerable before someone else too, not just yourself!
I learned to keep track of my surroundings with the intention to identify what I liked most about it, what made me hate it the most, what I changes I would like to see in there and what is it that I can change myself without depending upon others
I made every possible effort to identify the route map that would take me to my goal with least possible resistance
I laid bare and critically analyzed my inventory of the tools that I might require on this long and arduous journey and what else I needed to acquire before getting to the point of no return
Most important of all, I reposed complete faith in my guide who had been there and accomplished an almost exact feat not once, not twice but a number of times and with astounding success each time!
‘Fortunate are those that have great guides; successful are the one that follow them to the ‘T’!