I don’t believe in new year resolutions. But, I do believe in reflecting. I opened my diary, to see how the year went by. 2016 was a challenging year. If I could use two words to describe this year they would be – stress & anxiety. There was a lot I wished didn’t happen. But, I’ve learnt a lot too. We already ‘know’ a lot on how to deal with life. But, we don’t understand them until we are actually ready. And, nothing readies us like a few knocks (or blows) to the head. Lessons that I take with me into the new year:
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
What do you do when you are afraid all the time? When you feel the world out there is waiting to get you? When you feel, people are rooting for your failure? When you have to cope up with failed dreams, dreams that laugh at your face, taunting you? When the person in you is constantly berating you? What do you do when all you can do is stand by and watch your confidence plummet and anxiety & stress increase? What do you do when you have to handle all this internally and yet show up to work with a smile on your face, ’cause you have continue to make a living? when you have to laugh with your family in order not to worry them?
If you want security, you’d have to forgo passion.
If you want passion, you’d have to forgo security.
If you want to tuck your child-in at night, read stories to them while sleeping, you’d have to let go working late nights at work.
If you want career development which entails working a lot, you’d have to forgo personal time.
If you want to buy the latest gadget, you’ll have nothing in your savings.
If you want savings, you won’t have the latest gadget.
If you are ambitious, always looking at the next mountain to scale, you’ll never be content.
If you are content, you’ll never look at the next mountain to climb.
Life is all about trade offs. You cannot have it all and no matter what we choose there’ll be regrets. And, the path we choose determines how our life ultimately turns out to be.
This year hasn’t been great to me. In fact, I think the downward spiral started a little close to last year. Without getting into details let’s just say, things did not at all work out as I wanted them to, either physically or emotionally, personally or professionally. I fell sick time and again, I was always in emotional doldrums with some or the other concern on my mind. This year, has been a year of learning, a year of recognising limitations, a year of acceptance of fate, a year of being humbled. Sometimes, the feeling of failure was so crushing that life ran on autopilot for days. I did not want answers. Every situation taught me something new. I wanted peace. I just wanted the noise in my head to stop. This lead me to some interesting places.
He who does not travel,
who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
Over the last two months, I’ve been thinking a lot (I’m a thinking man after all, aren’t I?), some based on what I read, and some on what I’m going through. All worth sharing:
Silence – The curse of the wise is to keep quiet. When we know something, the natural tendency is to speak out, help the other person. But, if the student is not ready, it would be water on a duck’s back. Life has to bring us to a point where we are open to learning. Till then, wisdom of words is just hogwash to anyone. Look at ‘Gurus’. They don’t run after disciples. They only preach to those who come to them. Look at books, they lie on your shelf till you come to them. They never come to you. The teacher should appear only when the student is ready. Need to change has to be realised internally, it cannot be forced onto anyone.