Note: In this post, word ‘entrepreneur’ represents both genders. It is just that as a man, I found it more comfortable to write from my perspective, and with related pronouns.
Entrepreneurship is like licking honey from tip of a knife. Along with honey, you end up having the taste of your own blood.
Today marks the day when many years back, I conceived for the first time…I mean….we embarked on our entrepreneurial journey. And what a coincidence! The other day someone asked “Why do most of entrepreneurs don’t succeed?” And my answer was “…because we still don’t appreciate emotional-ecosystem essential for an entrepreneur”.
Let me explain what I mean by ‘emotional ecosystem’…
Well! When a man gets pregnant with an idea, his behavior is no different from that during natural pregnancy. He becomes extra sensitive. He has mood fluctuations. He becomes allergic to a few things and too fond of some others. He becomes oblivious to the world and still conscious of himself. He wants attention and becomes demanding.
He thinks of names. He gets up in the middle of the night. He becomes anxious for the safety of that ‘new life’. He tends to get insecure when he thinks what he has left for this. His self-esteem gets into a sine-wave. He becomes more attentive to other people’s brainchildren. His schedule goes for a toss. His priorities change. And the list continues…
And then he goes through labor pain; and when he delivers, there is a satisfaction of bringing a new life to the world. However, next few years are even more hectic, because what was in conception now becomes an entity in itself. So, next phase of struggle begins…
People don’t understand that just the way it is important to empathize and accommodate with a biologically pregnant person; …someone ‘pregnant with an idea’ needs the similar and equal care.
“You Only Live Once! So go for it! Kal Ho Naa Ho…”
is one line that is beautiful, creative, motivational, and also… misleading.
The other day, I overheard someone saying this line. And I so much wished I could tell him that ‘you don’t live only once’, actually “You die only once”. So there would be only one day in your life when there would be no tomorrow. Otherwise ‘Kal hoga’ – and you got to prepare for it today.
Well! That’s the problem with a lot of people. Be it a relationship or a work, these days people go into overdrive. In the desire to keep it ‘hip and happening’, people live on ‘extremes’, because peaks are appealing…fascinating…pleasurable. It is a sexy cool way to approach life; but with side-effects.
Once all the fizz is gone, they find the normalness dull and boring. They again crave for that emotional ‘high’. They want to feel alive and kicking. But when does any high last? So, then the disappointment starts. Now, the following ‘low’ feels lower than it is. And it all crumbles…
At extreme, mere pleasure lies! Real happiness can only be found in ‘balance’.
It is immensely painful when someone close doesn’t understand how you are feeling…
It is strange, isn’t it…that there are so many people in your life who don’t empathize with you in your low phase but you don’t feel that bad. And then there is someone close whose emotional-unavailability makes you feel lonely - probably because you expected that person to instinctively understand the unsaid…
Now, in order to bring that person’s attention, you begin to do all sorts of things – you either behave oddly…or stop talking…or speak indirectly…or avoid completely…or create a scene needlessly…or even go directly and plead.
Well! You eventually succeed in catching the eyeballs. But in the process, you lose your valuable self-esteem. So you start to feel even worse. Already hurt, now you are also devoid of the ‘saving grace’ that you had. As a result, you now feel weak and worthless.
And that’s when the real suffering starts.
It’s amazing how, when you are hurt, your close ones can either heal you for better or… hurt you for worse.
You fall in love with the way someone looks, smiles or talks; but you can only stay in love for the way a person thinks, behaves and listens.
In relationships, once the physics runs its course, the chemistry takes over.
Yes! During a day, as you look at each other on numerous occasions, you don’t look to appreciate the beauty of each other’s face. You look to receive feedback, approval, empathy or just that pleasurable feeling of connectedness.
In such moments, it is not ‘how that face is’ but ‘what that face shows’ that decides how you feel. Well! Those moments define the texture of your relationship – which further translates into your fulfillment level and eventually the ‘quality of your life’.
That’s when a ‘beautiful blank face’ becomes difficult to bear, or an ‘average feel-good face’ becomes simply irresistible.
Yes! In relationships, you can’t keep looking at each other. After sometime, you begin to look for something.
I can see your jaw getting stiff…your breathing getting heavier…your chest heaving…your fists tightening up…your arms flexing…your nostrils flaring…your head beginning to ache.
But then I can also see what all is there to lose…what all is there to save…what is at stake.
So stay quiet. Just take a deep breath and swallow the ripples of irritation that you can feel rising towards throat. Start thinking about something else – anything – just don’t react.
I know it is tough. But you always had a chance to walk out of this, yet you chose to stay for reasons which will sound silly to someone else but are important to you.
I can feel that the force is strong enough to make you burst at the seams, but hold on. You have already put in the hard yards…now don’t ruin all the hard work that has gone into it.
Patience boy…patience; not just because you can’t afford to fail, but also because…this too shall pass.
Forget about understanding or misunderstanding, at times you question your ‘standing’ in a relationship…
You begin to wonder – where do you stand…how important are you? You feel as if you are actually being taken for granted. You can sense that the other person’s focus is elsewhere, and you feature lower in the list of priorities. But you wait because you have been promised that everything will soon be the way it used to be between you two.
To be honest, a part of you wants to confront… to demand what you think you deserve in the relationship. You want to ask the awkward questions, you want to say the hard things. But you don’t. Because deep down inside you have faith that it is just a phase. It will pass.
Well! There are times when your faith is proven to be right. But you never know. You could well be left stranded – punished for patience.
Still, in any case, you have to remember that it was your choice; and you can’t blame the other person.
In life, there are times when you adjust because there is something you want to save – a relationship…an association… or an arrangement.
So, you adjust, and then adjust more – to avoid confrontation… to ‘not hurt someone’… to let it pass… to ‘not create a scene’… to maintain dignity… to give another chance… to respect what is at stake… or probably to avoid exploding and letting out your own worse side.
This goes on. And then one day, you look at yourself and go absolutely numb… you can’t recognize the person in the mirror… you can’t even recall who you originally were… what was it like to be your own self… who were you really at the core. That day, a realization dawns upon you…
…that you have adjusted successfully to save ‘that something’…
…but have ended up losing something more important – You.
At times, ‘getting away’ is better than ‘getting out’.
In relationship problems, ‘dialogue is important for diagnosis’. But when dialogue becomes a debate and starts moving towards a dispute, then I firmly recommend that ‘distance can be equally effective for diagnosis’. In other words, when casual confrontations start taking magnitudes of continuous conflicts then rather than a break-up, it is good to simply take a break.
It gives an opportunity to take stock of the situation with objectivity, and to see the relationship in a new light – with lightness of a beginner. It also helps one introspect, away from the heat of someone breathing down one’s neck all the time. Most importantly, this way, one is also able to see life beyond that one relationship, and connect that piece with other pieces in the puzzle.
More often than not, after that break, people return more balanced. However, if the rut continues endlessly, then just remember…
…on any day, breaking up is better than…breaking down.
In future, the biggest problem in relationships would be… overexposure.
What people don’t realize is that “love begins in your presence, but it grows in your absence”. And these days, people are constantly in touch, through every possible medium. They are not giving each other any opportunity to miss each other.
The truth is that in love, you also fall in love with your image of your beloved. But it can only happen when there is a scope for imagination. Now, the relationships are far too stimulated. And when you carry each other everywhere, you run a risk of becoming a burden than a pleasure.
So, save the charm in a relationship…
…as it’s damaging to overdo things that one is supposed to do over a period of time!
The way you relate to people depends a lot on who you relate them with.
When you see someone, you subconsciously also see someone else in him or her. And that shapes your connect…
For instance, you might dislike someone because you find glimpses of your dominating parent, your bully sibling, your gossiping aunt, a teacher who didn’t select you for drama, a friend who ditched you, a boss who stole your credit, a cousin you were always compared with; or even the imaginary baba quoted by elders in your childhood. The list is endless…
Similarly, you might like someone because you find glimpses of your caring parent, supportive sibling, an encouraging uncle, a teacher who complimented, a stranger who helped you selflessly, an ex you miss, a loved one you lost or ‘wanted but never had’; and even your favorite actor, or lovable character from novel or serial. Again, list has no end…
Yes! The mind rewinds and reminds. Stay cognizant of this fact in relationships.