Secret of an all-season valentine!

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.     

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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.

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Yes! In relationships, you can’t keep looking at each other. After sometime, you begin to look for something. :-)

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Patience boy…patience.

Patience boy…patience.   

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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.

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Patience boy…patience; not just because you can’t afford to fail, but also because…this too shall pass.

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It will be fine naa?

Forget about understanding or misunderstanding, at times you question your ‘standing’ in a relationship…

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You begin to wonder – where do you standhow 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 strandedpunished for patience.

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Still, in any case, you have to remember that it was your choice; and you can’t blame the other person.

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Side-effects of adjusting in life…

In life, there are times when you adjust because there is something you want to save – a relationship…an association… or an arrangement.

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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 savethat something’…

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…but have ended up losing something more important – You.

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Baby let’s take a break..

At times, ‘getting away’ is better than ‘getting out’.

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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…

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…on any day, breaking up is better than…breaking down.

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I miss missing you…

In future, the biggest problem in relationships would be… overexposure.

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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…

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…as it’s damaging to overdo things that one is supposed to do over a period of time! :-)

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Why you like or dislike someone for no reasons…

The way you relate to people depends a lot on who you relate them with.

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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…

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Yes! The mind rewinds and reminds. Stay cognizant of this fact in relationships.

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A Zentastic advice for the New Year!

Absence of bad habits doesn’t make you good; it is the presence of good habits that makes you good!   

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I have seen people who wake up early, but don’t know how to utilize the extra hours they have earned by doing so; or people who never get late, but are seldom well-prepared; or people who don’t hurt anybody, but also can’t motivate anyone either; or people who don’t cut corners, but also can’t prioritize; or people who don’t have any addiction, but also don’t have any direction.

…and then, there are people for whom, all those sentences can be reversed.

Yes! It’s the ‘good’, and not the ‘not bad’, that decides how good you are. And don’t get me wrong! Of course, bad habits are bad; because they hurt the longevity of success and happiness. However, what’s wrong is ‘judging someone’s eligibility for success on the basis of their bad habits’.

So, to all those people who cringe every time they see a ‘morally incorrect’ or a ‘socially deviant’ person achieving success and happiness, I have a request…

Stop sulking! Just remember, you see the dark spots of moon, because of the brightness it has”. :-)

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And for those, who still didn’t get the point, here is one of my favorite Zen stories:

A Zen teacher partied with students – drinking sake (a type of alcohol) till late in the night – and then rose next morning before dawn. He got annoyed when students came late for Zazen (a type of meditation).

When students said that the sluggishness was because of the sake, the teacher snapped, “Sake is one thing, and Zazen is another! They have nothing to do with each other!”

:-) :-) :-)

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The Successfool Us!

Keep increasing the radius of your life. Yet keep yourself not at the circumference but at the centre.    

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We met after years. Our paths had crossed during a course he took from us. Since then, he has come a long way in life, and that too against odds. So there was a lot to talk about.

He talked about the package and the perks, the clients and the connections, the travels and the triumphs, and the brands and the bravado. And then, when I was about to leave, he said “Any words of wisdom Sir?” I looked at him and said “You seriously want to have some?” He said “Yes! Absolutely

I said “Look I am proud of what you have achieved. You have done a lot for yourself…

…but look at what you have done to yourself!

You look weary, restless… and uneasy – as if something inside you is ticking all the time. You keep glancing at the mobile without any need to do so. You haven’t sat in any one position for more than a minute. You are finding it hard to stick to any one thread of discussion for long. You keep leaving your sentences incomplete and keep throwing ‘wherein’, ‘so as to’, ‘what I mean is that’ in between. And then there are far more cringes and contemptuous one-sided smiles than usual…

…look at what you have done to yourself lad”.

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He knew exactly what I was talking about. And if I had any doubt then it was dispelled by his moist eyes. And as I got up, I said…

…“Go on my boy! You have created a successful life. Now…build a Successful YOU.

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Success can make you boring!

“The experiences that you choose make you a more successful person…and the experiences that you don’t choose make you a more interesting person”.    

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Most of the successful people are pretty boring. The reason is that in the pursuit of their success they become quite self-conscious – more guarded about themselves. On the other hand, the essential quality for being ‘interesting’ is the ability to take oneself lightly and to remain a little ‘wide-eyed’ about one’s success.

But the problem is that these successful people have been so obsessed with traits like ‘focus’, ‘determination’ and ‘discipline’ that they have been regulating the scope of their experiences – keeping it strictly around their choices.

And then there are people who know that their success has been an outcome of many variables ‘beyond their influence’ that came together just at the right time. They also worked hard, and continue to do so. But they remain a bit playful about their life. So they keep looking for and forward-to new experiences, with uncertain outcomes.

In the process, such people ‘learn humility to stay unaffected’ and ‘earn anecdotes to outlast the dessert at a dinner’.    

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In other words, keep becoming successful…but do stay interesting. :-)

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