Before you say…I do!

They rightly say… “First you make choices, and then choices make you”!              

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Moreover, sometimes you can’t see the chain of consequences a choice has. For instance, you don’t realize but one of the most important choices you will ever make is when you will say…“I do”. Yes! The day you choose your life-partner, in a way, you also choose

…your future family-structure…your future career-pattern…the sort of (and size of) friend circle you will have…the kind of (and number of) kids you will have…the kind of schedule you will follow…the kind of neighborhood you will live in…the kind of places you will visit…the kind of things you will spend your money on…the kind of health-issues you will face…and even the life-span you will have, and the amount of ‘life’ you will have in it.

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So, before you say ‘I do’, do remember that you are making not just a choice for your life, but also the choice of your life. :-)

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Dating updated!

As they sat around that table, it was apparent that they were there on a date             

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First he asked the waiter to switch-on the TV on the opposite wall…then the girl showed him a message on her mobile…then the boy played for her an English standup-comedy video on his mobile…then they ordered some wine…then he started taking selfies…then she played a song on her mobile and gave one of the earphones to him.

So much stimulation! Of all types! Simultaneously!

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Well! I am no one to judge how people should date, yet what people don’t realize is that nothing harms a beautiful moment more than‘unnecessary momentum’.

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Why am I not growing anymore?

It is not the lack of ‘talent or technique’ that blocks growth, it is the lack of…‘temperament’.             

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Every domain has a peculiar set of qualities required to sustain excellence in it. However, there is an important part of that repertoire which people tend to ignore – the temperament. I have always believed that this one thing is what makes all the difference, but sadly I see people not seeing it.

I have met researchers who are not curiousteachers who are not learnersmanagers who are not empatheticdoctors who are not listeners…and writers who are not readers. And when they ask me why they are not growing any more, then I get amazed on how they cannot see the obvious reason.

Yes! People rise due to talent and excel due to technique, but they progress due to their temperament.

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When you work on it, it works for you! :-)

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Why some relationships work, and some don’t!

You have to work on a relationship to… make it work.           

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Ideally, only two equally committed people can make a relationship work. However, in reality, at any given point of time, the commitment levels of two persons in a relationship can never be equal. It is because while they share a part of their lives with each other, there are other parts of their respective lives that they have to deal-with on their own.

Those parts cannot be shared. At best, one can talk about them or take temporary help, but at the end of the day, one has to face it alone. Now, what it means for a relationship is that one of the two will always have something else on his or her mind – some insecurities, worries, priorities, deadlines or concerns.

That’s when the other one has to play his or her part. He or she has to wait without cribbing, support without advising, care without clinging, forgive without mentioning, bear without sentimentalizing, or ‘discuss disagreements’ without ‘playing a victim’. Yes! More often than not, one of the two will find himself or herself doing this…

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…and as long as both can take turns to play this role well, the relationship works! :-)

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The fights you win by…not fighting!

There are some fights that you win by… not fighting them.     

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When you are tired or are in a bad mood then you are far more vulnerable to road-rage to pick a fight over a rash overtake or a mean glance.

It was one such day, and finally a man crossing the road heedlessly got to me with a popular Hindi expletive. I felt a sudden surge of anger and wanted to retaliate with equally hurting words (like any normal boy growing up in India, I am perfectly equipped with the vocabulary). I also wanted to shout and approach ‘head on’ to teach a lesson to the guy, no matter what the consequences were.

I slowed down the car and my torso was already half out of the window, with my eyes at him. But thenI turned my back… and drove on.

It was as if, in a flash, I could recall years of hard-work, patience, maturity and sacrifice that have gone into whatever little I have built and earned. And though I know that one day I will lose all this, I surely don’t want to put it at stake in a fit of anger on a tobacco-chewing man who is drunk on cheap liquor and is too eager to pick a fight (with due respect to his reasons to do so).

I mean…it’s just notproportionate.

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Well! Don’t pick fights when you have nothing to gain ormuch more to lose.

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The problem with being good is that…

Do not expect ‘sympathy’ for your ‘sacrifices’. Newer versions of ‘world’ may not support these features.       

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The biggest problem for most of us is that the ‘world we were brought-up in’ and the ‘world we are living in’ are very different. The virtues that were once ‘celebrated’ are now no more ‘in trend’. But they have been installed so deeply into us that in spite of believing that we have rationalized our expectations, the truth is that we haven’t been able to let go of those ‘old values in the book’.

We still are suckers for ‘fairness’ and ‘poetic justice’. But the fact is that in many cases ‘power beats truth’…‘manipulation beats capability’…‘greed beats conscience’ – and that too hands-down! However, the problem is that though we know this happens, we still can’t stomach it without a burp. Yes! Though we pretend to shrug it off, we still go back home ‘sad and sullen’.

So then what to do about this dissonance? Well! Just remember… subscribing to old-world virtues is a choice you make. You could have opted to ‘let go’, but it was your choice to hold on to them. And every choice comes with consequences. So what’s the use of goodness if it makes you frustrated or cynical?

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In other words…“when you choose a stand others don’t embrace… learn to accept the consequences with grace”. :-)

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“I am all yours”! Really?

In love, it is natural to be interested in the person’s past. But you can’t keep digging for details. 

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Before you came in someone’s life, the person must have had his or her share of emotional connections. So, it is highly unlikely that you are the first or the only one. While you should be ‘sensitively & sensibly’ available if the person wants to talk about it, you can’t stay unduly curious about it. After all, even in the closest relationships, there is a line to be drawn – called respect.

It is important to not wish to possess a person in entirety. When someone says ‘I am all yours’, it can’t mean what it sounds. Mind is like an iceberg and we all interact with each other’s tips of those icebergs. It is every person’s prerogative to decide how much of that iceberg he or she wants to share with you.

Healthy relationships do have high ‘self-disclosure’; but it is well within a person’s right to decide the pace and extent of that self-disclosure. Don’t try to push the pace. And in any case, do remember…

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…“in relationship, beyond a point, you got to drop person’s CV and trust the performance appraisal.:-)

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The boy next door!

He looked visibly perturbed. So I put my hand on his shoulder and asked “You must be clueless – isn’t it?” He nodded. I said “tell me how you are feeling?” He said “I don’t know. I really don’t.”       

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I said “Ok! Does it feel this way?

“There are multiple fronts – with each of them pulling you towards it. You take care of one and the other front goes out of hand. When you begin to focus on one thing, the other things on the backburners keep disturbing. You decide priorities and then again end up surrendering to chaos – utterly exhausted!

There is always restlessness inside – to reach somewhere…to be somebody. There are always so many roles to play – each demanding your best. Everything is multilayered, and confusing. Nothing is black or white, everything is grey. There are no clear heroes, no clear villains. All mixed up!

So much…and still you are expected to retain sanity, because if you lose it, you lose all”.

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Well! He looked at me in sheer astonishment, and said “How do you know all this?” I smiled, and said…Welcome to a man’s world”! :-)  

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Missing home dearly…

When you are away from home – in a different city – then it’s in the evening that you begin to miss home the most.       

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As the sun starts to set on the horizon and darkness blends with the streetlights, you feel a certain emptiness in your gut. There are people everywhere, and yet you feel utter loneliness. The skyscrapers, billboards and flyovers only add to that feeling of ‘being lost’. You miss the familiar ‘feel and fragrance’ of your home, and effortlessness with which you blend in with the surroundings.

And then you suddenly feel an intense urge to go back to where you belong. There is an impulse to simply pack-up and leave… to go back to your own cozy place, in the company of your own people. But then you get reminded of the number of kilometers in between, and you get a sinking feeling in your heart. You bite your lip, and breathe deeply to counter that feeling of vertigo.

Eventually, you surrender to the inevitability of ‘separation from nest’ that each ‘boy and girl’ has to go through, in order to become a ‘man and woman’.

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You know what! ‘Growing up’ gives you many privileges. But it takes away an important one – to stay the calf who invariably followed the cows back home.

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Don’t disown your average-ness!

I am a firm believer that you should work even on your average days.     

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And you should do so in spite of the risk that you may end up producing just ‘ordinary work’ – far from the best that ‘you are capable of’ or ‘are known for’.

And there are two reasons for that…

First, it introduces you to your average-ness which can be a really humbling and educating experience. It helps you take away that swagger from you walk and attribute your success to factors beyond your own self. It helps you appreciate significance of the process that makes you look good, and how with one missing step, your whole façade of invincibility can crumble. Yes! On such a day, you may lose face, but you will gain perspective.

Second, it helps you recruit in your repertoire the most important virtue of a professional – work ethic. Yes! For lasting success, there is nothing more significant than to ‘show up more often’. In other words, it helps you bring age-old discipline and good-old ‘sincerity’ to your pursuits. It helps you assert to your own self that ‘how you feel’ can govern ‘how well you will work’, but it cannot decide ‘whether you will work or not’.

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So, go out there, and stumble your way to success. You will neither ‘look good’ nor ‘feel good’, but…it will ‘be good’ for you.

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