TRUSTING THE SELF – PEOPLE AND THINGS

As much as we want to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt that – when we make a decision and trust ourselves to execute it, how many of us, can truly say – it has worked out?
…and yet we go about making so many decisions along our day – most of which are done at the spur of the moment, do we have the conviction to trust even the “smallest” decision made?

If trusting our decisions is the physical execution of a particular task, then self confidence is the driving force behind it.

Some of the very normal and everyday decisions we make are:

~ when do we cross the road in a country that do not possess traffic lights? #India

~ how much do we spend filling petrol in our vehicles – now that it’s touched INR 100 a litre?

~ Do we use public transport over private vehicles when it comes to safety v/s money?

~ Do we continue wearing masks & take precautions or go through life with gay abandon forcing ourselves to the “normal life” in comparison to that of the “new normal”?

These may be some of the more simple decisions in life, but that said – again, we still need to trust these decisions we make – however small or big it may be.

12 Reasons You Should Never Regret Any Decision You Ever Make

While all of us make decisions: some forcefully and some not – I personally gift myself with life altering decisions that make me put myself in situations that are new, the unknown but surely in places that I’d be better off than what the present situation finds me in.
Not even the closest member of my family would be able to decipher/understand my next move, my next decision – and ask me why? I’d have no answer, for I never thought it have ever been important enough to explain my decisions to anyone else.

I trust the decisions I make – and obviously there would be made only to help me be a better version of myself. <others may disagree but well….>

That said all my decisions haven’t always reaped benefits, BUT if there’s one thing that trusting my own decisions has done is: even if things went wrong, I am/was solely responsible for it and no one else had a hand in it. Success was ALL MINE so are/were the failures.

Listening to people have got me nowhere, other than confuse me more and to find myself back at square one.

To think of one such instance of trusting my own decision: was to decide to work out-of-state – a new place, a new line of work, strange people and a language I had no clue to speak. However, new things always excited me – and working out of state was never a new thing, many people had done it before me, so I was just one more. However, when it came to support from back home: it didn’t come in abundance besides my dad (who is always game for a new adventure – an advocate of the phrase: “you only learn when you put yourself out there“)

I got into the teaching line with little to no experience in the field initially, only for a crash course in the ‘do’s and the ‘don’t’s and a skill of the language that I possessed. I trusted my decision to go ahead not so much on the experience front, but on the skill front and of course, the fact that I knew I would do well because I backed myself with a whole lot of conviction and the trust in my abilities backed with confidence like that, its rare that things would go wrong.
The road wasn’t the smoothest but if ever I made a good decision in my life, that was surely one of them.

They’ve been other decisions too – some taken in the past, others in the ongoing present and a lot more to come in the future. My life has been a whole set of decisions that I set out to do, make, break, achieve & power ahead – I am bound to make a lot of people unhappy on the way; but then again the journey isn’t theirs, it has, is and will always be mine, if we happen to cross paths and a wonderful relationship comes out of it, be it professionally or personally (nothing like it). This has always been me – Plain, Blunt and TO THE POINT.

Making the right decision is one thing, trusting that decision and marching forward – no matter the judgements is a whole new level of awesomeness, that one needs to experience. I continue to feed myself with these experiences, maybe you could give it a try out yourself too.

I’d like to end with a piece of advice to all fellow readers:

If you think you aren’t qualified to make a good choice then you’re going to be afraid to make any choice.

May the Power be YOURS.

WHEN WORDS FLOW…

“Hi, I’m Chandler, I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable”

I could easily pass the above statement as my own… that’s probably what I’d be saying in my head, the moment someone starts pouring out their… well… life stories to me.

Like seriously – me… Why?

The thing is, for some very strange reason, people actually do think I have that ability to listen – no idea where they get that from, something they see in me or… I don’t know.

BUT-What happens when someone opens up to you and becomes vulnerable, how do you handle it?

If someone were to ask me that question right now… I’m not sure if there’s any correct way to answer that – but I’d probably sit for a while, and end up saying something really stupid in the first 10 minutes – and then BAM! its no longer a heart-to-heart, but a fun conversation, and sometimes, yes sometimes – my guess is, it works FAR BETTER than any soulful conversation/serious can ever achieve.

Could I BE any more Un-comfortable?

Let me be very frank, Vulnerability is state of mind I can never understand, and for someone who does feel vulnerable and comes up for some kind of guidance, to me personally – it has to be the toughest thing of my life. That said, of late – I try to use real-life humorous situations as a source of defense mechanism and more so a welcome distraction. I don’t do serious, RATHER I cannot.

Speech bubbles spelling out the phrase "Start the Conersation" with reference to customer conversations

However, I wasn’t as lucky to escape ‘the talkers’ – to be specific one of each sex – male and female, the best part of it was these “talks” were that it happened on journey’s, which made it so much relaxing. Nothing like have breeze blowing through the window, just incase my head overheats with excessive data.

It was only 2 days ago, I wanted to back off from my commitment to write my dedicated post on the subject-here on this platform Candles Online, thinking that I might not have anything significant to contribute – but then sometimes, all we need is a little motivation – after reading Aastha’s contribution/post yesterday, I remembered 2 very similar instances, that I was part of – voluntary or involuntary not sure.

There’s something about travelling and not having anything constructive to do, that makes people talk. I’d probably sleep (only to be kept awake by a talkative seat-partner)

It was only an hours journey from Panjim to Margao thankfully.

On 2 different instances, I had the good fortune of a feedback (which ofcourse I totally did not expect), firstly from a friend from college who carefully explained a rough situation he was going through at work, and apparently it was something that had I said that helped him overcome it. Office politics and employee-indiffernt-relationships is nothing new in the workplace, especially if you’re not one of the rub-everyone-the-nice-way kinda person

In his words:Savio, thankyou was listening to me the other day, things at work are so much better. Thank you for everything”

This message came after a couple of months via whatsapp, by that time I had even forgotten all about it. I don’t remember what I said or what happened during that journey but yes, I had helped someone who had opened up to me. Crazy! but did I just go the extraa..aaamile to help someone?

Another instance was a girl (at that time we had just gotten to know each other through a chat site I think) after a few interactions, she got more comfortable (is my guess) in my company. It was on one day, we decided to take a drive around the village side (she being from the North side of Goa and myself the South) the most natural thing to do is gloat about how beautiful the place around you is-even if it is within the same state.

But girls are clever, I tell you – she needed to talk and for me, it was a chance to take a girl for a drive (who would want to miss a chance right?) What was planned to be just a drive with a pretty girl, ended up being a conversation that I’d not expected. The drive had ended, so did the day. A few weeks passed and we connected on facebook.

A message on facebook Pvt chat read:

In her words: That drive the other day, thankyou for everything. You have no idea what you’ve done. Thankyou again.

Omg! What did I do? Okay, this was beginning to get scary, I was apparently talking to people and I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing. But she was right when she said “You have no idea what you’ve done”. I hadn’t a clue. I have always enjoyed a conversation, but the two above instances weren’t “just conversations” they were deeper and yet I came out unscathed. Phew! <yes, I’m still thinking about myself>

I personally, would never talk my blues away to anyone, I simply can’t do that-but for some, its so much easier, and for their ablity to find out that “someone” who can give them a listening ear – wow! What is that about?

Listening may be one part of it, but being there and saying the right things is another. Did I possess both of those qualities? I don’t really know, but I don’t think I would want to venture down that road.

However, one thing I’ve noticed is that, if there’s a connection, there need not be a reason, season or a fear to be there for someone else – it just happens. Connections are not formed by relationships (friendship, love etc) but an invisible chord that probably brings 2 individuals together in a particular time and place.

We may not know what people are going through, but somewhere, somehow – we end up being there for them, not as a special effort, but just being at the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME.

The keys to living a wonderful life, is BEING Ourselves, acting normal around people and going about life as if it is the last day of it – it is only then we would truly learn to appreciate every minute, every hour of everyday. Hope I do not sound too philosophical, coz that’s not what I’m going for. Remember – I am the casual one.

“Unfinished” – no more ‘just’ a word…

There’s something about the prefix ‘Un‘ when attached to a word.

It takes a simple word and reverses it – making it sound so much cooler. ‘Unfinished’ – there couldn’t have been a better word to describe her, she is indeed far from finished. She – Priyanka Chopra Jonas (as it says on the cover of the book) but to us Indians, she’ll always be PeeCee.

I cannot express how happy I was to be holding a copy of ‘Unfinished’A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra Jonas in my hands. I’ve always admired PeeCee as an Individual, as an Indian and most importantly as a role model to so many youth in our country to start with, if not people around the world too. And the best part – She’s INDIAN, she’s one of US.

"I am a product of traditional India and its ancient wisdom, and modern India and its urban bustle. My upbringing was always an amalgamation of the two Indias, and, just as much, of East and West," the 38-year-old actor said in a statement.(Amazon)
Look at her people – Look at those eyes!

I’ve always believed, when you read someone’s story, it needs to talk to you in a way, that makes you feel connected to the book, the story, and most importantly, the person BEHIND the book. This book had it all.

Priyanka prefers to call it a memoir, which is more a select few stories from her life thus far, to be fair, I wouldn’t want all the gory details – a memoir sounded just enough of information I needed to know, besides Priyanka’s journey is far from over, like I mentioned at the beginning – as the title of the book suggests – “Unfinished”

After having purchased the book, I downloaded the e-Book version – which made it feel (listening to it) as if she was reading her story out especially for me, only to have waited a few more weeks and have Oprah interview Priyanka Chopra. That was, in more ways than one – the icing with the cherry on top, if not the already plenty of interviews available online on Youtube wasn’t enough that I have watched, re-watched and shown to my students as well, have had me almost mouthing what Priyanka would say next.

Can I have enough of Priyanka? That would be a simple NO.

The grace, confidence, language and to top it all: A killer attitude – what’s to have enough of her?

If you’re wondering, why I keep typing out ‘Priyanka’ instead of her full name Priyanka Chopra Jonas? – well, we’re on First-Name-Basis. Can you imagine Priyanka calling me ‘Mr Paes’ when we meet, instead of Savio? I’ve decided we’d keep it totally casual.

If you’ve been a fan or even remotely interested in following Priyanka Chopra’s journey through life, you’d know there are plenty of lessons that you would take along the way – Plenty! I need not pen them down, it might make this post very preachy, but that said – one of the BIGGEST lessons one could take from her book, “Unfinished” – are the words of advice her dad constantly gave her, the constant support of her parents that she mentions all along her book, her admiration towards them and her full family in general, every step of the way – whether it was during her years of schooling, winning the Miss India crown or marrying the love of her life.

She always had that spark – and look where its got her.

Priyanka and Me – only 6 months and 9 days separate our date births #JustSaying. We’re the same age 🙂

I want to leave you all with profound words found in “Unfinished”

“It’s OK to pick up, walk away, leave thing unfinished, and move on to what’s next”

“We all have a different story”

“There’s only one you. Understand who you are , your uniqueness.”

and the best of all:

“I am very much #Unfinished”

something that we all need to say everyday when we wake up first thing in the morning.


THE SIMPLE ‘JOY’S OF LIFE

I need not look too far… for Joy begins from the very 4 walls of our home – my dad. There must have been a very good reason his parents chose that name for him in the first place. Many years later he chose a life partner named GLADYS (doubling the JOY with gladness) – Talk of a PLAN! …and ofcourse many many years later, I was born… you know, to balance it all out.

How then, could I let go of an opportunity to write on the one topic that is probably closest to my heart?

When it comes to me, I’ve always chosen joy over the more materialistic things like money, gifts and physical benefits. However, this topic – today, gives me the wonderful opportunity to talk about the joy of teaching (I do think training sounds fancier) As many things of my life has happened out of sheer trial and error methods – teaching did too. Yes, I call myself an ‘English Educator’ and I train students/company employees or any ethusiastic person wanting to improve their communication skills.

What started as an option, developed into a passion and now earns my daily bread. From young kids (as small as in the 3rd standard) to money-earning adults and retired men/women, I’ve had the pleasure of training them all – in what they call the Queen’s Language – English

Did I just hear Chiradeep say, “Savio, Why don’t you put a flier or two up here?

Teaching/Training has never felt like a job, its just hours well spent in a place other than home – interacting with different ages, personalities and not to mention a few characters (that for some reason are found mostly in classrooms) It gives me so much joy to impart something that I am good at, to someone who needs the skill to improve quality of life. Because my teachers always told me, if one wants to learn/improve his/her speaking ability, and if you are in a position to help them out – DO IT.

you aren’t just helping them to learn a language but also to aquire a much needed SKILL

and I’ve always been of the belief that:

when you’re good at something, you shouldn’t keep it to yourself – you need to share it with the world.

If it so happens that you make a career out of it, you’ll never have to to work a day in your life – you’ll be getting paid for something you truly love and enjoy doing. And what’s better doing something that makes you smile with minimum effort. Sounds like a great idea – doesn’t it?

Teaching does take effort, more so the preparation that goes into a lesson that needs to be taught, but when your students who equally enjoy the task of learning as much as you enjoy teaching it, come together – the joy of being in the same room is instantly doubled – and I live for those moments.

Life need not need to be complicated or strenous, if we only know how to make a moment, a situation, an event joyous – it doesn’t take much effort – a little kindness, a genuine smile with a healthy conversation and we’re good to go.

Back in the day, when I was in college – it was the much smaller joys that brought friends together – bonding over oily samosas, tying of friendship bands, sharing ice-creams,  leaving our bikes at the bus-stand  just so we could travel by the same bus to college together. How fortunate for our generation, that we got a chance to do these little things. Aren’t we like the luckiest people ever?

The generation-now/Millennials need to understand this more than ever.

Binging on Netflix and playing online games don’t come close to giving one joy that an outdoor activity could give, however small it may be. Sometimes doing the simple things, goes a long way in living a quality life.

People actually remember the smaller things and tend to forget the bigger events – or is it the other way round?

As for me, I’ll remember the food, the music and where the chairs and tables were strategically placed but the chances are very high, that I’d actually forget the married couples name (incase of a wedding reception) – but then again, that’s ME.

See, I told you – the food items are the smaller joys to an otherwise larger event called the Wedding Reception.

DEATH – A ‘STEPPINGSTONE’ TO THE BETTER?

While I’m sure everyone out here associates death with a negative emotion – because of what we’ve been told by the generations gone by and of of course seen as well – how people react to death – with tears, sadness and morose.

But what if I told you;

Death could also be – well, not a happy emotion – but a transitional phase that is necessary – simply because, along with all the sadness that death brings with it, it more importantly comes with a realization, a different kind of responsibility and a whole new window to a life above and beyond…. the concerned person (who has passed on) has now become your pillar on which you build/strengthen and base your life principles on.

Does that sound like a bad thing?

Stairway to heaven

No one can take away the associations, memories or the learnings from people who have passed on… their wisdom/knowledge will always be in-valuable – especially if they are our close family members. But when we hold on, for too long – that’s where the situation of a transition may take much longer than it should.

Have you lost someone who has been very close to you?

Many of us will have a ‘Yes’ answer to that question.

Well, I haven’t, at least not as yet: the people who are closest to me are still around, and I couldn’t be blessed more for the same. I know it will happen someday, and whether I’d be prepared for that day – is anyone’s guess.

While some of my friends mock me saying –

“you talk about death… like you know it. You don’t know it unless you go through it.”

And while I don’t mind their words, as harsh as it sounds – maybe they are right, but I do also have my own thoughts on the subject too.

Death according to me – is an eventuality, we all WILL get there eventually – so why do we give it so much importance anyways?

A lot of people have died around – neighbours, friends, acquaintances etc, but none of who I had any special relation with, so it could be that this post, may turn out just the way I’d want it to – not emotional, but a very practical take – addressing the topic at hand.

Surprisingly, I would happen to know more about death and talk about it, to otherwise in comparison to any another subject. However, my family members do not approve-more so my dad. He thinks, the mere mention of the word ‘death’ is of a person being in a negative state of mind. The old Generation, I tell you!!

It is in times like these, when the Indian head movement can actually be put to good use, not necessarily in agreement but.. you know… “go ahead, I am listening till you finish what you have to say.

Coming to the actual person who has passed on (died), we clearly do not know what lies ahead in that journey, but what we do know is – it is supposedly the better life on the other side, which strangely reminds me of a Netflix show I watched, by the name of ‘The Good Place’ – now that was one show, I could resonate with totally, not because I understood the whole dynamics of life before and after death, but just that the show spoke aloud about…. well, I’m not going to tell you the story, you will just have to go and watch it yourself. You’d surely love it – that’s a guarantee.

Living life is all about the process, and the one chance we get at living it – if we do a good enough job, the eventuality, that is Death, need not necessarily stand for sadness, it can otherwise be a Celebration a celebration of leading a fulfilled life, a life full of happiness, satisfaction and joy – and if we think deeper, isn’t that what we all strive for in our everyday life?

Death is the END, but then again the end doesn’t happen without a grand entry and the dance in-between. Do all that well and the rest will look after itself.

To Death!… and the life beyond it.

UNCLES AND AUNTIES – THE ‘RESPECT’ FACTOR

“I think we all want to get older—we just want to age well.

Continuing from the whole ‘Aunty’ & ‘Uncle’ take from yesterday’s article – I’m not gonna lie – I’ve had my share of being called ‘Uncle’ myself BUT let’s be honest here, (I’ve been called out by much younger boys and girls – more like half my age) it actually made me feel that I have grown up, and that there exists people who are younger to me…

The thing is:

You get actually get work done when people actually think you’ve reached the Uncle-Aunty phase, like have someone offer you a seat in public transport or come up to you for advice or simply look up to you as their role-model. I’ve had these privileges, I’m not complaining and I haven’t even touched 40 as yet!

However, in India it isn’t so much about ‘age’ when we talk about transitioning to the next level, its just that with age – we take up more responsibility, find ourselves in mature relationships, earn money to sustain ourselves and with the stress that comes along with the above three factors, we tend to look different – either not looking after ourselves health wise due to lack of time or because we have more important priorities to life than beauty.

Of course, when we talk about men, beauty doesn’t necessarily play much of a role – while we still have thick levels of hair (on our head of course) and a minus-paunch body, we’re good to conquer the world. Any other look besides that… and life gets tough. The Bollywood movie ‘Bala’ immediately comes to my mind, that was such a relatable movie on so many counts.

“There are many theories of aging. My theory is I’m more awesome.”

Life has its own way of showing us, how we evolve and transition from one phase to another. We tend to look back at the one we’ve passed, more than looking forward to the one we are transitioning into. At the age we find ourselves now, it is probably the age where-in all the magic happens. We’re slotted right in the middle, we aren’t young enough to live the carefree life nor are we old for lives to be dictated by medication.

We are embarked on a wonderful journey of life, Yes! They’ll be the ups, the odd down’s .. but that’s life’s way of carving an individual out into the amazing people we turn out to be going ahead, changing, transforming and transitioning ourselves, getting ourselves ready.. to what’s coming next!

While living in India – the Uncle and Aunty culture is well rolled out in the DNA of every growing child, so, the next time, we’re are called out by that ‘tag’ – be proud that we’ve grown out from that young adult phase into a mature human being, and that a child is actually showing/giving us the respect, WE deserve in the first place, and if we’re lucky enough… returning home from a tired day at work or from the market place with a heavy bag of groceries and the sweet boy from the building asks you:

Aunty, can I help you carry your bag?

Go ahead and accept the generous offer, you might as well take it – such offers don’t come out too often from today’s children.

BEING THE LIGHT

A shout out to all those, who for even ONCE in their lifetime, has ever taken the initiative to lead, teach, guide…show the way ahead or simply be the light to a fellow HUMAN being – This post is dedicated to YOU.

While the whole world talks about Parents being the backbone to a growing individual – it is the ‘Mature-Adult-figure(s) in one’s life that create, mold, and transform the behavior, life, and social patterns of an individual. The paths leading to it are many; however, the goal remains constant

– A Good Human Being.

Parenting isn’t something which can be taught, it comes naturally with age, maturity and responsibility. And by parenting, I am not ONLY referring to the roles a ‘mother-and-father’ play n the life of a particular individual, BUT for each one of us, going about setting another onto the correct path.

With every young person, there is always a young-er person to guide and show the light to, in the same way, we have an older person for every adult – to learn from.

Let us stop for a minute and think – about the journey from being a child to looking after one – the positive changes, the open mindedness – and as we think back to the ‘good ol’ days’ we can’t help but say to ourselves;

“it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to embrace some of the simple pleasures rather than the indulging in today’s fast-pace, tech-driven world.”

Oh! What do Parents have to go through these days!

While we live in a world where there are researches being conducted on the different aspects of life – it shouldn’t come as a surprise that ‘parenting’ is right up there with being one of the most widely researched topics –  as to what are ‘good parenting techniques’. Whether they’ve set down a to-do list or added a few pointers that will work for the ‘millennium parent’ – one thing is guaranteed for sure – As role models we need to keep innovating and re-inventing ourselves every day, for children look up to their elders and copy them, modeling their lifestyles with what they see hear and witness from situations around them.

The responsibility of raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids can sometimes feel overwhelming, being constantly bombarded with expert advice and societal expectations, often missing out on the informal support that parents half a century ago received from neighbors’ and extended family. Of course, times have changed, and then along with time, people have changed too. We are after all living in an ever-changing world. Our parents and grandparents had different approaches to raising children than probably what we use nowadays. Their ways were not necessarily ‘bad’ but rather. I would say ‘different’ simply due to a rather different cultural and social scenario than what we face in today’s day and age.

While we can note down reasons as to how life has changed for the millennium parent;

  • Balancing family & career,
  • The competitive world in which a child is found in
  • The repercussions of a ‘NO’ answer on a child
  • The situation of Activity = Productivity

..what we fail to understand is, while a child needs all of the above – yes, he still is very much a child and needs to enjoy this phase without the pressure of expectations. As parents, sometimes we tend to over think and in turn overdo.

I am going to go a step further and say: The Explosion of information available, has made it extremely hard to parent kids nowadays. Child Psychology, yet another branch of study that is being researched a lot. So, if we think that our kids are blasted with tons of information, waiting to be grasped – parents are no less oblivious to what is out there, which even at the age we are at, the learning never stops, however different the subject may be.

As a parent however, I would want to ask myself the question:

Do I . . .

  • encourage an open communication between ‘us’?
  • build enough trust and safety between ‘us’?
  • help my child be trustworthy in relationships?
  • keep ‘us’ close even when there are conflicts?

Our parents and grandparents had excellent ‘parenting skills’ back in the day, and that’s how we turned out to be great – didn’t we? I’m sure we are doing the best we can – of course not necessarily in the same style. The perfect concoction of ‘a little of the old and a dash of the modern’ we are sure to make ‘parenting’ look good. 

A friend once asked me, How does it feel living with parents? A world traveler that she is, is often found to be living out of a suitcase, briefly perched at different locations across countries & continents. I didn’t have a ready made answer to give her – but I did remember saying something like “We take turns playing parent” and that is the beauty of living with the family, it isn’t necessarily about 1 or 2 persons holding down the fort, but for anyone who can, on any specific day show us the way.

While at the beginning I mentioned:

…anyone who has ever taken the initiative to lead, teach, guide…show the way ahead or simply be the light to a fellow HUMAN being – the ‘Mature-Adult-figure(s) in one’s life that create, mold, and transform the behavior, life, and social patterns of an individual. The paths leading to it are many; however, the goal ALWAYS remains constant

The Good Human being.

In the week ahead, we look forward to reading more about the same, and by that, I do not always mean the conventional way.