IT BRINGS AN EXTRA SPRING IN MY STEPS…

There is a flood of Reality Shows on TV. Dance competitions, singings battles, talent hunts, cooking competitions, etc. What makes people turn up in such huge numbers for this? One basic requirement – of being recognised, of being appreciated. Of course, there is the lure of the prize money also but for most of them it is the appreciation they get for the hard work they put in for each show, that is the biggest motivator.

I can say this from my own experience. While I was doing a job I used to thrive on appreciation. Of course, I did not get appreciated for every work of mine (I was not that good employee!!) but then whenever I got appreciated for a job well done there was a sense of achievement in me. Satisfaction of a job well done and being recognised for its worth. It could be a very small thing like a file submitted on time or a bigger thing like a huge presentation in front of the top bosses. A small word of appreciation also unknowingly brings an extra spring in my step. The other worries begin to seem a bit distant, at least for some time.

Basically, I am a very lazy person. Especially when it comes to the routine and mundane chores of life. I admit I am a huge procrastinator. I realised this about myself when I left my job and became a full-time homemaker (or as they say commonly ‘house-wife’). I am sure all my friends in a similar situation will agree with me when you do household chores the compliments and appreciations you get are few and far between. On the other hand, people start questioning “What do you do the whole day?” If you put in extra effort and make a tasty meal then there will be a shower of compliments but who will appreciate the daily ka Dal Chawl (Rice and Pulses). Life is not like the Surf Excel commercials where the husband is ecstatic and swooning when the wifey makes his dirty shirt white again. In this phase of my life what I missed the most was appreciation (and also my salary  😉 ). The whole day you work but the work had no meaning at all. Next day again the same routine.

Once I started writing for Candles online, initially I had very little confidence in my abilities. I used to be over the moon if I got a comment of appreciation on my article. It was like the work I was doing made sense again. You won’t believe for the first few articles I used to go online every fifteen minutes and check the number of likes and views. And the words of appreciation from the Boss Man himself gave me confidence and motivated me to write again and again.

Recently, I have started working again. The other day a friend of mine complimented me that you are looking good, or rather looking better than earlier. Her words made me wonder what has changed. Stepping out into the work world again, I realised that the very fact that I am going out and meeting others and the way I present myself would be noticed has made me take a bit extra care while dressing up. Earlier when I was going down to the bus stop to pick up my kids from school I was not bothered about how I looked. Who will notice anyway? That was my thought process.

I could be wrong. There is another school of thought on this point. Which says that we should not live our life by what others say about us. We should do what makes us happy even if the world thinks we are wrong. I agree to that completely. We cannot channel our life based on other people’s opinions. But a few words of appreciation do matter.

I can vouch for myself. A few words of appreciation or a tiny bit of recognition really do make my day. In that way, I am a true blue Leo.  I crave for appreciation, I thrive on appreciation.

Try it sometime. Try telling a lady that she has lost weight and she will be smiling away the whole day. Or compliment her on the dress she is wearing, you have boosted her confidence for the day. Appreciate your house help on a job well done and she will try to keep up that standard every day. Appreciate your child’s achievement, however small it may be and see how he gets motivated to do more.

People do crave for recognition, they do thrive on appreciation as we do.

BY FAILING TO PREPARE YOU ARE PREPARING TO FAIL

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” – These are the words of Benjamin Franklin which ring true for people of all walks of life. Whether you are a sports person or an actor or a mother or a lawyer or a teacher preparation is a must for all.

Taking the time to prepare and plan is an essential part of being able to execute your aims. I’ve become more and more convinced that mindfulness and planning are keys to happiness.

It is very evident in the case of a sportsman. For him winning a game or match is not only because of the performance he gave on the field that day. But it’s actually the culmination of the preparation he did for days, months or years. He has to practice his game, prepare his body in terms of nutrition, strength and endurance to win in the actual game.

I would like to share a poem I found on the net about importance of practice and preparation in a sports person’s life.

Practice like you’ve never won,
In everything you do;
Success isn’t made overnight,
Let it be well done by you.

Perform like you’ve never lost,
Do all the best that you can;
No need for wasting time,
Show that you are the man.

Practice like you’ve never won,
Losing shall pull you down;
Exert extra effort to prevail,
Becoming a talk of the town.

Perform like you’ve never lost,
Don’t be scared to make mistake;
Learn lessons from failures
To taste the icing on the cake.

Discipline is all you need,
Days of negligence are gone;
Triumph tomorrow shall shine,
Practice like you’ve never won.

Bernard F. Asuncion

Another aspect of preparation is to be prepared to face any adversity or disaster in life. Plan ahead and don’t wait for the axe to almost fall before taking any action. Like the famous saying goes “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark”. He anticipated the approaching danger and started preparing for it. If he had started the work only after flooding had started then the whole mankind and animal kingdom would have been doomed. Preparing ahead is so important.

This kind of planning is a must in every routine work also.

  • Like it’s so much easier to face an exam in school or college if we have started studying or preparing for it many days in advance.
  • Early morning rush and routine is so much simpler and sorted if the menu of the school tiffin is already decided by the mother and preparation for the cooking is already done.
  • The office executive makes such a good impression in front of his boss if he has worked out all the facts and figures and the supporting documents for them. His preparation for the meetings goes a long way in helping him climb the corporate ladder.
  • If there is a cyclone warning in your area it makes life much easier if we are already prepared for power outages and got all the essential things stored with us.

This list is endless. Every single work we do needs some kind of planning, preparation and attention for details from our side. Otherwise it ends up being a sloppy work which no one appreciates.

Being a mother there is another kind of preparation that I have come across. Preparing someone emotionally to face the changes in their life. I think most mothers will relate to this. When the second child is about to come into this world the mother has to prepare the elder sibling emotionally to accept the new baby. Otherwise they end up considering the baby as their adversaries who are just hogging their mother’s attention and time.

Or when the child is going to join school for the first time the parents try to prepare the child for what to expect and also to be able to stay away from home for a few hours without a tearful meltdown. And I must say these preparations make the life so much easier for the toddlers their mothers and the teachers.

So in short I would just say “Fortune Favours the Prepared.” So be prepared.