MY SEARCH FOR A DIFFERENT SUCCESS

Few days back I was gliding through my LinkedIn page. One of my distant relative updated her status “promoted to the position of Director”. I was happy to see her succeed but in another moment started self introspection “what I am doing?” , ” Where I am standing?”, “Will I ever succeed in my life?”. Basically I was anxious about “will I ever be able to EARN?” A question that I am struggling for a longtime now.

But is it just about money? Answer is an absolute NO. It’s about my craving for Identity. My thoughts at that (on many occasions) point were convoluted. I want to earn, I want name for myself, I want financial independence. I kept applying for jobs. Many applications were rejected outright, few made for interview round but success still eluded me. It was not just the applications that were being rejected but a piece of self was slowly dying inside. One of the reasons that prompted me to start blogging was to put forth my opinions and earn (I am not ashamed of admitting that). Five years now and the kind of success I supposed it would fetch me is still a distant dream. Who and what shall be blamed? No one except me and nothing except my lack of regularity, missing niche (my work doesn’t stick to one genre).

Am I a complete failure? Last week my friend’s husband came to dinner (we are careful enough to follow the social bubble 😁). Out of nowhere he asked me “how’s your blogging going, seems you have a good fan following”. I dismissed him with a smile “No, nothing like that” . To this he told me that one of his friends sent him a link of one my blog (never before he read any of my articles) and praised it too. His friend liked the subtle manner of explanation, relatability of issues/situations mentioned. And as a matter of fact I never met or spoke to the “friend”. There was a certain sense of euphoria for me at that moment. That night I decided to once again go through the comments on my articles. That was the moment of realization for me. My success is not in the additional perks of followers, hits on site and money but how well I can connect to the people. How well I can communicate, how I can impact, how can I be a part of lives of those reading my words in some or the other way, how well I can motivate myself to reflect positivity in my work, Am I making any difference, Am I putting forth a good message relevant to people, Am I honest while voicing my opinions, Am I trending the path I talk about or refer to – My parameters of Success. Falling short of even one criteria renders me unsuccessful in my judgement! And I believe that’s the worse.

What inference my failures have given me? I was looking for “success” in the form of an offer letter, a designation and a certain amount credited every month to my bank account. What if I get them at this moment, would it put an end to my quest and thirst for “success”?. I might have been aiming for a higher pedestal everytime. Nothing wrong in that, absolutely. But what is wrong is getting bogged down if your plans and results aren’t in linear correlation. Wrong is deeming yourself to be worthless. Wrong is inability to draw inspiration from people and incidents showing us a different way and zest to live life as we are too consumed by a bubble we have created in our minds. In short wrong is inability to respect life and the designs almighty have for us ( I may be professionally unemployed because someone else might be more competent, qualified and in need – it’s that simple). And identity of a person is about the perception and ideologies one owns, can never be defined by a designation or job role. And people knowing me by my work irrespective of the level of fame (non existent 😁) I might have acquired is purely my Success!

I Have Decided My Path: I will keep writing, I have stories to tell, I have messages to deliver. In that process if I earn materialistic success I will receive that. In case not I have my own yardstick to measure success – Have I made you think? If yes I am SUCCESSFUL!!

REPENTANCE IS THE CALL WHICH SAVES US FROM ALL OUR REGRETS

Looking back at my life I feel really frustrated, angry, sad and confused thinking if I would be given a chance to change some events of my life then I don’t know which one to change first to make my now better.

I have a list of regrets which really can’t be rectified. Nobody can change my past. And if I ask God then He will deny by saying, ‘I won’t change it even I can change everything.’

On Monday I wrote about regrets are being the unpleasant blockades which might ultimately help us for a better future when we take a turn from there. But when we ignore the penitence or regrets or sorrow or agony that we go through as a consequence of our choices then we suffer again in future.

The scripture says, “Since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.

Let me explain…

We all know we are created in the image of God. No other animals or living beings have conscience to think and decide. They don’t have the sense of right and wrong like a human being does. They don’t have that creativity and free will like human beings.

Human beings are creative like their maker and creator, God. Human beings have feelings to understand the hearts like the Creator. Human beings can love, have compassion and have emotions like their most loving and compassionate God.

Now that’s called to being created in His own image to have all His attributes or glory which we lose it when we commit sins whether we have regret about it or not. (God’s glory is much bigger than what I explained here; it’s just a small part of it what I mentioned.)

Now repentance is essential to start the restoration process. Repentance  for our wrong doings are the first step towards the restoration of our original image, our God given image.

Let’s get into some practical life examples of what we just got to know above.  

Couple of days ago, Prabhjot said that her decision of choosing certain friends was regrettable as it took her to the pit though she had overcome it already. Her friends became a problem and my ‘No friends’ became a problem for me.

Let me explain again…

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” ― John Wooden

It was tough test for me in which I failed utterly being alone at home all the time for my health conditions. I was enslaved with many addictions that took away my heart from the best things to the worst ones.

The worst ever thing happened to me when I landed here in Kolkata. I was introduced to the world of Yahoo Messenger and was glued to the computer screen of an internet cafe, hours for almost 3 years of my precious life. The most regrettable sin that I had committed in those three years was… I wasted my time, I wasted my money, I wasted my mind and I wasted the gifts God had given me. All were very precious for a person who stepped into a new place, a new job with a new set of inspirations. I laid a worst ever foundation of my work career. If I would not have wasted those precious jewels in my life then I would have gained lot more in life by now. I would have achieved more for the people and the purpose for which God had called me. I lost the best part of it.

Well, what is done is done and I have to take my regret as a lesson to be careful in future

But how?

The role of repentance begins here at this point of remorse and regret. Every choice of life we make comes with a cost. And that cost is paid through repentance. Repentance let me realize that if I make a mistake here, I might again be stuck with wrong decisions and continue to suffer. Repentance is something where I needed to take a U turn and change the directions completely. I needed to make this decision to honour God, my partner, my families and everybody around me or associated with me.

Instead of wallowing in the miry clay of negative regrets let’s turn back, repent and stay happy.

Stay Blessed!!!

NO TURNING BACK

Life has its own twists and turns. There is never a straight road to make one’s desires see the light of the day. And it is when one encounters such bends in life, there arises a gasp of regret – regret to have traversed the wrong path, to have made the wrong choices, to have taken the wrong decisions. Unlike the concrete street-ways where one can afford to turn back and retrace one’s footsteps, in life’s roadways there is no turning back! There is only moving forward.

Disappointments and regrets are integral to all our lives. However, every situation of disappointment does not call for regret.

Example One: A child can regret disobeying his parents on a said occasion, especially when he has had to face a stern consequence. Such regret would enable the child to resolve never to repeat his behavior. That’s positive regret.

Example Two: A young lady regretting marrying the man she married. Such regret would only make her life more miserable and bring before her all the flaws of her husband and her marriage. This is negative regret as it holds no scope for turning back and making the choice afresh.

Often we wallow in the miry clay of negative regrets. As a result, we fail to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Our vision remains blurred and we sink even further down into the pit. True, some situations in life cause us to rethink about the path we chose in the first place. But wisdom lies in choosing not to repeat the erroneous ways in future, rather than pining over the errors.

A most frequently quoted scripture portion reads And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

If we are sure of God’s control and calling in our lives, there is no room for regret. Because, then the sum of all events in our lives work for our good.

HOW ABOUT TURNING THE TABLES ON REGRET?

When most people think about regret, they think about the choices that they make, the decision that they took, the career path they chose and so on. 

Unfortunately, that kind of regret is painful and keeps you stuck to the past. Sometimes, regret, if left to fester, becomes chronic, turns to bitterness, which turns into cynicism and ultimately, total apathy.

How about turning the tables on regret?

When I broke up with my ex of 4 years, I literally felt my life shattering around me. This was about 7-8 years ago. I could not see past him, and suddenly he was gone. And there was nothingness all around. 

But looking back at all that today, do I regret having him in my life those four years? Not one bit. I’ll tell you why. I don’t regret it because that whole phase taught me what NOT to do in a relationship.

I realized one important thing through my broken relationship – that LOVE is not a feeling, it is a choice, a decision that we consciously make. We make this decision to honour God, our partner, our families and our home.

When Rohan came into my life, I remember the first thing I did with him was to have an honest conversation with him about what I was looking for. Turns out, he was looking for the same thing. And everything just clicked.

I think it is time we stopped making the same mistake twice. Learn from your mistakes, do not repeat it, and you will never have regrets.

But, if there is something to regret — regret hurting other people, especially people you love and people who love you.

All these years of “learnings” (won’t call them regrets) cannot take away one thing, the fact that I have hurt numerous people in many ways. 

And so, to my parents, my sister, my brother, my uncles and aunts, my cousins, my friends, my colleagues & bosses, and my partner for life, please forgive me for all the times I have wronged you. I may have learned from that experience, but I cannot take away the hurt I have caused you. 

Regret, folks, but for causing pain to others. Make the rest a learning experience. 

THE BEST TIME TO LEARN FROM A REGRET IS NOW

I had a serious interest into biology. I have no idea how many books I would have read related to anatomy of human body. Spent hours in lab dissecting cockroaches, frogs. May be, I was just mad about becoming a doctor. But, when it was time to make a career decision, reality was different. I realized,  I cannot get enough finances to support my dream. I didn’t have a choice but to choose an alternate path. Whenever I used to cross the medical college en-route, saw junior doctors with stethoscopes and white coats,  it used to hurt me to the core. Regret number 1.

Electronics was my second love. I graduated as an Engineer with Electronics as major. This wasn’t very bad, I am still going to do something I love. Huh !? Only if life had the same plan laid out for me.

A sweet surprise was waiting for me.

Though I have landed in a job, it has put me into a very strange situation. I am a Software Engineer. Some people in my position would have jumped out of joy, at the glance of the fancy title. But, I wasn’t. I was expecting a VLSI Engineer position. I was so upset with that job, I used to literally cry and struggled to figure out how to deal with it. I disliked being a software engineer. Regret number 2.

After spending  5 years of professional career as so called software Engineer, by this time I got used to being one, I had an unique opportunity. Software Engineer for a healthcare company making medical products.  I had one more offer with another technology giant with double the pay than the offer of the healthcare company. 

I strongly regretted not being a doctor and being a software engineer,  both forcing me to learn to live with a regret.  But today, I am at a juncture where I can make a choice. A smart choice which is an amalgamation of something I love doing  and something I am OK with. Naturally, whom ever I talked to gave me a suggestion to accept the non healthcare job. But, I knew it’s a good move to enter healthcare industry..I would be a stupid to not see the obvious.

Getting into my current role isn’t luck or something I was destined to. There were a lot of hiccups. I prepared myself for it and looked for good opportunities. Thanks to my current boss who saw the potential in me. Today, I am working for a healthcare company happily coding,  juggling with micro-processors, enjoying the soothing sound of soldering,   fulfilling patient needs. All my love for serving the society and playing with tiny wonders of electronics world came true. I get to see medical procedures and I love watching them. (Though performing them would have been better). I have worked on my regrets, changed the direction in which I tackle the regret and I did end up in a much better place.

I do have much larger regrets than my career. All of us have regrets, whether we accept that before others or not is a different issue. A regret is a consequence of our choice, reasons could be many. Every choice of life we make comes with a cost. When we try to compare the cost of one choice to another, usually we end up with regrets. If we become too careful to not make mistakes or take risks, we may end up not having regrets but then we have stopped evolving.

I completely agree with both Chiradeep and Sulagna. Having a regret isn’t bad at all, it’s a realization. If we can learn and make appropriate choices, we may not see immediate results but all our efforts would be paid off at sometime in future.

“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

REGRET AS A LESSON

Regrets are often taken as something negative. Of course, when you regret something you feel extremely negative about the situation. But the fact that you regret a particular decision or situation is positive because you have accepted it and you are trying to move on from it. Regret is what comes out of strong introspection which is always a good thing. The question is how far are you willing to go to correct what has gone wrong? When you really take a decision to correct the situation, getting over the regret is easy.

When I started to think about writing this snippet, I was quite blank for some time and thinking hard made me realize that there is no strong regret that I feel currently. That doesn’t mean that I have never regretted anything in my life. I have had lots of regrets – I just chose to get over them with time. So, let me share one of the strongest decisions that I feel went bad.

I chose wrong people as friends and even when I realized that they are not the right people – I did not have the courage to give them up. I could not stand up for my own self esteem in front of them and I let them step all over me. There is nothing in my life that has made me feel so horrible ever. These people were my colleagues in my previous job and only a few months after I quit that job, did I realize what I was into was a complete disaster in the name of friendship. I felt cheated to the core. It was difficult to get over that regret. It haunted me for months and years; even now sometimes I feel horrible thinking what a fool I had been.

Well, what is done is done. I know where I made my mistake and what I need to take care of in future. I have moved on from who I was then to (I think) a much wiser person now. It gives me all the more strength when I think about that time. It makes me value my real friends all the more.  The whole episode made me a much stronger, emotionally independent and wiser person.

REGRETS ARE THE BLOCKS TO DIRECT US TOWARDS THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Regretting or feeling contrite about or being penitent is always good for any individual when he or she tries to start afresh positively from that point of contrition or penitence. But if it is just a habitual feeling of remorseful and being the same old self after the passing of time then it is very hurtful for the person concerned and not helpful at all.

Why did I say hurtful?

It is because the regular feelings of remorseful are utterly draining and demotivating. Regrets, guilt, penitence are like nails and thorns on our pathways which might hurt us when we walk on those paths. But when we are aware of them and avoid the path we will be safe or else we will be suffering ever time we tread in those paths.

You can ask, ‘how do I know?’ I can confirm you by saying, “I struggle daily handling with my guilt, contrition and regrets…”

Let me give an example…

I have a procrastinating spirit working within me which always whispers in my ears lovingly, “Baby, we can finish it tomorrow…” And I listened to my darling friend and suffer with loads the very next day. I regret, feel penitent about it and repent, “I will never keep things for the last moment…”

And… my buddy comes the second day again with more amazing proposals in his hands to allure me to take a break and do it tomorrow.

This was just a very simple and small instance that I gave. But when there is life changing events happen as a result of our mere regrettable actions then it is very dangerous. Sulagna set an example by working on her regrets and turning the other way by shifting to a different career path; She mentioned it in detail in the Mega Article yesterday. 

Regrets should be the stumbling blocks for us so that we can turn right away and move towards the right direction. If we are not then it’s no point regretting.

Stay Blessed!!!