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.

TRUSTING MY OWN DECISIONS BASED ON MY INTUITION

Well, my intuition is one of my best friends. It guides me when I need it the most. It makes me feel secure and safe in this wild world. It makes me do the right things at the right times.

What is Intuition?

It is that tiny little voice that says – “Just do it. Everything is gonna be alright.” It is your own sixth sense that tells you if your decision will take you where you want to go or not. It is that gut feeling or the vibes that one feels when something is not right. Even without enough analysis of something, you sometimes just know that you should do something or not do something.

Is the intuition always right?

No. It has failed me many times so that I could only learn better from my experience. Sometimes I failed multiple times but that’s just life. Isn’t it? Intuition is not always meant to be right. If it were, then all of us would be Gods.

When do I use my intuitions the most?

In trusting people. About 6 years back, after a few unfortunate incidents of betrayal at the hands of my “so-called” friends I made a decision. That decision was to get away from any friendship (or relationship) that seems fake. If I cannot make any meaningful conversations with a particular person, then there is no point in being in touch with that person just for gossiping about rest of the world.

Since that point in time, I have used my intuition the most in choosing my friends. And I must say that I have been really successful. I chose the right people who brought out the best in me whether it was the group of my apartment buddies, or my office lunch group, or my Candles family, or my child’s school friend’s moms etc. I am so glad that I haven’t faced any sort of a discomfort from any of my friends since I started to use my intuition to choose my friends and to decide how much to open up in front of whom.

I recall one such incident where I really trusted my intuition and took a decision. And I really got what I wanted. In the year 2013, I suffered a miscarriage and at that point of life I was so upset about not being able to conceive. We had seen doctors, got a lot of tests done and even taken a few treatments. It was not working out. We changed doctor after doctor because I had a strong feeling that I am not finding a good doctor. Little did I know then that infertility clinics is such a huge industry and it is very difficult to find an effective solution. I was looking for a doctor that I could connect with, a doctor who listened to me and my concerns about my body.

Eventually I found a doctor, recommended by a friend. And as soon as I met this doc, I knew that she was the one. She didn’t talk too much, she listened, she empathized and she didn’t talk medical jargon. She just looked at the reports and said – “Everything’s normal. Let us not worry too much. We will just take the right steps and see how it works.” The calm way in which she spoke I just knew that I could trust her. My intuition told me that this will work. And it did. Finally we were blessed with our boy in 2015 and life was good again.

How to sharpen your intuition

This is something that I am not an expert in (I am still learning). But I know for sure that to sharpen your intuition, you need to do the following

  1. Keep your thoughts organized. Don’t let your mind clutter with all the negativity. Negative self-talk is the killer for a strong intuition.
  2. Meditate and focus on the process of life. When I say process of life, I mean focus on something that proves that you are living. Like your breath, or the movement of your abdomen when you are breathing, or just focus on one of your fingers etc. There are a million ways to meditate effectively. Use what works for you.
  3. Do not take decisions when you are angry or upset. Your intuition is simply shut off when you are in a negative state of mind.
  4. If you are in doubt whether you are taking a right decision or not, take time. Time to breathe and slow down your thoughts or time to just sleep over it.

Your intuition will always make you trust your decisions and stick to them. Use it wisely!

A STORY OF VALOUR

A story of courage that I had read and heard in my childhood, has stayed with me over the years and continues to inspire me even today is the account of David and Goliath. Call it a slice from Israel’s history or a portion of literature, a shepherd boy without formal training in warfare or the weaponry daring to fight a well-equipped giant and defeating him has always been an awe inspiring narrative for me.

It was during one of those times when the Philistines used to attack Israel intermittently, that a giant from the Philistine side came out to openly threaten the Israelite army. It was quite natural for the valiant of all Israelite soldiers to quiver in fear at the sight of a well-equipped more than nine-feet tall giant. No one dared to venture out to face the champion of the Philistines because a defeat was imminent. Day after day the Philistine army led by Goliath continued to threaten the Israelite army. It was at this juncture that David, a shepherd boy who had gone to the Israelite army camp to enquire of the welfare of his brothers who were in the army, got to know the details of what was going on.

David dared to do a few things.

Firstly, David dared to take the decision to fight Goliath.

Secondly, David dared to go before the king and declare that he desired to face the enemy army whom the king’s warriors hadn’t been able to.

Thirdly, being a non-army man he was uncomfortable with the weapons of warfare and the attire that the king asked his men to equip David with and so dared to venture out to the war zone in his shepherd’s clothes.

Fourthly, dared to trust God to be his power-giver.

Finally, David dared to proclaim victory on the face of the giant even before fighting him.

This isn’t merely a story of exemplary courage. On the face of it, it may seem unwise or cowardly for an unarmed lay man to be daring enough to face an equipped army. But, what makes the difference here is the source of David’s courage. David’s courage did not arise from his extraordinary abilities or expertise at warfare or a profound sense of confidence or an adrenaline rush. But, his source of courage came from his deep faith in God who he knew would ensure him victory in this venture.

The account of David and Goliath is a constant reminder that no matter how tall the giants in our lives may be and no matter how ill-equipped to face those giants we may be, with God’s power, we can have the courage to put them flat on the ground and lead victorious lives.

A STATE OF EMERGENCY INJECTS COURAGE IN US

Courage often originates from emergency situations. When we have an emergency situation we don’t see anything that binds us or restricts but we just act to get out of that situation. I have two very interesting and funny events that will prove what I am saying.

A few days ago on a Sunday morning, I saw my former office boy carrying something in one paper carton. I asked what it was. He smiled saying the box was filled with newborn kittens. Three boys used to stay in the office room and the mother cat entered inside to deliver all her kittens.

I was wondering how come those guys didn’t see her entering the room and deliver her babies without they all being aware of it? They had no clue.

This mother cat was always driven away by these three guys yet it chose their room for delivering her babies.

I remember a similar event that happened with me too three years ago. Asmita went to see my Nanny as she was suffering from cancer and I was alone. When I stay alone in my house I always keep busy with my gadgets and rarely care about what goes on around. But this thing was unique.

One evening after office, I came back home and was relaxing. After sometime I was about to take off my shirt and hang it on the hanger when I saw one pair of glowing green eyes below where my clothes were hanging. I took five seconds to realize that it was a cat sitting there and watching me with her eyes fixed on me as if she will pounce on me.

I stepped back and called in one of my office boys to help. When he came the cat ran away and hid itself in another corner of the house but didn’t leave the house. We were wondering why was it not going out of the open door and then our eyes fell on those adorable little squirmy pink kittens in that corner where I had seen the cat first.

The mother cat could have harmed us for holding her babies. So we had to drive her away from our house first and then take the babies out of my house on a piece of cloth. The boy kept the babies in a corner of the complex and the mother cat couldn’t find them. She kept on meowing looking at me. I closed my door but she came and kept scratching at my door crying for her babies. Though later she was shown her babies and she stopped getting upset with me.

This stray cats are small and tiny before us, humans. They are scared of our shouts and even just the tapping noise of our foot steps unless they are our pets but when there’s an emergency situation they don’t care who we are. They simply invade a place suitable for them to deliver their future.

Awesome!!! Isn’t it?

A state of emergency always creates an antibody of courage within us to fight against all the dangers and fears of this earth. And the above events confirm what I am saying.

By the way, the cat who delivered her babies in my house was long gone. But the cat who delivered recently in the room of those boys is still there. I had captured it having a nap on a wasted sofa and have posted that image for this article. I hope you all will enjoy witnessing the example of Courage.

Stay blessed!!!

STORY OF COURAGE THAT INSPIRED ME

Sometime in mid-1990’s, there was a man who worked as a Scientist for a CSIR laboratory in a small city of Dehradun. He had limited resources but immense will and courage to make a difference to the society. He was deeply moved by the rag-pickers who would keep hunting for clean waste in the piles waste dumps. It was unhealthy and utterly filthy.

For months together, the sight of these rag-pickers troubled him. Somehow he had to help them get clean waste so that these people don’t have to hunt for recyclable waste and carry them to the factories to earn their living. They deserve a respectable life, they deserve a healthy life. This thought made home in his mind.

In 1990’s, there was no concept of waste segregation existing in our country. This man lived in Government quarters with his family in a Government colony. And he came up with the thought of waste segregation – it was just a thought to start with. He wrote articles on why we should segregate waste at source and how it can help the society as a whole. He wrote poems on the same. For advertising his thought, he even dressed his younger daughter as a rag-picker during the fancy dress competition in colony fete (she got the first prize for acting a rag-picker, reciting her father’s poem and conveying a social message).

He had already put his thoughts on paper which had become quite famous. Now he wanted to put his words on action. A couple of his colleagues supported him and he went to each household in the colony and educated them on waste segregation. The idea was simple, they had to keep biodegradable (food) waste in a separate bin that could go to a compose pit and they had to keep non-biodegradable (plastic, glass, etc) in big plastic bag provided to them. Every week he would arrange for a few rag-pickers to come in colony and pick up the non-biodegradable waste from all the households. It was win-win for all. Rag-pickers got clean waste and residents of the colony could now become 0 waste producing community.

He called it “Rag-picker” scheme. It was a huge hit not only in the colony but in the entire city. He got media attention and attention from educational institutions. In spite of all this, he stayed grounded. His team of rag-pickers was not huge but with time he saw a tremendous transformation in them. They were now in better clothes, had watch on their wrists and they were in a position to buy small houses for themselves. He did everything possible to keep the scheme going till he was living in the colony.


Union Ministry of Environment in India released Solid Waste Management rules in 2016 which called for Waste segregation at source as a mandatory requirement. But a common man made this mandatory under “Rag-picker Scheme” at least 20 years earlier in IIP colony, Dehradun.


To do an act of this kind is courage. It takes patience, drive, will and most importantly it needs courage to stand up for an ignored section of society and do something for them.

This man is my Father. And this one act, inspired me to the core. I understood at a young age that without making a difference to your society, your life is practically worthless. Courage is not always about swords and fights, it is almost always about using a Pen to put your thoughts in words and then to use those words to create an action that makes a real difference.

COURAGE – WINNING OVER YOUR FEARS

“Courage is not about being fearless,
It’s about winning over your fears”

We all have grown up listening to fables, bed-time stories and fairy tales. These stories were not just meant to be for entertainment, but conveyed deep messages. Courage is what most of these stories have in common in some or the other way. There is this one character who demonstrates courage and exemplary skills of heroism.

I too had a big hardcover book of bed-time stories that I used to read before dozing off to sleep. Not because I didn’t have time during the day, but because I was so dumb (read naïve) as a child that since it’s cover boldly mentioned ‘Children’s Bedtime Stories’, I dared not read it until it was bedtime!

So, my favourite stories were many, but I really liked The Little Red Riding Hood the most. I admire the cute little girl in red cloak as she had the courage to go alone, through the dangerous forest, to her grandmother’s house. On realizing that the grandma she met was actually a wolf in disguise, she didn’t fret and bravely called out for help. Though she was scared, she overcame the challenges by showing courage. 

In any grim situation, it’s courage which helps us beat the odds and emerge as winners. Though Little Red Riding Hood was a little adventurous, as she didn’t follow her mother’s strict instructions of not wandering off the path and not talking to anyone in the woods, it takes courage to have adventure in real life as well. Isn’t it?

SMALL ACTS GO A LONG WAY …

Act of courage need not be something monumental that you did. It also means the small but meaningful acts that we do every day. Like owning up our mistakes and saying sorry, standing up to someone who is bullying you or just saying a firm no.

Recently I came across the story of my colleague’s daughter who is in grade 5 and is being bullied by her so-called best friend in school.

Yes, even I was surprised to hear that. In today’s day of online classes, even when they don’t physically meet, she is able to bully her.

Let’s call her Annie and her friend Rachel. Rachel was a topper in the class and a favourite of her teachers. When Annie joins the same school and becomes her classmate, she becomes direct competition to her. Annie starts bagging the prizes which Rachel used to get. Annie is at the top of her class now.

Rachel is so consumed with jealously. She uses technology as her tool. Whenever Annie replies to any question in the class Rachel writes snide remarks in the chat box. Wonder how her teacher misses it. Then in the evening Rachel has set up a zoom meeting everyday to do homework. The rule of the meeting is that Annie will finish all her homework before that zoom call and share it with her friends in the zoom meeting.

Poor Annie thinks she is doing it for her friend. Her innocent brain does not comprehend that she is being used. Another instance of bullying is that Rachel tells Annie ‘You are an only child because your parents got so fed-up taking care of you that they decided they didn’t want any more children.’ ‘Look at me I have two other siblings to love me.’ With both parents working and she staying with her grand parents for almost the whole day Annie didn’t tell anyone about all this and was on the verge of a breakdown.

Constant messaging on WhatsApp that you are good for nothing. Your mother does all work for you. Really brought Annie’s self-worth down and she really started believing it herself. All along Rachel kept telling her that I am your only friend and no one else wants to be your friend. Friends do get angry with each other but then its OK to be angry.

Annie got so traumatized with the whole thing. On one hand she kept getting critiqued by her ‘Best Friend’ on the other hand she was scared to lose her only friend. Annie got fever and finally she broke down in front of her mom and told her the whole story.

My colleague was so worried about her daughter. Both the parents counseled her a lot. After a few days of explaining and counseling, my friend told me today that finally Annie got the courage to call that girl and tell her that she is blocking her on WhatsApp and she does not want to talk to her anymore whatever the consequences. A formal complain was also lodged with the Principal. Now that is an act of courage! Specially from a 10-year-old girl. She must have gone through a lot of emotional stress. May God give her more strength! She will bounce back I am sure, as children always do.

Standing up for oneself and being able to say no to things we don’t want to do, whatever the circumstances, not letting someone take advantage of you these are our day to day acts of courage.