Judging, you.

During this last week of 2017, I wanted to re-visit the learnings of the year. What have I learned and more importantly what have I un-learned?

Did I repeat the mistakes of the previous year, have I incorporated the learnings of the previous year into my endeavours? Were there any habits formed or dropped? What did I stop doing this year or at least tried to? What did I start doing this year or at least tried to? 

There is a long answer to the above-mentioned questions but there is one aspect which stands out and has started bothering me for a while, something which I have admitted to myself an infinite number of times and although I understand that it needs to be changed I haven’t been able to achieve 100% success. I need to, now.

I know it’s a human thing but it has started making me uncomfortable and even embarrassed me at times.

Today, I am doing few things comfortably for which I judged someone a few years ago. I am still not always comfortable with the deeds of other people which I think are not ‘correct’ or with the higher degrees of any behavioural trait which is yet not in my list of experiences or opinions.

At times, I still ask myself – why someone is not good at tasks which are so ‘easy’? Why is someone not speaking in a certain way? How can someone be so grumpy all the time? Why is someone not able to comprehend such simple things? How can s/he make such choices? Why is s/he dressed like this? What made him/her take this decision?

Whenever these questions come to my mind, they make me uncomfortable. And I must admit, this started happening to me ONLY in last 1-2 years and NOT  before.

I was comfortable JUDGING people. Never did this thought crossed my mind that I am limiting my sense of understanding and acceptance.

It’s just not me, I know that. Also, I don’t want to go into the scientific reasons for Judging in this post, but I understand that probably we need a base to grasp first impressions. We probably maintain a bank of references, experiences and opinions which we consider as the only truth and compare to it, everything we come across in our lives.

But the problem here is, which I have had a hard time to accept (forgive me for that), my truth isn’t your truth and your truth isn’t their truth!

This acceptance has made all the difference to my thought process in past some time. Today, (ironically) I often judge myself for all my past judgements.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always!

I have made myself understand that the place where I come from and the exposure I have had is a tiny circle and the fact is that for each one of us the radius of this circle is different – might be smaller than mine or much larger. I am not aware of that and if I have just come to know you, possibly I cannot be made aware of your circle either.

And thus.

With the dawn of the new year, I don’t want to judge you anymore, I don’t want to assess you while we are conversing.

I am not aware what your story is and what you have been going through. I don’t want to form an opinion about you. Tomorrow if your thoughts evolve and you respond differently to the same conversation, I don’t want to point it out neither to you or myself. Tomorrow if your priorities change and you change your path, I don’t want to question that.

I need to understand that ‘Being Alive’ is a process where you constantly evolve; experiences, achievements, failures, circumstances and people around you, make you and your thoughts.

I know I need to make an effort here and I am ready for that. I want to learn to accept individuality and ask myself questions about whatever I am judging.

Be Curious. Not Judgemental. ~ Walt Whitman

I need to broaden my understanding of what is acceptable which I believe will cultivate a deeper sense of peace within me and make me better than what I am today.

This is one of my agendas for the coming year. Wishing you all best for yours!

 

 

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Scarred, or scared!?

She was sitting with 10 others in a conference room in a big corporate office where the marketing strategies for a new product were being discussed. She has this idea in her mind for a month and thought to discuss it during this meeting. An hour passed, she kept listening to the excellent ideas being shared by her colleagues and was close to concluding that her idea will not be accepted. She was scared that she’ll make a fool out of herself.

But, then an inner voice came up, forced her to share that idea in front of 10 gentlemen. Although they welcomed her idea, discussed the strategies, but as she thought initially – her idea was not taken at the end, as other ideas were better. For a while, she was sad, felt low for few hours. But, now she knew why her idea was not accepted, what were the loopholes, which before, she didn’t. She did learn something!

How many times did you fall when you were trying to learn how to ride a bicycle? How many times did you fall when you used to play outdoor games with your friends? How many times did you physically hurt yourself in your formative years, OR rather…how many scars do you have?

Have you ever given a thought, if you were told, don’t go outside otherwise you’ll hurt yourself? If you were scared enough to not even try to ride that bicycle without those support wheels, had you ever been able to ride? NO. Had you ever been able to speak publicly, if your teacher had had not pushed you to give that speech in your school? NO.

Although you fell a few times, hurt yourself, maybe you still have those scars on your knees and elbows, others might have even laughed at you, but do you regret all that? I know, the answer is NO!

Yes, the challenges thrown to you by life are much bigger and more crucial than a conference room or riding a bicycle, but as the airplane flies on a simple concept of physics, here also the reason behind – ‘prefer to be scarred than scared’ is simple! You grow, you move forward.

You don’t always win – you fail, you fall, you get up, you learn, you repeat, you rise, you SHINE!

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Here, I am not saying that go and just jump into the sea on a stormy night when you don’t even know how to swim. Yes, the risks need to be calculated to an extent, the situation needs to be studied – but never let your inhibitions, your inner fear or any other voice in your head tell you that you can’t do it or even don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t!

Not everything will work out. Not everything will be a success. If you manage to do it, you know what you did right and if you don’t, you go back and try again. In either case, you get better and that is a virtue that makes you stronger!

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There will be moments in your life, both professional and personal, where you can’t win. They’re true Kobayashi Maru situations, where no action will help. But even there, we need to see what can we take as a learning from them, which will be constructive to our growth and our self-discovery.

It is absolutely OK to make a wrong call or a wrong move, as long as you are self-aware to recognize it and learn from it, down the track.

Sometimes, until we are broken into pieces – we don’t get to know what we are made up of.

Actually, I have realized, you are never enough aware, what you are capable of. The tough situations in life let you know about your inner strength, failures let you know how you need to improve, losses will let you know what actually is important.

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So, you need to push your boundaries at every stage, overcome your fear, take that plunge and discover yourself. Who knows, in this journey, the world gets an incredible gift through your scars, let alone your own satisfaction and inner peace!

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Be it a career choice, a travel goal, a business idea, a dream which looks impossible, be it anything your heart desires – take that first step, move forward and don’t look back! I have learnt that every wrong step will just be another detour on a long road, it will not be the end!

Life is crazier. Life is messier. The world isn’t perfect and neither are you!

I prefer to be ‘scarred’. You?