There are no full stops in Life!

The key to intelligent living is to go with the flow of Life – savoring your successes and learning from what you fail at!
On a recent episode of the popular TV show, “Koffee with Karan”, celebrity Bollywood director Karan Johar had the two sensational young stars Parineeti Chopra and Alia Bhatt as his guests. The show’s format includes other stars giving Karan’s guests either feedback or compliments through video recordings. On this episode, Alia’s father, the famous Bollywood director, the venerable Mahesh Bhatt, had recorded a message for Alia. His advice for Alia, who’s just a couple of films old in the industry, was this: “…Remember that in this world we will be penalized when we fail and we will be applauded when we succeed. Take them both in your stride. Keep going…because in such journeys, there’s nothing like a full stop…!” Papa Bhatt was helping his daughter understand the vagaries of the movie business since she is new to it, she’s young and inexperienced. But all that he said is true for Life itself.
Most of the time, a lot of us struggle with Life because we fear failure. Even before we make efforts, we have developed an attachment to the results. We expect and want every effort of ours to succeed. While theoretically every effort, when made with dedication and precision, can be successful, in reality this is just not possible. Besides, success and failure are labels that society has created. At a deeply spiritual level, there’s only effort – there is no success or failure! This the essence of the message of the Bhagavad Gita – focus on ensuring that your motive is pure and the means are right, don’t worry about the results or the outcomes.
I took a long time to understand this truth about Life and struggled with accepting it initially. I could never comprehend why sincere effort, driven with sound integrity of purpose, should fail. For the first few years of our bankruptcy, I felt humiliated with the label of “failed entrepreneur” that society pinned on me. Every time I appeared in court, to face charges pressed by irate creditors, I would be addressed as the “accused” by the officials and the judge. It hurt very badly. I was devastated when my family called me a “cheat”. My grief was unbearable. It was my effort to get rid of my grief that led me to realize that I was allowing these social definitions (of me) to affect me. Yes, I had made mistakes in our business which had caused our challenging situation. But this was not the end-of-the-road for me, I reasoned to myself. I redefined my Life’s context – I told myself that we had to hang in there, face Life, work harder than ever before, and climb out of the situation that my family and I were in. To be able to do this diligently is what success now meant to me. Indeed, we haven’t managed to even begin turning around our financial fortunes. But we have developed this ability to keep ploughing on. This has happened because my wife and I have been able to get over the fear of failure. I believe when you are not afraid of failing in Life, you will be successful in facing Life, even if material success – as defined by society – takes a long time to arrive!
In Life, you win some, you lose some. Neither is success permanent. Nor is failure. Really, there are no full stops in Life. You simply have to keep on going – no matter what!
Advertisements

A Break-Up is not a bad thing to happen

When you are in a relationship, you face the prospect of a break-up all the time. Just as you face death, as long as you are alive! So smile and face whatever’s there, don’t just suffer being anxious and insecure.
A young friend is going through a break-up. It’s a difficult time for him and nobody really is able to make him feel better. Honestly, there are no right ways or wrong ways of dealing with such a situation. Although today’s generation is far more open and willing to share their stories on facebook, parents and family still find it difficult to counsel young adult children on this matter. Perhaps understanding how and why break-ups happen can be useful.
Surely, break-ups are very painful. You sometimes feel you haven’t been treated fairly or that you were never allowed to share what you feel or that you were used. Whatever may be the trigger, a break-up basically signifies a difficulty to relate, to communicate, to express, to appreciate and to understand. But why grieve over this? Just imagine: for years you grow up with a different set of people and then suddenly you develop this ‘liking’ and then this ‘unputdownable longing’ for this ‘new’ person in your Life. You possibly know this person for a few weeks or months or even a year or two – but that doesn’t match the number of years you know someone in your family who you get along famously with or the time you have known your BFF! Any knowing, any relating, takes time to evolve into a seamless understanding, a companionship. And all evolution involves upheavals. There will be fights, showdowns, sulking, anger, sometimes even feelings of jealousy, that will pepper the period of evolution. But before this evolution takes place, if you place enormous pressure on the relationship, there will be break-ups. That’s precisely how and why break-ups occur.
So, the foremost point to know and remember is that a break-up is not a bad thing to happen. If it happens, deal with it by facing it. Because it was always on the cards – from the very moment you got involved!  And if it has not happened, it is still on the cards. It may never happen either. And if it doesn’t, great! But when it happens, a break-up helps a couple review where each of them is coming from and where each of them wants to go. Now, if the destination is the same and they both feel the same way about the journey and being together on it, they may still make up and reunite. Making up often is a cleansing process – it allows for candor to help build a stronger bond. But despite all the efforts they make, if they don’t feel the same way, it’s best they just go their own ways. Why agonize over and endure each other?
I watched this movie Shudh Desi Romance (2013, Maneesh Sharma, Sushant Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor) recently. I believe the movie’s story (and its honest presentation) encapsulates the essence of “companionship” versus “falling in love” and of “bonding” versus “being tied in a relationship”. True love is far more spiritual and pure than what happens between two people at a physical level. Always, all attraction is physical in the beginning. But, over time, a companionship blossoms. There’s an unstated, inexplicable sense of trust, willingness to share and being there for each other that develops. Sometimes, it happens in a matter of weeks. Sometimes, it takes months or even years. And sometimes the companionship never happens even though the physical attraction may still exist and be strong. Life’s journey though, over the years, as you grow older and physically weaker, is best travelled with a companion than with just a bedfellow. If you really want a great companionship with someone, then go beyond the physical qualities that draw you to that someone – seek to, over time, find out if you both relate to, enjoy and celebrate each other. If you don’t it’s perfectly fine – you don’t have to necessarily be this great Jodi No.1! Maybe your partner then is someone else, waiting for you elsewhere?
Life is beautiful. Don’t let it be ruined tending to or grieving over broken relationships where there’s no scope for revival. There’s nothing wrong if, through some pain, you gain insight on what works for you and what does not. Be grateful that you now know what’s best for you. Go wherever Life takes you. Maybe that’s where you will find your true companion…