Summon the right attitude, reboot and move on…

It is okay sometimes in Life to find yourself lonely – and alone!

It is perfectly normal to find yourself, from time to time, in a situation where everything that you dreamed of, everything that you stood for, every value and principle you held on to and practiced diligently, lies shattered, taken away from you and every evidence seems to point that you have been so naive and are on the wrong path, while the whole world seems to be making merry progressing in a different direction. It is okay to find yourself alone. In such a situation, what you need to be doing is surveying what’s left of your Life – focusing on what you have than brooding over what isn’t there. Remember not to focus on what’s not with you anymore but to look at what you still have.

Of the pieces, or threads, that are still with you, pick one that is very dear to you. Maybe your dream. While all your efforts thus far may have been run aground, nobody can take your dream away from you. Even if the world does not value you for the principles you follow, you still are who you are. Nobody can change who you are and what you believe in. Not even you. So, your values and principles are still intact. There may be other threads__someone out there who still believes in you, a glimmer of light that shows the way ahead. As you emerge from surveying what you are left with, resolve anew to pursue. Focus on the smaller, beautiful (the ones you love) pieces than on all your problems at the same time. You have air in your lungs, you have your values intact, your dream’s still in you__these are good enough to reboot your Life’s journey.

There’s a beautiful line in Hindi literature that says, “Doobte hue ko bas tinke ki zaroorat hoti hai”, which means, “The one who’s drowning, just needs a straw, a reeper, to cling on to”. A friend’s facebook status yesterday read as follows: “Haiku of the morning__Dad passed away. Feels like the roof over our head’s blown off. But the sunrise is brilliant.” That’s what a reboot is all about – summoning the right attitude to move on…

Look out the window. There’s a beautiful sun rising for you. (Or surely, in a while). Just for you. Perhaps, it is time for you to stop mourning, stop moaning and start living?

Gaining from loss

You will learn to value what you have, only when you lose something!
Only a loss, physical or emotional, often awakens us to the reality that our lives are soaked in grace. Until then each of us takes our Life for granted. So, we stumble along in a perpetual state of ‘I-know-it-all’ or ‘I-am-in-control’. And then something always happens – that shocks and numbs us, alright, but also awakens us. It’s intensity shakes us to the extent that we begin to count our blessings even in the darkest hours of grief and sorrow. In a way, therefore, a loss is a great way to reboot in Life!
Loss is inevitable. Just as death is inevitable. So, when you lose something, or someone, don’t worry about what happened. Don’t grieve over why it happened. Anybody offering you a rational explanation for the ‘why’ is only consoling you. Consolations are of no use. Instead of consoling yourself, face the loss upfront. Asking why, lamenting and crying hoarse are of no use. Get up and face the brutal reality of your Life. Focus on the learning that Life wants you to have through the experience. This is the only way to make the loss worthwhile.
A man lost everything material in his Life – money, assets, his home, his job. Everything. Absolutely everything. What he had left was his family – his wife and his two children. A close friend of the man was genuinely concerned and expressed his shock over what had happened. He said, “How do you manage? How do you live?” The man replied: “It is only now that I am living. Up until now, I was just existing, earning-a-living perhaps! Living through this cashless, penniless phase, I am realizing that money is resource. It is not a constraint. Not having money is not a crime. I am learning that the value of what I have, which is my family, is far more significant than what I have lost. Because I can always earn money in the future. But I can never get my family back had I lost them.”
That’s a remarkable way to look at Life and loss – to gain from what you have lost! If you look closely, you will see that all aspects of Life are impermanent, perishable, transient. So, try and simply witness the Life that is happening to you. Don’t ask why. Don’t attach meanings to any loss. Just watch what’s happening. And celebrate what you have. Not that such an attitude can make your Life, especially in the wake of a loss, any easier, but it can definitely make it peaceful!

When nothing works, try CTRL+ALT+DEL

Last evening I attended the launch of a unique initiative that focuses on providing preventive and curative care for people with diabetes. The program, with special emphasis on women, is the brainchild of renowned endocrinologist Dr.Usha Sriram of ACEER (Associates in Clinical Endocrinology Education and Research) and her team. Dr.Sriram shared a simple prescription for diabetics. She said: “CTRL+ALT+DEL – Control your Lifestyle, Alter your Diet and Delete unwanted/negative influences from your Life. Sometimes, you simply may have to reboot!”
I have found the CTRL+ALT+DEL method particularly inspiring. This is what we have all learned to do with our computers when programs running on them ‘hang’. We decided to use it on our Firm, when our business turned “unresponsive” some years ago. It was bleeding losses quarter-on-quarter and guzzling cash in the form of debt. That’s when we embarked on a strategy that we called ‘CTRL+ALT+DEL’. We closed 6 offices, painfully let go of 38 clients and as many team members. We basically bombed our Firm and ‘rebooted’ it!
Sometimes, Life requires a ‘forced’ pause, especially when it doesn’t seem to be heading anywhere, and possibly, a reboot. So CTRL+ALT+DEL in a Life context means that you review and revalidate every premise that you have been holding as true.
CTRL – CONTROL – the urge to grieve over what has happened or to conclude that there is no way forward and that it’s all over
ALT – ALTER – your focus; stop thinking about what you don’t have – SCARCITY THINKING; instead, look at what you have – ABUNDANCE THINKING
DEL – DELETE – the anxiety to want to solve all your problems at the same time; if you can’t find solutions to your problems yourselves (either personally or through experts), learn to go with the flow of LIFE
Remember: Life is not to be endured or suffered. It has to be enjoyed. Allow no one and nothing to come between you and your enjoying Life! Be obsessed with your happiness. And if you like, be selfish! Because from your inner core of happiness, is born your ability to serve, to be selfless and to make a difference in this world. And in case you are struggling with a listless Life just now, when nothing seems to be working, try rebooting it with the CTRL+ALT+DEL method. It works!