What I learnt this month: November & December 2016

what-i-learnt-this-month-nov-dec16

Picture Credit: Daniel Victor

Both November & December 2016 were crazy busy, fun and exciting months for me. Work events, family events and travel took up my time so surprise, surprise, I wasn’t able to blog. So, instead of forgetting about the 2 months that obviously had much to teach me, I decided that it is better late than never.

Here’s what I learnt, despite the chaos of it all:-

1.Everyone has the potential for greatness:- Unfortunately, we live in a world which is not so trusting of the good in people. We are not to blame because we do live in a messed up world but the fallout of the bad news splattered over the front page of the newspaper often means that we do not see the good in people. In our eyes, people don’t have good intentions, good actions are the façade for ulterior motives and we are the only ones capable of doing anything right. Everyone is looked at with a massive microscope right from the moment we meet them and finding flaws has become a satisfying game that titillates our senses, for some weird reason.

To be completely honest, I often take a while to see the good in people. I test out the waters before I make my decision about a person and I have realized that though it obviously has been detrimental to my life wherein I have wasted a lot of time being too careful and distant, I have also  been destructive of the lives of the others that I have been in contact with.

I am sure all of you would agree that there are some people who always bring out the best in you, making you feel confident about yourself right from the minute you meet them. They make you feel as if you can do anything and if, at that moment, you were to attempt something, you probably would be great at it. That is the benefit of belief. These people who ignite confidence in those around them are the ones who believe in others and their potential. They believe and it shows. They believe and the other person often does his or her best to do whatever it is they are doing because someone believes in them.

In the past year, I have been consciously trying to believe in the good and the capability of people and the outcome of it was massively evident in these last 2 months. I saw talent, capability, innovativeness and potential like no other and I was thankful that I had taken the time just to believe.  Try it. People will surprise you if you just believe.

2.Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage:- Have you ever been so scared of doing something that you have started to hyperventilate? I have and that too quite recently. I have been in a crowded room trying my level best to slow down the beating of my heart and the intense fluttering in my stomach. I have whispered to myself time and again, ‘Calm down Rhoda! Just calm down’. I have tried my best to distract myself from the overwhelming task at hand by watching TV shows or YouTube videos but nothing seemed to help. I have tried to avoid the work, ignore the work, forget about the work, but there is still no sign of things looking up. So, I resign myself to my lot and start doing what I dreaded to being with. As I get into it, I slowly realize, that the fear is fading. As I finish it, I realize, life is better.

Being a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, I have no fear of the things that most people are afraid of. Speed, heights, or depths don’t faze me at all but, I am often afraid of not being good enough, talented enough or capable enough to attempt something new. It is a feeling that often haunts me but the one thing that keeps me going is the reminder of what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken bold steps of action in the past. If my fear had ever stopped me from doing something, my life would have been a shadow of its present self and for that knowledge and reminder I am eternally grateful.

The words of Anais Nin, ‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’, has been a kind solace to me these past 2 months as I struggled with an overload of new things I had to attempt. One new avenue at a time was all my fragile self-esteem could handle but this sudden influx of one new thing after another attempted to disorient me but I was reminded time and time again that life expands each and every time I am courageous and I shut my panicking mind and got to work.

It’s very easy to over-think it and be your own stumbling block to reaching the rich life you are meant to live but I think it is worth it to put in the effort to obstruct any negative thoughts that even cross the thresholds of your mind. It is way worth the effort to ensure nothing, whether it is the voices in your head, the comments of your friends or well-meaning but misplaced nudging of your parents stop you from expanding your life.

I hope my life experiences enrich your life as well as the life of all the others you come in contact with. Happy 2017!

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