Live With Hope

Photo Credits : Lalita Raman

Photo Credits : Lalita Raman

“Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ”― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
To me this is an example of Hope in the face of fear, in the face of every moment of life.
In my coaching sessions with clients, when I coach with compassion and when their Positive Emotional Awareness is aroused, there is hope in their dreams and vision. Hope sees your ideal self – the self that you want out of life, the motivational core that focuses on your aspirations, dreams, purpose, and calling
I was at a Christmas Choir yesterday with the mood so joyous, and filled with hope. This is the festive season and typically during this time there is a joy, optimism and dreams are weaved.
However, what happens when there is negativity and struggle around us or we are in the midst of the same.
→Why allow negativity to get the better of us?
→Why not acknowledge that we are not feeling good yet not give up in taking a good look at the situation.
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” ― Pema Chödrön
For me Hope is …..
Heart – when we look within we find the answers. An awakened heart enables us to find the perspective and lead from within.
Optimism – to see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what the situation, ask yourself what can you make happen? Living with rational optimism and positive affirmations makes life easier. What happens to us at every moment is not within our control but the attitude we take to it, is our choice.
Passion – without energy and enthusiasm about our life and what we do, life becomes boring and meaningless. Our purpose is our biggest energy driver in achieving our dreams.
Empathy – to understand another person’s condition from their perspective keeps their hope. Show compassion not only to others but to self to renew yourself and connect with others.
To live in despair and wallow in our sorrows doesn’t take too much effort. Being positive and living to dream, to aspire and make things happen is what leading from within is and makes life interesting and challenging, Isn’t that what hope is all about?
Never take away hope from anyone else or from yourself.

15 Things That Matter in Being You

The two words we probably hear most often in the form of quotes and statements on Twitter, Pinterest & other forms of Social Media is ‘Be You’, ‘Just Be Yourself’.  What does “Be You’ mean?

Is it an excuse to use your personality as an excuse for bad behavior? I hear people saying hey ‘Just deal with it, this is who I am’. ‘I don’t believe in saying sorry or Thank you’. ‘I just can’t be bothered to change’.  There are yet others who insult others under the garb of humor and sarcasm.

‘ Being you’ I think, is a perfect defense for an egoistic person who has no respect for others and believes they are infallible ?

Of course each of us have our personality traits and inborn temperament which is unique to us and some of this is adapted to suit the environment that we live in and the circumstances that we face. However, the way we perceive and react to our day-to-day journey in life is a choice we can make and one that is within our control.

It is up to each of us to recognize our emotions, regulate our thoughts and frame the right mindset to respond in a manner that is appropriate to the situation at hand.

So what does Being You mean ?

I Believe

1. Whilst there is nothing wrong in being direct and honest, by no means the delivery of the statements or the tone in which it is delivered need be rude.

2. We are a result of our choices and we need to deal with the choices we have made. Negativity and emotional trauma arises when we get into the blaming game for all our misfortunes.

3. That sometimes when we are angry we have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give us the right to be cruel.

4. That each of us need to value ourselves and should not allow ourselves to be trampled on.

5. Each of us have our own strengths and we should build and use them to lead with integrity, trust and character

6. Each of us have our own weaknesses and we should marginalize our limitations to move forward

7. That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences we have had and what we have learned from them and how each of us choose to use them.

8. That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we become.

9. That either we control our attitude or it controls us. Choose the right one.

10. That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

11.  We are human and love to be acknowledged, encouraged and appreciated. Being an introvert or shy is no excuse for not telling someone ‘You Matter’.

12. Each of us have to value and believe in ourselves.

13. None of us are perfect and can teach and learn something each day.

14. That just because you think you are successful you have no right to put out someone else’s light and efforts.

15. You are you and will be valued only if you treat others just like the way you would like to be treated.

Bottom-line, our personality is not an excuse to criticize, condemn and poke fun at somebody. Live and let live and encourage others to do the best. Each of us are unique and life is about learning from each other and making a difference in this world which we live in. Are you ‘Being You’ or ‘Being Brash’ ?

10 Hurdles To Emotional Learning

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity ~ Dale Carnegie

When I say Emotions, you almost immediately associate ‘Anger’ and ‘Sad’ as the synonyms.  Emotion is the mental state and this could be positive or negative.

There are seven major positive emotions : desire, faith, sex, enthusiasm, hope, love, romance.  And the seven major negative emotions are : anger, fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition.

Our brains harbor a lot of emotions and it is the negative emotions that is worrying.  The amygdala  is most commonly associated with fear and anxiety.  Each of us have a chronic or habitual emotional level that determines the overall well-being or satisfaction.  If a threat is perceived,  the amygdala tends to hijack the reasoned response process.  We have certain triggers-things that cause us to have an emotional reaction and elicit our innate ‘fight of flight’ response.  This limits our capacity to think clearly and causes us to move to default behaviors that may not be skillful or effective.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior.  The four main components of EI are : Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management.

Our emotional level, thus is the manifested frequency level of everything and anything that is real (perceivable) to us in our world and actual life’s experiences.

Have you wondered as to Why are these negative emotions triggered?

1. Change  results in discomfort and stress – a lot of us expect life to be easy and when challenges and hurdles come along, it overwhelms us and may cause negative reactions.

2. Human Being rather than Human Doing - we forget many times that what really matters in each of our lives is what we are, what we build and what we share.  Living life with a passion and being your true self is the most important.

3. Relationships – many times we tend to chase people though they may have shown no interest in building and maintaining relationships. In our busy lives we ever so often forget to make time for those who matter the most.  We allow our pride and ego to be the mainstay of relationships and taking those, who have been with us through thick and thin,  for granted.  This leads to disappointments and triggers a lot of negative emotions.

4. Allowing our mind to control us – life is not perfect and sometimes we allow a bad moment, or a bad day to take control of our state of mind and the reactions to other unrelated events of the day.

5. Help – not asking for help when you need it desperately.  Each of us need help and cannot survive in isolation.

6. Know when to walk away and when not to give up - many times we hold onto things without asking ourselves the utility value in the same.

7. Surrounding ourselves with people who make us unhappy and drain our energy out – ignore those who hassle you, stalk you, embarrass you and step beyond the boundaries of decent behavior on social media and in real life.

8. Not being accountable & responsible - not walking the talk which leads to distrust and guilt. We loose our identity by not learning to say,  ‘No’ resulting in over committing and under delivery.

9. Not taking a break- many of us get into the rigmarole of  doing too much without pausing. In that we live without enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer. We are stressed out, irritable and a vicious circle ensues.

10. Focusing on past – allowing our past to continue to dominate us to such an extent that we become victims of it.  We focus on the negatives, loosing ourselves in the problem.  More often than not,  we repeatedly point to our unhappy circumstances to rationalize our negative feelings. This is the easy way out. It takes, after all, very little effort to feel victimized.   But the negative thinking and behavior hurts only one person the most and that is “You”.

So how do we deal with our Emotions especially those that trigger a negative response.

Adaptability is all about recovering from the anxiety  & adversity that change initially brings & then having the flexibility to move ahead vigorously.

I find that one way to practice this idea is to write or think about a good experience. Not only does this remind me that there’s life beyond bad feelings, but it also serves as an emotional anchor.   I find my memory can become a positive emotional reference point, to remind me of the range of possibilities when I am at my worst feeling down and out.

Refer my post on Twelve Ways to Inspire Yourself When You Are Feeling Down and Out

The role emotions play in shaping thinking accounts for a large part of why we see a failure of good thinking in most leaders.  You are free to choose behaviors that are truly in your own best interests.

We all have so much to give. We just need to consciously choose to access and share it.  When we give good vibes, good thoughts,  and a smile, we generally get it back.  Recognizing emotions is the basis of self-knowledge and interaction. An emotion comes up to the conscious level when we are ready to manage it.  I like to think emotions as colors, some simple, and yet others are blends.

Emotional memory management enables us to manage our emotions in a way that will produce more positive outcomes.  It is the “habits of mind” that reveal intellectual character.  Please watch my video on “Emotional Blindspots‘.

The 3 core development steps for all Leaders are:  Knowing Yourself, Choosing Yourself and Giving Yourself.  What do you think ?

Violence Against Women

Violence Against Women is one of the worst crimes and pandemic that exists in our society. Violence exists because we choose to live with it, we choose to allow women to be treated badly.

Please watch my video below on my views on Violence Against Women and what you can do to put an end to this torture that continues to be inflicted against women.

Violence Against Women

Stop Generalizations

“Crude classifications and false generalizations are the curse of organized life.” George Bernard Shaw

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time. - Friedrich Nietzsche

And Yet we very often tend to make generalized statements. By making sweeping statements, the truly important things in life-love, beauty, and one’s own uniqueness are constantly being overlooked.

Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another. ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Forgive !

* “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate — thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.”– Maya Angelou

We have often heard and probably told ourselves many a time that Forgiving is all about letting go – of the anger, resentment, sorrow and the victim feeling.

This You Tube is an extract from the Hindi movie Paa (Father).

Apologies I could not get hold of a You Tube with English subtitles. However, I would request you to watch this & continue on till a little girl appears on the scene. Towards the end of her conversation, she makes a profound statement which keeps ringing in my ear, ever since I have watched the movie. It moved me to tears & I wept …

Background- This girl comes to visit Auro in the hospital. She says she is sorry to have hurt him by screaming & running away, when she bumped into Auro the first time. She says she is really sorry for her behavior & that she tried several times to say sorry, but Auro kept avoiding her. I am sorry Auro. Auro understand….Jo galti karta hai, woh galti karney wale se jyaada hurt hota hai”

The translation of the above quote is “Somebody who has done a wrong thing hurts more than the person who has been a victim of this mistake.”

Many a time in life between friends, sister, brother, parents & between a husband & wife, one party commits a mistake and she or he makes a lot of effort to say sorry. Give them a chance- we live once, no matter how hard it may be to forgive the mistakes, do so especially if the person is genuinely sorry.

I think this girl said it all !

Forgive, let go, because I have learnt that no matter how agonizing it may be to be hurt, it is worse to carry that over in your mind and suffer.