Sunday, January 29, 2012


You have two clear options girls, learn from other people’s mistakes or make your own along the way. I would say, a mix and match is a good cocktail. It guards your autonomy and saves you time and effort. There is no dearth of ‘gyan’ out there in the humansphere and with all the reading that you do, you know a lot more about a whole lot more than you might even need to. Notwithstanding, here are my pearls; I have to cast them; parents do that for fear of not arming their kids well enough, they have a habit of leaving nothing unsaid!

I have a big bug about two things: time and regret. I have the keenest sense of time left alive to us and the deepest fear of an emotion called regret. And my notion is that spelling out these gems might save you both, time and regret.

It is efficient to be honest for starters; saves you a lot of time and bother. Most people make mistakes and appreciate another admitting to one. It is all right to admit to amnesia, oversight, the occasional slip.

If you can pre-empt, think ahead and stay organized, you will save yourself strained arteries. It works to sit down a moment and visualize important events before they are to happen.

I am maniacal about punctuality. It is about respect for each other in my book. Try not to keep anyone waiting- family, friends, colleagues, even foes.

Our culture specializes in dishing out unsolicited advice. There is enough out there to drown you out. Listen to everyone jamming your ears but do what your heart tells you eventually. Trust your own mind and gut. Even if a decision turns out wrong, it is easier to live with because it came out of you.

Don’t fret over people thinking unkindly of you. Most of us are called fools the minute we turn our backs. So go ahead and shake a leg, belt out that song, make that speech and crack the joke choking you.

Should you happen to spot someone known in a mall, matinee or any other public place, reach out instead of ducking. I don’t know why but it is one of those inexplicable feel good things.

We all burn bridges at times. This is something I feel really strongly about. Avoid. Avoid if possible. It is all right if rubbing happened the wrong way, the wise thing to do is to make up at the earliest. Apologize, explain, clear the air. Loose ends can be very debilitating.

No matter how highly placed a person may be, we are all humans and approachable, persuadable, win-over-able. Go ahead and engage.

I have had a strange and recurrent experience. Every time I joined an organization, there were these people singled out for an all pervasive criticism. They were pegs others hung all the establishment’s ills on. It turned out that these were the few who were shouldering a disproportionately high responsibility. When your office begins to bitch about you, it is a sign that you are working well.

Nothing is as difficult as it seems at first sight. Try not to look at the peak as you climb. Your progress will be faster if you look at your feet, one step at a time. Before you know, the pinnacle breeze will grab you.

Be quick to vocalize if something or somebody catches your fancy. Spell out genuine appreciation often. The world is full of remarkable people doing phenomenal work. Voice your admiration freely.

Speak out your misgivings too. Spell out any reservations at group meetings or gatherings. Get involved in the process, use whatever power or influence you have to nudge the affirmative decisions.

I am allergic to criticism of one’s employer, company, school, institution. It is unethical to bad mouth a set-up you are a part of. It is all right to take it apart in-house with a view to put right the wrongs but to speak poorly of it outside is disloyal.

Between staying in bed and setting out, the latter is a clear winner. No matter how bothersome it seems, how cumbersome and daunting, pick up that car key and set out. The rewards are multiple. You will always be the richer for having stepped out rather than having stayed in.

Don’t take umbrage over the occasional criticism or harsh words from parents, grandparents or teachers. Life is a long haul and these people who seem to wave red flags are also the ones who harbour a vision for you. They see you where you don’t yet, see yourself.

Invest in family and extended family in terms of phone calls, special event wishes and expressions of appreciation and concern.  Life can harbour strange twists and turns. A sense of family keeps you rooted, anchored and whole.

Never lose an opportunity to thank those who have given you their knowledge, their insights, their wisdom of hindsight. You could perhaps count them on the fingers, the few who have an emotional stake in you. They are your steady as well as reserve stock.

Invest in your profession, education and hobbies in terms of paraphernalia, equipment and training.

Keep your parents and grandparents involved and informed of your life’s events. They are the base you sprung from and their love and support is unconditional.

Your health is your personal responsibility. In order to make the most of your life, you have got to be free of obesity, dental issues, arthritis and other preventables.

Don’t be afraid to dream. People close to you might feel threatened by your grand plans. Go ahead anyway. They will eventually come around when they see you are backing your intent with concrete efforts.

The world gets more and more complex. With so many gloves and masks off, you will need the capacity to be at home with diverse people and situations.

To the extent possible, keep your word once given. It is a reflection of not just your respect for yourself and others but for life itself.

Take time out to watch live theatre and the arts. Food for the soul is more important than mere physical nourishment.

You will find the path ahead very lumber-some without a belief in the victory of good over evil. Maintain a benevolent and upbeat view of life and people. Guard your faith; it is the fuel that will keep your spirit going.

Don’t doubt ever your own efficacy and ability to make a difference. A human birth presupposes a meaningful life. Go beyond your personal wall of security.

About money, use it as a means and not as an end. Instead of cutting corners, look to create more cloth. I neither favour denial nor wastage. You do need adequate to live with dignity and a sense of security with enough left over for giving back.

I believe there is no magic charm. Luck is something you have got to create for yourself. So do that and celebrate life!

You certainly are worth it. 

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