Change

Change is often the subject of my frequent musings and more than the concept of change, I tend to dwell on the human perception and perceived reaction to change. Change can be either negative or positive. We often react positively and with much excitement to the positive changes that occur in our lives. But there is no compulsion for us to react negatively to the negative changes in our life. A profound dialogue that Remy says in the famous Disney movie Ratatouille, which happens to be one of my all-time favourites, remains unforgettable. I quote, “The only predictable thing in life is its unpredictability.” Change is constant and change is inevitable. Change is also necessary, if we humans want to be more than just black-and-white figures painted without much grace on a boring landscape called life.

Positive change needs no elucidation as such. We all not how to deal with that – pray, thank, throw a party, make a toast – that’s more like the pretty picture in life. But as many times as change is positive, change can also be negative; it can have an adverse effect on our lives and loved ones. But we need to learn to deal with that too, don’t we? John Maxwell once said, “Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” Change can be like gentle breeze, descending over us slowly and giving us time to get our act together. Or, change can be a blunt, brutal force, coming in like a ricocheting bullet giving us hardly any time to react. But between every stimulus and every action, there lies a golden moment of conscious choice. How we understand and use that moment will determine the future course of events. If we can think calmly and keep our cool during those moments, change will be no big deal. We simply have to realize that everything we do in our lives in our responsibility and our conscious choice. Whenever we are faced with change, we need to take decisions, and more than looking for answers on Wikipedia and Google, it’ll be a darned good thing if we decided to browse through our own conscience.

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The Need For Constant Evolution            

The human mind is like an ever-expanding factory. Units like our memory and attention span integrate different information and work endlessly to produce good results which enable us to meet our targets. But what happens when there are no targets? The workers and managers of our factory then become dormant, having nothing to work upon and nothing to integrate. The mind is a storehouse of infinite organizing power, but it always has to be fed, so it can be in constant motion and keep adding to our knowledge about the world and its people.

When we decide to shut ourselves from the world and from and knowledgeable information, the mind not only slips into a transitory state of dormancy, it also tends to experience a shift from positivity to negativity. Like they say, an idle mind is indeed the devil’s workshop. On days when we are occupied with achieving and doing something worthwhile, our mind works diligently and we see admirable results. There is a general sense of optimism and fulfilment. But on other days, when we decide to simply ‘switch off’ and do nothing productive for a very large period of time, more negative and intrusive thoughts are likely to find their way into the chambers of the mind. When you do nothing purposeful, you’ll find yourself wondering and mulling over the purpose of life itself, and a solemn sense of alienation is likely to descend over you.

So, the point I’m trying to make is: Your mind gives you an eternally fertile ground for growth. You have to cultivate it using your knowledge, and planting new seeds of incredible information. The moment you stop doing that, you invite meaninglessness and negativity. You have to try to evolve and grow constantly to harness the complete power of your mind. It is okay if you move slow, as long as you do not stop walking.  

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All planned?

There’s a general observation which seems to be nagging me lately – the human urge and urgency to plan every moment of life – every day, every hour, every minute, and the sheer desperation to stick to that plan. Sometimes, we fail to meet our own expectations and tend to be too harsh on ourselves because everything did not happen as planned. Sometimes, even the most stringent dose of self-discipline does not yield results which we, in fact, planned to achieve. We adhere to our values and principles and do what we are supposed to, exactly in the manner it’s supposed to be done, and yet, we are not satisfied with what we have achieved because that is simply what we hadn’t planned. Planning is good, but over planning, with an acute dosage of over thinking, can inflict colossal damage upon the human mind. When we pose the same question/problem to our mind over and over again, the mind tends to numb out and lose its innate energy and thinking capacity. Sometimes, we just have to let these questions linger around in the chambers of our mind without building too much pressure on ourselves, and the answers will automatically emerge.

Life is  a contingent event. I am alive right now, the next moment I could be dead. But that doesn’t have to keep me from living and enjoying every moment of life. The problem arises when we delve into the What’s and How’s and Why’s of everything in life. “Why did this happen? How could this happen?” are frequent questions with which we tend to burden ourselves. Something goes wrong, despite all the efforts we’ve taken and all the hard work we’ve put in, and we simply cannot stop chiding ourselves for being so ‘stupid’. We complicate life redundantly. I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t try and understand what went wrong and how we can prevent ourselves from making the same mistake in the future. The point I’m trying to make is that we should all not get so worked up about the mistakes we make, the challenges we have to face, the things that go wrong and our infinite fallacies. We are all human beings and we are not perfect. Somewhere down the line, we may trip and fall and make the silliest of mistakes. But the beauty here lies in the fact that after every fall, we have the ability to rise and redeem ourselves again.

Life throws chances at us, beckoning us to get up and fight our obstacles, but we fail to embrace these because we are too busy mulling over why we fell in the first place. There are answers in the universe, but some things in life – they just happen. Some things go wrong because perhaps, they were meant to go wrong. It doesn’t always mean that we have to blame ourselves – or for that matter, blame anyone at all. If we do something with passion, courage and determination, and give it all we’ve got, then the outcome doesn’t matter. What matters is the process. At the end of the day, life’s always going to come full circle and life’s always going to be fair. So we just have to learn to steer our boats along this river of life and take the course which life has planned for us.

We can never plan everything in our life, but our life has everything planned for us. We simply have to trust the dynamism of the universe and its Creator, and keep moving forward…This is life, planned and unplanned, bitter and sweet, but beautiful all the same.