Tag Archives: observations

Procrastination

Procrastination cannot be a good thing when it comes matters close to your heart. After all, moments and opportunities come and go. So many of these are simply lost because you don’t act upon them. Truth of the matter is that not all those opportunities will be fruitful… not all of those moments will be significant in time! But some of them can be. However, if you never pursued them nothing will come of them. Don’t let the moment go by. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

If you see that shooting star tonight and you think of somebody then don’t let it just slip away. Act! Act now for you never know what may come of it. Certain amount of beating around the bush is always necessary. However, when that moment arrives put away procrastination and grab it by the scruff of the neck. You will win some and you lose some.

Make sure you don’t lose them all. Be done with procrastination when the heart is involved!

Read this very insightful article on beating procrastination!

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Try caring instead of judging

Judging people based on set of rules and laws you have devised may not always be the brightest policy! Sure, it can be used as a yardstick that helps you quickly determine how the person might fit into “your” world and perception but by no means this is a universal mechanism.

New research is revealing that these split-second judgments are often wrong, however, because they rely on crude stereotypes and other mental shortcuts. Last year psychologist Nicolas Kervyn and his colleagues published studies showing how we jump to conclusions about people’s competence based on their warmth and vice versa. When the researchers showed participants facts about two groups of people, one warm and one cold, the participants tended to assume that the warm group was less competent than the cold group; likewise, if participants knew one group to be competent and the other not, they asked questions whose answers confirmed their hunch that the first group was cold and the second warm. The upshot: your gain on one [trait] can be your loss on the other.

This “compensation effect,” which occurs when we compare people rather than evaluating each one separately, runs counter to the well-known halo effect, in which someone scoring high on one quality gets higher ratings on other traits. But both effects are among several mistakes people often make in inferring warmth and competence. We see high-status individuals as competent even if their status was an accident of birth. And when we judge warmth, rivalry plays a role: If someone is competing with you, you assume they’re a bad person.

The good news is that if you belong to a stereotyped group or otherwise know how people see you, you can try changing your image. A competent politician who strikes the public as cold, for example, can draw on his warmth reserves to better connect with voters. After all, everybody comes across as warm or competent in some area of their lives.

There are many ways to determine fitness for purpose. But mostly it takes time. Time to gather all the facts, eliminate emotions and finally analyse and conclude in a sensible fashion. Attempting to judge loosely based on a few observations is simply not the right thing to do for you may not deduce the root cause behind these observations.  We are all perfectly aware of this and yet there are countless moments each day when we violate this basic principle. Sure… there are times when further analysis is not required.

In any case, who are we to judge people after all?  Try caring instead of judging, it will be a much better place to live in!!

I came across a wonderful article called “why we judge” by Alicia Smith. It’s worth a read!

Thoughtfulness

Thoughtfulness has mostly left our psyche. It is a precious commodity that harks back to pre iphone/ipad, facebook/twitter era. In those days face to face nature of daily interaction almost made it mandatory to apply a generous sprinkle of thoughtfulness. It was essential and unlike the world today, you could not forego it quite so easily. A little humble slice of thoughtfulness kept every single local community ticking over…. plodding on.

Fast forward to today and its remnants are mostly tucked away outside the cities where people still know who their neighbours are. Recently I went to London to see some friends and was genuinely flabbergasted by an apparent lack of courtesy, thoughtfulness from all concerned. From the little kid on the street for whom respect for elderly and grown-ups was scant to the grown-up himself for whom respect for fellow grown-ups was non-existent. It was bizarre to say the least… as if everyone had taken an oath to actively weed out courtesy and thoughtfulness from the day.

Imagine London underground, which at best of times resembles a can of packed sardines in an oven, on a muggy summer day. People breathing on your face, leaning on every single support structures and thereby preventing others from using them, kids and grown-ups listening to an appalling brand of booming noise through their headphones utterly oblivious to an nearby elderly struggling to stand up and a pregnant woman staring into a fictitious space quietly wishing someone would just give up their seat. It is a truly sorry state of affairs.

These may require a grand gesture of selfless bit of courtesy; but consider this… what has happened to the old smile and wave… a gentle query as to how one’s day is progressing… a courteous “let’s hope you don’t get run over by a rutting rhino and die and instead have yourself a nice day…”.

No… none of that exists these days. Instead what you see are bunch of self centred, self pleasing bastards for whom calling the fire brigade if your house was on fire would probably cause inconvenience of untold volume.

So a day that had began in such a fashion that it had all the potential for serious depression to kick in rapidly, sap out the early morning optimism and ultimately wreck the whole day was miraculously rescued by a lovely bit of unexpected thoughtfulness from somebody! Thank you.

What is love?

I came across a wonderful article today which truly moved me. In this article the author discusses what love really means. What exactly constitutes love?

  • I love chips
  • I love Scotland
  • I love my own children
  • I love my job

He claims that love in each of these sentences describe different experiences. At first it may appear loving your children isn’t perhaps quite the same as loving the feeling of eating chips; in truth they aren’t quite so different.  Being in love means different things to different people. There are people who might be obsessed or overly possessive. This class of people generally find it difficult to cope with separation and merger. They don’t see the person they love as living breathing individual with their own feelings and desires.

Fundamentally as you grow up you have to deal with scenarios that are not always aligned to your idealistic views. Although at first glance loving someone because “the way they make you feel” seems reasonable; it really isn’t. Loving someone must also incorporate recognition of that person… that is, a person with his or her own feelings, emotions, ideas and opinions. When you are separated by distance and time, you end up caring for that person’s feelings and emotions a lot more than yours. To be able to place that person’s needs above yours calls for a special kind of love; which not everyone is capable of.

Sadly internalised parental criticism is a topic that is familiar to me. I am not entirely convinced if anyone truly and successfully exorcises this particular demon. I have understood it, I have mostly accepted it but it still hurts. So if you are reading this post ask yourself this question. Are you still longing for something that you never quite received? Do you still love them in any meaningful way? If you do, you ought to be able to look beyond the past and take yourself out of the equation. And then you ought to see that not your Dad but John worked his butt off day and night and yet still found time to make sure your homework was checked… not your Dad but John still made sure the bills got paid… not your Mom but Sally sold all her belongings and prized possession to build the roof over your head.

Now without totally disregarding yourself and how weighed down you feel by all that internalised frustration, anger and regret; can you see the pain and disappointments they put up with? If you can, then perhaps you do really love them in a meaningful way.

However, this is just an interpretation… I am no way suggesting this is definitive but merely proposing an alternate view.

Personally for me love is not just about being giddy with a fuzzy feeling and that tingling sensation all over. Love is about sacrifice, devotion, compassion and compromise. Love is swallowing your pride and staying true to the cause. When you eventually reach the summit, there is nothing more than the bittersweet agony of the journey. The sheer relief and utter joy.

Love is bloody hard work!

Perspective

Growing up as a young teenager can be a mindboggling task. We all know about that… the fun and games and the pain and joy of those adolescence years. However, what I’d like to find out is how many of you can identify and isolate one particular event (or perhaps a sequence of related events) that fundamentally made you who you are today. I can remember one such event with total clarity. Then a few years later there was a sequence of events that also had a profound effect on me.  Together I think they have made me who I am today. Sometimes these events can be a good thing but unfortunately sometimes not quite.  But to seek out the positives, I’d say this has taught me precisely how not to bring up my own kids if and when I ever become privileged enough to be a parent.  There is absolutely no place for negativity and discouragement when a teenager starts to discover the world around him/her; especially something as fundamental as love.

And talking about upbringing, it is absolutely terrifying to see kids these days neglected by their own parents. These are parents without the tiniest bit of regard for the impact of their own actions and behaviour on their own children. Recent rioting received gargantuan amount of media coverage and the rioters (kids) chastised for their appalling behaviour and actions. Frankly speaking, quite rightly so. According to our Prime Minster David Cameron if you are old enough to commit these crimes then you are also old enough to bear the consequences. Whilst I absolutely support this sentiment, I do have a concern that the current socio economic gap has widened so much that struggling parents simply give up themselves. Their children grow up to portray the same neglect, disregard and indifference that their upbringing had. Grown up they might have but certainly not in a capacity to contribute to society and the world around them in any meaningful way.

And here I am complaining about my fairly benign incident that had such a profound effect on me. At least my old folks manage to turn me into a half decent caring individual able to stand on his own feet. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

This economic downturn is another such example. Times are tough. We don’t get two holidays to some far away paradise any more. No more dining in expensive restaurants. Yes, times are tough indeed. Nevermind the poverty stricken countries (a whopping 1.4 billion people live in poverty) in the world where clean water and basic medicine is a scarcity. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t dwell on the past. You think you got it rough. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Feeling good

Walking up down Long Road by Windsor Castle during sunrise is truly blissful. The autumn colours had set in making the trees and the surrounding area look majestic.

Lingering mist

The lingering mist added a sense of suspense and romance. I felt serene. A kind of tranquil sate of mind that allows us to look beyond those day-to-day imperfections (see previous post). A state of mind of that says, “it’s ok”. A state of mind that says, “it ain’t so bad”.  So why do we not feel this way constantly. Well, I think it is simple. Most of the time circumstances won’t allow your subconscious to be in a state that can feel that way.

Lingering mist in front of Windsor Castle

And that is a good thing since you cannot feel this way incessantly. I wonder if that would devalue the feeling itself.
Many people practice deliberate creation solely by focusing on the intent that they want to manifest. The problem with this type of manifestation is that those who visualise and meditate on their desires are usually so attached to the outcome that the manifestation doesn’t “pitch up”. Manifestation occurs because of the feelings that you send out, not because of your thoughts. You have to be in vibrational harmony with your desire in order to manifest it. Only emotionalised thoughts have any actual influence on the subconscious mind. The emotion you feel is the energy of intent and the vibrational state you are in.  There are probably two things that you need… a) a strong desire force and b) a state of appreciation.

So I guess what I am trying to say is just be thankful for the journey and whatever comes along the way. At the end of it all it will be worth it.

Chasing perfection

I came across an interesting quote from somebody today… it said something along the lines of “perfection is only achieved once you look beyond the imperfections that lies ahead of you…”. This got me wondering a little about what it really meant. Of course to start with nothing is perfect. There is no such thing and yet humankind chases perfection… it’s everywhere you look. Buildings, cars, processes, procedures, medicine, software etc. etc. It’s a constant strive to be prefect or rather to be better than what was possibly previously. It’s an admirable quality that has propelled us forward to state the obvious.

Then I realised it is perhaps a contradictory statement. Perhaps what the author intends isn’t perfection. Perhaps it is balance. Since nothing forever remains perfect (it just can’t), seeking perfection is a journey. But when it comes to balance in our own day to day lives there is an element of truth of in it. Balance and perspective are two crucial aspects that most people don’t get right. I certainly don’t. I’d like to think I do but I certainly don’t! An interesting observation led me to conclude that more often than not people who have not quite managed to look beyond these “day to day” imperfections in their own lives are the ones to unceasingly flirt with perfection with all tangible things. This is not supposed to be a generalisation but merely an observation. For instance… an urge to keep things meticulously tidy and pristine to the extent where this process gets in the way of simple enjoyment. However, like with everything in this world… entropy increases… always. Perfection is a momentary manifestation of state of mind. So enjoy it whilst it is there… for tomorrow what you may think perfect may turn your world upside down. Carpe Diem!

So here is my take on life (as per Edmund’s old tutor bubbleface): make love and be merry, for tomorrow you may catch some disgusting skin disease.