Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Balancing Act

If balancing is a law of nature, then we need to work harder towards it. At every step, on this tight rope walk there seems to be a threat of falling. Yet, at every step there lies another chance to balance your act. The steps we will measure in this article, are after you have covered 1/4th of your journey, have put on new shoes and have a new partner in the game. Lets discover the success of your journey as you walk with your partner and your your laces just opened.

'Marriage is an institution that brings along great responsibility' for sure, it redefines the meaning of most of the things in your life and sooner or later you update your dictionary to write a new page and then new chapters. Yet, many people fail to give it its due and do not live up to the most important test of life.

We all have heard stories, where ambition, career and money overtake you in your journey, or spill oil on the rope and you have a bad fall. There are so many cases where men and women, who are working towards their career paths forget that the person walking with them is equally important to balance the rope and even though they take their steps quicker, they don't reach far, because either the string tying them to their better half pulls them back and they tumble over or they stop to cut it off where they waste their time and energy. At one point, filling up their treasure chest, climbing up the corporate ladder blinds us of our responsibility, but is that the right thing to do? Doesn't that mean that we have failed in the most crucial test? how does any other success count after that. Recently at work, our team was having a conversation over lunch about some of the top entrepreneurs in Australia (would refrain from taking names), their bank accounts, success and commitment towards work. For more than our designated eating time, each of us could not stop us from praising their efficiency, business acumen and luck. Suddenly, I popped a question at the group. If these people were spending 18- 20 hours in a day working, they must be doing a good job juggling between family and office. There came a prompt and insensitive reply, as if I had asked one of the silliest questions.' They are divorced'. 3-4 people left their partners as they got into the second year of their business. That left me disappointed. Indeed they would have had their side of the story, but success and lack of time did bind these cases together.

One of my mentors once said, having a companion is the best thing that can happen to you, and there is so much you can do with this relationship. It can be your comfort cushion or your punching bag in times when you need it most. Being together is not just about a social tag, about cooking together, cleaning, lovemaking or having babies. It is an inspiration that brings the best in you and makes you take that next step and achieve whatever you want to.

When parents match horoscopes before 2 people get married, they talk about happiness and being compatible.. but what does compatibility mean? liking the same actor? cuisine? having common friends or sense of humour? its none, its about making the other person feel beautiful feel inspired, happy and lucky to have the other person. Its about inspiring your partner to lose that extra kilo, send one more job application, spend hours writing your business goals and celebrate success together.Together both of you should make the best team to achieve everything you have ever wanted to.

I don't write this as a reference from an article,movie or observation, I say this from experience. I got married last year and my husband and I came together leaving differences such as language, cultures, interests and continents. I come from a marketing background, trying to creatively find beauty in everything and my husband is a hotelier, who loves the grandeur of things, numbers and his financial express. My perception of marriage was very similar to what most people have, but after living it for almost a year now, I can see 2 reinvented people, two people who have had their dreams but did not have a direction and as they came together, they became a team who can take on the world and realise both their personal and professional aspirations. In spite of our differences we found a common ground and enjoy what each of us brings to the table, to complement each other as tea and cookies.

Leaving India and shifting to Melbourne was a challenge, plus dealing with a new lifestyle and the fact that we were married now, it brought new experiences and discoveries. At many times I found it difficult to settle into work and personal life, but as soon as I took one step backward, my husband would go out of his way to bring back my passion and encourage me to do things I love, things that define me. That is why I am back to writing actively and have made it a part of my routine. It was never about , you 'have' to adjust because you are the wife and that's the rule, it has always been about finding each others passion and making it our strength.

The worldly truth is that each of us has dreams and no one but we have to work for them, so why not dream together and achieve more by putting in the energy, personality and commitment of two people? Another truth is also that to realise dreams it is important to quantify them, we need to know the destination and then pave a path to follow. Weekends are the best time to do this. In the beginning of the year, Me and Manav , sit down on a Saturday afternoon, enjoying some beer and cold cuts. We decided to chalk out our 5 and 10 year goals individually and then discuss them. After an hour of thought and getting personal space to introspect, we started to talk. Surprisingly, we not just got to know much more about each other but also saw similarities in out personal aspirations and decided to work together on our professional desires.

A typical notion is, that a wife desires and a man fulfils, which i disagree, we both should equally contribute towards the future and be ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of the other emotionally, financially and otherwise. I know that Manav wants to own a certain car one day, So, I will put in my best to help him get it, that's how we create a balance.

So, its time to let go of stereotype notions, hypocritical mindset and work towards bringing the best out of your partner because when you reach the end of the rope, your success would not be complete with only the money you have or the designation you hold, what would make you truly successful is how well you balance your personal and professional attributes and make a beautiful life and strong team. Because when you celebrate the smallest success with your partner, it would be an overwhelming experience, which is hard to describe and harder to replicate. It is called "love'.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How deep is your end of the pool?

Life pushes everyone into the 'deep end' of the pool, but the chances of survival are determined either by the acquired skill ( swimming) or the hereditary attribute (height) you possess. Use one of them to your advantage quickly or you are bound
to drown, evaluating
the 'depth', other people are struggling through.

No ones life is perfect, wish it would be. Each of us are consumed by issues, big or small that comfortably take most of our life. At no point in time would our life be free of problems or drams because if that happens, then either there are not enough things you have to keep you involved or not enough people who matter to you, not enough decisions awaiting your verdict or not enough ambitions to push you through. In a normal world,whatever the case be, we are always faced with things that keep our minds occupied, that give us sleepless nights and eventually make us happy.

We live our life thinking, why me? why did this have to happen to me... but what we forget is that the person sitting next to you in the tram, or a movie theatre or in office has exactly the same cloud of thoughts. We compare our lives with others, creating a few more 'issues' for ourselves, intentionally oblivious of the fact, that each person has a set of people and goals which he or she has to achieve and to do that they have to struggle. What differentiates people at this stage is how wisely they use this opportunity to their advantage.

When life throws a question at you, then you have two ways to answer it. One is to use your skills that God packaged you with, be it physical, mental or emotional characteristics. fully exploit them because you cant possibly donate them after you die. Or acquire skills which will give you the wisdom to answer these questions correctly. Read, talk, interact, observe, practice and do everything it takes to polish them and emerge out successful. This theory is applicable in the simplest or toughest of situations, to the youngest or the eldest and to the richest or the poorest.

We have choices and then we have opportunities disguised as choices. We have the skill and we have ambition, what runs out is the time. So before you drown looking at someone else, who is maybe taller or a better swimmer than you are, hone your skills and reach the other end safely,because you are bound to be pushed... and unfortunately life does not push you in with a warning or a swimming tube.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lets challenge the challenge!

Taking up a new challenge is like tasting a new cocktail.. either you would love it and know a new drink..or you wont like it, yet, become a drink wiser :)... take a risk today, before someone else does... who knows you might become an ace bartender one day...

Someone once told me that out of a 100, there are only 5% leaders and 95% workers. What distinguishes them is not the experience or the dedication, but the ability to take risk. In a situation, where both the 'kinds' of people are faced with a challenge to take up, or make a decision, the most likely event would be that the worker would either ignore it as not being a part of his routine, or not be game enough to give it a thought,as it would drag him out of his comfort zone. On the contrary, a leader will jump at such an opportunity as he loves doing things which are out of the square, not regular.. that no one has done, or has done differently and there exists an opportunity to give it a new dimension... and that courage to try the 'unknown' will make him one point more successful, richer and wiser than the worker.

In the span of time, as the leader keeps accumulating these points, he rises so high up in the ladder, that the distance and designation between him and the worker becomes evident and enviable. But what the worker and the onlookers forget, it that this has been created not because the leader kept stepping up the ladder dubiously, but because the worker did not take up any opportunity to fill in this distance and take a step forward.

In life, you stand on this threshold a lot of times, and personally, I consider myself lucky to be in such a situation, where I have to take a decision, involving risk, because that implies that the gain will be more as well, its no different from a game at your favourite casino. Each of us gets this chance to take the plunge.Either we take it, not 'unknowingly' but after careful consideration or crib about it and the upcoming 'change' life is about to bring. I am not implying that the decision will be 'easy' in any way, it would bring along insecurity, loss, impatience,discomfort. and stepping into the 'unknown'.. but what you have to look at it is the long term benefit, the success it will bring. It will get you an accolade of being man enough to try something different in life and the worst that can happen is that you find yourself in the same spot where you started from.But, that will never be the case, because like I said, you will surely be more wiser, stronger, knowledgeable and one point up on the success ladder.

To sum it up, just like a new cocktail, where you don't know how it will taste, yet you know the ingredients individually ,In life, you don't know what will happen tomorrow, yet you know that ingredients like hard work, patience, skill, knowledge and common sense will earn you the brownie points you want... all you need to have is an appetite for 'success'.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do Wishes Come True?

Do wishes come true? Lets stop for a moment and think about this...

Well, they do! is what I would say and maybe you would too.. Sometimes, God surprises you and gives you everything you want at the blink of any eyelid and people would say.. OMG how lucky are you! Sometimes, God grants you what you want.. but maybe not the way you wanted it.. and sometimes.. he takes his time.. and people still say.. OMG! How lucky are you! oblivious of the million times you must have closed your eyes and prayed to him, of the several evenings.. you must have sat by your windowsill. looking at God's creation outside.. wondering how lucky the people on the other side of the glass are.. and asking yourself the same question I asked you before.. Do wishes come true? .. This seems to be a vicious circle of questions.. but the beauty of it lies in the fact is that you have the answer within them!

As I write.. I wonder too.. When was the last time I wished for something and promised GOD. that this will be the last time I wish for anything.. well, at least this thought brings a smile to your face...if you come to think of it.. If you don't wish.. then the excitement and thrill of life would fade away.. from wishing for a thing as petty as your pimple going away the next morning to meeting the Mr. Right at the prom the next evening.. these wishes are like clues in a Treasure Hunt Game.. You keep wishing, you keep finding clues to fulfil them and the future keeps unfolding.. making your life no less than a magical experience.. and guiding you to that Biggest Treasure..

Talking about biggest treasure.. Have you ever wondered what that treasure is? What is that one thing that you would wish for.. and then stop wishing as you would get it? What is that one thing you want before you end this maze of life? You would surely have more than one answer.. because even if today.. a dying man wishes for his life.. Tomorrow when his wish will be granted he will wish for a better life.. and if someone wishes for death.. tomorrow he will wish for salvation..

As you walk through the game of life.. and keep solving every hurdle.. you collect these treasures.. small ones, big ones, not so significant ones and then walk with them.. with a bright smile.. The truth is.. that when you reach the end of this will be time to quit the will see this big chest.. the Big Treasure.. and when you will open it.. you will be surprised to find all these small wishes and memories you collected over your journey sitting in there.. your childhood toys, christmas stockings,loving parents, friends, grade ten certificates, prom night pictures, first job letter, marriage pictures, kids, success appreciation letters, holiday souvenirs, grand kids pictures and bank account statements..:) that would be your big treasure.. because at that moment, when you sit down to browse through all of them.. you would answer my question and say! OMG.. thats what Iv always wished for...Wishes surely come true!!!