Today I went to Jamia Millia Islamia to meet third year Computer Engineering students. I was there along with Sachin sir, Danish, and Rafi to conduct a test for our upcoming internship. Though I am working in “The Office of Controller of Examination” in Jamia Millia Islamia for last 3 months, I never got an opportunity to visit the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. It was nostalgic and all the past memories rushed into me.
We think our lives are different from others but if we look closely and meet a lot of people who are doing the same thing we did and have the same background we had, the pattern looks evident and quite visible.
The thought-processes of the students I met today were not very different from me when I was in their shoes. The prominent traits were being hungry for learning and knowledge, the “know it all” attitude in some, and “self-doubt” in some others. I showed all these traits from time to time in my college life and it was fun to see other people show these attributes.
Pride is invariably the worst traits of all human nature. It creates a false belief in oneself and the person perceives to become bigger than he actually is. It comes from the feeling that we have achieved whatever we came here to achieve.
Let’s consider two points of your life.
Point A could be defined as your current life situation, the money you have, the number of people you know and the influence you have over the society you live in.
Point B is your future desirable self, whatever you want in your life it’s that position. For example, Point B would be a position in future where you will have your dream house, and have everything else you wanted and wished for at Point A. Furthermore Point B is something which we define at Point A, it could be anything and it differs from person to person.
The journey from Point A to Point B is your journey of struggle, change, and accomplishment. Many people die before they could reach to Point B and many others are fortunate enough to reach there.
The pride comes when you have reached to Point B with your hard work and struggle.
The interesting thing is that people with the growth mindset tend to have a movable Point B because it progresses along the way gradually. They know that they are close to Point B so they rearrange farther away and they become a better person along the way.
People with fixed mindsets tend to have a fixed Point B and once they reach there they are on top of the world but only in their heads.
Sometimes I find myself give in to it and let the time pass even though I know that I am wasting my time.
Tony Robbins asked the audiences in one of the most popular TED talks, “How many of you have watched a movie more than once“. Almost everybody raised their hands. Then he said, “Get a life you people“.
It’s so tempting and easy to distract ourselves in this world. Everything around us is built to distract us from doing the things which we should really be doing. In the midst of all these distractions, only self-discipline is a trait that would distinguish between mediocre and great people.
Self-discipline of doing going for exercise every day, reading books, talking to loved ones, meditating, and all the other activities which help us grow mentally, physically and spiritually. Self-discipline is self-victory which is mentioned in almost all the religions around the world and is considered to be the most rewarding of all.
I remember my teens to be very violent and super aggressive which made me believe that I was different from others.
A couple of days ago while visiting my cousin’s place I got to know that my nephew is behaving exactly like me. Restlessness, violence, and other teenage traits were unquestionably visible in him too. It made me curious and I went on to find more things about teens, and surprisingly I found a lot of information on the internet.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain we use frequently in our most decision-making processes every day. Amygdala, on the other hand, is our prehistoric brain also called lizard brain (Seth Godin talks about this one a lot in his books and keynote speeches).
Surprisingly, the prefrontal cortex is fully developed only after the 20s and more importantly it is in the development phase in the teenage. Therefore, teens have trouble using prefrontal cortex properly and they use Amygdala instead, for most of their decision-making processes.
Amygdala is the part of the brain which is responsible for things like survival, fight or flight instinct and reproduction. Rational decision-making is something which Amygdala is incapable of doing and that pretty much explain all the behavioral traits of teens. In addition to that, a lot of hormonal changes also goes on in the teenage which makes their case even worse.
Think about the time when everything looked awesome since you had thought through every bit of your life and figured all out. You were extremely confident about your future and everything was incredible. You bragged about your accomplishments and left people in awe and you were very proud of that moment.
Let’s call that person Raghu.
It’s really awesome to be like Raghu who knows it all and has figured everything out. I was that person, and I am very sure that you were too at some point of time in your life.
Fast forward it to some more years and now try to remember the time when the future looked absolutely dismal. You were depressed and the horror of not knowing what would happen sucked all your life energies. You hated that time but it made you stronger (more on that later).
Let’s call him Ram.
Raghu has no idea that his future self would turn out to be Ram. Raghu was so certain and confident about his future and life, on the contrary, Ram must be thinking how stupid Raghu was.
We all have been in the position of Raghu and Ram many times over in our life and acknowledging the cycle of Raghu & Ram is a great revelation for me.
In the movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, Javed Akhtar has beautifully put this expression of life in his words.
Jab jab dard ka baadal chaya
Jab ghum ka saya lehraya
Jab aansoo palkon tak aya
Jab yeh tanha dil ghabraya
Humne dil ko yeh samjhaya
…Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai
Duniya mein yunhi hota hai
Yeh jo gehre sannate hain
Waqt ne sabko hi baante hain
Thoda ghum hai sabka qissa
Thodi dhoop hai sabka hissa
Aankh teri bekaar hi nam hai
Har pal ek naya mausam hai
Kyun tu aise pal khota hai
Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai
Every time the cloud of pain loomed
A tear filled my eyes
When this lonely heart was scared
I told my heart ‘Why do you cry for such reason? This happens everywhere in this world’
These dark lonely times, time has distributed them to all.
Some sadness is part of everyone’s story,
Some sunshine is a part of everyone’s life
Your eyes are damp for no reason
Every second is a new season
Why do you waste your time over such matters
Why do you cry I asked my heart
After 10 hours of the blackout, I went to office despite the fact that I couldn’t see anything properly in my house even in the daytime(Yeah that’s how closely we have built the buildings around here). When there is no electricity darkness prevails everywhere and it’s really difficult to do anything properly in my house.
But that wasn’t the hardest part.
The troublesome of all was the fathomless night which didn’t seem to end at all. It’s really difficult to make a person understand the importance of anything if he doesn’t know what will happen if he loses it.
We enjoy the benefits of electricity so much that we have forgotten about the misery it can bring upon us if it is not there anymore. It has become the most important commodity that we consume after air, water, food, and shelter.
It’s difficult to notice the importance of electricity particularly in metro cities where it never goes off and because of that, we are habituated to it. We almost think of it as a natural phenomenon, but hey it’s not.
Switch off the fan or AC for about 10 minutes and you would realize how important it is and then imagine how difficult it would have been for any person to live without it.
We are so busy with our life that we barely notice things around us, therefore, tend to appreciate less. There are plenty of things out there to be grateful for, though many of us live a life full of ungratefulness which is a road to misery and pain.
We are surrounded by the inventions that have changed the world many times over sadly we barely notice any of them. However, the only time we do remember them is once they are not serving us anymore. Thankfully I realized the importance of electricity in my life.
Music is a form of expression that we all love and it connects different culture and traditions. You can be traveling to a foreign country not knowing anything about the language they speak yet if you stumble upon any good music playing in their language you might pause and take a moment to enjoy. A good music relaxes us and make us more efficient in our endeavors.
Sonu Nigam, legendary playback singer, musician, and actor did a great job where he disguises himself as a homeless and went ahead to sing along a roadside with a harmonium(a traditional musical instrument of India). He was phenomenal and many people stood there to watch him perform even though he looked terrible because of his disguise.
Sonu Nigam shared his learning for the whole experience that we often seek happiness in the future. We think that achieving more is the way to happiness. We always carve for the next milestone to accomplish. In the meantime, we forget about the present where the happiness actually lies.
I get a lot of chance to interact with different kind of people and I use this opportunity very well. Mass Communication is the flagship course of Jamia Millia Islamia, and I was astonished to see it’s alumni. In my interactions with Mass Communication students of Jamia Millia Islamia I keep asking questions about the opportunities they have and things that they are doing apart from college.
A lot of students were in stress because of the pressure from the examination and only a few of them were actually thinking big. It reminded me of my college days and the way I used to be so stressed out because of the examinations.
When we are in college we have a tiny horizon and it’s inconceivable to think beyond the college. It’s true that the examinations are the only way to compare the cognitive ability of a person but lot more abilities are needed in real life and judging a person only by his ability to remember things may not give the actual picture.
We put all our energies and potential in scoring higher but I have realized that the more we involve ourselves in extracurricular activities the more we learn from them. These activities help us in making us more aware of our surroundings.
I believe that schools and colleges are there to broaden our horizons which they do but there is still room for improvement.
The win-win strategy was the term I often used to hear in corporate meetings and other business places and as the word suggests it simply means winning for the both parties involved in the deal which is pretty straight forward and self-explanatory. What I never heard of was below five other strategies :
So there is basically 6 type of strategies that are possible in a deal and it was an eye opener for me to understand the nature of the people behind this different kind of deals.
A person with low self-respect will never accomplish a win-win deal and probably would lose in his deals every time likewise, a person running low on empathy and respect for the other person would only think about his win and so on.
The reason why so many marriages fail is because the people involved don’t think win-win, it’s that simple. With that said it’s not easy to play win-win every time and it requires a lot of effort to do so.
To let the other person win we have to see things from his point of view which is a difficult thing to do and we normally don’t care too much about the other person which leads to conflict in a long run.
Time and time again I get a call or a message that I am working really hard and doing a great job by publishing one article every day and how difficult it must have been for me to do this consistently.
The beauty of doing what we love to do is that it doesn’t count as work anymore and it is difficult to make the other person understand if he doesn’t know what it is to be in love with something. The time which I invest in writing is one of the most productive time of the day and it completes the day in some way.
That makes me wonder how fulfilling the lives of those people are who do the things they love to do for the living. Working on design and creating great products was the thing that Steve Jobs loved to do, performing live and playback singing was the thing that Kishore Kumar loved to do, and this list includes all those people who are extremely successful in their profession only because they are doing the things they love to do.
I am very grateful to God that I found something I love to do even if I am able to it only after the office hours.