Friday, May 6, 2011

Why do we never listen!

We all have/had someone who constantly keeps nagging us. Parents, partner, siblings, they all have one common complaint, that we never ‘listen’. Today let’s try and understand the reason behind this supposed allegation.

When people say we never listen it has more to do with acting on something rather than the act of converting sound into meaning in our heads. While many don’t even bother doing that, they just consider it as white noise and ignore it all together. Coming back to the problem at hand, why is it that we don’t want to give any importance to the words at hand? There could be reasons like, we could be preoccupied with something at that moment, the person saying it doesn’t have enough credibility to be taken seriously, or what they say generally turns out to be the wrong advice for you or just because we are so full of it, that we consider everyone but ourselves as simply stupid.

More often than not I feel we don’t listen because we are not ready to admit that others actually do make sense. We also know that the other person is right and admitting to ourselves that we are wrong is difficult. At times we might even feel exposed because someone is able to see right through us very easily making us feel naked in the midst of people even with clothes on. At times we don’t listen because on a subconscious level we have lost hope and that no one can say anything to change the fact that things cannot be ‘fixed.’ We don’t listen because we don’t want to believe that something is over as much as we don’t want it to be. We don’t listen because we know that it is going to make us think, confront issues that were shoved into the dusty old closet in our brain. We don’t listen because we know we might just have the answer to make or break someone’s dreams. We don’t listen because listening will make the mind boggle and we are just not ready to face the fact that there is more to us than all the outer supercilious ‘stuff.’

I know I have given a lot of reasons for not listening, but I still think there are many more. Think about it, how easy life would be if only we heard what other people had to say. Whether we like it or not sometimes they answers we look for are repeated to us over and over again and all we have to do is Listen!

* I thought I’d share a funny story regarding this topic. A good example of not listening happened while writing this blog. My brother asked to use my computer for a few minutes. At the risk of losing my train of thought I agreed while telling him to exit an application running in the background since it slows down the internet. 15 minutes later he refuses to give it back to me saying I’m not done yet ‘the pages are taking ages to open up.’ I rest my case!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why do we not want to grow up?

This post is dedicated to all those who have kept the fun little kid inside them alive.

At times I think Peter Pan was lucky not having to grown up. I don't know about you, but I have been told the words 'grow up' for years now. There is something about growing up that is just not right. I mean what exactly is growing up, I'm sure there is more than a physical inclination here. I may need to grow up according to 'people', but I have seen others going throw the same annoying request to grow up as me. The difference between me and them for starters I know they have a job, some married and some even have kids and yet are not grown up? This is where the confusion starts, job, spouse/s is and kids to me seem like things grown up would do. Nope, 'people' are not happy with this much. To be a grown up you need to be sad, depressed, stressed out, have your hair turn white, have troubles at the office, arguments with your partner, comment ridiculously about everything on TV, judge people by what they appear to be than who they really are, fake being happy and most important of all not have any real FUN! 

If being a grown up means having the zest of life sucked out of me, I hand in my apology I am never growing up! I will do the things I have to do, live life the way it is supposed to be and enjoy myself.

If life is all about long term future plans, savings, retirement, pension and hip replacement then obviously who would want to grow up? Just remember you can still do that and do things you like, party all night or sleep till noon someday.

I would like to leave you with the words of a famous Indian movie personality Prem Chopra, (not framed exactly)... I have seen the world of grown-ups, it’s not that good, and it is these grown-ups who make me not want to grow up!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why do we always want a little more?

You know those times when we get something and we keep hoping to get just a little bit more? A second helping of that scrumptious chocolate cake, a few more fries with your burger after dancing the night away or just one more sip of your smoothie on a hot summer day, (I love food, hence the food references). To win a little more at a casino or one more kiss goodnight, the list is endless. 

So why is it that we want a little more? I think that sometimes people are in search of something to complete their lives. It’s like when Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire says I love you. You complete me, to which RenĂ©e Zellweger replies Shut up ... just shut up. You had me at hello. It sounds all so romantic, but it is a movie after all. In real life deep down we don’t really want to be fully complete or finished with things, coz if everything is perfect and done what more is left in life!

From the time we are kids we always want more like more toys, on being teenagers we want to be thinner (negative celebrity influences), adult hood warrants a successful career and a marriage. Then maybe kids, bigger house, more cars, time with the family, kids grow older, then we need time away from them, as we grow old we want to be young again only to do thing all over again. Is there a point to all this? I am not sure but maybe there is, this is how humans are designed. Our lives go by and sometimes we have regrets on why we did not do things while we had the chance. 

So here is something to sleep on, if you want more get more (alcohol, drugs and bad things aside), don’t wait around. You are at a buffet and that line near the cocktail shrimps is not going to get shorter, does it mean you should skip on them? Or just be patient and wait in line, if you're smart enough you would get there early and enjoy before the crowd shows up.

I think wanting a little more is not wrong; it is just another form of hope. Hope is what makes the world live another day. Hoping for a better tomorrow or just hoping to nail that midterm. Don't think you are ever to old or young to get that little bit more, we only have one life that I know of! 

It’s time for me to sign off for now, my 40 day old niece isn’t letting me type anymore, maybe just wants a little more attention!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why do we feel helpless?

I hate those times when things are not in my control. Being the control freak I am, has nothing to do with this feeling of helplessness. It’s like deep down I am becoming hollow. Something is digging a bottomless pit inside me and I am getting sucked inside by the gravitational pull. Every step I take to come up is one breath less that will have, to live. 

This feeling of helplessness is such that no one can help me get out. It something I can’t tell people around me, because how can I not have things under control. For a composed exterior can be very deceiving. Things that brew inside are only a secret between my mind and me.

Why is it that I feel this way? I may not be alone in feeling helpless after all it is a very human quality! There are many reasons why we feel helpless. Some being physical like James Franco’s character in 127 hours. At first he is extremely helpless, he can’t seem to move that boulder no matter how hard he tries, eventually he figures out a way to free himself. Another way in which we might feel helpless is when someone we love is in pain and there is nothing we can do to reduce that pain, in other words emotionally helpless. In my previous post I mentioned there are physical reasons for crying as well as emotional, the same thing applies here.

Getting back to that very feeling of not being able to do something, no matter how hard we try, nothing seems to happen. Its times like this when we might be unable to talk to our family and friends about this, in fear of getting embarrassed or simply not being understood.

And honestly sometimes there is nothing we can to about it, other than wallowing in self pity. It is easy for us to think of things like making a list, prioritizing, aiming for specific goals and so on. These actions are just a little hope we build for ourselves. Nothing really happens over night, especially mental/emotional stuff, slow, steady or fast we may be able to get the upper hand on life. We need to remember this might not be the last time you are going to feel like your world is tumbling down in a million pieces. And every time that happens give yourself time, gaining control may be easy but maintain it, is not (just ask all the famous dictators)! 

Don’t forget, asking for help many a times is very helpful!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why do we Cry?

My friend once asked me, 'so what do you think, is crying a sign of weakness or strength? It got me thinking, sadness, pain, misery, loss or happiness there are many emotion that can bring tears to our eyes. People and situations have a big role in the development of these emotions. Everyone does it, then why are we so afraid that we have to hide it? 

Crying is a sign of true emotion. It is not about being week or strong, those are just words coined by all the hypocrisy which engulfs our society. A kid cries on getting hurt, which is genuine physical pain felt by him or her, we cry because of the stress at work or school because it breaks us down while taking a mental toll or the loss of a loved one when the tears don't stop for days signifying the emotional state we are in. All these are true emotions felt by us human beings some greater than the other. These are the occasions when every thought in our brain is over run by the gush of emotion. For many of us the built up excitement has only one way to get out and that is by crying.

If you think crying is for the weak, consider this; babies cry all the time. They want to eat, poop, burp they cry. One can argue that they cry because they cannot talk and crying is the only way they can express their needs and get our attention. Now think of an adult who has gone through a situation of really high emotions. They cannot express how they feel inside in a language we speak. Each individual suffering is different, but we all have the expression of crying in common! Since we were babies the lack of words has been replaced by crying.

Maybe in some part of our sub conscious crying connects us maybe only for a few seconds it takes us back to the stage when we were babies, helpless but yet so uncomplicated. Stress and pressure were concept unknown. The only major problem we had was 'gas!'

Crying can many a times be associated with something unhappy. We fail to consider 'happy tears.' Why do we cry when we are happy? Many times people cry when they have achieved something really important to them. A promotion, having a baby or just someone saying I love you; these emotions are as big as loss and pain. Maybe the same rule applies here; the happiness inside you fills you up to the brim and still keeps rising. With no place to go it rolls out in the form of tears. Again it is a time when we do not have words to express the way we feel. Crying and tears are a common expression of deep emotion which come to the surface just like they did when you were a baby and life was a happy and simple story.

Dont worry about being called a sissy, cry if you have to. Do it bathroom at your office or the comfort of your house, but remember if you happen to cry in front of people don't ever worry about what they think. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why do we never let go?

All my life I have been told to 'let go,' and so I have tried to do. I have also told others that life is much easier when we do.

A lot of events take place in our lives, some good some bad. Why is that we are always told to forget the bad stuff that happened to us? Maybe because we assume that by forgetting the bad stuff we will trick our brains in thinking that  it never happened. The truth is, we can never really just forget. We mostly suppress our emotions making them go deep into the sub conscious which pour out when the right senses are triggered. Okay I am not here to discuss the psychology of it, rather defend it in a way.

Why should I let go? Letting go means I am giving up an incident or feeling that in some way shaped my character today. We are told to learn from our mistakes, if we let go how can we prevent the same mistake from happening over and over again. Going over every minute detail of a situation can drive me crazy, but I have to do it a few times to at least try and understand what was it that went wrong. Only after I figure what I could have possibly done I am free to let go.

Letting go isn’t just an option you need to consider when something bad happens. Sometimes good things can stop us as well. Like getting employee of the month is great, but you can’t just go on the rest of your career thinking 'I was employee of the month once.' You need to accept the fact that, the months will get over at some point and so will your title. You need to move on from that and try being employee of the month again and aim for higher things like employee of the year.

I think the times we face difficulty in letting go is when we lose something. A loved one is the worst thing, it could be a job, gold and diamond earrings or in my case not claiming an Apple Ipad I won in time. As much as we beat up ourselves about it, most of the things are not coming back.

So I guess the best thing we all could do is think of how the things we hold on to is affecting our lives. Hold on to what you think can be made use of, but steadily leave behind all the things which once used to be important. Make your life travel lighter, leave behind all that baggage. 

Komal R. Lakhani