Just one, just one!

You’re just one video / one book away from a better mood.

You’re just one chat away from a worse mood.

And you’re just one pause of silence away from discovering the plethora of joy within you.

Which one will you start with today?

A weird dream I remember

This morning I had slept again after meditating.

In that sleep, I witnessed two dreams in one. The weird part is, for the first time I remember such a weird dream.

One was from the first guy I (perhaps) loved. I received WhatsApp messages from him dropping me three locations where I would have to “meet” him later during the day. Of course I ignored those messages.

Later when I reflected, it dawned to me that this was the essence of our so-called love: “Meeting” as per his convenience and then becoming absolute strangers.

Another one was from a school friend. In fact, we were never friends in school. Very late, almost 2-3 years ago we connected on Facebook and became sort-of friends. But then he vanished all of a sudden. I was never told why or how, nor was any conversation brought in. He tried bringing his “forwarded messages” into my inbox quite recently but now I was unsure.

It was just friendship from my end. And his as well. But somewhere I always felt he needed something from me. Can’t point out exactly. But there was something. In the dream as well, he took my iPhone from me for making a call and as I moved around a bit, he had already lent my phone to a careless friend of his, who was just playing around with it. It was in a moment of luck that I saw his friend and got my phone back.

That’s it! These were the two dreams. I don’t know what they mean. Except that I do. Here’s what they mean:

  1. I still haven’t forgiven them. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think about either of them for a long long time, yet the subconscious knows everything. Sometimes, to move on, you have the grant the apology even when no one asks for it.
  2. If I still believe in these “shoddy definitions of love”, how will I ever be able to witness the true love that IS me?

That was it! Weird dreams that I weirdly remembered. Perhaps so that I could finally forget them!

The silent anger

There’s a wonderful woman I know of, who is living her life for a great social cause. She’s been doing this for the last thirty years, started at the age of seventeen.

She doesn’t get angry.
Always works to uplift people.
Cooks great food for them.
Listens to their problems.
Offers solutions.

All epic. Super-commendable.

But I can often sense hidden anger within her. Because the people she serves don’t live up to her standards.

That’s sad.

Because no one is going to live their lives as we suggest them to be, no matter how much good that suggestion holds.
As a matter of fact, if we force them, they might grow even more resistant.

The key is acceptance. And that is the entire journey all about. Acceptance that we can only guide them and bless them, everyone takes their own sweet time to get to a place of change.

Till then, they need our blessings.

The silent anger causes greater resistance.
And loss of trust.

To those who have failed in CA exams…

19th January 2015.
The day I became a Chartered Accountant.
I still vividly remember the day.

We had just returned to Kota (my hometown) after an overnight train trip from Mumbai, after attending a family function there for three days. So the winter was a harsh reality from the pleasant zero winter of Mumbai to being back to Kota. Because of this train journey, I had taken a shower quite late, around 10-11 am.

The moment I came out, I saw a miss call from a fellow article at the firm I did my articleship from.

Oops, my heart started pounding.

As I called him back, he picked up the call and asked: “Kya hua?”

“Result aa gaya?” was my surprised response, to which he said yes.

My mom had gone to take shower and I was virtually alone at home. So I opened up the laptop, connected it to the slow BSNL router we had and checked the result.

452 out of 800, result: PASS. (*Top 100 scorers in India then)

Wow!

The day I will never forget!

Throughout the day I did not feel cold at all despite returning from Mumbai back to shivering winters of Kota. It was in the evening that I finally realised I should be feeling cold 🙂

My mom came out of shower and started crying a lot. A lot. She basically missed my Nanaji for whom I was a source of pride and who had passed away eleven months back. The day was something me and my parents had been waiting for, for years!

But this is the success story. That I cleared CA Final (both groups together) in the first attempt that too with very good marks.

Here is the back story: I failed in IPCC twice. As on date, given the number of failures we get to face, this doesn’t seem huge.
Back then it was. Especially for a class topper like me since childhood, who ended up with this major jolt for the first time in my life.

You know what, my Mom cried then as well, for how could such a thing happen to me? (Yes now I know that I was responsible, but I just couldn’t convince her to see that part. Maybe I didn’t want to see that either!)

But I did clear the IPCC exam eventually. One group at a time.

That is the word you need to remember my fellow CA students: eventually.

The world isn’t going to be smooth even if you clear all three stages in the first attempt with AIR 1. It’s true that social media is not going to have your pictures when you fail.
It’s true that your neighbours will probably stare at you when you’ll leave home for coaching classes.
It’s perhaps true that a friend who was not expected to clear is a CA today and you aren’t!

All this is real pain.
And it hurts, especially if you worked hard.

But there is one more thing that is real: Your grit. Your persistence. Your belief in your capability that no matter what, you will end up with the prefix CA before your name eventually.

Feel sad as hard as you want to. Clean your nose with your sweater that your friend likes who is a CA now. Look at yourself in the mirror and just be, it’s okay!

But when you are done, don’t waste a minute pondering about what was and what could be. Just focus on what you are going to do next.

Winning in life is less about numbers and more about your attitude.

For example, I’m not a cunning person and because of that I sometimes get walked over (sometimes by my hashtag friends), and that feels very bad. But then I tell myself that my systems and ethics are powerful, so I needn’t be scared. NEVER ever has been a place in my life that because of not being cunning, rather being a simple human being, I hadn’t won eventually. Things always turn out to be in the favour of the person who works hard with the rights systems and the right mindsets.

And if you are worried about number of attempts, yes I did get a bonus of 1L INR extra back in 2015-16 because of being a first attempt passout. But today, 5-6 years down the line, almost everyone is earning in the same income range. Time is a great leveller and a wonderful thing to forget.

So keep up your spirits high my fellow CA students, it is only a matter of time that you will become a member of the reputed ICAI. Till then, focus on building systems and attitudes that eventually and undoubtedly lead to success, instead of letting things happen.

PS: In case you are wondering if I used some systems while preparing for CA Final exams after failing in IPCC twice, of course I did! I won’t blabber them here because the purpose of this blog is not to show you how, the purpose is to show you what. If you need help with systems and processes while preparing for CA exams, drop me a note at ngehija454@gmail.com and I’d be happy to help you out.

PPS: It will happen, eventually!

I hear you, sista <3

I had watched Big Boss Season 1.

After that, my intellect saved me forever.

However recently, I came across a Big Boss clip on Instagram, that made me think deeply.

Here’s how it goes:
The contestants are being allowed to meet their family. When Jasmin’s parents come, they force her to play her own game alone, and not with Aly. Aly was her friend and they both fell in love during the show. They show a slightly negative vibe towards her friend.

Maybe her parents are against her marriage with him, we don’t know.

But the way they told this to her made me think of two things:

  1. They could have refused for marriage when she came out, at least she would have her parents (which she does not have in Big Boss house) if not Aly with her. Har cheez ka sahi samay hota hai.
  2. For playing her game alone, this is how most parents tell their kids to do all their lives: Not to make friends. They will play on you. But you know what, trust others to the extent you cannot afford to lose. If you don’t invest, you won’t grow. If you invest too much to lose yourself, you will of course lose yourself. But advising a locked daughter to play alone and not “trust strangers” where anyway there are a lot of mental health issues going on, shows how much as a society we lack trust.

I feel for you sista.

This too, shall pass.

Honestly, I do not give any damn about her relationship with Aly because we don’t know what would happen when they both go out. But not making friends and playing alone is not how the game of life is played.

If you don’t get out of yourself, you’ve lost already.

Happy when sad…

If we want to talk about the pains we went through, the list is endless.
And I understand, the pains were and are very real.

If we want to talk about the high moments of our life, the list is still endless.
Of course, we did work really hard to get there.

However, these are the extreme sides of human existence. They are somewhat the result of our inability to control the end results.

So is there something that we can control?
Yes, our happiness.

Happiness doesn’t mean celebration in an unfortunate event. It however does mean that you will stay stable and calm come what may.

When we are going through that break up, we can be happy because there were a few good things that came out of that relationship.
When we’ve lost that loved one, yes it is difficult, but wherever they are right now, would they be happy seeing you, an apple of their eye, suffer like this?
When we are going through lives’ biggest setbacks, do we have any idea that our nightmare is someone else’s biggest dream come true?

Perspective is what makes the entire difference.

This doesn’t make your suffering little. But the people for whom you are suffering would love to see you happy. Be happy for them.

And always remember, your happiness isn’t a sign of you not loving them. Your happiness is a sign of you loving them despite they had to go to another journey…

Wouldn’t agree on this one…

I read somewhere that pain is just pain. Someone else’s intensity of pain doesn’t reduce your pain.

While most people may agree, I tend to disagree.

Someone else’s intensity of pain might be different from yours. And if we are unable to acknowledge that, it makes us more selfish and less empathetic.

If we are in pain and still can acknowledge someone else is in pain, we are truly a caring human being.

Just the same emotion

Do you get the same engagement on all your social media posts?

Do you feel the same emotions for your parents always?

Do you like having chocolate cake / pizza / (your favourite dish) for all meals of the day?

Do you like watching your favourite movie every single day?

Do you like going to the same place for vacation every year?

We want novelty. That’s where the brain’s sweet spot lies.
So when you don’t receive the same responses from people. They have their patterns, and places.

You’ll find yourself to be more peaceful when you live from that awareness.

A twist in the tale

Have you heard Robert Frost’s poem: “Stopping by woods on a snowy evening?”

The last lines of the poem look like:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep…

A lot of your friends / foes (lol) would be using these lines.

This morning, as I was dealing with a challenge, a place where I particularly get best of my ideas. So, while writing a piece of content, here’s what I came up with:

The woods may not be lovely or dark or deep,
But you still have promises to keep (to yourself)
And nowhere to go (other than within) to have a peaceful sleep.

That’s scary. That’s hard. But standing for yourself is the best thing you could do to yourself, because how will you change the world if your own bones are fractured? How will you?