Saturday, December 29, 2018

So,Are You Rational Or Emotional?

Medium Is Best
One confession: I am a diehard rationalist. I do have emotions but when in a quandary I listen to my brain and not my heart-because the heart has no brains!Jokes apart,this has proven to be the most beneficial and error-free method of navigating through life situations for me.Let me recount the advantages of employing rationality as a polestar:--
The best function of the brain is in problem solving.I think no one would confute this.
Emotions cloud thinking.They divert you from searching for a solution to your problem.The problem drags on and the stress increases.
A severe loss,a calamity,abuse or a breakup:such events will make anyone miserable-even a strict rationalist like me,because some events do need a grieving period.It is even cathartic to shed tears.But ultimately life has to go on,and for this, conscious efforts have to be made to accept what happened and switch from the trauma to the daily demands.

Unpleasant experiences like deception,manipulation,exploitation and grievous harm can be very painful.But if you analyse why it happened,whether you had unknowingly made it easy for the perpetrator to target you,and focus on the precautionary measures to be taken for future safety;then your focus will shift from the pain to protecting yourself from further transgressions.You shall no longer be bogged down by what happened.Peace will return.Life will resume as usual.
Those who are highly emotional,experience every emotion very strongly.Tragedies,trauma and abuse hit them hard. They suffer prolonged periods of suffering, thinking only about the tragic event and lamenting their lot.They may refuse to accept reality and chase shadows,disconnecting themselves from everything else.If they do not shake up their perspective soon,this can even devolve into a mental disorder like Generalized Anxiety Disorder or depression.

Even lesser disappointments seem unbearable to emotional people because they they forge strong relationships and expect a lot from them.Their involvement in everything-whether love or work-is total.That is why they find it difficult to get over broken ties or major failures.Emotional fragility prolongs their suffering and delays the healing process.

Problems will come,failures will distress and people will annoy,oppose or deceive.It pinches.But then,you cannot expect to succeed every time;or command people to like you and be on their best behavior when they accost you.But you can take heart from a thought that along with adversaries and failures there are friends,supporters,and achievements too in your life.This acknowledgement nullifies the stress.
On the other hand if you allow the hydra-headed monster of distressing emotions like sadness,anger,hatred and  despair to overpower you,then you offer a BIG space to anxiety;because firstly,emotions can project a spark as a flare,and secondly, such events,being beyond your control,cannot be stopped,and you shall continue to remain disturbed. The only thing you can do is,adopt a level headed approach to life and stay balanced.
                                      MENTAL HEALTH
Those who abide by rational thinking are rewarded by sound mental health.Whenever a catastrophe threatens,a host of doubts,fears,worries and conflicting emotions besiege us,pulling us this way or that.Rational thinking alone can show us the best possible way of getting out of that conundrum. It protects us from emotional problems like anxiety and depression. 
Emotional people are fine human beings:sensitive,sincere,caring and empathetic.But they are more vulnerable to the ups and downs of life.Emotions present a subjective view of a circumstance or imbroglio. They can mislead.They magnify a problem;even scaring you with a worst-case-scenario which may not be likely at all,thus giving a free field to anxiety.You can overcome this tendency by focusing more on your thinking and less on feelings.If only you could build a shield of rationality around your heart you would be so much calmer.

It would be unfair to wind up this post after going on and on about the benefits of logic without sounding an alarm.Too much of reason and minimal emotions will make a person cold,insensitive,selfish and callous.A moderate balance is what one should aspire for.Early exposures have a big role in making us who we are,but if there is a marked tilt towards one side then any time is a good time to correct it.

Sometimes it is difficult to decide where we stand in a wide spectrum.Given below is a quiz to help you along:--

The image and quiz courtesy google search.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Luminaries

Some people have all the luck.They are truly blessed.Not a single incongruous note in the lyrical symphony of their lives.I have often looked wistfully at them and wished for a perfect life like theirs.But almost immediately I chastise myself.How do I know what transpired before that star touched the zenith?More importantly,who knows what the future holds for them? After all a high tide cannot stay high for ever,it has to come down.

Why this happens is food for thought.Is it destiny or mere rotation of the wheel of life?It could even be mere negligence or mishandling of lady luck's boons. Attaining an iconic status is not easy.It requires hard work and vision.But even after reaching the pinnacle one's metier has to be safeguarded wisely:from self as well as jealous rivals.

The self is the first wall of defense against a downfall.Many luminaries have come to a sorry end because of their own imperfections. They topple to the ground when their luck runs out.
  Causes of Downfall
Corruption is rampant in our country.From politicians,bureaucrats and big business men to the humble peon,at every level you will come across people who strive to grab more than they are entitled to.The higher the strata the greater the loot.We do not know how many escape unscathed but some,like Suresh Kalmadi,A Raja and Lalu Prasad Yadav are finally caught and sent to jail.What a dire contrast to their earlier,opulent lifestyles!

The immense power which politicians wield propels them to subvert the law and milk their status to rake up as much wealth as they can.Unfortunately,with their cohorts shielding them to the best of their ability,many escape the net and must still be at large..

When someone is recognized as an ace in his calling,he sometimes regards his juniors as lesser beings and exploits them without any compunction. MJ Akbar,a minister in the central government,used his clout to satisfy his carnal desires.He had to resign from his post after intense public humiliation.

There are many,many more of this kind,but why go deeper in this filth?

Illegal Activities

It is not corruption or sexual exploitation alone which can turn a lucky spell into a sorry phase. Some icons break the law nonchalantly,thinking no one would dare to question them. Sanjay Dutt did just that and had to spend many years in jail for buying an illegal weapon from a known terrorist.

An elite family background and powerful connections embed in some people a conviction that they have special rights and privileges and this misperception one day brings them crashing down from their high horse.Remember how Manu Sharma,born in an affluent family with strong political connections,blew it all when he murdered Jessica Lal for refusing to serve him liquor? He was sentenced to life imprisonment after a huge public outcry and media pressure. 

Personal Failings

Having loads of cash in hand is temptation enough for some to splurge it on their pet fancies:profligacy,alcoholism or drug abuse have left many Bollywood actors penniless.How painful it must be,to be reduced to a near beggar like state after having been idolized by millions.

How much does one need to live a comfortable life?There can be no definite answer to this.The higher you go the more zeroes you will add to the figure.But why do those who belong to the top echelons,who are virtually rolling in wealth,deploy questionable tactics to extract more or satisfy illegitimate desires?

In doing this,they even lose the amenities they once enjoyed;well not always-the judicial system being what it is-but the risk is always there.Had they been more ethical,content,and law abiding;they could have enjoyed a longer,more satisfying innings.What's more,they would have been acclaimed for their integrity.But no,insatiable greed overcomes every other consideration.

As Benjamin Franklin said, "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it."

Image and quote from google search.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Self-Acceptance-The Key To Happiness

"The moment you accept yourself just the way you are is surely the moment you find peace".Many of us do not accept ourselves the way we are,which means we are perennially dissatisfied.

Causes of non-acceptance
You are fine as you are
Discontent most often arises from comparisons and comparisons can never be fair since each person is born with a unique package.

Many people feel inadequate or inferior because of the community,family or social stature to which they belong. 

Then,there is Body Dysmorphic Disorder which can be very excruciating.A minor flaw or an imagined one,can adversely affect the whole range of that person's activities or behavior.Today's emphasis on the externals adds fuel to the fire.

Sometimes those who have been exposed to abuse:whether physical,sexual or emotional, also feel uncomfortable in their skin.Abuse makes them feel like the under-dog and they blame themselves for having attracted abuse.

If it was someone else whose personality we disliked we could easily have shunned that person and carried on blithely, but it is the imperfections which we see in our own selves which pain us hugely and prevent us from enjoying life to the fullest.

The image which we build up of ourselves is not merely an image for us but it is what others see us as,because it governs how we work and relate to others.It holds us from realizing our full potential and it is best to change it.

   In order to accept yourself better:
  • Realize:you are a unique mixture of many qualities and skills which no one else is.
  • Recount your plus points-daily if need be.
  • Remember,nobody is perfect.Those who appear to be so,do a good job of projecting themselves.
  • You too,put your best foot forward.Don't be your own adversary.When you disregard your plus points and focus only on your flaws, this is what you are doing. 
  • Which is that quality which gives you an edge over others?Exploit it to the fullest.
  • And which deviation hurts you most?If it is God-given then you cannot change it.Just accept it and be at peace.
  • If that anomaly can be corrected then make it your mission to correct it.
  • Just think of the people who like you-do they not like you as you are?Including the real or imagined peculiarities?
  • Nobody is the living personification of all that is good or completely bereft of what makes a person worthy,except maybe,the criminal psychopaths.
  • Try to fathom from where and when this tendency to think of yourself as being below par,different,not so worthy,arose.Whatever triggered it can be better used as a learning lesson,a guide for future.Forgive yourself for any gaffe or miscalculation committed by you.It is Self-compassion that you need and not self-hate.
Love yourself,accept yourself,and be proud of your good qualities.When you begin to love yourself-not to the point of narcissism mind you-more people will pay attention to you and you will no longer feel inadequate or inferior.Acceptance of self is imperative for growth and happiness.    

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Image courtesy google.