On any given day I encounter several unexpected situations. Some affect mildly, a few carry substantial ‘shock value,’ tossing me, without warning into low spirits. Like driver reporting late to work, faucet not delivering hot water, WIFI not working, a few that come to milder version.
The cruel sorts are like receiving an early morning phone call from certain bank personnel reminding me in a rude, unpleasing tone, about upcoming installment dues. Smash goes down any tranquillity pulled in together by morning meditation or earnest prayers. For reasons, I can’t explain, early morning hints about money issues, whatever the form it’s conveyed, trigger a rush of dullness, leading to a quick change in color of my eyes showing tiredness. Persistingly, though, I struggle to meditate my tensions away, but an initial worrying uneasiness gathers its weight; slowing down my morning cheerful mood.
Unable to escape away from this debilitating mood swings and to kneel down emotionally for slightest shred of strife it’s like finding me always in a deep tub of torment. Ashamed to share it with my wife, mentally not so robust enough to fight it alone; this low self-esteem mindset, frequent bouts of negative leanings began crippling my efficiency, knocking down the flair to relish my family and my work.
Thus yieldingly, I engage in the purest form of agony which I serve for myself for any unpleasant encounter that would cross my way and further twist me into a shell of passiveness, sullenness and prolonged silence.
Finally, assuredly, I could find my ropes to balance myself – in reading some outstanding books. Restructuring my fears into a scaffolding of trust, replacing the recurring distress with desire, disciplining to concentrate on reading as many books as I can, integrating the essence of them guiding me auspiciously in my personal and professional daily affairs.
Distilling and decoding the spirit and substance of various novels, fiction, scores of essays, I could notice a definite transformation in myself attitudinally and behaviorally. The most spectacular were two inclusive edicts that have strengthened me from unwanted fears and replaced them by self-reliant pointers of possibilities to see my work, my family and my relations, and my priorities.
The yardstick that I had cut and started measuring my recourse and further taken to heart was from the book “NLP, the New Technology of Achievement” by Steve Andreas and Charles Faulkner. The first decree I have learned is;
“If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else. Do anything else.”
This formula had helped me in finding decisions when I’m found deeply struck in a frustrating dilemma. Taken by any impending crisis when all my reflexes are frozen, applying this tenet to these irritating difficulties had given me
the necessary mental room to work out to locate acceptable and profitable alternatives.
“In which way I can think, resolve and converse it out differently” to achieve my desired mark. Holding this precious teaching on the top of my every decision process, subsequently, I enjoyed peace, satisfaction and desired results time and again coming my way.
For the reasons not clear to me I always find myself in a victim mode; I assign this condition to my chaotic upbringing. Humiliation, fear, deep anger at injustice, intimidated by dominance, needless annoyance, a sense of helplessness the moment I step out. Can I sieve sanity from my emotional frailty, calmness from this self-inflicted chaos? “How can I save myself from this expanse of unfairness around, how can I supply tolerance to my nerves when I’m a bystander to the discrimination around in civilized environs”?
From where should I draw comfort? How to weave my strings of composure to prop my humility? How to allay my resentment when the sharpness of deceit is staring at me? How to stay blind when the scene beyond your doorstep is spectacularly fake and abusive? When reason ridiculed, honesty heckled, and the well-informed were considered worthless?
How can I be sane and survive? How can I remain calm, composed, stay unaffected when continually every day assailed by this arrows of hurt and humiliation?The answers I have collected, prized and tenaciously worked up to emulate and educate myself from the essence of the two books?“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl and“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.
Dr.Frankl was an Austrian and a Jew. He was a prisoner in the death camps of Nazi Germany.
“As a long-time prisoner in bestial concentration camps Dr.Frankl, found himself stripped to naked existence. His father, mother, brother, and his wife died in camps or were sent to the gas oven. Excepting his sister his entire family perished in these camps. How could he – every possession lost, every value destroyed, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, any minute expecting extermination –how could he find life worth preserving?”
Dr.Frankl, in the midst of the most degrading circumstances imaginable, he said yes to life in spite of its tragic aspects. What he describes his self-awareness as “a tragic optimism?” He speaks about optimism in the face of tragedy, the human potential at its best that allows us a choice turning suffering into achievement and accomplishment, from ‘guiltiness’ gaining opportunities to change oneself for better and an incentive take responsible actions.
Stephen R.Covey, in his book, has concisely encapsulated this philosophy of Dr.Frankl as a workable credo. “Dr.Frankl could decide within himself how all the suffering around was going to affect him. Between what happened to him, or the stimulus and his response to it, or power to choose that response; which he believed as the fundamental surviving principle, a human endowment and the heroic nature of man”.
Compactly, we can read it as “Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose” in all my wrenching circumstances I have selected this as my surviving response as an incentive that I always depended on sincerely: buffering from my bitter battles.
For the last three decades, my life has passed through many stubborn, difficult junctions. If I have endured all the stress and emerged with minor emotional bruises and learned to appreciate more happy endings in the journey, I sentimentally endorse it to the “two beliefs I have acquired and the wisdom they endowed me with” which I have carried through thick and thin in my enduring daily toils and tears.