Tag Archives: Frustration

Why we forget what we want to remember; but remember more which we want to forget!

Difficult to remember or fear to forget! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Does it not happen to you often what you want to remember for sure, you are more likely to forget; but the opposite does not happen for what you really want to forget – it haunts you more?

There are countless real life examples. You suddenly cannot remember name of known persons or places. You forget some words or spellings at a time, you need most! Minds of students become blank, while answering a question in examination, which they had precisely prepared well for.

Your boss has called you for annual review and you put down on a piece of paper all points of your accomplishments. When you come out after meeting with boss, you realize that you had overlooked half of those points! You have to deliver a speech in a conference and work hard to prepare. Harder you prepare, easier would you forget key points to speak.

On other hand, one fine morning before leaving for work, you have argument with your spouse for spending too much money on shopping. You would not be able get over the duel while driving on road, making it unsafe. On reaching office, you decide firmly to forget morning incidence; but you would lose your cool with your sub-ordinates, since morning duel keeps playing at back of your mind.

Why our memory fails at right moment but serves extra well at wrong one!

When we first memorize what we want to remember is in its pure form. See, what generally happens subsequently when we don’t want to forget it:

  1. Our first suggestion to mind to remember and not to forget is registered in our memory as “same information again with emphasis”.
  2. 2nd reminder registers it with a kind of stress.
  3. 3rd reminder accompanies usually with our perception of consequences for not remembering it.
  4. Then, we start to fear for possible consequences.
  5. So, when time comes to recall that information, our mind is loaded or preoccupied, making retrieval more difficult!

This is how purity of original information degrades.

Now, look at what we do to “What we want to forget”:

  1. What is that we want to forget – bad incidences, bad dream, wrong thought, worse scene, random ideas, irrelevant information and so forth!
    By the time we come to a stage of wanting to forget any of above, it takes full circle and make its firm mark in our mind.
  2. Having decided to forget, it is rare that a person would not remember it again. Most people recall often to check whether they have forgotten it! Moment they do this, it dives deeper in their memory!! 
  3. All of above incidences or information are associated with our anger, anxiety, disappointment, denial, obsession, repulsion or irritation, which are essentially past negative emotions.
    Emotions are like cache memory of a computer in our brain. When our mental state is negative, the said emotions also pop-up and refresh that we want to forget.
  4. Normally, things that you want to forget fade over time, when your older biases i.e. emotions get superseded by new ones. But, you have to then struggle with new ones. 

From above, you can observe that spontaneous response of our mind is reverse of what you should be doing and hence, struggle in remembering or forgetting!

Managing to forget is far more challenging than mastering to remember!

Ability to consciously forget, though more complex, makes mind and memory far sharper than capacity to remember!

We have lot of options to remember – memorize by practicing, making hard or soft notes. But, options to forget – nothing! 

You frequently read about – to let go and forgiveness. These are flimsy or even fake, unless you have the ability to forget! Another extremely important thing every leader or preacher advocates is to live in present! People are hardly able to do that, because they are unable to forget past!!

How best to remember and forget, when you want to

To remember on time, here below is what you can do:

  • Make hand written legible notes.
    Note, writing by own hands creates stronger impression in mind. Chances are you may not even have to see your notes again. But, beware and be wary of making notes of too many things!
  • Alternatively, you can make soft notes on your mobile, notepad or computer.
  • Best option is to make mental note only once and link to the image of object, with which it is directly related. May be supplement it by abbreviated hand written note. And then, just don’t worry whether you would remember or forget; believe that heaven will not fall on earth, if you don’t.

To forget what you have to is much trickier and require thoughtfulness. Effective clues:

  • Easiest is to do what you love or engage yourself gainfully.
    However, this would give you temporary respite; not resolve it for good!
  • You would be much better off, if you become broad minded.
  • Real step is – come to terms with what you have to live without and believe that thing is no longer important. Losing importance of what you want to forget is the key to “Forgetting”!
    You would soon realize there is a catch in above – you can lose importance or making the thing insignificant only when you drop your past emotions at least for things you want to forget! 

Now, the most valuable information – what you want to actually forget is all out of your past memories, which have 2 parts – (a) Knowledge or information (b) emotions i.e. biases, obsession, pleasure, pain, fear or frustration. Usually, you latch on to past for fear of losing knowledge or information, which you actually don’t need to! 

So, if you keep dropping your past emotions, you have nothing to lose but only to gain great ability to remember and forget what you need to. That would take you to the top of your life!

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Most casual but serious mistake we commit – confusing Seriousness as Sincerity!

Reflection of sincerity! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

It is normally difficult to comprehend colossal difference it can make, when one is serious as opposed to being sincere, though dividing line between the two is very fine even by dictionary meaning!

I had a colleague in a German multinational company in which I had worked, who specialized in X-ray spectrometry. He was too passionate about his work. He showed highest degree of sensitiveness to customers. He would sit late in office and come early in the morning to make sure that he replied to each and every letter and enquiries from his regional sales office counterparts and customers. If anyone pointed out shortcoming in his replies or work, he would be hyperactive and take great deal of time to prove that he had not committed a flaw. He used to be right most of the times. During appraisals year after years, his boss used to give him always highest marks for his sincerity. One morning he reported sick and did not come for few weeks. He was diagnosed for having had high blood pressure, which he neglected for too long and that had affected his heart.

Few years down the line, I figured out real difference between seriousness and sincerity and I felt in retrospect that boss of my above colleague should have appraised him for being too serious, rather than being very sincere and issued him warning about long term impact on his health! Unfortunately like this boss, most of us in professional and personal lives hardly care to understand fine dividing lines, which eventually turn fatal or cause our failures!

I can now identify hundreds of employees in organizations I have served, who failed to grow commensurate with their efforts since their focus was on being serious and not sincere!

Drawing a distinction between Seriousness and Sincerity

Reflection of seriousness! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Earnestness is the only attribute, which is common for seriousness and sincerity. Following would clarify how these 2 words make a world of difference:

  1. Seriousness makes you sensitive; whereas sincerity makes you savvy!
  2. Seriousness brings worries; on other hand, sincerity banks on wisdom!
  3. Former makes you prone to errors; but latter promotes accuracy.
  4. Former has shades of obsession; but latter swears by ownership.
  5. When you are serious, you tend to work to please others; whereas you work because it pleases you, if you are sincere!
    Therefore, serious people are serious to show off their work and talk a lot about it!!
  6. Seriousness elicits emotions; but sincerity evokes inspiration!
    It is for this reason that seriousness prompts people to make their fascination or frustration, pleasure or displeasure very explicit!!
  7. Seriousness makes you anxious; whereas sincerity makes you conscious or aware!
  8. Although serious people are intense in their work, it is sincerity that accentuates innovativeness!
  9. Seriousness makes you restless; sincerity, instead, molds you to be relaxed!

Above makes it amply clear that seriousness and sincerity are look-alike but their outlook is nearly opposite. Paradox is that both kinds of people, who are serious or sincere, appear to be fully evolved and engage in their work or duties. As a matter of fact, serious people are seen vociferously dedicated. Real challenge for serious people is that they believe they are doing it right and refuse to accept there is something missing in their approach. They keep wondering why they are less productive and often fail to get good results. On other hand, sincere people appear sober and always score high!

Sincerity signifies balanced state of mind!

There is very subtle difference in doing same thing in 2 or more alternative ways, which we term as fine dividing line. It this difference or dividing line, which separates winning and losing, blessing and bane, effective and defective!

Let us understand how such subtlety comes.

We start to do it right and we don’t notice or sometimes don’t even comprehend how wrong creeps in. To cite some examples:

  • You have a close relative ailing and it is right to attend to her/him. But, when you start taking care of the relative, ignoring your health and other duties, it starts hurting you.
  • Your loyalty to your employer and customers is strong to an extent that skews your work-life balance.
  • You are humble and hence, hesitate to tell your boss where it hurts you, even when you are ill-treated or ill-rewarded for your efforts!
  • You are eagerly waiting for your spouse to return home in evening, which is a good sign; but beyond a time you become anxious and even frustrated. When he finally arrives, you would not like to hear him why he got delayed but would like to be heard how you have been hassled!

It is also a fact that sincerity is a highly misunderstood quality, though it is one among the most significant ones! Sincerity symbolizes balanced state of your mind – neither right nor left; just the center. When you are sincere, you are genuine. You start to do things, because that is obvious, not an option. You don’t do it for anyone’s sake. You do not see any other alternative but to do it. You don’t get obsessed to single thing or thought but view all aspects with same genuine feeling. This is when your efforts fructify and you start to reap rewards.

So, it solidly pays to be sincere, but not being serious!

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How to defeat a disappointing or damning day!

When disappointment drains you! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Sometimes you get up in the morning with not too good a feeling. You do not feel enthusiastic or excited. You feel your energy has been drained. On that day, you may experience lot of things going wrong. You would get into a tiff with your spouse or dear one/s for a trivial reason right in the morning. While preparing to leave for work, you may not find important document which you need to carry or receive an unimportant call, leaving you very irritated. On way to office, you could find this day too many red traffic signals or getting stuck in traffic. On reaching office, you may find e mails from upset customers and receive a piece of mind from your boss, which leaves you wondering what more disappointments are in the pipe line today! You somehow finish your day and retire to bed hoping that a better day would emerge tomorrow!!

Can you be sure that tomorrow morning would be better than yesterday? Normally not! If it turns out to be better, what exactly changes? Most people are unable to figure out or don’t care to figure out. They tend to defer it to their destiny or divine. But, then cycle of decent or damn days continues, so do fun and frustration!

Is it possible to start every morning with same zeal and zest, energy and excitement, hope and happiness? 

Your distress can’t decrease your disappointments; instead it increases!

When things don’t happen as per our wants, we react – why? We feel irritated or infuriated. We reject the things, if those are not right from our view point. We don’t know to accept what has already gone wrong. We rebel or remorse against the reality, if it is bitter; but rejoice, if it is sweeter! This is precisely our problem! Reality is always real, whether we accept or reject; then why treat a reality differently and relate it to our taste?

It has been drilled in our mind that wrong or unwanted things must be greeted with agony, anger or anxiety and embrace right or wanted things with ecstasy. See implications of such approach:

  1. We lean heavily on negativity and hence become prone to same.
  2. Worries or whining is like a whirlpool of distress, which can only suck you deeper! Negativity attracts negativity.
  3. It shakes your confidence and composure!
  4. It fractures your belief in prudence and propriety!
  5. It generates a bias for pessimism!

Your de-stress is key to design your day!

Everyone believes stress is natural; but that does not take away the fact that it plays havoc, regardless how powerful or poor one is! Stress defocuses and disorients you, may be by a small degree. When stress is not major, you may not notice it; but it is there in your sub-conscious mind. Silent stress is far more damaging than loud one, because latter would take you to the peak of your problems quickly and hurt you so much that you would then rush for quick healing!

Silent stress is very challenging because most people are unable to recognize it! It could be as little as a thought that my morning was not good; so now my day would not be good either. This thought is good enough to encourage you to commit a series of mistakes to draw you deeper into disappointment. That day, you are not able to manage your boss, customer, sub-ordinates or spouse as well as you do another day!

Here are few things you could practice to do to defeat an adverse day:

  1. When you get up in the morning, remind yourself that problems are part of life.
    Practical and real world is where problems are present and not absent.
  2. If anything adverse shows up, avoid reciprocating it with your reaction. Just observe and be to yourself.
    We all have learnt that reaction to wrong things is our right; but in reality, this is absurd.
  3. Carry out a simple check in morning and during day – if you are free from stress, you have to be happy; conversely, if you are not feeling happy, you ought to have stress!
    When stress is absent, your energy and excitement levels get boosted!!
  4. Like cancer virus, viruses of ego and prejudices are present in all of us and these substantially weaken our immunity to stress.
  5. Stress, which can be in form of anxiety, anger, agony, fear, frustration or obsession, is nothing but conflicts of thoughts in our mind. Source of such stress is always emotions from your past. So, live in present to live stress free!
  6. Common belief that “what does not start well will also not end well” is bunk!
    It is purely in your hands, when you want to let go your feelings from immediate or distant past. Terrible things can translate into terrific things at any point of the day, by taking a pause and redeeming yourself.
  7. If you are conscious or anxious that thing/s should not go wrong, probability is high that those would go wrong! So, your best bet is not to guess what would go right or wrong.

So, substance of the story is by linking exciting events to euphoria, you also link disappointing happenings to your distress. Drop both links; you would then gain freedom to freely design your day!

How about enjoying this freedom?

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When being good is not good enough in your professional or personal life!

Be good enough at what you do! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Are you one of those, who face dilemma time and again that they do their best; but their desires or dreams do not come through? You are sincere, serious and honest in your endeavors; yet, do you encounter disappointments that results are seldom up to your expectations? Does that leave you wondering and often frustrating that while you have done all what you can, why you are being deprived of what you deserve? If yes, then here is what can help you to create better understanding of how things happen and how those can be changed!

First and foremost thing to understand is that if good does not work, then becoming bad is a very bad idea. Try whatever you want to with bad frame of mind, it would never ever serve your purpose. Often it has been seen that when good sense does not bring success, people lose their cool, doubt relevance of goodness and fall back on wrong ways – anger or anxiety, reaction or remorse, frustration or fear! Interestingly but ironically, bad or wrong ways suppress the realities and show up immediate results, which are either short lived or lead to bigger issues of other types now or later.

I have seen many bosses in corporates, who were initially very nice and empathetic to their employees. They would give them freedom and motivation. But later on, due to tough competition or faulty strategy, when their business units started performing poorly, they changed their attitude towards employees. They started to lose their temper for no rational reasons, became poor listener and disinterested in understanding the challenges employees were facing. Few bosses multiplied their woes, when top talents in their team started to desert them and the rest fell out of grace of the top management and faced a bad patch in their career! So, it is an illusion that being bad can ever pay off.

Then, being goody-goody is also bad. People like to be goody, when they want to avoid controversies or tough decisions. Therefore, they make attempts to please everybody and in that process, they lose their peace!

Real issue with most of us is that we believe or perceive that qualities and caliber that we possess are good enough! If things do not work out or results do not turn out as expected, we would put blame elsewhere – market conditions, coincidences, stroke of luck etc. This prevents us to reach to the root of the issue. Key lies in challenging our own perceptions or beliefs and comprehend where we are going wrong!

Indicators when your goodness is not good enough

  1. When your repeat efforts do not yield expected results.
  2. When your ideas or work does not elicit encouraging response from your target audience.
  3. When even 15% of your perception about self does not echo in what others have to say about you!
  4. When there are few takers of your talent!
  5. When your supervisor, sub-ordinates or peers do not approach you for support or guidance!
  6. When you manage to please one section of people especially seniors but displease another section.
  7. When your near and dear avoid interacting with you.
  8. When you often miss to do things, which matter to you.
  9. When you are prone to making mistakes and do not implement the lessons learnt.
  10. When you are low in patience and short in temper!
  11. When you do not feel like looking into eyes of others and communicate or others do the same with you!
  12. When your fellow beings keep a distance or disregard you!
  13. When you are not getting sense of accomplishment in what you do!
  14. When you don’t feel happy and get distracted too often.

Above list can help you to check whether you are good enough in your professional and personal life. If you are not, then you are likely to fail to get what you want.

What can you do to be good enough!

Please look at the parameter and emphasis on the right side of each point below:

  1. It is good to be simple and straight forward; but more important is to be sound and strong mentally and physically!
  2. Be flexible; but never falter in being firm!
  3. Be compassionate; but equally important is to be courageous to take tough decisions!
  4. Take lead in developing new ideas; but never lag behind to disseminate and communicate to as wide an audience as you can!
  5. Be cordial; but never shy away from inevitable conflicts and discords!
  6. Be respectful; but never repress your legitimate feelings or compromise your self-esteem! 
  7. Have always good intentions; but greater should be your thrust on implementation!
  8. Be energetic but don’t make attempts to exhibit it through your body language or oratory skills; instead allow it to be experienced by others on their own!
  9. Believe in actions; but completely regulate your reactions!
  10. Be confident; but avoid at every cost to be arrogant!
  11. Be open as well as ardent observer!
  12. Believe your people; but never be blindfolded and biased!
  13. Charisma helps, but not without character and convictions!
  14. Generosity is as relevant as gratefulness!

So if you make “being good enough” as your goal, then growth and successes are bound to greet you!

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A miraculous quality – Focus, which is most misunderstood & misused!

Great Focus! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Most people understand what Focus is; but, misunderstand its meaning, power and use! If focus is correctly understood, we would become very different in our style and strength. Focus is one human quality, which has far reaching impact on our mind, body, soul, success, health and happiness!! All successful leaders to legends, businessmen to celebrities use this quality as main contributor to their success.

Focus can bring radical changes in your character and class. What you need is to fathom it right and follow it faithfully!

How focus is misinterpreted and misrepresented!

This is mostly because of lack of awareness. Though focus is talked about in all walks of life, including corporate, its correct meaning is hardly emphasized.

Focus does not mean:

  1. Having a concerted thought for desired object or activity, while allowing all other kinds of thoughts crossing your mind.
  2. Doing a single physical activity, for which you believe you are focused, while all types of thoughts are wandering your mind.
  3. Carrying a train of similar thoughts for desired object or activity but with interruptions.
  4. Multi-tasking, even if you believe you are fully concentrating on multiple tasks!
  5. Having more than one type of thoughts, though connected with same subject or object e.g., kicking football for penalty shoot-out, feeling nervous and thinking that everyone expects you to net a goal. Though there is one subject, there are 3 types of thoughts – to hit ball right, fear of failure and expectation of others! This is no focus and most probably, you would miss your target!!
  6. Headstrong or blind run for your objective/s.

True meaning of Focus

Focus means “your mind has a single type of thoughts, which is also driving your body in sync!” As an example, Focus on breathing means mind is having thought of breath going in and out and you are also breathing exactly at same time and sequence. Another example – you are at the goal post and your mind and body are fully in tune for hitting ball at right spot, with no other thought. Then, it would surely be a goal! Even if goal keeper tries to intercept you, you would miraculously deflect the ball past him!!

So, focus is mind and body getting fully synchronized to perform one and only one activity – “a thought or thought + physical action” at a time, when past and future lose their meaning to you.

When you continue to remain focused for a period of time, then either you would have same type of thought repeating in your mind or have a train of thoughts but each one aligned towards achieving your aim or goal. Let us term such train of thoughts as “Same type of thoughts”.

In practical life, it is difficult to remain truly focused all the time. What is important is high degree of focus, which can be defined as:

Degree of Focus = 2 ⁄ x

Where x is no. of same type of thoughts in mind per minute.

This is a simple formula, but has solid implications:

  • x can never be zero, because mind can never be blank, unless dead.
  • If x is 1, then it means that your mind has only single type of thoughts, which could be dangerous as it would go in a loop of same thought and can’t come out of same.
  • Ideal degree of focus in 1, when you have 2 types of thoughts – 1st for the object or activity you are concentrating at and 2nd to monitor its start to finish and take it forward to repeat or make only such variation adequate to reach your aim.
  • Practical degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3, where 3rd type of thought is for observing your body/surroundings.
  • If degree of focus falls below 2 ⁄ 4 = 0.5, you are no longer focused.
  • Distraction means other type/s of incoming thoughts, which interfere with single types of thoughts on which you are concentrating.
    Best way to deal with distraction is not to react or forcefully remove such incoming thoughts, but ignore; don’t give importance. Your mind would restore its focus.

Startling results of being focused

When degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3 and under no case below 0.5, you would observe that:

  1. Several of key your functions merge:
    1. Mind and soul or conscious and sub-conscious parts of mind
    2. Brain and Body
    3. Inner voice and Inspiration
  2. You would feel energetic and motivated.
  3. All negative emotions – fear, frustration, anxiety, anger, aversion or delusion would vanish.
  4. Anything that is feasible comes within your reach.
  5. You feel supremely confident and courageous.
  6. You won’t and can’t do anything wrong!
    In other words, degree of focus of ill meaning people is always below 0.5!
  7. You become amazingly effective.
  8. It brings a rare combination in you – being innovative and creative at same time!
  9. If you remain focused most time, your vitality and virtues multiply.
    It makes you happy and healthy.
    You may have observed that unhappy or unhealthy people are not focused. Conversely, focus can address your ailments in many ways!

So, if you wish to end your weaknesses and enhance wisdom, please start practicing “Focus” properly and prudently. You would then unlock real power and potential of this magnificent quality, which you possess!

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