Month: September 2014

Three bones that straighten your life

18-27 Sept 14-The 3 bones that hold up life

Physically, the human race is not blessed with a wishbone (a forked bone (the furcula) between the neck and breast of a bird. According to a popular custom, this bone from a cooked bird is broken by two people, with the holder of the longer portion being entitled to make a wish) but figuratively speaking we need to have a wishbone for more than one reason. To begin with, a fishbone would be the perfect blend between our potential and our goal realisation. Secondly, this imaginary bigger piece of the wish bone that we are all blessed with is our ability to think for ourselves, dream big and zoom in to our goals. Thirdly the wishbone would be the ideal prop that will provide us the motivation, the passion and the zeal to strive for better things in life.

A backbone is what helps us keep our torso erect, helps us maintain our posture and enables us to move around on two feet. The real test of the backbone is its ability to take on a load. Physical load is passé but it is the mental load, the strain and stress that pose the real challenge. Figuratively speaking a good backbone is a mix of the right attitude, self belief and daring. Only those with this kind of a backbone won’t shy away from a challenge, hard work or risk. With the right wishbone egging us on, a strong backbone is what helps one to attain ones goals and translate dreams into reality.

Along the way, life is often unpredictable, full of surprises occasionally harsh but definitely full of opportunities. Often opportunities masquerade as difficulties, hard work and fantasies. That is when a funny bone would come to the rescue. When one learns to laugh at one’s own follies, can see the joke being played on you by life and see beyond the sweat and tears with a smile on your face, that is when the funny bone becomes the oxygen that a breathless man gasps and revives. A funny bone also helps diffuse tensions, enables one to see situations from a different light hearted perspective and clears our mind by getting rid of worries and tensions.

Unlike the physical bones in your body that hold you up and gives your physical frame shape, it is just 3 imaginary figurative bones that actually gives meaning to your life.

Try this:

  • Can you think of 3 of your favorite jokes? Can you visualize yourself as a central character in any of the jokes?
  • If you were to be granted 3 wishes, what three wishes would ask for and why?
  • To prove that you have a real sturdy backbone, over the next few days try the following
  1. On day one watch the TV with earplugs so that you hear nothing but can see the visuals. Try it for at least 1 hour.
  2. On day two go to bed without dinner and sleep on the floor using just a bed sheet instead of a mattress.
  3. On day three, set a target for yourself to raise as funds to be donated for a cause. Go about raising those funds from strangers or by using challenging & innovative ways.
  4. On day four you have to buy 5 gifts, each not costing more than Rs.20 and surprise 5 people with those gifts.

 Jot down your feelings and learning and share your experiences by writing in to

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There is a little truth in…

17-7 Sep 14 Ah did you realise this

For many of us the lessons from parents and teachers may be behind us but we can still learn a lot from the people we interact with each day. We may not have foes in the conventional sense but we certainly have people whose presence threaten us; perhaps some are over bearing, others power wielding or some who display obnoxious behaviour. However it is your friends who you interact with the most who are a tremendous source of candid feedback. Most feedback would be pleasant, friendly and positive. However, well meaning friends would also in moments of weakness express themselves candidly and when they realize their gaffe, attempt to cover up so as not to upset or annoy you. That is when they will often say ‘just kidding’ to cover up and you would choose to respond with a white lie to play along. Yet in your response there would be a touch of pain. The pain is the recognition of the truth in the feedback!

While we may be very knowledgeable about many things in life, time and time again when faced with a tricky situation where questions like ‘who is right?’ or ‘what will you do in this situation?’ are posed to us, we shrug our shoulders and simply retort ‘I don’t know. The same is true with the response of others to whom we pose similar questions. The fact is that hidden in the response is the unsaid statement ‘I don’t want to reveal my choice because it could displease someone’. Feigning ignorance is tactical use of the knowledge of the situation. If the ignorance expressed is a genuine response then it is also a brilliant use of the knowledge that there is much to be learnt still.

When desperate or pushed to the wall, there are many of us who defend ourselves with the retort ‘I don’t care’. Listen carefully and you will sense quite desperation, frantic fury or a resigned submission. The situations will determine the emotion but you will never miss the hurt, anger or fear that is ensconced within the words. The words may sound defiant, it may smack of arrogance or it could be an ultimatum. What cannot escape notice is the pain and bitterness that echoes loudly in the exclamations.

When someone commits a faux pa and apologies, we often respond saying ’ it is ok’. Other times when we commit a similar faux pa or make a harsh statement and thereafter quickly retract, the others to who our words were directed would also attempt to defuse the situation by saying ’ it is ok’. There may be some consolation that our gross mistake has been pardoned, but there is the uneasy feeling that things will never be the same again. There is a tinge of hurt, of being let down, of being rudely surprised and yet we try to consign our hurt and pretend to let bygones be bygones. It is ok is merely a euphemism for I am hurt but I am not making it an issue.

Try this:

  • Name 3 positive emotions and 3 negative emotions that is characteristic of you responses.
  • Can you recollect situations where you were forced to respond with the statements emphasized above. Which of the situations left a bitter taste in your mouth long after the event had passed?
  • Do you recall a statement made by another person that hurt you very much? How did you overcome that hurt?
  • Which was the most stupid blunder you made that embarrassed both you and an another person?

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