Sometimes “Plan B” is better!

All of us struggle in our lives to successfully achieve what we call as “Plan A” i.e. the success plan, where we have astonishing career, great family, abundance of finances and to top it all popularity among all for being such a great success story, isnt’ it!

Have you ever wondered who has set this “Plan A” for us and what will happen if we achieve our “Plan B” and be happy rather than sulk and still not achieve our so called “Plan A”?

Most of us are under stress throughout our lives for beating our own set of expectations, i.e. our ability or inability to be at par with all the conditions that qualifies us to be a successful achiever. If you try to equate its worth…the end result of all this is short lived happiness if you are successful in achieving a part of your “Plan A“. Why do I say that? Because one can never achieve all “Plan A”, something in that plan always remains unchecked 😦

And, if you don’t achieve anything, you end up being in agony, pain, depression, negativity…. and that is the cause of so many mental health issues. The very reason why young and successful people are taking the drastic step of committing suicide these days 😦 So sad, right.

We all have “Plan B” but we shy away from addressing it and admitting that we are fine with embracing that….. you know why?

“Plan B” is the survival plan, where we have everything that we need to live life and who says we cannot be happy with limited means…. Ask the millionaires of the world if they are happy with the abundance of money! Believe me, they are not!

Please remember, as humans, we set such goals for ourselves that we can never be contended and satisfied, so what come may, we will never be able to achieve “Plan A” completely…. we will always be sad about something….So, to simply put it, we have a choice here between being on our toes all the time or being happy and contented 🙂

Believe me, it takes a lifetime for us to make these simple choices and while we realize it, most of our life has gone by sulking and crying, so choose wisely my friend!

To conclude: Whatever you do in life, do it for your happiness and contentment, not to achieve a medal or popularity from others. Because it is your life and you get to decide what is your Plan and whatever it is, be happy that you have this Gift of Life and live it fully, as Life is in the Living not in just spending years….What say?

Just “I do” or Do you?

All the married couples there, all of you have said this “I do” while taking your wedding vows to your better halves, isn’t it!

I was wondering….. But how many of us truly “Do” deliver on those promises? Well, we know the answer, don’t we😊

I wish it was so easy to give promises and then remain true and committed to them…. it takes a lot of courage and inner strength to be firm in your thoughts and actions and when you do commit, it clearly shows in your actions and reactions with your loved ones…. Do you agree?

There are couples with great chemistry and then there are those who can’t stand each other 🙂 We all have seen enough of each variety and do you know what it really takes to cherish a relationship?

Well taking about relationships in general and using the above example, can we not say that to create a beautiful bond in any relationship, one need to give love, respect and commitment! Am I right?

Imagine if we displayed this kind of commitment to every relation we maintained in our life.. be it with our spouses, our parents, our siblings, our children, our friends! Don’t you think that we will be able to cherish each relationship to its fullest that way.

All we need is to be a little more conscious and alert in our every action and sometimes even our reactions. So many times, we do things in reflex and hurt our loved one’s which we regret for the rest of our lives 😦 This way, we will easily overcome all such situations and avoid heart aches for our loved ones, Wow, great deal, isnt’ it and in the bargain, we will earn love, respect and great relationships 🙂

I know you want to say, what if the other side does not reciprocate?

Well, that will happen for a while but do you know that like Smile, good deeds are also contagious? They actually are…. so you keep doing good and sooner or later, you will acknowledge things changing for good!

To conclude: Either don’t make a promise but if you do, have the courage to deliver it with full commitment, give your 100% to every relationship and then see the great results. Hope you are now inspired to mend some strained relations, way to go my friend, but please don’t do it with expectations of instant changes and reciprocation, cause that will hurt you! But gradually with time, things will change for better, I promise! Please remember, Rome was not built in a day, was it?

Annie’s dilemma

Annie’s hands were shaking and she was in a dilemma that if she was doing the right thing by signing on the dotted line…….

Wondering what was Annie going through?

Two days from the current scenario, Annie was a happy go lucky soul, truly, madly and deeply in love with her family. She only wanted love from everyone and only gave out blessings and wishes in return. Throughout her life, she stood up for the right and lawful deeds and had the most positive persona….

Are you also thinking, What is it that she is not so sure of! What’s bothering her?

Her life companion, her best friend of last 30 years, her husband has been declared brain dead after an accident and now the doctors are talking to her to sign on the donation form, so they can use his organs, while they still can 😕 She knows that’s what her husband Peter would have wanted to do and that was the right call medically, but….. it’s so hard to take that decision for your loved ones, isn’t it!

Generally, Annie has been strong, a pillar of strength for her family but in this moment, she felt jitters and any one would, actually!

I have recently learnt that only a person who is declared brain dead can donate their organs….Yes and globally less than 2% of the population gets into that scenario!

Annie spoke to the doctors multiple times, to confirm and reconfirm of any chances of Peter’s recovery but alas, there were none 😟Standing by her values, her strong persona, her love for Peter and what Peter had occasionally conveyed through his casual conversationsAnnie finally did sign the form and gave the Gift of Life to not just one but almost 4 people. Surprised….. yes, Peter’s two kidneys, liver and eyes were donated!

Very few blessed souls get to donate lives even before they depart on their eternal journey and Peter was indeed a special soul – who loved and cared every relationship!

I know this is very intense….but believe me it may help someone someday!

Talk to your loved ones about this matter…. tell them what would you want them to do if such a scenario arises ever, God forbid. This will help them to decide in those difficult times and they will not have to face that dilemma like Annie!

To look at this scenario from another perspective, I request you to read my earlier blog, Poor Alex between Sobs and Smiles!

To conclude: Please remember that communicating tough matters, sometimes, makes life easier, not just for you but more importantly for your loved ones. We don’t know what and how things will be but what is more precious and noble than “Gifting a Life” 🙏🏻 if we get a chance, isn’t it! Sorry for bringing up such an intense topic but imagine, if everyone thinks this way, you may also get help when you need it! Who knows, which side we will be when? ( I mean, Giver or Receiver)……

Cheer up, my friend….. Real Life is indeed in Giving, isn’t it 🙂

Open book exam!

In current COVID times, so many schools and universities are struggling with this concept of ” Open Book exam!”

They want to continue the academic sessions forward but I presume they are still not confident about efficient ways to evaluate the students on the basis of their real caliber and not on the basis of the resources they have available to refer or in crude language, their capability to cheat/copy!

Do you remember those class tests in school, when the teacher stepped out for an emergency for 2 minutes and the entire class had a 10/10 on those tests 🙂 It used to be so much fun and no one hesitated in sharing their answers…. so innocent and pure that feeling used to be, isn’t it!

Where am I going with this…… well, what better “Open Book exam”, than our Life!

Everything is right here in front of us, we have all the resources available, we also clearly know ‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’. To top it all, we have examples to show, how bad choices can lead to a disaster and how a small sensible influence can help many in leading a successful and happy life! But…do we ?

In the above class test example, imagine if the whole class copied the essay on “My Father” and did not change the name of their Father in the text, the entire class will have the same Father 🙂 and the teacher would know 😉 Hence proved that ‘One needs to apply intelligence in cheating/copying’ too!

Anyways, everyone’s life is unique, so it can’t be a Copy/Paste kind of scenario in how we deal with things….We need to apply our intelligence to Observe, Introspect and Reflect correctly!

We can crack this exam of Life, if we learn to Observe our surroundings, including the people – for all the good and the bad that is happening around us; it will help us being alert & vigilant of what to imbibe and what to avoid. Constant Introspection will help us in keeping a check on our behaviour and gradually we will improve, one step at a time; last but not the least, we need to be open and vocal with our loved ones while Reflecting on our learnings; sometimes a small chat can motivate someone enormously & many a times, a child can teach us a life lesson that a great book may fail to 🙂 Try it!

To conclude: Consider your life as an exam and every phase as a chapter…. complete the learning and move on. Be open to getting influenced and inspired by the great things that happen around you and motivate yourself to imbibe the key learnings, rather than reinventing the wheel for every little activity all over again. If you have got a great learning, do share for the benefit of others and always keep your mind and heart open to welcome, good thoughts that can create positivity and happiness, not only for you but for everyone else too! Rock the Exam of Life, my friend 🙂

Oh, that feeling!

Almost every evening Tom and Suzie have the same conversation, since this lockdown started…..the only difference is, some days it is Tom who starts and other days its Suzie!

  • I don’t think I am feeling up to it today!
  • I actually didn’t sleep well last night, don’t think I have the energy!
  • Can we skip it today, please
  • I am feeling drained already, forget it

Wondering, what are they trying to dodge?

Well, its their daily workout regime that they have started online 🙂

Depending on who is not in the mood among Tom and Suzie, the other one pushes and they both end up doing their workouts regularly five to six days a week!

Ask them at the end of the session, and they can’t help but say – “Oh, what a feeling!”

Though, physically, their bodies are all full of sweat, heart is pumping so rapidly, they feel exhausted but mentally, they feel victorious and so thankful that they did the right thing 🙂

This is just a very small example, but believe me, in life, we use the same dodging to get away from every little challenge that we tend to face in our lives.

Though, we know that the outcome of accepting those challenges would give us that feeling of victory, that sense of achievement and we will end up saying – “Oh, what a feeling!”, but just because it is beyond our comfort zone, we tend to convince ourselves mentally with numerous reasons for not doing it! Do you agree?

Like Tom and Suzie, who shared their feelings and emotions and helped and pushed each other…… Do you share what you feel with your loved ones?

If you do, you are so damn lucky my friend :). And if you don’t, I urge you my friend, to start sharing what you feel and you may be able to achieve much more in your life with this little change. May be its that little push from a loved one, that can help you explore a talent, a passion, a quality that you possess within!

Life is not a bed of roses and indeed, we don’t want it to be either 🙂 . You may like to read my earlier blog Thank God life is not a “bed of roses”!)

To conclude: Reach out to your loved ones and help them push to achieve their limits. They may complain initially but in the end, they will be so thankful to you for your love and support. Also, let your guard down and receive help when offered by your friends and family and cherish every moment, when you end up saying, “Oh, what a feeling!” 🙂

Sleep deprived Anna!

My colleague & friend, Anna, is always sleep deprived and forever complaining. Last month, when she shifted to her new apartment, guess what did I gift her? Blackout Curtains 🙂 and you know what, she is eternally grateful beyond words!

You may laugh but its true……its been on numerous occasions that I had to deal with grumpy Anna every Monday morning, because tiny rays of light in her room post dawn won’t let her enjoy her precious weekend sleep!

Those who have insomnia or bad sleeping patterns can understand and empathize with Anna’s pain, but for others, it is no big deal, isn’t it! In a dark room, one ray of light can bother someone so much! Wondering, where I am going with this 🙂

Okay, think about this….If ”Light” is absence of ”Darkness”, then,

ABSENCE OF WHAT’? IS ”LIFE”

If we can find an answer to that, it may help us live a Fulfilling Life…Lets try!

IS ABSENCE OF “DEATH” IS “LIFE”?

Oh my God, it is getting too intense! Wait a moment….to put it simply, ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Do you actually celebrate Life everyday because you are not Dead?
  • Do you live Life fully like it is a “Gift”?
  • Do you enjoy the “Present”, that you have now, called Life?

I promise, just answering these simple questions to ourselves, every morning and night, will help us transform our lives for good, try it!

Those rays that bothered Anna symbolize the difficulties that we face in our dark room of Life and it is us who need to decide if we wish to crib like Anna and waste our beautiful life or put out our blackout curtains, with the help of our family and friends and enjoy this gift of life, till we have it!

Sometimes, no actually, most of the times, Complicated problems have a very simple solution, Do you agree?

Imagine how many more years would she have been sleep deprived if she hadn’t expressed her concerns to me, as a friend and hadn’t received the gift that helped her sleep better!

This is just a small example to help us think that we always have options and most of the times, we remain unaware. Speak up, reach out, discuss your problems, your feelings, your concerns with your friends and family and trust me, they may have a very simple solution to a problem that you think is most difficult!

To conclude: Look around and see if any of your friends need help, an ear to talk, a heart to listen….help them. If you are the one seeking help, my friend, then, please don’t hesitate, You are Alive, till you are not Dead and believe me, no one will judge you for anything and even if they do, let them! Life is much more precious than someone’s few nasty thoughts, isn’t it! Now draw those Blackout curtains to negativity and enjoy Life. Do remember, We always Sulk alone & Enjoy together 🙂

Don’t worry, I have it all planned!

Well, we all have plans, for the day, for the month, for the year, for our lives…. not just that, we have plans for our spouses, our children’s lives too, isn’t it!

When 2020 started, many of us made resolutions to stick to and ideally that is what we do around each new year and our birthdays as well but how many do we end up sticking to?

Now, take a moment in the current COVID 19 times, to think and analyze –

“What happened to all our planning?

It was someone’s Wedding, someone’s Graduation ceremony, someone’s First US posting, someone’s First job, someone’s 90th Birthday celebrations, well, someone’s First Birthday celebrations and so on…… Believe me, many of those involved plenty of hours and months and loads of money…..

Imagine the amount of time and energy we invested in coming out with what we thought was the “Perfect Plan” 🙁

But, Was it?

Take another moment to reflect in the past and you will recall many many more such instances, wherein what happened was totally not in sync with what you had planned as the process or as the outcome.

Wanna know the best part…..I can bet that you now realize that the final outcome of many of those instances is actually much better than what it would have been if things had materialized according to your plan 😊 Isn’t it? But, does that stop us from Planning, of course not 🙂

Don’t you think that its high time that we admit that our plans have no meaning and it only adds to our agony and stress! What’s going to happen will happen and eventually, what will come to our rescue is the good deeds and happiness that we spread across in our beautiful journey called life!

Every morning when you wake up and every night before sleeping, just try to bring this little thought to your mind: “It’s Thy Will” and believe me, gradually your prayers will only have Thank you’s and no Demands!

To conclude: Just go with the flow! Make up your mind, sooner than later to “Surrender to His plan”. Learn to be happy for all that you have got and see the magic it brings to your life! Your general perspective will become positive, you will experience zero stress and I promise you will have many reasons to be grateful for what you have been blessed with in your life 😊 Believe me, just relax and keep smiling everyday and for that you need “No Plan “👍🏻

The overwhelming choices!

Have you wondered if we had limited choices how easy would life be 🙂 It is indeed these choices in life that agitate, excite and confuse us the most. Do you agree?

Okay let’s start with an example. If someone asked you a simple question:

Are you an Optimist?

i. Yes or ii. No

100% replies I presume will be i. Yes, isn’t it 😊

Now the question remains the same, i.e. “Are you an Optimist?”, but now your choices are:

  • Always
  • Never
  • Occasionally
  • Rarely
  • Neutral

Now, you start thinking way deep into a very simple thing and make the situation more complex and complicated resulting in fickle thoughts and a confused mind… Do you agree?

Well, this is exactly what happens every time we face too many choices for anything and everything in our life too. Just to give you a few light examples here:

  • Too many dresses, but I never have anything to wear!
  • Different choices of restaurants/ cuisines but we are always confused what to order or where to dine!
  • Opening Netflix/Amazon/YouTube with numerous choices and wasting more than 15-20 minutes in just deciding what to watch 🙂

Earlier, life was quite simple with ‘black’ and ‘white’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ kind of choices and then came in ‘grey’ and ‘colors’ and so many variety of choices; we all know the scenario we are in! We all are “Spoilt for Choices”, isn’t it?

To put it simply, it is us, who have kind of complicated our own surroundings by over-extending our desires/ wants and then we end up spending more than half of our valuable lives running towards achieving those unworthy goals, that provide no contentment!

We can be very very happy and contented with limited choices, but Are we?

The biggest learning from this global lock down is to understand that what we have is enough and all we need is a positive mind and patience and trust that “this too shall pass!” and “All is indeed Well“, my friend!

To conclude: Restrain your choices and always be mindful of your acts! The only question that we should ask ourselves each day: “Am I positive and contented ?” And your choices are: A. Yes or B. Getting better than yesterday..… If your answer is A or B, you are on track my friend and no one can make you sad anymore 👍🏻 Congratulations and please keep spreading your positivity with whoever you interact 😊 Keep Introspecting and Reflecting on your acts everyday!

Be Good and Stay Safe!

Tina’s little mind struggle!

Last evening, Tina got hurt while playing and she got some bruises🙁. She came home crying and hugged her Mom, Suzie! After a lot of consoling, poor Tina was taken to a Doctor for a bandage and an injection. When Alex returned, Tina was watching TV lying down on the sofa while Suzie was cooking dinner. What Tina heard her Mom say to her Dad, confused her…… any clues what Suzie said?

Well, Suzie said “Thank God, it’s just this much!”

Hearing these words, Tina felt sad and confused as she was suffering and here her Mom thinks that it’s almost nothing. “How can Mom not see and feel my pain”, wondered Tina’s little mind 🙁

Isn’t it normal, it’s just like ‘Half glass empty’ or ‘Half glass full’ scenario!

Tina with her pain and agony, in her situation, thought the glass was more than half empty, while Suzie thanked God for being so kind and helping Tina get only a few bruises and no ligament tear or fracture! She could manage just with a local physician and didn’t even have to get x-ray done! Isn’t that more than half glass full 👍🏻

This scenario got me thinking….Isn’t it applicable with every situation in our life? Wherever we are, in whatever situation, there are different aspects and how we see it and take it further, makes the whole difference. Mind you, our decisions finally impact not only our present but also help build a better tomorrow.

So whether you see it as empty or full, the glass is yours my friend 🙂

Next time and every time, my friend, try to bring in both the view points (Tina and her Mom or to put it as ‘half glass full’ or ‘half glass empty’) before starting to sulk or being sad. May be there is much more in your glass already that you have ignored to count! Do you agree?

In these times of global lockdown, we have been given this “Gift of Time” to Introspect and Reflect on each and every habit of ours, so when we bounce back, we are better spouses, better friends, better parents/children and first and foremost better human beings 👍🏻

To conclude: Try and include a step in your thought process, to also count the ignored blessings that you have in your life, be grateful for the gifts you have got and never stop earning these blessings from one and all! Please remember, we have much more than numerous others, so no point complaining, my friend! Wear a smile and move ahead with pride and positivity; hold that glass up high and always see it filling till the Sun shines and so do you😊 Be safe!

Observe – Nature has all the answers! Version 3.0

What time than this is better to observe and admire the nuances of Nature?

When the entire mankind is stuck within the confines of their homes, almost globally struggling to fight against a nasty virus, the Nature is at its perfect best, isn’t it?

Healthy air, pleasant weather, flowers blossoming, rivers cleaner, wildlife enjoying their freedom while we, human beings remain locked down!

We are not even sure if this deadly virus is indeed created by Nature ( I strongly think otherwise) or is it another manmade disaster that has resulted in loss of numerous lives and has impacted global economy so hard.

Please remember, Nature has never done any bias among its takers for any of its gifts!

Think about this….we all need “Water” to survive and how much ever rich or poor you are, you have the same thirst that gets quenched with Water and Water only. If you are rich, you may be having more cleaner, mineralized water and you may get to drink it in a silver or crystal glass but Water is Water, my friend.

Nature provided enough and more resources to suffice every living being and if we humans, do not exploit Nature at the rate at which we are doing, these resources will remain available for many generations to come.

As mentioned in my earlier blogs, Observe – Nature has all the answers! Version 1.0 and Observe – Nature has all the answers! Version 2.0 if we try and closely observe nature, God has tried to explain the ways to lead a happy and contended life in very easy yet beautiful ways. Observing and learning from these ways will help each one of us bring in so much of positivity and happiness around us. Guess what, it is totally free and available every where.

Is there a lesson, we can learn from this humble “Glass of Water”?

The water tastes the same, irrespective of the glass you drink it in, my friend. What will you do with a silver or crystal glass, if there will be no water to quench your thirst?

If you observe the qualities of Water, it teaches us to move on with its flow; the rivers teach us to make way; the sea teaches us calmness but the abundance of water can cause flood too! Isn’t it?

Well, we all need learn to differentiate between our “Needs” (the positive aspects of water) and “Wants” (the flood scenario) and now that this lockdown has given us an opportunity wherein we have survived more than a month without unnecessary shopping, not accumulating things we just don’t need….. we should be happy with the fact that we are alive and are with our families healthy and happy! Time to introspect on our future actions, for sure! Do you agree?

To conclude: Be as open as Water, be available to everyone, extend help and support wherever you can. Be light, go with the flow, use your power constructively else the flood will kill and ruin all. We have the choice, and what we choose will decide the way forward from here! Please remember, Every drop counts!

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