LEARN TO UNLEARN
I was asked by a friend of mine to write a blog on motivation or any topic that could guide people. I was more than happy to do that. I agreed immediately and told him, that I will call and discuss it the next day. For the past, few days I had been blogging and writing reviews about places of interest and eateries in and around Bangalore. So, the writer in me had suddenly become very active and when this request came from my friend to pen down a few lines, I said to myself “That’s no big deal”.
Now started the real challenge. I realized writing something that people could use and benefit was nothing like writing a review about Masala Dosa that I ate on a weekend breakfast ride. I started thinking how can I guide people. The more I thought the more confused I became. Most of the things that came to my mind were conflicting with what I practice. Preaching is the easy part. Living up to what you preach needs guts. Most of us have attended trainings and seminars where trainers from reputed institutes come and talk on various topics. How often do you see conviction in what they say? You may have heard the saying “Eyes don’t lie”. Can you look into their eyes and be sure that they follow what they preach? It’s important for you to be sure of this because if you plan to follow any such advice, it has to come from someone who has a clear conscious, who has no conflict in his mind, who practices what he preaches, who can with conviction say that I stand by what I say. This gives confidence to the person who trusts you completely without knowing much about you and takes your advice assuming you are better than him. Let’s not break that trust. So, before I give you any advice let me be the person who you can look up to. Let me guide myself before I guide others.
I just turned 40 last year and have been having my bit of reflections and introspections about my life for many months now. I know that by and large, I have been living life as what my parents expected, then the way society expected, then my wife and then kids and so on…. It’s quite surprising that for almost 50% of my lifetime I have not lived my life the way I have wanted. I have hardly done things that I am passionate about, that I care and love. Why is it so? Who is responsible for this? These are questions that I constantly sought answers for. It’s not difficult to get the answer. The problem is in accepting the answer. Every single thing that I have done in my life so far was my choice. This is a profound statement but I say this with conviction and will stand by it. Everything that I have ever done is out of my choice. The outcome may have been good or bad but it was my choice. I could have made a different choice; the results may have been different so could be the implications. But I made all those choices based on my knowledge to either avoid a certain implication or to have a certain implication. I cannot blame anyone but me for not living my life the way I wanted.
I realize that its instinctive for us to blame others or external factors for all failures and give ourselves credit for all good things. Our inner self which I like to call as our conscious knows a lot more that what we display to the outer world. It knows exactly where you went wrong. It knows exactly when you pretended to be asleep when your little princess baby started to cry in the middle of the night and you waited for your wife to wake up and put her to sleep. It knows you were wrong, but you gave an explanation that you need to get to work early tomorrow, so you had to sleep. Come on… you can fool your wife but not you conscious. This is called Self Deception. This is how we keep fooling ourselves and start living in an arrangement of convenience. On the outside, we seem to be doing all the right things but deep within the conscious is not clear. It’s at conflict with you.
What do I do about this? Should I do anything about this at all? Well, I would say its again your choice. But let me tell you something based on my own experience. When the inner conscious and the outer you exhibit the same behaviour, you get rid of a huge burden that most of us carry – guilt, fear and conflict. You can call them unnecessary baggage.
Coming back to my friend’s request to write a few lines, I have decided that I will start writing how am I guiding myself - to be at peace, to resolve my conflicts within, to shed unwanted baggage, to be accountable for my choices and above all to live my life the way I want. For this I, will have to learn to Unlearn a few things, change a few habits, give up few things, let go of certain thoughts.
My journey of Learning to Unlearn begins…
* All pictures are from internet