Saturday, December 20, 2008

'Look good or feel good'

I have been out of circulation for more than a week. A lot of travelling followed by a little sickness. Here I am up on my feet again.

Was reading a blog of a student of mine and this thought emerged. Do we, human beings, have this penchant to look good in the eyes of others? A lot of experiences came to my mind and I thought I will share some of them. My first experience was to belong to a group of people though I was feeling uncomfortable. This group was a popular group and being there was the 'in thing'. Despite my discomfort, I tried to belong there and be a part of the inner circle. If I did not belong, I thought I was a nobody. I died a thousand deaths but chose to come out alive.

The first time I made a presentation in public and I was shivering. The thought that passed my mind was if I did not present well, what will people think of me. Looking back this thought was the culprit that made me shiver. Rather than focusing on my presentation and making adequate preparations, my thought lay on others impression about me rather than what I thought of myself.

A friend of mine, a teetotaller, chose to miss most of his office party because of the peer pressure to drink. Recounting his experience, he shared with me that he felt it was absolutely necessary to socialize and mix with people at the party but missed it because of the compulsion on him to drink. His version was that not acceding to people’s requests would be considered as socially unacceptable. Thus he chose to ignore his own desire to socialize and mix with people though it was important to him professionally.

Examples can be many but where do most of us get stuck. I strongly feel it is in the choice between ’looking good’ and ‘feeling good’. This distinction seems to me to be the most significant factor in the several choices we make in life. ‘Looking good’ is most of the times like playing to the gallery, being popular, not playing in the court but critiquing from the stands, and not living the ‘life’ one really wants. ‘Feeling good’ is most of the times about risking and getting rejected, being in disagreement with others when one strongly feels so, being unreasonable with oneself and being out of the comfort zone, being assertive, and finally assuming responsiblity for one's actions. The bottom line of ‘feeling good’’ is about living life powerfully and on one’s own terms and wishes.

Choice, of course, is purely ours.


Anonymous said...

Very true.But difficult to accept. Its all about what one really wants in life.

seema said...

Oh! great. How real.Yes, its all about distnction.

Anonymous said...

I liked the expression ' living life powerfully'. Its all about our choices and not yielding when the moment of truth arrives to choose between 'looking good' and 'feeling good'

Sania Mahajan said...

Well said Sir... Even though I have followed people on many occasions, I personally believe that development takes place when an individual choses the 'feel good' path! Many of our prominent leaders are an example of this! Though difficult to implement, this is what distinguishes one person from another!

nsiyer said...

Thanks those with 'Anonymous' for your comments.

Thanks, Seema for those nice words.

Thanks, Sania for following my blog and posting your comments. Kudos! on making those great points.

S.Jayabalan said...

You write well . Nice to read them and makes me "feel good", though some inertia has been preventing me from posting comments or writing in my blog . Again may be because of fear of going wrong "First Time" combined with, frankly lack of knowledge about Blogging !! Wrong usage I dont know ?? I have a lot to share . Any way keep it up

nsiyer said...

Thanks Jayabalan Sir. You should start posting in your blog. Considering your sense of humour and the repertoire of knowledge and experience, it will indeed be interesting.

Kavi said...

In the Amway world, it was Rich De Vos who said, 'the opportunities are always there. The choices are ours' !

It is so very true ! And your examples well chronicle that ! We need to act to our heart. And i am trying hard !!

Babu Bhaskaran said...

I almost felt my past flash over! It has taken me many years to come over it, at least a bit.

Its difficult to do what one feels like but that is how it should be! No matter what. Call it Individualism, Selfishness, apathy towards others, doesn't matter. I am happy and that's what matters the most.

Thank you. It was a post for lot of recollection & reflection!

Dewdrop said...

I agree... the log kya kahenge mentality is driven in us right from childhood... in fact, we deprive kids of their freedom and innocence when we tell them to behave in public. I think we become so conditioned to ths, that we tend to lose out on what our heart really desires, so caught up are we, to impress others... and that's where I think, blogging gives one a sense of liberation since it is a forum for expression where no one judges.

Pearl said...

Ah. The difference between "seeming" and "being".
A choice made every day!

nsiyer said...

Thanks Kavi. At every moment in our daily lives,the response to a stimulus evokes choice. Life's script is written every moment.

Thanks Babu. Well said. Whenever in a dilemma, do what you feel good.

Thanks Dewdrop. Kuch tho log kaheyege, Logonka Kaam hai Kehna. and we have a choice.

Thanks Pearl. Yeah! its all about the being - all said and done.

VASAN said...

Wow!!! A lot of meaning!!! Philosophy!!!

The first thing that came to my after reading this article is the characters of Hem & Haw.

It is a difficult choice to make but an important decision. We make a lot of decisions in our life but this decision makes our life.

To restate Shiv Khera the difference between "Personalty" and "Character".

One needs a lot of maturity and courage to lead a life "feeling good".

RAJENDRA said...

Great message narrated in simple words. By reading your posts I get the feel of walking with you on Cuddalore beach.
BR Babu

sush said...

Very simply said Sir but conveys so much about the person who goes thru this-I can very well relate to this 'fitting in'. You know you don't wanna be there-every second thought in your mind is 'Why are you here? Are you not strong enough to just leave?' but then-I still dont know what makes one just stay on..i guess it was the bonds with friends which would be broken that would hurt later.. It has and wil never be easy to just walk away.

Never get too emotionally attached to anyone they always say:)