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.
1 month ago