Teen Years & Perception of Life

We all know the basics of socialization, observation and learning. Almost every literate person either knows the technical terms or at least understands the phenomenon. Socialization contributes the most to the personality development of any individual.

‘Personality’ i.e. the amalgamation of core values we internally follow and the ones we externally project. Both types of values can be different or the same, but mostly the ideal is somewhere in between.

According to Erickson these core values/schemas are developed and fashioned, according to the given circumstances, throughout one’s life. But the most important period of this value formation is the in between the age of 14-19. Yes! This is the time when you develop your perception towards the world. You learn to get outside your limitations, comfort zone is no more an issue and you yearn to conquer the peer groups around you with your budding talents. The quest for an ideal and relatable peer group is the critical part of this phase. The camouflage of childhood and introversion is something which ought to be broken at this turning point of your life.

These “early teens”, aren’t we all too naïve to understand the implications attached with the actions of this age? We don’t realize that the values we observe, the friends we make, the distress we face and the attention bouts of our teen years will be cardinal in shaping the basic contours of our life.

These contours of your thoughts impact each and every move of your life as they become a part of your schema. A group of friends you couldn’t fit in? A competition you lost due to your under confidence or may be the excruciating comments you got at your dressing sense?  All of this has an impact. Though it could be the opposite but it’s the painful experience which lingers throughout your life. Becoming a part of schema implies that as your core value it will be the basis of your every decision.

Hence, Erickson made this theory to emphasize the past’s impact on future and got all the appreciation in the world. But he forgot to explain that is there a way to undo your negative perceptions?  You can’t spend your life in misery just because you were all fat and unacceptable at the age of 18? You can’t be forever alone if you didn’t have friends in your teens. Nobody is ready to accept a pessimistic perception for eternity just because of some mishaps, few appalling memories or even slightly lonely experiences!

Are memories reversible? I don’t think so, but I can propose a solution to replace old perceptions with new ones. The solution is difficult, as perceptions formed over a long period of time can gradually become a part of your innate being. But the process can be inverted only if one tries to overcome those memories by making new ones. My point here is that you can undo the perception by developing a new and more pervasive one.

For instance, you were mocked and underestimated due to any reason in your early teen. Therefore, you established that ‘people will always ridicule me and underestimate my abilities’. Now, to break away from this basic thought you need to re-establish this perception. Stand up for your rights and keep on standing until you achieve the reward you believe you deserved. You may be broken sometimes, torn again by the society or discouraged by your own ego. But be staunch and this will terminate your old self image, the notion of underestimation will be modified in your life at least.

This process is harsh and you may face resistance not only externally but also internally. But this demonstration of will power can lead to satisfaction and contentment for the rest of your life.

So, next time when a sad memory flashes before your eyes or your subconscious tries to bring you down, don’t surrender rather reinstate!


Hope, Procrastination & Complacence

Time changes, some had money, some have it now. Time keeps on changing; some cherished their blessings and hard earned luxuries, while others saved and spent their pennies carefully. Some lived in bungalows and enjoyed lavish meals; others lived in houses where the whole family shared a room.

Time changed, like it always does… bungalows sold and bought, factories closed and built. Some shifted to flats and others to bungalows. Some slipped down from Mercedes to scooters and others started driving their dream cars.

What is it that drives us? What is it that makes some poor kid a dignified entrepreneur? What’s drives someone down to what they never imagined to be?

Some say its luck, destiny or maybe a test of time. But there is another force working behind this scenario; a gameplay, a power triangle or perhaps an intricate & unconscious role of your own urge to succeed. This urge is broken down to three conditions; I would rather reckon them as pathologies since, these are feelings which shape personalities & end up shaping the lives of their families.

These three forces and three varied feelings are hope, procrastination & complacence, all interwoven and all connected, one impacts another.

Charles R Snyder, a positive psychologist claimed that hope is the opposite of fear. Fear closes our eyes, shuts our brains & darkens what was actually lit. While, hope opens the avenues which never existed, it gives the strength to envisage what otherwise seems impossible.

Research shows, fear is what leads to Failure through the force of procrastination. When one isn’t hopeful of success, he fears failure and therefore, stops trying. There is always extra energy around a human brain, whether sad or happy this energy surrounds us in forms of feelings.

Fear transforms this energy into free floating anxiety; anxiousness leads to panic and we end up channelizing our energy in the wrong direction. Avoidance & depression are the behaviors resulting from this anxiety. No wonder, we never pass the test we never hoped to clear!

Not all the school dropouts, poor deprived children make it big; for someone time changes & for others it doesn’t. But for those blessed few, I believe the force which acts as a success multiplier is ‘hope’. As Richard Lazarus would put it ‘fearing the worst, but yearning for better’.

Hope & optimism is like the antidote for fear, leading to low procrastination. When we envision something brighter & better, we start working our way towards it more vigorously. So with destiny, a small role, in the unbelievable success stories we hear, might be played by Hope. Hope channelizes our sadness, anger & frustration and gives it the form of effort needed for success. We muster up all the last bits of courage and start working just because of hope that ‘We Can’. Thus, hope is what cancel outs procrastination, it vanishes laziness &re-energizes the drowsy souls.

Hope is what runs the world, isn’t it? For those who don’t have something, believe they’ll have it one day. When they don’t have it even on their last day, they believe they’ll have it in the ‘world hereafter’. Even the Lord has bestowed one great blessing on its creation i.e. Hope & Positivity. The power to imagine what’s not here will be here tomorrow! It is a blessing of the Lord which keeps the blood in our veins running. The eyes of a child begging for food, still shines because of hope. Its hope which encourages the sufferers, revitalizes the ones who have lost & consoles the betrayed. For those who believe in the world hereafter, the hope never diminishes.

But there is something, which I would like to add to this research. Though hope is the key to reaching where your vision cannot, I believe that when hope exceeds a certain level it can also lead to failure. Yes it seems absurd, but when hope takes the form of excessive optimism it becomes dangerous. We start overlooking what otherwise could have been a potential danger. We stop putting efforts and start taking things for granted. But this form of ‘Excessive hope’ is entirely different from what has been explained as the right form of hope. Its different because this excessive optimism occurs when the circumstances are already gracious & kind towards us. Unlike the underprivileged & deprived, this excessive hope mostly strikes the ones who have never struggled in their lives. And the one word which sums up this condition is ‘complacence’. In fact too complacent that they forget that without efforts anything can fade away.

Hence, I believe Lord wants us to be hopeful in dismal conditions but, also cautious in blessed ones!


When We Betray….

We all have mothers who say “ Mera Bacha Mere Jigar ka Tukra”. I always interpret this as ‘for a mother, a child will always be a part of their soul and body’. They feel innately connected to their children! So that when the child is in pain, the mother suffers. When he is in joy, the mother is in bliss. What a creature a mother is! A creature who loves us unconditionally and bears with our inanities without even complaining.

But what happens when we betray this loving creature? We know that we are connected to her forever so when we try to betray her, what happens?

Imagine a part of your body…let it be your hands or your feet, they try to betray you. When they perform the act of betrayal….what happens to your body? The body tears apart! The betrayer breaks away your body and tears it into pieces. Splashes of blood and pain everywhere…the betrayer becomes numb and soul-less after the betrayal. But the body, it keeps on feeling the pain of that brutal act. The pain keeps on lingering forever…till the body perishes.

Analogous to the betrayal of the body, is the infidelity of relationships. When two souls are connected like that of a mother and a child, betrayal leads to a eternal pain which lingers on forever. Just as we know what our body is doing, the connected soul knows that the other is on the path of treachery.

But they remain silent, may be they are too weak to face the truth or perhaps they have faith that their loved ones won’t go wrong.

These misconceptions and blind trust leads most of us to the suffering, which never diminishes. Yet, the love in the universe goes on….mothers keep on loving their children & children keep on breaking their trust….Yet the cycle never breaks….

The only way to break this cycle of infidelity is to strengthen the betrayed. Strengthen them to face the truth before it leaves an imprint of pain. And to remind the betrayers that they can deceive their loved ones, but their deeds will get back to them when it will hurt them the most!

Connect with the Souls!

My hands are on my keyboard…writing and writing….words which come to my mouth, words which come from my soul, words which connect, words which unveil….but those are words, all stationary, all pointless, all dead or may be not even once alive.

How can these words connect my heart to my soul?  How can small black symbols represent what I am at that moment?

I have been using the pen to express my feelings through words since I was 8. I used to write poems, illustrate stories and sketch still life with the pen and pencil I was given in my school. I remember how at night I would sit in the room when everyone was asleep and think of words, which when combined, accumulated a poem.

Slowly time passed by, I began to express my thoughts in acting, singing, poems, stories or even through exaggeration of my daily activities. I had a fair idea that I needed an outlet to explore the emotions which were somewhere on the boundary of emotion and fantasy.

But returning back to the question…are these words actually living the life that I try to make them live? Are they just symbols or a full being, possessing the emotions I have poured into them.

Then one day, I decided to reread some pieces that I had written before and see if there was the energy present in them which had once transferred through the letters of a keyboard.
But if the energy is gone, then was the energy which was once transferred now dead? I felt sorrowful for those moments in which my words had gone a waste!I kept on reading and reading for a while, but every article seemed to me bland as I had already seen them and the exploration was like hoping to find something new in a recipe in which you yourself didn’t add anything new.

Then one day I was watching a movie and my thoughts swirled again to the dead energy. I thought that when the maker of this movie watches it he might not feel the urge to continue watching it, similarly, I when tried to reread the words I had written I couldn’t find them interesting or alive. But when someone for the first time reads them and absorbs the meanings; the soul of the words, the passion of my creativity and the power of my emotions, must’ve been transformed into emotions and flown to the reader’s mind.

I feel anxious when the movie is a thriller, similarly, the reader must be feeling the feelings I had transmitted through my words. My words are alive but only then till a subject absorbs their energy. And when they are exhausted for a subject, they are rejuvenated and ready to be absorbed by another subject.

This is how creativity without the judgment of good or bad…flows…flows from one person to another through the medium of words or paint brushes, movie cameras or sheer expressions. This is the way we make dead things like a canvas alive and consistently share our souls with others!