This topic is very personal and close to my heart.
I have been different and unique since I was a kid. When everyone went right, I had to go left. Not to be stubborn but I just wanted to explore what others are not doing. Generally, I walk down the road enjoying the journey without knowing the end. And sometimes the end of the journey is a happy one which makes me feel good that I made the choice to try something different. At other times, I realize it is not meant for me and take a complete U-turn. But either ways I journey, I take the time to analyze and see what I learnt from it. The good, the bad as well as acknowledge all the folks I came across that contributed to my journey. The helps me to grow into a strong and confident person.
I will portray aspects of #beingDifferent through short snippets:
I was an energetic kid and would spend a lot of time playing various sports, participating in school events besides studies. As I grew the energy and enthusiasm still continued pretty much at the same level and it’s the same even today. This makes me very relatable to all age groups. They look at me as a friend rather than an elder. Currently I do Zumba three times a week, play basketball, work as a project manager, have a number of other activities running and planning to start Yoga two times a week. Phew!!!! This makes me a hard core multi-tasker and an avid planner which leads to ensuring I manage my time effectively.
As our very own Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his speech sometime back which goes along the lines: “Today’s generation asks a lot of questions and who says it’s wrong. They are working faster and creating solutions that are challenging. Breaking monotonous working styles thus embracing automation. They want to multi task, others think they are wasting time by multi-tasking, but I believe multi-tasking is necessary.” And this style of working is hard for people to comprehend and accept at times.
Do you think #beingDifferent has been around only in recent times? It’s not true. Being different has been around 2000 years ago too, when Jesus healed a sick man , Peter’s mother-in-law or made well a crippled woman. At that time, he was accused by the Pharisees for performing miracles on the Sabbath as it was a day of religious observance and abstinence of work. He is the maker of the Sabbath and was showing one of the ways to keep it by expressing mercy and compassion. It is not just about performing your duty and only following the rules.
I am very inspired by the movie La La Land. A sucker for musicals, you see!!! The opening scene of the movie starts on a highway with standstill traffic with a lady getting out of her car. She starts singing a song and other folks join in the melody. How many times have we been stuck in a traffic jam? How do we react? Most folks will curse, honk continuously and many other reactions. In such situations, it’s a party in my car. I roll down my windows, blast the music and sing along. No point in fretting and getting agitated. Anyways, no one is going anywhere anytime soon.
Another thought, the youth today including me (at least I consider myself young) are conflicted about settling in India or Abroad. Each time I travel to the US, I am elated and can’t wait to get there. Come eight months in the US and I am ready to go back home. This scenario has taken place multiple times over the years. However, a couple of months ago I decided it’s time to make up mind, one way or another. I have read a lot of articles over the years, pros and cons of living abroad and in India. At the end of the day I believe it’s a personal choice, it depends on where your heart feels it. Finally, I zeroed on staying in India. The driving factors for me:
- From a work perspective, I would love to share the Industrial and Business knowledge I have gained working abroad, with the people out here. This decision of mine was strengthened even more when in one of the talks Narendra Modi encouraged the people of India, “People should go abroad, explore, learn, share and come back to make a better India”
- We are a growing nation and it will never be perfect but what we need to work towards is to make each day better, one step at a time. Things are changing we have Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, Digital India, Mudra and so many other programs started by our Prime Minister. The change will not be easy and there will be many hurdles but we need to persevere.
- Finally, my family is here and I would like to teach the same values to the next generation what I learnt. Share and show them, the love I have for this country.
I am different and it’s quite visible. Difficult to hide a tall, positive and confident personality. Over the years, I have learnt to accept it. People are going to notice whatever you do but it is in your hands how you handle it.
Some of the things that have worked for me are:
- Mold yourself to be adaptable to the people around you but do not let it change your basic personality, your soul. Else you will find it hard to live with yourself.
- Learn the art of saying No. It’s hard, even for me but keep reminding yourself to evaluate before accepting. This is not only in tasks that someone assigns to you but it is also when you have multiple ideas running through your mind. It’s better to deliver with quality a few things rather than trying to boil the ocean.
- Breathe, breathe deeply. Remind yourself to breathe in situations where people are talking against you, don’t understand you or just simply when there is too much noise. Listen. Pause. Speak. and look at it objectively rather than considering it as a personal attack
- Its, never too late to make a U-turn and get yourself out of a bad situation. Ask for help, no shame in doing so. For as we humble ourselves we will be exalted.
- Me time – #beingDifferent personalities and especially the ones with high energy please take out Me time. You’ll need it the most to ensure you are in good health mentally, physically and to keep calm when the mind races. Try to find a confidante to talk through your ideas, thoughts and situations (reach out to a psychologist if you are not able to reach a friend). Be like a duck who is calm on the surface but creating massive ripples underneath.
Being different has been misconstrued many a times. However, we need to persevere and fight the good fight. We need to have faith, not today but tomorrow that we will be understood and we should wait patiently with a smile.
A picture speaks a thousand words. The feature image on this blog is me, #beingDifferent once again where everyone is straightening their hair I went and got waves. I think it suits me. Your thoughts??? My hairstyle credit goes to Sameer Sahani, a Director level Hair Stylist at Juice Thane. Highly recommended!!!
I end this note by saying “Don’t judge me. I was born to be true and not perfect”.