Sunday, November 30, 2014

Maturity- We Wish We Could Find It On Google Play

Yeah, I admit that this title sounds a little stupid. But on second thought, you'd concede that it is sort of applicable to all of us. These days we find everything on the virtual world. We have friends on Facebook, contacts on WhatsApp, buddies on Skype, and Followers on Twitter. We get what we want, or we wait for some App Developer to make something for us. We get a platform to catch up with our distant friends and acquaintances, we spend endless hours chatting with our present contacts, but even that isn't enough. With the Front-Camera-Revolution, our world as it is now seems incomplete without selfies and video-chats. Sure, we have advanced into a new age. What we haven't achieved yet, though, is the ability to be as half as smart as our phones and tablets have become.

Maturity (or the lack of it, as that is what is more commonplace) is the issue of the day. Our generation gets the tag of being immature grown-ups more often than not, and we get this tag so often that we start despising it. Our parents, our teachers, our peers, all get into our line of fire once we get frustrated from being labeled as immature and not being able to understand what the hell is wrong with us. Honestly, we don't deserve being blamed for this. Time plays a vital role in who we are and what we become, and the time we live in has it's own good and bad effects. Where correct and incorrect is decided by Google and Wikipedia, where all news we get comes from status updates from politically and logically biased people and media, where right and wrong depends on what gets more Facebook likes and YouTube hits instead of what agrees with what our parents taught us (I don't say that they are always right, but I can bet that they are right more often than we think), it is no surprise that mindsets and thought processes are shaped quite differently than they naturally should.

Technology isn't the only culprit here. Frankly, what brings us so many comforts and saves us so much time shouldn't be the one thing we blame everything on. Technology isn't the root of our maturity issues, it is merely a catalyst. The root cause of our failure to grow up in mind as we do in body, is our dependence on what this age offers us. We depend, and that is why we never learn how to face the real problems of life.

I read this post on Facebook quite a while ago. I said- "The reason why relationships don't last these days is because fights become WhatsApp messages, breakups happen over phone calls, and heartbreaks and getting over people become Facebook statuses." That's what we have become. Dependent on things that were originally meant to be nothing more than mere tools for us. Nobody, not me, not you, not your best friend, not that cute guy/girl you like, nobody, is over this basic reality of the day.

So that was the problem. What is the solution? Well, it's as simple as setting up a Gmail account (you need one to comment on my blog and +1 it on Google Plus). All you need to do is follow these simple steps ahead:

  1. Learn to Avoid Fights: I am not talking about the Bang-Bang (bones cracking and jaws breaking) type of fight, although you should strictly avoid those as well. I am talking about the more urban version of fights where you get involved in a verbal brawl or get into an argument in comments over somebody's Facebook post and then that fight migrates to your message box. Seriously, it's childish, and people who see it get a very negative impression about both parties who fight that way. Somehow, it is a custom nowadays that if somebody made fun of you and a few crackheads laughed, it becomes a tarnishing blot of ink on your reputation which will only get cleaned when you make fun of him so bad that your friends say- "Abey, tune to uski maar li" (Man, you really made him/her suffer, figuratively speaking. The literal meaning is not for public viewing)
  2. Take Criticism As A Compliment: If you're not being criticized at your school, among your peers, in your line of work, then it means that either nobody gives a shit about you or you are simply not taking a stand where you are supposed to take one. The earlier means that you need to change your company or improve your personality, the latter means that you are either a very horrible person who behaves well only to use people or that you are a coward. Do you hate me for saying this? Trust me, this is what people think of you and speak about you when your back is turned to them. So, always take a stand where you have the chance, and never back down just because people criticize you. Being persistent is a great way to make things work.
  3. Listen More, Speak Less: Our age has a very popular belief that smart people speak a lot. While it is true in some cases, most people don't understand that smartness isn't just about speaking the right things. It is about speaking at the right time and to the right people. There is no use wasting a great speech on somebody who wouldn't appreciate it, just like there is no use writing a great story and sharing it with people who hate reading. Its a waste of time and effort. If there is one thing you must learn, it is the fact that this world believes in end results and many a times forget the developments that led to them. So if you have great ideas, it is your responsibility to do justice to them. The only way to do that is to stay quiet, listen, learn, analyse, and wait for the right time and opportunity to go forward with your plans.
  4. Think Positive, No Matter What: It's a hard thing to do, I give you my word about that. But it is a very viable option for those who are the happy-go-lucky types. Sometimes your positiveness may be misunderstood for a weakness. The 'Practicality' factor, somehow, seems to go in the opposite direction of optimism to our generation. If you don't get a bad feeling about getting too close to a new person you just met, or if you don't subconsciously start questioning the motives of a person who has been very kind to you lately, your friends and peers start thinking that you lack maturity. But tell you what, maturity isn't synonymous to paranoia. Maturity is about balance. Think positive, even if you get a bad feeling about things. If you believe that a certain project or person might cause you unexpected trouble in the future, prepare for the worst-case scenario and take several contingencies into account. But when it comes to your perception about things, always think for the best. You can't achieve anything if you just doubt everything and everyone who comes your way.
  5. Stow The Ego: If you are the smartest person in your group, you really need to find new people. It's a simple ideology, mature people stick around with mature people, immature people hang out with immature people. Choose your preference. It's really simple, you know. You can never get ahead in life if you despise the people who are better than you. If you happen to meet someone more intelligent or calm or balanced than yourself, it is a great opportunity to grow as person. Don't waste it in conflict. Your ego can wait for the next time. 

I don't think you need to know any more about maturity. If you are my age, you have probably understood by now (or you won't unless you grow 30). Maturity isn't what people think about you, it is how you react to what they think about you. It isn't how you behave when people run across you, it is how you behave when people try to run you over.

It is an easy concept. Smile when most people would fight in fury, laugh when most people would get offended, stay silent when most people would rush into argument. That's what Maturity is!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Survival Guide For Young Lovers- Trust Issues

"We are a generation full of broken hearts."
In case you are wondering who said this, don't bother. It was just me a few posts ago. I thought that it was a seriously deep idea, but I have lately realised that it isn't the million dollar problem we have at hand.

Broken hearts are easy to handle, you just need some care and loads of good time to get over it. What we fail to get over with time and goodwill isn't our broken heart, it's our broken trust. And trust my friends, is the most basic ingredient for any healthy relationship, friendship, acquaintance, fellowship, in short anything that involves human partnership in any way whatsoever. We live in a world where people look for monsters wherever they go. And the most constant quality about us humans is that when we look for something, we most certainly find it.

We have lost the element of trust from our relationships, and that's why we are fragile and vulnerable. Now this post has been waiting for a long time now, so I'll go ahead with my ideas on how to get over a case of breach-of-trust and how to learn to trust people again.

  1. Don't Get Stereotypical: I'll take my case here. I had a very nasty situation where I was betrayed by a certain girl. Since I am a person who has a deep interest in Sunsigns and Zodiacs, I became paranoid towards a certain set of people. The girl I had my troubles with is a Saggitarian, I decided to never trust an Archer in my life. No offense to December born people, Saggitarians are very nice people, but Pisces-Saggitarius romances generally end in a disaster. Now here's the catch. This isn't what you should do. I admit that I based my paranoia and my fears towards a rather large section of people over something as pointless as their date of birth. But believe me, most people who have their hearts broken become even more stupid than they were in the beginning. All because they lost a part of who they were to the betrayal that they faced. Don't do that. Don't make the right person suffer for what the wrong person did. And when I say right person, I don't mean the next cute guy/girl you secretly like. I mean you
  2. Be Who You Are And Always Have Been: My advice, be who you were before you got betrayed. If somebody says that you should change something about you and start over, ignore them. Only the second part of what they say is right. Change is not a conscious decision that we make. It is just an unavoidable move that you make without even knowing. Take an example. When you are driving, can you maintain the same speed all the way? Even if you do, you will encounter some turns, and even a tenth-grader knows that scientifically, a change in direction counts as acceleration. So as you drive along in your life, you are bound to change in many ways as a person. But that must be a natural process, not some case of unnecessarily slow driving because of the fear that set root when you had an accident in the past.
  3. The Betrayer Seems Happy: Why not you, then? We humans, the glorious beasts who claim to be the most intelligent species on the planet, yet we fail to follow basic logic in real life? Tell me, wouldn't every lawyer and every judge in the world commit suicide if they encountered a world where the criminal goes at parties while the victim gets punished? Nobody told you this, but that world is none but our own. Think about it. You had a romance. You got betrayed, your counterpart did the crime (romantically speaking). Who was left alone? Who became paranoid? Who distanced all his/her friends and became a grouchy asshole for everybody? Don't look so surprised. The answer is you, undoubtedly. The person who did made all the mess is partying hard and, even though he/she did something terrible, is winning people over by their happy-go-lucky attitude. I say it's time to step up your game and show the world who is the boss.
  4. Spend Time With People You Still Believe In: Fine, you got cheated on. Get in line, because almost everybody else is in your league. Just because you have big problems in your life, you can't turn your back to the people who still deserve your faith or at least haven't done anything to not deserve it. We are all broken dolls who stitched themselves up just because there are people out there who want to see us smile, people whose happiness depends on our own. No matter how rejected or unwanted you think you are, such people exist in you life. I won't say that you should get over your problems for their sake. If there has ever supposed to be some motivation in your life, it has to be you. What I'd suggest, however, is that you should let people in your mind. People who can guide you out of your bad times. They are always around. It all depends on whether you choose to reach out to them.

I guess it is easy to get over people. What is difficult to get over is our own fear of getting hurt in the same way as we once were. When people leave, they don't leave behind a void that can't be filled. We make such a void on our own, and don't let anybody else fill it until we get over our fears. Take your time, it is never easy to conquer your own fear. But while you're at it, at least let people in your life. You'll be surprised how good company changes things!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Teamwork- The One Thing We All Fail At

Long time no see, dear readers! It's been a while...
Blame it on my internet (or the lack of it). Besides, writers too get busy at times. Especially when they are students, like I am.
So, here comes today's post. And the topic of discussion is the one chink our sturdiest armors have, the Achilles' Heel that the best of us suffer from.
Teamwork, or the lack of it! (Yeah, I repeat my own jokes. Hang me!)

Things are fairly easy when we go one on one against the world. We prefer working that way too. Nobody to handle, nobody to boss us around, just us and what we love. That is the reason why I choose to be a writer. Because in my line of work, solitude is a necessity and having no partners is a term of agreement. Sure, I do have sparring partners on a mental level, friends who are my greatest admirers and my worst critics. But in the end, I work alone. And I like it!

Unfortunately, however, not all of us get to work alone. And it is not a healthy habit to always work alone. Come to think of it, the creepiest and the most lonely people in the world also team up somewhere down the line. Batman joined the Justice League, Tony Stark teamed up with the Avengers. Even the mindless Hulk had to work together with people at some point of time. Bottom-line, all of us MUST learn to work in a team, because our lives depend on it. And I don't mean that people don't know how to work together, they do. But this article is about enjoying it. We are social animals after all, aren't we?

So, here it goes. Teamwork explained, writer style:

  1. Give Space, but know where to Draw The Line: This is one thing every person needs and demands the most these days. SPACE. Frigging astronauts we all are, aren't we? Now when you work in a team, not just as a leader, but as a member, we all want the freedom to work on our own terms and at our own pace. Problem is, everybody has these issues. So things get bad when you force your will at people or when people just refuse to cooperate with you. The best way to deal with it is pretty simple. Be professional. I don't care how you do it, I just want it done. If you can find a politically correct version of this sentence and send the message to your teammates, things will get easy. Give them something solid to work with, clearly demarcated tasks, not to be breached deadlines, proper rules of engagement, go army style on them. But the how of the job is their job. They'll take care of it on their own. Trust them that much. If they fail, they'll accept it too.
  2. Don't Work to Please People: There are people who simply want power, or money, or respect in the society. Being an idealist I loathe these tendencies, but being a realist I know that these are some incorrigible character flaws that almost everyone has. I've said this before, the only thing you should worry about is the job being done. You may not like the person but he/she may be an asset to the team. Apart from that, don't ever try to please everybody. That's not going to happen. No matter how brilliant or mediocre you are as a person, you'll work with people both your superiors and your inferiors in both ability and performance. They'll all have their own demands and aspirations. What matters in the end, however, is what is in the best interests of the team. The dynamics of teamwork do include people's interests, but everybody prefers an impartial person in the end. Don't try to please people by blindly giving them what they want. And don't try to find a diplomatic solution to things. Sometimes it's better to lose an asset than to corrupt people's belief in the system.
  3. Know your Trump: In a game of cards, if you have a hand of Hearts, it would be a fatal mistake to set Spades as your trump, logically speaking. Every team has many assets. But when you are in a team, you realize that some assets are more important than the others. Be wise and keep them in your favor. Every influence can change the dynamics of a team in a matter of seconds. That is why it is advisable to have people who'll back your opinions. After all, being right isn't enough to be powerful in this world. But being powerful is enough to make you right at times.
  4. Keep Contingencies: Always have a backup, whether it is for a plan or a person. Relying on one trump may get you in trouble. So it is much better if you have plans for the worst case scenario. Get creative and imagine one for yourself. You may very well get some great ideas for possible threats that might be lingering in the shadows, waiting for a ripe moment to spring up and put in serious trouble.
  5. Be Ambiguous: Believe it or not, people who speak too much may appear charming but they do a lot of harm to themselves. On the other hand, people who know when and what to speak are a lot more successful. It is easy, just don't declare your intentions very easily. Let people speak, and you'll get the chance to get things done, your way. People who have power don't say too much, they just make sure that they have the last word. If you learn to have the last word, you'll get respect and reverence from your team. And you'll have your way all the time!
  6. Think about The Larger Picture: "Whatever Dumbledore does, he does for the greater good!" A random dialogue, but one with great impact. When you think about things more than people's wishes and aspirations, you'll see that the way ahead of you requires a lot from you and your team. Then you'll learn that the only way to make things work for the team is when you have a vision of what you want from the team and how well your team responds to that vision. Always look ahead, thing about the work you have to do. In light of these things, the problems and struggles within the team are inconsequential. Keep moving forward, people will run along to catch up. In the meantime, the little matters will die out on their own.
  7. Be Kind: If you want to work with people, you need to have their respect. Sounds simple enough, but it is a hard thing to achieve. All I can tell you is that the one thing you can do is to always put your best foot forward. Be nice to people. Go easy on them as a person but give them a challenging time working. Some people can't influence others no matter how much they shout while others can influence people with a single look. Choose your Avatar!

Teamwork is a headache, if you ask me. But so is life, so is love, and so is friendship. Call it a necessary evil if you will. But it's a great thing to experience. Try to enjoy it and you'll have memories you'd want to keep!