Friday, July 24, 2015

Narrow Your Focus for a Broader Vision

Image Courtesy: Google Images
 Narrow Your Focus for a Broader Vision
Vinita Dawra Nangia

A narrow focus is credited with many a success, but it is the broader vision behind it that gives our focus the right direction
Deep in a book as the car took me to office, I looked up and saw a vision to gladden the soul – a beautiful patch of green hedged in by a glorious floral palette. For a moment I was disoriented; where was I? Surely this wasn’t my usual office route. Bedazzled by the vision, it took a couple of moments before things around regained their everyday drabness for me; indeed it was my usual route. But for a moment my focus had narrowed to the patch of beauty amidst the chaos, all else had been pushed to the periphery. 
I have looked for the patch every day since, but it never again had the same impact, because once again I was seeing it as part of a broader vista. It was the intense focus of the moment that created magic that day. It set me thinking on the importance of a narrow focus, which one is generally told to avoid in favour of a broader focus. How can that be? If a narrow focus can acquaint one with such soul-stirring beauty, it has to be a good thing.    

A lot of good things in life require us to narrow our focus. To meditate effectively, we need to narrow our focus almost to a pinpoint. Medical treatments — from the microscope to the laser — are all about a narrower, more focused process. Even to look far into the distance, we narrow our gaze by squinting to get a clearer vision.    

New business practices consider a narrow focus essential for success. Research shows that no company can succeed by trying to be all things to all people – it needs to narrow focus on one unique value it can deliver in a chosen market.    

Quite often, the narrow aspect you choose to focus on defines you. Take for instance the movie The Lunchbox. Some viewers came away with a general feel of having watched a good film, some shared a quote or two from the movie. But one friend surprised me by saying what he liked best were the contents of the tiffin box, especially the brinjals. And then my bureaucrat sister who has worked long in the field of child labour, shook me further by saying, “It pains me to see Indian kids still out of school… wasted generations, wasted resources, wasted lives. Did you notice those kids singing in the local train in the film?” I saw them sis, but not quite the way you did.    

A narrow focus is critical; however in order to narrow that focus in the right direction, you need a broader vision. Meditation may require a narrow focus, and yet you do it to understand a broad focus of life. Healing may require specialists, but who can deny the significance of the physician who takes an overall view? A business narrows its focus based on its broader vision. Too much of a narrow-focus vision and tense, constricted attention leads to stress and disquiet; you need your moments of open focus to relax.    

So, the vision needs to be broad, within which we need to narrow focus in specified areas. Just as while walking or driving, you use broader vision to get a general idea of the road and then focus on the immediate step ahead. 

Courtesy : Times of India, Mumbai.
The author Vinita Dawra Nangia is a Senior Editor with The Times of India. Readers who want to keep track of her postings can follow her blog O-zone which reflects her incisive insights into the world around, offering a newer way of looking at life, people and the situations they find themselves in. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Discover Your Passion

Image Courtesy: Google Images
Discover Your Passion - Bindiya Murgai
(The author is a neuro linguistic programming life coach & inner work therapist) 

Weave in a few conscious measures into your work life and see how everything changes for the better
Spirituality and the workplace may seem like an oxymoron; after all it is difficult to ‘be spiritual’ in a crowded, competitive, materialistic and often frustrating environment. To find the Divine there may seem a little challenging, at first, because most traditional spiritual disciplines are not designed to help you do that. But irrespective of whether you are a BPO executive, doctor, lawyer, architect or artist, you can weave spirituality into your work life with a few conscious measures.

Start with the belief that you can turn the grind of your workplace into grist for your spiritual mill. Then adopt the following measures and see how your life changes.

1. Identify Your Personal Values: 
These values are the ones that give you the greatest joy and satisfaction. You feel deeply passionate about them as they come naturally and do not create any internal conflict. These values often surface during challenging times or when you are forced to make difficult life choices, such as after great personal or professional loss, the onset of a serious illness, an operation or burnout.

Most people’s innermost values emanate from family, work, self and service. These could include personal accomplishments, security, independence, friendships, integrity, power or community work. Identify yours and write them down. Then have a look at them every day.

2. Get Work-life Balance: 
Once you have narrowed down on your innermost values, reorganise your work and activities around them. For example, if you need more work-life balance, then start by planning your day more efficiently. Avoid spending too much time on social networking sites, coffee breaks or chat sessions and procrastination. You will be amazed at how much time you will save.

Be open to realistically realigning your ambitions accordingly. Take on only as much as you can comfortably manage within your regular working hours. Learn to say “No”. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

3. Practise Work Wisdom: 
Be understanding with your peers and colleagues, irrespective of their power or position. Avoid being part of office politics and discourage your team from doing so. Keep your interactions transparent. Minimise conflict; nip it in the bud by having a straightforward chat with the person concerned.

Keep an open mind and be tolerant of other people’s opinions, even the ones you disagree with. Your life will become less stressful when you minimise conflict, a lot of which is anyway a result of your own rigidity and intolerance. Remember that if you considered the life experiences of others, you would probably be just like them. This understanding is wisdom.

4. Authenticity In Communication: 
If you have a team, encourage them to talk honestly and without fear. Create a ‘safe space’ in which people feel free to speak the truth without fear of reprisal. And practice the same yourself. Most issues get resolved once you allow people to be truthful in a safe and respectful environment. Creative solutions emerge and people feel more connected and aligned. Each individual then gives their best, making team's and organization's blossom.

5. Be Compassionate: 
There will always be times when a colleague misses a deadline, does a shoddy job, underperforms, reports late or displays bad attitude. Your first instinct at such times may be anger, harsh words or frustration. And while your reactions may be normal, given the overwhelming pressures of today’s workplace, just take a few deep breaths before sailing into anyone. Focus on yourself and recall a time when you may have been in a similar position. This is the beginning of compassion.

6. Embrace Personal Growth: 
Personal growth is the result of introspection and taming your ego. At work, you could start this process by learning to see the difference between disagreements and personal attacks, between feedback and criticism. Don’t let your ego get in the way of absorbing relevant inputs from co-workers as that could actually help your own growth.

7. Do What You Like Doing: 
If you are not passionate about your work, be honest and identify where your real passion lies. Once you have done that, try to either integrate it within your work or make a planned shift to making a livelihood out of what you are most passionate about. 

Recently a vice president of an IT company discovered his passion for making chocolates.

He started distributing samples to his colleagues and they were giving him large orders for Deepavali and other occasions. Two years later, his orders became so large that he quit his job and became a full-time chocolatier. Life has been pretty sweet ever since!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Till Death Do Us Apart...

Image Courtesy: Google Images
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. 

I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. 

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. 

But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully. My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. 

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. 

Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don't share this nothing will happen to you...
If you do, you just might save a marriage.."Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they are gave up"

Written by : Kimmes Floral (Source)
Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.
If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Written by: Kimmies Floral
- See more at:
Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.
If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Written by: Kimmies Floral
- See more at: