Fear of the unknown

2016, we are almost close to changing the calendar. In front of us lie 365 days of uncertainty. I looked into the fear of unknown that hangs in some of our minds, on how the year is or going to be. After all this moment is a dot in the straight line of what unfolded and the next split second is an extension on the same straight line.

Steve job at the age of 20 started a company with two people at his parent’s garage and became a two billion dollar company in ten years. S he was fired he started new ventures NEXT and PIXAR. Steve was back. Rest is history. Heaviness of success he said replaced the lightness of the beginner in him.

In his last words before he succumbed he said: “Aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth: Perhaps relationships, art, and a dream from younger days. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. The wealth I have I cannot take. What I can is only memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.”

Does it ring a bell in your mind?

Fear is within the human existence. It’s part of us. But in this context of the variety of fears what we confront is the risk of failure. We are afraid to try because we expect failure. However, if we reduce the cost of attempt, by experimenting, we reduce the cost of failure. Remember, every experiment has a perspective. The value of the opportunity if we succeed – the value of the people or situations we meet in the experiment and the exit value, value of the knowledge one gain in the process that may be applied elsewhere. Failures make us learn and add value to our asset – Knowledge.

“We do NOT fear the unknown, we fear what we think we know of the unknown” – Teal Swan.  We give meanings for the unknown. It is better to fall in love with uncertainty and be with it. Resist the fear of uncertainty and we lose all what we have. When we are born we are endorsed with what we call love. But as we progress we learn and mature with fear. Unlearning fear and relearning love in abundance is the transformation Steve spoke about.

Concern and curiosity provide us with answers that charge our minds with courage. Handle fear of unknown. Worrying actually reduces our capability to take decisions provided by uncertainty. It impairs judgments. As we are closer to the new 2017, let us open up our minds without fear and with courage based on decisive actions to deal with those unknown to us.

Isn’t our expectation and desires that takes us forward. Gaps between those and real are stressed situations. Handling uncertain moments is easy if our expectations are positive, that propel inner magnetic vibrations reflect energy. Ambition should be based on ability to do the best every moment.

Imagination is innovative. Visualize the best to happen. Let the mind and heart get thrilled with the elixir of imagination. Then we can resolve jigsaw puzzles of uncertainty and create a map for progress as we pass through 2017. Falling is easy getting up tougher. Wake up, bless and love and share what we can, as nothing belongs to us. Trust instincts; faith brings miracles.

It is unpredictability that provides options. Difficult times produce better results as we innovate and think better. It is a happy year ahead.

Be aware. Be blessed. Enjoy the new year – 2017.

Intermission

As I was packing for the next travel from Calicut to Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, I read the word INTERMISSION, in a sports column. Wonder why that particular word caught my attention at the spur of that moment. That’s the way thoughts trigger – I suppose! I called attention of my wife to ask – “aren’t we at an intermission in our lives”. We both concurred – Yes.

As I decided to quit from active professional life, I had felt if trajectory of my life will fall off the track and I used to quiz myself to figure out whether the curtain is about to fall indicating the end game. Battled with this lingering feeling, I looked down upon retirement as I felt I was not yet tired. Thoughts slipped into school and college times when curtain fall in movie theatres indicating “INTERMISSION” on screens. Most people take a detour and find time to discuss and have a snack.

As we enact the life’s drama, an intermission provide us time for a re-visit of what’s already gone behind scenes, and to look forward to see what more? What else?

I underwent a checkup for my eye sight, when most of the small letters displayed could not be read. So what? I wore my glass and could read more and some left as unread. The prescription suggested changing lens and then I will be close to some more of the small letters.

I remembered intermission all over again – it is a recess, a part in between the grandiose lit by the youthful energy and now. I need to breath slowly, re-group and prepare for eventuality. Recently a close friend of mine got admitted to the hospital and we visited him. He smiled before he got into the theater to partially remove a portion of the only kidney he had (other already got removed). I felt at such times in our lives courage comes forth as a weapon.

The proposed travel is once again a leading light that flushes out the past feelings as we engross ourselves with our grandson and two daughters and their families. As I packed things I got lost in yearning, heard voices of children and grandchild. I could hear whispers of hope, prayers of concerns, and giggles of nervousness in anticipation of our visit. I wiped tears from my face, took a deep breath, stood up and smiled and got myself readied for the curtain to rise up – for the sun to rise tomorrow to enjoy the balance of journey.

I thought myself “who am I” – Tried to understand the answer. That took me through an arid count of channels of thought to understand what have I done and what I am planning to perform when the curtain lifts up after intermission.

I studied of the innumerable relations that were developed over a period, number of times I got hurt, felt un-happy and concerned. The snow cap of those thoughts was interesting that made me happier and felt good. As Khalil Gibran said – “What we desire is not always what we get.  Unknowingly many times we get things much more than what we expect……. and these are called – Blessings”

I looked at my old shelves of action and rewards, priorities, likes and dislikes, decisions taken in the spur of those moments and painstakingly went through memories of hurtful relationships to determine what it was that hurt me crushed me and made me feel sad. This resulted in a process of un-learning.  In a slow motion – I let myself go. I accepted my mistakes. I changed my point of view. I found myself wearing a new costume before the rise of curtains at that intermission. I am now free of all the shackles that bound me that did not allow me to fly after the curtain rise.

I resembled a different me as I looked at my mirror image. As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “Destiny is a relationship—a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence.”

I agreed with my conscience to replace my time table and plans with a SWOT analysis I did – to do my part without shackles of the past and free to draw and play a new role after the intermission. To trust in me – to do what I can.

I tried to look at good and bad. Some I had felt, as “bad” people were bad for me, or it may have been a bad time when I walked away from some of them. I want to hold on to those in my life who will lift me up to new levels. Those who will help me grow from my mistakes and successes.

We need to pass through intermissions at various stages of our lives. Introspection is an exercise of mental mapping where new contours are redrawn.  We need to recognize that rigidity is an interpretation of thoughts. This analysis possibly can be done when we take an intermission and sit back with a cup of tea to review. We need to key in and do an act of “UN-WIND” on ourselves.

“Make your life a mission, not an intermission.” ~Arnold H. Glasgow.