Archive | October 2014

Speak your Actions; Behave your Words!

Actions speak louder than words – which means what you do is more significant than what you say. However, what if what you say is not consistent with what you do? What if what you are saying is the exact opposite of what you do? You could be doing all the right things, but how often have you seen that your words have gotten you into trouble although you had extremely well-meaning actions/intentions?

In line with this is the other saying – Pen is mightier than the sword – One of the interpretations of this is that words can hurt more than stabbing with a sword. Let’s explore how.

Apparently, there’s a certain tribe in Solomon Islands, where if they want to kill a tree all they do is curse it for 30 days and the tree somehow dies on its own with all the negative energy. On the other hand, there is a beautiful practice in an African tribe where if someone does something harmful, they take the person to the center of the village and tell him all the good things he has done in the past. This helps the person remember the truth of his inner goodness which he had been temporarily disconnected. Click here to read more.

It has been found that even water responds to words. Imagine if 70-80% of our body is comprised of water and if we are using a lot of negative words and anger, that much part of our body gets affected by it.

Why waste all the vocabulary we know in communicating things that don’t add any value and also negate the value of our actions? The only control for a verbal diarrhea is within self – Being aware – Pausing for a split second before speaking. Putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes and thinking how we would feel if they were to use the kind of words we are planning to use. If we say something inappropriate, let’s be quick to apologize and learn. If we repeat the same mistakes, we may not expect to be forgiven always.

If you can align your actions to your intent, why not go one step further and align your words too. Actions anyways take more effort than words. Then why not put in a little more to watch the words and align them accordingly? It will surely go a long way in enhancing the quality of your relationship too. Rather than saying and expecting forgiveness, if we don’t mean something, then let’s not say it.  Why hurt a person with words while trying to save them through our actions? We all use our five senses – so telling someone, “Don’t hear what I am saying, but only see what I am doing”, may be irrational. On the other hand, it’s just so wonderful when caring actions are followed by respectful words.

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Winning without Arguing!

What do you do when you are faced with an idea that is opposing to yours? You want to do something while the person wants you to do something else. What happens next? The battle begins. An argument starts.

What we may lose sight while arguing is the actual issue at hand. Our focus moves from the issue to the person with whom we are arguing. We try to win over the person rather than talk about the situation.

Source:Commons.wikimedia.org

Let’s say – I want to go for a party and my father doesn’t agree. What happens next is the drama triangle: I play the role of a victim and say, “You never let me do what I want. You are always telling me what I should do.”

Now this is a tempting invitation for my father to get into the role of a persecutor. “You never listen to me. You are always arguing. You don’t know what is good. Is that party more important than me?”

If you see now, the issue is out of proportions. It looks like someone is deliberately trying to restrict me or that I am intentionally being rude. That is far from reality.

Instead, imagine this – when we had a difference of opinion – if I stick to the issue at hand and address only that – “Dad, I really want to go for the party. I know you are concerned about my safety, and here’s what I am doing to ensure that I am safe. Let me know what else I can do to make you feel comfortable. I understand that this may not be very important but I have really been looking forward to it and it would mean the world if you agreed.” Asking the right questions and addressing the point of disconnect is what is usually most beneficial.

This kind of discussion keeps the drama out and steers us away from an argument. Eventually, whether the person agrees or not is a different thing. At least you are approaching it from a clean space. The likelihood of someone agreeing to you is greater when you explain yourself in rapport than when you go down to a personal battle of words. It also usually invites the other person to explain their rationale just as neutrally. Then it isn’t about winning or losing, it’s just about whether or not to go about something in a certain way – while acknowledging the other’s opinion. It isn’t necessary for someone to lose for us to win. It’s just wonderful to win and have others along with us in it.

Give Graciously, Live Joyfully!

We all give. We are constantly in a state of giving love, care, money, time, efforts, dreams and so much more. Giving goes hand in hand with living no matter who we are or what capacity we are living in. And there’s a joy in it. But if everyone is giving, how is it that some of our giving is celebrated while the others aren’t? How is it that some of our giving is joyful while the others aren’t?

Going deeper, while ‘giving’ is a part of our DNA, ‘joyful giving’ may not be as much a part of us sometimes. And that is something that really makes a difference. When I say giving, I am also referring to ‘giving in’. You must be quite familiar with this.

For example: You really want to do something but a significant other in your life is opposed to your idea. If you give-in here, ‘how you give-in’ makes a huge difference. Do you give-in with joy, that what you did makes someone you love happy? Or would you go around with a pumpkin face?

On the other hand, if it is really important for you, are you willing to pay the price? If you are, then take the efforts to explain what’s important about it and go ahead. If it is important enough, fight for it. Else, let it go freely. Holding on to something with half a heart and willing to let it go with another half only adds to the list of ‘un-accomplishments’ or complications.

Choosing to be unhappy because you gave up your dream (OR) choosing to be unhappy because you went ahead with your dream, but someone else is not so happy – is a lose-lose situation. You are then, essentially making a choice to be unhappy either ways. Can you instead, choose to be happy? If you choose to be happy – you can do either and still be happy.

Whatever you do, do it fully and freely. This will enable you to experience the joy of giving or receiving. Halfhearted giving or halfhearted receiving isn’t going to keep you happy or do much good anyway.

You always know why you are doing what you are doing. If you don’t, then stop and ask yourself that question. In that answer rests the key to many other choices and decisions that you may have to make.

If you are letting go of something you wanted, you must be letting it go for a reason. Are you consciously aware of that? Could be because someone’s feelings are more important to you than what you want; could be that you are not ready to do what it takes to get what you want; could be that the price you have to pay is not worth what you wanted or it could be anything else. When you lose sight of the reason, resentment may set in. And that can make a joyful feeling resentful or sad.

If you have decided to donate money for a noble cause, you might as well give it happily. If that’s difficult, don’t bother giving at all. What’s the point of giving and feeling miserable about it or making others feel bad about the fact that you gave? End of the day, people can only influence you. YOU can decide what to do and choose whether to be influenced or not. So holding others accountable for our actions is a strategy to feel unhappy. To experience the true joy of giving, give joyfully and respectfully.