As I meet so many mothers and couples who come to me for counseling related to parenting, kids diet, how to get day to day behavior right? I started reflecting in my life and people around me. This blog is my reflection towards knowing ‘why?’ to my questions and getting my paradigm right.
Paradigm means a framework containing basic assumptions.
Do I assume on a day to day basis?
Does it have any impact on my life?
As I was searching for these answers I came across this story shared by my friend Rupak.
Stephen Covey (author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”) has shared an experience he had on a subway in New York.
I remember a mini-Paradigm Shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly — some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.
The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.
It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more.
The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”
Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently; I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behaviour; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. “Your wife just died? Oh, I’m so sorry. Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?” Everything changed in an instant.
I realised it’s so natural to carry pre assumptions or ideas about people around, kids, friends, spouse and kids its basically about thoughts with which I approach a situation or conversation. It can be within myself about me or expressive about others. How quickly we judge others! How quickly we make up our minds about a person! Because of this sometimes we miss out on the reality.
So true as I observe things around. Swimming is an activity I always loved but never learnt it consistently. Somewhere a pre assumption, “I will not be able to do it.” With this superb thought every time I tried, I failed.
My elder daughter swims 5-6 days a week. I have been observing her closely.
Monday-“mumma, my friend Aarav punched me today in my tummy, so I can’t do swimming”
SHE DID 250 MTR SWIIMING AND CAME OUT.
Tuesday-“mumma, today I am so excited I am going to do my highest long distance swimming today”.
YUP! SHE DID 550 MTR OF SWIMMING FOR THE FIRST TIME
Wednesday- “mumma, I have got a small scratch on my hand, it’s not paining but it hurts when in water. If you want I will swim for you.
SHE DID 6 ROUNDS 300 MTRS OF SWIMMING WITH LOTS OF EXECUSES AND TEARS
Thursday- The moment she entered water, her coach excitedly said, “Let’s go for long distance swimming.”
WHAT A SURPRISE, SHE SURPASSED ALL HER PAST RECORDS, 1200 MTR NONSTOP SWIMMING!
Friday-“ mumma, let’s go quickly for swimming, I have to go for movie after swimming.”
NO EXECUSES WHAT SO EVER TODAY AND SHE DID FASTEST WARM UP AND DID SWIMMING WITHOUT ANY NEGOTIATIONS!
Saturday- “mumma, today is time trails at the swimming pool. I want to give my best timings”
SHE GAVE HER BEST TIMMINGS TILL DATE FOR 50MTR BACK STROKE.
So much I am learning from my little one. The mind-set with which she starts an activity could actually determine the outcome of the activity. Also I realised the energy needed to execute the task is generated with the right thinking. So when I get into assumptions I am determining the outcome.
So is it true what people keep saying it’s a mind game? It’s all within you? End always begins to take shape within your mind? Result is always what I perceived ultimately.
Yes! I recalled, during my school days, I used to feel super nervous to enter into dark. In fact I would not even go to washroom alone if there is no power. As I grew up some fear for dark was still there but I started seeing beauty in darkness. I realised what nature’s beauty I can cherish in dark I can never see in light. I changed my perception. I am no more scared of standing alone for hours together without light.
There are times when my father in law will ask my younger daughter to be careful while climbing steps and mostly when he warns she misses it and tumbles. Immediately he will whisper see I told you in advance, you might fall.
There are moments when my maid looks irritated, disturbed I assume, today she will not do her work properly. Ultimately I will find some flaws in her work.
So many times I keep observing myself and people around which makes me understand that mind-set completely depends on few factors. These are the things that will decide my thinking pattern about an experience or a person-
- Do I like that activity or person? If I ask my daughter Siya at the end of the day to help me in the kitchen, she will immediately remember that her legs are paining and she is too tired. Around same time if her society friend calls her for playing, she is so excited to leave happily, in fact she feels bad if I ask her to return in half an hour.
- A push or self-motivation- Am I motivated to go to theatre for movie of my favourite hero at 9.30pm show?”100%”. I need loads of push to keep me awake after 9.30pm if I am attending a distant relatives wedding.
- Do I have clarity about where I am heading? One of my good friend, Isha is very consistent with her daughter’s sports activities. She is very firm at times about her daughters schedule based on direction from her coach, even if the child is negotiating. So I asked her what makes you to be so consistent with your daughter. She gave a beautiful answer, “I see my reflection in her. I know what she will feel at the end of doing what she has come here to do. When I see her happy at the end of the day, I feel I have done justice to my role as a mother.”
- Do I have any prejudice? A friend of mine is gossipoholic. Even if she calles to share something important, the moment I see her name on screen- I anticipate now gossip will start. Because of this I started avoiding that friend.
- Can I be fair, positive and neutral within my thoughts towards myself and others?
It’s so true with myself also. I remember after my 12th standard exams, I had my entrance exam. I was scoring constantly low in my practice tests. Somewhere mind started believing, “I will not make it this time.” To no surprise I realized I never got a seat for medical as my score was falling short.
Having right mind-set to begin with is the first step. I realized that either I change my assumptions as per situations or I train my mind to carry right and positive thinking throughout. Yes! Working towards making it a reality is the must step that needs to be followed
I will be conscious about my assumptions and have my action plan to work with my mind-set.
- The way I will begin my day,
- The way I will parent my child,
- The way I will express love in my marriage
- The way I will relate to people around me
- Yes, the way I will live up to my commitments as a professional.
Let’s make small changes that will make BIG difference.
I will start my day with a belief what my teacher has imbibe within me, “Today I will think a little better than yesterday in all my roles.”
I will create a paradigm shift of understanding myself and others positively before playing my thinking movie.
Loving you all,