For this month, I have decided to write posts beyond marketing and product. On topics that are from my day to day life. I used to write a mix of posts earlier but in between, I stopped. Now I wish to restart. Why? Because I want to :). Also,
A month of reflection, reconnection, and reevaluation.
And this time a post beyond work :-). No digital, no product or marketing, just something straight from heart, something that I have been thinking to share for the last few months but haven’t been able to.
Life has interesting ways to teach you some lessons. Sometimes it’s about learning new things and sometimes it’s about unlearning the old ones. If you are like me who thought that learning new things with age gets more difficult, then trust me you haven’t tried unlearning :-).
To me, unlearning has been far more challenging than imagined. And some of these were deep-rooted values or long-practiced habits that required much more effort & deliberate practice than learning new things.
Have I been successful in my effort? Well, not completely but at least I tried and I am still trying. Why am I doing it? Life being life has never been easy for me, especially the last few years that have been nothing less than a crazy roller coaster ride. Earlier this year, I reached a point where I felt that if I will not consciously work on my own life design, things will become more unmanageable and go out of my hand.
I needed to be rewired or let’s say repositioned in my marketing lingo :-).
To be honest, this is the first time ever that I have spent thinking, rethinking and working on myself. And now that I have spent the last six months doing this, I wonder why didn’t I do it earlier?
As we enter the last month of this year, I thought it’s time to sit back and reflect on some of the critical learnings I had this year. A separate post on repositioning myself into the professional world from being an employee to an entrepreneur will follow soon. For now, let me share some thoughts on recent life learnings, errrrr… unlearning 🙂
• The importance of the word NO. One of the biggest things that I have been trying to work on these days is learning the word no and unlearning all the cynical perceptions attached to this word. No is not a negative word and saying NO doesn’t mean you are disrespecting others. It simply means you are respecting yourself, your own views, your priorities, and your own life. I have no idea why since childhood we have been taught so much against this word no, “don’t say no to elders, teachers, boss, etc, etc. In fact, with time I have learned that saying NO is perhaps the ultimate form of self-care. Oh this word self-care reminds me of my second point which is –
• Self Care ≠ Selfish – Self-care is a necessity and it is not equal to selfish. These are two different things altogether. If you are like me who has always prioritized others’ happiness, their likes, dislikes, etc above you, then trust me someday you will crumble, break down completely. Self-care is powerful and only makes you stronger to take care of others. Breakdown reminds me of my third point which is –
• Sleep is precious – We live in an age where sleeplessness is equated to hard work and mantra for success. Compromising on sleep continuously to accomplish things eventually will lead to burn out. For me sleeping disorder has been a childhood issue, there are many reasons for the same, a lot of which cant be shared in a blog post on a public forum. With time, sleeping less became a habit chronic to the extent of being considered insomniac medically. In the last few years, I can’t tell you how many problems in our lives have come due to erratic sleeping patterns of me and my spouse. We learned this lesson very hard way that sleeping less is not something to flaunt, rather be worried about and paid attention to on priority.
• Being “sensible” always is not necessarily good – I can’t tell you how much I have started to hate being the “sensible”, “matured” or “samajhdaar” one in my life. This one has created more problems in my personal life than in professional because on the work front we still learn how to put our foot down with time. But when it comes to family, damn to this trait of being the sensible one that only and only burdens you with more expectations, more responsibilities and more load of managing it all, bearing the brunt of idiosyncrasies of everyone. I think with time I have learned that it’s better to be not so sensible that you are always expected to tolerate the insensibilities of others.
• Prioritize Peace – Learnt it hard way – anything that costs you your peace is too expensive for your life, be it relationships or work. Life is all about priorities and for me currently, it’s about prioritizing my peace. It’s perfectly fine to not win every battle and it’s perfectly fine to give up on certain situations, come what may prioritize your inner peace, your peace with yourself. Priorities change and that’s perfectly fine. For me also, sometimes it has been family, sometimes career but one deep realization that has happened in the last few years is that if you are not at peace with what you are doing, eventually things fall apart.
Deep down if I think of it, none of these are new, yet despite all the awareness I haven’t been able to act on these fully. It has taken me a lot of conscious unlearning and relearning to practice these in my life. I am just hoping I continue to do so in the future as well. I need this rewiring badly to transform a few things in my life. As someone rightly said –
Transformation is more about unlearning than learning.
So what have been some of your new learning/unlearning this year? Would love to hear your thoughts.
None of these are new, we all know but somewhere these get buried down in our daily humdrum of life. 2017 was a year that once again reminded me…
To LIVE, before the moment is gone. Life changes in a blink, LIVE today as we may not get that chance tomorrow.
To be able to breathe, stand on your own feet and eat without any support system are all that we need to be alive. Rest whatever we have is luxury.
That time is indeed the best healer. When the going is tough and you can’t figure out any solution, it’s best to leave everything on time. Even the roughest patches of life lead to some direction with time.
To prioritize what matters the most. When you’re near death, you actually get flashbacks and wish you had done “this” or “that” more. These “this” or “that” are only & only about relationships and nothing else. From – ‘wish I could see my child once again’ to ‘wish I had spent some more happier times with my partner’, in that trance state of mind, you think of only people and relationships.
That, things could be worse any time, any day! Be thankful for whatever you have, there is always someone who is fighting a battle tougher than yours. Every time I remember the night when the person next to my bed in ICU died despite lesser injuries whereas I survived, I just say thank you – to God, to my fate and to the prayers and blessings of all the well-wishers in my life.
To smile! When you’re happy, smile but even when you’re sad, try to smile. Smiling through tough times gives you strength and courage of a different kind. Hey wait, smile in life has a technical requirement too – when I had maxillofacial fractures and lost all my front teeth in this accident, I had to go for many teeth reconstruction and dental implant surgeries. My dental surgeon was trying hard to understand how my teeth looked pre-accident. We scouted through many old photos and her feedback to me was – “Kanupriya, in none of your photos you’re smiling openly or laughing out loud. You should smile more.” Oh yeah, as if I knew one fine day I will have to refer to my old pics to see how my teeth used to look when I smiled!!
But technically my doctor was correct – one should smile more often and smile while you still have your teeth intact 🙂
On that note, wish you a 2018 full of love, laughter, and fun! Cheers to new beginnings and new dreams. Have a fabulous year ahead!
End of previous year & beginning of a new year… this joy & celebration & enthusiasm to welcome the year. While I join the celebration and enjoy the fun, I also end up wondering why? Why this zeal to welcome a new date? Why this eagerness to greet this day? After all, isn’t it just another calendar date? Why to make new resolutions only on first of January? Would it make any difference if new resolutions were to be made on first of March? Why this keenness to start things today and not on any other day of the year? Is a calendar date really that important to start something afresh? A beginning can be anytime, anyday, any moment, why this strong urge for the beginning today?
While I sit back and reflect, I realize once again that it’s not the rational or logic that can give answers to every why of ours. Perhaps for certain things, it’s just good to rely on our belief and have that faith — faith on new beginnings, faith on magic of those beginnings. Somehow the magic of beginnings always remind me of these beautiful lines by Meister Eckhart:
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings.”
So, cheers to yet another beautiful beginning, yet another new year and let’s hope this new year proves to be as magical for all of us as we are hoping it to be today.
Happy New Year to You & Yours from Me & Mine 🙂
Blogging Journey Since Last 17 Years
Dreamer, Doer, Mother, Marketer - that’s how Kanupriya likes to describe herself and the order of these roles keeps on changing for her every hour of the day :-). Entrepreneurial in nature with strong product leadership skills, she has established brands and built products that have been industry differentiators in the Indian market. Digital media is her great passion and she is an active contributor to some of the country’s leading technology and marketing publications.
Kanupriya currently lives in Bangalore with her husband and son. When not working, she loves to spend her time with books, oven or paint-brush.