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  • Raghav Sand

Solve for ‘X’ and Mental Judo

Too often you have been given answers to remember, rather than problems to solve. The size of your problems is nothing compared with your ability to solve them. Don’t overestimate the problems and underestimate yourself. Getting anxious and depressed about a problem is not part of the solution. A wrong approach can aggravate the situation. Few problems have a cut/copy-paste answers, while others require ingenuity.

Trying to solve every problem with a hammer is like treating everything as a nail. Achievers and winners give emotional and practical testimonials, but no one will ever share their secret sauce. Solve your own puzzle. Engaging in futile and combative discourse with chronic critics can make you a person you never wished to become. If at any point, you feel someone is trying to talk you down or inject toxicity, forgive them and move ahead.

Step Marking

Unknown problems take time to solve. When you encountered a never seen before question in any sort of examination, what was your approach? Like most teachers, parents and mentors tutor their wards, you probably recalled the advice of taking a step-by-step approach. There is no other way to solve an unknown problem. And if this was a compulsory question, you had to give it a go anyways. After all, there are only a few questions which come in the either/or category. Those who devote resources to the process before obsessing about the result, find light at the end of the tunnel, sooner.

All human endeavours don’t result in success. Every self-help book or audio-visual content on the internet emphasizes that failure is the stepping stone to success. Falling short of triumph is a bigger teacher than making it to the podium. In subsequent attempts, you should substantiate the strengths and pay attention to functions where you had previously fallen short. In case, you resolve to undertake another project, the first-hand experience from earlier projects is priceless.

Your Time Will Come

The current situation of the person making a statement can make a huge difference to the audience. When a struggling person talks about failure it may sound like an excuse. On the other hand, when a successful person recollects a low point in their journey, it takes the shape of a testimonial. We need an audience at all times, or at least a handful sensible and rational people around us at all times. When a humble person attains fame and fortune, they are not trying to brag while narrating their story. Similarly, a person who has fallen short of the target is not looking for pity or sympathy. Actions speak louder than words. Stop talking about dreams and start setting targets, because dreams are visualized, while targets are achieved.

When well-meaning individuals open up about themselves, their intention is to ideate and collaborate. The exuberance of a winner is contagious. If you pay attention, the winner is giving valuable insight about best practices. Revealing shortcomings to someone takes courage. An individual who shares their failure with you is trying to seek advice or suggestion which may be the missing link in their vocation. Don’t we all wish to have happy people around us? The feeling of community and companionship can solve many a riddles. Just in case, you don’t have a suitable answer for the difficult scenario, acknowledge it and make an effort to contribute as and when possible.

Compartmentalize Criticism

It takes both sun and water for a flower to grow. Excess or deficit of either element can become the reason for a plant to perish. Appreciation and criticism have the same effect on humans. Looking for constant approval from one and all is counterproductive. How much criticism is enough and who should be given the liberty to criticize us? You have to set the threshold for both these questions yourself. No one else should be allowed or asked to set them for you.

Some criticism is misguided caring, while on few instances it is feedback through wrong choice of words. The worst form of criticism is when it is irrational and insensitive. Growing old and attaining maturity are two completely different things. Just because someone is older than you, they cannot possibly always be right. A habit to speak out of turn or the impulse to unnecessarily provide unsolicited and misdirected advice is the main reason why all of us have at least a dozen (could be much more for some of you) self-proclaimed know-it-all gurus loitering too close to comfort. Don’t get easily bothered by anything and everything said to you. Filter the right signals and obliterate the noise.

You are not going to master these skills right after reading this article. Assess yourself intellectually and emotionally. Depending upon where you stand at the moment, do what is necessary. Internalize the process and seek help from a confidant or personal coach. It takes humility to seek feedback and wisdom to understand it.

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