Human Nature of Comparision

It is human nature to compare yourself with others. And every time we do that, we always fall short of some imaginary grade. There will always be someone better than you in every aspect of life. If you are a software professional, there will be someone in your office who is a superior professional. He/she would always be able to do all their work and yours in half the time and if you compare yourself with them, you will always fall short. All of you in the Information Technology field, working in big Multinational companies know exactly what I am talking about.

And then, there is your personal life. I used to have this colleague a few years ago, who had a girlfriend, who was smart, funny, beautiful and every time I used to look at her, I could not help but feel this envy that I could never be like her. She had tons of friends and people always seemed to be drawn to her and her boyfriend (my colleague) was besotted with her. They went on to get married, have a daughter and pretty much start their own business. To this day, I feel like such a failure, whenever I look at her life (Well, as much of her life that I can see on Facebook at least). Everything she does, the way she cooks, the way she takes care of her child, even the way she celebrates her birthdays and other occasions, etc. always seemed to be so much better than anyone else I have known. Although, all I can really know is what I see on Facebook, still, I cannot help but wonder, whether I could ever be like her. The sad reality is that, every one of us has someone in our life whom we think we should be or aspire to be and we always fall short of that, regardless of what we do.

This has nothing to do with a role model. Having a role model is a good thing. We could never be envious or jealous of a role model. In most cases, a role model is someone who inspires us to do something better in our life. No, what I am talking about here, is simple and plain comparison with someone else. There will always be someone to compare. Sometimes other people compare and judge us with another person and sometimes it is we ourselves, who think that someone else is better, because we have not done a certain thing the way they have done it, OR we think that the way they have done it, is much better and feel jealous that we did not think of doing it that way. This is human nature.

Comparisons are usually the result of low self-esteem although this is not always the case. People with high self-esteem can also doubt themselves. Someone will always be more talented, more beautiful, more rich, happier, more satisfied than you in every case. They may have a better life, a better job, a better spouse, a better family and their life always seems to be put together beautifully, while you feel that you are struggling in the most basic aspects of your life. Human nature dictates that we cannot help, but keep looking for ways to win against this person or persons with whom we have these kinds of comparisons. More often than not, that person is not even aware of your existence, let alone that you have been comparing yourself with them. The truth is that even that person has his/her own battles to face every day. He/She may have everything put together on Facebook, which is what is making you feel so down, but the reality could be very different.

It is all about perspective. What you see when you look at them, may be very, very different from what is actually going on in their life. Not everyone who posts happy photos on Facebook are happy and not everyone who posts sad photos are unhappy. The fact is, we may never know what is going on in another person’s life regardless of how envious or jealous of them we may be. The only thing that is true is that when we compare ourselves with others, more often than not, we will end up being depressed, because it will always seem that we fail this imaginary competition. Being happy or satisfied with yourself begins with you. God made every single one of us in his own image and He has blessed us with different personalities and talents and each one of us can be the best that we can be with God’s help. Unfortunately, it is human nature to doubt. We think we are less that what we are because someone else seems to be better. It is not easy to stop comparing yourself with others. But it can be done and it needs to be done. With everything that is going on in your life, comparing and feeling bad about yourself is just an added overhead to an already complicated life.

It does not matter what other people think of you. Even the people who do great things or good things – which we feel that we are not doing so, does not really matter, because God looks at the heart. A person doing something good or generous, is not necessarily a good person. You do not know what is in their heart. If you are sincere in your feelings and your doings, then that is all that matters. People’s perception should not matter. Accepting this and following it is very difficult. We live in the age of too much information and it always gives us negative thoughts about ourselves and about our life. Filter out the bad thoughts. It is okay to doubt yourself, it makes us question certain things and sometimes we may find answers that will enrich our life. But never think that you are less than someone else, OR that someone else is better. No one is perfect. It is the imperfections in each of us that make us who we are and being happy with who you are makes you content. When you do reach this state of contentment, please let everyone know because I too am still trying to get there! 🙂

 

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5

 

Advertisements

Open your Eyes – For a Simple Act of Kindness

The world as we know it today has become such a harsh place to live. Every day, in the news we hear of destruction, be it through natural or unnatural causes. The war in Syria, attacks on different kinds of people, terror strikes in different places due to different ideologies… and so on. More often than not, we close our eyes to the harsh reality that is prevalent in the world around us. We see the news and just for a minute, we feel sympathy for the people who are in such conditions and then we forget them for the rest of the day and get on with our lives. For most of us, news of destruction, of famine… etc. does not really make a difference. I mean, how does the refugee crisis in Syria, affect your everyday life? It does not. So, we close our eyes metaphorically and move on.

We all live inside our own individual little bubbles. Because, it is so hard to trust something at face value, even good deeds are misunderstood. So, we all think that it is better to never get involved. A few days ago, we saw a couple who lived downstairs working on their car in the garage below our apartment. The jeep was outside of the closed garage and the two men were working on it for some time, when it started raining. We saw that they were soaking wet and at first decided to bring them an umbrella. Before we could do so, however we started wondering… “What would they think if we bring them an umbrella?” OR “Will they misunderstand our motives?” OR “Would they think that we have no business watching them?” OR “Would they think that we were busy bodies and couldn’t mind our own business?” OR “Would they be offended?” It was such a simple thing, yet we were so worried about ulterior motives, that we failed to do even one simple act of kindness. What would have been the worst thing that could have happened? Either they acknowledged the gesture or they won’t. So what if they don’t, at least we would have felt better that we tried doing something good. But, ultimately we did not do anything. It says so much for the sorry state of affairs we live in today.

This is exactly what is wrong with most people today. We close our eyes to all the possibilities, that even the simplest act seems misunderstood. Every one of us is connected in the circle of life. No one can live in isolation. What happens in one place can very well happen in another. What affects one person halfway across the world, can on another day affect you. It is a ripple effect that can have catastrophic implications for the future. But most of us do not even see the fall out. We are apathetic and that is scarier than anything else that is happening in the world today. Open your eyes – Everything that is happening in Syria, Israel or Afghanistan or Orlando can so easily happen to each one of us. Open your eyes – look around, see what can be done. A simple act of kindness goes a long way. A phone call to a friend just to say hello, Bringing an umbrella to someone soaking wet in the rain, Opening the door for the elderly at a mall or a doctor’s office, Letting someone else pass you on the road instead of cutting them off, Teaching our kids to say “Please” and “Thank you” every single time, Complimenting the waiter who serves you at a restaurant or the maintenance man who works on your apartment. The way you feel after bringing a smile to someone is wonderful. We should never close ourselves off, but always try in very common and simple ways to be open to any opportunity of bringing a tiny piece of joy to someone. If every single one of us could do this on most days, just imagine how wonderful this world would be!

 

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Open

Rebuild Yourself – After the End of a Relationship

In a perfect world, there would be no heartbreak. Everyone would be nice to everyone. Love and relationships always work under every scenario and circumstance. But, in a not so perfect world such as ours, heartbreak is inevitable in life. Anyone who has ever loved or has been loved would definitely have faced some kind of heartbreak. If they have not, it means one of three things – Either they have not loved well or are still in the initial stages of love or they are yet to process their loss.

Heartbreak can be because of anything and/or anyone. The loss of a loved one either due to circumstances beyond your control or because of you. The end of a relationship between two people – any two people – two friends, lovers, husband and wife, parents and children even. The idea of someone hurting you to the point of heartbreak is alien to most people. When you experience it for the first time, the hurt will seem insurmountable and almost impossible to take. The experienced and older generation will tell you, that they have faced heartbreak so many times and are stronger because of it. How can it be possible to be okay after such hurt? Rebuilding yourself – Pick up the pieces and move on. Sounds like a cliché or a bad title of a movie. I read this book, where there was this line “She looked down expecting to see the pieces of her heart lying on the floor like broken glass, such was the pain she was feeling”. Really? Broken glass…sounds a bit melodramatic. But everyone who has been through a heartbreak will tell you, that is how it feels.

So, how do you pick up the pieces? How do you rebuild yourself? There is no one way or another way of doing this. What works for one person, may not work for another. The idea is to focus on yourself. How? There are many, many ways you can focus on yourself. A breakup is never a single person’s fault, It always takes two to make or break a relationship and the loss is felt by both the parties in that relationship. So understand the loss. Sometimes, it does not help to examine what went wrong, but rather think about all the right things that you could learn from this incident.

The best advice, through example that I can tell you is to have a support system. This could be anyone. Your friends, family, colleagues or your neighbors, a prayer group, Even a writing pad and paper. Anyone or anything which might help in sympathizing or empathizing with you, can help. Vent out your frustration, either to a person or on paper. Talk to God, spend more time in prayer, Write down your feelings, your anger, your tears and your disappointment. Trust me, this helps. A few years down the line, you will look back on what you have written and laugh your heart out. You are the most important thing now. Focus and keep focus on yourself. Take the time to enjoy yourself. Do what you love the most, even if it is the silliest thing anyone ever heard like eating cotton candy or going on a Ferris wheel. Learn to laugh. There will be tears, Oh! So many tears and that is okay, but the laughter will come and when it does, let it come. Rebuild your self-confidence. There is no reason to feel guilty about laughing or about being happy.

There may come a time in your future, when you might be able to open your heart for another relationship. Understand that it can never be the same as before. Being afraid to open your heart again is perfectly normal. There is no shame in this. Trust in God, but more importantly, trust that you have learnt from your experience and are wiser now because of it. Rebuilding takes time – a lot of time. No one should expect that this is an easy process or that it is easier for some people and harder for others. This is your journey to rebuild yourself after a loss. And it is yours alone. No comparisons and no competitions. The focus is to move on every day. The longer you wait to rebuild, the harder it will be and we never want anyone to give up halfway. No one should give up halfway, it is an insult to yourself that you are backing down and someone who is truly focused on rebuilding will never give up and remember to keep your head up always.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Rebuild

Understanding – Your own limits and boundaries

The essence of this post is simple. How can you define your own limits and boundaries. I know, we have all read and heard countless times the inspirational and philosophical articles and speeches on “Nothing is impossible” or “Anything can be done” or “Achieving the impossible” and so on and so forth. Now, I am […]

via Understanding – Your own limits and boundaries — Scribbling thoughts

Understanding – Your own limits and boundaries

The essence of this post is simple. How can you define your own limits and boundaries. I know, we have all read and heard countless times the inspirational and philosophical articles and speeches on “Nothing is impossible” or “Anything can be done” or “Achieving the impossible” and so on and so forth. Now, I am not saying that this is not possible..but how much is too much for you? Now that is the question. Everyone has dreams and ideas of what they want to do and what they want to be at some point in their life. The goal is not to achieve the impossible, but to learn how much can be achieved and at what cost.

I have dreams of writing a book… but I understand that my talent in writing, has not yet evolved to a level that can be called as book writing. This does not mean I can never write a book… it just means that I need to work harder or set myself a more achievable goal like say writing articles, or maybe short stories. I will still be doing something I love, which is writing but maybe not on a grand scale such as publishing a book. This has by no means, diminished my talent in any way, nor is it a setback in my life and nor will I ever consider this as one.

People all over, have unrealistic goals and expectations, which are usually the result of someone else’s achievements. The neighbour kid, who has just turned 16 is already competing in National level Music Challenges, this does not mean that everyone can. Those who have talent, can certainly strive to do so, but never because someone else is doing it. The reason for so many disappointments for so many people is all because of unrealistic expectations. There is absolutely nothing wrong in modifying your goal once you realise that what you have started is either too much or stretching the limits of your boundaries. For eg. A person’s goal is to scale Mount Everest. To do so, would require him/her to travel for months on end on physical and mental training, not to mention emotional. Now, if that person has a 3-year-old daughter who needs them, then achieving their goal to the point of sacrificing the time spent with their child is pointless. You may or may not scale Mount Everest in future but your child will only be 3 once, and he/she should take precedence over everything else. If mountain climbing is something that you love, it can be done on a small-scale, that does not require so much of time away from the people who need you. And someday, you might achieve your goal as well, but understand the timing too.So, understanding your boundaries and making a conscious choice to how much can be achieved at what time is very important, especially for those who face many disappointments.

To temper your goal choices with moderation and practicality will always help in every scenario. At least this is what I think…Everyone should have goals and should achieve them of course, but do so in the right time, with proper understanding of your own strengths, limits and boundaries.

Understanding

Spicy Shrimp(Prawns) Curry

20160213_225752

 

Ingredients-

Farm raised Shrimp(Prawns) – 1Lbs
Cooking Onions – 2 Cups – chopped Nicely
Tomatoes – 1 Cup – Chopped Nicely
Fresh Cilantro Leaves – 1 Cup
Fresh Mint leaves – 1 Cup
2Tblsp – Sunflower/Cooking oil
1 Tblsp – Ginger-Garlic Paste
1tsp – Turmeric Powder
2tsp – Red chilli powder
2tsp – Coriander Powder
1tsp – salt
1cup – water

Method –

-Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan.
-Add onions and saute till they turn light brown. Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
-Add ginger garlic paste and stir and close the lid.Cook for 5 minutes.
-Then add cilantro and mint leaves and cook for 10 minutes till the leaves get cooked well.
-Add salt, turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
-Now,add shrimp and water. Mix well and close the lid.
-Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
-Taste and add salt as needed. Cook without lid till gravy becomes thicker for another 15 minutes.

Serve hot with Rice, Roti(Indian Flat Bread) and Dosa (Lentil Pancakes).

Onion Chicken Spicy Gravy

20151219_142713-1Ingredients-

  • 2Tblsp – Sunflower/Vegetable Oil
  • 500gms (1lb) – Onions Chopped
  • 500gms (1lb) – Chicken cut into pieces
  • 100gms (0.2lb) – Tomatoes chopped.
  • 2Tblsp – Ginger-garlic Paste
  • 2tsp – Salt
  • 1tsp- Turmeric Powder
  • 3 tsp-Red Chilli Powder
  • 2tsp – Coriander Powder
  • 1tsp – Garam masala Powder(Optional)
  • 2 Cups Water

 

Method-

  • Heat oil in a stock pot or a deep bottomed pan.
  • Add onions. Fry for at least 30 to minutes, till they turn brown and start becoming thick.
  • Add Tomatoes and close the lid. Let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste. Stir well and cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Mix well and cook till tomatoes turn soft and mushy and the gravy starts becoming thicker.
  • Once oil starts seeping out to the top, add chicken pieces. Add 2 cups water, mix once and cover the pan/pot.
  • Cook closed on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Once water starts boiling, remove lid and cook till chicken is tender. Taste and adjust salt and Red chilli powder if required.
  • Cook till all water evaporates and oil seeps out on top.
  • Serve hot with Rice, Roti or Biryani.