Secret of a Happy Married Life – Expectations

The one emotion everyone wants to experience from a marriage – for that matter from any relationship – is HAPPINESS. Now what is the SECRET of a happy married life and a “happily ever after” marriage?

Well, the answer is within us. There is a simple principle that can untangle many issues – rather simplify things – in any relationship. That principle relates to the concept of “expectations”. Expectations are bound to be present in any relationship. However, we might not realize that this very thing is the seed to a lot many problems in a relationship.

Instead of saying “I expect my spouse to do this errand in this manner…”, “I expect that my spouse behaves in this manner…”, if we turned it and said to ourselves “I should do something for her…”, “If I did this, she’d be glad…!” YES! Turn your expectations to yourself from yourself rather than from your spouse/partner.

Like you expect your other half to do certain things, it is but obvious that your partner also has some expectations. So if you focus on meeting his/her expectations – forget expectations – if you focus on doing your bit to keep him/her happy – the giant maze called “MARRIAGE” would become much easier to tread. And there lies the secret of a happy marriage.

But HOW? Well, its all about focus. If your focus all the time is on your expectations and unmet expectations – that’s what you see.  If instead we focused on contributing to the relationship, the aspect of what you can do for your “better half”, that brings a lot to the table. For starters, your focus has shifted from a negative to some thing positive. Second, you are contributing to the relationship – which would certainly make you happy. Thirdly, your partner would be happy to experience such a lovely surprise. It could be anything – an errand that you expect her to take care of, or perhaps something intimate, it could be anything.

So just shift focus – and see the tides of happiness and love swimming within the relationship. That according to me is the secrete of a happy married life.

Here’s to a happy marriage!
-Raj

Fear as a Motivator – A Fabulous Start

Wondering how a negative aspect can really have a positive aspect to it? Well, fear as motivation is not really a new concept. However, most of the stories, anecdotes or examples we know of are all about fear being a negative motivator – that is motivating people to do the wrong thing, go the wrong way, or ending up making a victim out of the person.

Well, in the right perspective – fear can certainly be a positive motivator (at least partially). Hmm! Example: Fear of cancer motivating an obese person to take steps to reduce weight loss; fear of losing a loved one (because on one’s wrong actions) motivating the person to come back on the right track; fear of losing the job leading the person to update his skills and look for other options.

Okay, so definition and listing the examples of fear as motivation was the easy part. The hard part comes here. The basic issue with fear as a motivator as with any external motivator is that it tends to not last long – that is it is not permanent. And the person acts only as long as the fear persists. Once the fear has vanished, the actions stop too!

Back to square one! So how does one cross this hurdle? The answer lies within us. Using an external aspect such as fear as a motivation is not a bad idea at all. In fact, if it helps in giving us a start, then why not. But relying on fear for motivation, even after we are on our way to achieving our goal, is certainly a bad idea. That is sure to give us short term results, which will also be short lived.

A good way to sustain the motivation is to seek motivation from within. This can be done by attaching some emotion to the task that we are up to such as passion, love, commitment etc. So if fear motivates you, go for it, take the opportunity and take a plunge. Once you are in it, then take a likening to it, grow an affinity to it and the rest becomes easy!

Wish you a motivation-filled day!

-Raj

Judging People by their Appearance – A Wrong Step Forward

judging a person by his appearanceWhat’s the first thing that we do when meeting a new person? We judge! Well, judging someone by their appearance is an inherent human instinct I suppose. If that was not enough, people end up making wrong judgments.

Well, this is what I have found from my experience. I am sure even I would have come in this net at some point or another. But how does someone reach conclusions? Easy question. First impressions, of course.

When we meet someone, we observe they way they are dressed, the way they talk, walk, and what not. And that observation “helps” us in making a judgment (right or wrong) about the person. Many a times, I have found that, people perceive an introvert as arrogant, and a person who sweet-talks is considered extremely friendly and a “good” person. People make judgments about someone’s status/wealth from what they wear and what they don’t.

There is obviously something wrong here. First off, it is really hard to completely understand a person from just a few minutes of acquaintance. Secondly, to judge a person from his/her external appearances could be totally misleading.

For example, how in the world would I know the difference between a conman and a genuine gentleman, assuming they both are dressed well? On the contrary, it is quite possible that I might mistake one for the other, because the conman night be skilled at pretending to be someone who he is not, and the gentleman might be aggressive-to-look-at but actually could be warmth-personified.

Although, this is a hypothetical situation, I am sure many of us would have come across such situations in real life, where we mistake a person’s character from their appearances.

I wonder how many relationships could have been saved, how many farce relationships unshackled, how many business deals might have been clinched, how many frauds could have been averted, if we were never equipped with this human-instinct of judging people from appearances!

I wonder if we never had the ability to judge people by their appearance, what could have been the pros and the cons. I have a feeling the pros would outweigh the cons. Well, the saving grace is that to judge or not to judge is still a decision that I can make. Thank God for that!

Wishing you a wonderful and positive day!

-Raj

Is Silence the Answer?

How important is communication in a relationship? I am sure the answer is obvious – VERY much! Alright. But despite good communication, healthy love, and all positive things in a relationship – why do things go topsy-turvy? Hmmm! Expectations is the culprit I believe. But what’s expectations got to do with communication. Well, on a closer look, there is a deep connection.

There’s no one in this world who has no expectations (except for monks and people on a spiritual path). But how one handles the expectation is the question. Every partner has some expectations, but your partner is no God to know about your expectations. So if one does not communicate the expectations, and still expects that they be met – there are bound to be some bumps on the road. So to ensure a bump-free ride (at least on the expectations front) communication is the key!

To sum it up, silence is never an answer when it comes to expectations. Well, that’s a different matter whether your expectations are met or otherwise. Now that looks like a good topic for my next write-up 🙂

Do share your comments, suggestions and experiences!

-Raj

The Reality of Love

The definition of love seems to differ from person to person, depending on their experiences. What meaning the word “love” carries for me, could in all probabilities differ from what it means for you. So the reality of love is that it does not carry the same meaning for any 2 persons.

Similarly, the way I express love also could be different from the way you would. So when two people for who the definition of love is not necessarily the same, meet, what is the result? Have you ever thought of it?

Well of course there are no clear answers. Again, the experiences differ from person to person. It is obvious, no two people could be the same. For some, love is felt only when the other person expresses, and for some love is when they express it. The problem occurs when the person expects his partner to express their love the way they want. Well nothing wrong so far. But the partner is no God to know everything you expect without you communicating about it. Unless you express it, how would he/she know it? That is the crux of the issue.

Does not matter if the way you feel love is different from the way your partner feels. What matters is that you understand each other. This is one important aspect in any relationship. It equally applies to siblings, mother-son and even between friends. After all, when you understand the other person and know how he or she is, you will know what to expect and how to handle it. And when you are prepared for it, then nothing can come in between. That is the reality of love!!!

-Wishing you a love-filled day!
Raj

Lessons From The Innocence of a Child

It’s been a twin blessing of sorts. My sister gave birth to a baby girl a few months back and I also became a proud dad a few days after that. It’s been a great time being with the kids, watching them playing, lost in their own world, oblivious to the world around.

I have always been fond of kids and always tried to gain some experience from their positive behavior and traits. The most evident thing about kids is their innocence. They are like 24 carat gold – no impurities, no adulteration, just pure self. Watching their innocent gestures and behaviors makes me wonder and think “if only we could retain the innocence when we were kids, the world will be a lot different.” And I strongly believe in this thought.

But the very person who as a kid stole all hearts with that simple smile, the cute gestures and behaviors, when grows into an adult, seems to transform and no longer retains that innocence. From my understanding, as a person grows in age, his understanding of things around also grows and as his horizons expand and is exposed to the outer world, the transformation from innocence to “maturity” takes place.

I would perhaps blame it on the human race’s affinity to materialism. Although there is nothing wrong about being materialistic, it is the very seed that makes one lose that innocence and turns  a person into greedy, possessive, jealous, and what not.

So is there a way out? I believe there is. The answer is to retain a balance. The extent to which one has self control defines the extent of innocence one retains, I would say.

Think before you say you “don’t have time!”

Time has always been a precious commodity. In this fast paced and fast changing world, it has become the most precious of all. Wherever you go, whoever you meet is always on a “time crunch”. “I don’t have time…” seems almost like the “in-thing” to say. Even I have found myself saying this same phrase many a times. Looking back, it seems to me that it’s not at all true. In fact it is not at all possible. When someone is unable to manage his time or if she is not good at prioritizing her commitments, the situations for “I don’t have time…” will be aplenty!

Time management is but an essential skill that one must possess. Why? One must find time for all the things in life – one cannot stay focused on one aspect of life and forget the rest. You have job, you have a family, you have social commitments, you have friends, you have your personal interests – each of these is as essential as the other. If one focuses on his business/job – so much so that one can’t find time for the family – then the success in your career is coming at the cost of your relationship.

time

In my case it so happened that I was so occupied in expanding my business that I “couldn’t find time” for even calling up my friends. That had a bad effect. Friends who I was close to felt I was no longer close. All this because of my ignorance. Only after this do I realize that things do add up. If I am moving up in one aspect of my life, I must never neglect the other aspect.

I now realize that this kind of self talk – that “I don’t have time…” goes on to become a self fulfilling prophecy. When you think you don’t have time, you eventually believe it to be true. When you believe that as a fact, your actions/reactions will be in accordance with the belief that you are running out of time. The result of all this is complete chaos and mayhem, like what happened in my case as outlined above. All the while that you have been “coping with time” you have in fact wasted a lot of time in just grappling and coming to terms. Apart from that think of the relationships that have caught rust, the erstwhile friendships, the once upon a time bonding, the effect on your health – basically if you are preoccupied with one or a few selected aspects of your life – the rest get affected – that is the cost that you pay for “not finding time”

It’s never too late once realization sets in. The only thing remaining is to take corrective action. I have taken my first steps. How about you?