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A life with no compulsion

A life with no compulsions

When I took my new role, there were a lot of challenges; the biggest challenge was to unlearn what I had learned in IBM and learn new stuff in Autodesk. I was compulsively doing things which I had been doing since the last few years. I wasn’t conscious of what I was doing, and my thought process as a result of my previous work culture. Nothing wrong in it, it’s just that new workplace requires you to change and adapt yourself.

The key thing to note is that things were happening compulsively to me. Let’s understand the literal meaning of the word “compulsive“.

Compulsion means an irresistible urge to do certain things, like a compulsive gossip who cannot keep a secret. If you are compulsive, you can’t stop yourself from doing something, like compulsive counting of the sidewalk blocks on your way to school.

I was curious to understand more about compulsions and figured out following  types of compulsions: 

  • Shopping
  • Hoarding
  • Eating
  • Gambling
  • Checking counting washing repeating
  • Talking
  • Daydreaming 
  • Sex and many others

What do these compulsions do? 

Simply put – these compulsions disconnect us from what we do, how we perceive things and make us behave only in a certain way which can be detrimental for us (for others too). Imagine you have a compulsive habit of eating junk food. Will you ever be able to lose weight? You have a compulsion for spending money. Do you think you will ever be able to stick to the budget? You have an urge to keep thinking something when you have an important task in hand. Do you think you will ever be able to focus? 

How to fight with this compulsion? 

The most straightforward answer is “Consciousness“. Consciousness is our ability to conduct ourselves the way we want. Our actions are no longer determined by the people, the situations, our likes, our dislikes, our preferences. Once we are conscious, suddenly we get empowered and conduct ourself in a way that works for us, not against us. So if you want to lose weight, we know we have a strong urge to eat which we shouldn’t eat. We know we are giving up to our compulsive behaviour. However, if we are conscious, we will not give away our power to chose what will work for us rather than what will work against us. 

Compulsiveness truly is darkness – you cannot fight with it. The only way to get rid of darkness is to light a bulb, is to become conscious of our compulsions. There is a portion of our energy which gets wasted in succumbing and fighting with compulsions. It takes time, effort and practice to understand our compulsions and conduct ourselves consciously.

Allow life to flow like river

Don't block the flow of life....

A man was confined to a 10X10 cell for 3 years before he was allowed to roam around in a city. For some time, he was happy that he could actually move out of that cell. Things were fine for a little while before the entire city suddenly started feeling like a cell to him. Soon things changed, and that man was allowed to roam in the entire country. Life was great for some time again when the entire country became a cell for him. He now desperately wanted to go out of the country.

We all are just a piece of life and life hates any kind of limitations. We don’t like any type of confinements. These confinements can be tangible and intangible. These confinements can be self-imposed and imposed by others. These confinements can be factual and purely based on assumptions. All these types of confinements just do one thing for us. They create misery. They take away our freedom.

 
The question is just this, are we conscious of these confinements, and what are we doing about them? 

7 things mindful people do differently

From my childhood I have always wondered what should I do with the constant rumblings which keep happening in my mind. How to control it ? And I have figured out that these rumblings are actually common to many people and it works differently for different people.  Also, these rumblings  affect our productivity. Something which is very much essential  and almost impossible to measure in Sales. You actually juggle too many things all the time and there is a lot at stake.

So I decided to take a course which was available in my company’s learning portal. And I am glad that I took it. After going through that course I figured out below 7 things which mindful people do differently :

  1. Approach everyday things with curiosity and savor them :  Trust me approaching your job with a long face and lack of interest is the saddest most cruel thing which you can do to yourself. Steve Jobs once said that your work is going to take the maximum amount of your lifespan, so it’s very important you do what you love. I say to be productive you also love what you do. There are few fortunate ones who know what they love and very few fortunate people who get to do what they love. So if you are not one among them, it’s important that you love what you do. And one for that you remain curious about what you do.
    You can remain curious for what you don’t know, remain curious to improve things, remain curious to innovate, remain curious to create some best practices. Whatever it takes just approach what you do with curiosity and learn to savor it.
  2. Forgive mistakes big and small :  We often confuse forgiving with forgetting. Forgiving is not forgetting, it just means not carrying the bitterness in your heart.  And to do away that bitterness you take whatever action is required.  Just ensure you develop wisdom to act in a manner which you won’t regret later. I practice this by talking to my mentors and peers  in workplace and with my relatives in my personal lives. Trust me it really helps me to focus on present. It helps me to see things through perspective which I would never have thought.
    Forgetting on the other hand means poor memory. That’s not a virtue. The sweetest and bitterest moments of your life you should never forget.
  3. Show gratitude for good moments and grace for the bad ones : I bet you can’t do it if you have something else going in your mind all the time and you have some negative emotions like anxiety, stress etc.  It takes practice to be in present and appreciate the moment.
  4. Practice compassion and nurture connections : To nurture connection you have to make new ones. We need to get out of that shell, that office cubicle which we get very comfortable with and interrupt people to know them.  Creating a connection is tough and nurturing it is tougher. I have been an introvert and I find very difficult to initiate a conversation. But when it comes to some help I am very good at breaking the ice and interrupting people.
    This happens when I meet someone who has something very interesting to tell me and which is relevant to me.  So the thumb rule is the more things and the type of things you are interested in, the more and better your connections will be.  So it goes back to point no. 1 of being curious.
  5. Make peace with imperfections both yours and others:  I see so many people who are better than me in almost everything I  do. I have been very uncomfortable of my imperfections and I wanted to hide it at all costs.  But not anymore because I have made peace with them by accepting them. I know I can always improve and I will still be lesser than someone.
    Similarly, I have seen people shouting at their peers, picking a fight with them and bosses even humiliate their subordinates when they don’t do things as expected. Yes feedback is required and it’s rare to find a person who don’t want to determine from whom and how should he get the feedback.  If ever  you happen to be at the giving end and if at it’s possible try to make peace with their imperfections.  Trust me it’s more to do your peace rather than the other person’s good.
  6. Embrace vulnerability by trusting others : Trusting others is not very common in corporate world. And by not trusting you  can’t survive. You have to have your own trusted sources. But we become very vulnerable when we trust people. And I guess we must still trust because only by doing this we will learn. So don’t be over cautious of whom to trust and whom not to trust. Trust people but at the same time, be prepared for the deceit. With time you will learn how to optimize the damage.
  7. Accept that things come and go: Come what may, there is nothing which is permanent. Good time bad time, nothing will remain with you forever.  Your success and your failures are relative and dependent only on situation.  So better not to get swayed by the emotions.

All these are my experiences being a sales person. I fight hard everything which is happening outside and harder with all that happens inside me.  But now that I know about mindfulness and how to practice it, it just a matter of time and practice to increase my productivity. What about you ?