Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Other Side of Things...

There is always the 'Other side' of events that happen in our life. With experience most of us become more prudent to realize this reality.

Our elders were not wrong when they said, "Its the youth in you that wants to take risks, experiment and experience." Till we are parents ourselves, we don't get to know what our parents thought when we sought our own way and defined our own priorities. Similarly, my bias to stick to what I held as an opinion at work was wrong, I failed to see the other side of things. Though, what I meant was not weighed by 'Others' from 'My side of things...'.

My elder daughter will be a teen in a year's time. And I better know the 'Other side..' of why a Facebook profile is important before turning 18, why looks matter more today and what independence is all about. I, as a teen must have gone through a similar phase but still chose to react in a way that replicates 'My Side..' approach followed by my parents. 

Optimists are ones who are confident and have a coherent story that validates their belief. However, there is an "Other side..' to this. Quoting from the book, "Thinking and Fast and Slow", "A CFO who informs his colleagues that 'there is a good chance that the S&P returns will be between -10% and +30%' can expect to be laughed out of the room. The wide confidence of interval is a confession of ignorance, which is socially not acceptable for someone who is paid to be knowledgeable in financial matters." 

Anyone who has a coherent story will be rewarded and the moment it is qualified with 'Other side..', it is subject to criticism. President Truman (of United States) famously asked for a "one-armed economist" who would take a clear stand; he was sick and tired of economists who kept saying, "On the other hand.."

Why is knowing the 'Other side...' important? First, nothing in life is certain. Striving for certainty and ending-up to have overconfidence may make us blind to risks associated with an uncertainty. Acknowledging the 'Other side..' will help us prepare better both for facing risks and accepting the failures. Second, it makes us more understanding and accommodating. It helps us connect and bond well with those we love and care for. Lastly, 'Other side..' is a personality trait that is defines ones leadership skills and formally defined as a 'Lateral Thinking'.

I failed to see so many things in my life from the 'Other side..'. However, I am beginning to realize this. 

My wife was not mistaken to have unwavering belief in my strengths, my capabilities. Atleast, I have started to take note of such an opinion. Whenever, I had an argument (lucky one to do so) with her, I lost it since she always had a more logical 'Other Side..' which was more convincing.

I grew to be more accommodating to my friends from different economic and cultural backgrounds. Today, I connect with a Sindhi, Brahmin, Bengali, Jaini, Gujarati, Christian and a Punjabi whether from India or Canada. 

For me praying was more about acknowledging the fear associated with almighty's powers till I realized that its all about igniting the source of energy within ourselves. 

Phone calls to parents staying away from me is about recognizing their efforts to make us what we are. And, its not a bad idea to have your parents staying away from you since that gives them a lot of free time in their lives that they longed for. 

Buying your kids things they demand is not the ONLY way to compensate for quality time that I fail to spend with them. 'not the ONLY' since I still believe its a good short-cut to ensure happiness and save time for oneself. 

Watching television is not a waste of time. Its also a source of entertainment as well. Elderly today are kept entertained and updated about developments in the world via television who otherwise cannot venture out anymore. 

Fitness is a way of life but this is not an universal reality. We have healthy humans on this earth who never exercised as much as I do. 

However, whenever I had 'Other side..' to express, I was called, "He is a person who can take any side, can argue both sides- for and against." "Don't be a thaali ka baigan (Brinjal)" or "You are a "Bin paende ka lota". (can take any side). May be the criticism is for the indecisiveness associated with my approach to take note of 'Other side..'

But I am not calculative and diplomatic for sure...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Learning to Exercise

Exercising does not come naturally to most of us. A very subjective estimate may go like this-
-          - 90% never exercised and believe they do not need to;
-          - 5% think only overweight needs to exercise;
-         -  of the remaining 5% less than 1% is actually able to exercise and sustain it over a long period of time.

Exercising is a lifestyle issue and not a stop-gap arrangement as if under some medication to get desired results. Empirical research has always proved that optimal level of exercising strengthens both internal and external organs of human body. But despite all what is written, read and understood very few of us are able to introduce exercise as a permanent change in their lifestyle.

Last year, I began exercising after a gap of some 15 years. In the interim, I had several failed attempts to introduce it permanently into my lifest with efforts lasting maximum 3-4 months. When I tried again in March 2012, I was not sure of being successful. I started off with a very light exercise regime so that I could still be full of energy to work for 12 hours every day. The schedule I followed was a self-developed one that gave me comfort and allowed my body to adjust to exercising. Coupled with some diet restrictions I was able to get desired results. My weight reduced by 15 kgs, waist shrunk by 3 inches, stamina increased to a level that from being out of breath ascending few stairs, I could run at 9km/hr for min of 45 minutes with ease.

Post 12 months of exercising for atleast 5 days a week, I was back to having a diet which was twice was what I ate in last two years. Once we attain the permanent change- which in my opinion is possible after exercising regularly for a min of 12 months- diet plays an important role to ensure that your body is not devoid of minerals and vitamins in requisite quantity. In other words, no such diet control from quantity perspective is applicable. It should find balance with the quantum of exercise we do.

My schedule was also put to test accidentally by my friend who was overweight (by 30 kgs) and was worried when Doctors he visited were threatening to put him on medication- 1 tablet for cholesterol, 1 for blood pressure control and a couple more for other associated problems. It is not less than a shock for anyone to hear from a Doctor that he/she is ill. Our whole approach to our bodies (that is usually least cared for) becomes very scientific. We immediately get concerned about what we eat, how much we work and the rest we get. Most of us usually end-up blaming polluted food we get to eat and not the choices we make to eat. Blame our work schedule for strain and inappropriate sleep. But that is not the case always. Fault lies with us and we are blame for the problem at hand.

In first month, my friend called me to say that he had followed my schedule and was able to reduce his weight by 7 kgs and as per Doctors he should continue to build on the new exercise regime. My friend was amongst those who had not exercised before and was settling down comfortably into the exercise regime developed. What he followed is presented below for the benefit of all others. I suggest consult your Doctor with the schedule below, if in case you intend to follow, and then go ahead only when he confirms it to you.