Embrace your dark side and Grow part I – The show-off

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Remember that scene from Spider man -3 , where Peter Parker in all black ,performed a dance in a club while looking outright bad ass . His movements were smooth ,effortless and his eyes were razor sharp. Every person of that club was completely hooked. He oozed kind of magnetic charisma , which hit each and every person standing there, who looked at him with appreciation and a bit of jealousy even.

That is a perfect example off a show-off ( you can watch the  clip here).

Some of people , have a slice of that Show off within themselveselves. People often despise the show offs , so we are advised from our childhood that Show off is a big no no. But if one decides to go bit deeper he will find,though showoff are irritating but  one of the prime reason for disdain towards show offs( I am particularly  talking  about only those people who   love to flash stuff they got , not that kind who rally dont have anything to show but still pretend.) that rest simply don’t have balls to draw the spot light on themselves and pack a knock out punch.

The origin of a Show off:Intrinsic Motivations :

There are people who may be the best in what he do , yet prefer not to show or tell about it.Many times these people are sufficiently validated in other ways that they no longer long for the applause. Others , on the other hand prefer to put on a show what they have achieved. Most probably this show off tendency is somewhat related to Intrinsic Motivation( I am no psychiatrist actually.If anyone finds something contrary, please feel free to mention in comment section with link).

tumblr_n6qfvyu0cI1s4wedio2_500Any person’s motivations are partly genetic , partly depends on how he grows up.

Origin of this desire to flaunt can be different for every person. For example perhaps , a guy/girl who was a neglected ugly duckling,  later grown up to be a true bomb shell, now he/she want to experience as many romantic encounter humanly possible and also desire to get appreciated and envied by others. “I will show them” kind of motivation is making them to thrive.

Attention seekers simply get a kick when people look at their achievement and their jaw simply drop. A small set of people are out there who believes Show off is an art ,and they are simply an artist(  they can actually show off without looking sleazy ). So ,there are many possibilities.

Why  a show off is not always equivalent to  an asshole:

Though bragging is often associated with negative social image, it has subtle  yet strong effect on people.Some industries are entirely depends on showboating.These are some cases of “approved showboating”

  • Why does that popular rock star break his guitar on stage? I know, some will say he is a rebel . But just think for a moment,  actual rebels  are there in many part of world, who don’t want to show their faces in a million year or country musicians who don’t break their instruments .Simply, Guitar destruction helps our rock star to sell  album more.
  • Politicians and Movie stars are keeping themselves wide awake in night about thinking how to represent their best face in front of public.
  • People spend a lot money to buy some branded clothing or food yet sometime their local productions are cheaper and better . Simply because brands do advertise and advertise is showing off.
  • Luxurious lifestyle and  conspicuous consumption are directly related  with showboating.

People can and do endure a showboating in a much larger degree than they like to ever admit even understand. Only socially uncalibrated showing offs  stick out like sore thumb.

How to use  Showing off to propel oneself:

This showboating mentality is a double edged sword. It can lead to false arrogance and egotism , on the other hand if wielded properly , it can work as fuel and boost the motivations.

  • The desire of proving oneself before others or establish him/herself as an expert can make an individual work really hard.
  • Proper understanding of showing off desirable treats ,can help any person to climb the corporate ladder faster.
  • Musicians , actors, models etc those who are in show business should embrace showboating so that they can represent their work in best possible way.
  • For those who loves the attention, showing off in a effortless way, can make more people to appreciate  their show( or stuff). In case of any doubt or elaborate explanation , read it here.

Conclusion:

Internal Factors which drive any individual , remains quite same for his life. No amount of social pressure or reward can change Intrinsic motivating factors. If you are a show off, proudly embrace it and work with it for your self growth. Just remember, only clumsy arrogance and show off can bring resentment .Take care of that and smooth the rough edges , that’s all you need to be yourself and thrive at the same time.

Popping the Bubble: Discarding social programming for personal freedom

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If we allow ourselves to scroll down  someone’s facebook profile, at least one or more quotes  would be there, stating that individual value freedom much more than anything.If we shut down the laptop and ask any person in real life ,again he/she(including myself even) would say in most assertive voice,that they are free and value personal freedom more than anything. But if we care to look around , there are hordes of men and women , who are anything but free from any angle. And if the observer care to  take a look closely, those people are not actually free, things that are preached to them affected so intensely make them to forget how to think and live freely. It’s like we are all inside a invisible  bubble.

How and why invisible bubbles form around us:

We are conditioned to obey some instructions from our childhood. Parents, teachers, Elders immensely influence our thought process , moral codes as well as our world view. When we grow up, social media and internet press some more concepts and beliefs deep inside of our mind. This effect is so subtle yet powerful that without our knowledge , we start to believe in and live with those ideas. After such a long psychological conditioning, it becomes impossible even to think and believe ,life can be different ( and better obviously) then how our surroundings tells it should be. For example we think we should go to college to get a degree because it will help us to get a job. After getting the job ,  we try to stick to it no matter how much we hate it. From my personal experience, in my country where fresh engineering graduates bet everything to get placed in some reputed MNCs, and within one or two years you can not find a more bitter complainer than them.And i think this is quite similar, all over the world.  They are not less talented by any means( they are highly skilled and talented actually) , but they often feel companies are sucking out their life and youth and is not paying up to that mark. But people still choose that life style because most of them  have no idea if there are any paths except that and even refuse to search for new paths. This is a single example, there are thousands of such instances in everywhere, from relationships to life style.

Why to pop the bubble:

There is a scene from movie “Fight club” which i fancy ,where narrator blackmailed his boss and boss was stunned . He took up his phone and called security to throw the narrator out of his sight. According to his previous experience and expectation, a subordinate employee could not do any harm or set him up in a trap. But rest, all of us know, how that employee ( narrator) popped the bubble by hitting himself and set his boss up as a physical  aggressor . Narrator finally managed to get what he wanted by screwing his boss . Here is the  video link:

Though i dont advocate such manipulative action , but it is a classic example how things could turn unexpected , if we start to ignore our social conditioning. Whenever we try to unshackle ourselves,or try to push out of comfort zone, we may unlock some opportunity which can change our lives for good. It is a game of high risk, huge return. We are out of habitual life( may not be that much comfortable) which can trigger anxiety but if we manged to hold our horses little longer,we may get rewarded with a life, or income or relationships way more fulfilling.Every men or women who have achieved the excellence, must have popped those invisible bubbles at any point of their life. We can put entire theory this way, limiting thoughts are designed to bind all the members of a society and if we want to be better than average , we cant act like an average,period.

How to pop the bubble: 

What i believe that those theories are way more easier to read than to implement.Social rules has some benefits and we must have at least some idea about which bubbles are to pop and which are not. Thinking without inhibition and act with intent are the keys. Free thinking can be developed several ways like,

  1. Reading: Reading expands our mind and helps to see beyond the smoke screen.Most of us dont read much apart from their work domain related stuff. Obviously we miss a lot of opportunities around us. So we should read , read and read some more.
  2. screen out negativity: This can be little trickier as we often consume a lot of information from people, internet without judging. kind of information and messages we receive determine our world view. So if our favorite show glorifies average Joe life , we better switch the Tv off and save some electricity and ourselves.
  3. Take risk: No risk, no gain. If we dont step out our comfortzone, we just dont grow , period. Ask yourself which would you prefer, regrating in your 80s that how u let the opportunities slipped and end up to live a life way less than you could achieve or take some risks ,lose some faces but have some great stories for your grandchildren to tell that how their grandpa took some risk and killed the Goliath .
  4. Mix with all kind of people: Usually we hang out people from similar social , economical back ground. But friends from different backgrounds can help us to gain a wider vision or  help us to create new hopes for us . For a simple example, say john is a coder and believed that boring 9-5 job is the only way to make money. one day he meet Jonathan who is an artist cum writer. After few months of interaction, Jonathan inspired john to re start his blogging which john loved a lot during his graduation days. One day john realize  he can actually fuse his technical knowledge and writing in a single work and set up a online tech mag. After few years , now john  makes more money from that mag then he could ever get from his job, but he has his freedom also. And all of these way possible for his artsy friend Jonathan.
  5.  Travel a lot:  Generally those who travel a lot , are on an average more open minded, experienced and knowledgeable. Because, when we travel we meet a lot of new people, face difficulties which sharpen our mind and body. So traveling is a very good way to free your thinking.                

 

When bubble is already popped and we are free:

Chain is now broken , smoke has been cleared so we should thrive ourselves to achieve what we want. Social rules and regulations has there places but we should not let those to pull us back. I do believe time is the most valuable asset and we must not waste it by doing sub par job or being in a not very fulfilling relationship just because people around us think that we should. Breaking the chains are just first step toward achieving our dreams, and a long road is ahead of us.

carpe diem,

Empathy: Super Power or Crippling Weakness

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Empathy is rather twisted topic and according to Politically Correct Society it’s always something one must possesses and expresses whenever possible. Root of these kind of conception is mere another example of polarized belief like “all empathy is GOOD and lack of empathy is EVIL” .But in reality things are more “grey” rather “black & white” and often too complex to generalize in a specific way.

What is Empathy :

Empathy in  a simple word is a ability  to feel another person’s condition from their perspective. It is entirely different from Sympathy which is rather acknowledgement of another person’s emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance. For example if a person beside you lost one of his loved ones , sympathetic people may try to console him but  if a person tries to feel things from that poor fellow’s perspective, he will experience same kind emotional cocktail of grief, pain,restlessness etc inside him. That is empathy .

Empathy : Super Emotional power

We, are emotional creature. Though we think that we make most of our decision based on pure logic but often subtly emotions create way more impact on our decision making than logic .

Being Empathetic means one can easily put him/her on another’s shoe. Thus those people can really read between the lines, they can estimate how person next to them are feeling. We, human tend to bond well with individuals who are experiencing similar kind emotions as it creates a bubble of “we” in our mind, so that’s the reason why higher empathetic people can bond with others much more deeply and if done correctly they can influence others much more effectively then “brute pushy ”people.

From my personal experience ( I am also pretty high on empathy according to tests) even one proper, genuine response can make someone’s day bright and it’s best possible feeling for both sides.

Most of the world leaders who is highly appreciated and loved by common people are tend to high on empathy scale . Bill Clinton, Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, George Washington, Nelson Mandela etc are highly empathetic people who often share deep bond with both of their causes and followers.

Crippling Weakness:    

Inspite of those goliath amount of advantages ,Empathy also makes you vulnerable same time. Empathetic people tend to siphon emotion from others to themselves and when lot of negative and pessimistic emotions are around its easy for them to  soak those emotions also, in a large degree. Constant flow of negative emotion can outmatch remaining positive emotions in those individuals resulting  more unhappy people on the earth.

Empathetic people without proper emotion defense are often “easy-target” for emotional manipulators. Manipulators often themselves are very low on empathy scale but very good  to spot potential target’s chink in armor. Since many empathetic people tend to be emotional “open book” they get the hardest hit.

Another thing I have witnessed , some of empathetic people tend  to be  more on  “giver” side of spectrum .They expect other people (read “takers”) will help them or give them what the desire, while “taker” people believe other person will take what they needed from them and this is totally fair. These two world view clashes and we found a group of angry “givers” and another group of confused “takers”.

Perfect Balance of Empathy : A real life Example :  

It’s always good to learn from practical experience then nerdy ,boring theory. So, a perfect example of a individual with sky level of empathy and very strong personality is  former American President Bill Clinton. It was said  he can make other person to feel like they are only person standing in front of President. Even one can google on his Charisma and specially eye-contact , there are plenty of interesting things out there. Several member of his opposition party told later that he was the most charismatic and warm person they had ever seen.People loved him and girls were crazy for him too. Main reason behind this charisma , according to former president himself is his genuine interest about others, which is indeed very refreshing. And  this “genuine” interest is not possible if one is lacking on empathy .People can easily find out if you interest fake or real ,so Empathy is really a super power .

Conclusion:

We can look into these thing this way, being empathetic is a gift but if someone is not careful enough to ready to deal with it’s cons then life could be very hard for them. Manipulators and negative people are plenty out their so it’s better to keep the guard on so that  one person can brighten some others life.

Carpe Diem,

 

Awkward silence in conversation:How to deal with it.

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Few days back while i was looking into some blogs, something really drew my attention, people are really banging their heads on brick walls to figure out how to fill up awkward silence in conversations. It is a big concern actually. From board room to dinner date, pauses in conversation can lead to not so good situations if one doesn’t know how to handle them. On the other hand, if handled properly, this pauses can be very useful to control flow of conversation. I ,personally struggled with this problem  earlier and figured some ways out to overcome it.

Overcoming Obstacles: What we can do

1.First of all, during conversation Don’t even think about how to fill the long pauses. Because if one’s head is keeping itself busy to worry about what to say next ,he will not be able listen to the person next. Other person may feel ignored and unheard, which is obviously everything but good for connecting with them.

2.Pay attention to what he/she is saying. Each and every word. Ask them why they did such things or how did they feel at that moment etc.

3.Reciprocate, and let them do the talking. Trust me, everybody is love to talk about them, their life ,their dream etc and they can do it till end of time ,provided other person is skilled enough to lead the conversation and eager to listen.

4.Relate.If you have something common share it. It will instantly put other party at ease.

5.Don’t argue, Don’t judge. Every body has their own perspective. Try to see things from their point of view.People can easily tell if someone is trying to judge them.In that case they will shut themselves up.

6. Ask question .What he/she likes to talk about, if you don’t know something and he/she knows, ask about it. If done properly this simple yet effective technique can help a lot to get to know others in so

 

Turning shits into sugar: When to pause for getting better leverage over conversation

This thing can be little tricky and can be learned only by watching people, but smart usage conversational pauses can make one seems more powerful and respected. Definitely, non-verbal communication is the key here.I will suggest to watch some videos of great communicators like Steve jobs and Bill Clinton etc. I must recommend names of some movie stars like Daniel Craig (casino royal ) or Will Smith etc in this regard. What they actually do is that with their perfect voice tone modulation and razor-sharp non-verbals, they filled up pauses smoothly without even uttering a single word. These make them look more attractive and Powerful.

 

Gracefully avoiding conversational silences is something very few have mastered.Yet with constant practice and awareness this is possible.And it will make you must better communicator and more likable, which will definitely affect your life in a positive way.

 

onward and upward

 

Gift of Introversion

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One of the most widely searched topic on Google is “how to be more extrovert”. Since we belong to a society where extroversion is given much more preference  and privileges then it’s introverted counterpart, its obvious  why people are being so eager to become “extrovert”. According to common belief extroversion is equivalent to friendly nature and outgoing personality traits ,contrary to introversion which is related to being shy even social retard.

Actually, situation is not that kind of black and white. In reality, extrovert people are just recharge themselves  with socializing and interacting with a lot of people. They love to initiate conversation with even strangers which may not be deep but they feel freshened up. On the other hand, introvert people do need a few hours of solitude or self-company to re-energized themselves. Being introvert has nothing to do with being socially retard or” withdrawn”.

In this regard let me explain something. Being Introvert does not mean being social retard or awkward. Personally ,I have known several introvert people very closely, who have more social grace as well as connections few extrovert imagine.They are smart,good looking and people like them a lot. Some of the introverts also tend to be brilliant conversationalist.But at the end of the day,they all need some personal time and solitude or may be a walk in the forest. For those introvert readers ,legendary James bond most probably a introvert, if you have any doubt, just watch bond movies with rapt attention.

There are another type of people are there, “shy extrovert”. They love to talk with people yet may not be very socially graceful. They know their drawback so they limit social interaction due to fear of rejection.

Introversion and extroversion, none of them are superior to each other. Each of them has their own set of advantages but since we are talking about being introvert specifically ,lets have a look on gifts of introversion.

  • Introverts are tend to think deep. They usually have deeper understanding and insight then their extrovert counter part. So, if you are trying to find out a “master of some” instead a “jack of all treads”, our finding probably would be a introvert.
  • Introvert tend to have better focus on things and they are quite imaginative .Thus scientists, poets, artist are often found to be introvert.
  • They speak less which gives them more time to listen others. This quality makes them good listener .Since being good listener is one of the basic ingredient of being a conversationalist, some of introverts are considered as talented conversationalist.
  • These people are really good motivators and very supportive to their closet friends and family members.
  • Introverts usually process their thoughts inside their head and words that come out from their mouth tend to much crisp and organized.
  • These people love to read books which give them entertainment and wisdom.

Last words

We have our natural preference of being ‘introvert’ or ‘extrovert’ and this cannot be altered.But,as I said before being friendly,warm and successful have nothing to do with introversion or extroversion.Just ignore the messages from social media and internet which paint introverts as loser because that’s nothing but bullshit.

So,turn off the T.V ,smile,be happy with the way you are,know your strengths and thrive to achieve the life you dreamed of.

 

Carpe diem,

 

 

Peer Pressure: how not to crush under it

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Dear friends.

Today I m going to discuss about something more theoretical, if this discussion helps anyone you even a bit in your life, I will feel purpose of writing this post is fulfilled.

Initially, When one person is making his moves to achieve something, which could be mastering new skill set or maybe starting new business or anything else ,he has to face a lot of something called “peer-pressure”. Actually, It’s nothing but your friends are family trying you to make you act or think in the way they fell correct. And this peer-pressure thing can be crippling if not handled carefully.

Most people, generally have small to medium size social circle and people from those circles are also come from similar financial and social back ground. Thus their belief and value system tend to be quite similar. whenever one of member of such kind of group try to adopt and assimilate a new idea or new belief, other people feel obligation to enlighten the poor soul and try to back him on track. According to me, this is the main reason for this kind of pressure if not only. From my personal experience, I can tell that when we are closely associate with a social group ,”confirmation bias” kicks in and even mature individuals also tend to seek for approval of others. And reality is that, will-power itself ,I believe is simply overrated and tend to be depleted very soon .When someone is starting something new and everybody around him are telling he is wrong, good luck pursuing with that thing.

 

So, One must have to handle it and with care. Staying clam before tremendous pressure is very tough But I believe ,”peer pressure” can be tackled if we tend to do something differently. There could be other ways and following are solely something I learned from my personal experiences.

  • One must try their best to have multiple social circles which are diverse.It’s not that hard,just Join different club, mingle with different people who posses value system which is quite different from your own background. It helps to have much wider point of view of life.
  • Being very much particular and achieve some early success. This is one of the most important thing because when you look at your early successes you will know that your are on right track irrespective of what others tell you.
  • Having complete faith on mission or ideas. Drink with that idea, sleep with that and most importantly create a belief within yourself that you will be successful whatever happens. Your belief will give your personality kind of edge which will help you to tackle “peer pressure”
  • Be assertive .Don’t listen to others, when they are just trying to install what they believe to be appropriate instead of some constrictive criticism. Politely tell them you are not going to listen if there is no constrictive criticism.
  • If you are a bit show-off kind of person, then work with it in your favor. Take a challenge to prove it to the others that you are right and irrespective of what people say you are going to show them all.

As a told there could be other ways around and what matters is that, though everybody should always love their family and friends as well as respect their opinions, but he must not stop pursuing his dream for mere “peer-pressure”. These thing will always challenge everybody so better if you learn you to win those challenge.

 

Carpe diem,

 

P.S: Please let me know what your opinions are and if you want to add something, just put a comment in comment section. And please feel free to let me know what kind of topic you want to be discussed.

 

Is “Being yourself” holding you back from truly knowing yourself

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“Be yourself” is one of the most common advice in these days. Want to be confident?Want to be good with women(men, in case of women)?Want to be good conversationalist?….many problem ,one universal solution” be yourself”.

Personally i am not against of this advice but this is just too over generalized advice. In order to handle any problem , we must know how to solve it instead of just being ourselves.

Why “be yourself ” do less good and more confuse people

  • A individual is always dynamic..Our thought and motivations at age of 15 are not very similar to our mental model at 55. If  we decided to “be ourselves”, which “we” we should chose to become?food for thought,isnt it?
  • Sometime when we need to push our comfort zone,we want to crawl back to safety of known world. Thus we can never know what lies just out side of our comfort boundary. Over-generalized advice like “be yourself” here do a fine job as an perfect excuse.
  • We  often shape and change our mentality by being in touch with different situation or people. Restrict our social interaction and experience of new  things, we may never explore some part of our own self.
  • Just “being yourself” does no good.If we desire to speak well,start a business  or write our first book or whatever ,we have to make progress .It’s way to much important than sit on a chair and “just being ourselves”.  Only way to know our full potential is to push ourselves upto the breaking point .

How to set ourselves free and truly know ourselves :

I must admit this entire topic is self-contradictory. We should start working for self growth and at the same time we should know ourselves properly. Congruency and self discovery is a lifelong journey but here is some ways which can help us

  1. We should try to meet and mingle with people from every walk of life.For example say a person from  middle class background  and have certain morals, believes and motivations.But   when he comes into touch with both higher classes as well as working class ,he will start to see world from different perspective which definitely enrich himself.
  2. New challenge, new quest enrich us,so better if we grab every opportunity to enrich ourselves.An enriched and experienced individual knows a lot about himself indeed.
  3.  We should try to ignore politically correct media messages which bombard us “you are amazing way you are” as much as possible.Our surroundings effects our perception. Most media messages are designed to feel people better about themselves irrespective of their actual condition. Those who are in top,hardly spend their time in front of TV set. Thus they always accept their flaws and try to improve themselves.
  4. Reading books perhaps one of the best ways to gain knowledge. History, auto-biography,non fiction, fiction etc all have their own powerful influence over human mind.
  5. Curiosity. We should ask question and never take anything granted.

Wrapping up

Congruency and knowledge about oneself are among of best things could happen to a individual . But we should not stop our self discovery and waste our time by listening a lot of politically correct and fruitless Advices.

Carpe diem