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Going places?

 

Nothing risked, is nothing gained 🙂

The power in letting go of regret

Regret… now that’s an emotion that we are ALL familiar with, some perhaps more than others. Unless you are a sociopath, in which case you do not have the brain function necessary to feel the emotions associated with ‘regret’. So anyway, I did a quick search on this blog and turns out I have written exactly eight posts were I have tagged ‘regret’ as a key word. It’s a word that I have associated with coming out stronger from adversary, in making life choices, with death, with honesty, with having more than others – a myriad of situations which on the surface are not related to each other.

But looking at these posts, basically I have associated it with any situations where I felt there was a choice (ok, death was not by choice but maybe I have survivor’s guilt). So even though we love the feeling of having options – unfortunately, the minute we make the choice – any choice (it really doesn’t matter what we choose) – we immediately open ourselves to the very real possibility of experiencing regret – for not picking the option we didn’t choose.

I was watching the movie “About Time” last weekend, and the main character in it reaches the age of 21 and discovers that part of his inheritance is the ability to time travel. Now I tried imagining that given this ability there would be events in my past that I would choose to erase (trust me, I have a vivid imagination). The thing is, just like in the movie, if the butterfly effects of things changed means that I don’t meet certain people, experience certain situations, fundamentally, who I am, would change. And surprisingly it turns out THAT is a choice that I am not willing to make.

I like me, I am me because of everything that has happened to me, through the years, with the people, in places and situations, which at the time I had thought were the worst thing that can possibly happen. Yet, there I was, slapped on the face with the realization that I don’t want to lose or change who I am.

You know what that means? I don’t.

I think it might mean that I am letting go of the regret I had felt at the decisions I had made through life. That I had somehow made peace with my choices. Now knowing me, before I make any choice, I do weight them on a scale (I am a Libra so that figures my obsession with the scale thingy). I do the whole exercise of columns and rows of alternate scenarios and in most cases, I had chosen, what I believed at the time, to be the best possible option/choice. I can be quite obsessive with having a plan A (for action) and back up plan B, C, D… you get the picture.

Now, if you watch the Ted Talk below you will notice that at 6.15, she outlines what people regret the most – or rather the choices that people regret the most and funnily enough these are related to – education, career, romance, parenting, self, leisure, finance, family, health, friends, spirituality and community – in exactly that descending order. And that basically means that we most regret the things where we feel that we had a choice and we could’ve chosen something else. But what if like me, you get to a point, where you realize that at the moment of choosing, you had weighted all your options and you had made the best possible choice you can?

Would you still then hold on to regret? Or would you let it go?

So, here’s what I am going to be doing…. I am going to get myself tattooed this weekend and then be damn happy that I at least had the courage to do something that I had always wanted to get done. And if I regret my tattoos, then I guess I will learn to love my imperfect flawed creation 😉

The lesson that I ultimately learned from my tattoo and that I want to leave you with today is this: We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better.

BTW, hindsight is always 20/20, so don’t bother looking back.. just keep moving forward 🙂

 

 

The Amazing Bangladeshi Women series #2

Bangladesh Women’s cricket team captain Salma Khatun is the No. 1 T20 bowler and all rounder in the latest ICC rankings! Congratulations Salma Khatun for this fantastic achievement!

 

You can read more on her in wikipedia and here in ESPN cricket info 😉

Is your life worth living?

 

Important reminder for days when nothing seems to go right or you feel like a hamster going fast, nowhere 😉

The 7 pillars of Netflix Culture

Generally speaking I am not very good with sitting through long presentations, certainly not one that is 126 slides long. But this was riveting. Why?

Simply because it is so precise, therefore effective and efficient.

Yes it is 126 slides long but the lessons contained is such that you could probably read at least 10 Management books, go through a couple of extensive management trainings with special emphasis on strategic thinking and still fail to grasp or condense all the points that are so precisely formulated here.

Netflix has obviously spent quite a bit of time and effort in putting together this ‘bible’ for their organization. In fact this could very well be a road map that can be adapted and adopted for MOST organizations.

A snapshot of the Seven Aspects of Netflix Culture & their corresponding bullet points are:

1. Values are what they value – Judgement, communication, impact, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty, selflessness.

2. High Performance

3. Freedom & Responsibility

4. Context, not Control

5. Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled

6. Pay Top of Market

7. Promotions & Development

Changing lives – one child at a time – Jaago Foundation

Caught in between lies and half-truths

Perhaps one of the greatest paradox of human life is that while we profess to upholding the truth above all else, the reality is that we are all caught in a complex web of white lies, half-truths and out-right lies. We are indoctrinated into this lie at a very early age and we either do not question it at all or we have all kinds of reasons as to why this is so.

Who else but humans would be capable of creating such a rich web of spinning words that catches and holds you like the spider’s web?

We bring up our girls on a steady diet of Disney princess and first loves and true loves power. We bring them up to fall in love and get married and stay married. Our fairy tale prince’s are not perfect, in fact, they might be downright abusive, but the princess doesn’t leave. No, she stays and she works on him, till he is perfect (a la carte beauty and the beast).

Do we bring up our boys on the same diet? To be worthy of being a prince? To fall in love with one girl and stay with her no matter how imperfect she is, until their love is perfect? How many boys do you know who are obsessed with Disney prince, vis-a-vis, some other cartoon character like Ben 10?

We bring up our girls to be super-woman. If she wants to work outside, fine but let’s not forget that she must be a domestic goddess first. The domestic goddess maybe battered and bruised and exhausted from having to do with too little sleep on a chronic basis, but never mind, she can mind the house, the babies and her husband before she goes out and discharges the duties of her career.

Our boys worldwide are pampered. Unburdened of housework or even the simplest acts of picking up their dinner dishes from the table and washing it off, boys have their childhood extended into their adult life. The pampering that starts with mama, continues with the wife. If it doesn’t, hey, most major religions will allow him to beat up his wife until she understands and fulfills HIS needs. If not directly with fists, then the same results would be obtained with half-lies and emotional blackmail: “Yeah, you are a great wife, but if only you would….. “ fill in whatever you want that either caters to him, his children or his parents or his family.

Is it any wonder that our girls are disillusioned? Bewildered? Disheartened?

This is not how it was supposed to be… this is not what happens when you are taken away by your knight in shining armor, who rides in on his white horse to save you.

And then we leave them wondering – did no one love them enough to tell them the truth? To warn them of the reality? To stand beside them as they muddle their way through this foreign landscape of half-truths and lies?

And even worse are the self-criticism that we are so good at installing in our girls, the doubts. The ‘maybe I wasn’t good enough’ statements that can be added and applied like a condiment to almost any situation in life. And of course we add some more spark to that fire by expressing our displeasure at the fact that she has failed to make something work out. Failed. Like the entire burden of making a relationship or a career work out is solely on the shoulders of the girl.

Why do we bother giving our girls an education? Why do we tell her that she can do anything, while we subtly discourage her from pursuing interests that are not in line with her gender stereotype?

Why do we tell them that they can have careers, children, husband, all of it… if they would just work hard enough and then work them down to their bones? Until they have nothing more left in them? Until they are so empty from giving, that living doesn’t make any sense to them?

Why do we not tell them instead that they would need to make some hard choices and its ok to make them? That she needs to do what is best for her. When a girl questions her choices, what do we tell her? More lies and half-truths?

But let’s face it, as long as one out of every three women worldwide continues to face violence, as long as more than 90% of that violence is carried on by either intimate partner or someone she knows, as long as we resort to comparison with a man in order to validate a woman’s accomplishment with statements like ‘she’s the man’, we still have the problem of half-truths and outright lies.

Too busy??

I know I am.

I have been too busy to get enough sleep and since I can’t sleep, I either lack appetite or I just eat because I have to and I eat whatever I can get my hands. Now that’s the worst kind of disservice really that I can do to myself.

I have been too busy running from office to university. Too busy keeping up with work and assignments to focus on quality. Too busy to pay attention to the fact that half the year has already gone by and I am suddenly faced with the realization that I have only six more months to go before the year is over.

 

I have been too busy.

You know I am starting to hate that… being too busy. I want to be ‘not busy’, not running to class or to work or to keep up with some other commitment which I had made. I long for days like today, when I can wake up in the morning knowing that this day can be anything I make of it because all the hours in it are mine. I can read, write, nap, meditate, listen to music, engage in some self-love to revitalize myself. Days like this … I finally have time to improve Me … my thoughts, my life, my health. To concentrate on who I am and who I want to be, to evaluate whether or not I am in the right road for it.

These past few months have also taught me humility. I am a nerd who has trouble accepting anything less than A grade on my papers. My grades are in par with full-time students, youngsters who are not worrying about paying tuition, mortgage or getting forward in a career that spans nearly 2 decades. In my striving to hold on to A grades, I have stressed, worried and freaked over papers, assignments and never-ending exams. In moments of despair, I have thought of a blind guy in my class and asked myself if he can do it, why can’t I?

While all this striving undoubtedly expands my horizon, it has also taken away the joy I had in learning. And days like today I realize that it is not my commitment that I have to change, it is my attitude to my commitments that I have to change. I have to learn to be ok with getting something less than A on my grades, I have to reconnect to life on a higher level than this to truly enjoy each day to its fullest.

And I think it’s high time to book my next holiday 😉

Space to grow

To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship.
~Doménico Cieri Estrada

You can’t plant a seed and then wait around, hovering over the newly planted seed, waiting for it to grow. The seed will sprout when it is ready to do so. Apart from watering every other day or so, there’s nothing much that you can do to make it grow faster.

Relationships are the same. You need to give relationships time and space to grow. This applies for both professional and personal life.

You have been to a business mixer and you meet someone new.  You have exchanged your business cards and /or sent each other emails expressing a desire to be of mutual benefit sometime in the future. The future is not going to come any faster if you deluge them with emails and updates on your activities. Unless there’s a clear case of win-win situation in further follow ups, the first meeting is not very likely to grow into something more meaningful anytime soon. But you can keep your new contact in mind and put them in touch with opportunities that you come across later which you think maybe interesting for them.

Which one of these two scenarios do you think is more likely to end up into a fruitful long-lasting relationship?

The same applies to personal situations. Way too often, I meet people who want to be counted as friends from the very first meeting onwards. To me being called a friend as lightly as that means nothing. Friendships don’t grow out of thin airs. They grow out of consistency, mutual respect and desire for that friendship from both parties. For me …. Friendship is earned, not awarded.

In romantic relationships, specially new one’s people often make the mistake of thinking that somehow now that they have gotten together with the special someone, their lives are going to smash together into one new glorious master piece. Wake up and smell the roses. You had a life before you met him and he had a life before he met you. While the intoxication of a new relationship can be quite overwhelming, resist the temptation to behave as if it’s the only worthy thing that is going on in your life. Don’t lose touch with your friends or families, don’t forget to keep taking time for yourself and to pursue your own interests and hobbies. You need to do it for yourself and he needs to do it for himself.

When both of you have separate hobbies, careers, friends, interests, the conversation that you have when you are together will be that much more richer. If you ditch everything and everyone else in favor of a new relationship, you might find yourself stranded alone when the relationship doesn’t work out. Or even if it does, chances are that you might find yourself feeling bored or stifled.

The principle of planting and waiting for the seed to grow is applicable for almost everything in our life. Your career, your education, your efforts into new ventures… you do your part, then you wait patiently for the results to come.

Challenging myself to grow this year :)

Usually when I am struggling to blog, it’s not because I lack subjects but more like there’s so many going around in my head that I don’t know which one to put down first. So this one is going to be a mish mash of all the things that are going round in my head.

First off, my new year started with a bang! I am biting off more than I can chew this year. That is in other words, I am challenging myself to grow this year.

This year I am going back to University for a Masters in Development Studies. I am already working on the field and while I love the practical side of it, I have been struck by the fever to know more… the theories, the models, the past cases, what has worked and why, what didn’t work and why not. You know how you feel when you pick up a great book and just can’t put it down until you have finished the last page? That is how I feel now, it’s like an insatiable burning appetite for all that I can learn and more. So a full-time Masters degree coming right up 😀

Then, there is something else that I have applied for and am still waiting for the final result. This is what I know so far, there’s been over 600 applications and I have made it to the final round. Beyond that, there’s nothing more that I know, nor is there anything more that I can do to make sure that I am one of the 20 people who get selected. It’s a waiting game at this point in time. 

What these two things taught me is that while I have kept up my practice on how to sell my skills in the work place, I have NO idea how to sell myself to academics. Know what I mean? I am more used to putting a dollar value on activities, time and I can negotiate win-win solutions for most deals when it comes to business.  But I just don’t feel the same confidence when it comes to selling myself to an academic panel.. lol. It’s beyond my comfort zone and I LOVE the challenge!!

So all these is going to be in addition to my full-time job as a Food Security Advisor, my volunteer work as Public Relations advisor with Butthan Foundation and the Program Manager work with Radio Vubon. I still want to keep up with my blogging, my ghost-writing, my networking and connecting. I might have bitten off more than I can chew but instead of being scared, I feel freaking EXCITED! I can’t wait! The challenge of it all will be amazing! And I know for a fact that this year will be AMAZING 😀 😀

p.s. I am trying to keep my posts shorts and sweet, didn’t really work, did it? but I will be back with more updates later in the week 😉

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