Wishes

Wishing tree
Sue Vincent’s #photo-prompt

Wishes waft warily
Warbling with the wind
Some are eager to soar
Others lurk by the door

Some gleam like dewdrops
Others bury themselves in sand
Some embrace and enamor
Others yearn to taste glamor

Vying with each other to be seen
In the relentless race of growth
Love and success meet and clash
Traversing together only to crash

The red wish pushes ahead
Forgetting its pernicious passion
That rides on the mighty waves
Whose latent power never saves

The white wish waits patiently
Smiling softly to herself
Watching your antics with zeal
Knowing well she would heal.
© Balroop Singh, July 2018

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday photo prompt Wishes #writephoto.

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What I Learnt From My Critics

Critics are friends

“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

All people like to be praised as it boosts their self-esteem, keeps them motivated and happy but it also pushes them into the abyss of sham, which is propelled by hypocrisy and sycophancy.

We like to think that we are the best; we are the most successful; we are more intelligent and smart.

Anyone who criticizes us earns our instant dislike and we try to keep that person at arms length. If we happen to be at a higher position we try to take a punitive action against our critics.

Criticism is a subtle message that we need to embellish our personality and manner of working. Sometimes such messages are loud and hurting but they do ring a bell within us. They may seem to belittle us but they need to be heard.

I have learnt many lessons from my critics. When I was told ‘I am arrogant,’ I made every effort to analyze my personality. When I was told I was reticent, I tried to come out of my shell.

I learnt to smile from my critics. I learnt patience, compassion and humility from my critics.

When I was a teacher, I was given an extra charge of writing press notes of all school events. It was not an easy task and each time I handed over the report to my boss, it was criticized and thrown back at me.

Today when I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude towards her because she helped me enhance my writing skills, ignited the fire within me to put in my best and fostered the ability to become emotionally resilient.

Why is criticism essential?

  • It is an eye-opener
  • It steers us out of self-deceptionCritics
  • It points out our mistakes
  • It acquaints us with our imperfections
  • It develops our emotional quotient
  • It helps us in introspection
  • It makes us a better person

Keep the windows of your mind open:

Welcome all kinds of feedback, more so if it is negative. All people can say good things about your work, way of dressing up and demeanor. Only the truthful ones, the unsuccessful and the jealous ones would point out your mistakes. Listen to them and reflect upon what they have said. Growth and learning happens only when we are receptive to criticism.

Listen patiently:

When we listen carefully what others have to say about us, we get an opportunity to know others’ perspective. We tend to tune off even when our friends try to convey a negative aspect of our persona but each negative insight can contribute to our positive development only if we pay attention to it.

Look within:

Can you lie to yourself? Self-awakening hits us only when we find the time to drop into our heart. Our weaknesses reveal themselves one by one when we make an effort to understand the cause of criticism. Such experiences ennoble us. They prepare us for forgiveness. I forgive myself before I decide to forgive those who have hurt me with their insensitive words.

Embrace positivity:

The aunt who told me not to laugh loudly, the teacher who punished me for being rude, the friend who mimicked me for being a cry baby, the student who glared at me for giving unsolicited moral advice and the neighbor who criticized me for being unsocial, they all taught me profound lessons of life!

It is easier to praise but hard to criticize. Let’s bless our critics, as we owe gratitude to them for showing the mirror to our true face.

Critical thinking is a gift that nature has given us. Let’s use it judiciously and constructively.

I am sure you too have faced some critics. What did you learn from them?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

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Balroop Singh.

 

Pain…My Antidote

Nearer to thee, my pain
Nearer to thee…Pain
Now I have embraced you,
Conquered you!
You have become my antidote,
You can no longer break my spirit,
You were my constant companion,
Now I have befriended you,
Made you my dearest confidant

You have always mothered me,
Rocked me, pushed me around
Sometimes pricked me
In the form of a sibling,
Made fun of me,
Challenged my capabilities
Many times you have
Surrounded me with
Selfish, self-centered,
Incompetent, insecure people.
You have flattered me
In the form of fair weather friends.

You have made me suffer in silence.
As a child, I could not confront you
But growing with you
Emboldened me, enriched my life,
Made me realize
You cannot even touch my soul.
I have emerged stronger,
Kinder, perceptive, forgiving
To embrace you with all the humility.

© Balroop Singh. (All rights reserved)

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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When We Gather The Courage To Step Out Of Our Comfort Zone…

Comfort Zone

All people don’t possess that courage, sometimes we are dissuaded by circumstances or some fears that lurk around keep warning us, whispering into our ears…is it that essential…aren’t you comfortable?

Do you know that ‘comfort zone’, though alluring is quite detrimental? It blocks our mind. It restricts our thinking. It encourages procrastination. It impedes our way to success.

Before we convince ourselves to step out, time flies, life passes by and we realize it is too late.

Too much of comfort makes us indolent and we start accepting life as it unfolds. We stop taking the risks. We forget that life is like a stream, not a lake, however beautiful it may seem.

I know a woman who believed in taking life easy. She never had any big goals; she was very fond of socializing and traveling. A fun-filled life motivated her more than her books. She had never taken her school and college assignments seriously, she had such friends who took pleasure in watching movies and organizing parties. She was not interested in balancing her life.

She happened to start her career as an elementary school teacher, just to earn some pocket money and that gave her great satisfaction. She had never thought beyond that but she happened to marry a very ambitious doctor, whose main interest was a successful profession. He tried to motivate her, persuade her and advise her to take her profession seriously. He reminded her that she was highly qualified.

Let’s call her Shimmer. She didn’t pay any attention to all that pep talk, which she had to hear every single day. She wanted to live in her comfort zone. She thought she wouldn’t be able to handle more than what was in her hands. She got a better break in a high school, which was nearer to her home and her daughter too could study there, so Shimmer changed her job, which seemed to be the best one to her, now.

The awakening hit her one-day when during an argument about her job; she was mocked at for being an ordinary teacher. This hurt her deeply because she knew she had never explored her capabilities. She knew she could accomplish whatever she wanted to.Comfort Zone

She just had to step out of her comfort zone! That off-the-cuff remark proved to be a defining moment for her career. She took up the challenge to prove her worth.

She applied for the top positions at various schools and got picked up by an upcoming school at the young age of 32. She never looked back. She took a fledging institution to envious heights. People of her age looked up to her for inspiration.

Self-belief can take you to unimaginable pinnacles. We just have to tap the power within us; we just have to gather the courage to step out of that comfort zone, which disempowers us.

Shimmer had never made any endeavor to check her potential. Many people are trapped in such situations. They never feel motivated to go beyond the ordinary to see what lies ahead.

The same carefree person, fond of a lot of leisure and fun has completely changed. Now her comfort zone is her school, her students and all those responsibilities, which she carries out most sincerely.

She happens to be my younger sister!

From an elementary school teacher to the illustrious Principal of a renowned school, the journey was quite smooth because a new challenge inspired her to step out of her comfort zone.

When we step out of our comfort zone:

  • We can work on those long forgotten dreams.
  • We can find new untrodden paths.
  • We can rediscover ourselves.
  • We meet new and interesting people.
  • We encounter new challenges.
  • We learn with every endeavor.
  • New avenues of growth unfold before us.

“We cannot expect to grow if we are too afraid or unwilling to change and face challenges. When we exit our everyday, mundane lifestyles to do something different we can experience growth, undiscovered strength, and new abilities within ourselves.” – Ashley Ormon

All we need is a little push but that has to come from within. It is our own inner voice that can nudge us and infuse new verve into us.

Do you lack that valor? Are you dwelling in your comfort zone? What inspires you? I would love to hear your views.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh