Published by Aditya Jhunjhunwala,
I remember that growing up new year resolutions were a big thing for us. Everyone would think of new year as an opportunity to do things differently giving one more chance to our-self. Sometimes we would diligently stick to our resolutions at least for the first couple weeks/months. Other times, the hangover would be so heavy that where the resolution list went, no one knows.
Whether we stuck through our resolutions or not, when the next year came to an end, we would suddenly be reminded of our previous years resolution list.
And then comes guilt.
Guilt of not following through.
Guilt of not even attempting to make it happen.
And sometimes, guilt of overestimating what we had written in that list.
Sure, some of the resolutions maybe we did accomplish. But you know it is our human nature to first focus on what did not work out, what was left untouched and unexplored. And then we carry it forward that 'leftover' resolution to the next year.
But I feel this concept of resolutions existed more in the past. Today when I speak to my young friends at Enterprise, they don’t get into the trap of resolutions and bucket lists.
These are trends, there were resolutions and bucket lists before, now there’s visioning for the year and goals we want to accomplish. Tomorrow there’ll be something else.
What has always existed and will exist is 'human interactions'.
The world consists of not things, but of interactions .
So says author Gary Zhukav in the book 'The Dancing Wu Li Masters' where he speaks of quantum mechanics and the new physics of reality.
Whether it’s a party you walk into, or a conversation with a long lost friend, or meeting a stranger on a trip - it's not the decor or the food or the music that we remember. It is the human interactions that colour and shape memories in our minds.
Now, here's what happens every time the new year (or some other occasion) comes around...
People tend to ask (including you) "So, what are you doing?" "What plans for this year" "What’s new?" "How are things going?"
There will be questions and when there are questions, there must be answers. Question poke and pierce their way into our mind, and if we are not able to come back with a good enough answer, they leave us feeling shaken and stirred. They steal away some of our peace of mind and energy.
Friends and peers ask us many questions as a social norm. They don't necessarily want to go deep into our response. But many times, especially if we are in a state of transition, their questions are disturbing.
And it is not always possible to just say 'I don't want to answer that'. You can't just ignore them. I've spoken to many people in one to one sessions and I know how much pressures peers can create on us.
I’m sharing a way for you to dodge the questions in a way that we prevent you getting unnecessary churned every time some one asks 'So what are your plans now?'
Before I share, let’s align on one thing - there are no right answers for every questions. For every answer that you give, people will see it from their own point of view. You have to answer from what makes sense from your point of view.
So, the next time someone asks you a question about how your life is currently or about your future plans, don’t feel under pressure to answer it immediately. Smile and speak confidently because the answers are already there with you. Here’s how to create your answers.
You need to be prepared. Take some time to sit and make a list of questions people have been asking you so far or the ones you think they will potentially ask.
Write how you want to feel while answering this question - for some you might want to feel confident full of clarity, for some you might want to feel like you’re seeking for a suggestion from them, for some you might want to feel like you’re exploring. As long as you are clear with the emotion YOU GOT THIS!
Next, sit in an undisturbed space and create some canned answers for each questions you listed down.
Don’t worry you don’t have to write these answers based on planning and logic.
Create these answers on the basis of what emotion and facts you want to communicate.
Here’s an example:
"How has it been going? What plans for the coming year?"
- It’s been going really great, this year now that I’m reflecting I learnt XYZ, meet some really interesting people/rediscovered my hobby/did something really unusual/got finally time to relax and unwind. Next year looks very promising, I’m excited to see what all emerges in the world and the things I get to explore. (Here the emotion is confidence and calm but leaving area for exploration)
The beauty of this is, you don’t feel under pressure to give answers, but you don’t even have to fake to the extent that you feel wrong. All you have to do is make some set of answers that fit in your point of view in your currently reality. Not from what the future might hold or what life had brought in the past.
Finding answers is an evolving process, creating answers is the way to tackle it meanwhile.
I also feel this is good for when the external world is questioning and you might not be comfortable in showing them what’s happening as is. With people you can call "your own" or people who you see as mentors you must be open, free and vulnerable. Let them get to you. Canned answers are not for them, home cooked and vulnerable with raw ingredients is for them 🙂
So, here’s me asking you - "How has this year been for you?"
Spam me with your canned answers!
In fratitude (friendship + gratitude)
PS. The dancers may claim to follow 'truth' or claim to seek 'reality', but the Wu Li Masters know better. They know that true love of dancers is just to dance.