The First Impression

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Let me tell you at first that I am not writing this for the purpose of job interview guide – NO. When I first saw today’s word prompt, I thought of discussing my experiences and views on the importance of the first impression we make to the people we interact (Note – I am not a pro!!). This is true for an interview panel, meeting a new colleague (classmate in college), a relative and even a stranger.

The way we react for the first time matters a lot. It takes just one-tenth of a second to judge someone and make a first impression. So these are the things I feel the most important to make a note –

1. Be yourself

This is what I have seen many of my friends not following and facing problems. Be it a job interview or any common meeting with any person, being yourself is the most necessary part. Don’t ever try to pretend something you are not. It’s your personality that tells what you are – no matter how big talks you do.

2. Self Confidence

One of the most necessary things in your life is confidence. No matter in what situation you are, this is a miracle booster. Always be confident from inside.

Well I am not glorifying myself but many of my friends always ask me – “How are you so confident and cool always?” My theory is simple – don’t take unnecessary stress and don’t let expectations burden you. Being worried is nothing wrong – everyone gets worried. But what you have to do is – if you are worried deep inside, take a deep breath and shake it off from your head. Showing low confidence always sends a wrong impression about you. But always remember – there is a thin line between confidence and over confidence – DO NOT cross this line.

3. Body Language Matters

Pretty tricky one right? But this is highly important. Small things – greeting with a friendly smile, shaking hands with a firm grip etc. matters a lot. A friendly, confident body language is a great advantage in building a fantastic first impression.

4. Listen

We all love to talk, right (well, at least most)? But the problem with most of us is, we don’t want to listen. This creates a hurdle in the path of building a proper communication and lack of communication leads to a poor impression. Do listen to the other person with attention, nod in appreciation – if you disagree, hold on and wait for your turn to speak. Being a good listener increases your patience and you can communicate on full understanding – not just forming an opinion of your own on half information.

5. Control Your Emotions

This is where we need to put a caution note. Normally we all get irritated when someone criticizes us. This is what exactly we need to avoid. Always remember you are not above mistakes. So if it’s a constructive criticism, listen. If you disagree, politely state that. Now if you ask me what to do with a person who just belittles you without reason? Well, just leave the place – no point arguing with an ignorant person and demeaning yourself.

These are some major things I find useful for our day to day communication and interaction with people. What else do you think are important? Do share in comments !!

Impression

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A Road to Happiness

 

The Road Home

Tyler was sitting on the couch with his eyes half closed. It was dawn outside. Sounds of the chirping of birds and shining rays of the rising Sun was indicating the beginning of a beautiful and fresh new day. But nothing was cheering enough for Tyler. Last night was a sleepless one for him. To be precise, he was experiencing sleepless nights for quite sometime.

Tyler was a young energetic fellow once who just wanted to be a successful corporate. For the whole life, Tyler’s aim was to achieve the targets set by him. And he never regretted that. He always pursued for his dream, i.e. to be one of the most renowned and respected corporate leaders of the world. And he achieved it to a great extent in his mid-fifties, by heading one of the most prestigious corporate institution. Now, he was on the verge of retirement, and this was the fact that was causing those sleepless nights.

For the first time, Tyler was left clueless. There was no goal anymore, no target to follow, no dream to pursue. So what’s next? He remained a bachelor in his whole life, so that his work life was not interfered. Now he was left alone and a strange, hollow feeling engulfed him. He was on the top of the world, but it only seemed to be a curse. “Is every successful person alone like me?”, wondered Tyler, but he knew even getting the answer won’t change anything for him.

“Rrrring, Rrrrrring”, the sound of his phone startled him. On picking the phone, he was surprised to hear a sweet, immature little girl’s voice on the phone. “Hello Papa, is that you really?”, the voice of the child was enthusiastic and pure. Tyler was dumbstruck and stayed silent, having no idea what was going on. The voice continued, “I knew you will pick up my call. How can you not talk to me for so long? Papa, talk to me please. Don’t be angry please….”. Tyler replied, in a shaky voice,” Yes sweet, how are you? I.. er.. I missed you.” And the weird conversation continued. Tyler had no idea who he was talking with, but he just couldn’t resist the appeal in that sweet voice. He assumed it was a wrong number dialed and was somewhat feeling guilty as well, for deceiving the little girl, by pretending to be her father. But he continued. The conversation was a long one and finally the girl bid goodbye and told she would call again, to get help for her homework. After the call ended, Tyler was feeling like he was dreaming. But for the first time he felt that this, extremely weird encounter, was one of the finest ever in his life. He was so happy. Just a few minutes talk with the girl has rejuvenated him to the fullest extent possible. He jumped up and began preparing for his day ahead.

After the day’s work was over, Tyler was returning in his car. He kept on thinking about the girl. All that he wanted was a call from her. He couldn’t call her back, fearing this little mistake may get rectified if someone else picks up the phone. Finally the most expected call came again, from Abby, with an obvious request of help for homework and lots of “very important” topics to be discussed with her “father”. Tyler was overjoyed and went on with the flow. It seemed to him that he has got a daughter of his own, and she was the one for whom he would be living now.

This amazing “mistake” continued for quite a few days. The bonding between this two unknown souls became stronger than ever in those few days. Finally Tyler thought of meeting Abby in person and called back at the number. An unknown voice answered the call and Tyler began talking. What he learnt fascinated, saddened and overjoyed him. Abby was an orphan who was being brought up in a home for the orphans. The number from which she was calling was the institution’s phone, which she used when nobody was around. Abby lost her mother during her birth. Her father was everything to her. But both Abby and her father was travelling in their car when a horrible accident happened. Abby survived but her father didn’t. But the little girl never believed that her father was gone. She remembered couple of digits of her father’s cell number. So she just dialed an imaginary number, and the call went to Tyler!!

Tyler made up his mind. He thought the only one who can give him happiness was this little girl, Abby. And Tyler was certain, that bringing up her would be the goal for the rest of his life. He went for his car keys, feeling certain to bring Abby to her father’s home by the end of the day.

Pursue

Being Better

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“Henry, now you tell me….. Henry !! What are you doing?”, yelled Madam Jane, the class teacher. Frankly Henry never liked Madam Jane’s long, boring and most frightful classes of mathematics. The problems of interest calculation, proportional mixtures were the biggest problems of life ever faced by poor Henry. So he got engaged in playing “Tic Tac Toe” with his best friend Mary and became so engrossed in the game, that the poor kid didn’t realize Madam Jane was standing right behind him.

Henry was shocked and terrified. Unfortunately for Henry, Jane didn’t notice Mary playing as well. Poor Henry had no one beside him to share all the scoldings. So things went as usual – Henry was called in the principal’s office and got a stern warning for this “incorrigible” offence. Principal Donahue warned Henry, ” I hope this is the last time I get to know of this kind of act. You are not a toddler anymore. Grow up and behave properly. You may go now.”.

After coming back to class, Mary approached Henry with a guilty feeling inside. “I am sorry Henry, I didn’t notice Madam Jane. I was afraid of telling the truth to her as well. Please forgive me.”. “Don’t be sorry Mary. I guess all we have to do is grow up. Once we grow up, no one will ever scold us.”. Mary was a little confused, “Are you sure?”. Henry replied confidently, “Of course. See, have you ever seen Madam Jane being scolded? No! Or our Principal, or our any teacher? See, our Mom and Dad?? No one gets scolded, because they are big. I will grow big too.” But how to do that? That was something unknown to Henry. “I need to ask Mom or Dad”, thought Henry.

When he reached home, he found his Dad had returned earlier than normal. It seemed something has gone wrong. His Mom was in the kitchen. When Dad saw Henry, his eyebrows went to a frowning mode. “So, I heard you were playing in class, eh?” Henry was freezed in fear, no wonder Madam Jane called Dad. Henry replied in a shaky voice, “Dad, I will never do that again. I am sorry”. “Hmm. You better be.” Henry didn’t take anymore risk. He rushed to get fresh and started completing his homework.

Now it was dinner time and it seemed that the mood was cooler. So Henry took a chance and asked, “What is “growing up”?”. Dad was astonished and fumbled a little bit. “Um…. “Growing up” means you be a better person?”. “Am I not good Dad?”, asked Henry with a sad look. Dad smiled and replied, “Of course you are. But when you grow up you learn more. When you learn more you know what you should do and what you shouldn’t. More knowledge makes you better.”. “But Dad, it means I have to study more to learn more!! You know I don’t like maths. That’s why I was playing in class.” Dad listened to him carefully, “Hmm. I understand your point. But playing in class was wrong, isn’t it? Madam Jane was hurt at your behavior. Is it right to hurt anyone?” “No Dad.” “So now that you understand your fault, you have grown up a little more. Got it? But to understand more differences between right and wrong, you need to study more, learn more. Right? This is not about grades only Henry, so don’t get scared off. Like you see, you love reading stories, adventures. You like drawing as well. Right? So you see, your knowledge comes from there as well!! ”

Henry was really moved. So it was not that difficult to grow up? Not all about studying and grades? He was so happy. He happily jumped towards Dad and said, “You know Dad, we have an essay competition coming in. I have decided what to write. I will write my aim in life, to grow up and being a better person.”.

Better

Reunion

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“Michael, don’t be a poet !! Guests are waiting lad, get going !! “. This was an everyday phrase used by the manager come owner of the bar in which Michael worked as an apprentice bartender. He was a young man still in his teens and a student of literature. Wordsworth, Shelly, Keats sent him to a romantic dream world where he used to walk through the roads and enjoyed the dwindling daffodils. He dreamed of being a poet and his amature poems were praised a lot by his teachers. He didn’t actually liked to work as a bartender, but it was the best option he could get for a living at that age as a poet surely didn’t have any permanent source of income . Furthermore, the owner of the bar was actually a kind man at heart, however rough his accent may be.

Jim was not really Michael’s father, but frankly he cared a lot for the young boy. He found Michael alongside a remote road, bleeding badly due to an accident. Michael was only ten then. Jim took him to hospital. Michael was saved but he lost his early memories. Jim tried to find Michael’s parents but his all efforts went in vain. Jim took Michael in his home and brought him up with care and admitted him to a good college. Now Jim’s bar needed a bartender and he decided to employ Michael as an apprentice. Jim felt bad inside for that, but he was not a wealthy man enough to pay for all the expenses for Michael’s education.

Michael used to be very popular among the guests. His sweet behavior and innocent face used to please them and his poetic talent mesmerized them. Steve was a big businessman and one of Jim’s regular customer. Whenever Steve saw Michael, he felt a strange bond present between them. It felt like Steve had known Michael for ages, but couldn’t understand the reason. He was a bachelor and in mid-forties, and lived a happy life with his parents, his friends, his neighbors and his beloved pet dog. He never felt any void in his life prior to his meeting with Michael. Day by day after that, his suppressed father’s instinct became alive and it felt to him that he was meeting his son. Steve wanted to take away Michael from his bartender’s life and provide him all the facilities and openings to fulfill his dream. Michael was also fond of him. Steve’s kind words and friendly pats melted his heart.

Finally one day, Steve stated his proposal of taking away Michael to Jim. Jim was totally taken aback – “You are not serious, are you sir?”, he asked Jim. Steve replied, “Yes Jim, I am serious. Michael is a talented boy and his talent will not flourish if he stays as a bartender at this age. I hope you understand this. Rest assured, I will take care of you as well. You just come to me in any problem, I will always help you.”. Jim was in a dilemma. Michael was not his own boy, but the thought of letting Michael go was so painful to him. Jim needed money to expand his business and to take care of his own family and he really understood that staying as a bartender was doing Michael no good – but Jim just couldn’t think of the fact that after Jim taking care of him for 10 years, he would leave Jim. Steve tried to persuade Jim but he was unable to decide. Jim told with a shaky voice, “I don’t care about money Steve. I care about Michael. I know I am not doing any good to him but you tell me, how can I live without him after literally bringing him up? I.. I am confused.”.

Meanwhile, Michael was standing behind the curtain, listening to their conversion. The more he listened, the more his eyes got filled with tears. He could never thought Jim cared so much for him. All these days he knew, Jim was a kind man who fed him, and gave him a job. But today it seemed that Jim was being his father – who was crying inside at the possibility of Michael leaving him. When Steve first hinted about this to him, he didn’t reply but inside, he really wanted to go out of this apprenticeship. But today, it seemed he didn’t know Jim. He thought he was an orphan, but now he found his father.

So he came in front of them. Before anyone of them could say anything, Michael went to Jim and hugged him. This was the first time Jim was in tears in front of Michael. Michael comforted Jim and in a calm voice he told – “Steve, I can’t go with you. I know what I am doing. Maybe I am missing a lot. But, for any reason, I can’t leave my father.” Both Jim and Steve were speechless. After a while, Steve rose from the chair, shook both Michael and Jim’s hand cordially, and said, “I will do anything for your son Jim. Just tell me when you need me.” and went out of the room. Michael held Jim’s hand and said, ” Come on Pop !! Guests are waiting !!”

Apprentice

The Inner Jolt

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Yesterday was a pretty hectic schedule for me. I had to get up early and finish some cleaning and then we went in a family outing. We got back home pretty late and were very tired. I just took off my shoes and jumped on the sofa and closed my eyes. In the state of half asleep, a voice inside me started talking….

  • Nemo…. Why, you are asleep! Hey!!
  • Holy shit !! It’s you again X?! Why you scare me every time!
  • Sorry about that Nemo.. But I prefer to talk with you when you are alone and your conscious is asleep.
  • I don’t think my conscious is asleep or how could I talk to you?
  • Your sub-conscious is talking with me. To wake up, you need a jolt.
  • I don’t want to wake up X. I am rather in peace within my subconscious. Whenever I become conscious in reality, the agonies and pains of real life make me suffer.
  • That’s you problem Nemo. You want to remain asleep. You want to avoid the reality. Do you think you can survive like this?
  • Why not? I know the sufferings of real world X. I choose to make my own world. I don’t need jolt as I am already aware what I am doing.
  • No you aren’t. You can’t survive in a glass house when the outside world is pelting stones at each other. You have to wake up. You have to make your way through all the ups and downs – and sail through the rough waves of the sea. Else, you are a loser and nothing else.
  • You are challenging me X.
  • Yes I am Nemo. Beacuse I know the most effective way of giving you a jolt is hurting your pride. You will rise only when you are challenged and told that you can’t do it.
  • I’m afraid you are true. You have hit me on the right spot.
  • Nemo, remember one thing. You are not doing this only for you, you are fighting for others who can’t stand against the storm. You are the one upon whom they depend. Try to defend them. You are a true lion only when you fight.
  • Yes…. I guess the jolt has done it’s work X….
  • …….
  • X?
  • You don’t need me now. It’s time to work. I will come again when you need another jolt.

Jolt

Being Blind

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I am blind. I can’t see. But wait!! I can see the blooming flowers smiling in delight, the river water sparkling in moonlight. Then why am I blind? What am I missing?

I am blind because I want to ignore something. It’s the truth. I want to hide from truth. I don’t want to face the bitter truth. Why? Because I fear.

Why do I fear? From whom am I afraid? I fear because I am afraid to face the consequences. I am afraid of society, that it might turn against me for supporting something “unnatural”. I am afraid of religion, that it might hurt the age old “beliefs” and “practices”. I am afraid of myself, that going against the “rule” may tamper my image.

So I choose to become “blind”. I prefer to stay “safe”. I support the “normalcy”, shout for the “truth” and come back in my sweet little home, thinking – “Who cares?”

Blindly

Clinging to the Impossible

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I am not a very patient person. Whenever I start doing any work, I tend to finish it fast, mostly because I don’t have that long standing patience to work on and on.

Just a while back, I was repairing my laptop, and that’s why I am posting late today. One of the hinges was broken twice in 6 months and I decided to fix it myself today. This was my first ever experience in this stuff. I must say it is a lengthy process – you need to de-assemble the whole system and then again reassemble it and very importantly, you need to go through lots of steps in exact sequence. One mistake, and you are going to de assemble again.

It took almost 5 hours for me to finish off the whole thing. Then I thought, I am not so patient to do this kind of long work – but how did I do this – alone? Then something came into my mind. It’s the tenacity!! I kept on clinging to the work and never left it until it was successful. Just today I found out that I am actually a tenacious person indeed!!

But patience? Yes, that I figured out too – I had to de-assemble 3 times in between, because I forgot something or the other during the process!! This pointed to me that how my quality of tenacity got damaged to some extent due to my impatient character.

So what do we need then? A combination of tenacity – to cling onto a work, however impossible it is, until it’s over, and patience – to observe the minute details and hold composure during the process. A person who possess these two qualities – he has got the ability to cling to commonly impossible goals and reach the finishing line in style as well.

Tenacious