Change Your Password Now!

Last Year was perhaps the worst year of my life. I went through a dark long patch of depression, followed by misunderstandings that strained relations with a loved one.

I felt betrayed and disillusioned. Whatever I was doing suddenly seemed so meaningless! I thought I was finished.

Thankfully things got better by the end of the year but I knew I had to do something to keep things on the path of recovery. We ourselves are responsible to a great extent for many problems in our life. Therefore, I had to mend my ways to make things alright and prepare for future.

After some reflection about what I was doing wrongly, I concluded that:

1. I was not being true with anyone. Not even with my own self!

2. I was negative and missing the “moments”.

3. I felt like a failure in life, no confidence left to reach for any new goals.

But what could I do? I had got stuck in a loop of guilt, doubts and fears. To make it worse, there was a pressure which made it even more difficult to get out of this trap – “What example am I setting for my children?

How would I tell them to perform well at school and in life when I myself was feeling weak in my knees.

That’s when Dinky, my wife told me about THE SECRET.

“Think of WHAT you want to achieve, without worrying about the HOW. Invisible forces would make you achieve your desires.”

What did I want to achieve, I thought. Following popped-up in my head:

1. Resolve my fight with myself about who I am, who I pose to be and who others think I am. This is what Robin Sharma calls “The Integrity Gap“.  Kill my Integrity Gap. Make it Zero (0)!

2. Stop running the rat race and savor the present, “the now“.

3. Have a higher self esteem and be in control. I was running negative on that, and it was just crushing  me. I had to fall in love with myself, again.

Now that I knew I had to do these, would it work on its own? No! I had to remember these goals for them to settle in my head. And how would I do that?

I was looking blankly at my laptop screen, while thinking what do I do to achieve these little roadblocks just big enough to create a mess in my life. Suddenly the following dialog box popped up:

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This pop-up gave birth to an idea in my mind. I changed my password to IntegrityGap@0.

From then onward, every time I unlocked my computer (which is dozens of times daily) using my new password, it was like a subliminal brainwash. Next 90 days allowed me to remove a lot of unspoken baggage I was carrying since many years! It made me a better person, one who was more at peace with himself. True to himself!

I couldn’t wait to change my next password. Changing passwords for security used to be mundane and irritating affair but now it had become a life changing ritual.

My next password was CelebrateLife@100%. 90 days focused on celebrating and being grateful for the moments God was blessing me with. Not thinking too much about the past and neither the present, just living in the moment. 90 days is good enough time to etch these ideas in ones brain.

Some say it takes 66, others say 21 days to form a new habit. Be on the safe side and go for 90 days which is the limit most organizations have before you must change your password.

While this helped, my low self esteem was still coming in my way to live life fully. That feeling that I was not good enough and the fear that someone would soon find out, was killing me.

My next password is, therefore, IAmTheBest#1 .

Like Magic, a few testimonials followed within the next few months. I became a certified interviewer at work, cleared a work interview to move into what I always wanted to do: Program Management et al.

Oops! Did I just share my current password with you?

Never mind, because 90 days come to an end today and it’s time for the quarterly ceremony to change my password again. You too are invited!


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What’s Your Mission This Month?

“It is so scary, any vehicle could hit on the foot rest!”, said Mom instantly as I opened the entrance door to let her in. Her words sounded as if I was the one responsible for her plight.

“What happened, Mom?”, I asked already knowing that she was complaining about the two wheeler (scooter) ride with Dad. She comes back with Dad on his scooter after her daily evening walks in the park.

“I am not sitting on the God forsaken scooter ever again!” replied Mom.

By now I was getting irritated. I controlled myself and said in a very plain matter-of-factly tone, “You have said that at least 20,000 times before, Mom!”

This was the first time I had responded that way. But I had to say it, not because I wanted to upset Mom further or to trivialize what she was trying to say but because that was the truth! Well, the count of 20k is an exaggeration but the point is that Dad is almost 70, Mom 66 and what I have heard ever since I was a child are a lot of complains.

Kids Grow Up So Fast
Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.  – Zig Ziglar


Perhaps we all do such seemingly harmless venting out every now and then. Things after all don’t always go as we please. But there are still some options one has:

1. Complain, complain, complain… (the chosen option always so far!)

2. Be happy that God has been kind to let you travel with your partner. (too far fetched?)

3. Convince your partner and get him to bring the car for you (too difficult , life is not a romantic movie, or may be you can give it a try and make it one?)

4. Get convinced and make your own arrangement to come back. (too bold? Going against your husband when you should instead be making sacrifices for him! How can a woman go against her man for selfish interest?)

Option 1 seems to be the wrong-est to me.

One – It doesn’t help you. Especially if you complain to me, a third person. Unless, of course,  if you wanted me to help you, which you clearly don’t (as I have realized over the years). For if I do talk to Dad, you would come back defending Dad and say that “It’s okay, at least he picks me up!”. I have been confused enough and don’t want to remain so any further.

Two – It doesn’t help Dad. He is practical with a capital P! He can’t understand emotions, so either you stop coming back with him or stop complaining! Period.

Three, and most importantly (as far as I am concerned) – It doesn’t help me. Parents need to realize that the moods of parents impact the children’s moods directly. Even if I am feeling low, I should be cautious in sharing my feelings with my children, unless I want them to help me. I need to be clear how I would want them to help me. Otherwise, the sheer lack of clarity or sharing for the heck of it, is only going to cause harm to both the parties. You feel worse by re-living those moments – of being driven in a haggard scooter when Dad has two cars waiting in the garage to come out. The child (I) will feel miserable simply because the parent feels so, and on top of that, the feeling of being helpless for the person who means the world to the child.

I don’t doubt your intentions Mom. Not even once! Just that you didn’t think this would cause any harm. But well, that’s what it did!

Took me a long time (half the average lifespan in India) to realize this. It’s a very long time. A lot of life. But I have learnt my lesson. As a parent, I need to be careful, for my child will never be happy to see his Dad or his Mom unhappy and helpless. So, let me not get him or her into a situation like that unless I genuinely need them to help. If I need them to help, I would need to phrase it differentlyOtherwise, don’t care to share with them. In fact, care enough not to share with them. 

I love you Mom, and can’t thank God enough for blessing me with you as my Mom. You always meant the world to me and always will. I owe to you whatever I am today. As I pass on the good things to gen next, I also should put a stop to the few that didn’t work. That’s all!

The men are playing the men’s game on facebook, “No Shave November” this month. Can I challenge the parents to a No Complains December?  

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I Know Who Can Help You!

That Evening:

Deepti, my wife, rushed to get Sameer, our friendly neighborhood doctor. I had told her a while back something that sounded like,I am dying!

I haven’t died before but I assumed it couldn’t be worse than this.

Sameer walked upstairs and asked me how I was feeling.

How was I feeling?

It was very hard to describe.  I tried rambling something:

  • a pain in the stomach and ankle ..and everywhere else!
  • not enough oxygen is going into my system!
  • I’m sleepy all the time ..except at night!

What I should have told him that I didn’t:

  • I was scared – of everything and everyone
    • ..of doing things I loved to do!
    • ..of being successful (funny, coz’ I am nowhere close to that!)
    • ..of looking people in the eye
    • ..of my own self
  • I was living in a trance state
    • ..can’t clearly differentiate between reality and imaginations
    • ..have no interest in anything, not food, not life
  • I was running away
    • worried about home at work and about work at home
    • hate to say this but from my faith and God!
  • I didn’t trust anyone
    • not myself and not even my loved ones
    • no one else in this bad bad world
    • not the ground below my feet which shakes

Why Not Share the Truth?

I kept insisting that I had physical conditions – breathlessness, drowsiness, body pain… but hid the morbid feelings, the fear of dying and yet feeling a need for it. That I had a constant longing to hear the sound of  breathing of my loved ones.

It seems funny now but I didn’t see myself in the mirror at a store’s changing room. I pinched myself to check if I was alive. I was! It was just that the mirror was inclined at such an angle.

I didn’t believe it could happen to me. Perhaps, I feared I would speak myself into believing that I was depressed. Besides, what will they think?

“I am not going mad, okay! and what about the heavy breathing and this pain, is that in my head too?”

The Journey:

I saw many specialists and generalists. Several tests.

Anti-anxiety pills, Yoga, forced exercises followed.

One doctor even suggested that I install cameras at home. That’s what he was doing to be at peace,“Look, here’s my iPhone that shows real-time images of my house’s front and back gates and porch.”

One pointed out of his window and asked, “What do you see?

Then said, “You will see what you want to see. Either see the beauty or the dirt.

I came back and cursed him for the fee he charged for giving me that Stupid Gyan!

I can understand why I was skirting the issue. What I can’t understand is why the doctors were shying away. After all, they can talk about anything with little hesitation. If you’ve ever been to a urologist or gynecologist, then you know what I mean!

Thank God It’s Over!

I felt tired of it all. But Deepti didn’t ever give up.

She pushed me into seeing the nth doctor. This guy was different though. He said it on my face, “This is called Depression“.

A few tears rolled down Deepti’s cheeks.

I felt lighter.

Doctor added, “If there is one person who can help you out, then that is You. Medicines will help but only if you help yourself!.

When he said this, something changed in me. I guess I had accepted for the first time that it can happen to me. That I needed to own this for myself. It’s easy to get used to becoming dependent on others.

[bctt tweet=”Nobody can bring you peace but yourself!”]

I also got treated for Vertigo. I am still not sure if I was suffering from it or not.

It took a lot of time to become completely normal. 2014. Thank God you’re over!

I imagine my wife during this time. It should have felt like living with the dead or even worse: living with someone who’s hallucinating and perhaps has suicidal or murderous tendencies!

She didn’t feel any of this. She was concerned but completely normal. More patient that she has ever been. More confident of me than I was about myself. There was one question which she asked daily, “How are you feeling? On a scale of 1 to 10?”

My scores gradually moved up.

If This Sounds Familiar:

You are not alone. Face it. Own it.

Hang in there.

Have faith.

There is one person who can surely bring you back to life: You!

..just remember: This too shall pass!