Don't Look Too Far For Solutions
Deepak Ranade16 October 2009, 12:01am IST
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Change is the inevitability of life. Our interpretation of change determines our attitude and approach to life. What is apparently beneficial is
accepted without any fuss. When it comes to accepting the inconvenient and the unpleasant, there begins conflict and resentment. However, the seemingly hopeless situations that are very painful to deal with are also instruments of change. ''What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly,'' wrote Richard Bach.
Every seemingly hopeless situation is pregnant with the potential to effect improvement. It's just that one usually looks at the problem in a way that's too upfront. That creates a myopic perspective in dealing with the problem.
Like Godel's theorem, which states that no part of a system can comprehend the system as long as it is an integral part of the system. As we distance ourselves from the problem, and have a bird's-eye perspective, we can begin to see the issue in another light. Anticipation of the problem always tends to magnify the event and imagine it to be much more frightful. Anticipation should prepare, not scare.
A rigid approach that expects things to happen in a specific way only makes matters worse. The ability to adapt is what can make things better. Rigidity limits available options. It severely handicaps creativity, which is considered the mother of solutions. Serendipity happens only because the mind is open and willing to look at the same thing differently.
An alternative viewpoint is critical to make the most of any given situation. The severest of problems have more often than not brought out the best from many individuals. Isn't it also said: "Necessity is the mother of invention"?
The process of strategising while solving a problem throws up many facets of ourselves that we never knew existed. Adversity has been a blessing often enough and ought to be respected rather than feared. Complications arise most often because we take things personally and too seriously. Surrender only destroys self-esteem. Fighting enhances it. The difference between the two is just a matter of attitude.
Helplessness is a state of the mind. Most successful businessmen and corporate executives are paid for their ability to keep cool in the most trying of circumstances. They probably begin where others stop trying. Fixing the blame is not what absolves one of failure. Fixing the problem is the only redemption.
Anger, fear, resentment and frustration only muddle neural networks. They are mere manifestations of the fight, flight or fright response. What is actually needed is a right, bright and trite response. This response can only be attained with a calm and controlled thought process. Knee-jerk responses are just reflexes without any form of cerebration. They are most often fruitless. A deliberate, conscious effort needs to be inculcated to programme a conditioned response.
A positive approach is a big help, as it tends to activate the right brain, the one that has great intuitive abilities. The most appropriate response to any problem would be whole-brained. That is with both the right and left hemispheres giving their inputs. The dominant half ^ the left brain in right-handed persons and right brain in left-handed persons ^ enables analysis, logic and assessment. It tends to be a fragmentary approach. The right has a more intuitive, subtle and holistic approach. A combined two-pronged approach is much more likely to bring out the best in adversity ^ and make it easier for the butterfly in you to take wing.