What stops us? The mountain (or) pebble in our own shoe?

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It is not the mountains ahead to climb that wears you out; it is the pebble in your own shoe. – Muhammed Ali

I got a sense of a connection with the Arun (Amol Palekar) character in the 1975 B.R Chopra produced and Basu Chatterjee directed “Chhoti Si Baat” (English Translation : A Small Matter). During my childhood (spent in industrial township of JKPur, South of Odisha), we had a regular fare of Hindi movies once in every 2-3 weeks.

I was a teenager when I watched the movie for the first time. (although I don’t recall the exact year). It used to be a 16 MM film projected on a white screen outdoors in the JK Township club. My Hindi language skills were barely adequate at that time, yet I connected strongly with the painfully shy and awkward character beautifully played by Amol Palekar. May be the role characterization was such and my own shy nature then would have made the stronger impression.

Arun gets nudged to better his assertiveness and social skills by the friendly avuncular mentor friend Col. Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh (Ashok Kumar). Finally Arun surpasses rival Nagesh (Asrani) to win the hand of Prabha (Vidya Sinha).

I am reconnecting to this theme of “Chhoti Si Baat” movie after three decades+, but NOT as the protagonist Arun. Now, I see myself as the concerned Col. Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh.

While I had started out as software techie over 25 years ago, there was certainly an unconscious urge inside me to wonder aloud about the ‘Software that runs in our own head‘. It was perhaps an unconscious urge to keep thinking about what really drives us and in what ways we get stopped too.

Until recently I could not place an exact finger on why that urge was there, however I had been nudged along the path of trying to develop others as a route for making myself further capable and I can say with conviction that I had been quite relentless in this pursuit. Perhaps that’s why a Col. Julius Singh had emerged out of what otherwise been a typical Arun.

Important Note : What I am sharing here is certainly not unique to me. Every one of you who got nudged by a Mentor might be able to relate to this share. You might be able to trace your sense of gratitude to that timely nudge you got.

You also might sense your own resolve to do your own bit towards another with another timely appropriate action that would count as a nudge for the other person.

Now, I see my interest & commitment as nudging Arun-s of the world, towards their needs/wants while supporting them to revisit/reframe the pebbles in their shoes.

What is that the modern day Arun needs/wants most?

I am certainly NOT looking to play a LOVE GURU. However, how the modern Arun gets his LOVE back is something that really concerns me. The modern day Arun also needs to ponder about what are his real needs and wants. Here is one personal take of my own slow crawl over Maslow’s needs hierarchy. The modern Arun needs to find his LOVE for LIFE in itself and whatever connects him at a deeper level.

However, the typical modern day Arun is being worn out by many a pebble in his shoes. Issue of work-life balance, Mid career concerns, peer pressure, redundancy (facing a complete re-skilling imperative), disharmony within the house hold, neighborhood pressure(“keeping up with Joneses“), psychological battles while being subject to rapid changes due to market dynamics, new technological changes while coupled with life stage changes and its associated blues.

The pebbles need to be dealt with while there is also need for constant renewal for LOVE. Here, I don’t mean LOVE for just a person. It is for something larger than one-self, something for which one’s heart yearns for, something one connects more deeply (like a purpose of one’s life).

Is the modern day Arun listening? Yours truly is on stand-by just for you to win your LOVE battle.

For reinvigorating yourself for the mountains you want to scale while simultaneously dealing with the pebble in your shoes, feel free to have free exploratory conversation(s) with me. ACT NOW (No Opportunity Waits)

Feedback/response/conversation requests @ jagan.mantha@gmail.com. Response assured within 48 hours!

Note : First published in Linked In 26th Jan 2017 (against my own linked in profile)



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Behavior Skills Coach with Will and Skill(in that order) to right-fit an Individual's unique will/soft skill needs. Last 2.5 years of my life of interacting with hundreds of individuals with a mini cross section of society seeking answers to their existential questions. This was in complete contrast to 24 years of Corporate career pursued with two large organizations in the IT industry (Tata Motors and Wipro Technologies)

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