Turn disadvantages into advantages

Turn disadvantages into advantages

The stories of Bhatti Vikramarka are rich sources of wisdom and extraordinary intellect. One day Vikramditya was blessed by Lord Indra to rule for 1,000 years. 

The stories of Bhatti Vikramarka are rich sources of wisdom and extraordinary intellect. One day Vikramditya was blessed by Lord Indra to rule for 1,000 years.

His close companion Bhatti performed penance to live for 2,000 years. Both of them were disturbed by the alarming gap in their life expectancy.

Bhatti advised Vikramaditya to rule for six months and tour the country for the remaining six months. As a result, Vikramaditya endeared himself to his countrymen and both lived for 2,000 years.

This is how a disadvantage was turned into an advantage. Management science calls it SWOT analysis, which means, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Weaknesses have to be turned into strengths and threats should be converted into opportunities. It’s the human wisdom that can do this. Life is a chain of inconveniences and inadequacies.

Ironically, nature, by itself, beautifully balances it. Costly food need not always be nutritious and vice-versa with nutritious.

The planet has everything that helps sustain life and it all depends on how we define our lifestyle.

As American poet, Douglas Malloch pens the emotion wonderfully:

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley—but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass--
But the liveliest bass in the lake!...

These inspirational verses remind us the simple fact that nothing is a minus provided you have the courage and conviction to turn adversity into a pleasant advantage.

Life is real. Shed escapist tendencies and brave the challenges to conquer the summit.

Your education or career may force you to land on alien soil. But take comfort from the fact that some of the greatest minds that strode earth blossomed in lands where their language was all Greek and Latin to them.

People facing adversities are often confronted by two types of complexes. Disappointed by the unexpected turn of events or the state to which they were condemned make them gloomy.

A small little failure often drives some of the promising individuals to extreme acts. But, some of them become immune to adversities as they are spurred on an unwavering hunger for success.

I once had to know that my blood sugar levels had reached a higher level. A sense of remorse and a fear of being diabetic troubled me.

Until then, despite occasional efforts, I was never regular to my daily yoga sessions; nor was I careful about maintaining dietary habits.

But, sudden realisation that I have turned diabetic sparked a sense of responsibility in me. Since then, I am a regular in practicing yoga and about the food I partake.

Believe me I am now completely alright.

I would have landed in more serious health complications on the morrow had I not turned my disadvantage at that point of time into an advantage.

Something should act as a trigger moment for us to shed the inertia. We continue to be in a particular state unless acted upon by an external force, as the Newton’s first law states.

We often get disturbed and even give up a work when our plan goes haywire. We start making doomsday predictions. Plans getting upset are classified as ‘schema violations’ in psychology.

Studies reveal that ‘schema violations’ have a role to perform in our intellectual development. Simone Ritter, in a study published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 2011, says that those who faced such phases consistently demonstrated more cognitive flexibility, which is a prerequisite for creative thinking.

Someone who is confronted with an adverse condition or experience can perhaps see the world before him from a different angle.

Psychologist Nigel Barber describes this state of mind as oblique perspective. But, when caught in an awkward situation, instead of getting drowned in an ocean of despair, explore and discover a fresh perspective to life.

After all, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some literary historians attribute Charles Dickens’ remarkable literary works to his disappointment with love affairs.

Unfortunately, I was never fortunate to either have fallen in love or failed in it to have authored ‘A Tale of Two Cities.’

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote ‘The Discovery of India’ during his imprisonment in 1942–46 at Ahmednagar fort in Maharashtra.

The English writer, John Bunyan authored ‘The Pilgrim's Progress’ during his confinement in prison. We need not be confined somewhere for the literary flow to take shape.

You and I will always have one opportunity or the other to prove our worth and achieve excellence.

Having written thousands of byline stories and articles during three decades of my journalistic career, writing a book always remained an unfulfilled desire in me.

I neither found time nor an opportunity to do so. But having edited a newspaper for two years, I could pen my book Interpreting Contemporary India, which is a collection of my selected editorials and articles, almost all of which have been published in this newspaper.

When stranded in an adverse situation, we tend to become overly obsessive about it. We fail to see beyond the problem.

This lack of openness to experience is a sure-shot recipe for disaster. All of us have many and multiple traits.

You may have failed trying with one among those many. But if you are open to experience the other would prove to be worthier.

Open your mind to new possibilities and see a new-you dictate the turn of your events.

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