I kept asking myself if I’m the optimist or the realist. Filled with self-doubt about what lies ahead in the unknown journey of India Fellow, I was visiting a village near Udaipur in Rajasthan, with a lot of judgement about the place and the people. Was it the right thing to do at that moment? Who knows! Like the lightning strikes the ground and it trembles, I trembled when the realization struck me with a new perspective and I adjusted the lens to fix the focus. It was the first day of rural immersion, as a part of our Induction training.
I challenged myself. There are always those two sides of a situation, be it concerning people or their stories or sometimes how they represent themselves. You think you know it all, but that is the point where you screw up the most. You only know one side of the story; what is being presented to you, what is meant to be known by you. Now the question comes, how do we get to know the whole story, then. How do we see both the sides of it? And the euphoria happens when you find a balance in your viewpoint after knowing multiple sides of it.
It may sound amusing, but if everybody got this, how practical the world would be. Unfortunately, we deal with a lot of biases from the day we are born. I was dealing with one when I thought I knew researching topics of social importance. How difficult could it be?
Each and every day was a new revelation. I realised whatever I had learnt was just conditioning, including my education, work experiences, travel, which I claim have made me who I am. My perception was skewed and biased. Welcome to the human world. It is how it is but it can also be made how we want it.
In order to correct what I have created for myself, while trying to find ways to get through, I realised the importance of a magical wand called Realistic lens. This is a really powerful tool, which gives you more than you are just being served. It shows you more than what meets the eye. However, you may have to ask whether you will be able to digest it, and make peace with it. If yes, your life is sorted. Otherwise, you may end up stuck in the situation and remain in that phase for a long time without leading yourself to a road to nowhere.
Okay! Then what is the way out? It’s important to note that there is a difference between being optimistic and realistic. Some of us take a step in the wrong direction when we start confusing realism with optimism. Can a situation or a person or a story or a reaction be seen and understood as it is? Not in the way it is served to us. How do we reach there?
I think I found my answers, and there I said to myself, “Stop assuming! Stop adding up! Stop justifying! Stop romanticizing! Stop seeking validation! Simply stop messing up with your mind. Come to ease.“
Come to ease with yourself, people around you, their realities, and finally your viewpoints on it. Try to see things as they are. It may sound difficult and unnecessary at times, and it may feel like what’s the point. But it is how it is. If you want to be non-judgmental, you first got to be clear-headed and have a realistic way of looking at things.
Unless you make room for something new, where would you keep it when it shows up? Hence it is important to de-clutter, make space for upcoming thoughts and perspectives while seeing them as they are. Not less, not more. It is how we have salt in food, just the right amount. It may be difficult at first to get that amount right, but once you get it, you no longer need to keep the calculation. You just know it. It is your senses that need some training.
However tough it gets, in the end, it is all worth it. Once you choose to live in reality, you begin to see the world as it is. And yes, you also start seeing multiple sides of the same story. The real story!