What is your perspective on these two opposites: Excitement and Depression?
Our first impression of these two words always is that excitement is good and depression is bad. Try and keep this thought aside for a while and with a fresh and new perspective let us look at both these words.
What exactly happens when we are excited or when we are depressed. Are they really different from each other or the same? From a page in my diary, let me share something. Two years back something good happened in my life. The thing that I was longing for a long time, finally happened and that was the reason for my excitement which was participating in the World Championship of Public Speaking. And I reached the quarter-finals of the Championship and this made my excitement reach the highest level. My excitement was so high that immediately I started thinking a lot about how I will perform in the semi-finals and then in the finals. Even my winning speech was ready. Maybe this intense level of excitement is a reason people often keep their winning speech ready even before winning a competition. So, what is this excitement?
Excitement means that we are thinking too much, we are training our mind to think about that one thought we developed which is nothing but our imagination. The reason that we were excited about has long been gone; it has become past; it is over. But that reason stays in our mind, we keep thinking about it. It becomes a continuous thought in our mind and we allow that thought to multiply. That thought is perpetuating an endless perpetuation is going on and on. Indirectly we are training our mind to produce thoughts, allowing them to stay alive in our mind and these thoughts then get multiplied. We train our minds to do all this.
In life not always good things happen. So how does one define Good? Good thing means something that is exciting for us, the thought of which gives us pleasure. If anything good gives us pleasure then something bad will definitely give us pain. This is how we define Good and Bad. It is not necessary that something good will always happen in our lives and we will multiply those good thoughts and get pleasure.
Now let us imagine, what if something bad happens in our life, maybe in our personal or professional life. But our mind is trained to produce a thought and multiply that thought. Because we have this unique habit of multiplying a thought, we will multiply even this bad thought. We will keep on thinking about this bad thought over and over again. This thinking will go on perpetually because our mind is now a champion in multiplying thoughts. But now when we are multiplying these bad thoughts it gives us pain and not pleasure. A harsh name given to this feeling is Depression, which is nothing but intense pain and we are programmed to not like pain.
Feeling pain or pleasure in our life, is that a problem?
Neither of these two feelings is a problem. The problem is our ability to multiply thoughts unnecessarily. A skill that we neither want nor need. Because the moment we start thinking about pain or pleasure, we keep thinking too much and we forget to live in the present, we fail to observe what is in front of us. Because of which we fail to understand what a person has been trying to tell us because we just keep thinking about the bad or the good. Important is that we must always focus on our present and not on something that may or may not happen in the future. When we multiply thoughts whether good or bad, there is always an absence of attention.
So, what is the solution? To not react? This is not possible, as we are human beings.
For me, I found the solution from the learnings I once garnered from none other than Mr. Yusuf Hamied, Managing Director of Cipla Pharmaceuticals. I worked at Cipla for 10 years and this was the first company that I worked at. Our first company always plays a vital role in shaping our beliefs, our character, our life and I was lucky enough to be a part of Cipla. At that time, Cipla had an open sitting culture wherein there were no cabins, not even for the senior management. Fortunately, I got a seat that was within a hearing range from where Mr. Hamied sat. I always got to hear what Mr. Hamied had to say to the senior managers from which I learned a lot about his principles. One such day he explained the concept of 30 seconds and its importance in life. And that my friends, is our solution.
Mr. Yusuf had said, life is all about 30 seconds. He said, if we are happy, clap for 30 seconds and then get back to work. If we are sad, cry for 30 seconds and get back to work. What does this mean?
Certain things in life will match our expectations which will excite us. When we are excited, stay likewise for few seconds, some hours, certain days. But as the time moves on, reduce those days to few hours, to few minutes and then to few seconds. When things don’t match your expectations, cry for few hours, few minutes and then get back to work. Always remember to observe what is there in front of you, which is Life. Life is not after 2 or 3 minutes. Life is Now.
I always apply this 30 seconds formula in my life. Doesn’t matter if we are excited or depressed, but in both cases, if we think too much, we are investing too much energy, an unnecessary need.
Life is Now. Let us clap for 30 seconds when we are happy or cry for 30 seconds if we are unhappy. But after this, remember to get back to work.