Listen to the little voice in your head
I’ve got a coach. It’s the little voice in my head that talks to me. You know what I’m talking about when I say voice in my head – it’s that little version of you who’s watching you go through life, and when you’re alone, he/she is awake and talking, especially at 2 in the night when you want to sleep because you’ve got a long day at work. Yes, that douchebag. When you’re around other people, he sits quietly and watches, and gives you advice later when you’ve got time to gather your thoughts, or assess and perform damage control. I’m going to call this voice Little Kedar (Stop giggling. Child.).
Little Kedar, for some reason, is smarter than me; he’s wiser, he’s more composed, and more importantly, not as stupid. Also, I’m going to go back to calling it the voice in my head so you can stop thinking about erm, Little Kedar. Back to where I started, my biggest coach is this voice in my head. You have to actively get him/her to be more involved in your everyday functioning. If I were to tell you I can’t remember the last time I genuinely got raging mad, you’ll probably say that’s rubbish. Sure I get irritated, but it’s never progressed to rage. Anger is blinding. The voice in your head has got to step in before anger, or any other drastic, destructive feeling does. They call it the voice of reason for a, well, reason. So I guess, my lesson here is ‘start listening to your voice of reason.’ It’s your coach.
The tricky part here is, getting it to wake up consciously and on a regular basis. A lot of people probably tell you to meditate and they’re right. I find meditation wherever I go. And by that I don’t mean that I sit down cross legged and attempt to be enlightened. I’m meditating each time I’m listening to music on the way to work, I’m meditating when I run for an hour, I’m meditating when I zone out at work. You need to take time out to talk to yourself. But more importantly, you need to take time out to listen to the voice within.
It’s what I do.
I’ve had a crazy last 12 months; a roller-coaster of ups and downs. And I think the hardest battle I fought through it all was maintaining my sanity. I’m in the midst of setting up a company in Bombay, a few months before which, I returned from a two month backpacking hiatus with no clue about what I wanted to do. And when I look at the last year now it’s, honest to god, the most fun and the least fun I’ve had. Working at home alone trying to be productive when everyone else is out at their day jobs can destroy you mentally. This is when your voice of reason needs to be your best friend.
You’re head of everything when you start up; head of marketing, business development, operations, accounts, heck even catering (Online ordering ftw). The internet and the world around us tends to paint a rosy picture of starting your own company. And while it’s great to aspire, I feel like very few people talk about the kind of mental stress you go through in starting up. The only person you’ve got during this time is Little Kedar (the part in your brain, not your pants). Coach is the guy who tells me not to lose my temper at people who are incompetent, coach is the guy who tells me, “Getting angry will not help this situation, focus on how you can solve it. You can’t change what’s happened already, figure out how to fix it. Also, can you order pizza, I’m starving.” Thanks Coach.
Coach is the reason I believe so much in positivity and its effects. I have little phrases I repeat to myself over and over again to help me tackle situations, and by repeat, I mean the voice in my head is speaking – “if it were easy, everyone would do it – anger has never helped a situation, it only makes it worse – positivity has power that you can’t even fathom” …and so on.
You are your biggest friend and enemy. When you speak to the voice in your head, hear its responses and let it coach you, you’re giving it certain power. Make sure your coach is a good guy, who wishes well for you. Shun him, ignore him, dismiss him, if he is the one bringing you down. Get yourself out of that rut by decidedly being compassionate, grateful, positive, happy, enthusiastic and kind.
I’m going to end this with a quote from monsieur Lama, who spends a lot of time with his coach –
“And then when a situation does arise that makes you angry, you should directly confront your anger and analyze it. Investigate what factors have given rise to that particular instance of anger or hatred. Then, analyze further, seeing whether it is an appropriate response and especially whether it is constructive or destructive. And you make an effort to exert a certain inner discipline and restraint, actively combating it by applying the antidotes: counteracting these negative emotions with thoughts of patience and tolerance” – Dalai Lama (What a cutie he is. Such a rock star.)