Remember the good old typewriters? The then question was: ‘How many words per minute can you type?’ I reminisce enrolling into a typing class in early ’90s as good typing speed and the correct typing method were considered good skills then. Today, I observe almost everyone has a great typing speed—thanks to Blackberry, smartphones and of course laptops.
There are two key things that has seen paradigm shift in the past couple of decades and which has influenced our mindset. Firstly, the ease of access to burgeoning information and secondly the way we communicate today. Internet, mobile data, advertising, promotions, plethora of content and algorithms have done two things in tandem—brought human beings closer in space, time and relationships, however, maybe with more cases of spondylitis with heads bent on mobile screens almost always.
Whatever happened to that eye to eye contact, that ear for listening while cutting out the noise; today the challenge is to distinguish between ‘sound’ and ‘noise’. Come to think,essentially our world seems to have shrunk into a screen with virtual assistants and mobile apps managing us and not the other way around. Car drives are now more spent with heads bent rather than up looking out at the environment and hoardings.
Here are my 3 Ps that never go out of style for me and still help me find myself better.
1. P for Pen and Paper: Ink it
There is a reason why we are initiated to pencil, pen rather than a computer while starting our education journey. I am a stationary fanatic and it all starts with pen and paper. A lightweight smooth blue ink 0.5 ballpoint does it for me. When I was younger, just one pen would mean a lot and I recall cajoling my grandfather to accompany me to get the ‘refill’ changed. That time ‘Reynolds’ was the go-to pen. Till now, I always keep a pen with me anytime of the day, while at work, while travelling and by my bedside.
How does it help? If you think for a moment, from the time we wake up daily, there are so many thoughts and ideas rushing inside our mind to make space and by the time we try and make a note of it, the thought slips away. An ‘always-on’ pen reinforces my faith that I definitely jot down my thoughts. Moreover, it saves my eyes from screen time to makes notes in a mobile app.
2. P for Personas: Listen to it
Raising the pitch of your voice to an extent that it is audible to impact the listener even in the din is something that needs conscious continual effort. This acts an indulging practise to deeper understanding of personas of the people we meet. It took me a while to grasp that the more we can have quality conversations with people along with active listening, the more we evolve. Also, when we understand and respect people with different mindsets and approaches, the more it leads to cultivate the third P within us, that is …
3. P for Patience: Cultivate it
A beautiful flower would not bloom without patience. A good biryani takes patience to soak in that flavour. Patience, another side of the same coin as Fortitude and one of the most over used words that we keep throwing about a lot in our daily lives. However, this word is a perfect example of ‘easier said than done’. That way I see it, there is no short-cut here and it needs to be cultivated and maintained by conscious self-actualisation. Patience is one attribute that brings with itself intrinsic power to separate eustress from distress and the above two Ps are the catalysts to this one. Patience acts like a ‘paperweight’ that keeps your emotions from getting scattered.
So, while a bit of daily writing will help organise, structure and may be make one aware of a new perspective; indulging in meaningful conversations with people with mobile screen faced down acts as a stronger bond with your immediate environment and patience helps in informed decision making and assuaging difficult situations. I have benefited a lot by stitching up these three Ps.
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