Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dos and Don'ts

Last year, few hours before I was due to deliver a speech at a Toastmasters Conference in Lisbon, the contest chair asked me few questions to introduce myself to the audience.  One thing she asked me was: "What are the things you like doing?"

Surprise, surprise -- I got stuck!  Yes, for a lapse of time I couldn’t list what are the things that I do like. To get away from that frozen moment, which seemed to last an eternity, I answered something -- liketo read, to travel, to dance…. whatever.

I could see in her face that she was somehow disappointed by my lack of creativity. I’m sure she thought I was a bit more interesting. And so did I.

I couldn’t get rid of that unpleasant feeling, and I started wondering why I had that reaction.

After baking it in my mind for a considerable time, I realized that it always seems much easier to say what we don’t like, don’t want, don’t care for, don’t love; than what we do like, do want, do care for, do love. Why is that?

I've heard many people say, “I don’t know what I want, but I do know what I don’t want.”

Why do we spend time making sure of our don’ts? Wouldn’t it be more productive to make sure of our dos?

I challenge you to ask yourself what you do like, and then check how long it takes you to come up with a small list of your dos. Then ask yourself what you don’t like (in this order), and check the time. You might be surprised.

The fact is, if you are absolutely clear of what you do want for yourself, for your life, for your family, then when something is presented to you, if your dos are not there, you don’t even need to bother to look at it. You don’t even need to check about the don’ts.  If the dos are not there, then it's not for you. Simple! 

As a result, you will always be looking at things, opportunities, people, through a positive prism. Won't that be more pleasant? 

Mother Theresa once said: "Don't ask me to campaign against war, ask me to campaign Pro-Peace!"

It is all about choices. Whether you look at things from a positive or negative point of view, it's always your choice...

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” She answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”*

*Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Caroll