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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Taking life in Stride!

The maverick Business Mogul Sir Richard Branson and the phenomenal swimmer Michael  Phelps have something else in common besides both of them being great achievers.

Both these individuals are successfully living with a medical condition. Both Michael Phelps and Sir Richard have been diagnosed with attention deficit order while Sir Richard is Dyslexic as well.

There was this famous hindi movie released in 2007 about an eight year old ‘difficult’ child who was later diagnosed as having dyslexia.

The child was chided, rebuked and scolded at school for saying that 9X2=0 because of the example he gave, of how if the 9th planet and the 2nd planet collided, they would get destroyed, so the net result would be zero.

Today I would like to discuss a different perspective on these so called foot draggers, the capabilities that they have and getting on with life notwithstanding the challenges it may hold in store.

I have a friend Suresh who was a topper every single year at school went to IIT Mumbai. After working abroad as an engineer, for a few years, he then took up a job as a team  leader in a company at Goregaon, Mumbai and failed miserably.

It was here that he realized that being decisive was not his cup of tea at all, he went into depression, so much so that he decided to chuck everything and put himself permanently to sleep, thankfully he didn’t do that, providence had other plans for him!

He then realized that there was something different about him, that was not out of his own  doing!
Being an achiever throughout his life, until then,  he wanted to get to the root of the issue and started gathering information on depression and other conditions that could possibly be affecting him.

He then came up with something called adult ADHD and found that his symptoms fitted to the T, with this condition.  The Doctor in the colony where he used to stay, confirmed the diagnosis.

He didn’t stop at that, he went on to discover that ADHD can be managed and also that people with ADHD had many positive traits

To quote ADHD coach Nancy Ratey, positive ADHD traits include "problem-solving, creativity, being spontaneous, being risk-takers in a good way, and having the courage to follow their intuition."

Today Suresh is enjoying life on his own terms shuttling between Singapore and India pursuing his passion for Astronomy besides a part of the engineering  team for an MNC.

However every one with these conditions does not have a happy tone to the story. Friends did you know that as per a survey by a U S based NGO MINDS foundation, only 1 percent of India’s revenue is spent on mental well-being as against upto 18% in western countries.

So we live in a developing country whose need for development is measured in terms of the need to tackle the issues of unemployment poverty and corruption,  I think we also need much more self-awareness and progressive thinking to move from developing to developed. 

Guiding, counselling and training on essential  skillsets all play a vital role but so do accepting ourselves and other people as we are.

Friends, we are all faced with seemingly unsurmountable challenges as we go through life. These may or may not be as serious as the ones faced by my friend Suresh, we may want to rid ourselves of excess weight , do away with a drinking problem or a get over a quirky habit of procrastinating.

All it takes is a decision and working at it with a plan

For Suresh, what worked was  M & M & M & M (Meditation, Moving Forward, Mental Hygiene and Medication) as suggested in the book You mean I am not Lazy Stupid or Crazy by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo.

For our specific issue there will be a specific solution as well.

Like it’s been 9 month and 10 days that I have walked or jogged every single day just so that I never ever fail a tread mill test like I did some time back.

So Lets take life in stride with all that it has to offer and live life to the fullest and who knows India may soon produce our own versions of Sir Richard and Michael Phelps!

Till next time then and keep smiling :)

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