Life is like a stock market cycle, it has its own ups and
downs, its own rise and fall, its own moments of happiness and moments of
despair. Sometimes we are on the mountain top of happiness or achievements and
other times we are in the Holes of despair and failures. This is the duality of
life. No one and I mean no one can have only one of it. Although it’s a
different matter altogether that we want to see the peaks more, however, we just
hate to be in that hole where LIFE is difficult.
When on the peak it is obvious that we want to stay there,
soak in the moments, have fun and wish that these moments never end. Although a
few souls do manage to stay there for a longer time, the rest of us do make the
downward journey into that sinking hole of problems and difficulties. This
journey is inevitable and we just cannot escape it. Life is a seesaw where we
keep swinging between the peaks and the troughs (Holes).
When we are at the bottom pit, our holes of despair and
difficulties and challenges and failures, all one wants is to jump out of that
place. We just hate staying there. We despise the moments in life where things
are not working out, when things don’t go according to our plans and we find
ourselves into these holes.
This jump that we so desperately want, this move out that
we are so aggressively wanting is a difficult task. When in a hole we may need
some help from others, we may need some support to come out of those
challenging situations. Sometimes the hole is so deep that we may also need to
have lots of patience to work our ways out of it. Some situations can be so
grave that a superior amount of wait is needed.
However, what we don’t need is to continue “DIGGING”. Here
digging refers to those things that got us here in the first place. Example: As
a student, if you loaf around the entire year and with exams around the corner
and u find yourself in a Hole, the first thing you need is to stop digging
more. You need to stop this loafing around that got you in this place.
Secondly, you need to stop the second digging habit of
“Worrying”. This is something that needs to be avoided at all cost. It is
equivalent to digging when in a hole. The more you worry, the more you keep
sinking into that hole of difficulty. So, worrying, overthinking, etc make you
go deeper into the hole.
So, then what are the steps we need to take to come out of
Step 1: Understand the process, reasons or causes
that got you into this hole in the first place. This is the first and very
critical step to take. It is also the most difficult step to take. Most of the
people, most of the time find it very difficult to look at life from an
Objective point of view. In doing so we become very subjective and in turn, we
identify the wrong causes. We may have seen others and sometimes our own selves
too blaming everyone and everything around us for all the problems in our life.
So, if you find this objectivity difficult, take help from a close friend who
will be able to see your situation from a much realistic point of view.
This identification process is very critical in every
situation, whenever you feel you are in a hole. Find the reasons, is it
something about you that has caused this situation, are you afraid of
something, is there a skill that is lacking, is there something wrong in what you
were doing, is there something in the people that you interact with. Go deep
and come up with an honest reason for what got you here.
Step 2: Evaluate how difficult and consequential the
situation is. What are the results this situation can produce and how much of a
problem it can create? See what the possibilities of losses are. Here too we
need to be careful so that we don’t overestimate the negative consequences. Many times we have this habit of overestimating losses. So be objective,
practical and realistic about the impact this situation can have on your life.
On the other hand, we don’t want to be too optimistic. The goal here is to be
Step 3: What are the options and solutions available to
you? Start generating answers to “How do I solve it” or “how can I come out of
Remember: Having just one option is no option at all.
Having two options is just a choice. You must have at least 3 or more
solutions. The more the merrier.
Here too you can take help of friends, family, mentors and
above all your own intelligence. You need to sit down and start generating
options and solutions.
Once you build your list of possible solutions, start with
something that seems very basic, outright easy to implement and seems practical
to being with. Take action on this option right away. Don’t wait, don’t delay,
don’t try to be perfect, don’t look for that Utopian perfect solution. Just
being and make necessary changes on the way.
Step 4: Evaluate what you are doing and the results you
are getting. If the results are encouraging keep going, if they are not as per
your expectations Try some other solution or option. It’s very important to
note that its practically impossible to hit on the right solution from the
beginning unless you are lucky. For the rest of us, we need to make course
correction as we progress towards our goal of coming out of that hole. So, keep
changing your approach unless you find something that works.
No decision is perfect or right, we take the decision, we
act on it and then make the decision right.
Example: Debt Crisis in Individual lives, in Corporate and
in Countries (During the sub-prime crisis in 2008)
Here the problem is that people/companies/countries spend
more than they earn, then they continue to finance their spending on borrowed
money, further they also finance their debt obligation by taking more loans and
thus this cycle continues and then one fine day the whole thing collapses under
its own pressure.
When this happens, we have seen individuals taking the
extreme step of Suicide, corporate filing for bankruptcies and
countries going into a prolonged period of hardships.
However, if at the right time, when the hole was not deep
and the situation was not so precarious and if the above steps were followed
then very likely the Jump out of the hole would have been possible. However, in
this situation people kept on digging and in turn, went on sinking into their
own holes of despair.
So next time if you find yourself into a hole, in a
difficult situation look at the above steps and help yourself out of that
situation. Most importantly “Stop digging if you are in a hole”