Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pupils Make Pals Meet!

Have you ever thought of defining the term EXPERIENCE??

Well, I always thought EXPERIENCE is what happens to you.  Be it learning, outcome of life, challenges, practical scenarios of being, events you encounter etc.

Have you ever thought of CREATING EXPERIENCE!
Yes! I mean CREATE. i.e build, craft, foster, conceive, make it happen.

Please note, let me be clear, I don’t mean EXPERIENCE in the context of business or customers.

There are very few in life who can CREATE EXPERIENCE for NO GAIN. And there are very few blessed ones like me who receive such experiences, live those moments with those episodes befitting a cherishable memory, heralding to another exciting story of my life.

At receiving end – if one feels blessed, at other end the one who bestows it stands at an altitude – probably like angels who work behind you – just to ensure to bring an ARDENT SMILE on your face.

This is a sensational and an incredible experience and story of my life – Part 2 - “Pupils make pals meet”.

Hold your breath – and read through, what does it take to create experience:

It was in 2004 that I wrote my last letter to my pen pal. One of the most unique and remarkable experience of my life. 

Years have passed by, and I treasure his gifted books and letters and read through when I can squeeze time. Few very close friends have heard about him. An unknown face with an enlivening tale. Attempts to search have been staggering and sporadic.

It was on December 2nd 2017 that few of my students of other program attended a module of Life Skills – on THINKING & COGNITION.
Post the session, at home – they wanted to glance at my home library. Amidst of it, came a large greeting card – another exclusive hand made one’s from my CoreEL team, which got an exclamation of WOW!
Well, I said, this is one of them, and I carry some exceptional reminiscences and showed them a five feet folded white sheet elucidating my personality which was fifteen years old.  They were stunned looking at its details and niceties.  Yet again! I had to narrate the story behind it.

It was that day again, I narrated about my unknown pen pal and my students were super curious to know more about him.  They probed me in all angles, and enquired to extract all known facts, but I had very less information which was valid for more than a decade now. The day’s excitement ended and we moved on respectively to our own dwellings and lanes.

December 11th 2017 – Post a counselling session at 9:45pm,  I came out of the room to discover four of my students sitting and waiting for me for more than two hours which was little unexpected late in the night.  They handed over a piece of paper and said to solve a puzzle. I went literally speechless, and tried little harder to solve. The puzzle led me to my library of books, where I found another colored piece of paper with another puzzle, which then directed me to kitchen. Yes! They made me play ‘treasure hunt’ 😊. 
To add to the stratum, my search was getting video recorded ‘live’. 😊 
From kitchen came to living room, then to my musical instrument, then on to dining hall, which at last led to outside home to hunt for a POST.  

Coming out of the main door – I saw a big red colored wrapped box with a small black opening like a POST BOX.  There seemed to be surprise implanting hundreds of thoughts in my mind. A gift, a letter, something to play, or some books or a show piece…lot of speculations and assumptions.

I unsealed it carefully to find an enfolded brown mid sized envelope – with a 2017 Diary. I opened the envelope to see a folded A4 size sheet of two pages, two cadbury diary milk chocolates, a pack of sketch pens. 
I opened the sheets -------------------------------------------------------------------------.

I just read first three lines, there surged my tears of joy & ecstasy. I just could not hold myself from hugging my adorable student.  


Yes! The letter which was in my hand was dated 10th December 2017 written by my pen pal after a span of nearly 13.5 years. His handwriting was as legible, flawless and neat even after so many years.  

How! From where! How did that happen! – Is an invigorating story they had made it happen.   

Call it a risk, an attempt, a venture or a luck – be it any, they had unearthed the presence of my pen pal nearly 350kms away from Bangalore.  Three of my students had ventured out with sheer confidence to give it a try with all the clues they had collated. Travelling through cold night of December from Bangalore, waiting early in the morning before sun rise in an unknown desolated bus stop, exploring to villages like strangers, enquiring with new set of people, travelling back again with some hint of unacquainted address to another district of Karnataka, waiting in a medical care unit for untiring three hours – at last they sat in front of Dr. BS Manjunath – my good old pen pal introducing themselves as my students.

The first paragraph of the letter read – that even to this day such students or more precisely called DISCIPLES exist. And I felt so delighted and jubilant to be calling them as MINE. I proudly say ‘They belong to me’.

Unknown pen pal has no more a mask, unidentified friend is no more in some corner of this earth.
If these three little angels of mine would not have discovered him – Probably I would not have known him at all. I would not have been in a position to recognise even if he was right in front of me.

Blessed souls on earth are few, and I am definitely one among them – to have experienced the showering of affection, warmth and care just for a SMILE on my face in return.

Those little adorable angels are Supriya, Shubhanka and Raghu.

Their current punch line is ‘Impossible is only untried’. 

Five reasons why adolescents need ‘Emotional Intelligence’.

Scenario 1: During a workshop whose audience were high school students we asked to list challenges they would want to get it disappeared from their lives. We received assorted responses. 
Major baskets were -

a) Examination                
b) Competition                
c) Pressure        
d) Confusion of right versus wrong                         
e) Rivalry & Jealousy      
f) Anxiety           
g) No worrying of future and few more. 

Scenario 2: During few individual counselling sessions, I encountered below statements chronically:
‘I prefer to spend time on net, visit social media to destress myself than talking to others at home’
‘I don't want to play with others as I don't think it's a fair play’. 
‘I can’t control myself when I don't get what I want’. 

Scenario 3: Below statements sounds to be funny, but they are true discourses during an interview process -

a) There is no necessity to think and remember, google gives me all answers
b) If I speak little louder, I have read that it’s a sign of confidence
c) I haven’t fought with any, I think I have good leadership skills. 

Well, the main reason to write this snippet were few live experiences listed above. All this were with teenagers, and adults within 25 years, who have just spent less than one third of their lives and when we contemplate little deeper and envisage their future lives assuming these traits gets nurtured because there is none to either over rule it or influence to erase the perceived definitions, and the way they would build their personalities plus belief systems, social circles and relationship management - there is an alarm ringing. Upon that, industry and organizations emphasize on emotional intelligence being one of the primary job skill required by 2020 and in years to come.

Emotional intelligence is still implicit and misconstrued. Very strongly I sometimes feel it is abused. But what we do discern is that emotions play a very critical role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives, more critical even than our actual measure of brain intelligence and IQ. While tools and technology can help us to learn and master information, nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage, and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.   

While most parents accentuate on academic intelligence, scores and IQ levels flaunting with Olympiad and NTSE scores, they miss to understand what enables IQ is EQ- the emotional intelligence index which is a catalyst serving to make more accomplished individuals.

We don’t need our children to google search – How to develop thinking process? Or How to build better rapport with people sitting with gadgets inside doors.

While there is natural physical, psychological, cognitive and intellectual development in this critical age, it becomes more important to give them right course of self management embedded with fundamentals of emotional intelligence.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills in 2020.

The awareness that emotional intelligence is an important job skill, in some cases even surpassing technical ability, has been growing in recent years. In a recent Career Builder Survey of more than 2,800 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 74% stated they valued emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ; 75% said they were more likely to promote a highly emotionally intelligent employee and 49% claimed they’d pass up a candidate with a high IQ but low emotional intelligence.

While organizations and many others in arena are putting such high premium on Emotional Intelligence, here are top five reasons why should it be nurtured right from teenage.

1) Introspection to understand oneself – What makes my personality? What leads to me being with my habits, behavior and perception? – With introspection de-cluttering starts enabling one to answer more critically and logically. The rational approach decreases stress providing even temperament, helping to regulate with mood swings and avoids depression. Mental well being affects attitude inclines more on assertive thinking with positive approach towards life around us.

2) Build rapport with people & relationships – Social Skills is one of the most imporant part of emotional intelligence. When we manage ourselves better, it gets extended to others in understanding their feelings, emotions and we start to be good listeners with which empathy builds leading to better relationships and broader networks.

3) Communication - With broader networks shapes communication and we fathom the fact of non-verbal communication being used majorly does not undermine the importance of word selection, it’s true that our tone and body language -- which are ordained by emotions -- have a colossal bearing on how we understand and speak to one another. An emotionally intelligent person will find it easy to understand the meaning and motivations of others, and at the same time will do a better job of expressing his or her personal thoughts which also leads to effective conflict resolutions.

4) Nurture creativity and critical thinking – Thinking is an expensive avenue. While both creativity and critical thought process resides in human mind, what governs the situation is more consequential. While creativity also needs lucid mindset. And that arrives with wholesome cognitive and intellectual development whose engrained matter is emotional intelligence.

5) Better decision making and leadership skills – Being a leader is not everybody’s cup of tea. Taking bold decisions both calculative and cautious, needs a fair amount of headship which comes as a combination of analysis, self confidence and instrospection on one’s own strength. Better decisions come from better judgements which inturn comes from clarity. Not only decision making, it also helps with disaster recovery if things gets misaligned. As the knack of getting things done increases, influencing others surges anywhere, even at organizations regardless of official title. An ability to rise above daily exasperations earns people with high emotional intelligence the respect from across the spectrum from top to bottom. One is regarded and remembered for virtues and morally being upright.

While these are the results, think of planting it at the inception of one’s paramount developmental age, nurturing it with right magnitude can give amazing results.

That reminds me of saying to my students often that - I carry an ambition to develop an emotionally intelligent generation.