The patterns we repeat ..

A friend of mine called up today and told me about the new job that he is about to get. While outwardly I congratulated him and wished him well, I was very concerned. This friend was again picking something up that was tough to succeed in. 🙁 

Just as a woman makes the mistake of marrying a man just like her first husband and ends up repeating the same mistake a second time, it happens to all of us human beings. We seem to have a homing instinct for bad decisions and we just repeat the patterns. What happens with the most famous problem on Earth today – weight loss :). One loses weight by working out and getting onto a strict diet, yoga, Tai Chi or whatever form of exercise …. Everyone pays you glowing compliments and the next time you step on to the weighing scale, a few kilos have been added, then a few more and then a few more and you are back to where you started. Don’t lose heart, lose the pattern. 

Once you understand this, you can atleast try and break out of a bad pattern… There are nicer ways of saying this “don’t expect different results if you keep doing the same thing like before” etc etc. But an easy way to understand this phenomenon is patterns. 

Success is a pattern, failure is also a pattern, struggle is a pattern, being happy is a pattern, being unhappy is also a pattern. This friend of mine has tried his hand at every startup because he feels he will be able to sell their unique products better than anyone else. What he is really good at is cooking and he refuses to take that up as a vocation :(. He has failed at every startup and he has convinced himself that someday he will get his breakthrough “startup”. Yes, you should persevere and try to succeed at any cost and not give up …. Can you also figure out if you have the skills for what you are persevering to succeed at and the passion for it ?

If only this friend of mine chooses to become a cook, he would probably become a MasterChef !! I have been saying to him that he must go for these cookery shows and he just refuses to do that. Many times we repeat a pattern because it feels comfortable and takes the predictable path … In this friend’s case it’s making him feel depressed and unhappy – hopefully I can help him in breaking this negative pattern. 

In fact as groups and as audience we also follow patterns … Look at politics, we are trying to fit the Congress image onto the Modi Govt. Congress had a mile long list of scams so turn Lalitgate and Vasundhara Raje’s issues into scams … Movies follow the same storyline because the audience likes to see the same story again and again – one “Taare Zameen par” sets the trend of bringing unknown rare disorders and diseases to the forefront and you have a slew of movies – “Paa” on Progeria and “My name is Khan” on Asperger’s syndrome. I loved all the three movies but do you see the pattern ? They are all about overcoming a mental or physical disorder or disease… Remember the series of movies on Cancer? Why, Hollywood has “Olympus has fallen” and “White house down” both releasing in 2013 and in both the White House is burned down by foreign terrorists aided by people on the President’s staff. Everyone it seems falls prey to these patterns and keeps repeating themselves. 

Watch the successful folk – again patterns are repeated. Warren Buffet is frugal so is Jack Ma. He doesn’t like wasting money, just like Warren Buffet. Now, that’s a pattern too. 

So here’s the deal – find the patterns that you repeat in your life and if they aren’t getting you the results you like, work out a different pattern. I have a classic oft repeated pattern for getting angry and staying angry – I have started interrupting that pattern and I have enlisted Krishnan’s help in doing that, I just lie down and take a nap or go out for a walk or just stay silent for a few minutes and the seething anger subsides. Pattern broken. The first thing is to identify the pattern and then find a way of interrupting it so that you can get to a different, better result. 

Happy pattern hunting everyone. 

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