Theme of the week

Issue LX (25.03.2012)

Managing Constraints - 2/2

Building of our life rests on various pillars. The pillar of financial strength, pillar of available time, pillar of health, pillar of relationship with family, pillar of moral values, pillar of law of the land, pillar of literacy and knowledge, pillars of desires, responsibilities, opportunities, authorities, love and emotions, our culture and heritage, our customs, religion, and so on…… Some of these pillars in our lives are strong enough to take pressures of life while some are weak. Weakness of any of these pillars makes us weak. Constraint of money, constraint of time, poor health, illiteracy, inadequate law of the land, all make us weak and jittery. Similarly lack of moral values, poor heritage, loneliness, etc. also makes us weak.
As we discussed in previous issue, the Pillars in our life are primarily of two categories; Tangible or materialistic, and Emotional. Tangible ones are easily measurable, while Emotional ones are difficult to measure and often more painful when weak. Worldly things such as money, time, health, education, law of land, culture, technology, etc. are all tangible.

Managing Tangible Constraints
Most of the tangible resources are manageable. In previous issue we discussed 3 steps approach to tackle constraints in our life. The Identify, Plan and Act approach. Accurate identification or diagnosis of constraint is vital. After identifying one or two major constraints, see if it is manageable or not. Some major Tangible pillars and methods to manage them when in crisis are being discussed here.

Money: Enough money is the most critical ingredient in our life. As we are about to make the two ends meet, they are pulled away. Both, the prices of commodities and our desires are always increasing and we always fall short of enough funds to fulfill aspirations and needs. Some common tips for manage money better are:

  • Prioritize expenditure. Food, clothes, utility bills, rent, education of your children, health related expenses are unavoidable. Keep them at top in your list.

  • Save on your utility bills. Electricity bills, petrol / Diesel / CNG bills, telephone bills, mobile bills, water bills, kitchen gas, etc. can really give us huge savings.

  • Plan, make budgets and spend cautiously,

  • Save some portion of your earnings.    Savings help on a rainy day and they also make wealth.

  • Improve your income sources, Work sincerely, change job if it helps, work part time if necessary, invest your savings for attracting more income on it.

  • Take loan only when you know that you can repay easily.

  • Plastic money is dangerous. Use your debit & credit cards cautiously.

Time: Planners can be a big help for managing time when in crisis. Make Daily plans, weekly plans and monthly plans. Reserve time slots for most necessary activities, the ones which are most critical. Remember, few hours for family and your own self are also critical. Sufficient sleep is vital for your health. Now fill remaining time slots with lesser important tasks. Extended working hours may be fine occasionally, but not regularly. We have only 24 hours a day. It is given and really cannot do much about it. Better planning is the only tool.

Health: As they say, precaution is better than cure. Take care of your body, go for regular medical checkups. Regular exercise & yoga will keep you fit physically while meditation and prayers will be good for your mental and emotional health. Go by your doctor’s advice when unwell. Do not compromise on your health for any purpose. All the wealth earned with extra efforts will be a waste if we fail to maintain good health to enjoy the wealth. Many multimillionaires are forced to sleep on a hard bed despite having huge mansions with several bed rooms and all other comfort.

Education and Knowledge: Literacy and knowledge is one of the fundamental pillars of our life. Lack of adequate knowledge is a big blockade in growth. There is no age limit for learning. It is a continuous process and should never end. Learn whatever is required and overcome the constraint.

Law of the land: Law of the land where we live also has its role in our success or failure and our mental health. We really cannot do much about it but can at least bring the shortcomings to the knowledge of those who are responsible for making the law. In some cases, law is perfect but implementation is faulty. When facing issues due to law, we should see if we can do something about it.

Society: We are what our society made us. Bring changes in society should you feel it is any hurdle or a reason for tension in life. Return to society through your good deeds.  

Technology: Technology is good when used carefully but dependency and overuse can be equally harmful. Use technology wisely. Innovate when you feel available technology is inadequate. Requirement is the mother of inventions!

Managing Emotional Constraints
Emotional pillars of our life are equally or little more important and often more difficult to manage. Recognizing the real crisis in emotional matters is little difficult than the tangible ones and managing them is even more difficult. The 3 step approach will apply here also but with even more caution in identify stage. Symptoms and Causes should be clearly differentiated. If we confuse between these two, we are bound to fail. Our Behavior, Attitude, Temperament, etc. are symptoms while availability of worldly and emotional resources is the reason for this. By looking at the symptoms carefully, we should find the reason and conquer them. State of depression, lack of confidence, over-aggression, ill desires, are result of imbalanced emotional environment. Some basic emotional factors are being discussed here.

Spirituality: Many of the readers may argue that spirituality is not a necessity. It is not something which is fundamental and a pillar for tension free life. Trust me, it is. It helps a great deal in maintaining emotional balance. When in stress, follow some spiritual activities.

Moral Values: Moral values create a platform, a foundation for a robust and solid structure. Success earned through shortcuts and immoral methods does not bring happiness with it. Litter success with maintain moral values gives us much more satisfaction, happiness, and pride. Follow rules set by society, by your own self, by your elders, and by teachers. There is no shortcut through the jungle of life. Those who follow the guidelines, reach their destination safely.

Heritage: We get so many things as heritage. At times, the reason for our stress is hidden somewhere in what we got in heritance.

Relationship: Relation with spouse, relation with family, relation with friends, relation with co-workers, relation with boss, relation with teachers, relation with neighbors…. all matter a lot in maintaining our emotional balance. We expect appreciation, affection, love, recognition, gratitude, honor, integrity, admiration from them and feel dejected when fail. To overcome stress caused due to this shortage, we should first correct our expectations. We should try and accept people the way they are. If they improve and respond you feel happy but if they do not, you do not feel dismal.

Let us manage constraints and not allow them to manage us.

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