Soch with the Coach: Living the positive life and leaving the negativity behind

With an increase in the number of opinions, and the freedom to express, how can one move towards a life with an acceptance of the mantra, "Live and Let Live"? Our beloved Coach, this time, draws from global events like Met Gala and Cannes to explain
Live and Let Live
This is the mantra(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Let me talk to you about something different today perhaps. How about the world of glitz and glamour? 

The spotlight often is on their dazzling outfits and their elegant personas but the story doesn't end here. There is also the incessant public scrutiny these personalities are subjected to. With popularity comes the roving eye of the audience, an eye that is omnipresent and sometimes, quite cruel.

Recently, this was evident when two Indian actresses Alia Bhatt and Aishwarya Rai, aged 31 and 50, graced two of the most prestigious and anticipated red carpets – the Met Gala and 2024 Cannes Film Festival. 

Their shimmering ensembles, poised demeanour, and elegance captured the admiration of many but also sparked unwelcome and hurtful criticism focused on their age, appearance, physical attributes, and style choices. 

I, for one, can truly empathise with anyone in that position as words just cannot even begin to express what I have experienced, but I'm equally elated to share that there is a lot of support and the shift in the mindset is evident, especially when compared to what the scenario was earlier. Hence today's topic shall focus on Live and Let Live! — The BEST mantra of the new generation.

Let us begin our conversation then. 

We dwell together in a society where the pressure to conform to certain standards is immense and is quite overwhelming. What I have gathered through my clinical experience is that most of my clients, and everyone in general, are too focused on "What will others think of me" rather than "How can I focus on myself?". It's quite sad but the honest reality is that sometimes, people in order to fit into a certain "type", if I may say so, change themselves when not a lot of will is involved. Well, I am not saying that change is bad at all... but the happiness of the oncoming change in one's life is sweeter when it re-defines who you are as a person for the better and in an way authentic to you. 

I bow down to these actresses and others, who not only stood tall by exuding their confidence and but also chose to ignore the negativity from a few netizens. 

The act of owning oneself is a perfect example of a positive influence and a trait that one can easily imbibe.

This not only helped celebrate the bold fashion choices of these two women from different generations but is also proof of how there's a broader cultural shift towards the mantra Live and Let Live and allowing people to have their own choices. 

This philosophy in my opinion is a need of the hour as it not only encourages acceptance, and understanding but promotes the idea that everyone has the right to express themselves freely without fear of judgment. It's a mantra that resonates deeply with the evolving mindset of today’s generation which makes me feel "elated and high" as this is the change that's required, which can only be brought in by the youth who are, indeed, the future leaders of our country.

If you love this mantra and have the Yeh Dil Maange More (The heart wants more) attitude, here are a few more tips on how to develop or even enhance the Live and Let Live way of life!

The foundation: Blow your mind open!
It's quite easy to say, "You should have an open mind", but not many people can make us realise and understand that in most of our cases, we do need to blow up our minds and create more space for openness. Thanks to the constant stereotyping, classical conditioning, and constant reinforcements of suggestions from family, relatives, elders, and others who led a different life in a different time, how does one unlearn and relearn things?  

Here are five important aspects that you need to focus on, which shall enable you to develop an open mindset and also live your life to the fullest by letting others live...unjudged! 

The simplest way is to focus on whether you have developed a rigid mindset or a flexible one. 

1) Aham Brahmasmi... Really? 
Aham Brahmasmi is a Sanskrit mantra that translates to I am Brahman. Aham Brahmasmi refers to the oneness of the individual self (Atman) and the ultimate reality (Brahman). It is suggestive that our true essence is not separate from the divine.

Let me tell you that applying this mantra to your own ideals and being the right person with an ignorant demeanour, gaining some attention by belittling others is actually, uncool. 

We need to remember that our egotistical response may not always be the best. We need to be adaptable, which is only possible when we are open in our ways of thinking and communicating. 

2) Empathy Rocks! Sympathy makes it worse...! 

Another important characteristic trait that we need to develop is the ability to understand what another person is feeling. This is best done when we are able to understand what another is experiencing without judging them, which is why, having an open attitude is most important. 

A non-judgmental approach isn't enough, we need to be active listeners as empathy is only possible when we're able to emote with another individual. 

Another important aspect that isn't quite given the importance it deserves is the importance of validating the feelings of others when you're trying to empathise. That charges up the other in a way that's unimaginable. Once we learn to empathise, we'll not only Live and Let Live but we'll also make others feel loved! 

3) Mirror mirror on the wall! How do I ensure that I don't fall?
Self-awareness is an important trait that I can't emphasise enough. It is sometimes a good idea to ask yourself questions, difficult questions, to create a space for all, where you are harmoniously coexisting with people around you.

This is not only beneficial for your mind sans all the negativities, but it simultaneously affects everyone around you, and you become the one setting the standard for others. Isn't it cool?

The three key aspects to focus on to become more self-aware, which enables us to become more empathetic towards others, are: 

A) Recognise our own biases — what makes us judge people in the first place

B) Reactions to those biases — understand what triggers us 

C) Breaking the biases — by actively listening

4) "Don't get on my nerves!" vs "I won't let anyone get on my nerves"
Increasing our tolerance levels involves learning to consciously develop an open attitude, recognising and accepting the inherent diversity and dynamic upbringing that affects people’s backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, and opinions. 

Tolerance is all about respecting differences without trying to change others, and this is when we realise that people aren't getting on our nerves anymore as we have learned to accept them for who they are inherently.

Once we develop tolerance and accept the diversity in every individual's life, we automatically develop patience. Now, how does this link to Live and Let Live? Simple, here's how...

Tolerant people exercise patience when dealing with behaviours or opinions that differ from their own, which in turn avoids them reacting, becoming critical, cynical, or judgemental, and since they do not rush to judge or criticise. They tend to take a step back and proact. This translates to those individuals supporting or protecting individuals when they are bullied, shamed, or unnecessarily provoked.

5) I'm a rock and I shall be someone else's rock too! 
Here I am hinting at resilience! 

It takes a lot of strength to handle criticism constructively and in order to do so, one should develop resilience. Resilient individuals handle criticism without letting it affect their attitude towards others whilst ensuring that others also don't affect them with their negativity. 

They view criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack, and even if it is a personal attack they ensure that they maintain positivity and focus.

Here's a pro tip: Resilience and emotional regulation go hand in hand. Resilient people are skilled at managing their emotions. Ensure that you make it a point not to allow anger or frustration to dictate your reactions to others' behaviours or opinions.

In my opinion, cultivating these traits is crucial to effectively embody the Live and Let Live philosophy, creating a more inclusive, respectful, and harmonious society. The reactions to these red carpet appearances of such iconic actresses definitely should serve as a reminder of the broader implications of how we affect others with our judgements and comments. 

It’s a strict call to action for society to move away from superficial criticisms, and pretentiousness and towards a more accepting and supportive environment. The Live and Let Live mantra is about fostering a culture where differences are celebrated, and individuality is respected.

I'd like to end today's conversation with my quote, "Live and Let Live, doesn't revolve around you. Living life to the fullest and allowing others around you to survive... is really all about making others around you live their lives to their fullest, automatically making you reach the epitome of serenity in life".

On that thought, I bid adieu... 

See you all soon, 

Here's to living and not just existing! 

Your beloved Coach,

Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj

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