Saturday, January 03, 2009

Use it or lose it...

"Go often to the house of thy friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path." - Scandinavian Proverb

Use it or lose it - applies to many things. Memory, intelligence, brilliance, relationships - all these thrive only when developed and nurtured with constant care and practice.

It's amazing that when we are born we are born with so many abilities. Later in life when look back, we have probably made best use of a fraction of what we have had all along. But, there is one good news. No innate ability is gone for good. It may have several layers of dust and crud all over it which may require a lot of scrubbing and cleaning to shine once again. But, there is still hope.

Ask any successful writer when they write. If they have been successful as writers, they say they write regularly. Like amateur writers they do not say, they have to be in a  proper creative mood to write. It is like a professional tennis player saying he would practice only if he felt like it. Professional writers etc. follow a strict regimen of writing hours every day for years. They write and write and then go back and see what they need to re-write and do it all over again.

Stephen Covey said 'if we want to be successful at cutting, we need to sharpen the blade sometimes.' If we only cut all the time, blade will be worn out soon and our ability to cut also goes down. So, every 1 hour you cut with a blade, you probably need to spend 10 minutes to sharpen the blade.

Relationships are classic example how things just vanish into thin air if not maintained. Most of us are into 'out of sight, out of mind'. When a friend or relative is out of sight, he or she is out of mind also and we forget to regularly keep in touch. We only grow more and more distant as years pass by. Then one fine day we find a need to renew the friendship and it feels extremely awkward. Why get into that in the first place? Why not just keep in touch from time to time? Even a one liner e-mail once in a few months is a big step towards keeping relationships alive. Easier said than done.

Least we can do is to welcome someone when they try to renew an old relationship. If we are at least that much gracious, it goes a long way. Think it this way. Both of you have made a mistake of not keeping in touch and now one of you have taken the first step. If you are smart, you take a few positive steps for every step the other person takes. Relationship will bloom again. It is said 'for every step we take towards God. God takes seven steps towards us.' Isn't there something for us to learn?

On a very different note, something else comes to mind. There was a Kannada movie called 'Indina Ramayana' (Today's Ramayana). I think it was released in 1984. Vishnuvardhan was the hero in that movie. He says in the movie 'no grass grows on the path treaded by many people.' It was said in some particular context in that movie. Watch that movie and see the context in which he says that dialog. That's a totally different perspective.


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