I have had a hypothesis for quite sometime now. And I feel it’s time I can confidently share it with the rest of the world. Disclaimers first! I don’t claim that I am the only person, who has had this hypothesis or theory, on this planet. It’s possible that others had similar hypotheses/theories and I never read them.
I have been taking some crucial professional and personal decisions for the last few months. Some have made me confident. A few others have left me almost heart-broken. Some I believe are right, others may be wrong. Only time will tell, which ones were which. Yet there’s one determination that I never abandon whenever I take a decision. That is – I am going to stick by it, come what may.
So here’s my hypothesis – almost any decision, seemingly wrong at first, has the potential to turn into a right decision ONLY if we stick by it. Of course I know that it’s hard to prove, disprove or determine sociological theories as society does not function like a human body. But then a quite a number of noted biologists have also been proven wrong in the long run (No offense late Mr Darwin!), after all. This is the protective coat I am using before I get down to discussing the assumptions of my hypothesis.
As I look back, I realize it’s been nine years ever since I have started working. If I also count the time when I was translating for my father’s newspaper while I was in school, the number of years of experience shall go up. And I want all my readers to keep guessing my age, as of now!!!!
The point is I have faced several turning points ever since, often followed by decisions. It baffles me now how often I have put my career literally at stake just to pursue a certain muse simply because it was a learning opportunity. I have taken risks. I have taken risky decisions. (Every decision, for that matter, has its fair share of risks anyway).
I still cannot say that all of my decisions were right or wrong. I can only claim that some of my decisions turned out to be right and some wrong. Yes, they ‘turned out’ not that they ‘were’. What is really common to most of them is that I stuck by them. Despite a general public ‘boycott’ by friends and well wishers over my decisions, I just stuck by them for one very simple reason. These are my decisions. If I don’t stick by them, who will?
Here ofcourse I took quite a few assumptions. One, I have had crucial, life-changing-kind-of decisions to take, which would impact my future. Two, I had the courage to stand by them. Three, I had the confidence that in the long run, they would definitely prove something – right or wrong; good or bad.
My decisions ranged from deciding whether to stay behind in a job or move on; to continue or not being friends with people who often hurt my self-respect; to take a break from a full-fledged career or not in order to learn something new; to explore or not alternative sources of income or not and so on.
I am proud of many of those decisions. And they are exactly the ones by which I stood despite the odds. Of course, it had a price. And often the price was poignant and hurting. And don’t assume that professional decisions don’t hurt you personally. Yet in the long run, they made me smile. They made me happy. And I have no regrets.
Amidst these assumptions and the proposed hypothesis, I am sure of a few things. Taking decisions is also a process that continues even after they have been taken and gone. Decisions, you will realize, will make you do a lot of introspection. They will point most sharply towards your strengths and weaknesses. They will really tell how courageous or coward, how determined or confused you are. They will tell you who is important, who is not. What is vital, what is not. What really matters, what does not. What should stay, what should go. Every time you take a decision, you will find yourself standing before a mirror.
It’s important to be able to appreciate, if not enjoy, this process. It really makes you learn so much. And if you stick by your decisions, you really earn some more respect for yourself. Others respect you for standing by them. And mind it, they are the same ‘others’ who were most against your decisions some time ago.
Another rationale of sticking by decisions is that unless you did, you would never really know what went wrong or right. A certain decision might hurt but it wouldn’t turn out to be wrong, unless you let it. You must be proud of it. You must stand for it. You must stand by it.
Only after this, you would discover that decisions are never really wrong or right. They are only good or bad. And any bad decision is not permanent, if only you keep clinging to it. If you do, you would have converted it into a good one.
No, don’t agree with me yet. You really don’t have to. Go ahead. Test this hypothesis because only then we all would know if my hypothesis has the potential to turn into a theory or not. As of now, I am going to stick by my hypothesis. Will you stick by your decisions my readers?
PS: An old joke that still tickles me and that I read in The Reader’s Digest years ago: Good decisions come from experience. And experience comes from bad decisions.