Majority people pretend to be happy & making progress. A very tiny minority tries to look for an answer to How to live an inspired life. They have that charm about them, that sexiness which is indescribable. Their code is GRACE.
Grace is the dignity with which you carry yourself. Grease is the attractive lubricant which you choose to keep your feet on to get carried away. As you get carried away; Grease consumes you like in a whirlpool. You become greasier in your habits & soon you’ll begin to feel like a hollow man. Grace is difficult as it involves baby steps & so many of them for you to feel that you are graceful. Grease will make you mediocre in the long run & grace will prepare you for an awesome long run.
Let me share a prose with you. It has been written by Swapan Seth, a brilliant ad man and a writer par excellence, in his book “This is All I Have to Say”:
“There is a certain rhythm to living. A certain tune to which life plays out its song. Grace is that meter. Don’t mistake grace for manners. Grace is grander. You can always be taught manners. But grace is a goodness that is latent is a person. It is in the deepest recess of your being.
Whenever I have been caught between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do, I have looked at grace to be my umpire. Make grace your walking stick. Grace allows you to construct victories out of losses. Grace forces you to look at the losses in your apparent victories.
Grace is the only thing that will tell the world what kind of parents you had!”
Beautiful lines. Aren’t they? But what is grace exactly?
Grace is the simplicity of the calmness of your mind, in the face of the most devious of your temptations. Grace is the fight that you put up in a polite yet firm manner, against your own shortcomings. Grace is the way you deal with people and situations and yourself, while you maintain your dignity unfailingly.
Grace is in not giving in to attractive garbage because everyone is doing the same. Grace is also in having the courage to be different.
And what is grease then? Let me use an example.
I may be totally wrong here according to some of you. But I will risk it anyway. Because my job is not to make look things pretty for you. My job is to say things as they are. Because hardly anyone does that these days. And maybe you need that blatant shakedown.
Grease is falling for every other person who appears moderately interesting and then getting intimate with them. It takes away a part of you. Trust me, it does. Grace is in waiting for the right person instead of falling for & jumping into the bed with the next okayish person you meet. Let me share the risk and returns attached with this argument.
Having seen both grace and grease, in the early years of my life, I have learned that the joy that the constant greasing brings, is always ephemeral, always complicated and emotionally exhausting. And if it doesn’t emotionally exhaust you, it will bring you the addiction of bodies, which is probably the worst kind of addiction ever.
If you haven’t read Vicky Loner yet, do follow the link. In Vicky Loner; I have tried to touch upon this subject in a non-patronizing way.
As a Motivational Speaker in India; my work gets me to meet & inner view a range of people across domains. The youth that I meet are stuck in this Grease quagmire (mostly) and the middle aged people I meet are reaping the not so awesome benefits of their slippery greasy past. Those suffering from mid-life crisis will probably never share this with you, but somewhere, the wanton-ness of their early days has stuck with them. And they find it very difficult to shake it off. The ghost of their greasy activities seems to stick with them like their shadow, most of the times.
The problem with the grease is – it is highly tempting. Like alcohol, it helps you forget your struggles for the moment. But when that moment is over, you are back to square one. You fall back to the same place from a high point with a soundless thud that hurts more than what will meet your eye. You have definitely not moved past that struggle. You have simply kept it at bay for some time. And the next time you need a refuge, you are back to the next person you can grease with. May sound harsh but that’s how it is. Like a cigarette that lasts for 2 minutes of pleasure until you start craving for the next one.
How is that helpful? How does that help you move forward in life? I think you get the point. I will repeat my question: How to live an inspired life?
And grease is not just in the wanton temptations. It is also your inability to fight those habits that pull you down. Your blue addictions, your lazy routines, your ‘sick to the stomach’ over-eating habits, junk foods, your incessant gossiping, your constant ‘putting other people down’, your over-reactions, disregard for others’ feelings, menti-sental emotions – are all grease.
Grace is not amplifying your glory but in creating that silent & lambent respect for your own self. Grace is letting people discuss ‘How awesome you are’. Grease is seeking attention always & becoming like a person who wants the world to know even when he farts. Trust me- the world does not give a shit to a greasy person.
Grace is in enjoying that coffee with you partner over a beautiful conversation. Grease is uploading the status that you are having it at Starbucks.
Grease is always surviving & thriving on compliments, praise received from people. Grace is silently adding value to people in your life.
Grace is doing a lot of interesting stuff in life which makes you feel complete & awesome in your own mind. Grease is waiting for someone else to come in your life & complete you.
I am sure all of you have heard of the fantastic page ‘Humans of New York’. I found this profound line there:
“People always say be true to yourself. But that’s misleading. Because there are two selves. There’s your short term self and your long term self. And if you are only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decays.”
Grease is allowing yourself to decay on purpose. Grease is in choosing to not follow your dream today. Grease is in postponing that run / play / skill development activity for tomorrow because today you are too busy partying or living up to someone else’s expectation from you.
Grease is giving in to the “Chalta hai” attitude that the youth so harmfully inculcates. Because the people for whom “sab kuch chalta hai”, slowly become the “chalta hai” kind of people, who remain mediocre always. The greatness and the extra –ordinariness that you want to so desperately achieve, comes with a trade-off, a price. The opportunity cost of your grease enjoyment is that – even though you may achieve a lot, you will always be a part of the rat race because you won’t be very different from a lot of other greasy people.
The biggest fallacy of being mediocre is that people often mistake mediocrity with financials and social status. You could be a billionaire and a high end achiever and still be a mediocre, full of grease person if you haven’t cultivated grace, somewhere deep from within.
On the other hand, grace is in investing time in good habits. Grace is in sleeping early if you can’t control your hormones at night … grace is in willing yourself to wake up early morning (a fantastic habit to have) and going for a long, peaceful walk. Grace is in picking up a good book and reading by the window. Grace is in killing yourself to go out of your comfort zone and perfect that dance move with stellar discipline. Grace is in practicing that backhand move 500 times to get one good shot the next time you go to court. Grace is in not giving up your dreams. Grace is walking away from all those things that do not lead you to your chosen path.
You want to be stellar? You want to be an example, someone your peers and colleagues look up to? You want to be extra-ordinary in the horde of so many ordinary people around you who are struggling day and night? Add a bit of Grace to your life.
And let me tell you. Grace is not as easy as Grease. Grease is easily available for you to slip over and fall flat on the face. Grease is easily available all over the place. Because we are in a time where grease is appreciated and praised, while grace is looked upon as something that has been forced on you.
However Grace has stellar long term benefits which are not easy to spot. You need that eye to find it and then you need the courage to own it. Courage after all is simply grace under pressure.
I am not sure if I have succeeded in sharing this hard earned, cultivated over the last 15 years wisdom with you and whether it has reached you in the same wavelength as intended. Do feel free to ask questions if you wish to. And,
Be graceful. Be good. Grease is easy but grace is better, much better. But most important of all, cultivate grace because it gives depth to your soul. Grace is the deepest ocean of all.
Add a bit of Grace to your Life; maybe that is what is missing right now? A super inspired life is awaiting you. Claim it using GRACE.