IntroductionThere is no life without problems for anyone in this world. The art of solving these problems and living happily is a big art in itself. The mind is the key. This is why we often talk about mind-sets. One vital attitude is the "this will also pass" attitude. In Tamil, it is called "iduvum kadanthu pogum". In fact, many hundreds of thousands of elders, now 70 and above in age, have all gone through this. Some real-world experiences, as reported or gathered from reliable sources are quoted for lessons to be drawn. Specifically, the lessons have reference to a) have a huge amount of patience b) ask "what next?" questions c) do not consult too many people) protect family through wise investments and e) never take shortcuts.
Have a huge amount of patienceBala ( name changed) was a middle-level executive in a huge public sector undertaking in a then small town of Tamil Nadu. Life was quite okay and happy for him and his family members. It so happened that his wife fell into bad company and did not concentrate on the studies of her children. She also took to booze, which was so rare in the 1970s. The two small children were badly affected.
Fortunately, Bala who wanted to commit suicide with his children was saved through counselling. His wife was counselled too and separated from the shady character -- a lady --who had taken to booze. Everything became smooth again when Bala was promoted and subsequently transferred to another plant at Hyderabad. He subsequently purchased a good independent house in Bangalore when the costs where quite low (the late 1970s) and settled down there. He had taken VRS to do so.
Bala's patience and his faith in God saved him. His wife did so much of social work in Bangalore and even started an NGO to help destitute women. She had reportedly learned her lessons. What seemed like a hopeless situation, was retrieved through very good advice from well-wishers and good peers in Bala's office. The children did well in studies too and settled down in jobs.
Jagan ( name changed) lost his son in the Bhopal gas leak tragedy. He was about to retire as a headmaster of a school. The family's hopes were dashed totally. Yet, Jagan had some faith in his abilities. He became an LIC agent and started his new life. Some students who were in good positions invested through him. He had a major advantage --he was a good English teacher and a career counsellor. Gradually, business started picking up. He milked his contacts in his native Kumbakonam town too. His patience paid off. He was able to manage a decent corpus to lead a simple life with his wife. All this happened only because Jagan was patient. He did take the advice of his brother-in-law, a banker, settled in Mumbai.
Patience is the key. Bad times will pass. And the good times will come.
Ask "what next?" questionsLife for both Bala and Jagan would have been doomed, if they did not ask the right "what next?" questions. Life is always a challenge. Only those who can understand people, markets, finance, savings, and so on, can succeed in life. Living a debt-free life is also one path to success in these situations when everything seems to go wrong. Reducing expenses is the key.
Let us take the superb example of even some Corporate organizations. Ratan Tata was quick to respond to the Nano failure scenario. He realized that the positioning of the car as a "poor man's car" was not well received. The new positioning as a family car has helped him a great deal.
Let us learn from the women who manage drunkard husbands. They double up as cooks, babysitters, nurses( to simply take care of old, but rich people), sellers of flowers and vegetables, or even as sweepers in corporate establishments where the wages are fairly good. Yet, they survive and manage to educate their children and wean them away from their horrible husbands. Success stories of such strong-willed women are often reported in Tamil magazines and daily newspapers. Their life would mean nothing if they did not ask "what next?" questions every day.
Do not consult too many peopleAny problem or issue has a solution. That is, it is always we who should get to work out the solutions. We can at best consult our proven well-wishers. If this is not done, we will have landed ourselves in deep trouble. It is unwise to consult too many people. There are always people who will be jealous of us and would be very happy to see us in some trouble. Many do nurse a grudge against others for whatever reason. Tough times are not times where we should think that every human being is so good in this world, and consulting them will only add to our sense of security.
Far from it. It will only add to our misery. Never ever do this mistake. The bad times will pass, only when we act on our own.
Protect family through wise investmentsThe year was 1995. Much against my advice and others, five close friends, who were then still employed, invested two lakh rupees each, in what was then called "Royapettah Benefit Fund". This was a non-banking financial company, under the Nidhi umbrella, based in Chennai. The interest given was fabulous -- 20%. Month on month.
It so happened that the firm had invested heavily in real estate. The hard-earned deposit money was diverted to building a five-star hotel, but even then, the funds were not enough. The Balaji group, which had a majority stake was unable to pay depositors, crashed since the real estate investments were not growing at all. Litigation followed for years. The five families got back hardly one-fifth of their investment. Even this was after a bitter struggle.
Wise after the big tragedy, the five families then invested the rest of their savings in plots in then what was called Guduvancheri satellite town and in post office schemes. Today, the same Guduvancheri is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Chennai, though it is around 50 kilometres on the Southern side of Chennai. It is superbly connected by buses to every locality of Chennai today. A small investment of Rs.30,000 in those days is now worth more than one crore. The families are now happy that they got out of the miserable tangle, for which they were alone responsible.
Today, the seven-star hotel belongs to the Hyatt Regency group, right in the heart of Chennai. We always make mistakes. The key is the lesson we learn from such mistakes. When we implement certain practical actions as a follow up of our lessons, the tough times pass and the good times are back again.
Never take short cutsWhen there is a shortfall of finances in the family, it is not advisable to follow any shortcut. For instance, certain people who are powerful and work in departments like the purchasing department, do indulge in corruption. For obvious reasons, the suppliers also play ball.
However, it is time and again proved that such malpractices begin to haunt the corrupt, sooner or later. The sins come back with huge difficulties. Only value based people will see through all troubles and become tough. They can handle any crisis and get through with the "this will also pass" attitude.
ConclusionThose who are patient, as discussed in the aforesaid article, do manage to come out of any crisis. Once again, the real world teaches us everything. The experiences of others often shared in informal conversations, become case studies for the best lessons for each of us. Yes, "this will also pass" when we try and look for the best solutions. Life is always a challenge and will continue to be so, in the years to come.