“Be a long distance runner” – 11 October 2015.
Q. I am a separated parent living away from my husband for the last 2 years. The reason of separation was his unemployment. As a result we get no financial help from him. I am not earning enough to take care of both my children. My parents are no more so I have nobody to support me. I don’t know why but every now and then I keep getting thoughts of leaving everything behind and running away although I love my children a lot. What should I do?
Ans. This is a difficult and trying time for you. The best you can do is to cut your expenses, train and sensitize your children to the hardships of life by instilling good values of hard work, honesty, earning and spending judiciously, living frugally and studying hard and doing well. As they begin to get into their teens they can start taking tuitions to earn some money. This will make them independent and conscious about money matters. Three of you can make a good life together. Do not despair and always be positive. You did not mention the age of your children. If they are teens they can be of immense help to you. Talk to them responsibly.
Q. I am a 13 year old girl. I have strong feelings for friendship. I am the head girl of my school. One of my friends always gets jealous of me because she is not a batch holder and always talks behind my back about me and about others also in our group and sometimes says everything directly to the face. We all really feel bad. This is not for the first time. Yesterday on her birthday we went to celebrate and there was a sudden burst of one of my friends’ anger and the topic began. We all started quarrelling and she says that why do you guys take it so seriously, it is all just for fun I say. But in my opinion making fun of someone is really not fun. She has so many guts. What should I do to make her understand that? I have scolded and tried to make her understand a thousand times but still she is not doing so. What to do?
Ans. Jealousy is a sign of low self esteem and hence a weakness. There is nothing to feel bad about it. There is no point in scolding her too. Actually if she is getting attention by being nasty and if all get disturbed by her comments and behaviour she is successful in her attempt to score over you all. That is how it works psychologically. One way would be to decide together in advance to ignore her comments totally and instead start a new conversation after she makes jealous statements. Start praising someone or start talking of something funny or ask a question to someone else and ignore her comments. You may look at her and not react at all as if you did not hear her. Do this repeatedly on all occasions and see the fun. She will get isolated and she will stop once she gets no attention.
Q. I am a 17 year old boy. I am in 12th standard and taking coaching for IIT preparations from a reputed coaching class. My parents have spent two lakhs for this and are expecting me to do well. I am from general category that is why I am losing confidence about my goal. I think I cannot go into IIT or NIT. I am very depressed what should I do?
Ans. I have written about this before that going to IIT is neither the prime goal of life nor the end of life. IIT provides a good level education to bright minds. But ordinary minds can do everything and make absolute success of their life and become corporate leaders or great entrepreneurs. Bill Gates and Gandhi and so many others have proved this point. Educational goals have to be in alignment with life goals but admissions to specific educational institutions are a different game altogether. It depends upon so many factors which you may not be able to control. Instead of getting depressed and thinking low about yourself think and plan on the options available to you if not IIT. Think positive about yourself and your life. If one door gets closed many others open for you. So focus on career goals and aim as much as your intelligence takes you. Do not focus on IIT as such but on engineering admissions, by doing your best in studies. Leave the rest to your destiny. Life begins after education. Be a long distance runner and not a short sprinter.