I watched this Chinese period drama once – ‘The Empress’. The entire series revolved around concubines – more than the emperor. And in one of their secretive plots, they feed another concubine a poison in such small quantities that nobody even suspects that she was murdered when she dies. I would love to write a blog on the intrigues of the palace but some other time. Let’s continue with this blog. The point of sharing this story is -‘Small things over a period of time have a big impact.’

When you plant a tree, it takes time, small things in small quantities, a little bit of sunlight, and a little water. If you feed it all the sunlight or water at once, it will die.

I cannot say this is a fact, but most Indians have good immunity. Now, when my mom cooked, she would sprinkle turmeric along with other spices in small quantities. And when you eat them, however tiny the amount may be – over a period of time, your body retains the nutritional value. And in some cases even better than drinking a cup of turmeric latte because you have a cold today. It is not to say that all at once is a bad idea – it can work too, but isn’t it better to slowly ingest it, so your body already has the stores when it needs.

Similarly, there are no shortcuts in life to being a good person. If we could do it overnight, then our world history would be completely different. If you want to be patient in all situations, then taking a conscious breath daily is the way to go – so that when you face a complex problem, your patience muscle is strong and active. If you want to not get caught up in other people’s drama, becoming aware of mind chatter daily is the way to build a strong foundation. Along the same lines, what is the point of having good communication skills when you lack integrity? Whereas if you have integrity, then communication skills do not matter that much.

It is common sense – you cannot have a strong house unless the foundation is strong. But then why do most of us forget this very fundamental truth. Because it is hard, it is not glamorous – it is nice to see the painting on walls instead of just staring at cement. Watching your mind chatter is boring but getting kudos for handling a situation via communication skills feels good. And believe me, it may feel good, but it won’t last long because it is genuinely a flash in the pan unless you have put it in the work before. And in today’s age where marketing and photoshop drive the world- nobody even talks about how much work is needed to get a perfect and healthy body. You see the thirty seconds on the screen, and you forget that it took them several years to reach this stage.

Maybe we should make boring movies about the work that goes into becoming tremendous or even normal in today’s world – it will put things in perspective and perhaps help us focus on the right things.

What are you building – foundation or flimsy walls? Is your life a sprint or a marathon?

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