• 17 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Fail fast, Fail often, but never fail for the same reason again

    how to overcome failure


    Failure is a stepping stone to success only if it can teach you something. If not, then failure will be a waste of your time. Imagine that there are two children, both practicing for a running race. Child A first crosses 100 metres with record time but fails to do so for 200 metres. In the next effort, he crosses 200 metres in time, but is not able to do 300 metres. His failure is helpful because he is raising the bar higher each time. He is failing quite often, but with each effort, he is also getting better. Contrast that with child B, who never makes past 100 metres in record time. Either he does not start properly, or finish properly or lags in between.

    Child B is not making any progress. He is also much more likely to be frustrated. Either he does not like running, or even if he does, does not have the ability to run. This could be because he is not practicing his starting and ending techniques properly before making the run. All of this means that each time he fails to cross 100 metres in record time, is a redundant failure.

    Thus, the difference is clear. It is good to fail, as long as it helps you to keep moving. If despite multiple failures, you are rooted at the same spot, it is perhaps time to take a hint, that whatever is happening is not suiting you. Either you need a change or you need a break. You definitely can’t keep going.

    How to check if the failure you are going through is helpful or unhelpful? After all, life is not as simple as race practice for child A and B. Here are some pointers to help you decide:

    Do you feel like you learned something? Or has there been no increase in learning?

    How do you feel emotionally? Is it the tough frustration of doing a difficult task or is it the empty frustration of waste of time?

    Can you gauge your progress since the time you started? Have you made any movement at all? If you are too biased to judge this, get an external opinion. Get a friend who can be honest with you, to tell you if you have made any progress or not.

    Did you take a break any time? Sometimes, what seems like redundant failure can be turned into helpful failure if you can take a break and be away from the task for a little while. There are a lot of unconscious processes involved in learning which kick in when you do something entirely unrelated, but are going on in the back of your mind.

    Did you get help? Sometimes, learning a new skill can need external help as it may require more resources than what you have. Getting that help can help you make redundant failure into helpful failure.

    After all these, if you still feel stuck, you should leave the task because it may not be meant for you. Right now, it will just cause you endless frustration. If you want, you can come back later and try your hand at it again.

    Further Reading:1 2 3




    Responses 1

  • 07 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    The Great Ashoka Taught Us How To Overcome Guilt

    How to overcome guilt

    Guilt can be an overpowering emotion. There are a number of reasons we feel guilty for, not just when we do something bad, wrong or forbidden. Guilt is a feeling of immense shame at feeling that a particular behaviour committed was wrong. There are many personal differences in the level of guilt felt. Some people feel relatively less guilt that others although it is the same act which is being spoken of.

    Therefore, our feelings about the wrong-doing play a great role in guilt. We see that culture and upbringing play a great role in this. In conservative cultures, sexual overtures outside of marriage are considered wrong, whereas in open cultures, they are considered normal and healthy in the process of growing up. Therefore, a person influenced by a conservative society is more likely to feel guilty about their sexuality.

    In general, we are likely to feel guilty for 5 main reasons:

    1. When we actually do something wrong (e.g., being mean or overeating etc)
    2. When we think of doing something wrong (“How could I think of being mean to my friend”)
    3. When we over evaluate our wrong-ness (Choosing our interests’ over others can make us feel this way)
    4. When we feel we didn’t do enough to help a person in need
    5. When we feel we are doing better than others (Sort of like survivor’s guilt)

    Of these types, the 3rd one needs more work because these are ingrained by society so we feel much worse than we need to because of how we perceive our behaviours. Most of the times, these are over evaluations.


    If you do experience guilt to a troubling extent, these tips can help:

    Reevaluate: We need to reevaluate and find out where the guilt is actually coming from. Is it really my fault or am I making an over attribution because that is what I was taught from childhood? For example, we may feel bad about lying since we are taught that it’s a bad habit, but realistically, we often need to lie without having bad intentions. Therefore, removing filters and looking at the situation can help to reduce guilt.


    Draw out: What would you say to a friend who was feeling guilty for the same situation? Often, drawing out and looking from an outsider’s perspective helps to get a realistic view at what transpired. If to your friend you would ask not to worry, that in the bigger scheme of things, the action was right, then why does this not apply to you?


    Imperfection is human: We all make mistakes, but that is how we learn. Guilt is likely to happen if you have perfectionist standards that are hard to meet. Forgive yourself when you recognize your expectation was unreasonable in the first place.


    Make it count: Guilt is an emotion that can be made really constructive if we can learn from it. The great Asoka felt immense guilt at the war of Kalinga, and completely reformed his personality as well

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  • 06 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    What not to expect in counseling

    what not to expect in counseling


    counseling is a beautiful process of healing and change. However, without the awareness of what actually happens in counseling and what does not, you may not be able to take the entire benefit of it. Therefore, we address some misconceptions or false expectations from counseling below, which need to be removed.

    what not to expect in counseling

    1.Therapy will work without my active involvement: Usually, after the first or second session, once the clients are done telling their issue, they tend to become very inactive in therapy. This should not be because the therapist needs you to be active in both speaking as well as taking action outside of the therapy room in order to make sure that therapy works. Therefore, continuously keep engaging with your therapist about what you feel, think and what course of action is best. You should not take a back seat.

    what not to expect in counseling

    2.Magic will happen just by talking for an hour: While the talking will help you feel good, but whatever is discussed in the therapy room and the suggestions or homework given, needs to be implemented in real life. Therapy works well only if you can transition the change in real life as well. If the suggestions given do not work out for you, then alternatives need to be actively generated.

    what not to expect in counseling

    3.Therapist’s job is to give me advice and mine is to take it: This is perhaps the biggest misconception, that therapists ‘tell what to do’ and the client is just supposed to listen. In reality, this is not what should happen. Because of their listening skills and knowledge of human mind, therapists can efficiently hear you out and help you reorganize your thoughts and emotions, so that together with the therapist, you can generate the apt solutions for your problems. It is a give and take process.

    what not to expect in counseling

    4.There will be quick and magical solutions: Although you will start to feel better and lighter from the first session itself, for you to see a significant reduction in the problem will take some time. And that too will happen only if you actively participate in the therapy process. Therapy is a scientific solution to a heavy feelings and emotions, but it is not magic.

     what not to expect in counseling

    5.You have to reveal everything to the therapist: Although some information may be vital to getting over a particular emotional block, no one can force you to reveal anything. Therapy should help you let loose, but only after you can trust the therapist enough to tell them. You need not tell them painful memories then and there, or tell them secrets despite being unsure of how they will use them. It is as much about your comfort level as the therapist. If their questioning about a particular line of thought is hurting you, tell them so and discuss it so that you can address it at a later point.

    Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you will find counseling to be beneficial and will be able to take full advantage of the process.

    Responses 2

    • Deepika Bhandari
      Deepika Bhandari   Sep 04, 2016 08:59 PM

      The stigma around mental health prevents people from seeking help. This article clears many common misconceptions around the topic of counseling, leading to more openness, hopefully!

    • amit kumar mishra
      amit kumar mishra   Sep 04, 2016 08:19 PM

      Very informative article..

  • 05 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    The Most Boring Article About Professional Counsellor, You Must Have To Read.


    A lot of countries do not have regulated mental health practice and because of this, sometimes people who are not professionally qualified might practice counselling or psychotherapy. There is a great deal of harm in this as a client would be disclosing deep emotional material to someone who is not fit to handle it.

    So, how can you tell if your counsellor is a professional? Some helpful tips are given here below.

    1.Qualifications: Usually, professionals tend to display their qualifications so that it is easier for people to find the right person. You may see their title next to their name or hung in their office. Try going to a person with a masters or at least a one-year diploma. Someone with a doctorate is of course better. If it is not openly displayed anywhere, then ask them their degree. It’s your right to know so don’t be shy.

    2.Experience: Sometimes, despite having the degree, some people are not professional in their behaviour and may not last in the field. Therefore, if someone has some years of experience, it means they know what they are doing. Not only should you look at what experience they have, but also whether their fee is commensurate with the experience.

    3.Code of conduct: A professional counsellor will follow strict etiquette in terms of fees, appointments, therapy notes, scheduling and rescheduling and other such aspects. If they conduct themselves in a haphazard manner and sound so unsure of themselves that they do not inspire any confidence in you, then they are not professionals.

    4.Depth of knowledge: If you feel that your counsellor only keeps telling you common sense things and does not really tell you about aspects of your mind or emotions that you do not already know, then they may not be professionals. At the same time, if they throw a lot of technical jargon at you and are not able to break it down for you, that’s not very thorough knowledge either.

    5.Therapeutic skill: Do you feel heard and understood by the counsellor? Have you made any insights or learnt any new skills? If not, then you may not be seeing a professional counsellor. It will be pretty clear within 2 or 3 sessions whether you are being helped by the sessions or not.

    6.Clientele: As a rule, a good counsellor is a busy one and often sought after. Therefore, is your counselor’s schedule packed? Are there always appointments before and after yours? If yes, then they may be professional with a good skill set, which is why people are seeking them out.

    Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is where you got the reference of the counsellor from. Did you get from a trusted doctor or website? If yes, then you may want to give it a shot of 2 – 3 sessions to see how it feels for you. A professional counsellor should be able to make you feel heard and understood.  

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  • 04 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Reinstill the fire and get your desire

    reinstall the fire and get your desire




    Remember the time before marriage, when you were courting, or dating and you could not get enough of each other? Once you married, work, family and children took over and there is hardly any time now for each other. You are just living under the same roof and nothing else. Guess what, you can do the things below and kindle the fire all over again!


    Gifts are special gestures. Most men do not even remember anniversaries, forget giving non-occasional gifts! Therefore, make it a point to remember important anniversaries and give good gifts when they arrive, like roses, clothes and so on. Make sure to make her feel special on the special day. You can do this easily by setting reminders on your phone. Also surprise her with non-occasional gifts, and she will feel really touched and loved all over again.


    Take her out on dates. It is highly impossible to get alone time at home with children and a large family. Keep your phone away while you are with her and make her the center of your attention. Make sure to treat her with good food and drink, and of course, a sumptuous desert. Try talking to her about her importance in your life rather than mundane everyday things and work.


    Make gestures like you used to when you were dating. Give her a naughty smile from across the room in a room full of people, break out into a song for her, and send her a text sneakily during the work day. Nothing touches her heart more than the fact that you think of her all the time and want to make her feel special and loved.


    Try to take a holiday together without anyone else, if possible, even if it means a couple of days. Although family holidays with children and other members are important for bonding, you and your wife are the stronghold and you need to be the most connected. Therefore, taking some alone days helps you to understand each other and feel the love all over. Exchanging each other’s sorrows, joys and tensions helps you to bond. The physical intimacy is an added bonus.

    Helping out:

    Nothing makes a woman happier than a husband who participates in her life. Whether your wife works or manages the children, the care of the house is an additional and often tiring role she plays. Help her out with washing, cleaning, grocery shopping or taking care of the children. Not only will it lighten the load and let her know that you are there for her, but it will also help you two spend good quality time together.

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