As we run towards the finish line of our life, whatever that might be, you’ll have to decide that, there will be situations where you will have to make a split second decision of truce or fight. Conflicts run through societies on a daily basis, you might not even notice them, the negotiation with the street vendor, the talk about the new TV with your spouse, or maybe a restaurant decision with your friends. Someone somewhere will disagree and maybe not eloquently. The confrontation might be so conspicuous that you might even see the lightning bolts coming out either of your eyes. Now, what to do?
I always advocate for the foresight of conflict. Whenever you see yourself making a decision where you and someone else or others will be included, you should know there will be a chance of conflict and proper steps are to be held with. What are those steps? Well, first of all, you have to know the product, place and or opinion very well. As I’ve said before in my blogs, look within. Now look around, know your team, peers or partner. Their likes and dislikes. And accordingly plan the way you are going to put forward the proposal.
But, what if the conflict is purely opinion based? What if its about a career decision you are willing to make, but with the approval of your parents? Then its time my friend, to get ready for some free-kicks and penalties. You know, I was in the same situation, I was told to take a career path that I actually wanted to as well (it was engineering, if you’re wondering) and was prepared for. But somewhere along the line, I completely lost interest and found out that I actually was trying to just please a few and look good in their eyes and so on. The problem wasn’t that my parents weren’t supportive of my interests, but that I didn’t even inform them about my interests, they didn’t know it even existed. I’ll tell you what happened to me, maybe that’ll give you a map in a way.
I was preparing for an entrance exam and I was tired out of my mind, I had no interest in the career I was trying to hit. I could see the same in so many of my classmates as well, hiding in the shadows of suppressed thoughts. Trying to convince themselves that they want it. It was a mess that I wanted to get out of so bad. I was walking back to my place and I stopped by a supermarket. I had cash in my hand, ready to buy a chocolate. The payment line was stagnant, the owner was watching a video on YouTube, and that got me pissed. I moved out of the line and looked at the video he was watching, it was a video on the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I knew about it, even the channel he was watching it on. I asked about it. He replied that he liked watching videos like that, helped him get better at services for his customers. He quickly finished the the queue and the people left and him and I talked about business and interests for a while, about an hour. He asked if I wanted the path I took, I said no, clearly not. He advised me to talk about it with my father, I wouldn’t have been convinced to, but after he told me his story of being an owner of a huge supermarket, how he got to where he was. A spark lit in me. I ran back home, texted my dad, I told him everything, and there was a bit of disagreement, after all, it was sudden change in the wind.
After a long talk on phone, my nerves being on high and brain being full of dilemma. He agreed to get me back home. The next day I left for the classes, but rather I actually went out to eat, alone, in a deserted restaurant. I was at peace. Trekking back, I went to the same supermarket and thanked the owner for the advice, he was happy for me and wished me a good life. I gave him a hug and jubilantly ran back. The next day I was at home and things weren’t the same ever.
It wasn’t that easy as it might seem, I actually had never dared to disagree on matters. But now, I speak what I think. That’s how you know the right or wrong. I, no doubt had thought that maybe changing my career would hurt my family’s feelings, but coincidentally, I heard a talk of Gary Vaynerchuk, he said that people go where there parents want, their community wants, the relative they don’t even like wants and after 7 years of endless grinding on the path. He/she gets the job or place and they are unhappy, resenting their parents, as to why they had them take this or that. Its better to have them a bit disappointed for 7 years and then live with them, spend good time with them and be happy for the years to come.
If you are a student, I’d say, speak your mind, don’t fear the conflict, but be really careful of the path you are about to take, the risk factor and all, its a long road ahead. Maybe your family won’t like the idea, maybe they won’t support you as much, but save yourself from the resentment that so many in today’s world face. It’ll creep in from unexpected directions. When you are happy and content, that’s when you make people around you happy and cherish you. They’ll be happy that you are happy. Don’t skip conflict for momentary relief, it will come, the more you delay it, the more weight it’ll carry and the more difficult it will be to solve it. You’ll probably won’t solve it as it’ll seem late and you’ll die full of regrets and resentment. I don’t want to be that man, what about you?
“Regret is poison.” – Gary Vaynerchuk