I am ok because you are not ok

September 24, 2015, Chennai

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Imagine a situation where you lose about Rs 5 Lakh in the stock market.  What would be your immediate reaction? For most human beings the whole mind goes into turmoil, it becomes blank and one feels too bad. One of the first actions that generally happen is that you create a Story of this incident.

A Sad Story which you are happy to share with anyone and everyone. So more than doing anything about the loss, you would like to share this story with everyone concerned or not concerned, this creates a kind of satisfaction.

 I am ok because you are not ok

We all carry so many sad stories of the Past that we are too happy and comfortable to share it around. Rarely people share happy stories, but there is a competition to share sad stories though. You might have 31 strong teeth, but how is it your mind remembers more the one tooth that has fallen off. This is human nature.  Now let us see practically what happens from here on.
You are walking down the street and suddenly you happen to spot a long last friend. You are so happy, one more friend who has not heard your latest sad story.  He happens to wish and ask a very wrong question: How are you?
You take him to the corner of the street and just start off on how you lost Rs 5 lakh in the stock market.  As he is hearing to your story, his hand starts to become heavy holding the cake, which he is taking for his marriage anniversary.  The smiling guy that he was starts now to become sad. He is lost in his own mood, the smile having disappeared.  You wonder why he is sad.  You do not know that people generally are sad for themselves.

When you go to the cremation ground almost everyone is sad, it is not so much for the person who has departed but each one is thinking when will their turn come and feel sad about it.
Now your friend has become sad because your story triggers an emotion of his losses and his sad stories. Now he says after listening to your Rs 5 lakh story, "Hey your losses are Ok", you scream blue murder  

"What! losses ok", then he says, " Yes, because he had lost Rs 12 lakh in a wrong investment".
The moment you hear that he has lost Rs 12 lakh and you only Rs 5 lakh, you are already happy and comfortable.  Your loss seems too small compared to his.  You have no problem now at all.
Now you become his financial adviser and advise him of how he should not commit big mistakes in life. Poor guy has to listen because his losses are bigger than yours anyway.  Seeing him sad, you tell him, do not worry; I have a good solution to your problem.  Come with me, and you both go and meet another of your friend.  Now you tell your new friend that you lost Rs 5 lakh and your friend has lost Rs 12 lakh.  On hearing this, your new friend becomes sadder and says that you both are lucky because in a property transaction he lost about Rs 20 lakh.   On hearing this you look at your friend's face who has lost Rs 12 lakh and he seems to be very happy because he suddenly found someone who has lost more than him. This way the story continues, you always become Ok when someone is not too Ok. Think about this….

Action Points:

Drop the stories of the past they are just a heavy burden.

Have an agreement with yourself to listen to positive empowering talks rather than negative.

If you have a choice, just walk away from anyone speaking negative.

Just because others are not OK does not mean you should be not fine.

You may write to us at info@themoneyworkshop.com.

Suresh Padmanabhan
Author of I LOVE MONEY

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