Inspired from one of the Best Books of 2021, our writer Somashis Gupta shares the book’s guidelines with Sayan, his neighbour, steeped in worries & uncertainties from joblessness bounded by the pandemic. Will Sayan overcome his desolation and fear by following the emotional therapy that the book offers? Can he survive the lows through the book’s influential positive outlook on tough times?
The city of joy is never more joyous than in winters, and to add to the joy this year, the mercury has dropped considerably low as early as November. Needless to say, the propensity for tea increases, adding to the charm of the season. Runu my housekeeper, brought in some freshly brewed Makaibari second flush as I just finished this amazing book called…
“Someone has come to meet you”, Runu informed.
“Who?” I asked, looking out from the window. “Oh! Its Sayan”
Sayan, my neighbour, is a charming young man. He is called the ‘Happy Prince’ amongst his friends as no one has seen him unhappy. But today, he looked different as I met him in the living room. The look of bewilderment on his face made him look ten years older. I wondered why?
“What happened? What’s wrong with you?” I asked.
He did not respond and looked distraught. I asked again. “Are you okay?”
“I have lost my job”, he responded finally.
“You will get another one, don’t worry”, I assured
“Dada, do you know the job market now? It was bad after demonetisation, and now the pandemic has destroyed it.” Sayan paused, looking disconsolate “I thought of a small start-up, but my investments….” He could not continue as I could see tears rolling down his eyes.
“I understand,” I said.
I actually did understand how his soft and trouble-free life all this while has destroyed his mental toughness. It was as if I could see the words in the book which I had just read. I was sad and decided to help. But how?
“Why don’t you try a few things?” I said
“What?” Sayan was curious
“Why don’t you try some new recipes and learn a few some self massaging techniques.”
“Will all this give me my job back?” Sayan smirked.
“No, but these small things will change the aura, which will help you to lift your energy. You need to develop mental toughness so that you can fight your current situation.” I suggested as the book advised in page 16.
He seemed reluctant, so I read a quote from the end of chapter 1 ‘Soft life Vs hard life’ in the book ‘The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken places.’ by Ernest Hemingway.
“What you need to do is embrace discomfort, embrace hardship, learn to work with the odds, make peace with uncertainties.” I continued. “Take small steps towards small achievements. This will renew your confidence.”
“So, are you trying to say I focus on myself first?” Sayan asked
“Of course, my friend, and for that, you need to take micro-steps and cherish the small achievements that will motivate you.” I referred to chapter 3 ‘Your Grit is a Muscle’
“And what are these steps?” he asked.
“You need to change your perspective. You have to train your brain to the positive zone. Life has punched you hard, do react but react positively. I was reading this brilliant book called….” I was interrupted by Runu arrival with some Makaibari and freshly made Allumettes au fromage.
“You see, in a job interview, how you stand apart from the rest will determine you are getting the job. Similarly, even in life, how we bounce back will keep us alive. Maintain your positivity and your humour. That is the key. This is what I learnt from chapter 4 from the book here.” I pointed out to the book I was reading.
Sayan looked interested now. “This book seems to have inspired you well, you keep referring to it.”
“Yes, in fact, it tells you to take the toughness test. You need to ask yourself some questions repeatedly. Your answers will help you to stand apart from the rest,” I said
“These are all good, but what are the actual steps?” Sayan asked
“See, this book is an in-depth research on not only what needs to be done but also how it can be done. It talks about various success stories of people who faced similar situations like yours. It teaches you to make life beautiful.” I was excited.
“Wow, you seem to be mesmerised with this book Dada,” Sayan winked. “What is the name of this book?”
“Nona Walia? You mean the journalist from one of the leading media houses?” Now it was Sayan who looked excited.
“Yes, it is the same, Nona Walia. She, too, went through very tough challenges, but she bounced back. In this book, she shares this experience of fighting back.”
“Wow, what is the price of this book?” Sayan asked
“Here it is.” I gave him the book.
“I am going to Sahib Para (Chaurangee area) to buy this book today.” Sayan said, taking my leave.
It was only after a week that I met Sayan again. He rushed in and said “Dada, the book really helped. I resumed my old passion –photography and guess what? One of my photographs has been selected for an international recognisation. Thank you so much for your advice.”
I was happy. Happy to see how this book, The Art of Mental Toughness changes life. ‘Thank you, Nona Walia, for your contribution to humanity; I thought to myself as I sipped my Makaibari.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.