Life is full of things that we like and dislike. Some like tea and some don’t. Some like their drink and some don’t. Life is a combination of good things and bad things, sad things and happy things. Our overall situation in life decides the quality of life we lead. It is said that one can be reasonably happy, if we have no day to day worries about money. But I have seen people who are less fortunate with money are as happy as those with money or vice versa. Money is just one of the factors. Ultimately, it depends on your attitude towards life, your ability to accept situations as they come. It is your ability to face adversities upfront and surmount them, that can make life easier, and hence happier. It is your ability to “Like”. I am sure people who like you and those you like, will improve the situation.
But to me, the most important likes and dislikes in our lives, are people. We come across many people in our life from childhood. This starts with our parents, siblings, friends, relatives, colleagues and so on. In the diagram above, the top circle and the circle on the left side are the most important people to us. The circle at the bottom is also equally important because it is in our hands, to like or dislike people. The circle on the right side is one, on which we have no control. Being happy in life is 75% in our control from what we can see in the diagram. Then are we happy in our lives? If 75% things are in our favour what can be the reasons for being unhappy? Who is to be blamed for the situation?
What can be the basis for liking or disliking people? There are no fixed formulae to decide why some things happen. I met my friend Rufus just by chance, 12 years back. He was 67 at that time and I was 57. The moment I saw him, I knew that this is the person I am going to like. We had bought a home in the colony where Rufus lived and we went to live there, that year. We just became good friends. Of course, it is not so simple in all the cases. There is a good chance that your childhood friendships may turn out in a life-long friendship but it needs to be nurtured. To “like” people is also part of nurturing.
In case of such friend’s, liking is mutual and it occupies the two “like” circles. But to like a person, you don’t have to be friends or relatives. These can be acquaintances, these can be people you meet in your daily activity, your service providers and many such people. They can be your business associates too! I have met many such people who have been meeting me in work related meetings. But we like each other. We have been discussing strongly in work related meetings, we stick to own views and points but we have always managed to keep these discussions aside, over a cuppa, once the meeting got over! Luckily there are very few people in my life who dislike me, even though, I have tried various things to change their way of thinking about me. There have been only 1 or 2 people in my case, who disliked me but it was never mutual. There can be people who may dislike you under certain circumstances. But that should be treated as part of life. One should have ability to discern that such circumstantial likes and dislikes are temporary and should be treated as such. This will help you in keeping right and bottom circles as empty as possible.
When people like you, life is full of joy. Imagine people waiting for you to join them! There can be some people who are at the opposite ends of spectrum in life. A politician and a doctor or businessman and a police officer. One may be fond liquor and another maybe a teetotaler. Someone a pure vegetarian and another maybe fond of non-vegetarian food. Since these people like each other they will get along well. It is not what you eat or drink that brings people closer. It is your personality, behaviour, you thought processes and your ethics towards life. Sometimes these thoughts match and other times they may not match; but there will be some common grounds and people will start liking each other. They will agree to disagree on certain points. Then people bond and start liking each other, more. There will be exceptions like my friend Rufus whom I liked instantly that too in late stage of life.
Friends, what can we do to reach the “circles of like”? What should we do about people whom we dislike? In this case we should analyze why we dislike these people. We should find out the real reason about the dislike. It is possible that the dislike is generated because of some misunderstanding. This can be true in the case where people dislike you. Try to remove misunderstandings. If you get an opportunity then try to discuss this aspect, one on one. In the case where people dislike you, try to find out from people close to them if they know why you are disliked? Try to find out what has really happened? In any case, try and resolve it to the best of your abilities. Ultimately, you sometimes have to be a little selfish also. If the person who dislikes is your customer, then good idea will be to resolve the issue, from the business angle, try it. Sometimes you may have to reach a decision to let go!
Friends, I have found many times that we meet some people who may be “over smart”, chances are that they will have inferiority complex in 90% cases. Don’t form opinions without knowing people well. One sure way of making people like you, is to have smile on your face, all the time. Keep your mind open to hear them out first. Especially in work, it is better to do that because then you can base your strategy based on what they are saying.
The other day, I was in a vehicle manufacturers plant. I met a business associate after a long time. He is senior to me by about 4 years. I felt energized after meeting him. Later, I met a few of the officers and they also gave me the same feedback. They said, ” He is a tough businessman. But when we have meeting with him, we feel energized after the meeting is over.” I will plan to try and achieve this in future! I go to Facebook sometimes. Mark Zuckerberg has understood the importance the concept of “like”! He tries to tell people to “Like”! We all do “Likes” in virtual world so why not in real world?