If you read the title, it might have reminded u of maths.

If you read the next line description, it might look as if I am going to share a magic formula for life. Well, in reality, its neither. Its my own experience and learnings that I am sharing here. hope it works for you all.

One of the most popular ways that I start my motivational talks is with a simple question. This is how it goes “Among all of you please let me know who all have at least one problem in your life.  If you have at least one problem, however trivial it might be, please raise your right hand. ” Gradually everyone starts ruminating about their lives and the hands start going up. Within no time almost everyone has raised their hand and then I ask them a follow up question – “Now just imagine if the right hand which you are holding up is no longer there. You don’t have that hand anymore. You  are disabled. You have to live your life without that right hand. Now reflect back on that same problem which made you raise your hand. Is it a problem really worth losing sleep on? Is that worth even being called a problem, or would term is as ‘minor inconvenience’. If not, then still keep ur hand raised. The hands go down within no time.

So the story today is very simple – We take things for granted. We take our lives for granted. Till one fine day when we realise our mistake. For me that moment was last Saturday (Jul 30th) when I fell from my bicycle  and injured my left hand, had a hairline fracture that required me to have a cast and suddenly my life was transformed from an active fitness enthusiast to a partially disabled person

The transformation was quick and drastic. I got the plaster done on Saturday evening and had a troubled night. Could not get sleep all night. Maybe it was not the cast itself, but the psychological fact of feeling disabled that disturbed me. First thing in the morning, reality struck that my life will not be the same at least for a few days. Getting up from the loo pulling up the pants wasn’t easy as I could not use my left thumb.

Then came the challenge of brushing my teeth – Ever tried to squeeze the toothpaste from the tube just with your index and middle fingers? As I walked out of the bathroom and picked up my phone I realised that I need to get used to one hand typing.  This was a unique way to get into digital detox, I thought !!

Could not wear my watch in the left hand, had to wear in the right (it looks cool, try it some time), but putting it in the right hand was a pain. Mom saw me struggle as she walked into the room and made me wear it, as if tying a rakhi !

Now as the day progressed, many new discoveries happened on what all can be a challenge with just a simple hairline fracture in left hand. Could not life anything heavy, had to drive the car using left hand to change gears mostly, etc. 

Thus the Minus One Principle was born. The principle says – If you have problem with anything or anyone, just imagine – is the problem fine, or you would be better off without that thing or person itself (hence the name Minus One) – if the answer is yes, then please detach/separate. If not, just live with it.

Lets look at some examples:

  • You have a problem with your sibling? he/she troubles you a lot, spoils your stuff, borrows ur items, does not do what you tell him/her to do, etc. etc. – Just observe how lonely a single child feels.
  • You have a problem with your boss- just imagine life of an entrepreneur- he has no boss and hence no salary, he has no one to complain to.
  • You have problem with your company and not happy about the increment – ask an unemployed how he feels.
  • If you have problem with your spouse as he does not listen to you – meet a widow/widower 
  • If you have problem with the way the food tastes today – ask someone who is still looking for a meal of any sorts.
  • If you have a problem with your room/house and the way its been made – observe how the homeless live.

And so on – the list is endless. honestly. Just imagine it not being there at all and you will have put an abrupt end to your misery.

And yes, the second part is also true, if you are in a caustic relationship and you really feel you are better off without it, then do not spend too much time deliberating it. Think hard, think deep, but take the decision swiftly. And OWN UP on it. No Regrets subsequently. Look at the brighter side of every decision, once you have taken the step. No one can drive a car looking at the rearview mirror. Would just end with this unnamed quote that I had read as a child. I loved it so much that I wrote it in my diary:

I cribbed because I had no shoes, till I saw a man who had no feet.