By Younas Chaudhary
Growing up in Pakistan, I got tough early in life. The villagers taught me at an early age that I was a man, not a boy, and I should grow up without any negative or sensitive thoughts in life. During those days, average village folks mixed no emotions. They were quick to tell someone that they were no good and punish them for silly reasons. Family members, elders, and teachers would punish kids physically with sticks and body slams whenever they felt like it. I grew up to become numb to scorn, hurt feelings, ridicule, or failure.
This childhood training to face life in a raw fashion gave me an edge later in my life when dealing with failures or negative thoughts in life and in business. Unlike today’s overly sensitive and highly protected youngsters, I grew up tough in a society that valued chivalry over sensitivity.
I was not ashamed of being vulnerable. I expressed my feelings without hiding them. I was a straight-shooter right from childhood. That was also one of the reasons I got beat up more by elders as a youngster.
This toughness taught me that negative thoughts and emotions deplete our time and drain our resources and energy. Like others, I grew up with negative thoughts. Though as I grew older, I devised my own ways of overcoming them.
There have been several instances of failure and disappointment in my life and when faced with bitterness, this ingrained toughness helped me to remain positive, consistent, calm, and resilient.
This positive thinking further trained me to better understand the other person’s perspective and find a middle path, to create happiness, good feeling, calm and peace in my day-to-day life.
Growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Pakistan, local society had its own rules and values. You either played by those rules or you became an outcast. Boys were treated differently than the girls. Boys were taught to face tough tasks, deal with punishment, and become more hardened as they became men.
Your uncle next door could beat you up any time and your complaints were never heard. Teachers could punish you with canes and body slams and parents would not interfere because they felt that this punishment would make children grow up tougher and become better men.
Today, I am living in a different world with overly sensitive youngsters and their parents, most of whom rely on therapy to calm their minds about minor day to day issues. Things have reached a stage whereby you have to think twice before saying something mildly sensitive to today’s younger generation, otherwise, you will end up being the cause of their so-called trauma and ongoing high-cost therapy sessions!
In today’s delicate world, I feel being a little tough towards youngsters helps. This teaches vulnerability and resilience. It is much better than hiding youngsters in a protective shell whereby they become hindered by extreme sensitivity and miss learning the timely and productive decision-making skills necessary for success in our fast-paced world. Stay blessed!
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.