It was a quiet winter evening in December 2017. It was my 4th month in Bengaluru and at Ather. I wasn’t much of a travel freak back then, not as much as I am today. But I wanted to explore, especially because I haven’t done anything but work over the past 3 months. So, come December, I was slowly getting off of my first assignment and had some gap time. I somehow heard that Jeevan was planning to go to Kudremukh trek on one of the weekends. I didn’t know it was going to be a f*cked up experience.
So, I approached him and asked if I could join. He said okay. The following Friday, Raj, Rushi, Jeevan, Nirmala and I sat in Jeevan’s car and drove to Kudremukh. We reached there quite early at around 3 AM. We even spotted a deer on the way to the homestay. After a quick nap, I woke up and changed into my jeans and sandals. Jeevan said that it was a bad pick for trekking but I didn’t have any trek-worthy clothing or proper shoes back then.
So, we started the trek and halfway through, I twisted my ankle. Not a severe twist but enough to make me limp a bit. Determined to reach the peak, I continued the trek, limping along the way. But a while later, the jeans started to rub off with my sweaty skin. Added to that it was quite sunny out there (what else was I expecting?). A twisted ankle, even worse sandals for trekking, an irritating jeans and burning skin.
My debut trek in Bengaluru after I moved here couldn’t have been any worse. I f*cked up big time on that trek. I wasn’t completely dumb in this case because I did all the treks in Pune wearing jeans. But that was during the rainy season and anything I wore just had to get wet and stick to my body.
This time it was different and I really really f*cked it up.
A few months later, Jeevan asked me if I wanted to join him for Kumara Parvatha trek. I said I’m in. He suggested me to pick something better to wear this time, I chuckled and went back to my seat.
I went home and bought some decent shorts and decent shoes. I didn’t have as much money back then so I stuck to the essentials and invested in multi-purpose things. The following weekend, I trekked up to the mighty Kumara Parvatha. It is supposedly the toughest trek in Karnataka. But that day, it was a walk in the park for me. I found it much more comfortable than Kudremukh and completed the 28 KM trek within 12 hours.
But what the heck changed?
After I came back from Kudremukh trek, I thought about the trek again and again. The twisted ankle, burning skin, uncomfortable jeans and so on. At one point, I thought I wasn’t good enough for trekking. “I should just stick to bike trips”, I said to myself. I made a terrible choice.
Sure it was a bad choice. Not the decision to trek up the mountain but the way I did it.
Trekking up a mountain in sandals was a bad choice.
Wearing a jeans on a trek was a bad choice.
And even worse, I was focusing on the wrong thing that put me in this situation. But I am really glad I gave trekking another shot. With better shoes and shorts. I am really glad I did that because it changed my life forever.
I wouldn’t have thought about trekking again if the second one went horribly bad. That means, pretty much every travel post I wrote on this blog wouldn’t exist.
Looking back, this experience has so much to take away for my day to day life as well.
What do you do when you f*ck up something in your life.
Us humans are idiots who always put ourselves at the centre of everything. I thought my fitness sucked big time when Kudremukh trek went bad. But in reality, it was just because I made the wrong choice of footwear and attire.
Similarly, when a relationship doesn’t work out, or you suck at your job or you suck at learning something new, don’t jump into conclusion that you’re useless.
It maybe because they weren’t the right person or it wasn’t the right job for you or that subject may not be very interesting for you.
Summing It Up
So, to sum it up here’s the framework I currently use to deal with the f*ck ups in my life.
Acknowledge that it’s f*cked up
The solution to every freaking problem I have always started with acknowledging that there is a problem. If I am depressed, it doesn’t really help if I keep saying myself that I was okay. Clearly, I am not. Likewise, that Kudremukh trek was a bad experience. There is something that resulted in that experience. So there is a problem.
If I said there was no problem at all with that experience, then maybe, just maybe I would’ve done 2 or 3 more treks. But I would’ve given up very soon. So acknowledging that a problem exists, is half the problem solved.
Understand the Source & Status
The next step is to figure out the source of the problem. It was very evident in my Kudremukh trek that the shoes and attire was the problem. How did I know that? because I had definitive proof that I was fit. So fitness wasn’t the cause. It wasn’t a lack of experience, because I had been on treks before that. Maybe it was bad luck or bad timing, but holding on to those reasons wouldn’t have gotten me so far. So those two were ruled out.
That left just my ability to trek that day and that came down to how comfortable I was. Which meant I wasn’t in the proper gear.
I know many problems in life aren’t as simple to find the source of the problem. But, things like relationships are much more complicated. However, once you recognize your status, you should be able to separate the problem very quickly.
For Example: Let’s say your partner is acting crazy lately. It is either because of something that happened between you or something else. Now, has anything happened between you both?
Assessing the status should tell you if you had any fight recently. If you did, then is that fight important than you two staying together? The should give you an answer on how to deal with the situation.
Similarly, if it’s something outside of your combined personal life. Then you should ask them what happened and if possible help them walk through the solution.
That’s what I mean by understanding the source and status.
Figure Out Anchor Points
While you’re trying to the source of the problem, you’ll always end up in cross roads. In the relationship example above, the cross road is, if the fight between them was more important than them staying together. To stay together or separate out is the choice one needs to make.
The anchor point over there is, how valuable that relationship is for you. If it’s more valuable than the fight, then certainly you’ll make the right choice.
So, anchor points are the ones that help you get through such tough decisions and help you get to the solution quickly.
Give It Some Time
This is very relevant if you think you f*cked up something you started recently. Be it a job or a relationship or a startup or anything new. Starting troubles are common and necessary in whatever you start. So it is important to give the new starts enough time. This helps in your mind to adjust to the new reality and figure out how things need to be done from then on.
For example, I recently changed jobs. The nature of the job is such that I have to work late into the night. That meant I couldn’t write in the evening. It was very difficult for a couple of weeks. But I figured out that I am in this to learn something new (anchor point- supply chain management). So quitting wasn’t an option(status check) and I switched my schedule. I now write in the mornings. Although it is still troublesome, I am giving it some time to let things cool down a bit. How long? it actually depends.
Figure Out Solution
Now, after going through the above steps, you should have a fair idea of the source of the problem. Once you identify the source, you can figure out solutions very easily. Trust me, solutions are much easier than finding the source of the problem. If you still can’t, drop a comment below with your contact details and I will help you walk through the problem.
And that’s how you deal with a f*ucked up situation.
Thanks for sparing your time reading it. Hope it was worth your time.
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