The 'Hao' Attitude
By- Neelam Birthare
[* the amazing and lively people of Indore who are the actual -creators, practitioners, followers and promoters of the Hao philosophy. *]
A special thanks to my buddy Sourav Karwa, whose support and review helped me to express everything in a better way.
Keep calm and keep reading
The fiction is an author’s genuine attempt to express her ideas to you by a unique and different style of writing. The aim is to come closer to the reader’s mind and develop a shared meaning. Since, communication is a two-way process, your feedbacks, reviews and evaluation will be appreciated and really holds a great value. We would love to hear from you, e-mail [email protected] .
[_ #_ Chapter 1: Introduction _]
[_ #_ Chapter 2: Hao- the attitude of Ignorance _]
[_ #_ Chapter 3: Hao- the attitude of Courage _]
[_ #_ Chapter 4: Hao- the attitude of informality _]
[_ #_ Chapter 5: Hao- the attitude of wittiness _]
[_ #_ Chapter 6: The Gist- essence of Hao-logy _]
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all have heard, read and in fact; at times practiced many beautiful life changing quotes. So many books on motivation, self-help, self-improvement, self-management, positive psychology and attitude towards life exist in a modern reader’s world. We are lucky that we have all the worldly wisdom and knowledge coming from great classic sources like the Aristotle to the contemporary legends like A.P.J Abdul kalam well preserved in our libraries. They are solely made for those intellectual sapiosexual minds whose hunger for knowledge, self-awareness and the search for a sense of meaning are commendable.
Isn’t it a beauty of written communication that the actual sense of anything is created within the mind of the reader? It is the interpretation made by the sensible reader which adds so much of meaning and value to a few words written from the other side. The writer writes a story but the reader does the decisive job of reading things between the lines.
Anyways my purpose of writing this so called book is not to appreciate the bond and relationship which we are going to establish by this platform but my first intend is to share with you what the hell is this Hao attitude- a new fever in the young what-app /fb generation? Is it a naive flavor in the market? A viral idea? A psychological disorder?
So, before we proceed towards understanding the concept of “Hao-logy” I need to make a kind request. This stuff is for those who are non-judgmental at least to some extent, open-minded, visionaries, creativity lovers and those who are fond of living
If you are stereotypical, orthodox, and rigid or may be too settled to dare to experiment, I suppose it would be difficult to relate with Hao- bajji. The Hao-logy is written for those who have experienced the invisible fact that your heart has a mind of its own and your mind has a heart of its own. Human life is full of philosophies, beliefs, values and ideas. Accepting a new idea can bring a change in our outlook and if not any change than at least a modest awareness.
Psychology defines attitude as a predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person or situation. In simple words it is a settled way of thinking or feeling about anything thus making an impact on our choice of action. The favorable or unfavorable notion which we create about any person, place, thing etc depends upon our attitude towards them.
Philosophy is the aesthetic and mysterious art which talks about the theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior. Philosophy is the mother of psychology; psychology which is the scientific study of human behavior was derived from philosophy. Human behavior is such a vast and complicated subject that merely anything and everything related to our lives can be accommodated in it.
The Hao attitude is more or less a distant cousin of positive attitude, warrior attitude, minimalist philosophy, hippy living etc etc. It is an ideology- a simple way of living, an innovative way of thinking, a creative outlook towards life. If you are able to relate with it you will call it delightful, if you cannot connect with it, it is an obvious blunder. So, my Hao attitude says to try my best to share the true magic of the Hao-concept but be mentally prepared for the worst and thus I call it as a story full of blunders, havocs and nonsense.
Before we begin the chapter on hao attitude, first let’s imbibe the importance of ideology in our mind.
In very short and simple terms, our opinion and beliefs play a crucial role in formulation of our personality. Our personality is nothing but our individuality. Individuality is all about a person’s beliefs, attitude, thoughts, feelings, values, motives, and outlook. It includes everything from his self concept to his thoughts about XYZ subject, from his physical appearance to his unconscious motives, from his past experiences to his future aspirations. My individuality matters for me because it gives a deep meaning to my existence. Highly practiced psychological framework; Cognitive Behavior theory says thoughts are very important, they affect the way we act and feel. David D. Burns in his fabulous book on cognitive therapy- “Feeling good” explains that our thoughts give rise to our emotions. To be more specific- thoughts, actions and emotions impact each other simultaneously. My thoughts will influence my emotions, my emotions will influence my deeds, my deeds will influence the way I feel and think. Just like a relay race where the performance of one runner affects the overall group performance.
With the advent of time we become what we continuously strive for and hence attitude matters. The attitude which we carry will affect all the definitions, meanings, interpretation we are going to give to our situations, surrounding and even to our own individuality. Our reaction towards the outer world is a reflection of the situation within our inner self. World appears a happy place when you are happy and the same planet becomes a tragic place the day you feel sad.
“We don’t see Things as they are; we see them as we are”.
Every place has its own USP; a unique trait which becomes its identity. In the language of art one can say it as a beautiful personification of a particular city. Psychology is in the air of human existence; we not only define people on the basis of their positive or negative qualities but we don’t even spare cities, routes, monuments and other living beings. As if human were born to give meaning to every creation of God. Our brain works constantly in a restless fashion, hungry to define everything it sees, tastes, smells, touches or feels.
Beginning with the incredible India were states and cities are recognized with their unique identities such as Uttarakhand- Dev Bhumi (Land of the Gods) , Madhya Pradesh- the heart of India, Andhra Pradesh- the rice bowl of India, Udaipur- Venice of East, Mussorrie- the queen of hills. This USP giving idea is not restricted to Indian cities only we all know how New York, Paris, Milan and London- are identified as the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world.
A city in India, to be specific in Madhya Pradesh; identified with - 0731, MP 09, Poha jalebi (a combination of two dishes best served in the city), Rajwada, Lalbagh,Bada Ganapati (heritage monuments) . I am talking about Indore- the mother of Hao attitude. The birthplace of my favorite Bollywood star; the 100 crores fame celebrity, the one who rules millions of Indian hearts- Salman Khan. It is here were the hao attitude is originated.
Hao is a word of Hindi language rather it is a regional slang particular to the city of Indore. We all know how differently yes is said in English language- yaa, yeah, yup, yoo, okay, k… are some of its basic versions. In Hindi the literal word for yes is Haan and Hao is a slang synonym of Haan but it is far more different than other synonyms of yes.
It is not a simple synonym. If we start considering Hao as a replacement of yes we are basically underestimating the potential and power of this 3 letter word- Hao. Hao is like our superman, it is similar to many gallant characters played by our Salman khan. If you don’t know who is Salman you may compare our Hao with Vin diesel; the handsome, dashing Hollywood star.
Considering Hao as superman for a while, if you go by the superficial looks, he seems like a man well groomed and dressed fancily in that blue-red shinning suit. At this point, the very moment when you accepted him as a fancily dressed dude you underestimate all his supernatural powers, abilities and capacities. Problem with generalization is it results in overlooking of many subtle yet valuable aspects. Generalization is not good for the health of the society; it brings judgmental rigidity with it. Intelligent people formulate a perception but not a much generalized perception; after all they are intellectual people and not birds of a feather meant to flock together.
The Hao attitude doesn’t mean the attitude to say ‘yes’ to every situation, not at all. It is a wrong interpretation; generalization of the term rather only a narrow-view of it. It can be a dimension of it but if one observes closely and understand the insight behind it, one will be amazed to see the way in which the magical word ‘hao’ is used in varied situations, applied on different people and circumstances. The word Hao is used and depicted so differently that its understanding is equally poles apart. Hao altogether changes the meaning of anything. It is a small little word, which people use without even a sense of awareness of its potential. The way we may apply this word in our life and the benefits which we can earn out of it makes it so unique.
Hao- a layman word; which superficially appears so trivial as if it is meant to be underestimated by the kings of vocabulary and language expertise .If observed and analyzed closely with an innovative bend of mind becomes a concept , an ideology and a philosophy. A beautiful quote says there is nothing uninteresting; there are only uninterested people. Thus the understanding and application part of ‘Hao’ depends on the impression it makes in our minds, the emotion it creates in our hearts, the interest it generates in our senses and the way it touches our soul.
Chapter 2: Hao- the attitude of ignorance
Hao – used in so many ways by a typical citizen of Indore- the mango man – Bhiyaaa Indoriie. One of the most famous usage and applied part of Hao is to depict your indifference. Hao is at times used to express your lack of interest. When you wish to express an ‘I don’t care attitude’ to something said, you use Hao.
Being an Indoriee and saying Hao to something might actually mean that I respect you as a person, you are valuable to me and that’s why I gave my kind attention to you, I listened to you but what you said; the story you just shared, the idea you communicated is of no relevance to me. It is fake, false or may be too shallow to focus on and so I am saying “hao”.
While the entire world and all the sensible people on earth talk about awareness, pro-activity, agility, vigilance, go-get-it attitude; am I an insane lady who is asking you to practice the attitude of ignorance?
Ignorance which means to avoid something, a kind of denial to face a certain thing in itself sounds so negative. It requests you to remain passive. It seems like a weird idea superficially, we are not zombies who are supposed to live a lifeless life but what if we give a more insightful meaning to the same. Suppose if Hao means an attitude to ignore and if we start practicing it. If you are the sweet innocent girl in the college; give a Hao attitude to the cheap guy who just broke your heart and started running behind some other girl. If you are a dedicated, hardworking employee carry a Hao attitude towards the office politics, rumors and the grapevine going behind your desk. Gift a Hao attitude by your smiling face to the neighbor who tried to defame you in the last society meeting, If you are a student preparing for an entrance give a Hao attitude to the fear of failure. Facing predicaments in life, feeling depressed since long, you need to give a Hao attitude to your own self; the wrong self-concept which you have created within your mind about your inner-self. You are not meant to remain sad, monotonous, depressed. Learn to take yourself lightly, release the baggage of those emotions which are burdening you. Even a small attempt can make a big difference.
The aunt who lives near to my home is a cute caring lady, she loves me like her own child, and at times she cooks palatable dishes for me. I love her for the understanding and the bond which we share. One fine day she came to my home- with those tasty home-made aunty trademark cookies; the cookies were as awesome as the heart of Jose aunty while me and my cousin were lost in the delectable taste of those cookies she started to share the story of a neighborhood girl, who is having an affair with a near-by guy. Although the entire story shared by her sounds like Sham has a cow, Ram has a buffalo, one fine day one buffalo said moo to another buffalo, the other buffalo replied with a bigger moooo out of anger and than their life became moo-moo. I mean the discussion was sheer nonsense, a meaningless time-killer. The gang of women which settled at my place to enjoy the home-made cookies began to give character certificate to the people around as if they have never committed any mistake in their life, the flawless super humans. These iron ladies are absurdly blind to their own faults but they can identify even microscopic flaws of others. It depends on me to relish those cookies and indulge myself in character certification ceremony: the best way to kill my time, energy and emotions in gossiping or to bring a change simply by using my Hao attitude. Here I am expected to follow the life-saving principle of “ignorance is bliss”.
If I choose not to entertain the gossiping drama and end the story by being a bit reluctant to it- generalizing it as hao, things are changing with time and bringing the attention of my group to something positive, something useful- may be the recipe of the cookie. I simply used my Hao attitude smartly in order to divert the attention of the group on something more meaningful. It was a usage of Hao-bajji in a polite diplomatic way. Doesn’t that affect us more? The gossip may not bring any change in our life but learning to cook something new can bring smiles on the faces of our family members, encourage some of us and their cooking skills, motivate some of us to try something new. Gossiping is like a necessary evil. In fact it is a part and parcel of every aspect of life be it office, home, social circles or interpersonal relations. It is important to gossip too; for it helps to ventilate our emotions but it should not be given more attention than required. Let us just respect it as a way of ventilating and emotional vomiting. Gossips are to be heard, ignored and forgotten. Our focus should always be on something life changing, something positive or anything that is making an actual difference in our life. Day in and day out we face many such situations in our life because of our surroundings. Sometimes in office, sometimes in classroom, at times even with our spouse. It is good for our mental well-being if we learn to ignore the unnecessary things and focus on what really matters. Tony Robbins rightly said, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
The key to self-orientation is nothing but Hao; the attitude of ignoring the irrelevant and focusing on priorities. A successful man is the average man who is goal-oriented, focused on the right things. I love the way one of my elegant and a dynamic friend; an HR professional of a reputed IT firm describes it. She says; focusing is defocusing from all the rest, but focus. In order to remain focused, one has to adapt to ignore the insignificant and trivial things happening around us. If I keep on giving importance to everything happening around me, my attention will be diverted; Chances are I might miss on something which is urgent and important just because I was engrossed in everything. If I involve myself everywhere I will reach nowhere.
After such examples, ignorance doesn’t really sound as bad as we initially perceived it because now we are relating ourselves not with the literal word but the hidden meaning. Of course it hasn’t brought a complete paradigm shift in us but at least gave a new perspective.
Someone has written it so smartly “Weak people believe in revenge, strong people believe in forgiving and intelligent people believe in ignoring”. You cannot master everything, it becomes essential to identify your passion, ignore the rest and work on the same.
The first lesson of the Hao philosophy is learning the art of ignoring and becoming tactful enough to deny something in a polite ,positive and yet assertive ways.
Chapter 3: Hao- the attitude of Courage
We had an induction program in our college for our juniors, every year seniors from all branches organize an orientation program for the newcomers. Belonging to the niche of management students most of my batch mates had a knack of managing things. The program was conducted successfully. It was a grand function; we all were so exhausted as if we want to rest on each other’s shoulder for the rest of our life but such a privilege was not available to us because we have to clean the auditorium for the next group of students within 2 hours.
When we started, majority of crowd was excited about the function but after the formal program and informal dance-party blast; only a few seniors accompanied by some juniors were left in the hall. It’s time to clean the left over filth and all of us were feeling tired and reluctant about it. Our class representative screamed loudly- C’mon guys! Let’s clean the stage! Make it fast!
I saw none but a fragile guy coming enthusiastically from the far corner of the hall. He was the only person who stood up first and took the initiative. As soon as my eyes stopped at him, they got stuck at him. He is the same physically challenged guy, struggling with arthritis since childhood whom I met last morning. I was amazed to see his will power and the inner strength. The way he came downstairs gave a feel as if he is a one man army who can clean the entire stage in a flash of second. An olive green attitude; carried by the soldiers of the great Indian army. They believe in service before self. His attitude was so liberal as if he is born to follow his heart. The guy is now placed in a multinational company, one of the ‘Big four’ firms of the world. The news of his placement was no surprise to me; the guy with that kind of attitude can crack any interview, face any challenge and cross any limit.
It requires a lot of guts to accept things as they are; whether it is a personal-life situation, professional predicaments, business scenarios or anything else. Most of the time; a majority of us live a life full of false perceptions. Illusions and delusions are of varied types, these false believes may arise out of fear of failure, fear of uncertainty, sense of insecurity, fear of loss, fear of society- when there is a conflict between your personal belief system and the societal norms. There can be n no of reasons which makes us more conscious and concerned as the intensity of our fears increases we become more anxious, demotivated, disoriented and depressed.
There was a young marketing executive in an office; he worked very hard. He was very competent, dedicatedly he completed all his targets and his dogged attitude towards his work at such a young age became a subject of awe in the organization. Now comes the villain of the story, his boss was a lady of dominant authoritative attitude. She believed in the old conventional ideas of micromanagement, she felt people are lazy by heart and you cannot expect 100% commitment unless you generate a sense of fear and insecurity amidst employs. This was ideally very different from what modern workplace culture calls as healthy competition.
With the passage of time; her interference began more and more. She started scaring the young employee using the name of big shots of the organization. There were no incidents of appreciation, every time he was warned to remain careful else he might have to suffer. As a result the young boy who was quite dedicated and enthusiastic at the beginning began to lose his interest in his work; his focus was forcefully diverted on those illusions which don’t even exist. In a nutshell his morale was down and a negative perception about the organization was formulated, finally one fine day he left. The boss was shocked because as per her she implemented the right strategy, the young guy was equally sad for he gave his best but the end result was a loss-loss situation. Many a times this happens in life were the end results are not as per the desire of any of the parties. We fail to understand the other side, we deny accepting the relative reality, or one may merely lack the courage to bear the consequences.
In the entire case; what is the role of Hao. Can Hao be implemented in such a situation as well? Hao is a superman; that is how we introduced it but the Hao attitude cannot be implemented unless the person applying it is fully aware of which aspect of the same is to be implemented. The Hao attitude symbolizes an out of the box thinking. It involves different ways of dealing with different situation.
Another dimension of I don’t give it a damn attitude of the Hao philosophy is the hedonistic view towards life. Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates held the idea that pleasure is the highest good. Ethical hedonism holds the view that people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the maximum amount of pleasure possible to them. The definition of pleasure varies from person to person and so are its sources. Some of us derive pleasure from our work; others via family, another group of people accomplish it through friends and social circles, people follow their passion- they travel, learn, dance, sing, collect coins etc. Even twins born to the same parents have different tastes while one is an introvert the other is an extrovert thus what brings happiness in a person’s life is a subjective matter.
The Hao attitude is closely related to the positive aspects of ethical hedonism- do as you please, but without harming others.
Firstly we learned to ignore the irrelevant, now we are moving to the next stage of self-improvement i.e. learning to accept things as they are. Be it a truth or a lie, genuine or manipulated; Hao attitude talks about the courage to deal with the situation in its raw mode.
Had the young employee developed the attitude of ignoring the irrelevant, followed by practicing the attitude of accepting the situation as it is with courage, the end result would have been different. He was too conscious about the consequences. The thoughts about the end result lead to development of phobia.
In a typical Indorian context; when I use Hao for a particular situation, I mean- dude, I am not scared; let the things happen. I am smart enough to face the challenges when they come to me. I am not going to waste my present worrying about the future or contemplating on the past. The only thing that can be controlled is my present and I am doing so.
Maya Angelou quotes, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
The second fundamental of the Hao philosophy talks about being a hippy at heart, which means you may not necessarily bind yourselves to a particular already established social customs, norms or scenarios. You are not restricted yourself; the horses of your mind are free to move in any direction. You choose to remain a liberal, logical mind that is open to experimenting things, based on your experiences and by using your own wisdom you define things for yourself as right and wrong. The Hao mentality doesn’t forces anybody to be a social conformist. Accepting a practice just because others are doing it is a technical crime against self-identity.
Every individual has his own life, his own management style, his personal experience and understanding of the world then choosing to be a blind follower is like disrespecting the core of life which God has gifted to us. The point is beyond stereotypical thinking there is a liberal world full of possibilities.
In the words of George S. Patton – Do your duty as you see it, and damn the consequences. Life expects us to make bold moves; for everything cannot be achieved from a safe harbor. A person who denies following his heart will definitely end up with having a heart full of remorse and regret at the end. It is easily said than done but once we learn to develop the Hao- attitude of courage towards life we learn to enjoy every challenge as the Hao attitude has already transformed our perception, we look at it as a new opportunity. The attitude of courage relates closely with the motto of U.S. Navy seals- “the only easy day was yesterday.”
Please don’t assume that all the citizens of Indore are as trained and learned as the talented forces of U.S. Navy or the Indian Army. People here are very down to earth, they are as ordinary as you and me; struggling with needs and demands of daily life but some of us are equipped enough to use the attitude of courage, the ability to follow heart without fear in a subconscious manner. If you find someone standing in the city bus, holding the pole since last 45 minutes; balancing himself amidst those push and pull of laws of motion while his journey. In spite of all that inertia he still holds a beautiful smile on his face, focusing on the soothing music coming from his headphones- well; then you have caught the right man, the guy with a Hao attitude towards the daily hassles, the courage to face everything with elegance and simplicity.
The Hao principle of courage is nothing more than boosting your self-confidence. Trust is the most valuable gift which we can give not only to others but to our individuality too. The people who dare to trust themselves carry the right problem solving attitude required to face any challenge.
The General Manager of one of the finest HR service provider consultancy of the world (name not disclosed) in our city is a marvelous lady. She seems like an artist, her understanding of the psyche of the people is so shrewd that she has mastered the art of dealing with different categories of people in the most competent and pleasing way. She carries her own charm, the employs who work under her says she is a true leader responsible for the team-spirit which they possess. When I first met her, my perspective about her was this lady lacks nothing in life. She is a beauty with intellect, money, power and a great social presence. When we started spending time with each other I realized the grass is not that green. She has faced and still facing so much of turmoil in her personal life. After all it is still not easy to survive as a single parent in India. Divorce in our society is a big deal but the best part about this charming lady is she never let the dilemmas of her personal life appear on her face. I have not seen any regret, sadness in her. She was as enthusiastic as a teenager ready to fly high and win the world.
Once she told me I love the idea of Rhonda Byrne- the Secrets: Ask-Believe- Receive. One has to stay strong in order to grow. Self confidence is the key to success. Darwin’s principle of survival of the fittest is applicable on humans too. You cannot win a battle without struggling hard for it. We are Indoriee ; Hao attitude toh rakhna hi padega. Life is not a fairy-tale my dear. (Being Indoriee, you have to keep that hao attitude)
The hao- attitude is about being olive green at heart, being bold, being strong, and being you. Respect your individuality as if you are a warrior of your life. The best part about the people with high self -esteem is they not only respect themselves but have great reverence for others too, they don’t believe in disrespecting or undervaluing others. They are busy building themselves. If you find someone living with a superiority complex; taunting others, criticizing the world and nagging all the time, pity them, have sympathy for them. The person is emotionally challenged; the root cause of superiority complex is somewhere hidden in the sense of inferiority hidden within my personality. Truth is I am struggling everyday within myself and my inner insecurity is forcing me to find flaws and negatives in others. The next time you meet such a person who underestimates you; donate a hao attitude by your love, smile and inner peace.
To conclude the second applied aspect of hao-logy, here is a wonderful quote written by William Faulkner- “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Chapter 4: Hao: the attitude of Informality
Since Hao is a typical slang word, you cannot use it in office or in formal communication. People might feel offended; as the normal literal meaning of Hao is obviously only a Yes in a casual manner.
There is another side of the picture. English is a clear- cut language, there are rarely biases. You will remain you, whether you are 80 year old man 50 years elder than me or a 10 year old cute girl, 20 years younger to me. If I call you as you, you won’t feel offended but unfortunately this is not the case with Hindi.
My salutation for you will change as per the respect I have for you, consideration of age, position, power and most importantly the relationship which we share. In Hindi we have three forms of you namely Ap, Tum and Tu.
Ap is basically for the elders and mostly used in formal communication. Ap symbolize respect and it clearly indicates that our relationship holds a reserved outlook. Of course there are cultural variations depending on the region where you reside.
Tum is a slight informal; can be used with same age group let’s say acquaintance, classmates etc. Tu is a bit complicated for it has dual meanings and the meaning might change depending on the region to which you belong. Tu is a hard core informal term. Tu is used for people younger than you. It is at times used in a derogatory sense and so in certain regions it is completely avoided because it is not considered as cultured or sophisticated.
Coming to Indore; Tu has a different meaning- here Tu represents a sense of personal touch. If you are close to my heart, someone I trust, where our relationship is beyond formalities, we share a bond of love and the respect which we hold for each other is not depicted in our words but in our actions then there is a probability that I may call you as TU.
Wait a minute; we were talking about Hao, what the hell this epic of Tu doing in this context. Are we here to learn hindi?
No, there is a correlation between Tu and Hao; just like Tu, the third aspect of hao attitude also brings a flavor of personal touch, informality and stronger bonding in our interpersonal relationships.
Eric Berne in his most famous book “Games People Play” talks about a variety of roles which people play in their life. People play mind games to prove that they are correct and satiate their ego.
Mind games are nothing but a sense of the struggle for prestige. Sometimes people lose their integrity and wisdom just to prove that they are correct. The diabolic side of pampering ego is so lethal that a person fails to understand what is right and what is wrong.
I really appreciate this quote once I read on facebook shared by one of my friend; it reads as- relationships never die a natural death; they are often brutally murdered by ego, attitude or indifference. Instead of cooperation and coordination when domination and competition comes in the panorama of interpersonal relationships, there true essence is dismantled.
Importance of a “Game-free” life in relationships cannot be underestimated. So the Hao- attitude asks you to stop playing candy crush and annoying the world by sending those game requests on social networks. Okay..Jokes apart but Game-free life means living a life of originality.
When we give our best and remain genuine and transparent in our relationships. There is no need of manipulation, diplomacy or fakeness if it is a true bond. A true relationship is about commitment, passion and companionship which are beyond formality. A true relationship starts with friendship, friends may insult each other, mock at each other, play pranks but inside their heart they hold a great respect for the other. Respect is nothing but a form of love.
Hao, being an informal word; a slang derived from a layman world is simple, silly yet so meaningful. If I maintain the hao attitude of being informal in my personal relationships chances are I will have a better life. Informality is openness in communication, I share what I feel, think, believe. Most of the problems are caused because of lack of understanding, lack of communication, miscommunication and of course assumptions.
How beautifully Jerry Belson shared this insightful thought which he heard once in a typewriter repair class- “Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.”
Assumption is a murderer, how easily it can kill all the positivity which people create in so many years. Being informal doesn’t mean that we won’t respect each other but it is about being accepting towards each other. In order to share yourself, you have to cross a certain self-created limitations of ego.
An MBBS friend of mine, once shared this heart-touching story, they had this man in their hospital. He was a 62 year old rich reputed industrialist of the society admitted because of high blood pressure and cardiac issues. All the doctors, nurses even the ward boys wanted him to get well soon as he was an earthquake of their life. He was very frustrated, he did not allow any of his family members to stay back with him in the hospital, the family members were upset about it but they had no clue ;how to tame down the anger of this old man. He screamed on the nurses on duty complaining about one thing or the other. He refused to take medicines on time, behaving like a spoiled brat at the age of 62. Handling him was like dealing with a living nightmare.
One morning a female cleaner jumped into her ward; she was a 22 year old young girl who came to render her service on behalf of her sick mother. The man started to scream on her and then a shock came in his life which transformed his behavior. The young little girl asked the man to shut-up and behave properly. She literally scolded him as if he is a baby. While all the doctors and nurses pampered his ego, the girl was a sheer contrast when she reprimanded him for not taking medicines on time and being so irresponsible.
The old man has started to take medicines on time, he remains calm, he doesn’t complain at all now and he smiles at the ward boy. His health is improving; when my MBBS friend asked him the reason behind this drastic change, he shared the incident about the young cleaner girl. She reminded him of the old days, the girl was just like his mother- soft, humble and caring at heart; raw, harsh and blunt with words. She was responsible for this realization that his behavior is self-destructive. She corrected him like his own mother without any fear. He felt loved and so he decided to change.
The power of honesty is not accepted by the modern tech-savvy man; it is not our fault because we see so many scandals around. Since childhood we are taught that outside world is not good, as we grow up we see people benefiting from those short-tricks and manipulative behavior but in a long run, it is an honest man who lives a satisfied life with a great sense of self-esteem.
The people who practice the Hao attitude in their interpersonal relationships believe; there is no need to remain cunning all the time, simplicity, sincerity and innocence has a unique charm of its own. This is the toughest aspect of the Hao attitude because to implement simplicity, originality and transparency is a very huge task.
Another beautiful side of informality is the element of empathy which it adds in our life. Formal communication doesn’t allow us to look at the humane side of human life. It is by its nature rigid and objective. Formal communication allows us to know a person superficially; it is the informal communication which helps to know a person deeply. It is only by informality that we can come close to other’s heart. W.B. Yeats in his lovely poetry says, Hearts are not had as a gift, Hearts are earned.
Informality provides the opportunity to win the other person by adding empathy, compassion and amiability in our lives. Everyone cannot afford to be empathetic because practicing empathy requires higher level of sensitivity, sensibility and emotional maturity.
People are so lost in their own personal life, ambitions, work that they don’t have the patience and time to pay heed at the other person’s problem. A majority of human population has no time to focus on the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Forget about others, some of us have no time to think about themselves. They do not introspect; indulge in substance abuse and other addiction. Isn’t it unintelligent to think that the guy who could not understand his own issues will understand your problems?
Everyone is a bit lonely in this big world; there are more number of broken homes, more old-age homes, greater number of psychological issues with children, adults and teens.
The soft side of Hao attitude focuses on being empathetic. Practicing Hao-logy means being a bit considerate about the needs of others. The people with genuine Hao attitude are very soft at heart; they may appear hard from outside but hold a very affectionate personality within.
My childhood friend was quite frustrated from her office ambience; she recently started working at a new place. Everything was good, she had a nice mentor, good salary, great growth ahead and lavish office assets but her concern was a colleague who keeps annoying her.
This co-worker was very argumentative; finding faults in others was like her hobby. My friend started hating her and her reaction was quite natural because feelings are often mutual. It is hard to dislike those who like you and even tougher to like those who dislike you.
After a few weeks she again came to my home, to my surprise today she was looking very relaxed and cheerful. She had an attitude of gratitude towards her mentor. Her mentor was a mature lady, when the mentor told her the past of her colleague, my friend was filled with grief and embarrassment for the rudeness she dwelled for her colleague.
The argumentative, stubborn co-worker of my friend is actually a very strong girl; who lost her parents at a very early stage. She lives a lonely life handling all the responsibilities at home of her younger siblings. The perception of my friend was suddenly changed- another paradigm shift experience. She now finds herself more capable of dealing with her team-member. She understood that she cannot change the circumstances of her colleague nor is it possible to transform her personality but one thing which can be controlled is her reaction to the aggression of that co-worker. Love begets love. When she started taking the aggression of her co-worker lightly, she gave a hao attitude to her flaws and accepted her goodness; she found a new friend. They share a good understanding of each other’s temperament now, they are no more office colleagues but buddies who shop, eat and share their live together.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
h1<>. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Chapter 5: Hao- the attitude of Wittiness
Sandeep Atre; a profound motivational speaker of our city in one of the IMA conclave said- as an individual if we wish to achieve something in life, we need to take our work seriously and our ego lightly. Even our traditional value system says- work is worship. Problem arises when we give our ego more importance than our work. Once we begin to worship our ego and not our work, we cannot expect success from life.
Wittiness is not just about being knowledgeable; wittiness is associated with the art of living life with fun, humor and joyfulness. You might have seen this phenomenon, that people with a good sense of humor have a very attractive persona, they are liked by all. Such people are a centre of attraction in social gatherings. Humor reinforces relationships of an individual with his family, friends and even coworkers. Good sense of humor helps to reduce pressure, it helps to relieve stress. Everyone wants to associate with such a person who can make them smile, who adds the fragrance of positivity in their life. It is a hard fact that people avoid pessimism and depressed people because depression begets depression; it is a kind of transfer of energy.
Happiness begets happiness. The true source of this happiness is hidden within us. The real life story of Chris Gardner presented in reel life as the Hollywood movie – In Pursuit of Happyness is a perfect example to understand that the real happiness is hidden in the “Y” of the misspelled word- here Y stands for you. Happiness is inside us, the hao attitude is the attitude of searching this hidden source of joy with hopes, aspirations and positive outlook.
Intelligence is not a bookish concept; it is the ability to adjust and adapt with the circumstances.
The hao attitude of living life with a light heart comes from the general understanding that life is full of probabilities and possibilities. What seems like a tragedy at the moment becomes a comedy once you look back to it after a few years. The first crush, the first zero in the exam test, the lost football match, the train I missed two years ago- when I look back, I laugh on myself for I realize how stupid I was when I cried on such trivial things.
The things which made no long term impact on my life, and even if I have failed the best part is I learned, a new experience was added in my journey of life; making it a little more interesting. If I have failed and I have survived I have stories full of turns and twist associated with my life; at least I have something to share with my grandchildren. So, it totally depends on me what meaning I want to give to my past experiences – if I want to call it as a tragedy and choose to live a Devdas (a sad drunkard man) like life, this is solely my interpretation and my choice. Nobody else is to be blamed for my decisions. On the other hand, if I learn to take things on a lighter note as if life is not a tragedy dude, but a romantic comedy where every day is full of new experiences, possibilities and laughter, I have changed the genre of the story of my life.
Situation could be of any type but my reaction to it is governed by me. Stephen Covey the author of one of the most admired books- The 7 Habits of highly effective people shares a thought provoking idea, when he explained that the centre of focus in our life should be internal and not external. If I learn to shift my focus on internal self and become responsible for the things happening in my life, I develop a greater sense of self control. Having an internal locus of control means I am taking the charge of my life instead of blaming the circumstances. I failed not because my teacher didn’t taught me well; the question paper was tough but because I didn’t study hard, I didn’t gave my best. Self-serving bias is a trick used by the brain to fool us. The earlier we learn to accept our mistake, the faster we grow.
My reactions towards a situation changes because my perception has changed, I don’t consider myself as helpless instead now I feel more hopeful because I am training my brain to focus on solving the problem. This is the reason why the wise people ask us to take time when we analysis things- do not react but respond.
Ask any Indoriee and I am cent percent sure that most of us would be able to associate the usage of Hao with a sense of comedy in our life. When you treat life like a farce; you kill all the natural inhibitors of growth and success- anxiety, tension and stress are all murdered by your attitude. Besides the laughter which it adds in life leads to a healthier happier version of you
People with a good sense of humor have a great common sense; it is a sign of high IQ, irony is common sense is not that common. The ability to find humor in small little things in life is an art. They say the happiest adults allow the child inside to continue to play.
The hao-logy behind the attitude of wittiness is a desire to be child-like. There is a difference between being childish and being child-like. When you are childish you act irresponsibly, childishness is linked to immaturity but child-like attitude directs us towards the constructive sides of childhood i.e. innocence, simplicity, curiosity, innovation, honesty, and the ability to let go. As per Hindu mythology, childhood is connected with Lord Ganesha. His divinity is hidden in his innocence and child-like attitude. The ability to remain a child at heart is a blessing, it seems like an unachievable goal but one can always strive for excellence.
When it comes to living life light-heartedly with full vigor my mother is my inspiration; her sense of humor is truly admirable. She is a typical indoriee; the more I observe her ways of living, the more I love her. She will kill all your pain by her Hao attitude- the sense of humor part of it. Undoubtedly women and their EQ are unquestionable.
Once I was sick, a normal throat infection; life in a modern world has become so demanding that even a minor throat infection comes with a “treat me with medicine” attitude; gone are the days when you could cure normal cough and cold by drinking turmeric in milk and gargling throat with hot-salted water. Everything in life demands your attention, time, money and pampering as if they are your girlfriend. Out of helplessness I had to go the physician near-by. Trust me I have never seen a doctor like him; he is just so relaxed, no matter how much of commotion, blunder, Hassel goes around him he will continue with his own mild and timid pace. Yes, of course he is the best doctor in our area but he is too peaceful in his approach.
I often associate his personality with a giant mighty elephant intoxicated by his own sense of pleasure that cares for none because he is the ultimate owner of the jungle. I have seen Lion King movie but when I see him I realize we can make another movie; Mr.. doctor elephant king.
Anyways, so I was sitting with my mother in his clinic waiting for my number; although we took a formal appointment of 8:30 pm we finally got inside his chamber at 9:30 pm. Murphy’s law was at its full strength- the more my desire of getting free as soon as possible, the further delay was happening. It was not the doctor’s fault; he is a doctor he had to deal with the emergency cases as well. If I would have gone with my father or any other family member chances were I would have expressed my frustration and might have fought with him, but thankfully my companion was mom, so for the next 15-20 minutes we were still sitting on the couch in front of his desk.
As soon as he went out just to deal with an emergency case, my mom whispered in my ears- don’t you feel he is an expert in putting soap on people’s faces and making them wait for as long as possible for the actual cleansing. She commented sarcastically, an obvious reaction which is ought to come because it was 10pm by now; he is such a clever man- how soothingly he gives sweet poison to people. I could not control my laughter- I laughed like a fanatic.
This happens so many times when she makes us laugh in our blues making any frustrating-torturing incident be it a journey or dealing with an annoying relative; she makes it appear easy like a piece of cake by her Hao attitude of great comic sense and timing. Mothers are the best medicine; they are those magicians who can solve your any problem by their wit and loving attitude. Such antecedent reminds me of the famed saying of Bill Cosby- “Through humor, you can soften, some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be. You can survive it.”
The last fundamental of Hao- attitude is as easy as smile, even if you feel blue!!!
Chapter 6: The Gist
Hao is a small little word as cute as our minions of animated movies but it has so many meanings. One fine meaning of Hao was not discussed in details because it is self-explanatory. As the word Hao stands for a yes and so the understood aspect of the Hao attitude is related to Never-quit early, dare-to-say yes needs no description. It is an obvious dimension of the multi-dimensional Hao attitude.
The hao attitude stands for attitude of never-quitting early, ignoring irrelevant, accepting what matters, giving importance to our personal relationships by a soft touch of informal attitude and most importantly; not surviving barely but living a life by adding flavors of fun, humor and uncommon common sense in it.
Hao-logy includes the attitude of ‘Move-on’ when you realize you cannot hold it further; just let it go. We respect the old proverb- a rolling stone gathers no moss; but guess what you are not a stone, you are a human with feelings, thoughts, emotions. Our lives are full of possibilities of having a great future. Settle for things which satiates the inner you but there is nothing wrong in ignoring those who never valued you. Why cry for fools?
One negative side of the Hao attitude is linked to the arrogant approach towards others which people practice at times. Many things in life are misunderstood because they are misinterpreted; John Milton in paradise lost has described the power of one’s mind so astutely when he wrote- “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
It is clear that our mind plays a crucial role in determining our individuality. I can learn positives or negatives depending on my liking, disliking, interest and mindset. There are people who find flaws even in great heroic figures like Hercules, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein etc; they don’t even spare the almighty power which they entreat .On the other side, there are those who have the ability to find goodness even in so called diabolic figures like Ravan of Ramayan or Satan of Bible.
The Hao attitude is associated with arrogance too; but if we practice arrogance towards challenges and not the fellow being, we are utilizing its negative side in a positive way. The foundation of all abundance is respecting and valuing all the goodness which we already possess.
May be a majority of us are to inspired by the renowned dialogue of the heart-touching movie ‘fault in our stars’. It was stated as- pain demands to be felt. Thankfully at Indore when you are born in a Hao-culture you are aware that pain is not the only feeling which is to be felt. Why overrate pain? Every feeling demands to be felt; positive feelings like happiness, joy, love, contentment ideally need to be overestimated. The negative feelings like sadness, anger, jealousy, and pain are to be accepted. One can work on substituting them using the hao attitude. The Hao-attitude is a way of living life with your heart. It is okay to be a little crazy, a little freak, a little chilled, a little confused. This acceptance helps to simplify our lives because at the end we are humans and not robots. We cannot control everything.
While expressing good thoughts, sharing positive sides of life, discussing an ideal life we might feel a bit doubtful. The world say- this is all bookish, it is impractical; one cannot implement all such stuffs in real life.
Practicing simple principle is often far more complicated and sophisticated deal .It is believed that these principles sounds good but applying these ideas is not feasible; they shall remain in fictions only. The world calls it bookish because a majority of them failed to implement it. The concept was not unrealistic but it was hard to practice; not everyone is born with a caliber to live a life full of virtues.
I am a common man; I cannot hold all the goodness of the world in me but if I deny accepting the good things in life, I restrain myself from the possibility of improving by adding one distinct quality, one good trait, one minor positive change. The concept of computer science “Garbage In, Garbage Out” is applicable on our brains too; feeding the mind with good thoughts is essential.
The Hao attitude is a very clear-cut thing; it is about living a “Game-free” straight forward life. The dualism is to be avoided. Why be mongrel? Either preach what you practice or practice what you preach.
The essence of Hao-logy; depends on the way we apply it. I saw a teen using her attitude of courage and humor; when an immature guy teased her in the city traffic with a stupid comment coming from his insane mind. She responded to the eve-teasing as – Hao Re! chal ab aage dekhar gaadi chala le (ok.. now move on moron; and drive carefully)
I saw my best friend many a times diverting other friends from an irrelevant topic, with her skills she avoids many situations which may lead to a clash in our peer group- Hao Re! Jaane do.. kaam ki baat karo ( come on guys, move on ..Let’s talk sense)
My favorite teacher boosted my Hao attitude; she encouraged my confidence when I could not win the singing competition. In her sweet loving voice she said- Hao Neelam! We learn by participation only my child.
My brother who works in an IT company often goes to office even on weekends, many a times he arrives late at home. His friends says he handles a great load of work pressure, when I ask him how you feel about your work life he replies- Hao yaar ! kaam hai, kaam toh karna hi padta hai. My PC is my first girlfriend sweetheart. (yes..dude! Its work and work needs to be done)
I saw another cool friend of mine; she ignored the fool who ditched a charming lass like her when he cheated on her. She didn’t cry, screamed or yelled. Of course she was sad for a few days; after all acceptance takes time but then one fine day she said- Hao! ab gaya toh gaya..Jab dil aaya gadhi pe toh fir pari bhi kya chiz hai. (Well fine, what’s gone is gone; you cannot make a fool fall in love with an angel if he adores a donkey)
If you ever come to Indore; the walking-talking examples of this Hao attitude are best found on roads. They are not well-educated or cultured; these poor fellows don’t know the ABC of good manners and sophisticated living, nobody ever taught them, life is their whole sole teacher. They work hard selling vegetable, fruits, other edibles etc. They toil as bus conductors, cab drivers and indulge in all sorts of work to earn a living by hard work. These guys have an expertise in living life with a Hao attitude. They are not at all as fragile and maladjusted as me, the convent educated, single pampered child of parents who gets an anxiety attack on silly things. They belong to the category of people who change your ideas if you observe their lifestyle and you see the world with a new perspective; they make you realize the fact that it is not bold and beautiful. The reality is bold in itself is beautiful.
Ever you travel in the buses of Malwa-Nimaad regions of Madhya Pradesh, 70 % of time you will find an entertaining Bus conductor, who makes that suffocating journey a memorable experience of your life by his crazy and creative sense of humor. He cracks jokes with the villagers, calms down two urban ladies fighting for the window seat, finds a place to sit for the standing child, helps the newly married couple to place their luggage smartly and then ask that old wrinkled fellow with a big turban in Malawi Dialect – Dada kaii laau kya tamare ( do you need something, grand pa !)
The male version of Air-hostess working on a salary 10 times lesser than those aviation personnel, but he respects his work as worship. He does his work in the same manner on a regular basis, full of zeal, happiness and holds no regret. He considers himself as the Rajnikant (hero) of his own life. He too has a sick mother at home, unpaid rent, an unmarried sister but he holds a Hao attitude towards life. He fights each day with a smiling face, living in present, valuing the moment. Sitting on my window seat; looking at the Rajnikant of the MP tourism bus my silly heart said to myself – “Bhaiyaaa… thoda hao attitude humko bhi sikha do yaar!!!!!” (bro… can you please teach me a little bit of hao attitude)
And I kept smiling for long….!!!!
h1<>. Nicky BaBa
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The 'Hao' Attitude
A basic understanding of psychology explains how impactful is the role of our attitude in our live. Attitude is a key factor affecting our perspective,thoughts,feelings,emotions.It defines my perceptions and personality. The "Hao"Attitude is a distant cousin of positive attitude,olive green attitude, minimalist ideology etc etc.Derived from a Slang word used by people in Indore.The way it is used,understood and explained so vividly; it adds so much of meaning to a small 3 letter word.It is a creative blunder made for those who enjoy inspirational readings.
- Author: Nicky BaBa
- Published: 2016-09-18 05:35:08
- Words: 10201