Every married woman who has seen “English Vinglish” (Hindi Movie starring Sreedevi) or “How old are you?” (Malayalam movie starring Manju Warrier) would have experienced some connection with the theme of the movie, isn’t it? Doesn’t it reflect a stage which you are going through right now or something which you have experienced at some point in time?
Be it homemakers or working women; ladies come across a mid-life crisis where they feel lonely, being ignored by their family, and more specifically by their partners. Women usually are givers than takers, and when it comes to respecting, caring and loving their parents, siblings, husband, kids, and in-laws. The so-called “lucky women” with the full-fledged support system and who are content with their lives are a rare phenomenon these days. The majority seems to struggle with individuality crisis with their confidence dwindling day by day. They crave for attention. All they need is a bit of care and respect from their loved ones. When they do not receive the much-required care and respect, women tend to withdraw into their own world!
I, too have faced this crisis. While discussing this with my friend, who is a Family Physician, shared a piece of advice which she has received from her senior doctor. The “4B’s” every woman should possess, and they are :
– Bank Balance &
I am not attempting to explain why these 4B’s are crucial for women… we know it ourselves, right? Ever since my friend told me about the 4B’s, I did analyze it thoroughly and had concluded that if we invest and nurture on these 4B’s, our lives will be way better!
Let me explain how I proceeded with the 4B principle. I started with one ‘B’ at a time. I decided to start with ‘Books,’ as I used to read a lot when I was in school, and later lost it somewhere in between the corporate rat race and household chores. Initially, I struggled to focus as my mind kept on thinking something else in the background while reading. But over a period, I could concentrate, and I started loving the habit of reading. I started looking forward to that peaceful time when I could sit down and read a book. When I read a novel, I am totally into that book and forget the rest. No worries, just reading and reading only. It was an easy escape mechanism from worrying thoughts. It helped me understand life from a different perspective. I must say that Amazon helped a great deal, as I started ordering books after books and my bookshelf was full in few months time. And then I didn’t have much space left in my room, I ended up buying a kindle, and started enjoying my “kindle time.”
Once reading became a habit, I took up ‘Beauty.’ I started reading home remedies and beauty tips and began experimenting. If we make an effort to look better, the results show up. When friends and family begin noticing the changes in our skin and face ( I mean the visible changes), and pass positive comments about it, we naturally smile. Increases our happiness, isn’t it?
Next, the difficult one – ‘Bank Balance.’ It wasn’t easy, even while I had a high paid job. I did not have much financial control. I never made a budget or planned my expenses. I did not invest in any saving schemes either. So it took a while to set this one right. I started recurring deposits so that I could save small amounts on a monthly basis. When the recurring deposit matured, I moved it to fixed deposits. When I started seeing my fixed deposits, it encouraged me to increase the recurring deposits monthly contribution. I installed a mobile app to record my expenses on a daily basis. All this brought in the much required financial control. My spending reduced, and savings increased. Now, homemakers might wonder if they could ever achieve this by themselves. While it is slightly tricky for homemakers compared to working women, it isn’t an impossible task to save money. My mom, a homemaker, used to save and have cash backups; she used to save cash from the money given for household expenses by my father. She never had a bank account, but she would always have a few thousand to spare when we had a need. I should have picked up this habit of saving from my mom, but I didn’t in my early years of working. The 4B principle urged me to save more. The financial security it gave me was a great relief!
Last one – ‘Brain.’ Knowledge is power. We need to sharpen our skills to stay competitive. I did a couple of things to enhance my brain power. I installed few mind game apps in mobile and started playing it whenever I had the mood to do so. I did logical reasoning and verbal reasoning sample tests. Knowing that your IQ is above average is a good feel, isn’t it? As you practice, you speed up the solving process as well. I also started reading Scientific American articles & Harvard Business Review, watching TedX videos, etc. The process of sharpening my skills not only helped me utilizing my time efficiently but also in feeling quite motivated and confident!
The beauty of ‘4B’ principle is that it can be practiced independently. One need not follow the steps I did. You can define the order which suits you the best, based on your circumstances and the time you have for self-improvement.
If I can do it, you can also do it! Willpower is all that is required to cultivate these habits. It needs conviction and perseverance to change our lives the way we want it to be! So ladies, what are you waiting for? Invest in 4B’s for a better tomorrow! Bring back your ever smiling face and enjoy your life!