Life is for real. Our experiences, our feelings everything is real. And there is something that is not real, what is it— Our thoughts.The thoughts that we have continuously running through our mind are to a large part, are unreal or twisted. Twisted by whom? Our mind of course… Our beliefs…. our patterns of thinking…… our assumptions… our moral-ethical-social structure.

Each one of us processes a situation from a different perspective. No two people feel the same emotion for exactly the same situation nor do they think the same thoughts. The reality which is same for everyone yet different for each individual. The after-effects of these different perspectives are also not same. One learns a lesson for life and assimilates the understanding to make his life better, whereas; the other individual feels more lost than ever. I would like to name them for our convenience: the survivor, and the challenger. Survivor is the one who is lost within his mind and feels disconnected and yet manages to put up a smile. A challenger is someone who meets eye to eye with life and faces the reality squarely with his own perceptions and meanings of it. He is ready to stake everything to know himself and the reality around. He questions, struggles, pushes himself and is not settle with just anything.

I have met both the types and it has been an enriching encounter knowing both the categories. One, it helped me discover myself. Two, it made me more empathetic and less judgmental about others’ choices and decisions. Three, it brought me face to face with something that I conveniently had assumed, did not existed. My vulnerability… My rawness…. Yes! We all are vulnerable equally and we just don’t accept the fact. Lastly, my encounters with the challengers and the survivors both have made me feel how limited my perspective and understanding of humans has been. I really have not gone to the depths of this invisible entity called mind.

The survivors are not quitters; neither challengers are. Both have their strategies to perceive life, situations, and people around and both move on despite the continuously increasing baggage on their body as well as mind.

The survivors have learnt that there are many more important tasks and they must complete them. And this does not leave them with any amount of time to process the reality intensively. So, they develop defences, ignore some and accept some. They feel happy when they see that all their responsibilities have been fulfilled on time. On the contrary, the challengers risk their relationships, risk their securities, go out of their comfort zones and try to make some sense of reality. They are not happy till they have found the cause behind it.

For me, both the survivors and the challengers are winners in their individual and unique ways. There are no quitters, each one of us is a winner at the end of this life. Just our ways of putting up a fight are different. So, whether I choose to be a survivor or a challenger…I am going to be a winner at the end, And, this makes me smile.:)