Growing With Tough Love Will Toughen You for Lifetime

2015: Older The Photo, Stronger The Memories, Stronger The Nostalgia — Photo by The Author.

“Systematic” can be both: a generic and a specific word.

“Systematic” is the word that clicks every time I think of him. Growing up, my mother expired when I was 7, we are two brothers, and what the hell do we know about parenting. We only knew this: if we want something and our parents don’t get us that, we show our resentment with crying, silent shrugs and maybe so stubborn that only slaps and tears are all that has survived. It is funny this way.

You know moms, they are emotional in a soft way, they will please you with some stories, fairy tales, caress your forehead, or maybe get you candy for short term satisfaction. You forget why you were sad in the first place. They have that power.

But dads, not every time. Primarily based on how they grew up, it profoundly impacts how they want you to grow up. Simple logic: a person draws his actions from his own experience and from the experience of people he knows, he sees every day, that he calls “immediate social circles”.

“We never judge our heroes. Just positive takeaways that are worth experimenting.”

Till the time they make decisions for you or support you, they do this because you are not capable of doing it on your own, you don’t have a vision for yourself. That’s why they show the light to you, like deciding a career path for you ( that on some level they wanted for themselves ), choosing who you should hang out with and who you shouldn’t, letting you pursue your passion without giving any attention to society reactions. Parents can have different levels of openness based on their social circles, and my father is no exception. And I don’t judge him for it. Because we never comment on our heroes, we only take positive takeaways that are worth a shot and leave the negatives for themselves to handle. That is what defines them; that is what makes them unique.

One thing I firmly believe is genetic, is the “organizational” mindset of time management that I learned from him. It is the only single thing that sets every other activity in rhythm and influences every decision I make, every schedule I plan. Sometimes I think he works like a machine: sleeping same time everyday, waking up the same time every day, jam-packed but organized schedule all-day every day. He is my live definition of the circadian rhythm.

You Regret When You Are Loud To Them

“You cry when you realize it.”

This organizational mentality developed so strong in me that one day I scolded him because I thought he was wrong. When I was in class 9, he used to take me tuition for a few days because my bicycle broke. Every day same time 5 minutes before class timing. One day it was raining, he was in his office and forgot to pick me up. As usual, I pinged him:

Me: “Hey, where are you? I want to go for class.”
He: “It is raining. Don’t go.”
Me: “If you don’t want to come, just say that already. But don’t give lame excuses. If you are not coming, I will eventually go anyway.”

*cuts the call without saying bye*

It was me; I cut the call. 😂

It is true: “You do things in anger that are only regrets.” Same story here, I had no clue how to go. I just said everything in anger. I was mad and at the same time felt bad for being loud at him. You know this regret; you cry when you realize it. I also did (you should also try crying in private occasionally, or maybe rarely, helps with emotional breakout). But a few minutes later, he came in the rain ( on a bike ), dropped me off and we did not exchange any words at all, just minimal expressionless eye contact. We never discussed this topic again, and that’s where I felt for the first time, “Is this a sign of maturity or our bond just grew stronger?”

Feels Good To Be The Motivator, Right?

“When Someone Who Teaches You Starts Learning From You, You Become Influencer Without Even Knowing.”

Whatever the realization was, I saw him mention the bike incident to my brother a few days later. When my elder brother seemed lethargic in studies, he said it to motivate him. And boy I wanted to grab a mic there!

My elder brother calls me his idol. I don’t know if he genuinely means it, but if he does, then I am speechless. It is just way too emotional. I only hear it and goosebumps!

You know when someone who teaches you, starts learning from you? You become an icon you never asked for in the first place. I have a teacher kind of friend from college who showed me the benefits of physical activities and introduced me to the gym. Now he says, “I am learning from you”.

Same feedback from college mates and co-workers also. When someone says you inspire them and you motivate them, it means they have already killed their ego to tell you this. Most people don’t even admit that inspiration comes from the air around you, people around you. Find your motivation in this and be an inspiration to anyone who sees you.

Grew With Tough Love, Now A Fan

“They haven’t experienced what you have seen.”

Managing two relentless boys, along with your personal life; the movie opener speaks for itself. It was not easy for him, and not easier for us too. But you understand this as you grow up, why parents do what they do. You might never understand their perspective in individual decisions because you are “kid” for them or “too young to understand”, the same is for them not understanding your point of view.

They some times use this “age factor” as leverage in an argument, it can shut you any time. What do you have? Just shun and listen to the long nonstop fire speech. You signed up for it.

On the other side, when they don’t understand your perspective, it is sometimes impossible to explain them. Your parents haven’t experienced what you have seen, what you are living. They say they know what you are going through, but actually, they haven’t lived it, so the solution doesn’t appeal right away to us. Following the stereotypes, while just being in the comfort zone, growth never happens like this. It is the danger zone that tests our strength, enhancing it in the process.

That’s where his strict nature sorted us. Me at least, my elder brother is rebellious, living his adventure.

He Set Me Free, But First Made Me Strong

“Tough love is probably not what you want from childhood. But when transferred from the right person at right time, it makes you iconic. And this realization comes very very late.”

Have you seen your parents cry when you achieve something exemplar? You know the feeling if you have. If you tell them to be firm at that time, they’ll cave. You should be the bigger man here, take care of them and hold them, hug them. They so desperately need that.

This moment came for me after a long time (I want to say ten years). And all these years, I’ve seen almost every phase of strict parenting I know of, every version I’ve seen in movies, every stage I read in books, all of it.

When you are in your college, no, it’s too soon! Let’s go back to school. After the last year of your school when you are about to start your studies in a prestigious institution, that’s when you think you get to live your way. That’s why your parents brought you here, hello! You have a whole new world for you. Meet new people. Build not only a career but also build connections for a lifetime.

And the lessons I transferred here from my dad are, “If you are late, save the excuses and don’t talk to me.” and “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument”. Quotes may be different, but this is quite the gist. You get to decide everything for yourself when you live alone! And this adventure happened to me at an early age. Like, in 2013, when I moved to Kota to prepare for IIT-JEE. I was just 16 years old. I’ve lived that independent life for seven years now.

Meeting Is Not Important, Connection Is

“We laugh weird and we are proud of it”.

Whenever I see him after a long time, I touch his feet so intently that I know the satisfaction in his eyes and appreciate that moment. I lift him every time I see him. And then we laugh back home. Because the deal is we both laugh weird and we are proud of it. We can light up the environment with our laugh. And going back home with him takes 4 hours, so the stories only get funnier.


“You are the director and you are the subject.”

This one is my first post of 2020. And I plan to publish one in the first week of every month, using Medium and Instagram as my carousel. I am doing this because I want 2020 year-in-review to be worth remembering.

There is no perfect time or place to start a resolution. You can start whenever you feel like it, whenever you understand the need to change and be your motivator here. Because eventually, it is your resolution, hello!!! You are the director, and you are the subject.

LATEST EDIT ON 10 JUNE 2020: I have made this habit more intense, and I have started a daily blogging streak on 25 March. 10 June is day 78



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Sanjeev Yadav

Sanjeev Yadav

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG: sanjeevai • List: