Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The 'F' Word!!!

One fine day I received a phone call from a friend and he asked me to meet him at a coffee shop few blocks away from his house. He has a charming personality, very outgoing and always smiling, but when I saw him at the coffee shop, something seemed unusual. He wasn't exactly the way he always is, and looked very upset, sad and had a very gloomy expression on his face. I figured something was wrong, and as I was sitting down, he said "Man, I am such a big failure in life. No one can trust me anymore, and my parents have given up on me. I don't know what I am going to do, may be just live like this all my life." The words coming out of his mouth surprised me. Turns out, the guy had invested money in some business project which did not work out the way he was hoping for, and he lost some of his invested money. Not only that, this was the second time such a thing had happened to him. I asked him, " Why don't you try again?" and he replied, " I don't know, I fear I will never be good in doing business." Fear, as soon as I heard the word fear, I realized negativity was invading his mind, and just like the British invaded India and looted everything, his positive aura was being looted. 
We all have different fears in our mind, but one common fear that every man beholds is the fear of failure. Failure can be in love, relationships, career, academics, and every other aspect of life. But does that mean we should stop living, or spend the rest of our lives in regret, being sad. . Buddha said, "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." That is exactly what we do, we either don't start or give up mid way. And the reason is fear, fear which gives rise to the question,"What if I fail?' In our pursuit to success we are bound to take actions which might produce some undesirable results. We term it as 'mistakes', and mommy told us not to make mistakes. Making mistakes is no crime (Unless you harm or kill anybody else), but is a part of learning process. They may not teach us what to do, but they definitely teach us what not to do.(And then later if you are stuck in similar dilemma, just treat the situation like a multiple choice question in which you deduct all the wrong options and you get the correct answer.)
Every experience, good or bad is a learning experience. From the good we learn what is to be done, and from bad we learn what is not to be done. So what to do if we face such undesirable circumstances? First of all we should stop thinking that we failed. Failure does not mean falling down, but failure is the inability to rise up and move on. We should treat such circumstances as a road to new opportunity, a wrong turn on the road from which we can always come back and go into the right direction. Learn to learn from your mistakes, and try not to repeat the same mistakes again. As they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining, opportunity is always knocking onto your door, even during dark times. We just need to be aware, and willing to take the efforts to open the door.
My physics professor always told us, "When there is a will, there is a way." So if you are willing to live your life the way you dream it, let go of your fear, don't get scared if there are a few wrong turns on your journey. Focus on the end result, enjoy the journey, and you will get there because we are all meant to be what we want to be.

This is the best quote I have ever come across,
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened in shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in  some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others." 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Ideal Mind!!!

They say that nothing is permanent except for change, and change is required for progress. The human race has developed a lot from being  apes in the jungle to having set foot on the moon, and much more. Necessity is the mother of invention, and thus from basic tools to the high technology we have, every change or development was made at a time when man needed it the most. This applies not only to technology, but also the society, politics, etc. 
Every great and successful personality has brought some kind of change in the society. Gandhi fought against the British without holding a gun in his hand, Martin Luther king and Nelson Mandela did something similar to fight for their rights, Bill Gates changed the world of computers, Steve Jobs changed the concept of cell phones, And these changes were only possible because these great men were Idealists, they had a vision, and they worked towards it. Taking Gandhi as an example, fighting the mighty British empire with non-violence, practically speaking would be impossible, but he did it. Not only that, he also inspired others to follow his path and ideals. 
I have come across a lot of people who say " I am a very practical person" followed by " its not possible, the circumstances are not right." (sometimes I take their advice, and do the opposite, it works!!!). Realistic or people who are pragmatic, base their thoughts depending on the current situation of the world around them and look at things as they are. If, the great inventors and scientists would have based their ideas depending on the situation around them, technological revolution would have not happened. Similarly great leaders like Gandhi would not have succeeded, if they looked at the practicality of things and not believe in their ideals.  
Idealism is a concept which says that reality is a mental construct. Things are as we perceive it to be, whereas realism argues that things exist as they are and has nothing to do with the mind. I am not an expert in psychology to get into the depth of these two ideas, but I will try to explain the way I look at the idea of Idealism. There was no electricity before it was discovered. But the concept or the idea was present in several minds which led to its discovery, the biggest breakthrough in the history of science. If these people were realistic and left things the way it was, I don't think I would be writing a blog.
Idealistic thoughts are considered to be delusional. It is something which exist only in our mind and not for real. Every major invention, discovery, political or social revolution was something which did not exist, but were just thoughts and ideas in the minds of a few who looked at the future as they wanted it to be, and worked with all the passion to make their thoughts real. Idealistic thoughts helps to strengthen our belief system and    inspires us to be more passionate about work to make our dream alive. A realistic mind will always say "its impossible", but an idealistic mind says " everything is possible." 
Dream big and believe in it, how much ever ridiculous it may sound, it will lead you to the change you seek for a better life. On your pursuit to your dreams there might be roadblocks, but do not let them stop you from getting what you want and where you want to be. In my next Blog I will be talking about the 'F' words, Fear and Failure.

"Men look at things as they are and ask why, Lets be men who look at things as we want it to be and ask why not?!! "

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Magic Box!!!

As a kid I enjoyed watching Aladdin and I dream of Jeannie. The master would rub the lamp, the Jeannie would pop out and grant all his wishes. The Jeannie gave Aladdin a magic carpet to fly, turned him into a prince and saved his life. Now we all wish we had a lamp like that, but God wasn't kind enough on us humans. But wait, we do fly, have the luxuries, and technology that can also save our life. Where did the Jeannie come from to give us these luxuries? and why only humans, why the other animals did not evolve as much as the humans did?
God was indeed very kind to the human race and he gave us the magic box. It is the box in where lies the creativity, the imagination, and the power to give ourselves whatever we wish for. This `Magic Box` is our Subconscious mind.
How many of you have gone through a situation where you are desperately seeking for an idea or solution to a problem,  but never find any while you are consciously thinking about it. And suddenly a thought pops up in your mind while you are asleep, or when you are in the toilet (or shower). Bingo!! There is the solution to your problem. Where did that come from? 
Every minute, every second of our  life is an experience, and our brain  notes down all of those experiences. Like we store our old stuff in the store house, our brain stores all the old information in the subconscious mind. I believe our subconscious mind has the power to integrate all the information stored, and send it back to the conscious mind when a similar situation arises. 
Man has made rapid advancements in the field of technology, and all this was only possible because of the power of our subconscious. We always get  ideas, imaginations which people in the practical world would term absurd, following it with a statement ' this is not possible'. I am very sure you must have said or heard the same thing from some other person at-least once in your lifetime. Now look at the world around you, whatever man thought, he made it, like a Jeannie popped out of the lamp and granted him his wishes. Man wanted to fly, he made planes; he wanted to cross oceans, he made ships; he wanted light during night, he made electricity and so on he made a lot of other inventions and discoveries. Man has been able to bring out his imagination into the real world. It is said that the power of your subconscious mind is such that, when you think of something, and truly believe in it, your mind aligns all the forces in the universe required for your imagination to be made into something real. No one knows how it happens, but somehow it does.
I think when you truly believe in your imagination, your creativity, it acts a fuel to your body, to go out there and work hard to make your dream come true. Your belief gives you the passion, the inspiration, and the energy to make things real. And once you start working on your project, you start meeting different people, share different ideas, one thing leads to another and your dream becomes real.
Like I said, our subconscious mind stores every experience from the real world, so lets start making an effort to store only positive experiences, and treat every roadblock as an opportunity to learn and grow with it, and have a brighter and better future. Lets unleash the power of our subconscious mind. In my next blog I will be talking about Idealism v. Realism.

The Link below will open a page on Youtube. Its a guided meditation which help  to relax your brain and focus on your dreams and goals in life. Try it . The experience is just awesome. This will be a good start to open up the magic box inside of you.

Till then Peace and Love!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mind - Body Connection!!!

It is the mind that makes the body.
Imagine your feeling after you win a jackpot of $10 million? Then Imagine you lose that check. How do you feel now? At first you were happy, smiling, jumping out of joy with the thought of being a millionaire. Then the inevitable happened and you lost the check. And the smile faded, you were upset and some may have even cried. What caused this reflection of your mental state onto your body? and what is this Mind-Body connection?
I read a book “Why zebras don’t get ulcers?” (yes, the title is weird and the cover page was hilarious, the two reason why I chose this book) as part of an assignment for one of my psychology classes in college. The author concluded that any kind of emotion like anger, sadness, fear, jealousy, etc which is perceived to be negative, stimulate the release of glucocorticoids, which in excess can cause problems to your heart, digestive system, reproductive system, and other systems as well. An extreme example would be a person with major depression. He will exhibit symptoms like headache, joint pains, fatigue, appetite problems, digestive problems, sleep problems etc. But this falls under psychiatric category and can be treated using prescription drugs and psychological counselling.
What about the negative emotions that arise in a person who is not an extreme case. He is still going to feel the physical symptoms to an extent where his performance might be affected. How can a person function well if his body is not? As an example, Consider you have an important test, and you have done all the required preparation. As the day approaches closer, pressure starts building up, and all kinds of negative thoughts creep up into your mental domain. You get anxious and the physical symptoms like lack of appetite, lack of sleep, tiredness, etc. start showing up. The day arrives and the test does not go as well as you would have hoped. After the test, you go back home, sit down, relax a bit, drink a cup of coffee, and while glancing through the question paper you miraculously recollect all the answers. Unfortunately its a bit too late.
What would have happened if you were not being bothered by the negative emotions before the test, but instead you were confident, positive, and relaxed like you were at home? The result would have been so different.
The point is, one of the ways our mental state can have an effect on the events in our life is through the Mind-Body connection. So, if you are positive, with good feelings, you are going to reflect that through your body, and attract people and subsequently events to yourself. (Nobody is going to hire you for a job if you have  a lousy body language, frown on the face, or if you lack confidence, etc.). This mind- body connection is no magic, but basic physiology regulated by our conscious mind. Start making a conscious attempt to regulate your thoughts into the positive direction from this moment onward and begin the process of change before we master the magic. In my next blog I will be writing about the magic box inside of us. Till then, PEACE and LOVE!!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

How I was Awakened to the Bright side

I was in Barnes and Nobles one day, and I came across the 'Self help' section which was pretty huge with almost 5 big shelves filled with books. There were about 10 people browsing through the books kept in this section, which made me curious. So,  I started browsing through the contents of some of these books as well.  The contents basically explained ways to achieve success in career, relationships, academics, etc. There were a lot of short stories of successful people in many of these books, but what caught my eye was, every success story had a basic foundation - 'Positive Thinking'. Every successful businessman, author, political leader, sportsperson who have achieved more than what we can probably only imagine had one success mantra - A positive approach to life. 

We all have heard and/or read the book called 'The Secret'. That was the only self help book I had read until last year ( I never knew there was a category called 'self-help', before I saw it in Barnes and nobles). The Secret revolves around the principle of Law of Attraction, which states that every event in our life, good or bad, we attract it through our thoughts. The first thought that crossed my mind when I read the book in 2007 was, its ridiculous. I could not accept the idea that you wish for something and the universe will grant you the wish. (I was a foolish college kid busy indulging myself in self destructive behavior, so I can excuse myself ).  When I came to The states, I met a lot of people from different religious and cultural background, some of them who knew about the Hindu religion and practices more than I did. It took me 23 years and few embarrassing moments to actually start reading about my own religion, and I am glad it happened. While researching I came across the word 'Karma', which in Hinduism is defined as 'an action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation'.  The principle of Karma can be related to Newton's third law 'Every action has equal and opposite reaction'. Basically, as you sow, so will you reap. While reading about Karma, I remembered the contents of The Secret, And now things started to make sense to me (my brain was much matured). To think is also an action, and if every action has equal and opposite reaction, then maybe thinking can bring about a significant reaction in form of events in life. 

Thus I continued my pursuit to find out more about the mind over matter thing. And believe me or not, I did find a lot of material, audios and videos which talk about our mind controlling the universe for us. The problem is, not a lot of people believe in this stuff, and some people naturally use this principle for their purpose. In my next blog I will be discussing the physical effects of positive and negative emotions (or thoughts) and reasons why only a few people benefit from this.