Making a difference

image

“very little is needed to make a happy life, it’s all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

 

Why does success elude so many? lack of hard work and luck could be the responsible factors. But in many cases, it is the lack of planning that makes all the difference. Planning involves thinking positively ahead and working towards future action. Thinking is necessary to priorities what is important for your goal and what no longer serves.

“Everyone fears failure. And therefore no one ever plans not to succeed.”

The power of thinking is a creative process and creates conscious living patterns to make your dreams into a reality. We are constantly processing all sorts of experiences and analyzing them in the form of thoughts. Mind often behaves like a wild monkey, dragging us into negativity.

The negative thoughts we have, relate to past or future and are triggered by deep rooted negative thought patterns and beliefs that are reinforced by past experiences. Negativitry is a form of resistance to that which is positive. You cannot wish for only good thoughts to prevail. To make a difference, you need to decide which ones you have to choose to achieve your goal.

People who are considered to be positive have positive set of thought patterns in their belief systems and are considered to be more successful in their endeavors. Positive thinking is a process in which your thoughts are more focused at a favorable outcome. Positive thinking helps in maximising your potential to get good results in things we want in life.

Subconscious negativity can prevent you from reaching your goal with road blocks and limitations. You have to recognise the negaṭivity and change it to positivity. When you start to make a decision that you are going to transform your negativity, you can train your mind ṭo eliminate negative emotions and thoughts.

Here are some patterns to enable you to change your mindset to positivity.

View life as an Opportunity.

Seek and view life as opportunities and noṭ set backs. Be receptive and consider them if they fit your goals and dreams. Try new things. Be optimistic and try not to surround yourself with negative people or situations. Focus your mind on the possibilities rather than the limitations.

Do Constructive thinking.

Believe in your purpose and your abilities to rise over limitations. Face the problem with optimism and have faith to succeed. Stay inspired to accomplish your goals you have set for yourself. Many people have goals and vision. All of them do not materialise because they lack a constructive approach towards achieving them.

Open attitude towards change.

Surrendering to change makes you more adaptable and flexible. Change not only brings certain amount of anxiety and uncertainty, but also helps you to explore new areas of success. Begin to accommodate and align to change.

Cultivate a “Can-do” attitude.

You face failure not the moment you are defeated, but the moment you give up fighting. Giving up is easy, instead when you face a failure, see it as an opportunity for your progression. Do not blame yourself for the failure for it hampers your chances to improve. Accept set backs as natural phenomenon and stay focused on long-term goals.

Positive Affirmations & Visualisation.

Speaking to yourself in positive statements and their repetitions can trigger the subconscious towards positive action. Creating positive mental images of your aim shall create a clear picture of your outcome and can alter your present environment and circumstances.

Know thyself & Face your fears.

Fear stops people from capitalising on opportunities. Isolate your fears and then take constructive action. Doing nothing about a situation will only strengthens fear and destroys confidence. Don’t let negative thoughts grow into mental monsters. Simply refuse to recall unpleasant situations.

Put people in proper perspective.

Remember people are more alike than they are different. Create mutually beneficial relationships with other people. Get a balanced view of others. Develop an understanding attitude. Know about the importance of seeking and accepting help.It is by giving and taking that we open doors to new opportunities.

These are some of the changes you can incorporate in your mindset to help change the negative thoughts and ideas into positive ones. Be in charge of your own life with a healthy level of self confidence. Only when you are comfortable in your ideas, will other people believe In you and your abilities. Positive thinking is a mental attitude that is essential for any kind of success we seek to achieve.

 

Return to the present moment

51E36667-9CD0-45A2-B86B-20D01CBD7A24

 

Your state of mind is important for the outcome of your life. Presently there is much research showing the connection between our mind, our emotions, and our body. People come under lot of stress in their daily lives as they face tough competition to excel at every stage and in every sphere of life. Many develop anxiety disorders, disturbed sleep patterns and stress. To manage effectively and to have peace of mind, it is important one must practice mindfulness every day.

Mindfulness helps you to return to and stay in the present moment by slowing down the thoughts. It helps in balancing the mind and makes you realise that there is no control over past and future. Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future. Break the old patterns of present-moment denial and present-moment resistance. Watch your mind without any judgement or analysis.

Continuous practice makes you observe that future is usually imagined as either better or worse than the present. If it is for better it gives you hope and if it is worse, it creates anxiety. The habitual tendency of resisting the present moment creates anger and frustration.

“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejeciting.”

Researchers in various studies have found that practicing mindfulness can help people suffering from depression and anxiety just as much as commonly prescribed anti-depressant drugs. Practicing mindfulness would offer a long-term approach to dealing with depression.

Here is a small story mentioned in the classic guide of Thich Nhat HanH’s The Miracle of Mindfulness stating the importance of practicing mindfulness of one’s own self- that is, to protect and care for one’s self and not being preoccupied about the way others look after themselves, which gives rise to resentment and anxiety.

“There once were a couple of acrobats. The teacher was a poor widower and the student was a small girl named Meḍa. The two of them performed in the streets to earn enough to eat. They used a tall bamboo pole which the teacher balanced on the top of his head while the little girl slowly climbed to the top. There she remained while the teacher continued to walk along the ground. Both of them had to devote all their attention to maintain perfect balance and th prevent any accident from occurring.
One day the teacher instructed the pupil: ‘ Listen Meda, I will watch you and you watch me, so that we can help each other maintain concentration and balance. This way we can prevent an accident and then we will be earn enough to eat.”
But the little girl was wise and answered, ‘Dear master, I think it would be better for each of us to watch ourself. To look after oneself means to look after both of us. That way we will avoid accident and will earn enough to eat.” Because of the presence of one member who lives in mindfulness, everyone else is reminded to live in mindfulness.

Don’t worry about if those around you aren’t doing their best. Doing your best is the surest way to remind those around you to do their best.

Sitting in mindfulness and trying to pay attention to the present moment can bring relaxation to your body and mind. Everyday little and often, practice mindfulness. Practicing even in small doses can help you experience the well-being.

 

 

Aim for healthy all- round development of children

D230DC40-6C96-4C74-9BDE-0C018E0CCA2C

 

The adequacy of the child’s general adjustments or his behavioural aspects cannot ascribe solely to the conditions found in the school itself. Even during his/ her school years child is a subject to the influences of home and community. When the children are in school both the family and the community continue to influence the personality development for weal or woe.

In the home, the school and the community may be found the main influences which either reduce or intensify the effect of weakness already present.

Children from young age silently imbibe all the bad things and unruly behaviour of others around them, and the most solid influence and source of such behaviour comes from parents and the environment they live in. Seeing their parents or others in the community they live in getting their way by displaying aggression over other people. They tend to repeat the same behaviour in their life and gets imbibed into his character. This behaviour if not checked will certainly result into them grow up to become aggressive adults. When faced with tough situations in life, such children don’t hesitate to indulge themselves in criminal or anti-social activities.

parents should be impartial and their relationship with each other should be harmonious. They should check their child’s behaviour at home and outside in public places whenever it gets aggressive. Suitable training should be provided to correct their behaviour. At the same time give them love and affection. Encourage them to be responsible for their behaviour. If we can provide all of this and a community which has a tolerant attitude, then the child attends the school with an integrated personality.
If on the other hand, he comes from an imbalanced or over-protecting or a community where he is rejected, or discriminated against, he will often bring to school a deficient personality.

The school has the responsibility of providing a friendly environment with teachers understanding the child’s needs and aiding the continuation of his sound personality-growth. Assist the children in correcting their behaviour arriving at methods to handle them.
Children’s behaviour is the result of combination of all these factors in which the schools, community, and parents play vital role in the personality development of the child at an young and continue to play an import role in later stages of their lives.

Child’s character is determined by the sum total of these impressions we leave in them. If good impressions prevail, the character becomes good, if child is subjected to bad words and bad actions, his mind will be full of bad impressions; and the sum total of these impressions in them will create the strong motive power for doing bad actions and they coalesce to become a habit.
Therefore, for the healthy all- round development of children all the factors that influence them need to be set right.

 

Belief… A force multiplier

Make right convictions
Beliefs have the power to create and to destroy. Once accepted, our beliefs become unquestioned commands to our nervous system, and they have the power to expand or destroy the possibilities of our present and future. If we want to direct our lives, then we must take conscious control over our beliefs. There are certain events or evidences that form our belief and start directing our actions. We always keep looking for evidences that can help building new ones and neutralising the existing ones. Always try and build empowering beliefs that can help you achieve your goals.
Four key beliefs of successful people:

Belief 1: Have Succeeded

Successful people believe in their skills and talents. They constantly tell themselves that they have the skills and talents to win and keep winning. They lean on their past successes to maintain their successful attitude. This helps in building their confidence and positivism.

Belief 2: Can Succeed

Successful people believe that they have the capability within themselves to make desirable things happen. They are confident that they can succeed. Through sheer force of their personal ability or brainpower, can steer a situation in their direction They believe in not getting afraid of uncertainty or ambiguity.

Belief 3: Will Succeed

Successful people believe that they have all the motivation to succeed and are optimistic in their endeavors. They have an unflappable optimism that if we have succeeded in the past, we can in the present and so will be in future.

Belief 4: Choose to Succeed

Successful people always choose to succeed. They see opportunities where others see threats. With high self-determination they do what they chose to do and remain committed to their beliefs.
Success in achieving a goal depends upon your belief whether you are competent to achieve the desired goal or not. Your belief depends on your past experiences and focus, which together sometimes might create a belief that can be disempowering. Make those beliefs that empower you.
Right convictions help us to make strong foundation. They act as guides on the path to success and turn what we wish for into reality.

 

 

A Different Perception

Never give up and be persistent

Once there was a hare and the tortoise. They had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some tine. Then realising he was far ahead, he sat under a tree to relax for sometime and soon fell asleep. The tortoise overtook him and emerged as the winner.
The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

This is the version that we’ve all grown up with. But, here is an interesting version of this story I’ve come across, with a different perspective and can be a good performance enhancer in our life.

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realised that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there’s no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.

The moral of the story:

1.Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.

2.If you have two people in your workplace, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable will climb the performance chart than the slow and methodical.

3.It’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable.


But the story doesn’t end here. The tortoise did some thinking and realised that there’s no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. He then challenged the hare to another race, but this time on a different route. The hare agreed.They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of miles on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral of the story:

1.First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit to your competency.

2.Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed, but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.

The story still hasn’t ended. The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends
and they did some thinking together. Both realised that the last race could have been run much better.
So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this rime. They started off, and this rime the hare carried the tortoise till the river bank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together.

The moral of the story:

1.It’s good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you’re able to work in a team and harness each other’s core competenicies, you’ll always perform below par.

2.By sharing resources and working as team will always beat individual performers.

With a change in perspective, we further learn 

In life, when faced with failure,
Sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in that extra effort.
Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try mething different.

And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

Finally,
When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform better.

There are always different perspectives, perceptions, and meanings. Be persistent in your efforts to strive for something better.

A State of Well-being

Well-being is accessible to each one of us. Our thoughts and emotions are our messengers and the key to understand them is through gaining awareness by means of meditation. Making meditation a way of life helps you to realise your intrinsic nature and also to respond in a constructive way. Practicing insightful meditation enables you to avoid impulsive reactions and to remain at peace and to be harmonious with the outside world. Welcoming each moment keeps you connected with yourself and others. Staying connected to your experiences helps you to a acknowledge your unchanging inner self which can be tapped into anywhere and anytime.
Following are the insights mentioned in various meditation practices. Setting the following insights into your meditation practice not only increases your concentration but also helps you maintain your focus to meet your goals.

Find your intentions

Meditating with right intentions develop focus, determination, patience, and perseverance. Intentions are agreements you make with yourself and then express through your actions in your daily activities. if you don’t set firm intentions, you will eventually find yourself wandering and might lose sight of the reason you are meditating.
Intentions set can be small or large. Aim is to discover your genuine intentions and affirm those with certainty in your meditation practice. Express each intention in small phrases in present tense as if it is true. This enables your subconscious mind to register them as actualities. Resolutely follow and affirm your intentions for they enable you to overcome all trials and suffering.

Feeling of being

Practice meditation not to become whole, but to connect to your existing wholeness. Realise that wholeness is your birth right and are more than a limited individual. When you connect to your existing wholeness, other aspects of love, kindness and peace arise naturally. During the practice stay
focused on the sensation and experience of being, this will eventually turn off the negative thoughts.
By experiencing the wholeness you start to be paying attention to the present moment.  Just being is a familiar feeling that you have always known and you are perfect in the present moment. You willstart to feel complete. Experiencing the feeling of being brings inner peace and calmness.

Connect to something bigger

Meditation helps us to get in touch with universal life force that connects us all. During the practice learn to align with this force. This connection with bigger force results in a more expensive mind, that is not narrowly focused on how things should be, not focused on small desires, but can see those as part of bigger picture. Connecting to and experiencing the universal life force enhances concentration and your present opens up to infinite possibilities. This enables you to interact and respond rather than contract and react. The expansiveness of mind gives a meaning and purpose to your life.

Practice mindful breathing

Taking hold of your breath builds concentration. Meditating on your breathing is a natural and extremely effective tool to prevent dispersion and enables you to release obsessive thinking. Observing and following breath exhalations and inhalations enhances your ability to sense and respond to the information your body is sending.
Awareness of your breathing patterns allows you to make changes where required to maintain equilibrium. You can continue to do so while walking, sitting or when you are outdoors. Experiencing the whole breath-body, practice relaxation and letting go with each breath.
You can also practice to count your number of inhalations and exhalations to develop focused attention and concentration. When you recognise you are distracted, gently bring back your attention back to your breath. Breath-counting helps you to maintain a single- pointed focus.Z

Accept your thoughts and emotions

Meditating on your feelings and thoughts makes you stay calm, grounded, and healthy. There can be many disharmonious, negative, and disturbing thoughts that arise when you try and meditate focusing on them. When such strong feelings arise, refusing to accept and labelling them as enemy will only make them come back more strongly as if they are here to convey important information.
You need to welcome and experience emotions both negative and positive. Know that they are not the enemy but are just seeking your attention. Learn to observe and respond instead of reacting.
By focusing on every thought and its opposite, anxiety, fear, and  self- judgements no longer control your life. You can no longer remain a hostage to your negative emotions.

Welcome feelings of joy

Joy is an essential emotion which is already within us, waiting to be experienced no matter what the outside circumstances may be. But many of us believe that it only comes by material possessions or achieving a particular outcome. We keep searching for it outside in objects, relationships, and other experiences. When you denied the feelings of joy which is a natural phenomenon, you lose life’s meaning and its purpose.
When you meditate and welcome joy, its opposite in the form of negative feeling. Welcome that as well. Experiencing both at the same time makes you realise how stressful the opposite is and how it affects your body and mind. When it feels right, release the stressful and let joy radiate through you,
Meditation can unearth unchanging irrespective of the circumstances thereby reducing the perceptions of pain, anxiety, and depression.

Contemplate on interdependence

Meditating on the interdependent nature of the nature makes you realise that everything is a part of an interconnected wholeness. We normally see reality in compartments and make boundaries around
ourselves. Because of this we are unable to see the interdependent nature of the world we live in.
We are connected and not separate  in our suffering and in our desire to be happy.
When you  live the sufferings and joy of others, you start to realise the impermanence of the universe
and can strengthen the positive emotions of gratitude and compassion. Experience yourself as a unique expression of life, interconnected with the Universe.
Regular practice of meditation helps you to attain an ideal state of mind. A well disciplined and controlled mind is necessary for various aspects of well-being. Nourish your intention of making meditation a daily practice. Practicing these insights individually or together with patience and perseverance will provide you with a sense of well-being, purpose and meaning. 

       ” The mind is everything. What you think you become “

                                                                 – Buddha
                                                             

Tips for better parenting

Parenthood is very demanding task  and plays an important role in developing a child’s overall personality. Parenting has a far reaching effect on children’s character, behaviour and their achievements as they are a reflection of the experiences they have at home with their parents. Although all parents wish their children to have courage, compassion and high morality, yet very few put in conscious effort to achieve this goal.

Parents often complain about their children’s disobedience, lack of discipline and disregard for the rules set by them. The reasons for these problems though varying, are not difficult to seek. More often than not they lie in faulty practices.
Parenting is not a skill that everyone is born into. It is a learning process. Parenting if practiced sincerely, can definitely help resolve certain of these problems and even where there are none, will enhance their bonding

What is required is unconditional love, treating them with respect,encouraging them for independent thought and appreciation for their efforts however trivial they may seem. Parental criticism, over demanding nature and lack of sensitivity to their problems widens the communication gap between them and the child. children slowly drift away from parents and stop taking them into confidence. Parents have to make a genuine effort to bond well with their kids.

Some Do’s and Dont’s 

                         Bonding, Happiness, and happy parenting

1. Discover the reasons.

It is so important not to damage children’s confidence. When they do something wrong, find the reasons for the inappropriate behaviour and habits. Make them realise that it was their behaviour that was bad and not them. Love them unconditionally yet set certain rules that are workable and enforce them.

2. Choose the right time

Never discipline them when you are angry. Parents should never openly contradict each other in front of their children. Do not try to release your stress on them and use them as an outlet for your frustrations. Spend quality time with friendly interactions with your children and healthy discussions. Be available to them at all times for their physical and emotional needs.

3. Create confidence

Listen to them with undivided attention. Encourage a dialogue instead of lecturing. If there is something to debate, ask what they know and think of that particular topic and learn to respect their opinion and their knowledge.
Value their opinion and give them freedom to express themselves freely quite often. This creates a healthy self-respect and makes them feel accepted and appreciated.

4. Avoid nagging

Do not be over demanding with the children in order to make them into whom you want them to be. Imposing your wishes on them and making strict rules will only result in making them rebel against later. Learn that your children need not follow your foot steps. Encourage them to take right path to achieve what they believe in and help them to go further than you are.

5. Accept them with good & bad

Give them freedom to disclose those things that make them unhappy and to share what they truly feel. Accept them with their strengths and weaknesses, so that they are capable of seeing themselves honestly. This will make them understand that there is no need to hide something from parents

6. Never compare

Instead of comparing your child with other children, compare with your own child’s previous performance and efforts put in towards it. This would motivate him towards better performance. Always appreciate the efforts put in and encourage them to dwell more on hard work and not just on success and failure

7. Express appreciation 

Be consistent in expressing your appreciation. Express your love and affection to your children quite often. Do not assume that they understand an occasional pat. Focus on their strengths and not on them. Ignore minor inappropriate behaviour and encourage rewarding their good behaviour.

Beauty lies within…just be

There is this very famous Zen story, where a Zen abbot went dressed in rags to the door of a rich man  and was turned away with an empty bowl. So he returned in his formal robe of office and was invited in and served a sumptuous meal. Removing his robes and  placing them in front of the feast, he walked away saying “This meal is not for me, it is for the robe.”

Many of us perceive others by the way they are dressed or the way they look. Similarly there is a vast difference in how others perceive us to what we really are. This fundamental difference in perception gives rise to a false self which would want to seek appreciation and acceptance from others. At this moment, we start to draw comfort from various ideas people have put together to define a standard behaviour.

We begin to allow ourselves get influenced by what others think of us. We try to impress and start imitating what we see around us, thereby losing our true self. We deny our inner self because others won’t or can’t recognise it. Thus, fading our soul which is meant to be unique, mysterious, and beautiful.

Trying to fit into others definitions of you not only erodes your self esteem but also becomes a continuous struggle to become what you are not.

Resist the temptation to allow others define what you are. Do not deny your own beauty because others fail to recognise it. Instead accept yourself and know that beauty exists not in sameness but in being your true self.
Know that you need not match with someone else’s definition of pretty and regardless of outward appearances, at the core of heart, each one is perfect, pure, and with same potential.