Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Communicate to connect

Communicate to ConnectIntroduction: Communication is the order of the day in the 21st century. There is boom in communication technology with the availability of internet, cell-phones and Blue-tooth technology. We are all frantic about communicating to connect to our friends, relatives and business partners. The fact of the matter is human beings are social beings and they are supposed to communicate. Communication is happening at the board room meetings, it is occurring when two friends are chatting through the web; it is also happening when out in the jungle against all odds the Sage is in solitude and meditating to attain enlightenment. So how to master communication in the age of technology and communication? How to connect effectively with your friends, customers, colleagues, self and God? This article will throw a light on this topic.
Communicating with Self- We may be unaware of the fact that we all are constantly communicating with ourselves. We usually focus on communicating with others than self. Most of the programs are developed to help people communicate with their clients, customers, juniors and seniors effectively. But the quality of our communication will be directly proportional to the quality of our communication with ourselves. How you communicate with yourself will have a telling effect on how you communicate with others. The manner in which we communicate with ourselves decides whether we are peaceful, happy and content with our lives or whether we are frustrated, depressed and dissatisfied with our lives. Remember that we communicate with ourselves by the thoughts we think and what we say about ourselves when we are alone or in presence of others. If you are a person who thinks negatively and constantly have thought like, ‘can’t do’, ‘it’s hopeless’, ‘it won’t work’, ‘I am a victim’ etc. then you are communicating with yourself to fail in life. When you speak about yourself in solitude or in presence of others what do you say? Do you berate yourself? When people compliment you on your job, do you accept it or reject it demeaning yourself. If you do so then you are communicating to yourself that you don’t amount much in this world and that whatever you do doesn’t make any difference. You got to have a positive self image about yourself and start having thoughts that give joy, peace and health to you. If you improve your communication with yourself then you will learn to have healthy relations with others and then you will communicate effectively with them. Learn to meditate everyday for sometime during the day. Sit in a comfortable place and think thoughts that only focus on the good and positive. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes every day and that simple exercise would go a long way to help you to improve your communication with self. Sit and take an inventory of the words that you use daily. If you use words that de- motivate and
Communicating with others: When we communicate with others, we should remember what the Sages of the old used to practice before they uttered any word out of their mouth breaking their long held silence. They used to have a ‘Three-Gate’ test for a word to fall out of their mouths. The first gate test asked the question “Is it helpful?” The second asked, “Is it necessary?” and finally the third gate test asked, “Is it kind?” If a word passed all these tests then it was allowed to come out of their mouths. Follow this wisdom of the yore and you will drastically improve your communication with others. The bottom line is this that you may be communicating with your superiors, colleagues or juniors but what you say should be necessary, helpful and kind for others and yourself. “A soft answer turns away wrath” says the ancient Scriptures. Your words have power to incite or inspire, to make or break, to be cherished or remembered with vengeance. So choose the right words to improve your communication with others. Have words that spread joy, peace, health and honor. If you do this you will be paid back in same proportion. People will love to communicate with you. Your words would be like the honey dripping from a honey comb. No matter from what position you want to communicate or to whom you want to communicate, the bottom line is this that if you show that you communicate to care, you will be an effective communicator.
Silence as Communication tool: When we think of communication, most people would think that communication is about the words that we use. Some would say it also involves the body language and tonality and very few would be aware that Silence is also a form of communication. When you have an argument with your spouse, what does he or she do? They don’t talk with you. In silence, they are communicating their displeasure for the argument that occurred, so keeping silent is also a form of communicating. When someone is speaking, we learn to have patience and give that person our ears. When we are silent, we are communicating that we are listening and giving him chance to speak, we are showing through our silence that we value his speech. There is a story in the Bible, where the prophet Elijah is scared of a Queen who has issued a death warrant against him and he runs into the wilderness to avoid getting caught. He is troubled and sees a vision. In the vision he sees a storm, fire bypassing him. He feels that God is in the storm or the wind. But he is wrong. After these phenomena, he finds a lull, a silence and then he hears the voice of God speaking and encouraging him. There’s a lesson for us to learn in this incident. When you are silent, you are open to God or the Universe or the Nature communicating to you. Enlightenment and Wisdom is gained in silence that is why, Buddha was alone in silence meditating under a tree when he got enlightenment. The man against an empire, Gandhi knew the power of Silence and so he adopted a method that was unique, passive resistance. Oppose the British Empire but be not loud in the methods you use, through your silence communicate your opposition. We knew that the whole British Empire had to bend before this form of resistance. So silence has great value, benefits and power in it. Use it to your advantage. “Be still and know that I am God.” When you are still, you will realize that you are a part of the divine; you have it in you all that is required to reach your goals and be a success.
Conclusion: Communicate to connect. The aim of your communication should always be to connect, connecting to your real self, connecting and reaching to others’ hearts and connecting to the Supreme. May you communicate effectively and may you connect effectively as you communicate.
Joy be all yours. (Sohan)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Living your life to the fullest

Live Your Life to the Fullest!
Introduction: Living to the fullest is accurately described in the quote of Abraham Lincoln, “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” So let me ask you at the outset. Are you living your life to the fullest? By that I mean are you inspired, are you motivated to live? Is it a joy for you to face a new day, every day? Do you pursue your dreams passionately and do you feel that you are contributing to the society around you? Have you found real meaning of life? If you are saying ‘no’ to any of the questions above, this article is for you. In this article, I will be giving you some points that will help you to live your life to the fullest and find real meaning in your life.
Discover your purpose/passion: May I take the audacity to ask you, “Why are you here on planet earth?” What would your answer be to that? What’s your purpose in life? What are you passionate about? If you want to live your life to the fullest, you need to live for a purpose as the saying goes, “The purpose of life is to have a purposeful life”. To experience a life that is lived to the fullest, you got to discover your passion and your purpose, for it is in pursuing your purpose in life that you will find true meaning in your life. You will find your life worth living. Can you imagine Sachin Tendulkar without Cricket or Mother Teresa without Love or for that matter Bill Gates without Windows Software? These people are remembered for they discovered their true purpose in their lives and then they gave themselves to it fully. Your purpose may be to be a Singer, or to act in films or to teach in a school or college or to romance machines by being an engineer or it could even be to serve people through expounding the spiritual truths behind the mundane religious rituals. Discover your purpose in life and you will discover a new YOU.
Plan your route: Once you have discovered why you are here, now you need to know how you reach your purpose and passion. You need to chalk out your course to reach your goal. You need to decide on your short term goals and long term goals. Your long term goal would also be the place of your purpose or passion. You may reach there in the next 15 years or 10 years. But then you also got to plan a route that it every day pushing you ahead towards that goal and so you also have the short term goals in picture. So if you plan to be businessperson one day, you would want to complete your graduation in the next 3 years, then maybe you would plan to do MBA in the following 2 years and then work for some time as a Managing Executive in a good company that would give you a good experience of the way a business runs and then when you think enough is enough, you embark on your own and jump on to your ultimate passion. Planning your route and walking on it every day will help you to live everyday meaningfully knowing that what you do every day is not purposeless but serving to that greater purpose in your life. You will become excited as you have your passion and purpose in front of your eyes and the everyday mundane activities would turn into exciting events.
Change your perspective: How you view the world, decides where you reach in life. How you view the world decides whether you will find a fulfilled life or an empty life. Your perspective towards life is very important in keeping you happy and upbeat in life. The difference between those who find their lives fulfilled and those who don’t is their perspective, how they look at it. Do you look at the glass half filled or half empty? Do you see the rose balancing on thorns or blooming despite of thorns? Do you see opportunity in the difficulty or the difficulty in the opportunity? Your answers will show you your perspective. If you bear a negative perspective, you have to make efforts to change and graduate to an optimistic perspective. A person who views his future with hope, his present with joy and his past with gratitude is the person who will find fulfillment in his or her life. Things will start looking better when you give them a better look. Indeed “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
Take Action: Action is momentum and momentum is life. If you are not taking action on your goals, you are dead. The water that flows brings life, but the water that is stagnant brings death and disease. One bold action of faith will release an event or series of corresponding actions and finally you will come to realize your goals. When you want to live your life to the fullest you should be daily taking actions that are giving momentum to your life and the momentum will bring in the excitement in your life, the momentum will help you to reach your goals in life. If you sit thinking what to do and how to do too long, you would invite pessimism and doubt in your life and that doubt and pessimism will keep you away from taking action and if you don’t take an action you won’t have momentum and you will not see your goals realized which will further trouble you into depression and feeling of failure. Action is antidote to depression and negativism. Actions should start with improving yourself, your life. Take daily action that will take you to the next level. When you become unbeatable than nothing can stop you from achieving your goal and then life will be fun.
Take time out for your family and friends: Life is not all work. As Dalai Lama put it, “The goal of life is not to achieve sales target, it is to be happy.” To live your life to the fullest, you should be able to balance between work and your family. You should know when to stop your activities and start fulfilling your responsibilities at home. Spend time with your wife, go out for a candle-lit dinner with her and watch her eyes gleaming with pleasure for you, it will bring an unique satisfaction in your life that you won’t experience elsewhere. Play with your children or go out with them for a walk, learn to give your ears to what they have to say. Hear them before you go on preaching anything to them. Don’t preach them, but advice them on matters like a friend. They would be happy to know that their greatest friend on whom they can rely on are at their home. As you see your wife and children grow with you, you will find joy, satisfaction and fulfillment in your life. Take time out for your friends; go out with them to the Cafeteria and break bread with them. These varied activities will bring variety and fun in your life. Variety is the spice of life they say and it is so true.

Invest in your health and looks: To experience your life to the fullest, you should also be in the pink of your health. You should be pain and disease free. There goes a saying that many people first spend their time in earning money and then spend their money in earning back their lost health. Don’t be one them. Be wise, if you care for your health and looks now, they would do good for you to keep you healthy, active and alive for a long run. Your physique is like the goose that gives you the golden eggs, you got to feed and exercise the goose properly to keep you giving the golden eggs. If you neglect the goose or try to suck all life out of it to achieve voraciously what you desire, your health would break down and the golden eggs would stop coming. Drink plenty of water; take a good intake of vegetables balanced with your non-veg diet. Hit the gym if you can or even walking everyday or jogging or for that matter swimming, cycling, stretching just for 20 minutes a day would do wonders for your health. When your body is healthy, and energy flows out of you, you will be more active, feel alive and joyful.
Take time to smell the flowers and help others to smell them too: Finally, don’t forget to smell the flowers by the wayside as you trudge on the path to achieve your dreams. Take a moment out, watch the rainbow and cherish its beauty in your heart, give time to hum your favorite tune, have some time to play your favorite game of squash, go out on an excursion for sight-seeing. The bottom line is rejuvenating yourself by filling your life with work, duties, fun and relaxation. Believe me, you will get up from your bed with a fire in your belly and end your day with a prayer of gratitude. Don’t forget there are people around you who have forgotten to do this, help them to see the beauty this world has to offer, motivate and coach them in living the success principles, invest your time and money to help and uplift those in need. Contribute and give back to the people around you, it is your duty to do so for you wouldn’t have been without them. When you do this and find that one soul was able to breathe better because of you, you will have the joy of living your life to the fullest.
Conclusion: Friends, the universe, the creation of God, is in abundance and it wants you to live in abundance. The secret to abundant life is recognizing this fact and taking the above steps to experience life at its best and fullest. Raise a toast to your dream and your life. May you have life in your years as you go along the path of life.
Joy be all yours