Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcoming the New Year

Welcoming the New Year

Introduction: The cycle goes on! An old year comes to an end and the new approaches. Very soon the world will step out into the New Year, waving a good-bye to 2010. How can one welcome the New Year and make the most of it? This article will help you to celebrate the New Year in a true sense of the term, ‘New’.

Look back with gratitude: The primary thing we got to do to welcome the New Year is not to forget the blessings that the past year has bestowed on us. Look back and think how God or Providence has brought you through the past year. Recount your good times and bad times and be grateful for them. Yes, you read it right! Be grateful even for your bad times for if you have the right attitude, you will know that even what was unpleasant had a purpose in your life. It was probably a lesson to teach you valuable things. So enter the New Year with a heart of gratitude towards God, people, the Universe and everything.

Set Goals: Well I don’t need to say this. Do I? We all do set goals at the start of the New Year. But don’t set vague goals. Divide your life in different stages like Professional, Family, Social, and Health etc. Set yearly goals for all these areas. For example, your professional goal could be to be promoted to the next level, for that you may need the step to go to the Management class you’ve been procrastinating. You may want to spend some days of the year exclusively for your family members; you got to do some saving, planning and set aside time for your dear ones and their needs. Your social goal may be to contribute to some charity or your church, decide the amount or value you want to contribute this year. Your goal for your health may be to get slimmer and cut on the red meat or go for a jog. Then just start doing it. Remember, if you don’t plan your year, someone or something else will plan it for you and you will run for things that you won’t be pleased doing and reaching.

Give joy: One worthwhile goal to make your life fruitful in this New Year would be to decide to give joy to others. Make it a point that the persons you encounter in the New Year would leave your presence feeling brighter, happier and encouraged. Smile and people will smile back to you. Love and you will receive love. Give and you will be given. To give joy it is primary that you yourself remain happy and joyful. You cannot give what you don’t possess. So be filled with joy and laughter. The Universe gives back what you send to it. Remember this principle, if you have this goal of giving joy, you will end up in the New Year getting joy in abundance.

Be Proactive: Proactiveness is aptly described in the quote, “If your ship doesn’t come to the shore, swim out to meet it.” It means taking appropriate action beforehand to manipulate the outcome of your desire. Before I see the consequences that would be unpleasant, I take action and control the outcome. Before the doctor shows me a red signal for my health condition, I start jogging. Before the semester marks show poor performance, I start studying daily. Before my customers look for the second option, I make them feel at home in my organization. Before the emergency sets in, I save enough money in my saving account. Proactiveness will give me a sense of control over events in the New Year. At the end, I would look back and say, ‘I came, I saw and I conquered.’ Have a blessed year! (Sohan)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taking control over you mind

Taking Control over Your Mind

Introduction: A young boy watches a successful businessman working and deploying orders to his subordinates one day. He gets fascinated by the idea that he would be a successful entrepreneur one day and do the same. He is filled with passion and enthusiasm. Now his life is changed for in his thoughts he carries the picture of the successful entrepreneur all day long. His friends and family see a drastic change in the way he talks and walks, the way he behaves. He is now serious about his purpose in life. He gives more attention to his studies and class attendance. He has few selected friends who all dream of making it big in the world, who carry their own similar dreams in their hearts. They always discuss about the same when they gather together, they encourage each other’s ideas, and they help each other to dream big. After 20 years there is a buzz in the business circle about a budding new entrepreneur. They admire as they talk of his business skills, his daring to take unprecedented risks and his abilities to communicate and connect to his clients and customers. Who is this young man? He is the same boy who got fascinated by the idea of being a successful businessman, who nurtured that idea, put his thoughts to action and now reaps the harvest of his thoughts. “As a man thinketh so is he.” (The Bible). Thoughts are real things and they go on make a personality- successful or unsuccessful, happy or sad, confident or fearful. The truth of the matter is that those who control their thoughts and their minds are successful, happy and content but if the mind controls you then the reverse is true. So how do we go about controlling our minds?

1. Realize that you are the master of your mind: Many people go through all their lives without realizing that they should be the ones who should be controlling their thought life. They feel that their thoughts are on auto-pilot. They just accept whatever thoughts that come to their minds. So if they have these thoughts that are gloomy, depressed and unhealthy, they accept them, they feel them and act accordingly. They start feeling that there’s nothing that this life has to offer them. They feel trapped; they feel like victims of circumstances, people and chance. They complain and whine and have resentment towards God and others. The tragedy is that many of the people go to the graves without realizing their potentials for they have never learnt to master their minds. Edmund Hillary when he climbed Mount Everest, was questioned about his great feat. He replied wisely when he said, “It’s not about conquering mountains, it’s about conquering yourself.” There is an ounce of truth in that quote, one who conquers himself, his mind, is unstoppable.

2. Monitor your thoughts: The second essential that we require to do is to watch what thoughts come to us all day long. If we have come to know that our thoughts make us then it is vital that I know what I am thinking all day long or at any given moment of time. So sit down and jot down your thoughts, what are they telling you? Are they condemning you, belittling you, putting you in depression or are they encouraging you, uplifting you and honoring you. One way to know what we are thinking at any point of time is to monitor our feelings for it is our thoughts that give way to our feelings. So if you are feeling sad, it is mirroring your types of thoughts, if you are joyous, you know what thoughts you are thinking. Some people find it useful to write down their thoughts. Once you monitor your thoughts, you will be surprised how illogical some negative thoughts can be. You will realize what harm or benefit your thoughts are doing to you. Unless I diagnose the problem, I cannot cure it. To change your thought life it is vital, that you learn to monitor and get aware of your thoughts at a given point of time.

3. Replace unhealthy thoughts: The third step is logical conclusion of the first two. Once you realize that you can be master of your thoughts, once you become aware of your thoughts and what are they doing to your life, you now have to graduate to the next step and that is, replace unhealthy thoughts with healthy and wholesome thoughts. You get into a state of emotion at any given point of time by the nature of your thoughts and if you want to get into a better state of emotion, it is vital that you change your thoughts. Our minds are like monkeys that hold on to the nuts, even though the monkeys know that holding on to them can get them into trouble. In India here, people keep nuts in a slightly open cage where the monkey can slide in its hand inside just enough to reach the nuts. When its fist is closed as it holds the nuts, it cannot bring it out. It has to leave the nuts to slide out its hand. But surprisingly the monkey holds on to the nuts and gets caught. Many times we hold on to things that are keeping us trapped. Success, joy and fulfillment elude us because we keep on holding to unhealthy thoughts. The secret is to let go and allow better thoughts to take over your mind.

4. To control your mind, control your breath: Many of us are unaware that the way we breathe goes on to affect our lives in a tremendous way. Is there a science of breathing? Surely, there is a science behind breathing. Have you ever seen a small baby breathing, it is called as natural and scientific breathing. You will notice that the child always breathes from deep down his stomach and that’s why a small child below a year would move his tummy as he or she breathes. As we grow into adulthood, we learn unnatural way of breathing. We breathe in a shallow way. We breathe from our chests or from our throats. Our breaths are no more rhythmic. This affects our mind and physical health. Remember the primary requirement for any human being is oxygen. If your body cells are oxygenated properly, you will have a good health and a healthy mind. Your mind would be more alert if you can breathe properly as the oxygen level to your brain would plenty, but on the contrary if you breathe in a shallow way, you would have a mind that is not alert, but confused and blurred because it has not been receiving its quota of oxygen required. It is vital that every day you take some time out for yourself and sit in a quiet place where you can meditate. Count your breaths up to six as you inhale, then hold till you count six and release as you again count to six. Think nothing but of your breath at this time. Continue in the same fashion for ten minutes and gradually as you feel comfortable increase your time. This simple exercise will go a long way to improve your concentration, health and of course the control you have over your mind. You will realize that you can now master your mind and direct your thoughts to the things that you want.

5. Take time out for yourself everyday: In the world of 21st century, there is hardly any time for a person to catch his breath. It is a great paradox that though many of the technological gadgets are invented to make our life simpler and easier so that we can find more time for ourselves, they have made our lives just the opposite. We are busier than ever. Even with our hi-tech computers, palm tops and cell phones, we hardly have any time left ourselves and our loved ones. In the din and bustle of everyday life, it is vital that we find some time for ourselves. A private time, a quiet time, where no one can disturb us is the most essential requirement for every person. You may have this time in your room or out in the woods where no one is there to disturb you. Of course keep your cell phones and other gadgets away from you during this time. During this time you many pray to God, meditate, or read some inspirational material. Try not to think of anything else at this time. You may also use this time to listen to the voice of universal wisdom guiding you. Use this time to know more about yourselves. Know your dreams, aspirations, your strengths and potentials. Use this mind to sharpen your thoughts, sharpen your skills, and sharpen your mind. A place of solitude will give your mind the necessary break to relax, retreat and rejuvenate so that it becomes more alert, focused and controlled. If you can’t seem to find any free time for yourself, try getting up an hour earlier. Morning times when still the whole world is still slumbering is the best time to take out for yourself.

Conclusion: “The mind can be a cruel master but a faithful servant.” It is vital that you run your mind and your thoughts so that you ultimately run your life. If you religiously use the above given steps to learn to control your mind, they will do wonders for you and your mind. Let me end by this well known saying, “Watch your thoughts; they become words, watch your words; they become emotions, watch your emotions; they become actions, watch your actions; they become habits, watch your habits; they become your character and watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Remember it is not about conquering mountains, but conquering yourselves, your mind.
Joy be all yours