Your 5 year old kid throws a tantrum and refuses to go to school anymore. Your older son gets pathetic marks in 8 out of 9 subjects. The wash basin in your house starts leaking in the middle of a party. The household help bunks work for the fifth time in the month. The cabbies decide to go on strike. You drop your expensive phone into the kitchen sink. Your blood tests show your sugar levels rising. Your CEO implements a 15% pay-cut. You tear your trouser right at the bottom while jumping into the train. The house owner asks you abruptly to vacate your rented apartment. Your biggest client sacks you. You’re late for a meeting and a cop stops you for jumping signals. You tell yourself – something AWESOME is going to come out of this.
I agree this is crazy. It is irrational, outrageous. This is not a normal way of thinking. This is EPT. Extremely Positive Thinking.
You’re sitting in front of your comp. And forwarding a joke to your friends. You smile to yourself even as you’re sending the joke. You can imagine your friends smiling too. Guess one of them does. Coz he replies immediately “Good one, pal!”. You’re not the one who made up the joke, but you almost feel as if you did. Ah, that makes you open many of the unread mails in your inbox. You find many nice jokes in those. Very soon you have a cleaned up inbox. What an accomplishment! Something you had planned for the last one week is finally over.
You open the door only to find two leaking milk packets at your feet. The milkman sucks.. is what you would have normally said. Not today. Not now. You’re in too good a mood to get mad at him. You decide to spare your wife of the agony as well. You want to give her break. Let’s give her a surprise, you think. You hate making tea, but today is different. You make tea and toast the bread as well. Which wife wouldn’t want a husband who does that? An early morning thank you kiss is all you need to keep going.
Next time someone asks you ‘Do you have brains?’, tell them you have THREE of them. Yes you really do. We all have three brains, one in the head, one in the heart and one in the gut. No kidding! It’s a proven fact of neurological science. And it’s also proven that the brains in the heart and the gut are far more powerful than the one in the head!
What that tells me is that I need to use my head less often. Ah, what a relief! Have you ever faced a situation where you’ve thought and thought.. and thought and thought.. and the more you thought, the more confused you got? And you concluded.. “My brains are just not working!” Well, maybe the problem was not with the brain. Maybe, you just used the WRONG one.
How often have you heard someone telling you “I’m the type who likes to be busy.” Or “My house is always neat and tidy.” “I’m a class-topper.” Or even “I always play to win.”
The list can go on and on.. “I CAN NEVER…” ,“I’M TOO FINICKY TO …”, “ I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A…”,
You might think “What’s wrong in saying all that?” Problem is when we say such things we’re setting ourselves up. We tend to get so attached to that cute little story we’ve created for ourselves, we want that story to come true. Every single time. And when even once something that doesn’t conform to our story happens, we feel the heavens have collapsed on us! We feel lost, identity-less! I’ve seen people who live their stories all their lives. They carry their labels on them whether they change professions, cities, relationships..
Are you caught up in the ‘SHOULD BE’ trap?
I was. I always felt that things SHOULD happen the way I expected.
My clients SHOULD be reasonable.
My family SHOULD be more understanding.
My boss SHOULD be more sensitive.
My colleagues SHOULD be less jealous.
The traffic SHOULD follow lane discipline.
The neighbour’s dog SHOULD bark less at night.
The government SHOULD be more effective.
The weather SHOULD be ..
There’s an awesome story I came across in a book a long time ago.
There once lived a farmer. He had a son and a horse. One day the horse ran away and the neighbours came to the farmer to console him “What bad luck that your horse has run away!”
The farmer said “Who knows whether it’s good luck or bad luck?”
“Of course it’s bad luck!” said the neighbours.
A few days later, the farmer’s horse came back – with twenty more wild horses! The neighbours came to celebrate this time. “What good luck”, said they, “that your horse has come back with another twenty!”
“Who knows whether it’s good luck or bad luck?” replied the farmer.
And some of the neighbours, by now angry, said “Of course, it’s good luck, you silly old fool!”
What do you do when you’ve opened too many programs on your computer and it hangs? REBOOT IT! What’s the best thing to do when your phone’s memory is jammed by too many open applications? RESET IT!
What happens when you reboot/reset electronic devices? The unwanted data disappears from memory and the device starts functioning the way it was supposed to.
Many years back I had a boss who used to do exactly this. He used to start afresh. He used to RESET himself. EVERY SINGLE DAY! Every day he told himself – Today, is the first day of the rest of my Life! Every Day. And that was his Reset button. The moment he pressed that button, he forgot every negative, unpleasant thing that had happened to him till the day before. He had made it a habit to learn IMMEDIATELY from every mistake he made, because he knew that in a day’s time, the learning would stay (on his hard disk, you might say..) but the incident was going to vanish from his memory.
Look.. for the right job. Look.. for the right product. Look.. for the right relationship. Look here. Look there. Is life all about looking around? When will you stop looking and start doing?
You know what, sometimes it’s more exciting, when you have a good look.. RIGHT AFTER you’ve done something! So what if you end up saying “Look! What a mess I’ve created!” No problem. The world will respect you more for creating a mess and learning from it, than just fooling around watching other people create their mess!
We all want to be loved right? By our family, by our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors.. And so often we do get that love. We really do. Even if we don’t believe it! Question is, how much do WE really love OURSELVES? I would say most of us are so caught up in attracting attention, care and respect from others, we rarely stop to experience that beautiful feeling of love for ourselves – from within.
Much of this thinking is because of the conditioning we get from society around us. Society has always considered ‘giving’ to be a much bigger virtue than ‘receiving’. Love thy enemy, love thy neighbor, love thy family.. We do all that, and forget to love ourselves.
Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.. is what everyone says. And I agree. Yet I procrastinate..so often. Like most people alive, it comes really easily to me! But there’s one thing I don’t procrastinate about.. living Life!
Life is far too precious for me to put off to tomorrow. But I did try.. mind you. Many years ago, I convinced myself that there are a million other things more important today than living my life. And I promised myself that I would live life to the fullest.. tomorrow! And I waited.. and waited.. and waited. But tomorrow never came! While I was busy working and worrying and fire-fighting, Life kept waiting for me.
Why is it that some people are always cribbing about lack of time and there are others who seem to have it in abundance? They say people who crib about lack of time are actually disorganized, inefficient, lazy. I thought – shouldn’t it be the other way round? People who have lots of time probably have it because either they have nothing to do or are actually disorganized, inefficient and lazy and are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing!
In fact I went one step ahead – I felt God ought to give the first group MORE time to finish the things they want to do. Like maybe an extra hour every day. Isn’t that a pretty fair thing to expect? Ya, they are the ones who are working hard. And they could do with some extra time. They need it Man! Believe me, I even know what these people need more time for.. I happen to be one of them!
I once read something really interesting about our brain. It is said that there is a powerful part of the brain, the Amygdala, that wants the world to run on routine, not change. Located within an ancient area of the mind that deals with the way you perceive and respond to the world, the Amygdala urges us to favor the familiar and routine. It craves control and safety, which at times can be vital. It dissuades you from embracing anything that involves risk, change, or growth.
When I was 22 years old (that was nearly 20 years ago), I was not the same person I am today. I was shy, timid, weak (literally!) I remember I was on a train journey from Pune to Bangalore, a distance of over 600 miles. My first long distance journey alone! I was scared like hell! I thought the world was out there to cheat me. Barely a few hours into the 22 hour journey, a group of youngsters asked me to remove my suitcase from the ‘upper’ berth where I had kept it, as one of them wanted to have an afternoon nap on the berth. I refused! I pretended to be tough. The guys ganged up on me and threatened to offload me from the train. I surrendered but protested “You guys are bullying me” I told them, and asked myself “Why should this happen to me? It’s unfair..”
Inertia is a BAD word. It can wreak havoc in your life. Sometimes getting out of bed and wearing your jogging shoes can seem to be the most difficult thing to do in life. Yet one day you are able to move yourself out of lethargy. You not only wear your shoes, you actually go for a 20 minute walk too. That day and the next day and the next day! You feel delighted. A sense of accomplishment engulfs you. The mega business order you bagged the previous week pales in comparison to the significance of this achievement! You tell yourself.. now only if I could continue this tomorrow and the day after and.. forever. And then disaster strikes!
“We are here to learn lessons, the world is our classroom and Life is our teacher” – Andrew Matthews.
If there ever was one thought that changed my life, it is the quote above. This philosophy suddenly gave new meaning to my life. I started seeing sense in everything that was happening around me. I had always believed that every problem I was facing was an opportunity in disguise. What I now realized was that many of my problems were recurring, again and again, and I understood that I was stuck in the same class and Life was teaching me that lesson again and again simply because I had not yet learnt it completely.
This is a test post. Please ignore it.