Happiness is a choice
"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."
Everyone on this planet lives. Some live with satisfaction and some devoid of it. Life is a joy for some. But for many, it is a vacuum in spite of having everything that is needed for a decent living. If we analyze, we will soon realize that the problem lies in our own mind.
No one can deny us of our victories, joys, creativity, development and a change for the better. Because we are not robotic toys for somebody to drive us the way they want? No way!! We have an independent mind with boundless abilities. So… if at all there is a barricade to our progress, it is our own self. Now, let us try to realize our potential. For a happy life we need to make efforts to channelize all our talents and reach the pinnacle of success.
Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next”. How true! A disgusting hairy caterpillar, builds a cocoon, sheds the ugly skin and emerges out as a beautiful butterfly with joy and also spreading the joyfulness around. And yes, some die as just caterpillars. We can also be the change by using self introspection as a cocoon to change our attitude, systematically shed our imperfections, develop wings of confidence and determination and fly towards success and happiness.
Explore your innate powers
If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. But if the life inside cracks the shell open and comes out then it becomes a chick. As there is life hidden inside an egg and a huge tree captured inside a tiny seed, butter invisible in milk, and a beautiful butterfly waiting to be revealed in a caterpillar, everyone has unlimited potential within that is unknown even to oneself.
A person having several books on personality development in his shelf remains a security guard of the book shelf if he never reads them. Similarly, if we don’t explore our innate powers we just remain a non entity. We can explore diamonds from a land covered with rock and coal only if we go deep inside. Self introspection is extremely helpful in digging out our innate abilities and to guide ourselves in the direction we desire.
Let’s see what innate power means. There was a time when climbing Mount Everest was considered impossible. Several persons from around the World tried and failed. Some even lost their lives. Only after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary conquered Everest, people realized it as possible to reach the top and later several persons including physically challenged have tried and reached the summit. Similarly records are being set in a variety of fields.
With determination and perseverance, the old records are being broken and overcome. All this is possible because of the awakening of their innate mental abilities. Even in day-to-day activities we discover that we are able to do things, which we earlier considered impossible, when it becomes absolutely necessary. This proves that we are able to awaken our unidentified powers. If we challenge our minds, we can gain in knowledge and experience.
Use your intrinsic powers
The capacity of the wax candle to defy darkness is known only when it is lit. The capacity of a bamboo flute in generating mesmerizing melodies is known only when it is played. We come to know the richness of our intrinsic powers only when we start using them. The more we know about our mental abilities we also know how it works. It is no exaggeration to say that we are not using a fraction of our mental abilities.
If we keep trying, our performance efficiency can be spectacularly improved. A few years ago students used to be happy if they scored 60%. Now even 98% doesn’t seem to make some contented. They feel they should have worked harder. It is understood without saying that a healthy plant sprouts out of a healthy seed. Likewise our experiences, successes and personality spring from the seeds of healthy thoughts and mindset.
Every person who wants to walk on the path of development has to tune the mind towards it. Instead of assessing or analyzing or bemoaning the progress made by others, we need to focus on analyzing ourselves. John F. Kennedy said ‘ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’. Similarly we should ask what we have done to ourselves and devote time for inspiring ourselves.
Change in our mind set
A slight change in our mind set can result in a great change in our outlook that in turn can change the course of our life too. People of India accepted the British as a superior race born to rule. They worked willingly under them. The British treated them as slaves. One thought inspired by some great Indian leaders has changed the mind-set of the people. They worked together and achieved an impossible task of chasing the British away and achieved Independence.
Hot wax can be shaped and made to do whatever we wish. Similarly our experiences, environment, societal compulsions, traditions and monetary constraints shape our personality. The personality can be changed or a person can change it by himself/herself. Mind is deposit of mental impressions developed by ourselves with the past experiences in the environment. We can change our mental impressions by constant practice of inducing positive affirmations in our thinking process.
Once the seed of positive affirmation is sown and strengthened the thinking process with confidence, then just as a seed grows into a mighty tree, our way of thinking will bring incredible change in us. Even though we sow a seed deep inside the soil, it sprouts and emerges out of the soil. It aligns itself to the direction of the Sun and strives to grow taller and stronger. It withstands the harsh Sun, cold, winds and storms and continues its growth. It aims for the sky.
As the tiny seed grows into a huge tree, the seed of ‘Positive affirmation’ should become a mental impression and should grow up into a great zeal. As a seed becomes a tree we should stride forward with positive and desirable thinking process with goals. We should aim for the sky. You might have heard of people who have reached great heights confidently, by adopting legal, legitimate and socially accepted and genuine methods. Several persons rose from abject poverty to great riches just by a change in their mindset.
They might not have become famous in the society, but rose up to great heights in their lives. And there are others who had significant wealth and fame but dropped to the ordinary gradually. They end up so because of their pessimistic thoughts. There is no doubt in the fact that our growth is a factor of our thought processes. It is natural for everyone to commit mistakes. But it is wrong to keep brooding over them and indulging in self pity like cowards. Mistakes have to be treated as lessons for life. NLP experts say that failure is a feedback. And it is neither final nor fatal.
Life is a journey
Sometimes a few incidents change our way of thinking. Let us recall the story of Yogi Vemana. He lived a life of fun and frolic. Then he was vexed with that kind of life. He fell into a kind of depression. It is after reaching that state he became an ascetic and bestowed humanity with the understanding of the naked truths of life in the form of poetic couplets. Goutama Buddha led a cloistered life with specific thoughts. On seeing a corpse, he came to know about the death.
And his mind which was in deep slumber woke up to reality. He became the founder of Buddhism. To put it in simple words, Vemana and Buddha went through depression. But they didn’t slide into thoughts of suicide and end their lives. They came out of the depression and became legendary men. Those with a positive outlook will stride forward with optimism. There are several people who started life anew after losing everything they had.
Life is a journey. We don’t stop travelling because there are speed breakers. We slow down at a speed breaker and accelerate again once we cross it. Problems in life are like speed breakers. We slow down when we face a problem. We should solve the problem and move ahead with renewed enthusiasm, experience and joy. If we stop as soon as we face a problem, and wallow in self-pity, the journey of life stops there.
- Writer is counselling psychologist