Who am I? I don’t quite understand myself. I sometimes feel strongly energetic; powerful and daring enough to change the world to its best. Some other times, I feel suffocated- as if something ‘worthwhile’ is struggling to emerge from within but it cannot find its way out!!! I feel a bunch of emotions bottled up. I wonder if something is wrong with me?! Restlessness is as if the order of my life!
Im stuck in a quandary, unaware of which path to pursue! Should I dedicate myself to serving others and focus on the thought and action plan of bringing out something meaningful to this world or like the majority, tread on a ‘tried’ path (which every part of my being declines but is the onw my family hinges on) or yet forget everything else, hold nothing in mind, simply go with the flow and entrust myself to the Almighty?!
Though I might be knowing which path to walk on, I am not yet armoured with the confidence and knowledge to tread threon! From what I could gather from my thoughts until now, a majority of them points towards making a positive contribution to the world. But the question persists- HOW???
I may be having the courage but right now, I am void of the power- this is what leaves me powerless, restless and frustrated. Witnessing this world in shambles, degrading society and its people, I feel this strong urge to stand against these and do something; something that would be a totally win-win situation, in the betterment of EVERYONE! Corruption, domestic violence, social evils, troubled education system, irritating and near stagnant political systems, nepotism, racial disputes, patriarchal societies in many parts of the globe, many depressive and fagged out people out there demands a change. A positive change!
These thoughts are simply a 3-minutes trailer to my never ending movie. At the end of my alone time, (the time I devote to myself in assembling and sorting put my thoughts) I console myself (maybe this is the way things actually are) by telling myself – ” Everyone has a predestined path which come into sight when the time is right. Hopefully, mine as for everyone else, will surface soon. Thr universe has good plans; everything is already established and all that happens is for the best. We simply got to calm down, pause and believe in the ways of the Lord.
Breathe! Everything will fall into place.
Have you ever wondered “how could he even think in such a pathetic way?!” Or “It is so foolish on how she looks at things!”
But have you ever tried to comprehend their state of mind or attempted to really understand why do they think or act in such ways which defy your thinking process?!
If you guessed it right, yes, I’m talking about perceptions- Different attitudes towards a single situation, thing, event or person.
Everyone has their own way of perceiving things and events. Their viewpoints are based on their life experiences, thoughts, pattern of behaviour and habits.
If the line of thinking of Mr X is different to that of Mr Y, it does not, at any point mean that any of them is wrong- they simply do not have their views on an equal footing! They share different opinions to the same situation and different does not mean wrong.
This is exactly how we, a majority of the world citizens behave. We hold onto one of our beliefs and form ‘our truth’ that we fail to understand the perspective of the one opposite us.
Maturity and magnanimosity lies, not in the attempt of proving oneself right everytime or hustle around imposing one’s views on others , but in the practice of understanding their point of view and the way they are interpreting things. This does not only avoid unnecessary conflicts but also makes one feel a peace with oneself as one is free from needless anger or frustration.
Let’s take some examples:
Mr A see a square, Miss B see a circle and Mrs C see a cylinder. Which one is correct???
Would you be surprised if i say all of them are correct?! Indeed they are! Because all of them are acting on what they see. It’s all about their individual perpective. No one is wrong until they see it from a spatial view (top view).
You might think this is a bucket, but from the perspective of an ant it is a vast lake, to an elephant it is just a cool drink, and to a fish it is home.
(Extrait from book: The Phantom Tollbooth)
All what they are seeing (spear, wall, fan, etc) are all a parts of the truth but are true as per the people’s perspective.
Two elderly people facing each other or sitting persons, one with a musical instrument?
An old man standing, a woman or the face of an old man??!
Similar to these pictures, are our lives. Each and every life situation is perceived differently by people. There is nothing as my or your truth. The truth is the truth. But the perspective through which the truth is being perceived is also true.
No one is wrong as everyone hinges their decisions and behaviour on their perspective. Better accept their viewpoints as you would do concerning your opinions. Tackle the situation armoured a calm and composed mind. Resorting to anger will lead to nowhere. Bear in mind that you cannot change the long established mind and thinking pattern of some people, especially those who resist change.
Despite this, if you wish to bring about a positive change to a particular person’s life who you feel is going haywire, communication is the best tool. Make sure to approach the matter with a cool mind. Again, be open to his/her views and opinions before voicing out your own.
Clashes of opinions are the biggest enemies unless understanding comes at play. Understanding reinforces humanity, empathy and peace. Let’s together build a better community where everyone, at least make an attempt to understand one another.
Opinions vary as life experiences do. Each and everyone is unique, so are their line of thinking. Respect theirs as you would want yours to be respected.
Who do you think is the most foolish person? The one who keeps worrying, ending up ruining his peace of mind or the one who stays happy despite the odds in life?
Obviously, the first category of people would be the siliest of all!
Now, how do we fit in the ‘happy’ bundle of people? It’s actually very simple- Stop worrying! I know! I know! You would say how can we stop worrying when an avalanche of troubles break?
Read along… the answer lies here itself! All we need to do is to dig deeper and find a way.
What is worry?
Worry!!! It is not an alien to us. We all experience this nagging feeling at sometime or the other. Worry is primarily based on fear and uncertainty. It’s the anxiety caused when we think we might lose something important to us.
But have you observed that we spend most of our lives by worrying on events that do not even transpire. A high percentage of worry rests on imagination. Mark Twain put this as ” I’ve had lots of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” Our wild imagination, especially the one inclined towards worry tends to be more painful than the reality. We tend to overthink and hence imagine far fetched issues, not realising that we are pushing ourselves into the ravine of stress, which does more harm than good. Van Wilder once noted “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Say, for instance, you are expecting your final results tomorrow and here you are, worrying about what if all goes wrong!
Or when, you are traveling in a decrepit bus and dang, you got drifted in weird thoughts of “What would happen if the bus meets with a terrible accident and I die on the spot!” You even go an extra mile and feed this unrelenting thinking process into wondering “And if I die, what would be the state of my family – I am the sole breadwinner and I do not even have a life insurance! Oh God! I’m stuck!!!”
See, you are screwing your life by these mind nibbling stupid thoughts!
Now, what is the solution? We, humans are used to worrying over trivial issues and plan fearfully for their future! We are so keen to dewire our healthy brain neurons by overwheming stress and sometimes utterly unnecessary negative thinking.
No!!! The remedy is not all ‘not to think negatively’ as in- “No, I’ll be alright! I WON’T DIE!!! The bus is strong enough to support so many passengers!” Blah Blah! This again is driving you towards incessant worry!
The most sensible way to tackle this silly human psychology is to proceed by (depending on the situation)
1) either taking out a solution to the issue or
2) By understanding the fact that this particular event is out of our control; so it’s better to accept it the way it is.
FOR EXAMPLE, let’s say you are worried and fear failure at the mere start of your university courses. This is sheer stupidity as you are fretting on the study you have not yet begun to grasp the concepts well. But, you, standing on the very first step of your courses, are relentlessly banging your head thinking about the FINAL examinations results!!! C’mon! Don’t be so silly! It is something that we all undergo at some point or other! But, when we give it a thought, we come to realise our foolishness.
This is a situation that can be sorted. For instance, you could start your revision and pay good attention to your studies as from the beginning so as to feel and act confident by the year end. So, here, that anxiety got followed up by a solution oriented mind which did not only help to alleviate that agonizing thought but got you on the right track.
The second situation might be of that person who kept worrying about his tomorrow’s final results or the one travelling in that ‘dangerous’ bus.
This situation would call for understanding!
That student should try to comprehend the matter instead of beating himself up on something that has already transpired. He should understand the fact that “Yes, I have worked my papers or I have given out my 100%- whatever happens tomorrow would be a direct reflection of my input.
The results are beyond my control. If I succeed, it would be great but if I fail, it would be even better since I will get the opportunity to strike back again, this time, with better preparation and I am certain that the failure will make me stronger.
See, in matter of minutes, the pointless worry got vanished. This is how one approaches to such situation.
Now, let’s navigate to the mind of that fearful person in the bus. What he can do is somewhat as such:
“What am I thinking about? It might all be unrealistic!”
He might add on ” Fine! What if I die? How does it even matter? Things and events that are bound to occur will occur anyway and they are completely out of my grasp. If I’m destined to die today, so be it! Besides, death is the ultimate truth of life! Be it via a bus accident or at home, if death is destined to knock, it will by any means! So why worry on things that are unchangeable?!
Again, UNDERSTANDING helps you to be logical and tension free!
Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good. Worry only gets beneficial if it is subsequent by either a solution driven attitude or understanding the depth of the situation or both.
We people, get so engrossed in daily routines and cycle of life that we tend to neglect our mental and physical well being!
A car, if not utilised, end up becoming decrepit, rusty and home to rodents. Similarly, if we human beings do not not exercise our mental and physical being, we eventually fall trap to inactivity leading to slow, unproductive mind and a lethargic body. The mind becomes unconstructive due to constant feeding of entertainment or things that do not require brain stimulation via thinking. Entertainment is like a medecine which relaxes the mind and body but what happens if you take too much of a medecine? You gonna of course end up sick! Thus, too much of entertainment makes the mind weak. A weak mind converts to weak thoughts thus weaker actions get concretised. This is so as we become the things we are exposed to most of the time. Now, a feeble mind also hinders our body functions. The body becomes ‘lifeless’ due to being void of exertion.
To tackle this issue, one needs to have an efficient life balance; if the body is unhealthy, the mind cannot function well amd vice versa. So, for a healthy human body to exist, both the mind and body, our greatesrt assets should be in a good working condition.
Ways are countless to keep both tools active and energetic.
The mind is a famished lion always hungry for constructive thoughts, acquirement of knowledge, skills and inner peace.
Some ways to sharpen the brain might be;
• Reading books
This one tops my list as reading is one of the BEST workout for the mind. A simple book can make you travel faraway lands, mould yourself into diverse interesting characters, experience empathy, improve your pool of vocabulary, enhance your language and relieve stress as you get absorbed in the literature.
According to a study at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, mental stimulation like reading can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially with age. The authors of the study even suggest that reading every day can slow down late-life cognitive decline, keeping brains healthier and higher functioning for longer.
Here’s a link which harbours great books on a topical basis: https://jamesclear.com/best-books
• Self talk
This tends to be one of the most underestimated yet really powerful tool to stimulate the mind. Talking to oneself can actually be a problem solver technique. All those sleepless nights and thoughts swarming the mind might stop bothering you once you talk it out… to yourself. Sometimes, the brain gets jammed because we start other thought processes without having tackled the previous ones.
This is one of my most favourites! Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. When we are eating a chocolate cookie or having a cappuccino, we think of: “Damn, the one I had yesterday was far better than this!” Or “I hope to relish the same the next time I come here!!” Instead of engaging the mind in the past experience or pushing it to a possible future, why don’t we simply sit back, enjoy each bite and sip and cherish this present moment of beauty?! This practice is known as mindfulness. You are in the moment. You are in completely in charge of what you are doing.
This practice sharpens up the mind to unimaginable great extents. Mindfulness can be strengthened through the practice of meditation where one sits with an upright posture (to enable flow of energy) and bring down focus to one’s breathing. This enables the mind to switch off from the noise of the world and overwhelming thoughts cropping up, allowing the meditator to focus on the inner self; on each and every breathe one inhales and exhales. Innumerable thoughts will hover in the mind but fret not! All you require to do is- do not judge your thoughts, simply observe each one of them as they come and go and return your focus to your breathing.
Meditation guide: https://zenhabits.net/meditation-guide/
In a digital world of technology and connectivity where we are reduced to a global village, it would be foolish to miss out on this extraordinary invention- The Internet! The WWW is a hatchery for just anything!
We do use it for entertainment purposes (it is important) but why not put it to a more judicious use? This fascinating thing can be utilised in so many productive ways to improve ourselves in myriad areas of life.
■ Personality development videos on public speaking, character building, psychology, to name a few.
■ DIYs to boost creativity
■ Journaling methods to slip down ideas and thoughts on paper in a bid to calm down the mind
Ways to use the Internet smartly: https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-ways-to-use-the-internet-for-self-improvement/
One who feeds the brain with fun and entertainment all the time is unconsciously pushing it to a ‘sleeping mode’ where decision making ability and a solution oriented mindset gets hampered.
As far as the body, our temple is concerned, one should kee it energised and recharged.
This is most obvious way I can think of. Exercise helps to improve one’s mood, combat diseases, control weight and boost energy.
Types of exercises (amongst others) include:
– Endurance which improves one’s heart rate, breathing and overall fitness (brisk walking, jogging, dancing)
– Strength which makes your muscle stronger and simplifies everyday tasks (lifting weights, using a resistance band)
– Flexibility which gives you freedom of movement of the muscles (calf stretch, yoga)
– Balance which help prevent falls, enabling a to handle the body better (Tai-Chi, standing on one foot)
This is one of the often underrated tool to fuel up the body. Rest, in the form of a good quality sleep, a vacation to move away from a hectic work life or simply lying down to recreate one’s energies, relaxes and stimulates the body to a big degree. Try it (but do not overdo it) and your being will thank you.
Those who focus on a mental and physical well being are the ones who are able to absorb new skills, be great problem solvers, accept changes easily and stay alert.
They are ways to relate to our daily situations. They hold the power to uplift us. They sum up facts, thoughts and circumstances. They are sometimes comforting and at other times depressive. They are sometimes relatable and sometimes not. Some are easier to understand than others. They are simple observations made by mindful beings who translated their state of mind and feelings to something powerful called quotes.
Today, I aim to explain some quotes on character. Before embarking on this small yet meaningful journey, let us all think on how would we define the 9 letter word- ‘character?’ It is a word we are likely to take for granted and do not feel the need to define but may struggle to do so when pressed! Still, let’s try to shed some light on this less asked word.
The dictionary says that it is the mental and moral qualities that renders a person different. Some people define it to be the way we behave, be it good or bad; ethical or unethical; strong or weak whilst others would simply call it to be one’s personality. As per my findings, I would say that character and personality are related, but they are not the same thing. Personality is inborn traits and character consists of learned behavior. Character may vary with the situation or circumstances or may be purposely changed.
It’s time!! Get aboard! We gonna sail in the boat of character quotes:
A.Lincoln put this beautifully which means a person character defines who and what he truly is. But his reputation varies upon how people perceives him. It is similar to a shadow because the latter manifests according to the intensity of light that fall on the real thing (tree/person)-i.e the shadow looks bigger or smaller depending on the light flashed upon the tree. Likewise reputation. The reputation of a person alters as per others’ viewpoints while the character is constant as this is WHAT the person is like in and out.
When we know we are being observed, we display out best behavioural patterns. But what about when we think no one is watching? Do we still resort to righteousness and ethics or we stigmatize our character by seeking refuge under immorality? A strong character is one which behaves similarly even when not being watched.
As it was said earlier, character is something that stays constant (unless you change it). So, if someone demeans, disrespects or hurls abuses to you, this directly shows their character! Why should you injure your character and behave in the same way as that person? Be yourself. Stay true to your character.
Knowledge is essential to KNOW and act within set parametres. But have you ever come across two persons who are in the same position, have the same attributes, same educational qualifications and are of almost the same age yet one is respected more than the other? Why is that so?
As we all know respect is earned- you cannot compel a person to respect you. But along with knowledge, a good character armoured with compassion for others is crucial to gain respect.
Both power and respect are important but the latter is a key trait needed to be a good leader. You might be having countless degrees hung on your walls, but if you aren’t of a person of character, you might find it hard to get people to follow and respect you earnestly.
People of characters make great transformational leaders who work in the welfare of its subjects, keeping aside their extreme selfish needs.
(This quote can be somewhat pertained to the above one)
Power has the ability to corrupt. Give a man power and his character shows up! Is he the tree or the shadow which changes according to what it has in its arsenal.
Power exposes your true character. It releases inhibitions and sets your inner self free. If you’re a jerk when you gain power, you’ll become more of one. If you’re a mensch (a person of integrity and honour, i.e, a strong character), you’ll get nicer.
Critics spur you to take action on your weaknesses. The next time you’re critisized, pause, reflect on what you can improve. Be proactive rather than reactive.
Character is something that is “etched into” us by the experiences that we go through in life, the way we are brought up and what we learn in our school life.
True character is instilled at a deep level so that positive behavior is automatic.
“OMG, would a dumb person like me be able to fit in this room of straight A’s?
“Good Lord! What if I end up making a mistake and get reprimanded?”
“Is he telling the truth- Am I really intelligent? I doubt!!”
“If only my nose was straighter…then I’d be confident and happy!”
“I wish I could earn as much as Eric…my life would have been better!”
Well! Do these statements ring true in your life? If yes, you are somewhat suffering from something known as inferiority complex (IC). This is when you try to be like someone else, agreeing to forego your individuality! This threatens one’s self esteem, rendering one mentally, hence physically weak.
And do not be shocked if I tell you that it’s completely normal to feel so! Fret not. We have all been there. Human beings have that tendency to measure up to one another. According to social comparison theory, this drive is part of our basic desire to understand ourselves and our place in the social world. But dwelling too much on these judgments has a cost since comparisons tend to be unfair- we are most likely to compare our worst traits with their best ones. Booom! We start to feel inferior! We start to feel left out!
Feeling inferior is healthy when we use it to learn from others; when we utilise it to improve on our weaknesses; when we wield it as a tool in a view to better our life!
But, it becomes self destructive if we let this inferiority turn to a complex! No one has attain heights while demeaning oneself. Beware! This doesn’t mean we should go around belittling others!
• Getting into relationships expecting the other person to fill a void in you
• Feeling an urge to hide your true feelings and to instead put on a false face to convince people you’re better than you think you are.
• Trying to control, blame, or harm other people
• Inability to accept compliments.
• Getting easily manipulated
• Experiencing feelings of anxiety, reluctance to trust others, low self-worth, and fear of rejection.
Of course, there is. Each and every problem has a or many solution(s). You simply got to have that calm and composed state of mind to accede to the remedies.
○ Accept yourself
Know that no one is perfect. Everyone is armoured by flaws which are not meant to feel inferior about but to improve on. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. You are unique and so is each and every being. I once came across this powerful wordings “When you know yourself, you’re empowered. When you accept yourself, you’re invincible!”
○ Self talk
This is a very important aspect in one’s life because the conversations you have with yourself is the ones with the universe. It is the command you are invoking to be manifested. Brene Brown rightly said “Talk to yourself as you would do to someone you love.” Do not damage your belief system by hurling negative words to yourself!
If the negative self talk is followed by a solution to work on your weakness; then it is healthy. BUT if it ruins your inner peace and bellitle you; abstain from it; replace it with positive and realistic self talk.
○ Count your blessings
We humans tend to ignore our blessings and are bent on worrying on how to ‘adorn’ our lives with things that are missing from it. But by being grateful for what you already possess makes you feel good about yourself. It makes you realise that you’re very fortunate. Atleast once a day, do practice gratitude. Cynthia Ozick once observed “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
There are so many things in and out there to be thankful for- beauty lies in the eyes of the behoder. For instance, you’ve might feel blessed to have a lovely family, amazing friends, good health with your body parts in great working order, the breathtaking sunrise and sunsets, oxygen to feel and be alive, all necessities to live a luxurious life, to name a few. Even your life, your past mistakes, heartbreaks, disappointments, fears, happiness and pain! All these help to create a stronger and a better you. All these feelings enable you to soak in the beauty of life and acknowledge your deepest emotions!
You are human. You should not feel embarrassed by any emotions you feel- acquaint yourself to them and accept.
○ Know that you have a predestined path
All of us have our predestined paths which we are to tread on. Some things may not happen exactly as you expected them to be but this doesn’t mean you’re ruined! It only means that you are being prepared to walk along that path. Everything is preset. That is why different individuals have different lives. You cannot compare red and blue though they both form part of the category ‘colours’- similarly, though we all form part of the human race, we are all incomparable. We all are endowed with special attributes. The trait found in Mr X may be missing in Mr Y. Just because your past didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to be, it doesn’t mean that the future cannot be better than you have imagined it!
Trust yourself. Trust your life path. Trust the ways of the universe.
○ Work out on your weak points
You feel you always fail to impress with that great presentation; you have trust issues; you feel too much or you are sensitive too criticism. Any bad points you can think of.
So what if you’re weak at many areas of life, it is not the end of the world! Help is everywhere – Ask yourself or enquire with people or acquaintances or jump to the various internet sites. The solution is sitting there, waiting to be the key to your lock (problem).
Sometimes you simply need to step outside, let some fresh air of life enter the temple of your body and remind yourself who you are and what you want to be. Know that you are enough.
“Why?” This is that one word which comes out of little curious kids’ mind most often! Their inquisitiveness know no bounds. They can keep on asking questions about things, events and people that lie around them, trying to find a rational explanation about their existence.
Are we all curious to know more? Curious enough to live a better life? Curious enough to live in the moment? Curious enough to clear out biased and unnecessary doubts from our minds? I’m afraid NOT!!!
As many of us keep on aging, our quest to find answers gets blurred. We get so caught up in fulfilling our daily life routines and issues that we forget to paus and truly reflect on our lives, ourselves and the world?
That strong urge to utter a simple word -‘why’ and really be wanting to obtain an answer in return gets weakened. Life elapses by like a flash of lightning and we are left out complaining about not having enough time!!!
If we grant ourselves some ‘alone’ time to relax, take a halt from our hectic life and try ask questions, trust me, we could be living great lives! A life we want to live rather than a one which we have to be living!
– “What can I do to improve the world?”
– “Why am I doing what I am doing?”
– “Why is my life in shambles? Can I do something to mend it?”
– “Why is it that birds can fly and not humans?” -had this questions not been asked by the Wright Brothers, airplanes would not have been existed!!!
– “Why does this mishap happen to me everytime? Is there some things that I am doing wrong?
When we ask questions, it is not necessary to get the answers to all immediately. Some questions are those which actually better our life because we get to know what is wrong, missing, in excess! We also get reassured that our lives is on the right track if we get positive answers from our asked queries. Sooner or later, our mind answers all our questions- we simply gotta be patient.
Whatever be your situations, NEVER stop asking questions! There is no stupid questions- Stupid people do not ask questions! They feel better off being ignorant!
“I’m 18, I’ve a planned life where I aim at being secured, get a job, get settled, have kids, get retired and then wait for my last breath to strike” This is the typical life plan that gets glued to the destiny of many-either we ourselves design it or it gets automatically devised due to life circumstances!
Is it what we are born to do? To eat, drink and reproduce? Does our life not have any purpose? A thing that when we do simply sets our soul on fire? Makes us feel boundless? Render us powerful? Strikes that feeling of completeness? Or we are merely meant to ‘spend’ our lives as ‘CONDITIONED’ robots by getting in a rat race?!
Nooo!!! Each one of us is born to feel content! To feel happy! To feel COMPLETE!!! There will be obstacles. There will be critics. There will be people out there who would try their best to sap your wings!!!
But, the end choice is YOURS… solely yours! It’s your life and your right! If what you love doing makes you feel satisfied and HAPPY- then choose it. Yesss!!! Choose it! This is your life path . And if you fail, you can blame yourself, learn from it and move on to another life fulfilling path!- Atleast, you are the master of your life. Atleast, you will not have to blame someone else to have a bad life! Atleast, you are in control of your life!!!
Now, if the thought “how do I make money by following my passion or the thing I so love to do that it sets my soul on fire!?” crosses your mind, fret not! Everyone has a predestined path. Sooner or later the path will show! If you’re truly passionate about your passion, a way will definitely comes up! It might be tough to tread on this ‘less tried’ initially but once you land on YOUR path and keep moving with your life purpose in mind, things will fall into place. What if it didn’t work?! It doesn’t matter!!! You at least took a chance and do not have to regret for not taking it!
The thing you give the name of ‘failure’ is actually your best best best friend from whom you learn HOW TO LIVE instead of simply spending your life!!!
“It didn’t work-fine!! I’ll try something else! I’m learning, discovering and creating. I’m designing a fulfilled life!”