Posts Tagged With: Life

Are we complaining ?

Are we complaining ?
About anything and everything – weather, life, health, people, things that have not gone right.
And we are in this mode without even realizing it.
What should we do?
Well, for starters, know that you hold the “remote control”.
Which is – your choice – to focus on what you can change or do to make things right or better. Whenever you are having a really bad day, bring in – perspective.
Check the silver lining with the cloud.
Bring appreciation into your life.
Establish the “No Complaining Rule”.
This is a lot easier for people who have to listen to you.
Surprise yourself.
Bring joy.
Seek happiness.
Life is so much better than is seen.
“We were put into this world of wonders and beauty with a special ability to appreciate them, to enjoy life – that is, to be happy.” – Robert Baden-Powell
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Let go …

Everything happens for a reason. Acknowledge that. Accept that.
All the past events that occurred have culminated to bring us to this moment, where we stand today.
Once more. At a crossroads. The perennial question. Choice. Always. Over and over. Again and again. This or that. Here or there. Why or why not. ‘To be or not to be’.
All the moments that have passed. Making choices. Deluding ourselves to believe that it is our choices which brought us where we stand today.
What if ….
we choose to let go,
we will ourselves to move on,
we consciously release the control,
we detach from the desire of outcome,
we relinquish the right,
we accept ‘Whatever will be, will be’.
Could it be that what happens next will be different? Is not letting go, a choice? Moving on, a choice. Releasing, a choice. Accepting, a choice?
Whatever we believe, the power to make a choice is a conundrum, humanity has to live with. Ergo, the only thing that remains is whether we make the right choice. The beautiful twist here is that inherently, each and every one of us, knows right from wrong. And at every given moment we can truly choose the right over the wrong. Alas, humanity has coloured itself in so many layers of separation, cloaks of biases, we have started believing everything is about me, not we. I not us.
We need to trust in the process of life, that there is a favourable wind that will steer our ship correctly, when we let go.  As men are meant to be sailing the river of life, not stay anchored at the Port.
No matter how dark the situation, let us always believe in the voice, inside us, to make the right choice. And everytime you trust that voice, you make the right choice. And with each right choice, the voice gets stronger and your ship moves forward. In the right direction. Towards the true goal.
Sometimes all you can do is accept there’s not much you can do. And sometimes all you can control is how well you let go control.” – Lori Deschene
Categories: Spiritual Spheres | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Right Way

With so many ways in which one can do the same thing, how does one choose the right way, first up? The answer to that is simple. You can, but should you?
I mean, if all those great people – not just, scientists and inventors, but everyone who did anything new – had opted to carry on doing it – right way, straight away – we might not have had anything different in life. And like the stones and rocks, our consciousness would have eventually subsided to doing nothing. Ever.
Fact remains that there in no one method of doing things. Machine operating instructions, aside. And definitely there is no permanently ‘right’ way.
Let’s take the potato for example. Across the world potato is a popular vegetable and definitely cooked in countless different ways. If we have discovered more than one way of cooking potatoes, perhaps there is more than one approach to most, if not all, other things in our life. We enjoy potatoes as fries, chips, boiled or mashed; therefore, ‘variety is the spice of life’. Indeed, if we only ever ate the potato in one style, we may soon lose the joy of the dish and the vegetable.
It would be infinitely more beneficial to think of the enjoyment of doing things, rather than the stressful worries of doing ‘right’. Be open to what other ways you can experience as the right way. Explore the options.
“If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything.” – Sam Phillips
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Harmony – Flow Of Life

Harmony does not only mean music. It describes the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole. Across spectrums. Apart form the commonly known harmony in music, we can have harmony in art, in colours, in architecture, in schematics, in spoken words, in the jostling senses of your body. Harmony is balance, symmetry, consonance, coordination, blending, correspondence and compatibility. Harmony is also concord, agreement, peacefulness, amicability, co-operation, understanding and unity. Harmony is a noun that describes an agreement, such as in feeling, sound, look, feel, or smell. It’s necessary for roommates to be able to live in harmony in a small space. Harmony is when one feels happy. Harmony is getting along together. Harmony is being nice others. Harmony is the flow of life.

We tend to feel annoyed when something undesirable happens. In such situations, first, we have to learn to be aware. And to acknowledge how we are feeling. Second, we ask why exactly are we feeling annoyed? Is it really because of what someone said, or is it because they did not say what we wanted them to? Is our anger really due to what someone did, or the false belief that others should do as we want?

A big ‘virus’ that causes us to experience the disease of anger is the lie that others should do as we want them to do. If we did not think this way, would we get angry if others did not act as we wanted them to?

There must be harmony in our thoughts, speech and deeds. What we think, we do not speak. And what we speak, we do not perform. We think and utter words of virtues but do not have that courage to implement them. Harmony is when there is no contradiction in actions.

The truth is that we are all free spirits. We do not control others, nor do they control us. We need to recognize that like musical notes we are all different. Only then we are able to create harmony. And with others, we can create a beautiful tune.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Life Is A Journey

Some days, we feel like we are simply going through meaningless chores. The humdrum routine of life. Nothing seems exciting.
This is your ‘Going through life’ phase. When you are most likely to end up experiencing fatigue and boredom.
Surely no one wants that.
But how do we break out of the rut. Can we just turn our perspective around? Flip the coin to that other side. Much more pleasant. All we need is the r-factor. To add the ‘r‘ and enrich ourselves.
It is called ‘Growing Through Life‘.
By Growing through life, we will find learning and excitement even in the routine.
So what will you be doing today?
Growing through life’ or keep ‘Going through life.’
“Life is a journey and it’s about growing and changing and coming to terms with who and what you are and loving who and what you are.” – Kelly McGillis
Growing Through Life 150918
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Tomorrow Is Another Day

There are many instances in life when one comes face to face with some facet of reality that could shatter you. The pain might create such a situation where one would find it hard to cope the future.

But life is not one big moment – life is several little things that, together make up the canvas of emotions and experiences. Life is also not about winning over obstacles and getting through the day (though many of us choose to believe that), but it is about how one navigates through difficulties.

In this human form, we are all here to learn a lesson or two. It would be foolish to believe that these lessons would come as a bouquet of roses. Rather, it is the thorns that would decidedly teach us a few things. Obstacles are small lessons and provide us with those instances of discomfort from where we should view the brighter side of life.

During these moments, it would be fruitful to remember,

  • The pain is not permanent. All will heal with time.
  • Worrying is no solution. It only gives you grey hair.
  • Others’ problems are not your responsibility. Clean your own plate before you take up someone else’s issues.
  • It is okay to cry. Crying releases stress. Bottling up emotions could lead you to depression.
  • You own your life. Believe in your freedom and never allow others to try and control your life.
  • Life is never simple. That itself is hard enough to understand. And here we are, trying to complicate matters even more.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.

Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

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Today I choose life

The mind is a search engine.

Our memories are the data bank that is being searched.

The words we input, return the memories associated with them. When you type in: depressedlonelyunhappy, etc., all those memories are retrieved and this is what you experience.

From today, choose what memories you want to recall. Then input those words in your ‘Search Engine’. Try words like “happypeacefulpowerful, etc”.

See the result for yourself.

Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucoin

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Hope: I think, I can!

‘Hope’ – a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.

Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. Amidst the constant changes in life and continually arising confusing, chaotic situations, Hope becomes our life jacket. Hope helps us to keep afloat in the storms that at times cause unexpected changes. Living with Hope keeps us awake. Hope opens us to the opportunities that life offers. We overcome fear and expect the best. We develop the vision that everything will get better and all things will themselves fall in line.

Hope helps us to keep the meaning of our life alive.

Barbara Fredrickson argues that hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities. That with great need comes an unusually wide range of ideas, as well as such positive emotions as happiness and joy, courage, and empowerment. Hopeful people are “like the little engine that could, [because] they keep telling themselves “I think I can, I think I can”. Such positive thinking bears fruit.

Hope has the ability to help people heal faster and easier. Individuals who maintain hope, especially when battling illness, significantly enhance their chances of recovery. This is important because people with chronic illness believe they have little chance of recovery. If health care providers begin to recognize the importance of hope in the recovery process, then they could learn to instill hope within their patients; thus enabling patients to develop healthy coping strategies. Shaping people’s beliefs and expectations to be more hopeful and optimistic is an essential component of positive psychology. In general, people who possess hope and think optimistically have a greater sense of well-being.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

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Worrying

The state of being anxious and troubled over actual or potential problems is worry.

Worry is a way of thinking. Imagining the worst. Rushed responses, reacting under fear or duress, work deadlines are all forms of worry. When we rush we worry; while worrying we force ourselves to think about what will happen next. Instead, we should focus on what we can do now. When we think less, think slowly and think positively, then we can understand our thoughts and stay practical. Thinking clearly in the present situation, helps us visualize possible outcomes and next steps. As we begin to think clearly in the present, we programme ourselves to picture the future too. This dissipates anxiety over unknown possibilities. Worrying over how tasks will be completed and creating self-doubts over our competence, limits our ability to respond to challenges.

Flexibility is one solution to overcome worry. This covers acceptance and allows alternate thought processes. It lets us accommodate the unforeseen situations that we encounter and enables us to make the best of things. To an extent worrying is good stress. It can force one to look for creative answers, out of the box solutions. But you need to be in control of these situations.

If you are a worry wart and constantly fret about everything and anything – from health to wealth and everything in between and it sounds like you may be worrying your life away, you are a victim of chronic worrying. This is a mental habit that can be broken and you can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more balanced, less fearful perspective.

To tackle your chronic worrying problem, start first to distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries. When a worry pops into your head, ask yourself whether the problem is something that can be solved. Is the problem something you’re currently facing, rather than an imaginary one? If the problem is imaginary, how likely is it to happen? Can you do something about the problem or prepare for it, or is it out of your control?

Solvable worries are those on which you can act immediately. Start brainstorming. Make a list of the possible solutions. It is not necessary to find the perfect solution. Focus on the things in your control. Once you have an action plan, you’ll feel much less worried. Developing the ability to embrace your feelings – feel grounded – help to control worrying tendencies.

Chronic worriers can’t stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with 100 percent certainty what’s going to happen. Worrying is then seen as a tool to predict the future. The problem is, this doesn’t work. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on negatives won’t stop them from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things in the present. So, if you want to stop worrying, start by accepting uncertainty. Ask yourself – ‘Is it possible to be certain about everything in life? How would having certainty in life be helpful? Will bad things happen just because they are uncertain? Is it possible to live with the thought that something negative may happen? Don’t look at the world in ways that make it seem more dangerous than it really is. Or treat every negative thought as if it were fact.

Your feelings are impacted by the company you keep. Emotions are contagious. People with whom we spend more time have a greater effect on our mental health. Spend less time with people who make you anxious. Choose your confidantes carefully. Few people will help you introspect, to improve perspective, while most will feed into your worries, doubts, and fears.

Talk therapy can help chronic worriers worry less by getting to the root of their issues. Individuals need to understand what causes their anxiety or what it is related to. Talking to supportive people helps you dig deep enough and go back to the origins of your worrying nature.

Since, worrying is usually focused on the future, the ancient practices of mindfulness and meditation can help by bringing focus back to the present. This strategy is based on observing and then letting them go. Acknowledge your anxious thoughts and feelings. Don’t try to ignore, fight, or control them. Instead, simply observe them from an outsider’s perspective, without being judgemental. Let your worries go. When you don’t try to control anxious thoughts, they pass by.

Using meditation to stay focused on the present is a simple concept, but it takes practice to reap the benefits. Your mind will inevitably keep wandering back to your worries. Don’t let this frustrate you. Each time you return to the present, you are re-inforcing the habit that will eventually help you break free of the worry cycle.

In situations where nothing can be done to change the outcome, worrying can still serve a motivating function in preparing you for bad news – if it comes. In essence, worry often provides impetus to do something rather than nothing.

“Life is too short to worry about anything. You had better enjoy it because the next day promises nothing.” – Eric Davis

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Ikigai 生き甲斐

I am confused. I don’t know what course or career to follow. Can you guide me?” Contradictory to popular opinion, there is no single or absolute answer to this question.

It is easy to put people in familiar boxes created by our education system and society. To compound matters, the market is inundated with aptitude tests. And there are enough pontifical gurus to direct you in one or the absolute opposite direction. That too, with great self-assuredness.

However, one thing is for certain. People are happier when they follow their passion, rather than a course or a degree.

A woman in a coma was dying. She suddenly had a feeling that she was taken up to heaven and stood before the Judgment Seat.

A woman in a coma was dying. She suddenly had a feeling that she was taken up to heaven and stood before the Judgment Seat.

“Who are you?” a Voice said to her.

“I’m the wife of the mayor,” she replied. “I did not ask whose wife you are but who you are.”

“I’m the mother of four children.”

“I did not ask whose mother you are, but who you are.”

“I’m a school teacher.” “I did not ask what your profession is but who you are.”

And so it went. No matter what she replied, she did not seem to give a satisfactory answer to the question, “Who are you?”

“I’m a Christian.” “I did not ask what your religion is but who you are.”

“I’m the one who went to church every day and always helped the poor and needy.” “I did not ask what you did but who you are.”

She evidently failed the examination, for she was sent back to earth. When she recovered from her illness, she was determined to find out who she was. And that made all the difference.

The Voice is asking the woman to name her ikigai but when she does, the Voice replies that that’s not the meaning of her life – ikigai – tell me again, what is it that defines who you are, that gives your life meaning, that makes your life worth living. One who lives for work will soon enough retire, or get laid off; one’s lover may leave; children will grow up and be gone; one’s dreams may fade; God may disappear. One will eventually die, and what will it all mean then?

So what is it that makes life worth living? What is your ikigai? Is it Work? Lover? Family? God? Friends? Is it a vocation? Many will answer “Yes,” yes to some, many, all or more of these. Our lives are very full, for many there are multiple sources of meaning, value and fulfillment – and those change too.

Of much greater value, than naming a single something that defines life value and meaning – ikigai – is nurturing and sustaining an attitude that embraces the promise of living every day, that takes delight in the ‘ongoingness’ of living.

Allow me introduce the Japanese concept of ‘ikigai‘. “Iki” (生き) refers to life and “gai” (甲斐) pertains to what one hopes for.  English has no equivalent, and ikigai applies not only to Japanese lives but to all. Ikigai is what, day after day and year after year, each of us most essentially lives for. The French have a similar concept – raison d’être, which literally means ‘reason of existence’. In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED TalkDan Buettner suggested ikigai as one of the reasons people in certain geographical zones had such long lives.

All of us have an ikigai. The word is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Alternatively, it could refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It is not necessarily linked to one’s economic status or the present state of society. Even if a person feels that the present is dark, but they have a goal in mind, they may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are not actions we are forced to take – these are natural and spontaneous. In the article named Ikigai – jibun no kanosei, kaikasaseru katei (“Ikigai: the process of allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom”) Kobayashi Tsukasa says that “people can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization.”

Practising your ikigai takes you away from stress. This does not imply that there may not be angst. You may still aim at perfection and make yourself work harder. But the bliss is deeper. The desire is more innate and the fulfillment more intrinsic. It will never restrain or stifle you. And it is never, ever a chore. I am at my happiest when I just sit down and write.

What defines your ikigai ? It is a beautiful blend of four primary attributes.

That Which You Love: 

We all know this one. It relates to actions & deeds we value most in our life. Or it may be an inborn talent. This will be diverse for different people. It is also likely to change for the same person at different points of time in life. Know that your ikigai will shift and transform as you evolve. People start life as bankers, then discover their joy and passion is writing!

That Which You Are Good At:

The ikigai will be a natural inclination to follow a particular course without any end result or desire. The act itself is the reward. There is nothing contrived or laboured within the ikigai. The entire process of reward follows as a consequence and not as the motive or primary purpose of doing something. Do you now see why A.R. Rahman stands head and shoulders above others?

That Which The World Needs:

What you live and what you are good at must align with the the popular choice, needs of others. A state of conflict will exist when your passion does not match with societal demands. It is unlikely that the ikigai could be found by following popular dictum, practice or culture. Hence the necessity for aligning and adapting.

That Which You Can Be Paid For:

The icing on the cake! Do what you love, Be good at it, Satisfy the world needs and get paid for it.

Ikigai

The role of a mentor should be more of guiding people towards their ikigai. Necessitating a blend of two very practical elements. Marry what you love doing and what you are good at with what other people would be willing to pay you for. This is no easy task and needs tailoring, amending, adapting. This is also the reason that people elect to be entrepreneurs. It allows them to channel and sustain their ikigai.

Success comes to those who dedicate everything to their passion in life. To be successful, it is also very important to be humble and never let fame or money travel to your head.” – A. R. Rahman

One struggles each day to overcome the original question – “I am confused. I don’t know what course or career to follow. Can you guide me?” To point people away from multiple-choice questions on aptitude tests analysed by computer-aided software. There is no magic formula for determining the reason of your existence. The ikigai is highly unlikely to be discovered through aptitude tests or analyzing scoring patterns. The search is simpler and more intuitive. We need to move away from the gravitas of algorithms to answering the simpler question: your reason for getting up in the morning.

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