Posts Tagged With: Purpose

Move On With Determination

Determination is defined as firmness of purpose. Determination is that positive emotional feeling which involves proceeding towards a difficult goal, despite obstacles. Determination serves to motivate behaviour that will help achieve one’s goal. Determination is the pre-cursor to goal attainment.

To be successful at any activity, one should follow a series of steps. First, have the desire to achieve. Immediately followed by motivation to be on the top. To do so, one needs determination. And to get this determination to work, we need passion. Passion is strong and barely controllable emotion. It is pure energy.

This is the energy inside each of us. It is this energy that gets blocked when we resist change. When we are not prepared to change our thinking. When we do not own responsibility for our own well-being. When we lack self-esteem. When we react rather than respond to situations. When we suppress feelings. And when we are comparing and criticising. We do not realize that not expending energy itself consumes energy. In other words, remaining at the same status (being static) will also use our energy.

Determination is the positive emotion that pushes individuals toward action, that results in important outcomes such as diligence and perseverance, and the development of constructive coping mechanisms. Acting with determination also boosts physical health and mental well-being. Specific positive outcomes include illness resistance, increased survival rates and decreased levels of depression.

An individual experiences positive personal growth when they are able to proactively cope with a difficult situation. In such a case, an individual can acknowledge a demanding situation, take action and maintain high coping potential. One can acknowledge the benefits of a difficult experience yet display a willingness to put forth an effort and achieve specific personal goals.

It is very hard to move on, but once we do move on and with determination, we will realise it was the best decision we have ever made.

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

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Light Your Fire

A man was traveling and stopped at an intersection. He asked an elderly man, “Where does this road take me?” The elder one promptly questioned, “Where do you want to go?” The man replied, “I don’t know.” To which the old man opined, “Then take any road. What difference does it make.”

How true.

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​When we don’t know where we are going, any road will take us there. Enthusiasm without direction is like proliferating weeds in a garden. It will lead to frustration. A whole lot of energy is being wasted and nothing concrete is being seen. Goals give a sense of direction. Would you sit in a train or plane without knowing where it was going? Obviously ‘No’. Then why do people go through life aimlessly, without goals?

That was the easiest part. Because it did not require any effort to ask a question. But it is really challenging to find the solution. And for this riddle, there is no perfect answer. Some people know what they really want, but just haven’t pursued it. So, for them, it is only a matter to focus and realize what they wanted all along. Others will have a more difficult time. They have not yet figured out what their dream is. Or what they’d like to accomplish.

For those wandering aimlessly but would like to get a grip on things, it is best to start simple. Small steps, like thinking. Close your eyes and think about things. Deep inside, you already know what you want, only that it has not surfaced enough to be visible. That is why you have to go inside. Close your eyes and think.

Think about what’s important to you. Think about what you’d like people to talk about when you are no more. Think about how you would like to be remembered. Write down the things that come to mind. This should not be a one-time exercise. You will need to do it many times. Until you can see clearly. Your goal should be visible right in front and everything else will be a blur. Continue to explore your inner consciousness till you can see clearly.

This was the easier part. The struggle starts as you build a road map to get there. There are always several roads to get where you want to go. The ones that are easy have many shortcuts and compromises. The others will be difficult, treacherous and full of hardships and obstacles. But one has to walk down this street. There is a technique here which works – think backwards. From the end to the beginning.

What is the last thing you’ll need to do to achieve that outcome? What is the thing you’ll need to do just before that step? What is the thing you’ll need to do before that step? And so on, until you get to the first step. The first step is what you need to focus on.

On the best sunny day, the most powerful magnifying glass will not ignite the paper if you keep moving it around. But focus and hold it in place and the paper will light up. That is the power of concentration.

This was the easy part. Now you actually have to go and do it. You have your plan outlined. Surely you can now have the 1-2-3-step guide laid out too. What is needed and critically so, is to monitor how you stick to the plan. It could get very complicated keeping track of several goals with different time frames. What can be done to simplify things ? It is suggested to break down the goals into smaller components. And then monitor them. So you have just one small sub-goal one at a time. And several such sub-goals leading to a short-term goal. And a bouquet of short-term goals building up to your medium-term goal. A number of medium-term goals lead to a long-term goal and finally targeting the life-time goal.

The reason you focus only on one goal at a time is because it is difficult to follow many objectives at the same time. So, we sort them into actionable aims. When you need to accomplish only one thing this week, you actually boost your chances of success. As you can really focus more energy into making it happen. However and when you decide to do 3-5 things in the next two weeks, it is much more likely that you won’t do any of them.

When you achieve the short-term goal, select another one which is in line to get you to your medium-term goal. Once the medium-term goal is accomplished, choose a new medium-term goal to get you to your long-term goal. No sooner is your long-term goal accomplished, set your sights on a new long-term goal. Keep this up, and you will achieve your aim. Importantly, you won’t be wandering aimlessly anymore. You will have discovered purpose, hope, faith, confidence and success.

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A Healthy Mind

A healthy mind is as essential as a healthy body to make a healthy ‘you’. So while it is nutritious food and regular exercise for the body, it is meditation for the mind. The only drawback with meditation is that the enthusiasm seen in the beginning gets lost midway. However, with a few simple tips you might be able to enjoy a more fulfilling practice. First and foremost is to choose an exclusive meditation space, either a corner in your home that you love or a nearby garden/park. Once the space is finalized, settle on a particular time in the day. Early mornings are the best for practice. Set a routine in your mind for regularity without being hard on yourself . The more you try to silence the mind purposefully, the harder meditation becomes. There is no right or wrong technique. So don’t worry, rather enjoy the practice alone in your hideout everyday.

1. Breathing connects us to the present moment.
Mindfulness is a term we often hear, but what does it mean? It’s as simple as breathing. The problem for many of us is that we aren’t aware of our breath. Being aware of our breath connects us to the present moment. In this present moment we are connected to our dreams and desires. When we’re stuck in the past, we can feel depressed or hopeless. And when we lose hope, we cannot heal. When we’re worried about the future, it fuels anxiety. By consciously breathing, we take the peace we foster in our meditation practices into our daily lives.

2. Conscious control of breathing reduces stress.
Anxiety, depression and insomnia are examples of stress-based illnesses that are rooted in the mind’s perception of external stress. By consciously controlling our inhalations and exhalations, we start to shift our autonomic nervous system from a flight-or-fight response to one of the relaxation response. When the brain switches to the relaxation response, the heart rate and blood pressure will decrease, and the brain will regain focus and mental clarity. In this state of breathing and meditation, we also retrain our brains to change our perception of stress, thus reducing our propensity to feel anxious or depressed.

3. Breath connects you to your life purpose.
Career burnout arises when our external world is not in alignment with our internal soul compass. The way we find our life purpose is being aligned with our internal soul compass. Our internal soul compass is the place within us where all the answers reside; some call it intuition, gut instinct, or internal wisdom. It was during the mindful practices of pranayama, yoga, and meditation that I learned to focus on my breath, and then clues to my life purpose started to surface.

Meditation isn’t a marathon! Go at your own pace and don’t be too hard on yourself if you didn’t stick to the schedule you originally had in mind. Take a breath in. Exhale. There you go. You just took a big first step onto your true path.
“Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.” – Sharon Salzberg
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