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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are you a worrier or a warrior?

What is the difference...

In the book "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale, he provides readers with ten step process of cutting the worry habit and here I share my views on some of these steps.

1. Take GOD's help in breaking the worry habit. We all know that worrying is a bad habit, admitting it and working towards improving one's habits is the first step.

2. How do you get good at things? The more you practice a habit or skill, the better you get at it. Worry is no different, the more you worry the more it gains control of your life. Next time you have the thought of worry, practice faith - can be faith in GOD, higher power, others or even self (I am not promoting any religion or beliefs).

3. Ahh, thats sounds great, but how do I practice faith - its easier said than done - WRONG. It is quite easy. The author recommends that you shout aloud "I Believe" atleast three times every morning before getting off bed. I personally like to take 3 deep breathes and think of my past achievements and future capabilities and opportunities. This action releases in your a sense of achievement and helps you in increasing your faith quotient.

4. After (or during) deep breathes I chant in myself
"Power In" - "Fear Out"
"Faith In" - "Doubt Out"
"Happiness In" - "Worry Out"
These steps have particularly helped me breaking the worry habit. I am not perfect yet, but I am getting there. The best part of this exercise is that by the third time you have mentally prepared yourselves, there is actually nothing more to worry about.
DISCLAIMER: Problems or issues are not vanished by repeating this process. However, we now have renewed energy to focus and work towards fixing the issue than only worrying.

In short, worrying is like idling an engine - makes all the noise the world can hear, uses up fuel energy, releases toxic gases into the environment, but does not make the vehicle move forward. To move forward, you have to release the fear hand brake and press the faith accelerator.

5. Trust and faith in GOD act as catalysts in helping you break this habit. No matter how bad a situation you are in, always remember -
"Everything happens for good"
"All is Well now, All has been well till now and All will be well from today on"
"There is always the helping hand of GOD on your shoulder and he is always by your side to help and assist you in every endeavor".

6. Be positive and excited about the future. You are worrying because you are too focussed on the results and are not sure if it will turn out exactly as you planned it to be. Speak the solution in time of worry and don't reaffirm the worry. Everytime you reaffirm the worry, your worry muscles in brain become stronger and outwin the solution nerves that are trying to help you. Do you want your mind to think of solution, flex them - show them off !!!

7. Immigration status, politics and sports. Unless your job requires you to learn about them to put food on the table - try avoiding such conversations as they usually lead to unnecessary distractions. Always remember
"Average men talk about people and their past, good men talk about events and their prominence and great minds talk about ideas and possibility"

8. One reason you are worried is your mind is saturated with defeat thoughts, past rejections and failures. These are hindering your progress. Saturate your mind with possibility thoughts - sure it will sound artificial at first, uncomfortable and annoying but one thing for sure is that you start to look forward for the upcoming events than trying to escape them.

9. Surround yourself with positive people. People who are ahead of you - both financial and personal relationships. They are your support team and help you overcome your fears and worries by providing you with environment to grow and achieve.

10. ACTION is the next step. What differentiates between worriers and who have overcome their worries to become warriors is a simple word called "I".

The day we all realize that we do not need a reason to be happy though we have all the reasons to be happy is the day we truly break away from the worry habit to become warriors.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Little Moments of Joy - Barry Kingsley

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn’t realize was that it was also a ministry.

Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.

But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said.

I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers,” I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient at the end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware–beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, …but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Think and dream - atleast once in a while

Man is different from all other species because of his ability to think and dream. Last time I heard or read - animals don't think or dream about their future, goals or analyze what if situations of the past. Now that we know we have the ability does not mean we take it for granted. It takes effort to think or to dream or to analyze - it is free though!

When a person can dream, think the dream, analyze the dream and is willing to work the dream, does the dream become a reality. I have a strong belief that no two people dreams are alike - as no two people are too. And that in itself is pretty profound as everyone is put on this earth to achieve a goal for the greater good and play a large role in the magnificent drama. But all too often, people consider dreams as only manifestations of the current times. They are - but sometimes are also clues in unlocking the human potential in the future.

Do not believe it? Lets talk about you for a second, for I believe nobody else is as successful as you are in the given circumstances of life or situation you are in.
Do you know how to ride a bicycle?
Do you know how to drive a car?
Do you know how to fly an an aeroplane?

Answer these to yourself. Lets take bicycle example - how did you get the desire to ride one - you watched or heard someone actually perform this task - this planted a dream to be able to ride a bicycle for yourself. Did you stop there? ofcourse not - learnt it using your friend's or rental or cousin's bicycle. Did you learn it the first time you rode it - again ofcourse not there were set of specific mistakes that YOU had to personally do yourself, inspite of the training or helping hand available from others. You eventually did make it - now that you know how to ride a bicycle did you start putting in your character to it - Simple things like driving with one hand, pedaling only during upslope, braking or not braking by taking the 'cuts'.

Same was the principle of process involved when learning to drive the car for the first time - sure it had many more controls than that of the bicycle, but aren't you grown up as well, have experience of the road and known the traffic rules. Was learning to drive the car difficult - yes, but was it impossible - no. Now that you know how to drive the car, it is easier to add your character to the driving experience - driving with one hand on steering, the hand talking into the cell phone or saying hi to the other guy one finger at a time.

The process is the same, you dream of driving the car, but the car did not materialize before you just because you wanted it in your dream - you had to work for it, which included - enrolling in a car driving course, not just enrolling actually taking up the classes, getting the driver permit and in the end buying or leasing or renting a car. Dreams propelled you to think, act, react and finally achieve what you initially started off to attain.

If the process was this simple why do we stop to dream or achieve our dreams as we age - that is a topic of discussion for some other day, but for now fellas - dream, dream big, dreams 'texas' big - for its free and your birth right. Nobody has right to laugh at your dreams. People who laugh at others dreams don't have dreams of their own or have forgotten how to dream. But don't just dream too, back it up with thought, plan and action.

Dreams you have are unique, that is the reason you are unique, now what you do about your dreams decide if you are one in the herd or the shepherd. GOD does not give you the ability to dream until he is sure you have the ability to attain it.

Trust me GOD does not make junk and you are NOT junk.