Me, my heart and mind – how different these are!

Amazing power of your mind! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

This topic touches everyone’s heart and/or mind. Very frequently, we say “Oh, my mind created this mess! What can I do?”; “My mind says don’t love this person; but, my heart says, I should!”; “I want to let it go; however, my mind does not allow me to do so”. In these statements, we separate I or me from our heart and mind. We also treat heart (not biological or physical heart but one as a source of spirit or feelings) being separate from mind.

Majority of people relate I or me to our physical being like what we see ourselves in a mirror; when it comes to spiritual being, we think of our mind. We mostly consider our mind as a source of thoughts or ideas and inspiration; on other hands, we perceive heart as metaphysical entity which gives us emotions, compassion or what many think as “inner voice”!

What exists physiologically or scientifically is “our body including brain”; but we can only experience presence of mind and heart, although we are unable to see them physically.

Are I or Me, Mind and Heart separate entities?

A lot has been said or written by sages, saints, spiritual or religious leaders, scientists and scholars on this aspect. But, as of date, there is remarkable inconsistency in the understanding of mind and heart as opposed to “I”!

Several thinkers and authors don’t see I or me as a mere physical being but have landed a much larger meaning by terming it as “Self”! This “Self” is supposed to control all of your thoughts, actions, good and bad karmas and has linkage to God and universe. Though they don’t say explicitly but seem to encompass mind, heart and soul into “Self”!

There is also ironical aspect of why we tend to treat these as separate entities. If we go wrong somewhere or commit a gaffe, it is very handy to blame it on our mind or heart; it is very egotistical though!

Then, we routinely experience several phases or states, which seem to suggest that there are many more entities connected with us, apart from “I”, mind and heart, of which main ones are:

  1. Inner voice, gut feel, intuition, instinct or 6th sense
  2. Consciousness, intellect or wisdom
    Most people relate these to mind; but, some relate the same to soul.
  3. Conscious and subconscious minds
    Some theories have postulated that subconscious mind does not reside in your body. Universe has only one subconscious mind which is connected with all conscious minds!
  4. Bliss and enlightenment
  5. Soul, maya and nirvana

Not knowing or unable to discover what exactly above states or phases are, scholars, thinkers and religious leaders in the past have concluded that there must exist more entities like soul, self, subconscious mind and prana in Indian context (i.e. life or consciousness). Masses have found it expeditious to accept idea of different entities. It is a fact that when an unknown or intangible is given identity by a name, over a period of time we start to perceive it as real, though in reality it is still an illusion. Worse still is when science is clueless and it becomes part of faiths! Lack of right understanding of what is fundamental to our life has been instrumental for our constant struggle with cycles of good and bad!

Can you experience or express any of the above without your mind? The answer is “No”! Are you able to identify I or me without mind? That is not possible. What we relate to heart, can that be experienced without mind?

Then, how these can be separate entities?

Mind is the only candidate for eventual reality!

Here are concrete evidences:

  • For ages, there has been no direct evidence of any other entity; whatever has been described above are indirect or inferred!
  • Mind loses its meaning, if you want to see it as a physical entity!
  • How can you ever observe very entity, by help of which you make that observation?
    It would never be possible to find mind directly in observable form! 
  • Memory of our mind works like that of a computer. Please see a previous post on Notions and Perceptions.
    Every idea (or thought) and image of an observed object are broken by mind into 2 main files – Knowledge (pure information or information analyzed by mind) and Emotions i.e reactions. Starting point of both files is “I” or me as knowledge i.e. self-awareness and ego as emotion! It is because of this, “I” or me are always associated with mind.
    Emotions are further broken down into sub files (a) positive emotions or experiences and (b) negative ones. Pleasure, compassion, empathy, ecstasy and like get stored as sub sets of file (a). Anger, anxiety, distress, disappointment and like are stored as sub sets of file (b).
    All of these files and their sub sets get interlinked via main memory of mind like RAM of computers.
  • Now very crucial information – when your mind goes into “No conflict of thoughts” mode i.e. when you have single thoughts in the present time and you evoke a decision say I love it, your mind connects to knowledge sub file of your like and emotion sub file of pleasure. Next moment, when this combination becomes your memory, you realize “Oh, it was from my heart!”
    I have to be brief here. But, I can explain to you on receiving your query, how above process gives you feeling of inner voice, bliss, enlightenment, subconscious mind or soul! 

The most important message is – whatever you experience is all interlinked and resides in your mind. That you must nurture your mind positively to tap its amazing potential!

One master key that can open many doors of opportunities!

When opportunities open for you! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Most of us would like host of opportunities to come our way. We would like have highly remunerative job in hand, be able to change to better employer when needed, dream home to live in, fabulous vacation at bargain price and so on. However, sometimes we get those and other times, we have to be content with or compromise our needs or wants, since desired opportunities do not show up or some of those come our way but never fructify.

Most people work hard to become more deserving or increase their potential to attract better opportunities through additional MBA, MS or other specialized qualifications in their portfolio, attending courses to enhance their soft skills like managerial courage, conflict management, communication, focus, decision making or leadership. However, it is often seen that those, who are destined to get opportunities, get it without additional degrees or development programs! More the qualifications and certifications are, less are the opportunities available for most; Murphy’s Law seems to rule the roast!

One thing is certain – people, who do get opportunities easily, do their things very differently than those, who may be dexterous and diligent but are deprived of opportunities! The most powerful key to bring such a differentiation is “Open mindedness”!

One may be very dynamic, dashing, dedicated, diligent, highly qualified and/or experienced; but if she or he is not truly opened minded, all of those attributes would not be of much avail! An open mind is a master stroke to defy Murphy’s Law!!

There are 4 types of people:

  • Those who are not open minded.
    They are dogmatic!
  • Those who are open sometimes and close minded on other times.
    They are directionless or opportunistic! 
  • Those who are open by desire but close their mind, when it comes to doing it.
    They are dithering type.
  • Those who are truly open.
    They are decisive!

It is only the last category above, who holds the master key to open doors to opportunities.

Signs of open mindedness

Everyone would say she/he knows what open mind is; but research shows only less than 5% of people really comprehend it correctly.

True definition of open mind is – “Absence of any preconceived notion and presence of mind”! This definition implies that mind is always in attentive and present mode.

Clear signage of an open mind is:

  1. You would be a great listener.
  2. Your mind would never be overwhelmed by your ego, emotions and prejudices.
  3. You would not have hard traits or habits.
  4. You would accept the realities without hesitation.
  5. You would never be afraid of being proved wrong.
  6. Your capacity to take risks and challenges by choice would be enormous.
  7. Your faith or beliefs can’t blind or blank your mind.
  8. You would not turn blind eye even to your mentor, teacher, preacher or guru.
  9. You are unlikely to block your mind by choosing a role model!
  10. You are bound to be candid and upright! You would hate to play politics or have split personality!
  11. You would be free from confusion and full of confidence!

Significance of an open mind!

An open mind would not only be attentive, receptive and present, but also be clear. You automatically become a keen observer! The clarity of mind would help you to see opportunities in every problem or challenge!

Remember the fact that mother of all opportunities is nothing but problem, issue or challenge!!

In short, an open mind makes you a positive man, who is constantly seeking, cracking and creating opportunities in every sense. When you do that, then your luck or destiny comes chasing you; believe me. The popular phrase – “God helps those, who help themselves” comes true on you! You would be amazed to see how one good news brings another; one opportunity opens the door of another.

Open mind brings sense of deep satisfaction and accomplishment. What is very important to understand here is that when mind is open, it has to necessarily close on decisions and actions!

So, would you not like to make your mind truly open and obtain the master key to control be it your career or be it destiny?

Deep impact of media, machines and medicines defining you more than your mind!

Mania of mobile! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Mantra of modern times, which most of us are apparently unconscious of, seems to be that media, machines and medicines have a dominant role in man’s life and role of his mind may diminish! Various forms of media (social, TV to print), machines and medicines (3Ms) have taken a place next to only divine and being incrementally developed and designed to influence/control human mind!! Ironically, you are using your mind to do it only to lose control on very same mind!!!

What does this trend mean to all of us?

How Media, Machines and Medicines (3Ms) are redefining our life!

Past 20 years or so have seen exponential and explosive growth of 3Ms. Strides made in these 3 fields have armed us with voluminous data/information, vast connections with known or unknown people in every nook and corner of world, variety of means to communicate and express our views, enormous computational and analytical abilities and extraordinary diagnostics and medical treatment of most ailments. Advancements made are really remarkable!

Silently but solidly, 3Ms have and would redefine most aspects of our lives. These have crept in our routine like a duck entering into water and most of us are either oblivious of the same or have not even tried to figure out what it means to us and our future.

With no bias, let us objectively understand how past 20 years have redefined us:

  1. Human touch has been largely replaced by screen/key touch.
    Look around at airports, public or private places; more than 80% of people are busy with their mobile phones or notebooks. A very small percentage of people are engaged in conversation.
  2. Our life style and slang have undergone a sea change. Physical values are more predominant than moral values.
  3. Qualitative aspects have been steadily losing to quantities, when it comes to information/data, friendship, relationships, communication etc.
  4. We spend more time in virtual world than in real one.
  5. We rely now more on external monitoring and controls of all sorts of our body functions than internal understanding and management.
    Already, we have several wearable electronic devices for above and several more are on their way. There is no data on what happens to human mind and body, if such devices malfunction.
  6. Images and texts are incrementally clouding our ideas and thoughts.
  7. Media is shaping our perceptions; machines and medicines are shadowing our personality.
  8. Machine calculations and analysis have perished our mental math and analytical abilities and short cut to medicines has cut short our natural body immune system!

Predictions for how things would reshape in next 30 years

Several organizations are working hard to crack new dimensions in fields related to 3Ms. Leading scientists and technologists are predicting and promising to reshape human life in next 30 years. The most notable among them is Director of Engineering at Google Inc. Ray Kurzweil, who is also a well-known inventor and futurist. Here below are the projections:

  • In 2020s – Most diseases would disappear from our planet. Nano bots would become smarter than medicines and normal human eating would be replaced by Nano systems!
    Driverless cars would take over the roads.
  • In 2030s – Virtual reality would start to look real. We would be able to upload our mind/consciousness.
  • In 2040s – Non-biological intelligence would become billion times stronger than biological intelligence.
  • Around 2045 – We would be able to link neocortex of our mind, where our intelligence in believed to reside, to synthetic neocortex in the cloud and enhance its power billion times!

Intensive R&D for above is being carried out in the back drop of few hard realities. No one or science seems to know – where does mind reside in our brain/body; what is consciousness; a disease free world would mean much longer life span (How long – 100 years, more or endless?), in that case what happens to social and ecological balances; what can we accomplish by billion or even million times more intelligence and to what level we want to push our life eventually?

Unanswered questions!

Technological and scientific advancements have been leaving trail of unanswered questions:

  1. By and large, primary agenda of those funding such R&D and advancements is to gain power, popularity and/or profit through business under pretext of improving quality of life and creating new opportunities.
    How far it is prudent to undertake such activities, whose prime movers are power and profit but implications are overwhelmingly social, psychological and environmental?
    Gullibility of public to exotic dreams and devices offer excellent market to businessmen and politicians. Is it not being exploited with no consideration to moral and ethical values?
  2. How few minds could decide and develop something to be put in public domain, which can potentially impact few million minds?
  3. Should the blue print of scientific and technological advancements for public domain not debated and deciphered by a larger group of thinkers and scholars, after evaluating all side or after effects?
  4. How can we tinker with nature and mind, without understanding what these are and how do they function?
    Blatant truth is that science is riddled with fundamental puzzles and paradoxes and does not know what is space, time and life!
  5. One suspects that we are in a vicious cycle of solving a problem only to create another!
    Is direction for new developments right?

So, one thing is very certain – 3Ms have deeply influenced our mind and we have mindlessly compromised our originality and consciousness! It is high time that we become very mindful of what 3Ms can do or undo!!

Why terrific thoughts and quotes go for a toss in implementation!

Absence of execution means presence of illusion! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

All of us know what is good or great for us; but when it comes to doing it, we lose grip on same! We love motivational thoughts, positive thinking and inspirational quotes; but when it comes to implementation, these seem to lose impact and we hardly practice the same seriously!!

Many times, some of our own thoughts are so overwhelming, powerful and life changing; but we fail to bring any change. Often the fact is that we might have even determined that this is how we want to be; but our deeds are hardly matching to our own decision and determination.

Look at this – “Life is about making an impact, not making an income – by Kevin Kruse”! Don’t you love this quote? Perhaps you do, since this is one of the most popular quotes! If you love this, are you working incessantly to make an impact? No, you don’t; you do the opposite – being busy in making income. You put those making millions of dollars on high pedestal and make them your role models! Many of us believe that we make impact by selling or buying followers or friends in XX dollars on social media!! We crave for the quote; but wrongly comprehend its very essence.

See another one – “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve – by Napoleon Hill”. Nobody would disagree with power of mind. But, then how many of us realize the enormous energy that resides in us? Should it not make each one of us supremely confident and courageous? On an average, we only make less than 7% productive use of our mind!

All of us want to be successful and are perhaps aware that “If you are focused, you can’t fail!” Only thing that stands between success and setback is focus. We would spend lot of time and energy in attending learning programs, leadership courses and undergo mentorship; but the success is seldom in sight for many. Reason – most don’t seriously put their sight on “Focus”!

It is incredibly ironical that we are so near to our own thinking, which is terrific; but we throw or tow ourselves away from practicing it! What bugs us?

Why we love terrific thoughts and quotes!

Various people do it for a variety of reasons:

  1. These have become a fancy and fashion for all, especially elite and celebrities!
  2. Most take pride in citing good quotes in their conversation or communication.
    These no doubt make content of your communication rich!
  3. People like to be known in public that they side with positives and not negatives.
    Reality may be often reverse!
  4. Quotes are usually phonetically very appealing and concise. These have subtle humor or rhetoric. Therefore, a good quote can be very catchy.
  5. These invariably relate to real life examples and have profound meaning.
    Therefore, these are striking to us.
  6. Good thoughts and quotes evoke emotions and euphoria! These release Endorphins in our body, which is a “feel good” hormone!!

Why we lag in executing our lucid thoughts and quotes!
If 10% of population would have believed in employing their positive thoughts and quotes, our planet would have been dramatically different! Is not is amusing that things, which are mind boggling, becomes meaningless to us when it comes to imbibing or implementing! The most probable reasons are:

  1. Our inertia
    Many of us believe that we are dynamic and dashing; but reality often is we are docile to change! We are perennially infested by our inertia.
  2. Fractured conviction
    You believe that you have conviction in a good idea or great quote; but you are actually in “Yes & No” state!
    In absence of firm convictions, your terrific thoughts go for a toss:
    - When you face crisis or criticism
    - When your role model/s, nears and dears carry different ideas than you
    - When your friends mock at you
  3. Fragile patience
    To pursue anything positive, patience is a must. Everything that is right or good has a systematic and structured method to evolve. One cannot bypass this.
    Most of us are impatient; like quick results and when that does not happen, we give up. We go on the wrong side, which would show quick result albeit wrong one.
  4. Tendency to follow masses
    Even though masses mostly commit mistakes, we feel out of place if we don’t follow them. We are shy of standing out of and away from crowd.
  5. Confusing emotions as inspiration
    You normally comprehend a thought or quote on its surface; look at its face value. This evokes your emotions and you confuse same as your inspiration. It is for this reason that you experience a short kick of excitement.
    You need to go deeper and focus on its larger implications. This is when emotions give way to your inspiration. If you are inspired, you feel compelled to implement! 
  6. Lot of reactions but little of actions
    Out of total efforts and energy that we spend in our life, actions are as little as less than 10% and more that 90% emanate from our reactions. This is one important reason why we are high of intents and low on implementation.

So, would you not like to dump above 6 tendencies as much as you can, to allow terrific thoughts or quotes to shape a terrific life for you?

Creativity and Innovativeness come, when we kill fear and create freedom!

An Innovative idea! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

All of us need to be a good manager, supervisor or go getter; but that alone is not be good enough to keep us going. After a certain point, we experience a level of saturation, things appear to have come to a plateau or we face a knot. What was motivating becomes monotonous; excitement ebbs and our performance becomes poorer for what we were otherwise good at!

Everyone encounters above phase or phenomenon consciously or unconsciously. Only exceptions are those who are creative or innovative! Creativity and innovativeness are 2 qualities, which you need to keep your interest and initiative alive and drive in the fast lane. Common perception is that one can run her/his life without these 2 qualities. Yes, one can but then, it would lack luster, liveliness and charm. It would be mired in inertia and comfort zones!

Further, the most talked about word is “Change”. But, most of us are ignorant that very important constituents of “Change” are creativity and innovativeness. Then, there is a misconception that creativity and innovativeness are gifts of God or it comes through genes and it is difficult to develop the same. Such ideas need to be dumped; if you make an efforts, you can become creative and innovative at any stage of life. Only obstacle is the wall built by you in your mind! Key to become creative and innovative is to overcome fear and own freedom!!

Look at some of the top creative and innovative people, who have changed the world and lives of billions – Einstein, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Larry Page of Google. They have discovered path breaking ideas to usher dramatic change/s. Most common characteristics with all of these people are or were fearlessness and freedom to think!

Fear and freedom are nothing but opposite states of our mind! So, how to drive fear away and derive freedom?

Overcoming fear!

Fear is essentially a negative emotion, which emerges out of past negative experience or memories. Challenge is that there are host of negative emotions arising from your past – anger, anxiety, arrogance, greed, obsession ad like. You can’t pick and choose one negative emotion i.e. fear and believe that you can drop same. Doing that would only have temporary effect and then it would resurface, because you are still holding on to other negative emotions! As a matter of fact, you would be surprised to know that you should not be passionate about positive emotions like pleasure, thrill, ecstasy or even consolation arising out of your past experience or memories. Reason is that when you recall such positive emotions from past, you would not be able to help prevent negative emotions also from past to surface. This is one of the main reasons, why most people are not able to overcome their fears!

The best bet is to use past memories as a source of knowledge but never a source of emotions! It is the emotions that evolve out of present, which alone can give you excellent feelings and make you frolic!! 

So, to drop fear:

  1. Do not give importance to emotions, which are connected with your past memories. Ignore!
  2. Minimize your preconceived notions.
  3. Believe in putting trust on people and banish doubts.
  4. Focus on efforts but not on results.
  5. Practice to drop hesitation or inhibitions.

Owning freedom!

There is lot of ill-conceived notions about freedom. Freedom does mean right to express oneself through any medium and working at one’s own will. But, many consider getting bound by duties and discipline is loss of freedom, which is bunk. Freedom does not mean exercising no control or restrain and be able to do freely what you desire.

You can own freedom, only when you accept that others have a right to own their own (freedom)! Freedom has more to do with absence of mental barriers or restrictions than physical barriers/restrictions; no doubt the latter is integral to freedom but it loses meaning without the former!!

Now, to own freedom:

  1. First and foremost is to overcome fear, as mentioned above.
  2. Be prepared to break conventions and customs, if need be.
  3. Be an optimist and open minded.
  4. Drop hard notions and prejudices.
  5. Traits, habits and ego could be show stoppers for your freedom.
  6. Believe that nature offers infinite possibilities and mankind has so far discovered only a small portion of the same.
  7. Biggest challenge to your freedom or free thinking comes surprisingly from your faith, culture, traditions, rituals, gurus, mentors and role models. You generally need them for a guided and balanced life; but at the same time, they inculcate in you predetermined ideas and perceptions, and hence limit your ability to go beyond, explore and experience something entirely new.
    So, you need a very careful tradeoff between traditional beliefs/practices and true freedom!

To conclude, it is a glorious idea to get rid of fear and ride on freedom, which would bring creativity and innovativeness well within your reach and you would be able to reap rich fruits!!