How to accelerate arrival of your golden or defining moments!

Arrival of golden moment! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

(Credit for this post goes to one of the guests visiting this website, who inspired me to pen it.)

Everyone experiences his/her golden or defining moment once or several times during life time. Such moment or turning point is an extremely important event, when you feel a step change in your paradigm! To many, defining moments are very conspicuous; whereas others may not be conscious of same. However, if you become aware of golden moments’ arrival, you can reap rich dividends.

Defining moment of Mahatma Gandhi came on 7th June, 1893, when he, the 24 year old Indian lawyer in South Africa, was forcibly ejected out of a train by local authorities in middle of night and winter for holding valid ticket for first-class compartment but refusing to move to third-class. Immediate aftermath of this incidence gave birth to future leader of unprecedented non-violence movement that no one else could imagine earlier!

Defining moment of iconic tennis player Steffi Graf came not by winning first time Wimbledon final, but by beating then world’s no. 1 ranked player Martina Navratilova in Lipton Cup semifinal in 1987!

Let me share 2 of several defining moments, which I have experienced so far. 1st one came, when I was in 4th standard in school and my class teacher came to meet my mother. Being afraid of her, I had hidden myself; but I heard her complaining that I am not good at studies. That moment changed my academic performance down side up for years to come. Next one came for a very strange reason. Having score good marks, I had to apply for 5 year engineering graduation under family pressure, though my core interest was to go for research in physics. I then tried to fail myself in 1st year by deliberately not preparing well (not an honest act!) and demonstrate to my family that engineering is no good for me. Yet I passed through. That fateful day taught me “Nothing is impossible”!

What happens, when defining moments arrive?

  1. All pieces of your erstwhile puzzle or struggle fall in place to hand over success to you!
  2. You experience a step change in your paradigm and perspective! 
  3. Bright light of thoughts signals the end of dark tunnel, you have been in.
  4. You feel inspired and incredibly confident.
  5. You are truly ready to let go your past and start a fresh lease of life.
  6. You experience new energy and new balancing point of your life/pursuits.
  7. You indeed start to see obstacles as pieces of opportunities!
  8. Optimism and openness displace obscurities!
  9. You would experience outburst of emotions or euphoria!

So, your defining moment reveals your real-self! It unleashes your hidden potential!!

What brings your defining/golden moments!

There are a variety of situations:

  1. When series of setbacks eventually land you with success.
  2. When you are at the brink of a crisis or disaster, but you are able to bounce back.
  3. After breaking-down, you get breakthrough!
  4. After strenuous journey, you reach a scenic destination.
  5. You encounter severe adversity; but your solid efforts bring you excellence!
  6. Your intense endeavors lead to innovations!
  7. Your focused efforts, even in event of failures, start giving you fruits! 

Invariably golden moments arrive when your struggle with negative situations starts to deliver success; from lows, you experience highs; odds translate into opportunities! When you are stuck with your work or relationship, your sincerity appears to have lost significance, you are deprived of what you deserve, results are remote and then suddenly you see things starting to fall in place and your hopes begin to build, is when your golden moments arrive!

Now, how to accelerate the arrival!

Yes; you have power to accelerate!

Rule# 1

Never become negative, when negative events overtake!

Look around; negative news always get highlighted. Masses do mistake of dealing or greeting difficulties with anxiety, anger, frustration, impatience and pessimism. You would be under tremendous pressure from your own mind to follow what you normally witness; but never succumb to this temptation.

Rule# 2

Don’t flick between negatives and positives!

This is where most goof. Facing odds, they somehow gather courage and make genuine efforts. But, when results don’t show up, they go back and squander what they did. Hold on resolutely to the right, come what may! You must double your drive against negativity until it diminishes.

Rule# 3

Never give up hope for good!

Under pressure, you would have every reason to believe that manipulation, greed or evil survives; but history shows that is never ever!

Rule# 4

When good arrives, don’t get addicted to it!

Good is alluring, especially if it comes after bad and you would tend to get addicted to it. Don’t get obsessed with good results; you would forget what you did to get that and then go back. Think having or being good is just a normal way of your life!

Rule# 5 

Live in present and for goals of your life!

No matter what is your preaching or learning, fact is no one being or thing is more important than this to you! Mere intentions would be harmful; but implementation would be heavenly!!

Rule# 6

Do not stumble due to step change! 

When such moments arrive, many fall in utter disbelief! They don’t manage such momentous moments well. They become ecstatic, get ego boost or go overboard and in the process, they bugger it up! Embrace this change with élan and humility. Endure it to bring new order in your career or life!!

So, why not glitter your life by attracting your golden moments?

Throes of a dilemma – to be thick or thin skin!

Being happy and lucky at same time! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Consciously or unconsciously, everyone faces predicament that in a given situation, to be sensitive (thin skin) or insensitive (thick skin)! Trend of sensitiveness is set by one’s genes; but it is very much possible to alter it by making conscious efforts and practice. A right degree of sensitiveness helps a lot in your relationship, liaison, career and general effectiveness, and it also has lot of impact on your health and state of mind.

Interestingly, if you look at larger areas of population like that of a country to globe, you would discover that people from west and north regions tend to be thicker skin and those from east and south regions nearly opposite. Mind it – this seems to be the order at macro scale; you would always find exceptions at micro level. Important is to notice the trend! It looks probable that it has something to do with prosperity and environment including weather. A body that can withstand tougher conditions yet be accomplished by own hard work is bound to be a shade less sensitive!

Since nothing in nature is one sided, thick and thin skins have their pros and cons.

If you are thin skin!

Here below are pluses and minuses and tendencies, as you become thinner skin:

  • Stage 1
    You are likely to be kind, caring, compassionate, sincere, mild by temper and you would be particular in delivering what you promise.
    Your body would show sensitiveness to weather changes.
  • Stage 2
    You would become an emotional person and would often be anxious to get good results. You may easily get upset, if what you plan gets usurped.
    You would not get sound sleep and hence cease to be a morning person. You can become finicky and cleanliness freak!
  • Stage 3
    Your kindness would give way to inflated ego and you would become prone to biases. You are likely to expect or demand perfection, shortfall in which would be bothersome for you. You would start to reject realities!
    This stage would shorten your temper. You might show signs of IBS, sleep disturbances, skin disorders and body aches.
  • Stage 4
    Anger and anxieties would take command of your life. You would start to worry about what would happen in future. You would be highly sensitive to what others have to advise or say about you.
    You are likely to become victim of high blood pressure, cardio ailments or depression.

If you are thick skin!

  • Stage 1
    You would be mostly stress free, smiling, quick decision maker, efficient and able to manage conflicts well. You would not be overly concerned what has happened in past, able to move forward and be agile!
    You would enjoy good health and better immunity against common ailments!!
  • Stage 2
    You would enter comfort zone/s and put up resistance to change. You would become carefree and start to lose efficiency and pragmatism, because of developing inertia.
    You would go easy on fitness aspects and may develop liking for junk food or erratic habits.
  • Stage 3
    You would become self-centered and face loss of productivity. Stage would now be set for you to become careless and casual. You would falter frequently on delivering your promises. You would start to ignore realities!
    You would talk more but walk less. You might collect more fat on your body!!
  • Stage 4
    Lethargy and apathy would overtake your life. Your career would go completely for a toss and you would face isolation.
    You would encounter inactivity and weight related ailments like diabetes.

So, how thick your skin should be?

You like it or not, believe it or not; nature demands balancing! You must not be too sensitive or insensitive; you must not be too sincere or insincere; don’t be too loyal or betray either!!

If you pay attention to above stages and analyze, you would conclude that you must stay and sustain the mix of stage 1 of both thin and thick skins. To do this, replace your sensitivity by sensibility, regardless of what stage you are at and status or clout you enjoy! 

That alone can give you right thickness to your skin! You would then be happy and go lucky!!

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!!