Tag Archives: Fear

Are modern day science n stress making us more sick or superstitious?

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True image or illusion?

Current US President Barack Obama has revealed in a recent interview that he always carries in his pocket a statuette of Lord Hanuman, small Buddha, silver poker chip etc. and seeks inspiration from same when he feels tired or discouraged. But, he has said that he is not that superstitious.

He is not alone; he has millions of followers!

How gifts and gadgets of science are making you more superstitious

You would find celebrities, artists, leaders, especially from political polity and gen. next more than ever before wearing rings containing specific stones, colorful bands or sacred threads on their wrists or lucky charms to attract good omens. Advancements in multimedia enable millions to watch them like never before and entice them to emulate such practices.

Scientific advancements have given advent to social media and social media have brought together not only colleagues, cultures, traditions, beliefs and rituals from every corner of our planet but also voices of faith healers and fortune tellers. Every other day, I get text message on my cell phone about forecast for my future and what I should do to make it lucky. One day while under duress, one is bound to fall prey to same.

All kinds of wearable devices are now available to monitor nearly all parameters of your body. Everything looks hunky-dory as long as these parameters are within prescribed limits. But what is if some of those go out of limits? You land on the lap of stress, superstition or god for quick fixes. Hardly anyone would run to doctors for every tit and bit; but if someone does it, he/she would create another set of psychological problems.

When you are stressed, you fall either sick or prey to superstitions

Stress has long list of its byproducts – insomnia, IBS, cardio disorder, lever dysfunction, diabetes… and now new research studies including one conducted by Ohio State University have added cancer, as it gets accentuated by stress.

In modern age, there are many more media available to invite stress, leading among which is social media and mobile phones. Social media is a great boon as well as a gruesome bane. It is a classic example of how plus and minus go hand in hand. Thirty years back, we were surviving very well without having even a line of remote communication at home; today we can’t sustain a minute without cell phone in hand.

No one notices, rather dislikes to notice silent stress of taking selfies, posting images supposedly better than previous day, racing to get more likes and repenting if buddies or beloved did not like it.

Untold story of how science has been misused by man

In its original form, science is secular and secures everyone; but depending upon how it is used or applied, it can create values and virtues or vices and viruses; it can develop faith or fear; surprisingly, its positive use promotes spiritualism and negative use prompts materialism.

Though the taste of man or masses is for positive, their recipe is for exactly opposite – negative. That is why scientific facts have been twisted by most people into their fractured faiths i.e. illusions or superstitions and turned on more far right and left wing ideas and ideologies leaving little space for the center or balanced ones. Discoveries of atom and subatomic particles should have consolidated our conviction that god is everywhere but we have pushed him elsewhere – deeper into isolation and places of worship. We have used these discoveries more for destruction than for construction, creating more stress on our system. We have misused stress to create more medicines and manipulated the fact that it is more a matter of mind control.

We hardly know who we are; but we want to jump into bandwagon of knowing who and where aliens are. We are unable to arrest decay of our world colony; but billions of dollars are being spent on race for colonizing Mars and Moons.

But, all is not lost yet, if we can still realize that it is a bad idea to misuse or overuse science, its gifts and gadgets and that it is a bane to drift away from core principles of nature and life!

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Is God elsewhere or everywhere?

The energy everyone has!

Energy that everyone has!

Most believers believe God is there but elsewhere. They don’t know where exactly this “Elsewhere” is. They often tend to look or point at sky, which is supposedly be having the heavenly abode.

Notwithstanding the above, believers seek God at the chosen places of worship; they search him is statues, figures, photos and other objects or locations. Ironically, it is a social taboo to ask a very pertinent question – when power of God is all pervading, how come then it can get restricted to specific or selected places or objects?

Their belief goes even further. It believes concentration of God or his power at individual level; some go further to consider it for their community and most expand it to boundaries of their country or a group of countries as if the influence of God’s power can be restricted like circle/s of a cell phone service provider! This is in direct contradiction to their overall belief that God and his power cut across whole universe. It clearly points to God being treated by most as their personal concept, though hardly anyone would admit.

What does enlightened preachers and holy books say

God is not someone’s personal property; he belongs to all and is everywhere. However, they don’t seem to address above predicament or paradox.

What do esteemed leaders say

You have power to make any and everything possible. Sky is your limit. Your power is limited only by the limits you set for yourself.

What is the Truth

Every proof points out to one fact – you have power, potential or perimeters of which can never be estimated or explained by you. Feature of this power is when you are positive, it presents itself and magnifies. But, when you are negative, it penalizes and pushes you down. This is what God is also known for.

Truth equally for believers or nonbelievers is – whatever name you give, this power or God is everywhere, in everyone and therefore, also in you. If you fathom its colossal meaning, you would only love and respect self and others; but never think of hate, hurt, fanaticism, fights, spreading fear/terror or encroaching on others’ freedom!

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Why we forget what we want to remember; but remember more which we want to forget!

Difficult to remember or fear to forget! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Does it not happen to you often what you want to remember for sure, you are more likely to forget; but the opposite does not happen for what you really want to forget – it haunts you more?

There are countless real life examples. You suddenly cannot remember name of known persons or places. You forget some words or spellings at a time, you need most! Minds of students become blank, while answering a question in examination, which they had precisely prepared well for.

Your boss has called you for annual review and you put down on a piece of paper all points of your accomplishments. When you come out after meeting with boss, you realize that you had overlooked half of those points! You have to deliver a speech in a conference and work hard to prepare. Harder you prepare, easier would you forget key points to speak.

On other hand, one fine morning before leaving for work, you have argument with your spouse for spending too much money on shopping. You would not be able get over the duel while driving on road, making it unsafe. On reaching office, you decide firmly to forget morning incidence; but you would lose your cool with your sub-ordinates, since morning duel keeps playing at back of your mind.

Why our memory fails at right moment but serves extra well at wrong one!

When we first memorize what we want to remember is in its pure form. See, what generally happens subsequently when we don’t want to forget it:

  1. Our first suggestion to mind to remember and not to forget is registered in our memory as “same information again with emphasis”.
  2. 2nd reminder registers it with a kind of stress.
  3. 3rd reminder accompanies usually with our perception of consequences for not remembering it.
  4. Then, we start to fear for possible consequences.
  5. So, when time comes to recall that information, our mind is loaded or preoccupied, making retrieval more difficult!

This is how purity of original information degrades.

Now, look at what we do to “What we want to forget”:

  1. What is that we want to forget – bad incidences, bad dream, wrong thought, worse scene, random ideas, irrelevant information and so forth!
    By the time we come to a stage of wanting to forget any of above, it takes full circle and make its firm mark in our mind.
  2. Having decided to forget, it is rare that a person would not remember it again. Most people recall often to check whether they have forgotten it! Moment they do this, it dives deeper in their memory!! 
  3. All of above incidences or information are associated with our anger, anxiety, disappointment, denial, obsession, repulsion or irritation, which are essentially past negative emotions.
    Emotions are like cache memory of a computer in our brain. When our mental state is negative, the said emotions also pop-up and refresh that we want to forget.
  4. Normally, things that you want to forget fade over time, when your older biases i.e. emotions get superseded by new ones. But, you have to then struggle with new ones. 

From above, you can observe that spontaneous response of our mind is reverse of what you should be doing and hence, struggle in remembering or forgetting!

Managing to forget is far more challenging than mastering to remember!

Ability to consciously forget, though more complex, makes mind and memory far sharper than capacity to remember!

We have lot of options to remember – memorize by practicing, making hard or soft notes. But, options to forget – nothing! 

You frequently read about – to let go and forgiveness. These are flimsy or even fake, unless you have the ability to forget! Another extremely important thing every leader or preacher advocates is to live in present! People are hardly able to do that, because they are unable to forget past!!

How best to remember and forget, when you want to

To remember on time, here below is what you can do:

  • Make hand written legible notes.
    Note, writing by own hands creates stronger impression in mind. Chances are you may not even have to see your notes again. But, beware and be wary of making notes of too many things!
  • Alternatively, you can make soft notes on your mobile, notepad or computer.
  • Best option is to make mental note only once and link to the image of object, with which it is directly related. May be supplement it by abbreviated hand written note. And then, just don’t worry whether you would remember or forget; believe that heaven will not fall on earth, if you don’t.

To forget what you have to is much trickier and require thoughtfulness. Effective clues:

  • Easiest is to do what you love or engage yourself gainfully.
    However, this would give you temporary respite; not resolve it for good!
  • You would be much better off, if you become broad minded.
  • Real step is – come to terms with what you have to live without and believe that thing is no longer important. Losing importance of what you want to forget is the key to “Forgetting”!
    You would soon realize there is a catch in above – you can lose importance or making the thing insignificant only when you drop your past emotions at least for things you want to forget! 

Now, the most valuable information – what you want to actually forget is all out of your past memories, which have 2 parts – (a) Knowledge or information (b) emotions i.e. biases, obsession, pleasure, pain, fear or frustration. Usually, you latch on to past for fear of losing knowledge or information, which you actually don’t need to! 

So, if you keep dropping your past emotions, you have nothing to lose but only to gain great ability to remember and forget what you need to. That would take you to the top of your life!

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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!!

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A miraculous quality – Focus, which is most misunderstood & misused!

Great Focus! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Most people understand what Focus is; but, misunderstand its meaning, power and use! If focus is correctly understood, we would become very different in our style and strength. Focus is one human quality, which has far reaching impact on our mind, body, soul, success, health and happiness!! All successful leaders to legends, businessmen to celebrities use this quality as main contributor to their success.

Focus can bring radical changes in your character and class. What you need is to fathom it right and follow it faithfully!

How focus is misinterpreted and misrepresented!

This is mostly because of lack of awareness. Though focus is talked about in all walks of life, including corporate, its correct meaning is hardly emphasized.

Focus does not mean:

  1. Having a concerted thought for desired object or activity, while allowing all other kinds of thoughts crossing your mind.
  2. Doing a single physical activity, for which you believe you are focused, while all types of thoughts are wandering your mind.
  3. Carrying a train of similar thoughts for desired object or activity but with interruptions.
  4. Multi-tasking, even if you believe you are fully concentrating on multiple tasks!
  5. Having more than one type of thoughts, though connected with same subject or object e.g., kicking football for penalty shoot-out, feeling nervous and thinking that everyone expects you to net a goal. Though there is one subject, there are 3 types of thoughts – to hit ball right, fear of failure and expectation of others! This is no focus and most probably, you would miss your target!!
  6. Headstrong or blind run for your objective/s.

True meaning of Focus

Focus means “your mind has a single type of thoughts, which is also driving your body in sync!” As an example, Focus on breathing means mind is having thought of breath going in and out and you are also breathing exactly at same time and sequence. Another example – you are at the goal post and your mind and body are fully in tune for hitting ball at right spot, with no other thought. Then, it would surely be a goal! Even if goal keeper tries to intercept you, you would miraculously deflect the ball past him!!

So, focus is mind and body getting fully synchronized to perform one and only one activity – “a thought or thought + physical action” at a time, when past and future lose their meaning to you.

When you continue to remain focused for a period of time, then either you would have same type of thought repeating in your mind or have a train of thoughts but each one aligned towards achieving your aim or goal. Let us term such train of thoughts as “Same type of thoughts”.

In practical life, it is difficult to remain truly focused all the time. What is important is high degree of focus, which can be defined as:

Degree of Focus = 2 ⁄ x

Where x is no. of same type of thoughts in mind per minute.

This is a simple formula, but has solid implications:

  • x can never be zero, because mind can never be blank, unless dead.
  • If x is 1, then it means that your mind has only single type of thoughts, which could be dangerous as it would go in a loop of same thought and can’t come out of same.
  • Ideal degree of focus in 1, when you have 2 types of thoughts – 1st for the object or activity you are concentrating at and 2nd to monitor its start to finish and take it forward to repeat or make only such variation adequate to reach your aim.
  • Practical degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3, where 3rd type of thought is for observing your body/surroundings.
  • If degree of focus falls below 2 ⁄ 4 = 0.5, you are no longer focused.
  • Distraction means other type/s of incoming thoughts, which interfere with single types of thoughts on which you are concentrating.
    Best way to deal with distraction is not to react or forcefully remove such incoming thoughts, but ignore; don’t give importance. Your mind would restore its focus.

Startling results of being focused

When degree of focus is 2 ⁄ 3 and under no case below 0.5, you would observe that:

  1. Several of key your functions merge:
    1. Mind and soul or conscious and sub-conscious parts of mind
    2. Brain and Body
    3. Inner voice and Inspiration
  2. You would feel energetic and motivated.
  3. All negative emotions – fear, frustration, anxiety, anger, aversion or delusion would vanish.
  4. Anything that is feasible comes within your reach.
  5. You feel supremely confident and courageous.
  6. You won’t and can’t do anything wrong!
    In other words, degree of focus of ill meaning people is always below 0.5!
  7. You become amazingly effective.
  8. It brings a rare combination in you – being innovative and creative at same time!
  9. If you remain focused most time, your vitality and virtues multiply.
    It makes you happy and healthy.
    You may have observed that unhappy or unhealthy people are not focused. Conversely, focus can address your ailments in many ways!

So, if you wish to end your weaknesses and enhance wisdom, please start practicing “Focus” properly and prudently. You would then unlock real power and potential of this magnificent quality, which you possess!

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