Friday, March 30, 2007

Us Vs. Them

Quite simply, conflicts arise when we come across objectionable behavior in others.

Instead of pointing out the behavior that is disturbing us, we take exception to the person

exhibiting the behavior. Although it may make sense at the outset, like the person is responsible for the behavior and hence no need to disassociate, this kind of thinking and approach does not lead to the solution and hence the need to look at this closely.

Take a simple example of your neighbor, who smokes and that bothers you because the kids play outside in the evening and the you are worried about the second hand smoking.

Now, clearly smoking in the open where kids may be exposed is an irresponsible act.

However, one type of response would be to judge the neighbor as being irresponsible and irrational and the moment this judgment is made by you, you eliminate the possibility of having a rational discussion with the neighbor. We know what happens after that, talk behind the back, scowl, generate hard feelings every time you come across this person and so on.

On the other hand, you disassociate the irresponsible behavior from the neighbor(the person)
(and perhaps focus on the goodness in him/her - the time when he picked up groceries when you were sick etc)
and consider the neighbor as your friend. Suddenly the true culprit - the behavior is isolated and can now be presented as such to your friend. In this case, you and your neighbor friend are one and you can present your case in an atmosphere where both can truly discuss, listen (this is important) to each others' concern and you have now created the possibility to finding an amicable solution.

This applies to conflicts arising between couples in a relationship to conflicts between cultures, religions, traditions, nations and everything in between.
Now the question arises, why do we associate the behavior with the person so often?

Perhaps, because that is how we treat ourselves. When we commit an idiotic act, we say, "I am an idiot", don't we? No matter how nasty, compulsive, addictive and detrimental our behaviors are, they are simply behaviors that we have chosen to exhibit and if we so choose, we can discard and adopt whatever we want.

We are not our behaviors.

So if we, from now on, pay careful attention to our behaviors and see them as our choices, we can gain control over them and not be so harsh on ourselves when we act angrily the next time knowing that it too can be changed

and perhaps it will help us to see others in the same light as well.


Instant Vs Delayed gratification

Why not buy it now and save for it later as opposed to save now and buy it later?

With the former, you will be at least be forced to save and hence discipline yourself while gratifying. So what then is the case for the latter?

Here is what I feel about the latter:

If you decided to save some amount every month for 6 months and then buy it, one of two things would happen at the end of 6 months.

1) You will have saved enough and by that you have proved to yourself that you care about it enough that you could set apart the amount every month and live without it.

It may still be a want but your priority is clear or if it is truly a need, it has withstood the test of time and the
whims of mind.

You can now afford to buy if you still feel you want it and you can do so with a clear conscience and no debt.

You totally deserve it, You are the man, all is well.

2) You will not have saved it, and in here, I believe, lies the true value of this latter proposition.

It either means you were not disciplined enough to put away the set amount every month which in turn means that it was simply a "want/nice to have/don't care" and not a "need", which is good to know OR

It means you do not care about it that much as compared to the other things that you spent that "set" amount on every month, and this insight is also very valuable - at least now your priorities are clear and it also made it glaring that you cannot afford it now.

Either way, besides the obvious benefit of cutting down on the impulsive buying behavior, the waiting/saving period really tests if it is a need or a want, highlights your priorities, reveals your affordability and as a side effect, you won't end up with stuff that you don't really need and in some cases, even, less debt.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Unknown - A chance to Grow

When you afraid of the Unknown , you are afraid of growth, because that's what the Unknown brings you. Unknown forces you to confront your fears and once you confront, you begin to overcome it and once you overcome your fear, you would have grown.

People and circumstances that you come across reflect who you are.

So if they are new, then there is a potential that they may reflect an aspect of you.
That may be your strength or weakness.
What if it is a weakness - then you may not like to confront it.

That weakness may embarrass you at first, unnerve you, your ego will get hurt and so your ego will do everything in its power to make you avoid that Unknown in the first place.

This has the unfortunate side effect wherein you will not come to know what your strengths are either.

But if you stand your ground and are committed to growth, you will be richly rewarded.
Learn your strengths and develop them and learn your weaknesses so that you can overcome them and all of this possible only if you keep moving out of your comfort zone as soon as you end up in one and into the Unknown.

If you have trouble confronting your weaknesses, highlight some of your strengths and fall back on them, languish in them and then remind yourself that you are a worthy individual and that you are fine as you are, complete as you are and the weaknesses in no way, make you less of a person and that the only reason for your confront is to gain new experiences.

The reason you want to discover your strengths and weaknesses is, a whole new world of experiences will open up to you, which is a treat in itself but you also get to serve others in new ways as well.

And the only way to get here is to actively look out for and get to know new (read unknown) people, confront uncomfortable situations, do things you are afraid of, basically,
by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the Unknown.

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The Belief Factor - 2

Continuing from a previous post,
Be mindful of what you tell others on what is impossible and/or how difficult something was because your words have the potential to influence their belief system.

Since not everybody is reading this blog and hence may not be following what I just said ;),
also be mindful of what you listen to, be it from your family members, friends, tv, radio, books, internet etc.when it comes to possibilities and experiences.
Because the truth is that their possibilities and experiences are are unique to them and they have attracted those into their lives because of who they are.
You are not them and hence you may experience it differently unless you let them weaken your belief in which case, you may be subjected to the same fate or close to it.

When you do want to relate your experiences and not necessarily an inspiring one at that, make sure you tag it with a disclaimer, preferably in bold and big fonts that the experience was unique to you and that their mileage will vary, if they so choose.

This is especially true while raising children, we sometimes tend to impregnate them with our opinion on the possibilities as if they were set in stone. It would be an injustice as we just corrupted their belief system as what parents say tend to carry a weight. We may not realize that we are doing so but if we become mindful, we can catch ourselves. Of course, with children, this does not apply to anything that will pose a threat to their lives.

Case in point, an extreme case but nevertheless a fine illustration of external input affecting the belief system of what is possible and not, found in the book The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter And Miracles by
Bruce H. Lipton.
In short, it is the case of Dr. Albert Mason, where he finds success treating a boy's case of warts using hypnosis and later when he learns that the boy had been diagnosed incorrectly and that he did not suffer from warts but from a lethal genetic disease called congenital ichthyosis, which until that time had been considered incurable, he was never able to replicate the results he had had with the young boy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Cleaning Tips

There is this overarching goal in our lives and/or several other passions that we would like to pursue and then there are some routine, mundane things in life which one has got to do.

However, there are certain sucker thoughts and activities, "energy vampires" as Dr.Orloff calls them, that simply occupy our thoughts and suck up our energy leaving us exhausted and drained. The mind cleverly disguises these suckers by presenting them in a manner that is appealing to our ego - pampering it sometimes, threatening it certain other times using fear and guilt and forces us to engage in them.

Over time, engaging in such thoughts and activities become a habit that we don't even complain or question and not realize why we don't have time or energy to spend on what matters most in our lives.

A little spring cleaning every now and then on our thoughts and activities helps bring vitality back to our lives.
This spring, I am scrutinizing and sorting my thoughts, organizing my activities, asking myself the question "Am I thrilled?" or "Am I inspired?"
before pursuing a thought or activity and using the answers to prioritize.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Incomplete is the new complete

The mind hijacks my thoughts promising closure on the other thoughts, and
convinces me that the other thoughts are of higher priority than the current one.

Why is closure important? Why do I go for symmetry? Why do I value completeness?

That must be the mind playing tricks on me. If every moment is precious, then everything as it is, in this moment should also be precious.

So I proclaim, Incomplete is the new complete.

The journey should be savored as much as being at the destination.

Getting there should be enjoyed as much as Being there.

Learning should be enjoyed as much as being Accomplished.

Growing up should be enjoyed as much as being Grown up.

Longing should be enjoyed as much as Having.

In the longing,
In the learning,
In the growing up,
In the journey

lies the
experience without which the end is meaningless.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

When is it complete?

When you are at peace with it.
It is your choice.

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