MindYourBusyNess: April 2010

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NOT OUR TYPE




Mother’s womb is the safest place for anyone in this world. You get all the love and protection that is needed.

Once you leave it, you are exposed to the harsh realties of the world. Fears start setting in.

To counter those fears, we are trained by family/society to use the correct technique to live our lives. Our script is written in our formative years. We are given basic handlers (small how to do it programs for mind) to deal with common problems or issues in our daily lives.

These handlers are based on the expectations or set standards by our society in general and the individuals responsible for our upbringing in particular.

The arrangement works fine till we are confined to the limits of our family / community/ society and performing one of the ‘tailor made jobs’.

But gradually for most of us and suddenly for many, we are exposed to the people who are not of our type. Their logic, their assumptions, their beliefs, their ways of working is different. Some of these may be even at sharp contrast with our beliefs.

This brings the state of confusion to the mind. Questions like these creep up in the mind-

Is it worth changing our way of life?
Was there anything lacking in our way of life?
How to compete/coordinate with others, who are working on different set of beliefs than us?

Following are some suggestions for adapting this new situation in a healthier way -

1. Open to change - When we come across someone doing something in a different way, this is an opportunity to learn. But ‘to avail this opportunity or not?’ is a personal choice. In place of being rigid, we should consider the new way of working with open mind. We should consider and analyze the pros and cons of the new method and then decide deliberately. Theses questions may help in deciding-

-Is new way of working going to bring a significant change in my life?
-Am I willing to pay the price for adopting a new system?
-Will it fit correct in my overall context- my personality, my aspirations and my environment?

Alas, some of us discard or accept the new method without any conscious consideration. Either of this approach in not healthy-

-‘this is not my way, so I don’t pay attention to it’.
- ‘Since this is different and appears better, I must change to it immediately’.

2. No one is perfect-
What we are today is an effort of continuous programming on us. We are programmed by many institutions/ forces –family, society, climate, politics, government, economy, feelings etc. We adopt the ways which suit us most and this process is dynamic. Each one of us is unique. So others have to be different in many ways. It is natural. No one is perfect and no technique is ultimate.

3. Respect for others – We all work on our belief system. This entity is intangible but it works in background. In fact this is the guiding force behind choosing our actions and thoughts. This is applicable to all of us. So we must learn to honor the belief system of others as we honor ours without any judgment attached to it.

photo courtesy fredigitalphotos.net

CLASSES WITHIN THE CLASS




During my assignments as teacher, many times I got opportunity to interact with a group of students, called ‘the class’. I found that this group was always made of three categories of students-

1. The average- Majority of the students is reasonably concerned about their studies and performs at average level. They are generally happy with their performance, but try to improve only that much, which they can manage conveniently with their other commitments in life. During the evaluation of performance in exams etc, they are able to score average grades. Some boarder line cases may require a gentle push but most of them can be tackled by the teachers comfortably.

2. The deprived- There is generally a small population of students in each class who perform very low in any exam or test. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong with their capability to pass the exam. The problem lies with their attitude towards studies and themselves. There is a deep routed belief in their minds that this particular course of study (and studies in general) is not going to add value in their lives. They create justification for their low performance and remain comfortable that way. They require special attention and treatment by the teacher. They have lost faith in the system.

3. The achievers- There is another small population of student who are ‘high achievers’. They leave no stone unturned to score as high grade as possible. There is a tough competition to be the highest achiever. They require limited help, which is specific but demands special efforts of teachers. They find their own ways to get the knowledge. They are the innovators of new practices and set the new standards in the system.

These three groups are generally present in different composition in each class. These three classes are the classes within the class.

This type of classification is not limited to classrooms. Even at work place or society, we find similar categories of people. This is a natural occurrence in any group.

It is quite likely that we fall in one category or class at one level and in another category in some other level simultaneously. You may be an achiever financially and professionally but deprived socially and average person physically.

What is the element which separates one class from other?
The answer is, ‘the mind set’.

Each class of people carries a hidden deep decision in the mind, which was taken once upon a time but honored unconditionally all the time. There may be reasons to carry and honor this decision. These reasons may be both internal like preferences, inclination & attachment and external like circumstances, social, emotional or economical. Generally these decisions or beliefs are planted by family/society for average, adopted willingly/ voluntarily by achievers but thrust upon and adopted as compulsion by deprived.

This core- belief /decision for each class is given below-

Average-Play safe & comfortable. Be in limits.’

Deprived- The system is not useful/good for you –join the anti system & create a false identity.’ (Reaction to, ‘You don’t deserve this’.)

Achiever- Never gives up. Keep trying in any type of circumstances. You have to reach there anyhow.’

Belief
is just an assumption in mind on the basis of which we take further decisions and commitments. Many times we realize that there is something wrong with our core belief, but we are not inclined to change it due to the fear of loosing our identity which has been created on that belief system. But with little patience and awareness it is possible to change the planted belief in the mind.
The change from one class to other does happen naturally also. Just by taking one remark by heart, many people have turned achievers. Also by one blow of circumstance many normal persons have turned to the deprived class before they even realized what went wrong.

Before attempting to change, we must analyze, ‘whether there is any need of change or not?’

To my mind, it’s a personal question. If someone is happy being average, deprived or achiever, it is his/her choice.

But many people are not satisfied in their present class and want to change their class-

-Many ‘average’ & ‘deprived’ people want to become ‘achievers’.
-Many ‘achievers’ & ‘deprived’ people want to become ‘average’.
-Some ‘average’ & ‘achievers’, facing difficult situations even think of changing to turn to the ‘deprived’ class.

It is not very difficult to jump from one class to other, if you are sincere enough. The technique is very simple. Find out the core belief responsible to your present class. It will be hidden deep in the layers of information in your mind. But if you are focused, you can trace it out. It is just a decision taken long ago on the basis of information available to you at that time. Those facts may not be relevant now on the changed face of reality. Just realize that and replace the belief with a new belief which you feel is more appropriate to your situation now. Rest everything else will fall in its place very soon. There will be some time required by your near and dears to adjust to your new behavior, since they may not be aware of your adopted change of mind.

Most of us are average people and happy in our present class. We keep a distance from other two classes-

-By giving privileged treatment and blindly following to the achievers.
- By staying away from the deprived and discarding them.

The deprived and achievers are minority class. A healthy way to help them is to treat them as normal person rather than giving special treatment. They are the member of the same family with different mindset, not outsiders.

GROWTH



“Are you still there?”

Sounds a familiar question? How often have you heard that?

The realization of stagnation is killing. Life is only nice if it keeps on moving ahead. When it comes to halt, its ugly face appears.

The growth is evident in children. But what happens after childhood? Many of us struggle to grow financially, physically, emotionally & spiritually. Even those of us who are fortunate to grow, they are seldom satisfied with the speed of their growth.

Analysis of some of the aspects of growth is given below-

1. Dynamics of growth- Few isolated achievements can hardly be considered as growth. Growth is a continuous process of improvement.
Normally balance prevails in our lives. We remain in a ‘locked up’ position by two equal and opposite forces trying to counter each other. The forces may be-

- Drive for expenditure & income financially
- Drive for eating & physical work physically
- Feelings of pain & pleasure emotionally
- Sticking to individualism & surrender to universal forces spiritually

None of these forces are good or bad absolutely. These are just two extreme views of the same point. Balance is achieved by maintaining a fixed ratio of these forces depending upon individual preferences and circumstances. For example a miser person will have a high ‘income to expenditure ratio’, while an extravagant person will have this ratio very low. Normally we maintain status quo on these ratios unless something extraordinary happens. We can live for years, maintaining the same ratios. The ratios define our comfort zones and we maintain these irrespective of our circumstances.

The key to real growth is improving upon these ratios or our efficiency status. Have you observed an athlete or wait lifter practicing? It is a 4 step process –

- knowing his/her limit
- measure it
- Focus on a point just a bit more than the limit point
- Once the desired limit is achieved, the focus point is again shifted a bit.

This is also referred as ‘raising the bar’ phenomenon. By repeated practices the newly achieved standard becomes a part of life of the athlete or player.

Unfortunately many of us do not pay attention to the standards prevailing in our lives. They just use ready made standards generally defined by society. Very few of us think of raising the standards in our day to day lives. This involves coming out of your comfort zone which is painful. Normally it is done only when forced by external forces or demands. Those who do it willingly & knowingly become the record setters and leaders in their chosen fields.
Therefore, growth is a dynamic process of ‘raising the standards, achieving and raising again’. The process stops at the time of death only.

2. Rate of growth-
When you grow very fast, you also become liable to sudden fall. As you reach to new heights and higher planes, it becomes more & more difficult to maintain the position there. A steady and slow rate of growth proves economical and healthy in long run. It gives time to our system to adjust to the new environment. So just have some patience, enjoy the process of growth rather than speeding up and loading your system unnecessarily.

3. All round growth-
If we grow very fast in one direction, we tend to lag behind in other directions. A healthier lifestyle would involve growth in all spheres financial, physical, emotional, spiritual etc.

4. My space- Sometimes growth can be comfortably achieved by disturbing the growth plans of others. Is it worth it? We all can grow to our selected places and also give equal rights to all other living beings. That is truly human. Without love and respect to others, the growth is a mechanical phenomenon. There is no life in it.

Imge courtesy Imageafter.com