MindYourBusyNess: February 2010


Each one of us is keen to move ahead in life to reach to his/her final destination. We plan and take actions according to our known capabilities and circumstances.

Problem comes when our interests clashes with some one else’s interests. Do we ignore, bypass or run over such a person to keep our way clean?

It is like moving on a road. We have vehicles and pedestrians of different capability and characteristics moving into different directions. But that does not give anyone right to hit the other(s). To ensure equal opportunity to all, there are rules and traditions formed which evolves with time.

If you analyze situations leading to accidents, one factor is found common in all of these. It is that ‘at least one party has disrespect to either the effectiveness of law and order system or co passenger(s)’. Yes, there are accidents due to machine failure or error of judgment, but these are rare and can be avoided by remaining more vigil.

Many times the problem starts with an innocent looking natural thought coming to mind. This thought may be like-

- No harm if I jump this red light, my hurry is justified and no is one around to take notice.
- Wearing helmet or seat belt is a wasteful activity, chances of being caught for these are rare and even if caught, punishment is mild, which I can afford.
- All pedestrian or those having a vehicle with less capabilities create nuisance, have no right to use and spoil the road and hence these deserve to be punished. It is the other party who will loose if I collide, not me.
- I have to reach my destination with timing set in my mind at any cost. At any cost also means, ‘depriving others to have similar facility’.

These harmless looking small thoughts gradually tern into habit pattern and taken for granted. After few trials, if the results of actions on these thoughts are favorable, then we stop even thinking about these trivial matters to save our minds from overloading. This is the dangerous turning point which may lead to an accident situation.

Most of us go through such thoughts sometime or other while on road but normally conscious enough to control these thoughts from becoming a habit pattern.

Similar analogy can be applied to life. The best situation is where each living being is respected and given equal rights to co exist and grow even if we may have difference of opinion with many of them. As we are in hurry to reach to our chosen goals in the journey of life, so is everyone else. Each one of us try move as fast as possible but avoid any chances of collusion with others. Collusion is to be avoided. It is painful and counter productive for all parties involved.

This philosophy is known as path of non violence or ‘AHIMSA’. It has been advocated by many saints and leaders since ancient time. In modern time, it is more relevant. In today’s highly networked society and leverage available due to advanced technology, any small clash can escalate to a war. The danger of total destruction is more real now due to lethal weaponry we have. So the best is to avoid possibility of any clash or collusion, howsoever small it may look.

Image courtesy Freefoto.com


Each of us has desires to achieve something in life. Some of these desires are unique with each individual while some are common amongst us. Most of us like to be rich, hold an important position in society or want to have our dream-house / job /life partner.

When we have someone else who posses any of the items which we have in our wish list, we conclude that he/she is a successful person and envy him/her. But who is qualified to decide about achievements in the path of success? It is the person who has to experience this success and no one else. An outsider does not have enough knowledge about the real agenda/desires of a person (as these are personal and seldom made public), so any comment made on that is not really relevant.

If you hit a jackpot by chance, others may perceive you as a successful person. But, what about you? Do you feel the sense of achievement by hitting the jackpot?
A reward or prize is given by others as deemed fit by them or it is an expression of value they attach to you. It has nothing to do with your desire(s).

Success can only be measured /assessed in context with the desire(s) we have to achieve something. But most of the time desires are not focused and clarity is absent in spite of rich contents (of desires).

Each of us has a list or bag of desires where contents are dynamic (keeps on changing with time and situation/experience). These desires are responsible for pushing us into many directions or motivating for doing the required work.

Consciously or unconsciously we keep working on our desires and convert them into goals to be achieved. Goals are refined desires with clarity and quantification. It is with respect of these goals one should gauge success.

If I set up a goal for me (whether declared to outside world or not) to run for 100 meters daily within 15 seconds , following are the example of clear failure on my part-

1. Running for 99.99 meters or less on any day.
2. Irregular running (not sticking to daily routine decided in the goal) even if it is for 1000 meters on some days.
3. Completing 100 meter run in 14.59 seconds on any day.

If you feel problem with achieving success consider following suggestions-

1. Each goal is unique and has to be dealt with context and meaning as perceived by you –the creator of that goal.
2. The goal(s) are either achieved in totally or dropped altogether. Sometimes amending or modifying the goal(s) is OK in the light of changed reality or circumstances. But if you modify too much then its time to examine and improve on your belief system or faiths rather than feeling guilty.
3. Our list of goal(s) is dynamic not static. On one side you will be achieving your goals set by you on the other side new goals will be added due to desires. Enjoy the dynamics of this list and keep it lively.
4. Within our goal list, items have positions and priorities attached. This position and priority can be changed by you, the owner of that list. Be conscious and judicious in this process of change.
5. Be passionate about your goals .Its your personal property. Examine and modify it needed. Why expect anyone else in the world to take interest in it?
6. As we judge and criticize others, occasionally judge and criticize yourself also. Evaluate your performance and plan for the schemes to do better next time.

Image by Free-StockPhotos.com


Have you noticed the TV Advertisements these days? Look at the quality of the contents and technology support. These compete with the main TV program itself and sometime these are better than that. There is a complete storey and message in these Ads. The only difference is the total duration of these Ads. These are short and sweet. These last for few seconds only. But the short duration is compensated by high frequency. If you watch an hour long TV show, effectively it is just few minutes show which you actually see( excluding the Ads) .But on the other hand, if you see a 40 second Ad, 30 times in a day, it amounts to 20 minutes. The other aspect is there repeativeness . They hammer a point repeatedly and create association with some product in the mind. After sometime, we start using this association unknowingly. And our decision making on critical issues is influenced by this biased association. This aggressive advertisement is not limited to TV only, it is everywhere. On newspapers we read, movies we see, hoardings on roadside, on our mobile & laptop screen, on website we surf, on our emails, blogs , its everywhere. It is an accepted norm in the society. The amount of promotional material keeps on increasing in our lives day by day and our capability to accept it is also increasing. In future, is there a danger of missing the natural materials all together in the life? Will our lives be governed by man made arrangements only with vested interests everywhere? Is there any harm in receiving/accepting promotional material? There is no harm is accepting or receiving promotional material if it is a conscious choice of our free will. But when it is done at unconscious level without our knowledge, it is damaging. When it becomes a habit, it’s more damaging as it works like addiction. If the seeds of promotional material are planted intelligently in the belief system itself, mind accept it as real and we become slave of our own created habits. We need to change our attitude towards handling the promotional material. Those indulged in creating such material should give some free space to customer rather than bombarding his/her mind. On the other hand, those of us, who are receiving this material, should keep themselves smart enough to differentiate between the promotional and natural material and also maintain that smartness. Image -courtesy freedigitalphotos

Take charge

Life has given us tremendous power ‘to choose’. Each moment we have to choose among the available options. This selection process is influenced by many factors like - financial constrain social concern self esteem habits upbringing comfort level emotions thought process .....etc. We consider everything, optimize our resources, evaluate workable plans and then go for the best solution. But this gifted power of decision making can only benefit us if we exercise it. Many times, we do not use this power and allow things happen to us rather than making things happen by us. This happens mainly on two accounts- 1. Too much considerations –when we have too many considerations, perhaps the processing load is too heavy. In such a situation we take an economical decision- don’t consider at all. In such a situation, conserving the energy of mind is the idea on which we work. 2. Too difficult to judge- When the difference between options is not very clear or we do not have confidence of selecting the best option, we withdraw from the process of selection itself. The idea on which we work in such a case is to avoid the pain/risk/guilt of a wrong decision. On a short term basis the withdrawal from selection process seems economical and comfortable. But on a long term basis it does not prove economical at all. In fact doing this repeatedly forms the habit patterns in our mind and we start withdrawing unknowingly (unconsciously). Then we do not even indulge in simpler decision making process and leave things to happen on external forces. This becomes a vicious circle which should be broken if we are interested to live a happy and healthy life. If you are in similar situation and finding it difficult to actively and consciously decide your next step, following are the suggestions for consideration- 1. Decision making is a natural activity as breathing. But if we do not pay attention and address the small problems in these natural activities, we may gradually slide to a diseased state like asthmatic condition which will require special attention and additional investment of energy and money. 2. You withdraw because some of your bad experience at one point of time in the past. Withdrawal is natural reaction to a bad experience, but you have to come out of it as soon as possible. If you were injured in a road accident for none of your fault, you can not choose to stay away from the road/travel always to avoid the painful memories. This is not a rational and practical decision, though looks a correct decision when you are under the influence of strong feelings. So be a man, grow up and don’t behave like ostrich. 3. If your present state of affairs is not in good shape, it is just result of a many decisions taken in the past. The good news is that you can take better decision now and change the situation. 4. If we do not exercise the power of decision making, we become more vulnerable for manipulation by others. 5. When we consciously participate in decision making rather than running away from it, we develop and grow by facing the challenges thrown in our way by circumstances.