Affirmations (Part 1 of 2)

 

Affirmations are spoken statements that can be of a positive or negative nature. In the popular sense of the term they are spoken commands made purposefully in order to change some aspect of our life. In order to fully understand how affirmations work and the science behind their use we must first look at the way our minds work.

When we are born our brains are like empty computers waiting to be fed information. As we grow our peers act as our programmers, they supply us with the knowledge which we channel through the conscious mind into the subconscious (our hard drive). The subconscious mind is the biggest hard drive ever developed – it stores everything we come in contact with and by no means is all of this information of a positive nature.

All that we have heard, touched, smelt, tasted and seen are stored in the recesses of our minds. The subconscious mind holds on to this information until we need to recall it. For example when you were young your curiosity lead you to investigate your surroundings. When you approached a substance that was dangerous, such as fire, your parents or guardians would most likely have rebuked or scolded you if you ventured too near the flame.

Perhaps you may even recall an incident when you were physically burned. Your subconscious mind then began to relate scolding (or pain) with the intense heat of the fire and would therefore feed the feelings of the scolding incident back to you whenever you got too close to fire again, thus acting as an early warning system.

This is the mechanism used by our brains to learn. It is also the same method employed by the mind in every situation. The subconscious mind has a tendency to emulate what it sees – it tends to replicate its environment. This is why so many people find themselves in similar relationships and situations that they saw their parents in while they were growing up. Most people also hold very strongly or similar views of their parents.

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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Life – A Quest (Part 2 of 2)

 

Do not miss out the first part. Read it here.

 

Develop:

Nothing is good or bad unless we compare. This comparison could be a good beginning. You learn about yourself but develop based on the comparison with your surroundings. You may be good but you can only feel it if you know what ‘bad’ is all about.

Many people learn and understand but few try to develop. For example you learn that your patience and tolerance level is an issue. The question remains are, you taking actions to enhance these qualities within yourself. If you are making a conscious effort to do so you are developing. Development is when as opposed to ignoring it you do something to improve it.

Grow:

You learn about who you are and develop based on the comparisons you make. The next step is growing yourself – including development as part of your system.

Do at least one thing a day, which makes you feel uncomfortable. Push yourself; you will be amazed how far you can go. Remember: on the other side of fear is freedom. To remain stagnant is not to grow. To reach your full potential, you must rise above the fray and soar like an eagle.

Mature:

The final stage of life is to apply what we have gained, in a timely manner. Life teaches that there are no rights and wrongs. There is heavy dependence on situation, circumstances, ulterior motives and many more dynamics. If you have truly learnt about yourself, developed your strengths, grown your capacity, it is time to apply. The way with which you apply is maturity. By now you would have learnt that not everything is to be used in all situations. You would have discovered that anger is as critical as patience.

To sum it all the quest of life must be to Learn, Develop, Grow and Mature, the rest are indicators of performance. If you have truly “LDGM”, leaving a legacy is inevitable. Good work and intent spreads – irrespective.

Here is an interesting quotation that will hopefully leave a quest in your mind from American Author Leo C. Rosten (1908-1977):

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.  It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” Continue reading “Life – A Quest (Part 2 of 2)”

Life – A Quest (Part 1 of 2)

 

“Limited time. Continuous journey.” This is how one participant of my recent session defined life. The thought is profound; it is insightful and leaves an intense question. What is my legacy?

The legacy line is not new. Most people know leadership is all about having a vision and leading the path. But is that it? People are born and will die. Is it as simple as this?

The purpose of a human being is beyond just his/her vision in life. The vision we have and the process, through which we reach to it, is merely a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to have lived. Legacy is a higher standard it shows that we actually did something with our lives.

Individuals working in organizations have job descriptions. Life in itself is an organization. There are many people involved and we are the CEO of our life. To be successful in this organization and leave a legacy behind, following four are critical.

Learn:

Life is all about learning. However, here it is not about technical skills or soft skills like communication, negotiation and team work. For life one needs to learn of oneself. ‘Who am I?’ is a useful question to begin with. Most people are disconnected in this area of self-awareness. Learning about oneself is like doing a ‘Training Needs Assessment’ of one’s own behaviors, attitudes, values, principles and mindsets.

Many people go through the learning process once and PERIOD! They fail to take it a step further. These are brilliant minds with rigid mindsets. They have learnt one thing but refuse to accept, learn or for that matter unlearn anything more than what they have already digested in themselves. Greatest learning comes from observing our behaviors in different situations. This is why people say we learn from experience. On the other hand one experience repeated over 20 years simply fixates that learning and handicaps development and growth.

 

Continue reading Part 2

The Awesome Power Of Words

 

On some playground as I child, I learned to sing the song “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I guess that was to appease the bullies on the playground as we stuck out our tongues at them, but in reality it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Words do hurt and they can do great harm. Wars have been fought because of words.

There are many people who are struggling in life today not because of physical injuries on a playground but from words spoken out in anger, rage or disgust. Physical injuries through the years have healed fast and words have not healed so fast. For many, negative and destructive words play over and over like a bad movie in the heart and soul.

Words are very powerful. We listen to the words spoken to us and they impact us more than we realize. They move us, inspire us to action, comfort and encourage us, bring healing or they can crush us and devastate us. We are changed either positively or negatively simply because of words. We are even impacted by our own words and tend to follow what we have declared. You have heard people say they are not good enough, smart enough and it seems that their life follows suit. They almost become self-fulfilling prophecies.

I am reminded what the writer of Proverbs says about the power of words:

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:20

“A fool’s mouth is his undoing and his lips are a snare to his soul.” Proverbs 18:7

Be careful of what you say as it just might come to pass. I am not advocating that we never speak what is reality. If we are hurt, angry or depressed, denying it is not going to make it go away. I do think it would serve us well to take inventory of our speech. What would it be like to tape ourselves on any given today? We probably would not be very happy by what we heard. What are we declaring about ourselves on a daily basis? What is our self-talk like?

When we speak, we really are listening to our own words and those words are impacting us either positively or negatively. What would happen if our words started sounding more like God’s words about us? What would happen if were intentional about speaking words that brought life and encouragement to ourselves and others?

Our words are powerful. They are ever changing us and others around us. What kind of life do we really want to live? If our tongues have the power of life and death and you and I are going to eat the fruit of our conversations, I say it’s time to start speaking in the right direction. If we can learn to encourage, build up and not to tear down ourselves or others around us, I believe we will experience powerful changes of good “fruit” in our lives.

The Power Of Acceptance

 

Inevitably in life we will have to face disappointment from time to time. Sometimes they may be little disappointments, and other times they may be great, big, heart wrenching disappointments. When this happens to us, we have a choice in how we react. Some of us may give up on our dreams, others may keep fighting stubbornly against the tide, and still others may choose another path to travel.

One important aspect of dealing with disappointment is acceptance. When we keep fighting against our circumstances and disappointments, it can leave us feeling frustrated, bitter and exhausted. Especially during those times in life when everything seems to keep going wrong for us, we get more and more stressed as we try to resist the undesirable circumstances.

Practicing acceptance can help ease that inner tension and allow us to see our situation more clearly. Accepting your circumstances does not mean giving up! It does not mean that you have to be 100% happy with your current situation. Acceptance means that you acknowledge and accept where you are in your life at this moment, even though it may not be ideal.

Maybe you hate your job or your marriage is faltering. Maybe you are struggling to lose weight and can’t seem to get anywhere with it. Whatever it is that is causing you stress, try accepting it instead of fighting against it. Repeat the following to yourself: “I may not be thrilled with the way things are in my life right now, but I accept it. I will do what I can and give the rest to God. I am thankful for the blessings I do have right now, and I know that more are on the way.”

It may take a lot of patience at the beginning, but as you continue to do this, something amazing happens. The struggles suddenly don’t seem so large anymore. They won’t magically dissolve before your eyes, but the edges seem to soften a bit. Life doesn’t seem quite so harsh anymore. Solutions to the problems may even begin to appear. If that doesn’t happen right away, that’s okay! Know that they will eventually. Just keep practicing acceptance and have faith that things will turn around.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. We are where we are in our lives right now because we are meant to be here. Several factors may have contributed to our current circumstances, such as choices we made in the past, or outside influences we have no control over. The questions to ask yourself are: What is the lesson here? What do I need to learn about this situation? Though you may not be happy with your current situation, there IS a reason you are there right now.

This is especially true if you continuously find yourself in similar situations! For example, if you keep choosing unhealthy relationships, you might want to take some time to discover why. If you are always struggling financially, there may be a message for you there. If you can’t seem to figure it out on your own, you might consider seeking professional help. Sometimes an outside party can see things that we can’t.

No matter what difficulties you are struggling with right now, know that this too shall pass. Difficulties do not last forever. Oftentimes, struggles are opportunities in disguise..