Tag Archives: negative

Disappointment promotes Courage

disappointment affects us all
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Disappointment makes us downhearted

Disappointment makes us downhearted

When we are faced with disappointment we usually get discouraged. Recently there was a question posed on disappointment as to which of two extremely unfortunate scenarios would make you more disappointed. The scenarios were something like this: getting a failing grade after studying so hard, having your ATM thieved after saving for one month for that special present for your girlfriend, and being educated at a top university then sitting home unemployed.

Every situation described above would dishearten and disappoint me and probably you too; my typical reaction would be: anger, sadness, then, at times, helplessness. This creates clouds of haze, confusion, and uneasiness in my body that interfere in my thinking, my emotional output, and my physical output. At these times I will be moody, uncoordinated, and temperamental. Maybe you share a degree of these symptoms, maybe not; but if this is a version of what you would go through I would like to share my revelation.

Don't let your disappointment discourage you

Don’t let your disappointment discourage you

Staying on the negative, ruminating on the disappointment will discourage, dishearten, upset, and debilitate you. What I am experiencing and experimenting with (when I can) is instead of dwelling on the bad shift your mindset quickly to how you can change the bad to good. What this does is it allows you to bypass all of that negativity and let you live your life. Though this sounds like a cliché, it’s true. I noticed that when something goes awry: does not meet my expectation, does not go according to plan, or fails to produce the outcome I am looking for I get disappointed and upset. If instead of dwelling on the why, the blame, or the frustration, I divert my mind to focusing on something else I come up with a solution that much quicker. I just bypassed all the negativity and blockages that would have manifested and came up with a solution while ‘smelling the roses.’

Don't let your disappointment disturb your attempts at success

Don’t let your disappointment disturb your attempts at success

When we get an outcome that does not match our expectation we get disappointed and then discouraged. Getting a C instead of the A we had our hopes on, not being selected for the promotion we worked so hard for, being discarded by the boy we tried so hard to impress, or not being able to buy that car we saved 3 years’ salary for are examples of situations that cause disappointment. If we are not careful this can quickly lead to discouragement and negativity. If instead of dwelling on the disappointment we take this step of failure as a learning experience, you can view disappointments that were once discouraging as encouraging.

disappointment affects us all

Disappointment affects us all

Life is a journey meant for the experience, and because we get so caught up in materiality: wanting the most money, the newest gadget, the most popularity, or the best appraisal we often forget the meaning and purpose of this journey. Changing our view on disappointment and taking a step back allows us to enjoy the experience instead of getting caught up in it.

It is difficult to change your attitude, very difficult in my case, but if I can do it you can too. Try not to dwell in your disappointment: divert your focus and once your mind frees itself from any negative energy go back to the disappointment and see how your next attempt may lead to a different outcome. Let your disappointments become forms of encouragement instead of discouragement and try again until you get it right. Don’t get disheartened; the most courageous people learn from mistakes.

couage is the 1/32 success story who will try despite rejection, disappointment, or humiliation

Courage is the 1/32 success story who will try despite rejection, disappointment, or humiliation

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A Nonviolent Approach

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"Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomintable will."-Ganndhi

“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomintable will.”-Gandhi

We all learn about the great nonviolent movements of historic figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. How these movements changed history and persevered amidst opposition is eye opening.  The importance of these movements lies within the radical and defining changes they brought about in society.  Through nonviolent tactics both leaders produced prolific and resounding revolutions that we still refer to today.  However, despite being introduced to these movements early on we refuse to accept these teachings, no matter how peaceful and gentle we claim to be.

I wrote a paper on Martin Luther King Jr. when I was entering high school. It is difficult to learn about the history of America without learning about slavery.  It is hard not to see the effects Mahatma Gandhi had on the history of India and Great Britain.  The heights Gandhi’s activities reached are unparalleled and were noticed worldwide, but then what? We watch movies, read books, dwell on quotes, and praise these men, but this is all history; what does it matter now?

Learning about these movements teaches us how history was formed,

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

how revolutions were created without weapons, and the force of the multitude.  However there are some lessons that are not taught and less spoken of, lessons that reach far beyond history.  These lessons include how one man can change the world for millions, how a single belief can proliferate, and most importantly, the root of non-violence.

The root of nonviolence lies within us.  Most of us deny living violent lives; we don’t expend force upon anyone, we do not aggressively hit others, nor do we act out in ferocious behaviors. Although aggression, ferociousness, and force are very broad terms they all contain a seed of violence.  The seed of violence is planted within us at a very early age and is given adequate nourishment to grow into very bushy trees.

Each derogatory remark, criticism, and blame we place upon ourselves is a form of violence.  Starting in our early school years to when we start mimicking media: trying to get that perfect figure, getting that perfect grade, trying to perform that flawless routine; we begin pushing ourselves, slapping ourselves, and smothering ourselves.  Every time I fell in public I would call myself names and think I deserved punishment despite the fact that the fall was not really my fault.

The violence within us

The violence within us

Just as the saying goes ‘we are our company,’ we project onto others what we think and do to ourselves.  If our minds are negative, it only follows that we will become accustomed to repeating that negativity.  When we are in school most of us compare ourselves with others, and when this comparison doesn’t meet our expectation we tend to blame and find inexcusable fault with ourselves.

This is where violence begins.  When our minds become agitated and upset we inflict pain and misery upon ourselves. This pain can only be contained for a short period of time before we start projecting our internal state onto others.  When we lash out at others or share an insult with another what is it but a violent act?  Most of us equate violence with physical acts of hate, but words can hurt far more than knives.  If we know how to hate, punish, and sabotage ourselves it follows we will know how to do the same to others.

Violence is a societal phenomenon.  Violence is taught to us in schools, through the media, and via fraternities.  When I was I high school, college, and post grad school I used to pull all-nighters and stayed awake all day, all night, and all day again for the sake of a grade, scholastic learning, or official work; what is this if not violence to our bodies? My average day is 13 hours and when I run above 15 hours I start feeling achy and groggy. When I was in school I sat like a zombie if front of the computer until that 2nd kick came in at 21 hours. It is not the natural state of the body to stay awake for this long, but we feel the need to in order to feel good about ourselves, meet the deadline, or compete with others.

Through competition and comparisons, we are actually taught to commit heinous acts against ourselves, and to propel and amplify the hatred by putting ourselves down, criticizing ourselves, and doubting ourselves.  Violence, like other learned phenomenon is only as effective as the energy you put into it.  So although we are given the tools for violence at an early age, it is our continuous practice and involvement in the behavior that labels us violent creatures.

Unfortunately, we are violent beings; most of us won’t admit to it, but the torture we put ourselves through proves otherwise. Our internal monologue creates changes within our bodies and because our minds are so susceptible to subliminal messages and other forms of convincing propaganda our internal monologue creates damaging changes such as the rate of digestion, tense muscles within our body, or secretion of abnormal hormones.

Free yourself from the violence within you and bring peace to the world

Free yourself from the violence within you and bring peace to the world

The effects of violence are so pervasive so why not cut down on the violence and start leading more peaceful lives?  We watch the news and condemn the violence that we see around the world, but we neglect to see and acknowledge the violence within us.  If we are nicer to ourselves, the atmosphere of our minds will be reflected in our surroundings.

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The Need to Win

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Life is a game without winners or losers

Life is a game without winners or losers

Life is a maze. Life is a puzzle. Life is a game; but we generally forget we are just players not competitors. Have you ever played the game Life? It starts with an empty car and if we are lucky we add passengers to our car. Sometimes our car breaks down, sometimes we have to take a detour, and sometimes we get to move ahead 4 spaces, but all cars take the same route and eventually get to the same endpoint. Similarly, in life we experience setbacks, complications, and smooth sailing, but we are all on the same platform at different stages. However sometimes we forget that life is an experience with ups and downs, not a game with winners and losers.

I never considered myself competitive; as a child I was involved in the most competitive sports; gymnastics, soccer, baseball, tennis, basketball, roller blading, and track. Despite partaking in some very competition worthy activities and receiving a high school education from a prestigious preparatory institution which produces high achievers, I never felt the need to compete with others. Whether this disinclination was due to my youth, maturity, or disability I don’t know but while my peers learned to compete for the best [running] time, the most accurate goal, and the highest grade I began to compete with myself for these things and thus became a perfectionist.

the glories of winning

the glories of winning

The need to compete is inborn; it is that incessant voice in us that uses that word ‘than.’ In school, I had to earn a better grade than Joan; at the prom, it was ‘I am prettier than her.’ In whichever sphere, that troublesome word than puts unnecessary stress on outside circumstances. Whether we are playing a game, using social media, or performing daily activities, our mindset usually harbors on comparing ourselves thus competing with others.

When we compare ourselves with others we are putting our attention where it is not needed. The need to compare is instinctive as we are so immersed it competitiveness that we are not even able to censor our own thoughts from it. Our minds naturally start comparing when we see two girls: who is prettier, when we see two books: which is more interesting, when we see two grades: which is higher, when we see two swimmers: who has a better stroke, or when we see two puppies: which is cuter. Our minds are trained in this way, to see hierarchy and rank; this is one way our mind categorizes and organizes information, but it’s when we start subjectifying comparison and start molding it into competition does it start to affect our output and mindset.

When we start competing for the best hairdo, car, outfit or any other best we start losing the focus on ourselves and start putting the focus on outward experiences. I recently started playing the Spellathon with my

Spellathon

Spellathon

dad; trying to make a word out of seven jumbled letters. It interesting to note that when I play this game on my own I cannot seem to get it, but when I play with my dad the word seems to jump out at me. In this sense, competition can be constructive, but usually competition is a mindset that drives us to excel and be better that everyone else.

This mindset is engrained into us from early childhood when we are ranked by the best grade in class or the prettiest picture drawn. In 2nd grade when we were learning multiplication, every week we were given a timed test and the person who won was awarded. In high school, we competed for titles like Most Handsome or Most Likely to Succeed. When my senior poll came out, I was voted Friendliest and Sweetest, but even titles like this were popularity contests and ostentatiousness rather than merit.

From early childhood into adulthood we are thrust onto the field of competition. We compete for the best grade, the best dressed, the thinnest figure, the sleekest car, the best paying job and the list goes on. In school, on the sporting field, in the workplace, and in organizational settings we strive to be the best by scoring the most goals, being awarded for being the most productive, or being recognized for being the best dressed.

When we worry about being better than or the best we are expanding our attention and thoughts to others. This takes the focus and thus energy away from our own experience. When we compete we are trying to win and in most contexts this means thinking about others’ actions, reactions, and moves. When we compare, we focus on two or more characteristics, actions, or processes that we try to be better than.

Comparing is an effect of competition that affects our mindset, awareness, and consciousness. As we get older our inherent need to win decreases as our organized activities decrease, but this need prevents us from experiencing our individual journey fully. Everyone has their own path, their own purpose so why continue to compare apples to oranges? If you compete, compete with yourself. Strive to outdo yourself as it is futile to compete with someone else as they will have a different mindset, strengths, ideals, and knowledge.

The next time you find yourself comparing, striving to be better than, or outdoing another take a minute the think about why you need to be better. What will it give you, what will you gain, and how much effort are you putting into this interaction?

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What you see is what you get

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What you perceive is what's important

What you perceive is what’s important

People wish, want, and pray real hard for that ideal partner, that promotion at work, monetary success, or a better life, but we usually don’t get it.  Despite how much we think we want something, our actions, thoughts, and energies sometimes say something different.  We dream and wish for a partner with specific traits, but when we find them we question this reality.  I always dreamt of finding someone who would love me inspire of and despite my condition, and after coming across this person my suspicions pertaining to his sincerity, loyalty, and motive grow endlessly.  I got what I always wanted, but now that I got it I am thinking and sending energies and affirmations that contradict the very manifestation that I wanted.

If you continue to see the negative then that is what you will receive.  Pessimism is vicious cycle: no matter how much one wills or wants to receive and be part of something positive their pessimicity will always come in the way.  Many of us have wanted to change jobs, maybe even career paths at some point, but when that opportunity comes we second guess it either because of security, comfort, or disbelief. If you wake up at 8 every day with a grunt to go to a job that you could enjoy, but refuse to look past the hours you are putting in, the increasing workload, or to the monotonous tasks to what you are receiving, then the first reaction to everything will be a grunt.  Most jobs are roughly 9 hours hence it is important to be comfortable when we are there as it occupies more than half our day.  So if you chose to change jobs make sure it is not your perception and negativity forcing you on, but some other motivation.

Seeing an inadequate job will make that job inadequate. Once you convince your mind that your job is inadequate, your mind will reciprocate and only hone in on things that convince you that your job is inadequate.  When you constantly read about and see infidelity, your mind will take no extra time in raising suspicions and pointing out the negative qualities of your partner.   This is not to say that you should censor your mind, but if you constantly feed negativity to your mind that is what you will see and become.  Our minds are thus susceptible, but also influencable.

When your mind is positive, what you see will be positive.  Your mind controls the hue, emotion, and meaning of everything your eyes see. So even when we get what we want our minds can blur our vision so much so that it is construed as something we don’t want. Similarly,

When you can see the rainbow admist the rain, clouds, and dreariness that is what you'll get

When you can see the rainbow admist the rain, clouds, and dreariness that is what you’ll get

when we get something we don’t want our minds can construe it as something positive.  Negativity (pessimism, criticism, complaining etc.) narrows and blinds our minds whereas positivity (optimism, resourcefulness, happiness etc.) opens our minds to possibilities.

Getting what we want involves two things: first there needs to be active participation in attaining the item sought. This means that dreaming is not enough; we need to make a conscious effort towards attaining what we want. We can think about it, imagine what it would be like to have it, or act as though achieving it is inevitable.  Second, once the item is in our horizon of acquisition don’t question it. Unknowingly we question and contradict our own efforts and realizations when trying to make our dreams come true by disbelieving, being suspicious, or being afraid.

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Letting go

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As much as we hit the control button, we can never claim control

As much as we hit the control button, we can never claim control

Many of us worry abput losing control. I know that I can be charertarized as a Type A personality control freak, but my recent experiences in yoge, mmeditaion, spirituality, and a technology limited existence have led me to an understanding that loosening up on the reigns is ok.  I thought I needed the answers to every question that could be asked of me: who, what, when, where, why and how did this happen.  This need may be intrinsic to euntraprenureal blood because as I look at my parents and siblings the need is the same.

When we loosen up on the reigns and lose a bit of the control which we feel keeps our life in order we are actually regaining the control we lost in our early childhood. The reigns we hold are material and the harder we hold will not help us live our lives more peacefully, elongate our lives, or make us more happy.  The reigns are ephemeral just like everything else in life and the harder we try to steer the more hurdles we will have to maneuver.  When we were children life seemed to flow; we didn’t think about who, what, when, where, why, and how things happened we just did what we needed or wanted and didn’t worry about who had the control.

Once we relax and open ourselves up to possibility we realize the need to be in control is a futile and taxing effort that keeps our mind and bodies under stress.  We hold onto the reigns so tightly and become so

I am pulling back on the reigns, so why am I lunging forward?

I am pulling back on the reigns, so why am I lunging forward?

rigid and particular about how, when, and where we want things that we become so focused and tunnel visioned that we forget to look at and appreciate other possibilities.  If we let go of our control our mind will open up to possibility, we open ourselves up to chance thus be part of different positive experiences. As most of the people who know me can attest to I am the most stringent of persons; professionally, I run a tight ship and never let up the precision; personally, there is a certain way and time to do everything.  Not only can this way of thinking be exhausting to yourself and others which produces negativity, but it is quite impossible to package everything into tidy little squares. Being anal makes me successful at implementing procedures and following proceeses, but unsuccessful at relationships.  You need malleability when being with people, when living life, a characteristic being anal prevents you from developing.

Letting go entails some kind of faith, because if you let go you are trusting that someone will be there to take a grip on the reins for you.  Whether you are letting go of control, a past injustice, or an intolerance, we are giving up the aforementioned items to someone.  Whether or not we acknowledge that ‘someone or thing’  letting go benefits us as it lightens the load on our minds, hearts, and souls.  Holding onto unnecessary burdens or frivolous thoughts waste our energy, time, and use up precious space in our bodies. Anger towards the person who is responsible for losing your laptop, resentment towards a parent for not giving you what you needed, or hatred for a co-worker who made a mean comment about you is one of the many ways we make negative the potential positivity.

Negativity accumulates in the body just as fat accumulates in the gut.

Letting go of the anger, pain, and regret that we hold so tightly

Letting go of the anger, pain, and regret that we hold so tightly

We can break up the dark spots of negativity by learning to let go.  Forgivesness, compassion, and gratitude are examples of artillery we can use to combat the blemishes that stain our heart.  Learning to let go of the need to get even, leaning to understand others, and learning that even the smallest action is worth noting are ways to lessen the burden we carry and thus ease our bodies. “Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior, it just prevents that behavior from destroying your heart” similarly being grateful snd compassionate are ways to broaden your scope and is not about the others’ behavior.

Letting go is a sign of the strength in your person, not the weakness as the phrase connotes.  Forgiving entails letting go of the anger, resentment, and hatred we accumulate in response to a person that did us wrong. Just like any particle that stays in storage for too long, our negativity rots and starts producing hazardous chemicles that affects other   bodily and mind functions. Gratitude lets us appreciate even the smallest acts so we are able to let go of wasteful and meaningless emotions.  When you realize no event is ever independent, being grateful becomes easier and thus the letting go of our rigid needs, wants, and desires begins.  Compassion allows us to understand the others perspective, so once we can learn to be compassionate we can let go of our fusteration with others, our impatience with others, and our inflexible views.

Learning to let go lets us live peacefully rather than wrestling with what are position should be in so to be peaceful.  Sound minds and bodies are created when we learn to let go.  Sometimes we wonder how we can let go because the action of another is so hurtful; letting go is not synonymous with forgetting it is simply a cathartic release of the negativity we associate with events, persons, or places.  By letting go you are not ridiculing, minimalizing, or erasing what happened you are simply deciding not to let those frusterations, fears, prejudices, and anger dictate how you live today.

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Affirm yourself

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Affirm yoursefl

affirm yoursefl

Most of us talk to ourselves; thoughts, reminders, criticisms, and commentaries are just a few ways we converse with ourselves every day. We weigh out the pros and cons with ourselves when we make decisions, we talk ourselves into or out of different predicaments, and we encourage and discourage ourselves daily.  Negativity, as well as positivity, is a consequence of our internal discussion.  As the saying goes, we are our best advocates as well as our worst adversaries.

In our lifetime, the person we spend most of our time with is none other than our self.  The influence our peers, partners, and family have over us is substantial, but minimal compared to the influence we have over ourselves.  When we think to ourselves we create an effect on our mental state: thinking about the past will create anguish, and thus produce negativity; thinking about the future will create anxiety, and thus produces negativity. Overthinking situations, or ruminating about a past and future situation, produces secretion of different chemicals that creates negativity in our bodies.

As we grow older our inner voices becomes louder.  We become more comfortable in our thoughts, so we start talking to ourselves more; our self criticisms become more apparent, due to media and norms, and thus destructive; our criticisms of others becomes internal, due to norms and etiquette, and thus destructive. For example, we start telling ourselves we are fat; this may be due to models in a magazine or what the doctor says, but with this thought structural changes happen in the brain, thereby secreting different chemicals that affect us negatively. Similar is the process when we criticize others. We meet someone and immediately make a judgment; “She’s so ugly;” what is a judgment but a criticism? Whether we disapprovingly criticize ourselves or others, the result is the same: a negative effect on our own minds and bodies.

Wake up and affirm yourself

Wake up and affirm yourself

I will not hesitate to state that 85% of our internal monologue is negative; as we grow we stray further and further from purity and are conditioned to keep our negative thoughts to ourselves.  The propensity for negative thinking is increased when we become increasingly exposed to the media, depressive states and disorders, and when we are unable to meet our responsibilities.  Once one negative comment is made, due to the afore mentioned reasons, we are pulled into a vicious cycle that propagates negativity. Recently I had some personal belongings taken from me which were misplaced. This made me upset and I started calling the person names. From names, my negativity had me conceptualizing different situations in which my stuff was stolen and misused. After thinking about the negative situations, I started calling other people names and blaming them. Thus began my sinking into unending whirlpool of spitefulness and hate.

Thinking negatively impacts our behaviors, interpretations, and body functionality; it limits our prospects and perspectives.  It makes intuitive sense; our mind set does exactly that -it sets a boundary for our mind; if we are bent on a certain outcome our minds will refuse to see any possibility beyond that outcome. An example that stretches outside of negativity, but still goes to the point of how the state of mind can limit thinking of possibilities is when I was working.  My coworker said she could not complete a certain task because she couldn’t get a certain document from Google printed. She complained that she had tried saving the document, directly printing it, and cut and copying it into Word, but it COULD NOT be done; I asked her if she tried the ‘print screen’ button.

When I think negatively, I can feel it physically. Getting up from the couch, doing exercises such as bridging, or climbing into the car, activities I can do myself everyday become unusually hard when my mind is negative. My balance or strength will lack somewhere, and performing these mundane tasks will leave me with a scratch or a bruise, on these days.  Thinking positively is slightly inconvenient. Our minds are naturally inclined to the negative, whether we are talking gossip, news, food, movies etc., our mind tends to focus in on the criticisms: the bad rather than the good. Whether our minds are conditioned to this or there is an inherent tendency I don’t know, but focusing on the positive rather than the negative has proven to be healthier.

To change our interpretations of the world, we first have to change the interpretation of ourselves.  We cannot change the media, our friends, or family who criticize us, but we can change ourselves. By taking the time to appreciate our attributes and strengths, we can be more well equipped to combat criticisms. If we take that 85%, and turn even 30% into positivity, we will make so much of a difference in our attitude that people will wonder.  Meditation, putting a conscious effort not to ruminate on the ’bad’, and simple affirmations are some of the countless ways to stay positive.

Thoughts are mostly destructive as they entail rumination and tend to focus on the past or future. Staying in the present (is hard!!) is a sure way to block some negativity. Past and future analysis will cause anxiety. Simple and daily affirmations, to appreciate the self are calming and reassuring ways to positivity. When’s the last time you rolled out of bed without a negative thought such as ‘I’m late for work, I wish I didn’t have to work today, I shouldn’t have seen the movie last night, I have to prepare lunch’, or something of the sort? Can’t remember? Try saying ’good morning’ to yourself; we like when others say it to us, but if we say it to ourselves the effects are far more reaching. Why wait for the compliment, let’s compliment ourselves; why think about how others will judge us when the most important judgment comes from us. So stop negating and start affirming yourself.

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