Monday, September 29, 2008

The Art of Living


Difference between ‘Life Style’ and ‘Art of Living’?


To define it in simplest way, I say - Lifestyle is ‘what we pursue in the modern world’ and Art of Living is ‘internal’. It shows what your actual character is, never affected by external materialism. Lifestyle is however an imaginative and modernized term. People want to follow others, they want cars, high paying jobs, wonderful relationships, recognition everywhere, but at the end of the day what counts is ‘value addition’. How much did you actually work for you own happiness and peace of mind?

Earning is a necessity but earning blindly and compromising on self esteem constitutes rat race. This world is so full of artificiality and the question we need to ask ourselves is that “Do I want to be part of this artificiality or do I have something unique in me?” this is just the beginning of introspection.

Never call yourself ordinary. It is like playing a victim. To say you can't Lead, Innovate and Inspire others, in the simplest way possible, is to avoid the power that resides within you. To make excuses for not being as passionate/loving/brilliant as you can be is to close your eyes to the call on your life.Triumph is in living, not copying, every moment.

So today, walk out into the world as the person who you truly are. That's what ‘Art of Living’ is about. That's what authentic success is about. In my mind, that's what being fully human is all about.

For more ideas, check http://www.artofliving.org/

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Learning about Meditation


What is meditation?
Contrary to a popular belief that it’s a very exclusive and difficult process, meditation is quite simple. During meditation, all we do is ‘controlling our negative thoughts’.

Why to do it?:
Meditation is a constructive way of discovering the beauty and strength of our inner world. With every passing day, need to develop the power of mind is being felt by the all of us, as we try to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of life and its complexities.

How to do it?
Every morning when we get up, we work according to a set routine. We race from one work to another, trying to complete daily routines on time – but what we cannot control is - the day - and how it unfolds. So why not put our maximum effort in starting it with the most cherished and motivational thoughts. That ways, we will feel a warm flow of positive energy, within us, throughout the day. Now, if we apply this simple ‘thinking process’ to what we're all about, as we achieve great things in life at personal and professional level.


Here's my spin: Start your day with Strong Thoughts .... they will set things right for you for the rest of the day. Take out a twenty minute space where you regenerate and renew so that the way you show up through the rest of the day is first-class.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The spooky world of ‘Mood Swings’


Hardship comes in different size and shapes - and it comes often. No matter how much we try to stay happy, sometimes we do get mood swings, which can be the form of depression, anxiety, sudden, violent or wild rage - depending upon its intensity. For most of us, it means getting into ‘mood off’ mode. Our emotions act like virus sometimes – they travel from one person to another, be it cheerfulness or sadness. Seldom we realise the ‘power of emotions’ that we carry and unknowingly pass on our mood to others.


Here’s a list of questions that I would like to call mood quiz. Answer this to find out - - how steady is your frame of mind:

If your boss or senior colleague does not talk to you nicely, do you think about it whole day?

Do you pass over your unpleasantness to others?

When the going gets rough, do you find it difficult to deal with feelings of desperation?

When you are upset and in very sad mood do you have a remedy to cheer yourself immediately?

Do you imagine that others are happier than you?

I am sure thoughts like these do come in your mind, may be rarely. So what can we do to avoid them? A simplest answer to all these is Trust your fate’, have faith in righteousness of the ‘system of universe' that says - if you deserve something, you'll get it - sooner or later. GOD is not known to be unfair, so He will not be – EVER.


So put confidence back to the basic principles of human race and think of tough time as a phase that has to pass and be a part of past.


To start with such thinking, here are few simple things that will act as a quick remedy. Practice these acts whenever you get a negative mood swing and they will help you to deviate your mind to a happy and contended state of mind. (I have compiled this list after a lot of online and offline research and I know one thing or another is bound to click for you):

  • Learn to meditate. It will help you in focusing your mind towards positive elements.
  • Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Rub your hands on your face. Think different.
  • Check your pulse. If your heart is still beating it means you are going to have many more great times!!
  • Think of that last holiday you took and recall how relaxed you were... take in that moment and relive that moment.
  • Take a coffee break and play a good video game on cell.
  • Listen to some groovy music
  • Talk to someone you are close to. May be about why you are upset/sad or anything else. The idea is to move away from the feeling of self pity.
  • Have a folder with mails pertaining to your achievements & appreciation by different people. So when you open and browse through it, it will remind you that you are capable of much higher things. Let not this one thing upset you unnecessarily.
  • Try to recollect the child hood situations which can make you to laugh and feel enthusiastic to go ahead
  • Addition done by Michelle - start a gratitude journal. Every day you write down what you were thankful for that day. Could be simple - it was sunny, you had a tasty lunch, someone complimented you etc.

And in the end, just remember --- life a collective segment of ups and downs and there's plenty to do during gloomy days too....!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spirit & Spirituality in Life

Ours life is a world of thousand colours and beliefs. Our streaming faith in God and ourselves takes us through time’s ups and downs. Spirit of life is one constant among so many diversities and acts like a pilot to navigate through different situations. For some, spirituality implies religion. But there’s a major difference in between the two: Religion is an organized community of believers that has written codes of regulatory behaviour whereas spirituality is more about one's own inner personal belief and experience of a higher power or greater purpose.
If you call yourself religious, answer these questions honestly:

Can you control your anger at will?

Are you able to compose yourself gracefully under any situation?

Is stress making you impatient?

Do you worry about yesterday or tomorrow?

Is your attitude cheerful?

Do you compare your life with others often?

Now truthfully rate yourself as where do stand in salvation from these practices? These are the basic human values and we don’t even realise that we have failed in them.

Now we need to know that what should we do to fight these situations in life. Are we fighting them out or letting them take us along with it?
There are tools: courage and determination – courage to take up or face every adversity and determination of positive attitude. These tools are embodied in our character, we just need to identify and use them. Some people let circumstances govern them, some govern circumstances. Bravery is the source of our hope, our inner power that guides us through our phases of difficulty. It’s a characteristic of our soul, and spirituality in true sense is getting connected with our soul. It begins at a stage where a person gives up selfishness and starts to think about others first. This can be called ‘making the first touch with our core values’.
Our spirit is nothing but the consciousness of telling the difference between right & wrong, good or bad and our determination, like an anchor that keeps us stationary even in the toughest of situations. It keeps us reminding that “this too shall pass, don’t give up.”

Spirit is like power, when we see somebody in pain, we try to help. Our efforts move in the direction of comforting that person. To a person in need, our strength of mind can do wonders. It’s a very simple gesture, but a strong one and sometimes it is more than enough. Good times pass quickly, unpleasant moments stay long. We can sail through any difficult situation, if only we see that circumstance to be our assessment. And what’s best than ‘spirituality’ to manoeuvre us on that. Let’s try to feel the presence of God through self realisation and meditation.


It’s not a blind faith, its logic. Science uses logic, it gives answers, so let’s put logic in the question-

“What is spirituality?’’
Let’s not shy away from the fact that we do need to hold on to something in our busy and lonely lives. Let’s put our trust in God and think – God is there for us, to help and comfort us, the need is only to feel him. The feeling of being watched over by our well wisher can really help sometimes to lift our mood.
By means of meditation, we can start experiencing the essence of God’s powers. This process is lengthy, but surely a fruitful one. It gives us an infectious warmness and once you understand it, you want to spread the joy around. It can’t get cold; it just flows from one person to another naturally.

SPIRITUALITY AS A STRESS BUSTER

“Stress never comes alone, isn’t it?” With stress there are symptoms of nervousness, anxiety, blood pressure and in some cases panic, fear and depression. Nowadays even kids are using terms like ‘stress depression’. So much is the visibility of symptoms that corporate managements have identified it as a major factor effecting the productivity and morals of employees.

To help such a situation, role of spirituality in management is increasing day by day.
Spirituality, whether of the God or the self kind, is about growth, doing better and acts as stress reliever. When all the outward stress busters fail to help in busting stress in its entirety, try turning your search towards meditation. This way a person realizes his true 'self' and become conscious about his inner potential that can guide him through an effective stress management process.

Through spirituality, understanding of permanent and transient things in life starts to set is. You start analyzing the significance of all things in relation to its permanency. You also start accepting the insignificance of stress and stop worrying. When you pursue spirituality, you tend to drive all empty thoughts of distraction and cultivate a positive attitude.
The best part of spirituality is that you can practice it when you are in office, when you are in home, when you are driving and in any place and time. The passive attitude that you develop during spirituality in fact helps you to channelize all your relaxation responses, and you will have a positive outlook, cheerful and spontaneous in all your actions.

So what are you waiting for?

Start practicing spirituality through meditation, breathing exercise and yoga. Trust me, if you do this regularly, you will be better equipped, both at physical level and mental level, to manage stress. You can even attend some stress management courses or seminars if you like.

Through spirituality, you come to know more about you and try to grow as a person. You also become more adept and skillful in facing various demanding situations of your life with ease.

BEAT STRESS, STAY HAPPY

The foremost tool of not letting STRESS make you its victim is cheerfulness. Through cheeriness and warm heart we can make our environment joyous, happy and optimistic. It’s the best medicine for depression and internal relief.
Being happy is like wearing a joy perfume; you always smell good and want to spread the warmness around. So based on my experiences, I have come across 6 points that I would like to share with you and if you make them a habit, they will lead you to a contented life.

1. HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, ALWAYS
Being sad is a state of mind, being happy is your character. Everyone likes to be around the "realistic optimist". The "RO" is a person who can acknowledge that everything isn't always great, but that somehow we will all make it through. Knowing that trials and setbacks are both inevitable as well as temporary makes you an asset to the people around you.


2. LEARN TO GIVE IT AWAY
Be economical with your bills, be generous with everything else. Go ahead and do charity giving, let somebody else use the stuff you don’t need and have locked up in your closets. Keep 10% of your earned income for generosity. Give a 25% tip to the waitress who served you that great meal. Give $5 to a kid you see at church. Give away hugs like you get paid for each one. Take someone out to lunch--TODAY. Giving is receiving – you give love – you receive it too.


3. LIVE IN THE MOMENT
This is a tough self-actualization step for many people: STOP WORRYING ABOUT TOMORROW. Instead, live in today. Live in right now. Live as if tomorrow will worry about itself. After all, what can we do tomorrow until tomorrow gets here? All we can do is whatever is before us today.


4.”IF YOU CAN’T SAY ANYTHING NICE............................”
"...don't say anything at all." If you want to really help people, give up trying to correct them. Instead, compliment them on their strengths. Will they still make mistakes that, to you, are obvious and need correcting? Sure, but I have found that there is ALWAYS someone willing to tell others where they are failing, it is rare to find someone who will tell others where they are succeeding.


5. DON’T LET GO THE CHILD IN YOU
When was the last time you took a day off just to sit in park or play in water? Laughed so hard you cried? That was TOO LONG AGO. Learn some jokes and tell them. Watch a comedy on TV. Go into Burger King and put on the cardboard crown. You would be amazed how everyone around you will respond--and how much better you will feel.


6. LOVE DEEPLY
This is the most important tip for happiness.
Sure, you love your spouse, you love your kids. But what about the people you work with? What about your neighbours? If you love deeply I will guarantee you a couple things: You will be disappointed and hurt, but you will ALSO find happiness from some people who will deeply love you back. Trust me, it's worth it.


Hope you like these ideas. I have become this kind of person, for my own happiness and for those around me, and I think there has been tremendous progress. Someday I hope that I get to meet you somewhere and ask you “Have these points made any difference in your life?”

You can also check these sites for some 'happy quotes', & 'quotes on happiness'

http://www.indianchild.com/quotations_on_happiness.htm, http://www.quotegarden.com/happiness.html

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