The Quit Sunday Principle

One of the things of being an avid learner is to juggle with a lot of new things to try and test and see if one can override their toolkit with new practices that amplify the old ones. Think about it in our lives, the reason we aren’t able to scale faster is because we stick to tried and tested things even if it works and have a ROI say with timelines of 4 months, 6 months, a year and so on. While I’m not against this at all, as we all would definitely be better off starting off with a blueprint.

In my journey so far from all the mentors, my learning projects and conversations one thing that has emerged as an insight is this:

Mixing up mentors. A better way of putting it is while there are tons of tested methodologies and practices that are out there not all of them will sync with one’s personality and the path they are on. A customized solution is often what works and here is the deal-breaker – The process is a never ending one!

What I have developed as a practice is once a month I use the Quit Sunday Principle – The last Sunday of every month is my introspection day of all the hacks, strategies that I have tried and picked up and check to see if they align perfectly to create a work-life balance and at the same time if they are accelerating me towards my realistic outcomes that I have set for myself. One thing I’d like to highlight is – Although I’m always on the lookout of new services, tech, skills, perspective shifts, paradigm shifts which enable me to optimize myself – It’s more often a recombination of all the skills, strategies that I already have in my skill vault.

Sometimes the strategy is having no-strategy! For all beginners it’s as simple as rolling out of the bed each morning and punching the clock until you feel you have your legs under you for a sprint! 🙂 – The art of the start is in just getting started and not breaking the chain while having a check-in once a month which I call the flash-forward exercise. The first step in getting what you want involves having the courage to get rid of what you don’t want.

The Flash-Forward Exercise:

Imagine you have already achieved your full potential in all respects and are fully self-actualized. How do you describe who you are and your purpose? How is your day like in that scenario?

What ever it is that excites you while you start doing it, having a check-in to flash-forward the future of your path and playing it back a year from now, 6 months from now, 3 months from now and asking yourself if I take this path what is my day like in those times. Is my ambition / purpose having me? Am I still able to discern and make space for myself?

I got inspired to make this principle up from Bruce Lee – Here is that quote!

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.

Hack Away At The Inessential!

What do you plan on hacking away this Sunday? Let me know.

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The Mentor Hack

mentor

There was a post that I read few months back which went by the title – What got you here won’t get you there” but a MENTOR will. I had just reached Pune after I was desperate to get out of Kolkata not doing great work at work as well, although enjoying the set of mentors that I did pick up during my stint there.

The shift from Bangalore to Kolkata, Career Kraft to IBM, Student to Employee was something I absolutely needed. It helped me weed out my over-confidence and learn a lot about staying on my own, keeping my dream alive and burning in my heart while being constantly second-guessed and also being mocked by superiors at work, friends and worst of all myself. I learnt it the hard way that the worst cynic in the big bad world isn’t out there in the world but he lives between your own two ears. Always feeding you B.S and pulling you down and justifying to take the path of least resistance which I did too for a while.

I had read all these stuff in many books and got inspired to the hilt and that had gotten me high and pumped up for a week or so. Usually after such initial highs, when you get back to your life for me it felt like I was stuck in a barrel filled with crabs. Every other crab was hellbent on pulling me down whenever I tried to take a baby step forward. There was a phase in Kolkata during which I had given up my ambition and was “lost” in the truest sense of the word. I began contemplating a long shitty career being stuck in a cage I had voluntarily invited myself into and what’s more even locking it myself and believing there wasn’t any escape even though I was the key!

Ayan Pal, a mentor of mine in Kolkata with whom I never really spoke much but I have had most of my “Head Fake” learning’s from him. It was from him I learnt about perseverance, through his actions and leadership I learnt to unearth the hunger in me to explore, learn, fail and grow and keep it close to me and turn it into my armor. He had invited me to a Toastmasters conference where Sam Cawthorn and few other motivational speakers were invited for the event and it wasn’t an event I was very keen on attending. I got pulled to it by Jyoti, Ayan and a few others and that conference restored hope in me again.

The fire which was almost waning out was set ablaze again.

Here comes a man, who has so far been through the worst imaginable pain possible inspiring everyone to find their “WHY”. He had lost his leg and arm in a horrendous car accident. He was even declared dead on the spot but he now moves around with robotic aids and sets people on fire with his humor, story and wit. I met him and realized I had both my legs and arms and I was one up than him in the physical sense and it gives me no excuse to victimize myself. That day was the day I last felt sorry for the cards I was dealt in life. From there, I looked deep inside myself, my past and found my passion in my suffering.

Here is a picture where he personally took time to have a 1 on 1 with me and those 10 minutes changed my perspective on ownership.

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That day, I realized the value of having mentors. What got you here won’t get you there, A MENTOR will.

I had taken mentors for granted throughout my life up until then. From then on, even if I had one mentor I told myself I am going to make the most of what I have in me, around me at all times. Nobody can give you the permission to step up other than yourself. You really have just two choices, fear everything and run or face everything and rise.

Hope I got you all motivated up until this. But, later a week after that conference I reached an impasse again. I went into storifying and telling myself. All these bloggers, thought leaders I used to follow came from developed countries. It’s after all so easy for them to throw everything that they have, take the big leap, travel around the world, discover themselves. They have so many travel benefits, no need for even a VISA as they are allowed in most countries (the ones with a US passport). There was no end to this. Then, I read a phrase online that changed my thinking and perception. It was something like shifting your perception to listen to everything for 15 minutes before rejecting something. This changed me, every person I met then onwards – I was completely open to what they said and slowly I started to see a lot of learning’s that I had missed before from other mentors as well. I started writing them all down in my diary and began testing them out one by one only to see them being disproved. I embraced the mad-scientist in me and started applying this mindset to all areas in my life.

Man! I wish I had done this sooner I thought to myself. Later, when I hit Pune after overcoming another crisis I noticed I picked up the habit of noticing patterns in areas I wanted to learn and intuitively felt which mentor would add most value in my life that would only compound over the years and only started approaching them with complete authenticity. As, I was on a tight budget earning only around ~400$ (21,000 Rs) per month, most of which I would invest in traveling meeting mentors, learning online, reading as many books as I can get my hands on.

My goal was simple – make the most of the mentors I had before my next big leap. Slowly, even this process started accelerating, I began better at picking up mentors not just in the city I lived in, even online whom I possibly would never meet but still I could utilize to build fast feedback loops around to learn faster by failing faster. I found a whole new perspective of enabling and accelerating my learnings in some areas that I wanted to learn utilizing the concept of “cross-platform learning”. A word I made up – as I had no extra money to invest in courses and I wasn’t really keen on taking a huge loan on my head and working my ass off the rest of my prime to pay that off. There had to be a way I thought and at first though I was just doing it out of excitement as I never knew what results it would yield as it was an area that isn’t known in India.

Stillsometimes when there are things that excite you, you just need to go ahead and do them and see the ripples they make. It’s these ripples that will contact the other ships (mentors) in the ocean to your boat and maybe some of them will take you under their wing for life. Though this post revolves around mentors here is another nugget of wisdom and a great read that you should definitely get your hands on.

What is adverse often adds a “VERSE” to your life

Sam-Cawthorn-Book-Cover_353-300x0

P.S Here is another kick-ass article from one of my online mentors. You can read it here.This involves a more D-I-Y approach with tips/tricks that you can test out.

Happy Testing! Let me know if you cracked any new insights or if you do happen to pick up a set of mentors through a simple shift in strategy.

Using Barriers To Level Up

straitjacket

Let’s explore how might we breakthrough to the next higher version of ourselves using barriers to help ourselves and possibly enable a shift in our lives by understanding external cues and seeing what they trigger in ourselves which then gives us a chance to change those external cues through our actions which are born out of brutal awareness. I use brutal awareness because all have us have very minimal practices of observing ourselves to the actions, words, the self-concepts that we create, our reasons for justifying our failures etc. I will talk more on how I dealt with honing my latent awareness to the next level of “Brutal Awareness” in one of my future posts.

To understand this better here is a brief introduction to understanding how we are nothing but the sum of our habits. Most of our behaviors have been shaped by conditioning which we have accumulated over the years. Conditioning has shaped has in myriad forms, external attractions that are targeted on us (#consumerism), habits that we have picked as a part of our culture and our own up-bringing and even certain self-concepts that we have of ourselves of which we are totally unaware of consciously or sub-consciously.

I can sense few of you going – What! This is horseshit, how can my culture have anything to do with the habits I have now? Before, you jump to another site just read the rest of the write-up before making that click. Just play along with me…:)

Let me explain – Nothing in us is spontaneous. Everything we have or do is learned or acquired. This conditioning of my muscles for posture and movement is beneficent and essential. I could hardly live a human life without it. What is important to realize is the price we pay for it. Every conditioning is a limitation, a curtailment, a censorship even. You are enabled to do this…at the expense of giving up other possibilities and other ways. Muscles are close to nerves, sensations, therefore the conditioning of my muscles affects my emotions, and through them my behavior. There is no such thing as an innocent conditioning. Each service carries its price tag. As Westerners, they have been trained to walk fast, and that has imprinted a brisk step in their whole life, thoughts, work and this has led them to always be in a hurry to get things done, to reach places, to obtain results with quick efficiency and purposeful resolve. On the other hand, an Indian like me has been taught to squat since childhood, and in that posture, close to the earth from which he comes, he learns patience and peace, lives in cosmic contemplation and waits for eternity. (Sometimes I exaggerate a lot :-P)

The shaping of my muscles has resulted in the shaping of my mind. A whole way of life has already been inscribed into the marrow of my bones by the very way in which I have been taught to walk, to sit, or what have you. And if such a harmless exercise has already marked my life and steered my thoughts, I begin to think with curious anticipation of the more direct and concerted ways in which society and tradition has bent into submission not only my hands and feet but my values and tastes. A long conspiracy waiting to be unraveled thread by thread. Most of us act and move most of the time like automatons, and the common pattern in society around us makes us forget the long conditioning that has resulted in the stereotyped behavior that dampens our reactions and impoverishes our lives. To realize the extent of such bondage is the first step towards liberation from it.

Our whole organism has been conditioned to enjoy, accept, do,repeat certain things, and to reject others. This isn’t a conscious process anymore, but a pre-programmed choice that is triggered by my cells within me before I know what is happening in the recesses of my mind. It’s the automatic pilot that steers its course without any reference to me, though I am in the cockpit! The method is comfortable and safe, but only for a routine flight. Now I want to explore new horizons and charter new routes. While thanking my muscles and dendrites for their unfailing service in the past I want to let them know from now on I call the shots and lead the fight. I want to re-own my organism and bring to the movements of my body and my life a new spontaneity. I want to unwind before it’s too late. This is what I told to myself more than a year back.

One thing that has helped me in my journey and also in realizing all this is my inquiries with myself and also most of my mentors. Frederic comes to my mind at the moment as he is one person who has had a huge impact on me in this space of learning to be authentic. Owning my past so that I can create my future. You can check out his site here.

Since then, my journey has been about testing each and every self-concept, limiting beliefs, extreme reach barriers that I had in myself and deconstructing them one by one by testing them. Invariably, all of them turned out to be false assumptions. Here is one other article by another blogger who has had a huge influence on me and my thinking. His name is Ramit Sethi & he runs a personal finance blog and his site is mainly about ‘psychology’ among other things disguised as a personal finance blog. Here is an article he wrote in which he talks about extreme reach barriers.

Now, coming back to what I was inviting you to see. Think about such things in our lives that we have, think of all the things that we script for ourselves and the moment when we need to do something that challenges the very notion of that scripted story, we bend ourselves into submission and what do we do again – follow the ant farm like we used to instead of breaking away and charting a new course for ourselves.

And guess what? Most of the changes that we dream of are overwhelming – and we let them bring our self-concepts to the fore and we go back to doing the same things –

  • Very same coffee-day outings
  • Make fun of people hitting the gym
  • Make fun of people who have protein shakes in their homes.
  • Just crib a lot and keep thinking inside – Man – this is so not for me.

(My Wish-list I unknowingly kept dreaming to for the last 10 years and as I asked around with a lot of my friends, I found it wasn’t just me. We were all doing this!)

  • I really wish I was a morning person
  • I want to wake up early.
  • I want to start off productive, and yet I didn’t.

Wouldn’t it be better If I simply said to myself, I’m not a morning person; I work better at night (because I’m a creature of the night :-P), and that’s where I’m going to spend my productive time and I know that it takes me a little while to get up in the morning. Wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge that and work under those constraints, than to beat ourselves up and feel guilty for twenty years trying to do something that’s probably never going to happen again?

Constraints Inspire Creativity – Don’t remember where I read this but this came to my mind as I’m writing this.

Or put it another way; wouldn’t it be better for myself to simply say, “You know what, three times a week is just too big of a goal. It’s embarrassing, but who really cares; I’m going to do it once a week. I’m going to go out for a run and I’m going to run for twenty minutes, and that’s it.” And after I did that for one week, and felt weary and after three weeks started to feel a little better, and at four weeks I told myself, “You know what? I miss that run. I’m going to do it twice.”

This is when my baby steps towards regaining control over my health began.

When I often do my behavioral design interventions with people, I prefer to work with the people who do, who say, “You know what? I am afraid of changing my appearance,” or “I’m afraid of working out because I’ll become like one of those guys who’s always doing protein shakes,” another thing I used to say to myself.

Though I don’t do it myself as I worked out a alternative workout/eating routine for myself. 😀 I’d see these guys in the gym and I would say, “I’m not going to take protein shakes,” “I’m not going to be one of those dudes.” It’s about understanding the role of food,weights, and cardio, and all that stuff, none of which I understood before I started researching about the human body, athletes workout routines, why they did what they did etc.

So what was my natural response? To say, “I don’t want to be like those weirdos, I’m not going to do any of that.” Instead, had I looked deeper, I would have said, “You know what? I’m afraid of actually changing. I’m afraid of trying this for six months or a year and seeing no results. I’m afraid of actually succeeding, because if I do succeed, then are my friends going to think I’m a weirdo, because now I go to the gym a lot or I have this bottle of protein shake on my kitchen counter?” Those are all the true deep fears, but I didn’t have the introspection to be able to acknowledge that.

Now this was so true in my case, I had built up all these extreme reach barriers in my psyche that I was unaware of which was like a chain around myself that I’m walking around with every single day. So, I’d like to invite you to look and observe yourself in everything that you do. Scratch that, just take your health and your inclination towards health and workouts. Observe your thoughts, behaviors, actions and write them them if possible. Now, step by step test each one of those assumptions and I bet you all of them will go Poof! if you would stick to it.

Identify your constraints that you have and go crazy – hack them down. If something, works let me know. Even better, I’m throwing this offer – Take a challenge with respect to your health. Identify your constraints and your barriers note them down. I’ll gladly offer you a free consulting session for an hour in which I’ll work with you in helping you break down your barriers.

If this sounds good and you are up for the challenge – leave a comment here with your email id and I’ll get back to you.

P.S. ( I’m giving out 10 slots), so hurry if you would like to un-script your script! :).

The Hack of “Lesser Decisions”

BitchOne of my previous blog posts on creativity was inspired by Twyla Tharp more than anyone else. I have been following and reading books of tons of successful people and testing everything systematically in my life to create meaningful impact and what she calls the Creative Habit  has helped me more than anything else is because it so closely falls in line with Behavioral Design. What has helped me on my journey towards improving my “FOCUS” on much needed areas like

  • My Health
  • My Learning Projects
  • My Travels
  • My Research
  • My Work

has been taking every area as a potential area of growth and automating all my decisions that I need to take which are so trivial every single day.

Let me explain it better by taking Twyla Tharp’s example itself. She describes her morning routine of rising early and going through the same morning rituals; same coffee, same bun. She puts on the same leotards, goes down the same elevator to the same street corner, puts her arm up in the air and gets into the first cab that comes along. By the time she gets to the studio she has made no significant decisions. Stepping out onto the dance floor, her dancers await. It’s eight in the morning and her first decision is yet to come. It will be a creative one.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Every successful person if one observes carefully can notice that they never ever “sweat the small stuff”.

Everything that they do, the little things are so ingrained in their lifestyle that it has become second nature. They don’t even need to think about it as they have important decisions to make later. Now, what can we learn from this? I’m not asking to you become and act like a automaton. No! What small choice like these can we eliminate in our daily lives that will enable us to lead a life with more ease. Of-course personally, I have cheat days in the week for myself so that in the weekends I can gorge “GUILT-FREE” on non-vegetarian dishes as much as I want. This is a commitment I made towards my health. I follow a Vegetarian diet in the week and have 2 cheat days to snack on 1 solid meal guilt-free on the weekends which server as “SMALL WINS” for myself. 😀

Fact is, our lives are so filled with impedimentary drama and ancillary decision-making that there is little time left over for work.

Designing some days of our lives in this way is so much more helpful than letting ourselves fret over the small things. What a relief! Again, this practice enabled me to have more space with myself and get my creative mode on and focus better. Most of us don’t have the responsibility of running the largest economy in the world, or even the talent and production needs of one of the world’s best-known dance studios.Just as my job is easier than Twyla’s or the president’s, my routine is simpler too. I don’t get in a car to go to work, and I don’t wear a suit.

The whole time I have something else in front of or next to me: the real task for the day. The real task is often a blog post other than my day job, or something else. Hopefully, before too much time goes by in the morning, I’ll have switched over to that task and made it my focus. I think it’s good to break up your routine from time to time. But not everything should be a surprise.

If you want to get something done, especially creative work that requires focus, you need to reduce the other decisions you make.

When you know what you’re going to wear the next day, what you’re going to have for breakfast, and what steps you’ll need to take to get started on your work, you’ll be much less likely to get sidetracked by making these decisions in the morning.  You’ll begin the day ready to pound things out, and then you can make some real decisions.

How do you begin your morning? Any new habits that you are taking away? Let me know.

PS: “We cannot directly choose our circumstances, but we can choose our thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, we shape our circumstances.”

 

Wired To Learn

nlclogoEver feel like you are far more capable than what society expects of you, even far more capable than your expectations of yourself? I know I do. Remember being a teenager, and school being less about a passion to learn and more about getting good grades. How many times did you sit in class bored and desperate to just get AWAY!!!

Every teenager in the world has felt that sometime in his teens and Albert Einstein acted on it. At just age 15, he was sitting in class and all of a sudden he decided that enough is enough and got up to walk right out the door. And HE NEVER WENT BACK.

“It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry” ~ Albert Einstein

Remember being a kid and just wanting to play around with stuff, pull things together, and knock things apart. To which the grown-ups were saying – No No No ! Or being called “GOOD” for sitting still and “NAUGHTY” when you couldn’t bear to sit still any longer. It is all well-intentioned of course but that doesn’t make it any less INSANE! Because the fact is that our capacity to inquire and learn knows no bounds and scientists have proved it by research as well. With the development of MRI scans in the last 25 areas, it has allowed scientists to observe which parts of our brain is used in different kinds of thinking. We now know infinitely more about how we learn and what makes up “HUMAN INTELLIGENCE” and its extraordinary.

So, want to know what we are really capable of?

Then read on, let’s start at the beginning.

A baby’s brain is amazing. It doesn’t take 9 months to create. It has taken 7 million years and more than 350,000 generations. All the skills, knowledge and talents cultivated by our ancestors are stored inside it. All of them are like numerous software programs which can only be activated by the baby engaging with its environment. Here is the striking thing – If not activated at the most appropriate time they simply disappear. Take language, if a child doesn’t hear language by around the age of 8 they may never learn to speak. So, you may begin to see just how vital our normal interactions are. They ignite our dormant intelligence and reinforce it too. There is something else; we have evolved to learn things by looking at things from different perspectives and making connections between different things and we do that by play. So wouldn’t it be amazing if we bore all this in mind when we are raising kids and letting them play when they are younger and older too?

In conversations with my one of my mentors, Glen Martin who is psychotherapist with decades of experience under his belt dealing with kids who have had all kinds of disorders stamped on them. I learnt that the human brain undergoes “pruning” successively at regular intervals of time while we grow up. Those areas of potential which go untapped only make it harder for us to work on later in our adult life. It’s not that we can’t do it later, it just gets more harder to do that. Yes, for some kids the medium of instruction is vital, for some the environment matters, but in general freedom to learn by doing and learning from play, failure being encouraged is what cuts across all kinds of learners and learning styles.

Charles Darwin’s teacher once remarked that “He’d never amount to much because he spent too much time looking at insects”. So let children play, because it’s never just play. Of course, it takes more time and energy to do this. But, when you are deciding where to focus resources for kids learning. You couldn’t do better than focusing during pre-puberty. That’s when we learn by copying the people around us. After the age of 12, it’s all about change. Say goodbye to sweet, pliable, innocent and easy child say Hello! to rebellious challenging teenager. Arrrgh! Many parents would go nuts when their kids begin freaking out in their teens. (Jokes apart). 😛 (Mine did as well)

Ah! Well. Let’s understand what is happening in that brain. Loads of the connections made during childhood are breaking up and re-forming. From 12 – 20 – the equivalent of a earthquake takes place in a young person’s brain. No more going along with what the grown-ups say. The adolescent brain needs to go it own way.

To this, Oh No! Say the parents. But,

Oh yes! Say evolutionary scientists.

Because if we hadn’t developed this urge to do things differently, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Up until about 60-70,000 years ago. It was okay for the children to grow up like their parents. But then came the ICE AGE. Thank goodness for the handful of our ancestors who chose to break away from their doomed parents freezing to death in their ancestral caves. They built rafts and set off across the ocean hoping to find warmer climate. Critically, this made risk-taking the essential feature of adolescence. We shouldn’t undermine it. We must learn to honor it for what it really is. The defining struggle, the moment when the next generation challenges the status quo and pioneers new ways of thinking and being that ensure our survival.

Just imagine if we actually gave adolescence the freedom to enjoy that struggle. Rather than forcing them to sit passively in class.  How about we begin trusting that their earlier clone like learning now will enable them to spread their wings and work things out for themselves. If this sounds terrifying, it needn’t be. Because if we allow their natural curiosity to flourish in childhood. They will be bursting with a longing to learn and climb unscaled mountains of the mind. That’s not scary, it’s fucking exhilarating! ( I can speak for myself here with a 100% gut conviction) \m/

This is the way we have evolved to be. It’s what makes us fulfilled well-adjusted human beings. Let’s stop trying to live in a way that so goes against how we are hard-wired to live. Let’s allow ourselves and our next generation to reclaim the gift of our ancestors. Adolescence isn’t a problem; it is but an opportunity that we are setting fire to everyday in most schools around the world. Personally, I don’t know if me being right-brained had anything to do with me breaking all the rules, getting in all sorts of trouble during my adolescence but it sure did build in me the heart to experiment things my way. Yes, there were a lot of beliefs that I had to bust and a lot of backtalk’s with parents, family that happened but it helped me find my own way and still am exploring it. Yes, sometimes it feels so unsure/ There have been days where I had to depend on some unknown force in the universe to get me through and things did work out but my contention is this.

I can summarize my process of learning as follows:

  • Observe
  • Copy / Imitate
  • Research
  • Practice
  • Vomit
  • Deconstruct
  • Craft
  • Voila! ( My own piece of genius) 😀

isn’t it about the adventure? Learning to learn, learning from failure, learning from everything around. This is a much better, fun filled path I’d choose any day than doing things the conventional way.

The Illusion called “Death”

Life….Death. What do we do when you lose a loved one? And I feel so many of us, we have lost someone, someone who has passed. For me, when I look at death. It’s really just a change of state. It’s nothing more nothing less. Essentially, for me there is only life, we are immortal. When I tell a lot of people, they go nuts. They retort, quite often –

What do you mean we are immortal?!

You are going to die as well!

To that I say yes, I’m going to die in a physical sense. Then again energy can’t be destroyed; it just gets transferred into something else. So many of us, even as a society we aren’t ready to talk about death. We don’t mention death on a dinner table. Even when I go to a funeral, it gets awkward – a lot of times before I had the feeling of not knowing what to say. I have had friends and relatives who have passed away during my journey that made me enquire this area deeply with me and my mentors. Sometimes I have even used the word “passed” which everybody does and I realized it’s often used with such a euphemism that a lot of us haven’t really come to terms with it. For me, death and life are so interconnected with each other. In essence, there is no separation really! Yet, there are so many of us that look at it with “eyes of duality”. If there is life, then there is supposed to be death.

DeathFor me, life and death are one and the same because essentially how do you even know you are alive? And this is something I have asked myself, and people say – Duh! You know because your heart is beating. But, essentially the answer comes only when we put it in our mind and start thinking and also deeply feel about it and discover it for ourselves. It’s everything that we put in our mind which tells us who we are. It’s the image that we have of ourselves, whether it’s our bank account or our name. All of these things are all coming to an end everyday! Yet, there is something that is eternal. That’s what I’m connected to. For me, I just realized that a lot of people are afraid of physical death as they are afraid to leave behind everything that they have worked for in this world (reality). The name, the cars, the status, the bank balance, the relationships and essentially what is going to be left is this impersonal energy.

Society is funny, because one way we are afraid of death. So many of us, we don’t talk about it. We celebrate life! Someone is born, say a child is born. Beautiful! Everyone is smiling, light just magically shines in all around us and we are all in a state of grace so to speak. On the flip-side, when someone dies we don’t even know what to do!

Essentially I realized that a lot of us, we aren’t even mature enough yet to talk about this transition which is taking place which is so fundamental. In essence, it’s the other part of birth. And a lot of times I look at it like – We are afraid of death as a society but at the same time we are involved in wars. We are the only species on the planet celebrating people dying on the silver screen, and at the same time, it’s one of these things because when we look at the elderly as well. A lot of people are fearful of death. But at the same time, many people live life like the show must go on and it must go on! And at the same time we don’t really realize…for me I had to realize that death is humanity’s shadow. And I myself had to merge with this shadow to realize that I’m timeless, I’m immortal. Essentially, I have been here not from the beginning because this whole concept of having a beginning and an end is again an idea; as in my mind there is no beginning and an end. The whole concept of time is really a human man-made invention and for a lot of us time is fear.

We celebrate birthdays in our society and there is nothing wrong with it as well. Essentially all of this leads us to count our own demise.

Hence, TIME = FEAR which = SCARCITY which helps us and keeps us in a perpetual state of survival.

Many of us are living our lives and at the same time we aren’t able to see that we are living in a transient universe and for me this has been something that I had to look in the mirror and tell myself. Wow! Isn’t this amazing! Even in the cosmetic industry, there are products that are out there to make you look young which again isn’t wrong in itself. What I feel though is that there is something that is so fearful in people and they aren’t going through this movement through life. For me, as co-creators on this planet, it doesn’t matter if I live 100 years or 500 years on this planet. It is again just a drop in the ocean when compared to the amount of time and space and eternity. It makes me realize the fragility and sacredness of life and also the fact that we are limitless beings.

Essentially, for me everything equates. Death equals everything how? Everyone is equal through death. Then again, death is just a change of state. I’m not afraid of death because I’m not afraid of life anymore.

Since the last couple of months, my journey has been of surrendering and dropping the sword. To see that there isn’t any battle to be fought. Death is just a big business and to see it etched in humanity’s mind that this is it! This is the end which makes me laugh at this indoctrination we have been infused with. It’s a virus that can be zapped just be recognizing it with our cognition. For a lot of us, we begin to worry that we can’t live past a hundred and twenty years which again is another set of B.S. code we have picked up in our programming from schools where we were crammed with facts. I’m wondering if this is also programmed into our DNA!  Because more and more I realize that with a cure, there is no profit and that’s why do really the host of pharmaceutical companies that keep pushing the limits on increasing longevity and wellness, do they really want people to live past a 120 years? This question cracks me up every single time! Then again, it is a frightening thought with all these people now who are realizing their greatness who now are beginning to see that we are transformers, we are timeless, we can live as long as we want. Even within this human body, a lot of us have just accepted this indoctrination that this is how we are going to age. It’s almost like we have been put under a spell of some sort.

Some cultures celebrate death. Certain African and South-American cultures embrace death. Why stop there! In West Indian funerals, I have read that people dance around and celebrate that person’s life. A lot of this really is based on our belief systems. It’s amazing just to see how such cultures view death. It’s not about being in fear of the unknown. This fear of the unknown in me surfaced when I was talking to Kiran (another mentor of mine) a month back and from then I have made the resolve to get to the bottom of this and this blog post is my experience of all my reflections since then.

Death is the unknown. It’s the grim reaper. Death is the shadow. It’s what lies behind closed doors which no one wants to see.  When I realized there is nothing to be afraid of and there is no battle, I realized that all of this is beyond human comprehension in terms of words anyways. It’s indescribable. Only silence can maybe get even close! But words, just forget about it!

There is a saying as well –

WORDS WERE CREATED TO HIDE THE TRUTH I love this sentence! Gives me goosebumps all the time.

All the words that we use to talk about death through words is only going to contaminate it. We just need to be silent. This is it!

As I see it, the universe uses everything in nature. It doesn’t waste anything in it. It will also do with our bodies what it needs to do. Whether it’s to create grass, trees or what have you. But, for me I have always seen that the universe is this impersonal energy. Nature is a transformer and we aren’t separate from that. In my mind, I know that I will be used for something else. For me, it’s empowering to know that and there is nothing wrong in talking about death. A lot of people don’t like to talk about death still there is death all around. As if by not talking about it it’s going to disappear.

A lot of people are dying all around us every single day. I believe most of us don’t have a holistic approach to death to realize that it is the incomprehensible. No one really knows why people die. Of course some people do certain things which lead to their death. I’m talking about the random things that happen, for me this shows me the infinite possibilities as it’s really incomprehensible. Sometimes, only in silence do I get most of my answers towards the mysteries of life as it speaks volumes. For me the body never lies, why don’t we become alchemists? There is no death in nature. There is always creation everywhere. For me, a part of being an alchemist is to always stay in a state of creation or co-creation. There is only transformation and immortality! Essentially there is only life in existence. I just see it like that! This is nature’s secret for me.

Just look at a garden, where is death? The flowers are continuously blossoming; there is only a change in state. Yes, a lot of people have lost loved ones! But, energy is never lost. Everyone is constantly undergoing continuous transformation like how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Some people have other ideas about death. Some people become very masochistic and say we are all going to die so let’s create as much havoc and pain as possible. All of these people have neglected their heart space. All of these people have shut down their hearts due to which they have become desensitized. When you can’t feel anything how can you be aware of what’s happening and this is what has happened to most of us.

So, while we are here, for me it’s about living in the moment. When we are in the moment, we aren’t aware of fear. When we aren’t in the past nor the future we are immortal we don’t have the illusion of death. Sometimes, I wonder if we created the internet to only find ourselves or maybe it is the way of the universe to make us realize who we are. A mentor of mine, Glen Martin who happens to be a psycho-therapist with decades of experience under his belt with whom I have most of my conscious conversations indirectly pointed this out to me. After our chat when I woke up the next day I had this stroke of insight, instead of allowing the pointer to point. We make the grave mistake of trying to understand the pointer and getting ourselves even more confused than before.

Why can’t we just develop the willingness to put aside all our education to know this place-less place and stay in touch with it? Maybe then we can see that the universe let’s us flirt with anything that we desire 🙂

‘Thought’ Hack

Your thoughts hold power. The power of your thoughts, secrets of the mind and reality. A lot of us on our journey have had our share of “Aha!” Moments. Aha! I get it now – we say to ourselves!

A similar moment happened to me long time back but over the last few months I have a better understanding no scratch that, when I gave up my understanding I began to just observe with brutal awareness and allowed the impulse of the moment to guide my next action.

The light bulb goes off right in our heads, that’s what happened many times in my journey as well. We live in the world we are thinking of. Whatever we are thinking we are creating. The universe aligns to our thoughts, our thoughts are information highways that send messages to and from the body. Many times, if we look at the events in our life, overcoming certain challenges, its because we have changed the way we think.

It all starts with our thinking. When you see it in your life, then you see that we are co-creators, we are gods, we are made from the same fabric as the universe which is fascinating because then we also get to see on the flip side how much RESPONSIBILITY we have, because we are the architects of our own reality.

IdiotBoxBlue

Everyone wants your mind. (Seriously they do!). I say, let go of society’s expectations. (This is what I tell myself). In clearing the mind of utter B.S. we have to see this, just look with a willingness, just LOOK. This is why the newspapers are full of information, the TV…everyone wants to control your thinking. We have to see that our thoughts are so powerful that they create the world around us. If someone can control your thoughts, they can control your world. Every thought we have is a catalyst for every action.

Positive thinking has a huge effect on the body because such thoughts change the bio-chemistry of the body. It is also why “ATTITUDE” is also important as the way way we think affects the way we feel. Thoughts are a collection of emotions. “E-MOTION” as in energy in motion. We are living in a sea of energy. A sea of infinite potentialities and possibilities.
What I found out about positive thinking is that it does wonders! But, we mustn’t forget NEGATIVE THINKING, and the power of negative thinking. Let me give you an example:

Many times when people get angry, we say that this is a negative emotion. However, there is a lot of energy being generated. It becomes internally destructive as its essentially an implosion from within. We are bringing all the energy internally which we must learn to release externally. This goes back into mythology as well. We had many princes in folktales who were slaying the dragon, but guess what they didn’t kill the dragon as they saw the power of the dragon. It could take them anywhere they desired. To infinite heights, the DRAGON was the representation of their lower nature. So, in essence, once we master our lower nature which is “Negative Thinking”, it can actually propel us to a higher self. For me, what I do on my journey now is – I don’t judge Negative or Positive thinking by itself. It’s a myriad of separation of what many of us have gotten ourselves into. But, it all starts in the way we see the world. How we see the world is how the world responds to us.

We see this in quantum physics as well, even Max Planck, Greg Braden who have done so much work on this. But, it goes back to the ancients – they knew that everything in the world was connected. They knew the power of our thoughts. Everything is mental.

mind_over_matter_by_elixsir-d4dauv7.pngIn quantum physics, they now see that – THE OBSERVER CREATES REALITY SIMPLY BY OBSERVING. The observer is the observed. The observer isn’t separate from the observation. The experimenter isn’t separate from the experiment.

Just by thinking about something, we are changing it. That is how deep thoughts go! Sometimes many of us in our lives we are thinking about other people and coincidentally there is a saying that “IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE, THEY ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT YOU”. We are sending text messages through our thoughts. This mind that we have is the original internet. We are the original technology. When I am walking, running or just sitting, I am conscious that I am creating my reality through my thoughts. We have to become aware that we have infinite power and that is why there is a war on “CONSCIOUSNESS” on the planet because once you know thyself you become super-powerful. You begin to strip all of these layers that society has labelled on us.

You are this. You are that. No!

  1. We are whatever we think we are
  2. We are whatever we tell ourselves.

On a deeper level, many of us living in the 21st century have these desires. A lot of people say –

  • I want this beautiful woman.
  • I want money.
  • I want this handsome man.
  • I want that dream job.
  • I want that house on the hill.

Whenever we say “I WANT”. We are sending a signal to the universe that we don’t have what we desire. Therefore, we will remain in LACK!

What I began doing in my life since the last 3 months in my HOP (A daily ritual of mine) is to move from

“I NEED” TO “I WANT” TO “I HAVE” TO “I AM”

I don’t say I want health, I say I AM HEALTH and so on. Scientifically, studies have also shown that while trying to lose weight If a subject says – I am thin even thought h/she is fat. The results are much more in the favor of the subject over a period of time than the person who says to himself – I AM FAT and I AM GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT. This is again one of the rules of the mind that we must understand to take advantage of.

What is Expected Tends to be Realized

To know more about other mind rules follow this link.

Changing the words changes the thoughts. The thoughts change our actions and interaction with the world around us. The field, the energy around us, the DNA within our bodies influence the world around us. Aha! sends off electromagnetic signals to the world around us. It’s more powerful than the brain.

Electromagnetic_Fields

Therefore, the power of aligning with your heart influences the world and can help raise the vibration of the planet. Our thoughts are so powerful, that once we take hold of a positive intention. we can create miracles. I have seen it in my life. That’s why we have to be careful where we place our focus.

Because whatever we focus on grows.

We Turn Into Whatever We Are Tuned Into

The affirmations we have, the way that we see ourselves shapes who we are. And that’s why it all starts with perception. It all starts by having the best image of yourself in the head because that’s what creates who we are. A lot of us, we go on with what people tell us. We feel that we aren’t good enough. We have this internal dialogue. We are forgetting that the words we use also govern us.

That’s why instead of I can’t  I usually say “I CAN”.

(Akshay, who is a mentor of mine will be laughing when he reads the below content and probably will gear up to sue me for copyright issues :-P) Jokes apart read on –

Questions and affirmations like

  • What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
  • When was the last time I did something for the first time?
  • Cows chew, leaders take notes
  • Be Shameless! Request support and admit you’ve messed up
  • Get Uncivilized. The worst thing that could happen is for you to get civilized.
  • Normal is boring.
  • Confidence comes not from always being right but not fearing to be wrong.
  • My mouth talks and I do.
  • There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
  • My deeds today, decide my better tomorrow.
  • Be in a peak state.
  • No matter how ugly/bad the situation is, OWN UP for it.
  • I am a Champion and I know it.
  • Be a Challenger- Create possibilities, drop considerations.
  • Hackers are not satisfied till they get their job done.
  • Leadership is not about who you are or what you do, it’s about who you are being.
  • Being is decisive.
  • Leadership is not about feelings. It’s about commitments.
  • Life never exists someday. It exists now.
  • Use leadership to contribute, not to dominate.
  • No new actions, no new results.
  • Be an Owner- Drop complaints, take responsibility.
  • Have the willingness to stand for your dreams, even if it means to stand alone.
  • The future doesn’t just happen. I create it.
  • Step out of your comfort zone.
  • You have got to be unreasonable if you’ve got to be unbeatable.

We have to see that, there is a power in the words that we use everyday. Language is the power of thought. If I’m thinking of a table, then I’m creating a table. You can’t say a word without thinking about it. Words are therefore spells. We have to use words that empower us. We have to use words that help us create our own reality.

Through mind-power we can do phenomenal things. Haven’t we all heard stories of people recovering from a terminal illness when they were told they had 6 or less months to live.

Because they told themselves –

I’M SORRY! I HAVE GOT SOME WORK TO DO!

That is the power of thoughts. ANY FUCKING THING IS POSSIBLE. We begin harnessing our thoughts when we begin tapping to the power of now. When we begin living in the present moment. When we are following our heart-space, when we are opening our heart-space. When we are letting go of fear. All around us there is distraction, there is media-manipulation through the TV, certain ads, religion. Anything that you can think of, that doesn’t remind us of what we are. We have to remember WHO WE ARE.

The sub-conscious programming affects our thoughts without us even knowing it. Certain times, people fall asleep with a certain song. Not realizing that. Because all thought is is energy. Through sound vibration you can actually change the way people think. That is why its amazing to listen to uplifting music to your heart, mind and soul. There is a difference between thinking and being.

Many of us, we are caught up in thinking, thinking and thinking. Sometimes, we see people staring into thin space.

I-think-too-much-and-then-put-myself-into-a-bad-moodWe have to ask ourselves, how are our thoughts serving us ?

Are they elevating us into higher realms of awareness or are they draining our energy away? Many of us, we get caught in the trap of thinking about the same thing over and over again. What I found that has helped me is to let go of thoughts.

Okay, but how the fuck can one do that ?! You might ask! Read on…:)

Secret – Tapping Into The FLOW

We may have experienced doing some activity when we stop thinking completely. For me its playing BASKETBALL. The bills I got to pay, places I have to go to, all of which evaporates and there is nothing but the flow of infinite energy. Sometimes, people get headaches.

What is a headache? It is but a thought above your head that isn’t going away anytime soon. (:-P) So, to free ourselves from that, we have to stay dynamic, stay fluid. We must always unblock the energy in us through eating beautiful food, getting back to nature, planting our feet. Being in a environment that allows us to tap into our being where we won’t have to do all the time, because our thoughts are our commands.  When we step into being, we are letting go. There is nothing to do as we are embodying the totality of our existence. It just takes once idea to change the world.

That is why its amazing to see the whole world uniting, raising the frequency on the planet. The world is an idea. All ideas must change. Money is an idea, schools are an idea. The buildings around you are ideas formulated in the mind of someone like you and me. Therefore, the world is never one thing, it’s dynamic, it’s forever changing. In essence, we are a reflection of the world. If you desire peace in the world, you must create peace within yourself first. And, the more and more I see how we are architects. We are painters. Life is a canvas we draw on in our minds. We are living in magical times right now on the planet, we have to open our minds to a whole world of infinite possibilities.

So make your own way. The power lies within you.