Change your thoughts and…

Change your thoughts and you change your world.  Norman Vincent Peale

We are all reconciled to the fact that change is the one permanent thing that we are going to face daily. So it is in our interest to make friends with change so that change becomes an allay and a motivator in our lives. The easiest way to do that is to begin changing our own rigid thoughts, becoming more liberal in interpreting events around us and accepting with grace the reality that we are faced with. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habits and worse still is our unquestioning dogmatic adherence to customs, traditions and rituals and that is capped by our obstinate refusal to see events unfold in the correct perspective. Perhaps some of us also have the additional handicap of myopic foresight and redundant ideas of progress.

Take the case of a middle class individual. He/ she is conditioned to believe that we must have modest aspirations, set ‘rational goals’ and be risk averse and safe guard ones income. When these are drilled by family, society and circumstances, making a mental change and thinking big becomes a near superhuman effort, for the mind will not let the heart follow its path. Logic will supersede emotions and safety will override risk taking. Fortunately there are ample examples of success stories of people who have dared to dream differently and who have achieved their dreams. So making that mental adjustment is much easier than it was in the past. However a mindset change is the sole prerogative of the individual concerned and he/ she alone can attempt it.

History is resplendent with examples of men and women who changed their thoughts and changed their world. Helen Keller stands out as a beacon both metaphorically and figuratively when one lists out the torch bearers of change. The exploits of Douglas Bader during world war are immortalized, while Arthur Ashe and George Washington Carver showed the world the lofty heights that the black man could scale. Closer home, the triumph of Mahatma Gandhi’s non violence policy, the staunch belief of the social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and  Maharishi Karve  and the social reformer Dr.B.R Ambedkar  are testimony to how self belief ignited a change that translated into footnotes in history. If the names of these towering personalities overwhelm you, perhaps it is time you changed and started believing that you can be as influential as them if you set your mind to the right cause and persist with tenacity.

If you really want to change yourself, your circumstances, your life style, your world begin by having a goal. Yes each of us can pinpoint our goals provided you believe in yourself and are prepared to realistically and rationally outline what you want in life. This cannot be done by merely reading so far, but by stopping to get a pen and paper and actually writing down in tangible terms all that you want in life.  I bet you have never done this before, and if you have started it and have written down at least one page of your wish list you have already begun to change your world.

Remember: “Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted

Try this:

  1. If CHANGE is an acronym, how will you expand it meaningfully? Don’t give up; you can give it a try. If you don’t know how, visit and see how some of the other acronyms have been expanded and get inspired. Now attempt it once again before you go to the next activity.
  2. For the next one week, try to bring about at least one change in you physically. Eg. Don’t shave for a day, wear clothes that you would never attempt to wear in terms of style or color, change your hairstyle, change your behavior and or style of communication. Reflect on how you felt, the comments of others, the learning from the exercise.

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