It has been estimated that we have about 60,000 thoughts per day and most are nothing more than habitual or redundant thoughts that enter our mind on daily. But why let the same ideas and patterns cycle through our mind? Choose your thoughts – most of the time we don’t – it’s easier and acceptable by many to run on ‘autopilot’. The only time you are conscious is in the present. While in the present moment your thoughts are at the highest level capable of being. If you often find yourself living in the past or perhaps future “can be’s” it can be compared to being on the ‘Merry-go-mind stream’. A constant swirling and whirling of thoughts anywhere but in the present. While in this state your thoughts are at the lowest state they can be.
If we lack belief in ourself and our capabilities, our self esteem suffers. This results not only in a sense of worthlessness but also helplessness and even hopelessness. This in turn makes us feel inadequate and see everything as pointless. It is easy to stop trying to achieve because there is simply no point. We are defeated before we even begin. That’s why the correct self confident mind-set is crucial to all other mind-sets we may adopt. First we must tackle the root. When we have empowered our SELF with the confidence and belief in our SELF then we will be better able to accomplish the things we are already good at and also to learn how to do the things that at present we cannot. Accomplishing our goals and objectives becomes much much easier. We are empowered from the inside out. And the results we can achieve reinforce our beliefs and boost our self esteem and confidence even more. It can be a rising balloon spiralling upwards or a viscous circle spiralling downwards – depending on our choice.
Why are we afraid of silence?! Why does it become overwhelming when we are alone and there is no voice around?! Why do we want to keep ourselves busy all the time?! Isn’t the soul of human beings, the soul of the universe or whatever power it is that’s running the earth and its resources present in this “silence”?! Then why are we running away from something that we eventually have to become a part of?!
Well the above few lines clearly define what being alone and silence does to me. It causes chaos in my mind, it causes bewilderment! But the good part of it is that it forces me to find a reason to get over it, because hey, it’s Monday tomorrow and I have to be focused at work.
So, I figured out reason for why we are scared of silence or rather why I am (to be precise):
I am scared of my thoughts. Noise is my escape, I am running away from memories which I don’t want to remember, or things I can’t forget or memories I had forgotten until I remember them. Things which have no relevance in my life today.
So now that we have the diagnosis, we need to start the treatment.
1. Breathe and be mindful of it – Well till today my dad asks me to meditate on my breathing everyday for a few minutes to keep my sanity alive (parents can tell when their kids are crazy). And I say I will do it, but I don’t. Sorry Daddy! But here I am today, bringing sanity into my life right here. I just being aware of where I am.
2. Listen to it..the silence. Look beyond the chaos. Well I would like to think myself as a marvel comic hero (like Flash or Iron Man, only female) and think that my superpowers will be activated if I can look beyond the chaos of my thoughts. Everyone has their own fantasies, this is mine. Period! What I mean is that think of something that you most dearly want and imagine that thing is beyond this cloud of these troubling thoughts. Now your efforts depend upon how madly you want that “thing” you want.
3. You only going to make it worse. I am sure you have heard or read this one before, where overthinking leads to situations which were not even there in the first place. Write them down, cry, say sorry to yourself for things you did wrong, but get over it. It’s in the past. Those thoughts have no right whatsoever to hurt you anymore. Let bygones be bygones. Trust me this step takes a lot of courage. And it takes even more courage and planning to do things differently in the future as these thoughts are stubborn and they will haunt you again.
I would like to thank “Aroo – a sense of bewilderment” today as this made me think what my thoughts are doing to me….they are “wasting my time“.! So what’s your escape??
I am an unrealistic Optimist….??!!….Yes I am and I am proud of it. I get ridiculed often times (actually all the time) and my dear ones try to protect me in any way possible from going overboard in my thoughts and actions. So, from the normal reality of my present life to what one should do to live in this society, such realities are pushed into my brain in a hope that sense would prevail and I would (like everyone else) get into the mode of living a “normal sane life”and tread the path that many before me have followed. But then that little voice inside me, that spark of creativity playfully like a child smiles and tells me “We will make it one day,Girl!! Hold on!!.
I know you must be thinking, “Yea, we got the voice too but we got to go to work tomorrow & everyday for the good part of our lives, work hard, earn money, pay off loans, and dream of a brighter future for our kids”. Well, I say I am no different, I will go to work too, juggle with people, spring in a new idea to my boss and try to get a raise. But hey, how long can you really keep up with that?! Be honest to yourself if not to anyone else.
We all have an alter reality, a creativity which keeps on reminding us of “what ifs?”. No, they aren’t distractions, they are who we really are!!
Now, I am not saying give up your jobs and pursue your passions. We are all scared of doing something different, of…failing..but we are missing out on the experiences our creativity has to offer. Don’t give up on it! Pursue it everyday in any tiny way possible. Nothing is impossible until we give up on it. Make SMART goals for your passions too. Who knows where they will lead us. Have courage, have patience, have faith.
21st century is an age of Extrospection. Merriam-Webster dictionary meaning of Extrospection is “examination or observation of what is outside oneself”. And the simplest way of practising Extrospection is showing Empathy. Now, we all understand empathy as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and looking at the situation, think their thoughts and feel their feelings. But above all, empathy is a choice and we all make this choice of whether or not to be empathetic every moment of everyday.
But are we really empathetic? Lets find out what we have become today and what an empathetic person is?
- “I am the best” – The 20th century was an age of introspection. That age taught us that the best way to discover our lives and who we are, is to look within ourselves. And that pushes us to pursuing a lifestyle through self-interest. Most of the self-help books written in the past century would teach us that. So, thanks to our ancestors, we are selfish human beings. it is unnatural for us to think of others first. Also, we like to world to think and act just like us. An empathetic person thinks about the other person’s perspective first. No, it’s not sacrificing your happiness for the others. Nope. It about being sensitive about the other person’s feelings. Most of the time, the other person is saying the same thing but with different words. Think and don’t jump to be heard.
2. “Screw it…just do it” – Our age is result oriented. We are also the age of working in teams. Working in teams can help achieve fantastic results in every area. But we get so focused on the results, that we start working in isolation. We just think about our area of work and not how our work can benefit others and vice versa in achieving a common objective. Your way might be right for you, not for others. As a team member, we need to understand where everyone is coming from and how a true collaboration can happen. It’s not just about our development, it’s about developing others and helping others to do their best. An empathetic person doesn’t rush, he thinks about others and what they want to do and then starts thinking about how his expertise and work can completed others towards the common goal.
3. “Just listen to me” – So how often have you heard this being said to you or to others? Many time is my guess. We just want to be heard. We think we are effective listeners, but we are not. We live in an extroverted world, where “everybody needs somebody” just to hear them out. Communication has become conversations where one person is just waiting for the other person to take a breath, that pause is where he quickly jumps in and gives his views which may or may to be directly related to the topic being discussed. Also, since we like to be liked by other people, we all believe that we are empathetic towards everyone. An empathetic person hears you, he understands where you are coming from. He suggests (doesn’t impose) solutions, he empathise (not criticises). He wants to know more about it (doesn’t want to end it after the download).
4. “No one can think like me, I can make it big, if they let me” – Another disadvantage of the extroverted, self-centred society we live in. The problem is that we think too much. And when we think too much we create more problems and then the solutions to those problems, which gives us a sense of false bravery and intelligence. We don’t realise that we complicate things ourselves unnecessarily. An empathetic person has confidence in himself but in others too. He respects the other person’s expertise and opinion. He is open to suggestions and can work according to his team members rather than “singing from his own hymn sheet.” He never thinks that he is the most intelligent of the lot. He allows himself to be part of the herd and not an outlier.
So, are you empathetic? Well, truth be told, I am not. But, I am learning. How I understand empathy is “seeing from the eyes of another, listening to from the ears of another and feeling from the heart of another.” Which is a herculean task. But atleast am trying.
It’s a long life and it can be lonely sometimes. Every body requires somebody who has their back. Which side do you want to be on is your choice.
Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Until next time.