Search This Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2011

PATH TO SELF DEVELOPMENT

One of the critical aspects that I have to deal with on a daily basis is to help people embrace the path of self development. There is so much desire in people to grow and to grow at the speed of lightening. I spend a lot of time talking to students as well as employees on this topic and sometimes I get the feeling that I am more concerned about their development than they themselves. One thing that has always come out clear in the discussions is that most people do not want to be where they in life but they don’t want to do anything to change it either. Everyone seems to be looking at a short cut to success which is very unlikely to come.
I have tried to reflect on this topic and have given some thought as to what determines the road to success and self development. I thus, thought of sharing my thoughts on the subject with you in the hope you will think about this at some point in your life. I have classified these into the different heads so as to help you be focused on these points and they can be filed in our memory system for good.
1.       Purpose: The first important element of self development is to be able to define a purpose for living or being here. Someone may say that their purpose to make a lot of money. This is the wrong way of thinking as making a lot of money cannot be the purpose, it can be the outcome of a purpose that you have defined for yourself. Purpose defines the reason for you to live and to act. It is a search for something that makes you complete with money or without it. It is something that gives you the balance of life that leads to happiness. It is something that you work to achieve, something that does not let you sleep. If you do not have clarity on the purpose for your life, it will be difficult to proceed on the path of self development.

2.       Passion: You may be able to define a great purpose of yourself to be achieved in your lifetime but you do not have the passion for it, in such a situation there will hardly be any self development that will take place in your life. In such a situation you are just creating a mirage for yourself and trying to fool yourself. This is like saying that I want to be good at what I do but I do not to work to make it happen. Passion towards your purpose is like the pilot of a jumbo 747 who makes sure that the destination is reached on time even through weather. He cannot give up just because the weather suddenly turns bad. Passion is something that holds us to what we want to achieve in life. It is the blood that gives life to the purpose that we define. If you have passion for the purpose then you never have to work, you just enjoy doing what you are doing. Nothing can be achieved without passion for your purpose.

3.       Perseverance: Never give up because you doubt yourself in times of difficulty. Such doubts are a normal way for God to test your ability to achieve. The higher your purpose in life the greater the level of difficulty levels that you will face in achieving it. It is one thing to climb a mountain but it is another thing to climb the Everest. Perseverance comes from our ability to accept the challenges as they come and not take them as problems. To me problems are those that I may not have many solutions such as the death of a loved one, everything else in life is only a challenge, a hurdle that needs to be crossed. You have to have a never give up attitude in life to increase the level of passion for the purpose that you define for yourself.

4.       Patience: Anything we want to achieve in life is not going to be possible in a day; it will take time and effort to achieve it. You need to focus on the purpose with passion and don’t start counting the chickens even before the eggs begin to hatch.  Sometimes it is going to be a long drawn process based on the purpose that you have defined for yourself. Give yourself sufficient time you will begin to see the results of your efforts sooner or later. Work towards your purpose in a consistent manner and evaluate every step. You will have setbacks from time to time and it is part of the game. You will slowly develop the ability to cross over such hurdles. Have a lot of patience towards your achievements in life.
I look at these four “Ps” as the definite answer to understanding the road to self development. The problem is that most people will say that it is right but so difficult to do. To them my answer is if you are looking for something that everyone can do, don’t have such a high purpose in life. Be happy with what you have, but if you want to stand out in the crowd then you have to extraordinary things.
Have thoughtful day ahead…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

THINKING AS A TEACHER…

All of us choose our careers with a set of goals in mind. Some of these goals are material-related, intended to take care of our lifestyle desires or obligations. Other goals are people oriented, with humanistic purpose of primary importance. Teaching to me has always been and hopefully always be a people oriented profession. I believe that one must care a great deal about students to achieve excellence in our profession.

Many teachers underestimate the impact they have on students. At our best we can turn students on. Unfortunately, when we are not at our best, we can turn them off. We possess that kind of power.

As a teacher I believe that the first major components of good teaching is the quality of information presented to students. Despite the short-term appeal of an entertaining charismatic teacher, the long-term impact of a course depends on its substance. The curriculum is in a continuous state of flux; deleting, integrating, and extending course content is probably the most active dimension within instruction. I do not offer the same course twice; new information is introduced, goals are clarified, the reference list is revised, existing principles are modified by recent findings, links with surrounding disciplines are strengthened, and areas of application are extended. Good teaching calls for consistency among three basic aspects: defining the course objective, managing the classroom hour, and devising methods of testing and evaluation. These three basic aspects are a matter of fair play, and students should know from the beginning what standards are to be met by the end of the course.

Good teaching requires considerable preparation, not so much in practicing and rehearsing one’s style of presentation as in making out the substance of the talk, its pacing, the sequence of points, and their integration with the contents that preceded and those that will follow. Even so, I do not pretend to give the impression that I can control the direction of intellectual fixation for each student throughout the teaching period. I think that pacing is important because students are unlikely to understand topic B if they are still trying to understand topic A. I give them the opportunity to catch up with me.

Over the years, I have found that motivation is prerequisite to efficient learning, and good teaching transforms resistance to interest and sustains the curiosity that brought students into the course. I strongly feel that the management of motivation requires adjustments to the differences in student interest, aims and ambitions. I have tried to accomplish this by presenting the arguments, the evidence to illustrate the points being made, frequent use of examples, anecdotes, and personal speculations to stimulate students to construct their own bridges to test their ability to apply the principles to a specific event. My prime responsibility as a teacher is to help students advance from dependent memorization to independent thinking and problem solving.

Through the last twenty five years of my teaching, I have found that frequent testing of students has certain advantages: it helps to sustain habits of study, it leads to a more reliable final grade, and it provides ample opportunity for me to make quantitative evaluations of student performance.

I do not pretend to be a therapist and the classroom is certainly not a clinic, but I recognize that turning to the teacher is an early option when a student wonders what went wrong and what to do about it. I have always provided sufficient time for students to hear and advise them on their anxieties, confusions, conflicts and tensions that are generated in the academic pressure chamber. Students have found me as a person whose judgment they can respect and whose confidence is trusted as counselor, mentor, and a friend. In counseling, I respect the student’s individuality, his special needs, and his right to accept or reject the information, advice, or assistance being offered.

Last but by no means the least is my ability to work with my colleagues. No institution can be efficient if there is a lack of common goals among the teachers. We as teachers have to recognize that if students win, we as teachers win.  

 Make a difference in the life of your students.. you are the creator of future of India.

Monday, June 27, 2011

OpenBook: ALPHABETS OF HAPPINESS.....

OpenBook: ALPHABETS OF HAPPINESS.....: "A-Accept: Accept others for who they are and for the choices they've made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives..."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ALPHABETS OF HAPPINESS.....

A-Accept:  Accept others for who they are and for the choices they've made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives, or actions.

B-Break Away: Break away from everything that stands in the way of what you hope to accomplish with your life.

C-Create: Create a family of friends whom you can share your hopes, dreams, sorrows, and happiness with.

D-Decide: Decide that you'll be successful and happy come what may, and good things will find you. The roadblocks are only minor obstacles along the way.

E-Explore: Explore and experiment. The world has much to offer, and you have much to give. And every time you try something new, you'll learn more about yourself.

F-Forgive: Forgive and forget. Grudges only weigh you down and inspire unhappiness and grief. Soar above it, and remember that everyone makes mistakes.

G-Grow: Leave the childhood monsters behind. They can no longer hurt you or stand in your way.

H- Hope: Hope for the best and never forget that anything is possible as long as you remain dedicated to the task.

I-Ignore: Ignore the negative voice inside your head. Focus instead on your goals and remember your accomplishments. Your past success is only a small inkling of what the future holds.

J- Journey: Journey to new worlds, new possibilities, by remaining open-minded. Try to learn something new every day, and you'll grow.

K—Know:  Know that no matter how bad things seem, they'll always get better. The warmth of spring always follows the harshest winter.

L—Love: Let love fill your heart instead of hate. When hate is in your heart, there's room for nothing else, but when love is in your heart, there's room for endless happiness.

M—Manage:  Manage your time and your expenses wisely, and you'll suffer less stress and worry. Then you'll be able to focus on the important things in life.

N—Notice: Never ignore the poor, infirm, helpless, weak, or suffering. Offer your assistance when possible, and always your kindness and understanding.

O—Open : Open your eyes and take in all the beauty  around you. Even during the worst of times, there's still much to be thankful for.

P—Play: Never forget to have fun along the way. Success means nothing without happiness.

Q—Question:  Ask many questions, because you're here to learn.

 R—Relax: Refuse to let worry and stress rule your life, and remember that things always have a way of working out in the end.

S—Share: Share your talent, skills, knowledge, and time with others. Everything that you invest in others will return to you many times over.

T—Try: Even when your dreams seem impossible to reach, try anyway. You'll be amazed by what you can accomplish.

U—Use:  Use your gifts to your best ability. Talent that's wasted has no value. Talent that's used will bring unexpected rewards.

V—Value: Value the friends and family members who've supported and encouraged you, and be there for them as well.

W—Work: Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals. Every sunrise offers a second chance.

 X--X-Ray: Look deep inside the hearts of those around you and you'll see the goodness and beauty within.

Y—Yield: Yield to commitment. If you stay on track and remain dedicated, you'll find success at the end of the road.

Z—Zoom: Zoom to a happy place when bad memories or sorrow rears its ugly head. Let nothing interfere with your goals. Instead, focus on your abilities, your dreams, and a brighter tomorrow.
(I had a copy of this and thought of sharing with all of you. I do not recollect where I got this from)

Happy reading...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WHY ARE WE IN A RUSH...?

Have you ever wondered as to why we as people of this country (India) are in such a rush for everything? It looks like we don’t have time for anything and we are always trying to beat everyone to be the first everywhere even at the cost of others. We have to just look around ourselves and we find classic examples of such behavior every day
On last Sunday I was traveling from New Delhi to Surat taking a flight from the Indira Gandhi International airport. There were about fifty other passengers waiting for the flight along with me.  Then came the announcement for the boarding to start and suddenly there was so much commotion at the gate, everyone trying to push the others to be the first one in line. The airline staff kept making announcements that everyone is requested to be seated as the first passengers to board would be families with children and those requiring assistance. However, there seem to be no effect on anyone and the crowed was right at the gate. I started thinking, everyone has a seat number and the flight is not going to take off with all the passengers who are in the waiting area, so what is the rush all about. There is no possibility of getting a better seat because you reach first inside the place. Then why do we create such a ruckus everywhere.
If you have travelled in a train recently you would understand what I am trying to say. We just seem to lose our cool so fast when we are not able to get our way. People start fighting for every small thing. May be it is an ego booster for all of us. Even before the train stops people are jumping into the train and trust me these are people who have valid tickets with reservations and seat allotted to them. No one is willing to give way to the senior citizens, women and the children who are being pushed around. If you try and tell people to take it easy, they look at you as if you are coming from the plant Mars.
Let me give you another example of our life in a rush…  I love to drive by myself and whenever I get an opportunity I take it. Sometimes I feel that I don’t need to have a driver but then I keep him because he has to run his family as well. On the road we have no patience at all, we honk so much as though there are no rear view mirrors in the car ahead of us. May be we are making sure that everyone on the street knows that we are here now. To me these are people who are the new age Brahmins who will honk to let others know they are coming and they should be given the first right of way. On a traffic light the situation gets even worse. You can actually see that everyone is trying to move ahead even on a red light and almost half the road is covered even before it turns green. Reminds me of wrestlers inching closer to each other for a planned attack. The two wheelers are even worse hey will just keep coming from nowhere to park in front of you.  
So what is this rush about? Why do we lose our cool as a society so fast? May be it just reflects our inability to understand how social order needs to be maintained. We do all sorts of funny things and trust me we have such good reasons to explain. Hear this out. I once told a person why was he throwing the garbage on the road and he looked at me and said “does this road belong to you”.  Another person to the same question said “well I am giving jobs to thousands of people, if I don’t do this they will not have jobs”. This is a great explanation for throwing garbage on the street.
I feel that we have forgotten that we are part of a larger society and our own behavior determines the national identity we create for our self. Let us all sit back and reflect as to how we can create a better place for all of us by taking that small step just in the place where you live. Make a difference today... Have patience and don’t be in a rush...
Happy living to all …

Monday, June 20, 2011

CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP IN PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES

The classical model of building universities seems to be fading and along with it the whole foundation on which universities were built are going through a major transformation. In the Indian context Universities provided the basis of knowledge creation and were considered the place where good citizens were preparing for the task of Nation building. Traditionally the Universities were protected and insulated from government and political interference. The leadership of these universities was hard task masters with extensive knowledge in the field of their expertise; above all they were people who commanded respect in the society. In the current scenario, the leadership in our universities is determined by the political affiliations and how much time a person spends on the corridors of the Human Resource Ministry. In this process, those that deserve and are good have no interest in taking such positions. Another way to look at it is that they may not even be considered for such positions as they do not belong to any political lobby. So we have the Universities resting on the shoulders of those 20 percent of the teachers who still have a lot of hope from the system.
Teachers have lost interest in academics and more interested in teachers associations and teaching in coaching classes to make that extra money. Seldom is there a cause that is raised by the teachers association which takes the long-term view of the University and the students. The whole concept of academic and intellectual freedom has been misused and abused by the academic class of people. If you try and push policies to streamline out university system, there is a revolt by the teachers who say that their intellectual and academic freedom is being curtailed. In the past these terms had a different meaning. Academic and intellectual freedom provided the much needed push to differ in ideology, philosophy and the art of knowledge creation. Academicians were free to agree or disagree with a given point of view. This is what created public and academic debates. Through these debates and differences the new areas of knowledge and research emerged. Every department in a university had people with wide diversity of views and thinking representing the left, right and the center. The understanding why our universities started to decline is critical to forging new direction through which the newly created private universities can travel the path to excellence.
If we reflect back on the history of Indian Universities, we can look very proudly to the kind of leadership we had in place. What went wrong and what lessons we can draw from history is something that we all need to ponder. It also raises questions on what type of leadership can we put in place to ensure that slowly we are in a position to begin to salvage the decline of our universities. It is my belief that the private universities are in a better position to chart their way as compared to the public universities. The political invasion in public universities is so high that we still need to see higher degree of damage before order can be restored. I am beginning to see a day when most public Universities in India will have IAS officers who will be Vice Chancellor’s and Registrars and the universities are likely to become parking place for a lot of incompetent Administrators in the government.
Private Universities on the other hand have more control over their destiny. They can take advantage of their current status to forge ahead of the public universities over the next ten years. This will however require that they travel the path with long-term objectives and manage their cost and expenditure equations effectively. They will need to built academic credibility in a market place which is already is a mess (thanks to some private players). In my view the following steps would be critical to setting up good private Universities in India. These can be referred to as the 3 Ps for building private Universities. Each of these three Ps is critical in creating an Island of Excellence in education.
1.       Passion: the most important aspect of building a good Private University is the Passion for creating something new and different. This holds good for both owners/promoters as well as academic leadership in place.
2.       Patience: have the courage to wait and let things settle down over years. Five years a decent time when you can start expecting some return on investments. Universities have a long gestation period and expectation of a return just like a factory is not going to be possible.
3.       Pockets: Promoters need to have deep pockets and be able to fund the project for a few years. This will ensure that the faculty and the leadership are focused on academic excellence rather than selling for student recruitment.
If these three aspects can be put to practice the private Universities have a great future in India. These three aspects related to what is necessary from the promoters point of view. There are aspects that come in the domain of Academic Administration which should be left to those who know what is best for the Universities to grow. I would however like to put a list that would provide a broad framework for good academic culture to exist.
The leadership of the university is critical to its academic culture. It is thus, necessary that the right person is identified for the job. Besides being an academic he needs to be able to carry a large team of people from diverse backgrounds together towards a single objective and to create an academic culture of quality teaching & research. It is important to invest in good faculty as this has a long term benefits. Above all look at ways of determining the eligibility of students not just based on their marks/grades but their overall aptitude for the degree program. In recruiting faculty look for ways to identifying those that have strong credentials in research and publications. This will be a rare product in the market as the research culture among the faculty on the decline.
There is a need to create a culture of trust among the faculty, staff and administrators. Such a level of faith will create a University which is highly student centered, progressive and experimental in its approach. Private University administrators should be ready to take the challenge of extensive training of their faculty resources not only in the areas of academic delivery but in the areas of personal development as well. The fear that if we invest too much on faculty and they leave is unfounded. If every private university thinks on the same line we would all have created a set of good faculty irrespective of which university they are going to work. I feel this is a service to the academic fraternity. Some of these steps will go a long way in creating good private universities.
Happy reading

Sunday, June 19, 2011

FROZEN IN TIME--- FROM INFORMATION TO KNOWLEDGE

Reflecting back on my college days, I sometimes begin to wonder as how much transformation has taken place in our education system. The thought that dominates is always related to the fact that our universities and the teaching community are frozen in time and not much is taking shape towards reform. Back then information was scarce and the means of transferring information from one generation to the other generation was from father to son and from teacher to the students. This was good in view of the fact that we did not live in the information of today in those days. Computers were just beginning to come and they were mostly mainframe computers, desktops were not to be seen and laptops were only being thought off during those days as research fields. The World Wide Web was not the norm of the society and information source.
The dominant role of our University System was to produce babus & clerks for the administrative services. This was a transformation from the British Raj which setup the Indian Universities for the purpose of producing talent for the administration of their Empire in India. Following the exit of the British, the Indian government continued the same philosophy but times were changing and our education system was not keeping pace with the transformation of the world economy. This transformation required a new kind of knowledge for the new generation to be successful in the market place. In fact every generation requires a new knowledge base to be successful in a changing world. We did not keep pace with the changing times and lost ground.
The role played by teachers, parents and grandparents in transfer of information is now being played by the world-wide web. Have we as teachers ever thought that anything that we can teach the student in the class room in the form of lectures is now readily available in the internet. All that is required is the student does a Google search and he will have all the information at his finger tips. The million dollar question then becomes “what then is the role of a teacher in higher education?” It cannot be an information provider anymore. Since as teachers we are still driven by the philosophy of providing information, the new generation is lacking the knowledge that is required for success in the current economic system. So as teachers in Higher education how do we transform our self to be relevant in the current context. I believe that the first most important change will require us to shift from role of information provider to information processor so as to help in converting information into knowledge and then to wisdom. The ability to translate information to knowledge requires that the focus should be on the applications to real world situations. This is what I call the movement towards discovery. Moving from knowledge to wisdom will require us to create new knowledge. This is what I call as the movement towards inventions.
The second shift that is required is to gain the understanding that you cannot teach anything to student anymore. As a new age teacher our role is to help students engage in a learning process and focus on creating knowledge and understanding relevant to the current world order. This can be done by ensuring that all the key senses of the body that help in the learning process are fully utilized. These senses are hearing, seeing and touching. We thus need to shift gears and ensure that our methodology incorporates all these elements. Of the above three key senses the “touching” is the most critical one as it ensures learning by doing. Focus on this element also ensures that students will not be dependent on their memory but will be focused on understanding by doing things on their own. I suggest a combination of 20 percent of learning by hearing, 30 percent learning by seeing and the remaining 50 percent learning by doing.
Thus to me personally, there is a major transformation that is required as a teacher in higher education. May be, we are not able to our self go through such a transformation as we are frozen in time and not able to look beyond what and how we were taught in our days of college. It is time to rise and find new ways of doing things as a teacher. One other aspect that has had a bad influence of teaching in higher education has been the fact that teaching has become just another profession; it is just a means of livelihood. We are not the role models that used to be before and there is a need for new thinking on this profession. I hope that we will all give some though on the subject and start making a difference.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

THE LEAP OF FAITH

During my return journey on from Mumbai to Surat on the train recently, I got wondering about life in general, the lessons we learn, and the impact they have on our thinking and experiences. This thought took me back to my college days in Allahabad. I started thinking of the various events that shaped my thinking and the value system that I have adopted. One incident captivated my thought process and I thought I should share this event with all of you.
On a sunny morning some times during November-December of 1980 I stepped out of my dorm room (hostel) to grab a cup of tea on University Road. This was an accepted culture among the students who lived in the university dorms and it was also a place for a lot of friends to meet and exchange views on issues from administrative services to politics. It was also a place for free debates among students. While I had just got my cup of tea which was normally served in a small pot made out of mud (This was supposed to be very hygienic system of service), I saw an old couple approach us from the other end of the road. They were in the age group of 65-70 years. They started talking to us and we found out that they were from the state of Karnataka and could not speak English or Hindi. Fortunately I had lived in Mysore (Karnataka) for 14 years and thus was able to understand the language. I engaged them in conversation but most of my friends left and they could not follow anything they were saying.
The old man told me that they had come to Allahabad to have a dip in the holy river Ganga at the Sangam (Hindu mythology indicates that a dip in the river Ganga at Sangam can wash away all you sins). When they reached the city of Allahabad all their belongings had been stolen in the train, someone had got off with all their belongings.  He started crying and said that he did not have any money and he wanted help in reaching back home to his family. His wife was also sobbing and was desperate for help in a land that was alien to them. I had heard a lot of stories of how people use this trick to fleece money from strangers especially in the City of Allahabad which attracts millions of pilgrims during the bathing season. I was hesitant to fall into the trap and my friends who had walked away and were sitting on a different tea stall and waving to me indicating don’t fall for it. I started to walk away and as I had walked a few steps, I looked back to find that the four eyes of the couple were fixed on my movements and there was such disappointment on their face as if everything was lost for them. I turned back and walked to them and asked “how do I know if you are telling me the truth”. The man just continued to look at me with no words and then he said “to me you are God sent, if not how is it possible that we met you and you are the only person who can understand our language”. He continued.. You don’t have to help us but can you buy us some food as we are very hungry. This was testing time for me; I had to take that leap of faith or just walk away and leave the two to their destiny. I decided to do something about it and told them ok I trust you lets go and see if I can find food for you. We walked into the Jagati Restaurant on University Road. I had a credit account with the restaurant which was normally settled at the end of the month. This was a common practice with students those days as having money all the time was not the norm.
Once the food part was done I could have walked away but I decided to take the leap of faith again and took them to the railway station and purchased them a railway ticket back to their hometown. I did not have that kind of money so I had borrowed from some friends (it was about Rs. 180 in those days). This was a lot of money for that time considering that we paid only Rs. 100 for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dorm for the whole month. I used to get about Rs. 250 for my monthly expenses. Now I had spent everything and had borrowed Rs. 100 from my friends which I had to give back. When I think back today, I am glad I did it but still don’t know why. While I was leaving they asked me for my address which I gave them and they said they will send me the money once they reach home.
Time passed month after month and there was no response from the old couple. I assumed that I had got taken for a ride and my friends started making fun of my gesture of goodness. But I thought that the leap of faith that I had taken was in the spirit of compassion and expecting a return is not compatible with the spirit of goodness. Well I did pay of my debts to my friends and went on with my life thinking that I should not ever get into such a situation ever again. A year passed and life went on and I forgot about the incident.
Some times during the end of 1981 around noon time I was told by the dorm staff that I had a visitor. I never expected visitor in my dorm as my family was away in Japan during those days. I went to see who it was and discovered that there was a young couple waiting to see me. I did not know them and had never seen them before. I asked them who they were and they started asking me if I was the named person that they were looking for.  I said yes... I am the person. He said we just came to clear a debt that we have to you which was passed on to us by my father. He then sat down and started narrating the whole story.
The essence of the story is that he was the son of the old man that I had helped a year back. He said that his father after returning from Allahabad fell seriously ill and then never recovered from it and had passed away about a month back. While on his death bed he had given me a piece of paper with your address on it and told me that I need to give Rs. 180 to you and that you had helped him when he was in trouble. With tears in his eyes he continued... these were the last words that he spoke to me. He told me that he had come to Allahabad to put the ashes of his father in the Holy River Ganga and though that he should meet me and clear the debt so that his father’s soul can rest in peace.
I was taken aback, did not know what to say and tried to convince him that it was not necessary but he said that he wants to fulfill his father’s last words and that as a son it was important. Reluctantly I took the money so that they feel that they have done what they needed to do.
As I sat in the train and now think about it, I feel so good to have done what I did at that time. I had taken a leap of faith to help someone and was not let down. Life can create situation where this leap of faith becomes necessary and we as individuals have to make that judgment calls and make the right decision. If you ever come across such situations in life...face them and take a decision based on compassion and goodness. If I had not got the money back...i would still be what I am today. But having helped someone in need has given me very valuable lessons and has brought me closer to my inner self.
I still remember the face of the old couple and it will stay with me all my life...  always do something in life for others that will keep you engaged for a life time.
TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH TODAY….AND DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR OTHERS

Friday, June 10, 2011

THE POWER OF A SMILE

We are all so blessed to have been given by our creator so many elements in our life that are absolutely free. We not only use them but we tend to abuse them to an extent that we will leave nothing for the next generations. The bounty of God is not our property and we have responsibility to ensure that we make effective us of them as they are part of our natural environment. Today, I want to talk of another asset that we possess which costs very little to us but we are so miser in its use even though we know that this can change the way people look at life.
Today I want to share my experience with you on the power of a smile and I want you to try it out for yourself and see what a difference it makes to you and the people around you. From time to time there will be situations when it will be difficult for you to carry a smile on your face but the objective should always be to return back with a smile as soon as possible. Every smile is positive energy that travels far and wide like the waves of the ocean.
Smile is something internal to the being inside you; it is a habit that one has to develop. The first important aspect required for this to happen is to be happy yourself. Only happy people radiate energy through a smile. Have you observed why some people are always angry with everything in life? They are actually not angry with others but angry with themselves. They feel that everything wrong in their life is the creation of someone else. I have watched a lot of people at work and in general social setting who are always angry and it is difficult to find a smile on their face. I once met a very senior academician from one of the top educational institutions in India based in Delhi. While interacting with him I realized he was such an angry person. In my two hours with him I could not see any smile on his face. It looked like the world had come to an end. I could see that he had found all the reasons in the world to be such an unhappy person. As you would know from my pervious blogs, happiness is a state of mind and if you choose to be unhappy, you find a lot to be unhappy. I felt bad his family and co workers as I felt he would create such negative vibration where ever he is.
To me there is so much power and energy in every smile that you can change the way the world looks like. There is a saying that if you wear sun glasses, you will see the world in the color of the sun glasses only. When you smile, you give a feeling of youth, energy and you acknowledge that happiness with which you meet people. A smile also tells the other person about you. Every smile has a message that is hidden in it and it is a means of communication without use of any speech. It has the power to reach the heart and make a positive place for you. Your smile can change the place where you work and its general environment. Smile is a means of expressing happiness and there are so many reasons why we should be happy and keep smiling. The worst thing that can happen to us is that we don’t exist anymore and if we are there then there cannot be any better reason to be happy and smiling. When you smile, you make others around you smile as well. So go ahead and try it out tomorrow, just continue to smile when you meet people and you will see it will become contagious. It has a domino effect and it keeps others happy and smiling. Smiles have the power to reduce our fears and apprehensions in life and it provides a signal to others of happy times. Just think why we can’t keep smiling. Life is about smiling in the face of adversity and challenge. Always remember that there are no problems in life, all we are faced are challenges that we need to face and cross as we move along the uncharted path of discovery and self realization.
If our smile can make the day for someone it is all worth it and the best part is that it costs us nothing. Each day make sure that you have helped someone with the healing process by the use of the power of the smile.
Keep smiling….

EMOTIONS, FEELINGS AND BEING MISUNDERSTOOD

Have you ever thought or have had an incident in life that got you thinking about being misunderstood by someone such as a co-worker, or someone that you care about. The chances are that we all have gone through this at one time or the other. Today I want to write on the relationship between emotions, feelings and being misunderstood.
As human beings we have built in emotions and the strength of these emotions differs from person to person. Emotions can be strong and at times they can be a barrier to growth and relationships. Have you thought as to why some people cry when they see wrong being done to someone while other may not do that? It does not mean that the other person has no feelings. In fact the degree of our emotions has a major impact on our ability to express our feelings. It is normally seen that those people who are very emotional have difficulty in expressing their feelings. Feelings are rooted deep in our heart and they emerge from the thinking process that is triggered by the emotions that dominate our life. To me personally the relationship between my emotions and feelings are very strong. I also feel I am the type of person who takes a lot of time to express my feelings even though they may always dominate my thought process. I know there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way. There are however, a lot of people who have very dominating emotions which results in low level of feeling for others. They feel that they can predict the feelings of others. In reality this is impossibility as understanding the feeling of any other person is like saying I am God and I know it all.
I am sure you have heard people say “I understand how you feel”, the fact is that no one can understand the feeling of anyone unless they are the person whose feeling is in question. Some times in life you will come across situations when even people who you care for so much will also misunderstand your feelings for them. They may in fact ask you why you don’t have any feelings. The most important thing for you to do in such situations is to try and talk and even then if it does not work, just back off so that you can keep them happy. Give them space and time to reflect back. Don’t be hard on them; after all they are people you care for.
When emotions lead to suppression of feeling or the ability to express feeling, there are chances that you will be misunderstood by other as a person without feelings. You may feel let down by such events but the idea is to continue to explore yourself and find ways to express your feelings.
Happy introspection