Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Why Mindfulness is Critical for Success ? In't Yog Day Special

Why Mindfulness is Critical for Success and Joy (International Yog Day Special):
"I know..." - frequently used two words that close the doors of curiosity in many conversations. And many times it is true also that we know... but for most of us, the number of favorable outcomes in our life are not proportional to the expectation and knowledge we all have. The main reason is the famous "knowledge-action" gap. I hope the message in this video will connect with you and trigger a transformation on this auspicious International Yog Day! I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on Mindfulness and/or your life experiences.
#engineeringhappiness #innertransformation #mindfulness #arunb #arunbTV #thearunb  #success

Monday, June 5, 2023

Living in Heaven on Earth...

Heaven and Hell - We all have used these terms in different contexts, but have you ever given thought to what heaven and hell actually mean? In today's JoyMantra, I will share my point of view and I will be keen to know your point of view. 

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is within you, and that is where the kingdom of hell is, too."

Instead of thinking of heaven as something good up there and hell as something fearful down below; I see them as two mindsets that create heavenly or hellish experiences right here on earth. For me, heaven is created when we choose virtuous end goals, pursue them with virtuous means, and expect the best outcome from our efforts. On the other hand, hell is created when we expect the worst outcomes of our efforts, which may be because somewhere deep within we know our end goals or means are not virtuous. 

In addition to good and bad, in India, we also have the concept of 'paap' and 'punya' - results produced by good or bad actions, now or hereafter.  As per the concept of 'dharm',  all human actions have a tangible immediate result as well as an unseen result. The unseen results of human actions keep accumulating in our 'karma' account and fructify in time for us as a good or a bad experience; an experience of pleasure or pain. The subtle result of virtuous actions ('punya') fructifies as an experience of pleasure or something desirable, and the subtle result of bad action ('paap') fructifies as an experience of pain or something undesirable. 

We as human beings have the ultimate freedom of choosing our actions thoughtfully. We can be in any circumstance in life, good or bad, but we will always have the freedom to choose our actions. We can either choose the path of 'punya' or the path of 'paap'. One will create heavenly experiences on Earth, and the other will create hell. And the easiest way to choose the path of 'punya' is to choose our actions neither to please others nor to please gods; but for our inner peace. Let us be nice to people not because they are good, but because we are nice! 

I hope you will reflect on this thought and may your life blossom with many heavenly experiences. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

The Art of Networking

In today's connected world, collaboration with the cross-pollination of information, expertise, and resources is the key to success. Simply put - "Network is our net worth." Even if you find that statement debatable, I hope you will at least agree that our network plays a critical role in determining our success. Also, global research on mental well-being has found conclusive evidence that our network has a significant influence on our happiness as well. So the question is how do you build, grow and sustain a good network? Let us reflect on the art of networking today. 

I had once picked up a book in the US - "Dig Your Well Before You Are Thirsty". Many of us dig our wells only after we are thirsty. We reach out to people when we need their help. And after quenching our thirst, we move on until we are thirsty again. You can well imagine how you would feel after someone has done that to you. 

This book suggested that we should invest time and effort in meeting people, establishing relationships, and building networks with people who may be of help to us in the future. 

The key to doing that would be:

  • To meet people with similar goals, shared thought processes, and common interests; 
  • To build connections by being interested in people, being a patient listener, and being curious about people rather than being judgemental 
  • To sustain relationships by exchange of value
But for me, the best lesson on the art of networking came from one of my spiritual mentors. He saw the book in my hand, heard its essence from me, and then told me that Indian Sages had a different take on networking: "Dig Wells Because It Is a Good (or Virtous) Thing To Do." 
I had a wow moment. After I reflected on this amazing thought I realized that the "Dig your well before you are thirsty" philosophy may make our interactions prone to judging others because we may start evaluating if our interaction is going to be useful in the future or not.  
Whereas, "Digging wells because it is a good thing to do" is a thought originating from a virtuous value system that believes in The Laws of the Universe. A Universal Law that "Wherever you can - do a good deed, without worrying about where would it lead; The Universe nurtures such a seed, and gives you the harvest when you need where you need."
Let us meet people with a genuine interest in knowing about them and network with them for the joy of friendship. Let us be good to others not because they are nice or they will useful to us; but because we want to be good human beings living a life of joy and inner peace. With just this one thought brought alive in our actions, the world can be a much better and happier place.   

Monday, May 15, 2023

 I have shared quite a few JoyMantras with you now. I have a question for you. I am eager to know if you were able to utilize any of the JoyMantras in your life to create positivity and joy? If yes, please do share; that will inspire others to utilize JoyMantras as well. if not, today's JoyMantra is especially for you. 

When we learn we grow, else we age. Constrained by the chains of habits, human beings are fast becoming a machine. The fast pace of modern life has negatively impacted our attention on acquiring new knowledge. We seem to be lacking the time and energy required to translate our learning into our behavior. If this is the bitter truth for many of us then we need to ponder on how to bring any positive change in our life. Let us contemplate this topic today.  

To bring the desired transformation in our life with a JoyMantra or a wise thought, I am sharing a three-step process with you. The first step is to have a growth mindset and to keep yourself open to new information. When you reflect and meditate on acquired information in the light of your own life experiences, the information turns into your wisdom. Now we move on to the second stage of the transformation process i.e. Doing. Putting your learning to use. For example, if you have heard the JoyMantra "The Art of Silence", it is possible that when someone triggers a negative emotion in you, you may respond with a smile or silence.  When you use this JoyMantra consciously a few times and experience a positive outcome, you may achieve the third and final phase of the transformation process - Being. Now in adverse situations, instead of getting angry and putting yourself in a negative mind frame, a response with a smile or silence will become part of your personality. And you will be able to utilize the transformative power of JoyMantras and enjoy positive life experiences resulting in a joyful life.

Let us not stop at only learning new ideas; let us meditate on them and put them to practice in order to create desired positive outcomes in our life.

Monday, April 17, 2023

The Art of Silent Response

Smile and Silence are two powerful tools to live a joyful life. Smiling can help us solve many problems, and silence can help us avoid many problems.

A genuine smile represents a state of inner peace and positivity that helps us respond to even difficult situations in life with progressive alternatives to create stepping stones to a joyful life.   

It is not necessary to react to every situation in life, silence can be a good alternative. And there are circumstances in life when silence is not only a good alternative for a joyful life but a necessary, most effective, and potent response. Since many of us do not know the art of not responding and staying silent, let us reflect on situations when silence can be a wiser option. 

First, in a mental state when your power of thinking is clouded by anger, exhaustion, biasing, or any other reason, anything you say can add to the bitterness in life. In such a situation silence may be a better option to live a joyful life. 

Second, when your views are not relevant, persuasive, or impactful because you are not an expert or you are not well prepared; in such cases before speaking you have to think if your input will be valuable or not. You may find that silence is the best option. 

Third, when you are unsure what you want to say is true and you have no evidence to prove it, you may be challenged and that may stress you out. In such situations, staying silent may be a good option. 

Fourth, is what you want to say pleasant and helpful that will create value for someone? If not, you will only feed negativity. In such situations, silence may be a better option. 

Finally, when someone is requesting you to remain silent but your ego is coercing you to say something, in such situations for your inner peace and joyful life - silence may be a better option. 

Let us reflect on these five ideas and utilize our power of speech only when we can inspire creativity, value creation, and joy in the world. Otherwise, we should learn to make silence our happiness shield to preserve inner peace and bliss to live a joyful life. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Defining Happiness

Let us reflect on a couple of questions to start the conversation on an introspective note today. My first question is - Are you happy today? Give it a thought. My second question is - Why? If you are feeling happy - Why, and if you are feeling unhappy - Why? Have you given it a thought? Most of us want to be happy, but many of us have never introspected the definition and causes of happiness in our life. Let us dedicate today's JoyMantra to start demystifying happiness. Because, until we have clarity on what happiness means to us and our happiness influencers, our happiness will be at the mercy of fate. 

Happiness is such a profound and subjective experience that it is not possible to contain it in a single definition. I am sharing not THE point of view but A point of view based on my experiences and research. I will be keen to hear your thoughts on what happiness means to you. My only request is to share your personal understanding as original thoughts, not a forwarded social media post or lines picked as it is from a book. 

In my experience, Happiness is an inner feeling of elation that liberates me from the bondage of time, space, situation, and desires. The fountain of inner joy pauses time and makes me feel complete, with nothing more to be desired. The experience is that of extended FLOW. Happiness for me is an inner compass that keeps me on the path of morality and goodness. Whenever I violate any of my core values the inner compass of happiness triggers a discomforting feeling immediately to inspire a course correction. 

Let us now also introspect on the causes of happiness in life. 
To begin with, the fulfillment of small desires itself gives a feeling of pleasure and we consider that as happiness until we realize that the feeling of elation caused by the fulfillment of a short-term desire is temporary. I call this as "pursuit of pleasure" phase of life. With experience, we realize that achieving personal, social, and professional goals gives us a bit of sustained feeling of elation and timelessness as we have better engagement with whatever we are doing. But after achieving one goal, we start pursuing another higher goal and this cycle limits our experience of elation. I call this as "pursuit of happiness" phase. 

In my experience, when we are engaged in a cause beyond our selfish interests, when the end goal, as well as means to achieve the end goal, are ethical, and the actions are not pleasure or materialistic gain driven but inspired by a higher purpose; we no longer work for joy, we work in joy. We move from the 'pursuit of happiness' to 'happiness in pursuit'. We are enjoying whatever we are doing with the intent of doing our best. This is when we are able to utilize our full creative potential. We are happy and we are at our best. The cycle of peaks and valleys may appear in our lives, but with a happy mindset, we have a better chance of bouncing back much faster. We realize that the way to happiness is - happiness on the way. 

Let us do what we love, and love what we do. 

These are my thoughts. Please do share your understanding of What Happiness Is... 

Monday, April 3, 2023

The Art of Winning Hearts

There is a popular saying, "Some people brighten the room when they enter, and some by exiting the room." I am sure after listening to me, some names have popped up in your mind and you started visualizing some faces mapping to both categories. 

But today I invite you to reflect on when people are thinking about you, which list are they assigning you to? Are you perceived as the source of positive energy and vibrancy or the energy drain? 

I think it all depends on if we are able to touch human hearts and create an experience of enhanced positive energy during our interaction with people. I feel most of us have an invisible message written on our hearts in bold letters - "Delight Me" or "Make Me Feel Special". And hidden in this invisible thought is the secret of winning human hearts as well as enhancing the joy quotient of a room with your presence. 

Let us analyze one sutra that is often stated about improving the quality of interaction with others - "Treat others how you would like to be treated". I think there is a need to upgrade this sutra to enhance its effect in the modern world - "Treat others not how you would like to get treated but how they would like to get treated". I am not promoting flattery, I am suggesting the inculcation of sincere appreciation as a virtue while interacting with others. This will happen more spontaneously if we become less judgemental and more curious to know about others. 

If I have made you curious to nurture "The Art of Winning Hearts" then ask yourself one simple question, "How can I make anyone interacting with me or in my presence feel like a million bucks?"

Let me know what do you think? 

Why Mindfulness is Critical for Success ? In't Yog Day Special

Why Mindfulness is Critical for Success and Joy (International Yog Day Special): "I know..." - frequently used two words that clos...