Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Route to Happiness… by Shveitta Sethi Sharma. Lesson 2 . Don’t wait till it’s broken

Don’t wait till it’s broken

How many times have you heard people say things like- “Don’t wait till it’s broken”, “A stitch in time saves nine” , reminding us to start fixing things before it gets too late.

Often when things are going great we don’t bother to think about “worst case scenarios” and it’s alright to do that, but what is not OK is to not have a contingency plan or the reserves for the not so OK times.

Would you take a chance with your most prized possession? Would you allow your child to stand in the middle of an expressway and try and dodge the oncoming traffic?

I don’t think so!

So, why do we choose to stand right in the middle of the expressway of unwanted thoughts and continue to stand there despite the oncoming danger?

It seems we do that NOT out of choice, but out of habit because we don’t know any better. We are afraid that if we move we might just get hit, so we choose the safer option and stand there with our eyes closed, hoping the unwanted/negative thoughts would just go away.

Eventually they do. But not before causing enough damage by leaving indelible marks on our psyche and rendering us paralyzed. It’s a bit like going through a bushy countryside. The first time we go through there is no path, second time we go through we create a semblance of a path and the third time we go on the same path we leave a definite trail behind. Our thoughts are the same. Every time we think a certain way we reinforce that particular thought pattern.

Why not then build within us the reserves needed to counter this onslaught of unwanted negative thoughts and pave a newer path.

Pathways are formed in our brain with any consistent action/thought. So the good news is that, if negative thoughts can form pathways, so can the positive. The only problem is that we tend to pay more attention to the negative than we do to the positive. For every positive thought we tend to have 4 negative thoughts.

I used to constantly complain about how tired I was. Tiredness led to laziness, laziness led to low productivity ( both in personal and professional life), low productivity led to disappointment, disappointment led to low self esteem and low self esteem led to depression and depression led to chronic fatigue syndrome. Don’t know how it all started, but an innocuous statement like “I am tired” led to a real ailment. No amount of physical therapy or, medication could help me. My pain was very real. I had constant headaches and shoulder pain. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and complain. It became a self fulfilling prophesy. I would have become yet another statistic and joined the hordes that are constantly popping pain killers and visiting doctors, physio’s, chiropractors, healers, etc. (They are all extremely helpful, but the most helpful is your own thought). Till you change your thought/belief nothing will change.

The first step for any kind of change or healing to take place is to change the thought pattern. But changing the thought may not be as easy as it sounds, so start with changing the speech pattern. Instead of saying “ I am so tired” , I started saying… “I have a lot to do”. Our subconscious takes everything we say or think rather literally. Saying, I am so tired would ensure that I be tired and blocked me from doing anything. Saying, I have a lot to do forced my subconscious to find ways of accomplishing the task.

Slowly with consistent and concerted effort to change my vocabulary, I changed the neural pathways in my brain and eventually trained myself to think positively most of the time.

So the one thing that I would recommend today, would be to try and really focus on your spoken word. Pay attention to the real meaning and see how it affects you. For one day try and change your vocabulary. Use words that have an uplifting vibration and see if it makes a difference.

Move away from the expressway of negative thoughts/words and take a stroll in the park of bliss.