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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Presence of mind originates in stability

Are you a victim of a competition of any kind? The day you are born to the day you exist on this planet, competition seems to be omnipresent. It is more than handful to learn how to handle competition.

Our life has become like a fighter in a battlefield, fighting against this ever increasing competitive world, including the competition for big ticket items money, time, speed, status, performance, kids, gadgets, to smaller things in life like who is appreciated and who is not, who gets more raise .. Everything else that you can think of, can be competed by someone else.

What is that we need to win in this competition? What is your take?
Sound Management, Knowledge, Will power, Sincere Efforts, Hard work, Consistency, Skill, Technique....is there anything else that will help us stay ahead of the competition?
In spite of possessing all the above traits, are we able to beat the competition and lead a happier, contended, peaceful and a happy life? Does not look like to me. I have personally seen people breaking down or going into depression and taking undue stress inspite of being the best in one or more of the above attributes.

There is a famous story about an Indian and an American going through a jungle. Midway in the jungle, suddenly, they hear a cheetah, and from the voice, it was clear that cheetah has detected them and is on its way for an easy supper tonight. The Indian immediately gets into action as the American watches nervously. The Indian takes off his jungle shoes and wears his running shoes. 

The American is puzzled. He did not even bring his running shoes. But out of sheer frustration, he asks the Indian 
"What do you think of yourself? Even if you are trained by Usain Bolt, do you think you can run faster than the fastest animal on this planet?" 

The Indian was quick to respond. "No, i don't think so."

Seeing death in front, and more so that the Indian is so relaxed in his approach, the American got even more frustrated and responded back "Then why are you wearing these sports shoes?"

The Indian, without wasting any further time, responded 

"I don't think i can run faster than the cheetah, and i don't even need to. I just need to run faster than you. Cheetah will feast itself with the one who lags behind. So, the competition is between you and me, and not with the Cheetah"

Many of you may have heard of this story earlier, but what does this story tell us about competition. One, of course, is that competition exists in every sphere of life. The second, and the more important message this gives us is that what we need in a competitive world is a great presence of mind, and all other things like Technology, Management, Knowledge, Will power, Sincere Efforts, Hard work, Consistency, Skill, Technique, though important, are all secondary. The Indian ran way far ahead of the American even with ordinary running shoes, while the American became an easy feast in spite of possessing all other skills.

This was a typical situation when there was no turning back when you started running. They had no choice, They had to run forward. There was no turning back. 

Isn't our life the same? Life is also a situation where there is no turning back. You got to move forward, and to be able to successfully do that, you need to have a great presence of mind. 

The phrase "presence of mind" in itself worth thinking about. Quite interesting phrase, isn't it? I mean, the mind is always present or does it venture out somewhere else often? Perhaps it reflects on the application of mind to the given situation at hand. This sounds more reasonable. To be able to apply your mind at a given situation and stay focused on the situation till you have a solution is an art. 

This situation is quite like trying to put a thread inside a needle hole, while you are running. Can you do it? You can, if you stop running, relax, ease off, take a deep breath, focus, concentrate - and it does not take more than a second after that. But if you keep running, you can try doing it for the entire day.You will only end up frustrated.

Precisely the same way, "presence of mind" or application of mind to handle a specific situation is best achieved when your mind is "stable" and "happy". Happiness, as defined in the book "Happiness Unlimited" is nothing but a stable state of mind. All the skill, talent, technology can be beaten by a great presence of stability in the mind. Unfortunately, this attribute is not taught anywhere in a school, college or a coaching institute. It comes to you from inside, when you have trained your mind to be stable. It needs years of practice under adverse conditions, and you ought to learn many techniques as highlighted in the book "Happiness Unlimited."

A great presence of mind enables right decision making when challenges knock at the door, and these challenges can then be easily converted to opportunities. For an unstable and unhappy mind, these challenges can break you down, and since there is no U Turn in life, the damage can be permanent.


Manoj Arora
You are entitled to happiness unlimited !!

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