Positive Permanent Changes – Part 2 – How Our Mind Learns

Positive Permanent Changes – Part 1 – Understanding our Mind

Positive Permanent Changes – Part 2 – How Our Mind Learns

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” — Leonardo da Vinci

In the last post “Positive Permanent Changes – Part 1 – Understanding our Mind” we tried to understand our mind and how our subconscious mind controls our life. The deep rooted beliefs and habits in the subconscious mind shape our life, our identity and our future.

The good news is we can cultivate positive beliefs and habits and the not so good news is we have to get rid of the negative thoughts or habits that may be blocking our path towards a successful life. It is important to understand how our mind learns before we try to teach it new skills or try to remove old beliefs.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

When we learn any new skill like learning a new language, operating a new machine, learning to play an instrument or learning to drive a car we go through different stages of learning.

1. Unconscious Incompetence/ Unskilled:
At this stage we do not know how to do the skill and we do not even register the need to learn this particular skill.

E.g. ‘Mr. Overworked’ does not know how to operate a new computer program and is not aware of its use or value for his job.

2. Conscious Incompetence/ Unskilled:
At this stage we get aware of the new skill and its value for us but we still have not know how to do it or we are yet to learn it.

E.g. A senior manager at the company tells Mr. Overworked how a new computer program is making waves in the industry and if he masters it he can look forward to a promising promotion.

3. Conscious Competence/ Skill:
Here we are aware of the importance and value of a skill and we start learning it. We do know how to do it but we have to do it with lots of efforts and concentration. We are highly conscious and we may have broken down the procedure in steps to help us do it without fail. We are taking more than required time as we are consciously watching our every move and step.

E.g. ‘Mr. Overworked’ enrolled in an online training program to learn the new computer program. He learned how exactly to do it but he is still very conscious about the steps so he printed out a detail plan step by step how to use the new computer program. He pinned it to the soft board behind his computer and now he works on the program by following every step on the printout. He is going slowly with it to avoid any mistakes.

4. Unconscious Competence/ Skilled:
By repetition and practice now we are comfortable with the new skill. There may be more to learn about it but we are confident and are doing the task with more speed and accuracy. Our movements are smoother and we are not depended on the learning tools like books or manuals anymore. We might even have developed a personal style or shortcuts to do the task more efficiently.

E.g. ‘Mr. Overworked’ has been working with the new computer program for over a month now. He has learnt almost everything that has to be learned about it. He is confident and comfortable with the program. He has even discovered various shortcuts to operate the program. The senior manager has appreciated Mr. Overworked’s efforts and is willing to offer him promotion and also has requested Mr. Overworked to teach the new computer program to his subordinates.

“A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind.” — Sophocles

Once we get to the fourth stage i.e. unconscious competence we can be proud about mastering a new skill or habit and it is also permanently set in our mind. We do go through all the four stages while learning any new skill and that is exactly how our mind is programmed we cannot jump or skip any stage.

So how can we bring Positive Permanent Changes in our mind that is set and rigid about some beliefs? Can we learn to unlearn? Can we change our thoughts and feeling about things that affect us most and have been obstacles in our path to achieve our life long dreams?

You guess the answer – Yes we can. We can slowly and permanently get rid of toxic beliefs, habits, and thoughts and replace them with the ones that will make our desire come true. Well this again will take a whole new post so let’s talk about this in the next and last post in the series; “Positive Permanent Changes – Part 3 – Resetting our Mind.”

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Positive Permanent Changes – Part 1 – Understanding our Mind

Lights of ideas
Positive Permanent Changes – Part 1 – Understanding our MindSaad Faruque / Foter / CC BY-SA

Our mind is more or less like the most complicated and most advance computer ever built. In fact calling our mind a computer is an understatement but due to lack of a better word I dared to do the comparison.

Many scientists and speakers have tried to explain our mind by giving the example of an iceberg. There is a very good reason for this and that is the design of an iceberg comes very close while explaining the two parts of our mind – the conscious mind and the subconscious also known as unconscious mind.

Well our conscious mind is ever learning and ever changing as it adapts and understands the changes around us. It deals with logical explanation and thinking. When it comes to mind our conscious mind is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the only part that we can change as frequent as required. We can update or if required make changes in it easily with some minimal efforts.

On the other hand our subconscious mind is the bulkier part of the iceberg. Everything we do to live or survive is programmed in our subconscious mind. We do not have to think logically about how to breathe or eat or walk or sleep as all is taken care by our subconscious mind. Our bodily functions run on auto pilot because of our subconscious mind. Just imagine how hard our life would be if we would consciously try to breathe or talk or walk or do everything we so easily and smoothly do on autopilot; we might not survive a day.

Once our subconscious mind learns a new skill or develops a new habit it is as good as set in stone. Evolution has rewarded us with a rigid and stubborn subconscious mind.

“Our subconscious side is more interesting than the logic one because we are not subtotals to any problem at all.” — Frustiente

Our subconscious mind gets programmed in our early years with help of our parents, teachers and surroundings we learn our basics skills to live a normal life. This becomes our key foundation for our existence. In this same period we also get lots of beliefs engraved in our subconscious mind. Beliefs those are important for our family, community, nation or the entire world. I have mentioned engraved here as it is difficult to change belief that is set in our subconscious mind. These beliefs give us our identity and our personality. These beliefs shape our future as our thoughts are highly dominated by our rooted beliefs.

We can always see a lot of similarity among people’s preferences when they have common beliefs. This concept is explained in detail in great books like Think and Grow Rich, Science of Getting Rich, Richest Man in Babylon or Rich Dad Poor Dad.”

Having an immovable subconscious mind is a good idea if we are thinking about beliefs, skills and habits that are beneficial for us but what if our mind has deep settled beliefs and habits that are self sabotaging? Is it possible to change some of our beliefs or habits for good? Can we reprogrammed our stubborn subconscious mind as we want? The good news is “Yes we can.”

It is a slow process but with patience and efforts we surely can make a positive permanent change in our subconscious mind. Well this will take a whole new post so let’s talk about this in the next post “Positive Permanent Changes – Part 2 – How Our Mind Learns”

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What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Did this question ever cross your mind? I am sure at least once in your life you must have taken a pause for just minutes and asked yourself “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?”

Was there an answer that came up from within your mind, heart or soul? If yes did it feel right? There are millions of questions regarding our purpose of life and no one but the person living that particular life can come up with the right answer.

I love movies as much as I love books and some movies just like some books get a special place in my heart as they teach me something that I was desperate to learn. “Hugo” is one of those special movies and one scene in it has made an imprint in my mind. It beautifully tells us about our purpose and our importance in world.

If you have seen “Hugo” you can easily guess the scene but for those who are yet to see this amazing movie I am happy to paste the clip here.

In the most simple words Hugo explains how everything even non living machines have a purpose and a person who has lost his/her purpose is broken. He also tells that the whole world is a big machine and as machine never comes with extra parts, we fit perfectly in the world that means we are here for a reason.

Now when we know that we are here for a reason then doesn’t it become our top most priority to find out our purpose of life?

Here is a solution to find out the purpose of your life (but this will require a lot of time and patience):

Write on a sheet of paper or in a word document a list of things that come to your mind when you ask yourself “What is my purpose?” Keep writing till you find an answer that you strongly feel about and cannot think of anything else as your purpose after that answer.

The stronger you feel about something the higher the chance that is your purpose or your role in this big divine machine we call the world.

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle

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Dealing with Difficult People – Complainer/ Whiner (Part 1)

Dealing with Difficult People – Complainer/ Whiner Caucas’ / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

Some people complain about everything under the sun. We find them in our home, in our neighborhood, in our workplace or even when we go on a vacation. Sometimes these complains are genuine but what to do when we have to deal with a chronic complainer.

“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.” – Lord Jeffrey

A chronic complainer is a person who finds fault in everything and everyone around him/ her and makes everyone around
aware of the fault. A chronic complainer highlights the negative points in everything no matter how good the situation is. Nobody enjoys the company of a complainer/ whiner and dealing with a chronic complainer is very stressful and challenging.

“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.”-Anthony J. D’Angelo

Have you noticed how tired and low you feel after listening to complainers long list of complains. This happens because the complainers are energy drainers our brain shutdowns and losses energy when we constant hear whining and complaints. Avoiding such people is not always possible so how to save our brain cells from melting in the presence of such negativity.

“Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.”-German Proverb

I have divided complainers in two categories: –

1. Loved ones:

It is emotionally challenging and very frustrating to deal with a loved one who starts behaving like a chronic complainer. We feel the pressure to support and sympathies the complainer and we try to make everything as pleasant as possible to stop the complaints.

“He that falls by himself never cries.” – Turkish proverb

You may try solving all the problems the complainer is talking about and you may get mentally and physically exhausted. Still it should not come as a surprise to you if the complainer keeps complaining even if everything is perfectly good because a chronic complainer can find faults in anything and everything.

Tough love is the only solution when you want a loved one to stop whining. Talk back to the complainer in firm and clear voice.

If the complainer is complaining about something not so bad say clearly and firmly; “That’s not so bad.” or “It doesn’t bother me that much.”

If the complainer is repeating complaints from past and not letting it go; say something like “Didn’t we just discuss about this an hour ago?”

When you find the complainer in a calmer mood discuss your concerns about his/ her chronic complaining habit. Help him/ her become aware of the problem. Tell how you feel about it. If the complainer cares about you in the same way you care about him/ her you will see immediate improvement in the behavior.

You may get into lots of arguments and fights as the complainer will go into a complete denial stage initially but when he/ she wants to change and ask for your help you can suggest a remedy mentioned in the book by Will Bowen; “A Complaint Free World” – ware a rubber band or thread or bracelet on one of your wrists and change it to the other wrist every time you complain. Your goal is to go 21 days without changing it from one wrist to another. If you can go 21 days without a single complaint you can get cured of becoming a chronic complainer. You will also become a positive, happy person that others love to have around.

“Complain to one who can help you.” – Yugoslavian proverb

2nd category continued in “Dealing with Difficult People – Complainer/ Whiner (Part 2)”

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Best Money Advice – The Richest Man in Babylon.

 The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon

Money is the most confused necessity of life. We grow up with such mixed teachings and suggestions about money that by the time we start earning we are not sure how to invest it wisely.

The lack of clarity about money is the main reason, why most of us do not understand how to grow our finances or get out of debt and even after earning our whole life we still find it hard to have a comfortable nest egg for life after retirement.

“The Richest Man in Babylon” is one of those very few books who have successfully uncomplicated money matters for the readers. The author of this book George S. Clason has given very simple instructions about how to live a wealthy life. This book was first published in 1926 the advice is very much relevant for today’s generation.

I found this book extremely easy to follow. If you want to improve your financial condition and your habits related to money and you get dizzy when you try to read the complicated financial books with lots of charts and tables I suggest you start with this simple and engaging book like I did.

There are many more books that can further help you on your way to abundance like Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad Poor Dad or The Science of Getting Rich and similar treasures you should collect.

One of the Teachings from The Richest Man in Babylon: 7 cures for a lean purse:

1. Start keeping 10% of all you earn:

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” — Epictetus

The book suggests “A part of all I earn is mine to keep”. Pay yourself first at least 10% of all you earn. You can increase this to 20% or more as you go along in this financial journey. Always pay yourself first no matter how little or lot you earn.

2. Control your expenses:

“Too many people spend money they earned; to buy things they don’t want; to impress people that they don’t like.” — Will Rogers.

Budget your expenses. Spend less than 90% of income. As you pay yourself 10% you have to control your expenses within remaining 90%. Today we are surrounded with so much temptation to spend more than we earn by using credit or instalments or what not but we must not blindly fall prey to the luring advertisements and buy things we don’t need.

If we do have to buy some lifestyle products that have become a necessity in today’s world then I highly suggest you keep a check on discounts and sales that slash down the price low enough for us to enjoy the luxury within a budget.

I recently stumbled upon an amazing website called CupoNation which has so many great deals and coupons that can help you get lifestyle products at a very affordable price. This website is definitely a great way to save a lot of money as it is filled with many options of sales and discounts.

3. Make the money work and it’s children work:

So what to do with the 10% you pay yourself. Well invest it wisely. Take advice from someone who is good with investments. Please never consult someone about investments who is bad with their own money.

When you get returns from these investments called as your money’s children in this book make them work too. Keep on investing the 10% and it’s children so you can create multiple streams of wealth flowing towards you.

4. Secure the investment:

Most people are scared to invest money as they fear they may lose it all. With proper study we can find safe options to invest. Start small and be safe. Study opportunities in details. Don’t take risk. Invest only where the principle is safe. I cannot say this enough take advice from someone who knows about investments.

5. Own my home:

This is the most difficult cure for a lean purse as the property rates have gone so high that it seems almost impossible to be a homeowner especially in the city of Mumbai where I am based but this goal should be a priority in our mind. Try to achieve this goal as soon as possible.

6. Prepare for the future:

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.” — Mark Twain

Provide in advance. Keep a small investment every week or month regularly for old age. Invest in properties that will grow in value for the future.

7. Desire to become rich:

Make a burning desire to become wealthy. Sharpen your skills. Increase your ability of your craft. No matter what your work is there should always be progress so that the streams of income will keep flowing and increasing. Study about your work, your skills, about money or investments and become wiser.

“Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.” — Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)

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Are you ready to play the hand that is dealt for you?

Fan Flourish
Are you ready to play with the hand that is dealt for you?Heo2035 / / CC BY-NC

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” — Jawaharal Nehru

Lately I have been a bit lazy with my writing and my workout even some of my housework. Most of my excuses were like; “I don’t feel like doing it now.” or “I’ll do this tomorrow.” Or “I don’t feel so good.” Or “I have a backache or my legs are killing me.” I knew I was just giving excuses and avoiding work and also feeling guilty about it but somehow I was not able to shake this feeling.

Something miraculous happened. I stumbled upon not one but two amazing videos and this was completely by accident. I did not search for these and do not recollect how I ended up watching these videos but that was exactly the medicine I needed.

So if you suffer from the same laziness syndrome. I recommend my prescription of these two videos. It will completely change the way you look at life. I always tell everyone to be thankful for everything they have and maybe it was slipping from my mind but these videos were like two tight slaps on my sluggishness. I am amazed by the amazing encouraging people in these videos I am sure there are many more like these heroes out there. I salute their courage and willpower.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.” — Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

Two statements from these videos I will never forget. These are so much meaningful now; “Where there is a will there is a way.” and “It matters how are you gonna finish. If you are gonna finish strong then you will find that strenght to get up?”

Go ahead watch these videos and let me know what you think about these. If they give you any encouragement I would love to read about it in your comments.


What’s your excuse? I don’t have an excuse anymore.

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