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7 Mind Traps That Steal Our Happiness – Trap 1. What Other People Think About Me?

Gossiping Ducks.
7 Mind Traps That Steal Our Happiness – Trap 1. What Other People Think About Me?foxypar4 / Foter / CC BY

Is happiness difficult to find or we keep losing it bit by bit because of our mindset. In my search to save happiness from leaking away; I found 7 major mind traps that can actually steal our happiness. To discuss each in details I think it will be a good idea to talk about one or two at a time.

Trap 1. What Other People Think About Me?

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” — Laozi

A child comes crying home from school. He runs in his mother’s arms and cries for a while. The mother tries to calm him down and asks him what the matter was. Wiping his tears he tells her that everyone in school taunts him and teases him. They all call him stupid and ugly. They make fun of him for being slow in school work.

Scenario 1: The mother consoles him that he is smart and beautiful. He should not care about his classmate’s remarks and he should completely ignore them. She promises herself to help him study harder so that he can do well in school. She understands his pain and tries to help him overcome the challenge in his early age.

Scenario 2: The mother first gets angry about situation. Then she remembers that the neighborhood children go to the same school so they might tell their parents about this. What will the neighbors think about my son? They will blame me for his failure in school. I will be labeled as a bad mother. How will I face my neighbors now? In her fit of anger she yells at the child to go study and tells him that he will not be allowed to play or watch TV till his grades get better.

One situation handled in two different ways. Will the result be different? Of course it will be. Which scenario will help the kid overcome his problem? My guess is the first scenario. The mother makes the kid comfortable gives him the most important lesson of life to not let others opinion affect him and then tries to help him solve the problem.

This kind of response will give the child confidence that he can come to his mother with any problem and she will listen, understand and suggest him what he can do. He will always share everything about his life with his mother and their relationship will become stronger.

In the second case the child will get terrified by the thought of telling his mother any of his troubles. He was already low and she made him feel worse she even punished him. He will stop sharing everything with his mother. He will only tell her what she wants to hear so he can avoid any unpleasant reaction from his mother. He will keep secrets from his mother and will find some other person who will listen about his troubles and help him overcome them. This other person can be his father, a sibling, a relative, a friend, a teacher or any other person this child finds easy to connect with as his connection with his mother will become weaker.

“The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think.” — C. JoyBell C.

These scenarios were my attempt to highlight how dangerous it can be to think about others people’s onions. Why do we give others especially people who talk behind our backs so much control of our life? How does it matter what others think about us? People make such stupid mistakes trying to impress others that they completely lose focus from things that our actually important.

People will always talk and gossip about you and everyone else. No matter what you do, they will always find a way to talk about you behind your back. The day we set our mind to ignore what other people think about will be the day we will experience true freedom. Give it a try. Do something without a single thought of others opinion. Once you taste this freedom I am sure you will never ever care about what others think about you.

Dr. Wayne Dyer gives a beautiful explanation about the fear of others opinion. He says there are two things we need to think about character and reputation. One person can have many reputations as reputation is nothing but opinion of others so if 100 people know that person he will have 100 reputations as everybody will look at him in a unique way. So it really does not matter who thinks what about you as those opinions will constantly keep changing and updating.

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” — Brigham Young

Character is far more important. It is what we think about ourselves. Character builds our reality. It controls our subconscious mind that controls our every action. The only opinion that matters is our own. Plus it is far easier to work on one character then hundreds of reputations. Strong character will build an amazing life.

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Our First Valentine’s Day – My Platinum Day of Love.

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Our First Valentine’s Daylaurenz / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Young love gets very excited with first of everything; first date, first kiss, first movie together, first New Year’s Eve together, and the biggie – the very first Valentine’s Day. To recall my Platinum Day of Love I mentally scanned millions of memories and out of many one stood out as the earliest one.

This memory is more than 13 years old but I still remember like it happened yesterday. Before visiting my Platinum Day of Love let me give you some background. I met my husband 10 years before we tied the knot. I won’t say it was love at first sight but we instantly become good friends. Our interests were similar like we loved the same kind of food, movies, places to hang out and all those little things played a big role to get us closer to each other.

That year the Valentine’s Day was special for me. It was my first year out of a very strict all girls school and in college. I was looking towards celebrating my first ever grown up romantic valentine party arranged by the seniors of my college.

I planned the dress, makeup & hair, the shoes that will go with the dress and everything well in advanced now all I needed for my perfect romantic Valentine party was a date. Don’t get me wrong some boys did ask me (I remember at least 4) some well in advanced but all those were turned down and some very harshly by my best friend. He had a strong negative opinion about every boy who tried to be my date for the Valentine’s party.

He was against the concept of Valentine’s Day like Grinch against Christmas. Everyone in my college was excited about the romantic day except the one person I really wanted to celebrate with. He was having debates about how the day is nothing but a commercial celebration and how the greeting cards, flowers and chocolate industries rip off gullible youngsters. I imagined him as the prince charming in my fairy tale and he was behaving like the fire-breathing dragon guarding the tower.

The day before the party we were hanging out with our friends; one of them asked what would my perfect Valentine’s Day be like and without a thought I said a long romantic bike ride to some beautiful place. He looked at me and gave me a smile. We did share a moment but we both didn’t have the guts to tell our true feelings for each other. All my friends decided to go to the party as a group and not in pairs thanks to the grumbling of the Valentine Grinch in our group.

The next morning as planned I packed my dress, makeup and shoes in a bag. We were going to attend the party right after classes. Deep in my thoughts I was getting dressed for my early morning classes. I remembered how he drove away every guy trying to ask me for a date. Maybe that is his way of showing he thinks of me more than a friend. May be when the time is right we will get to the place where telling each other about our feelings will not be so awkward.

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was rising, and the winter was very well showing its presence in Pune. I got in the bus that I regularly took for college and just like any other day I buried my head in a book. This was a very early bus and hardly had any passengers, I sat near a window to enjoy the cool winter breeze. Honking from a motorcycle distracted my reading. I looked out of the window and noticed two of my friends on a bike riding along my bus.

Aditi sitting behind held out a big chart paper having a huge “B” written on it; I waved to ask her what are doing but they rode ahead. Another bike with two more of my friends rode along the bus and Sarika who was sitting behind held another sign that read “My”. I was thrilled and a bit embarrassed with this act of my friends as everyone in that bus including the conductor was looking at these signs. The conductor made it more embarrassing as he was reading the signs out load.

After the second bike moved ahead along came the third bike on which Radhika sitting behind held out a sign that read “Valentine.” The conductor promptly read it out loud. Then he said out the whole sentence with the excitement of a child solving a puzzle; “B My Valentine.” Some in the bus giggled and some shook their head in disapproval for the crazy act of the youngsters.

I hid my face with my book bit shocked with this surprise and then the fourth bike came along with only one rider, my price charming who came close to my window and yelled out; “If the answer is yes please get down at the next stop.” I could not believe what was happening. Nobody ever did anything like this for me and I couldn’t wait to see what else was planned by my friends. I got down at the next stop. My seven friends grinning like the Cheshire cat and their four motorcycles where waiting for me at that stop.

I looked in his eyes and saw a spark like never before. Today he was more than my best friend, today he was my valentine. I sat on his bike and we all drove towards our college. I rested my head on his back and closed my eyes. The cool touch of his leather jacket felt so nice against my cheek. I put my arms around him and held him tightly. I never wanted that moment to end.

When we reached college it looked completely different. Lots and lots of bikes where cluttered in front of the gate almost everyone from my class was standing there. “What’s going on?” I asked him. “Well, didn’t you say something about a bike ride? I spread that idea among our class mates and got an overwhelming response. Now we all our going for a long bike ride to Kashid beach, it will take roughly 3 to 4 hours and then back till night. We have planned to bunk the classes and ditch the senior’s party. Please tell me if you like the plan or would you like to do something else. Either ways I would love to spend this day with you.” He replied.

How could I say no to something like that and so our road trip started from college at around 7 am. Our convoy of 14 bikes and 28 youngsters mostly couples reached the beach before 11 am. The bike ride was tiring but the roads were beautiful. The roads had lush greenery on both sides and very less traffic compared to the city ones. Riding along with a huge group was such an amazing experience.

On that bike I felt close to him like never before. Several times he touched my hand in the most loving way. My hands were sometimes resting on his thigh or hugging his chest. He kept asking me if I was comfortable or if he needs to stop for a break all along the road. In the morning when it was cold he told me to put my hands in his jacket pockets to keep them warm.

The day we spent on the beach was mesmerizing. Most of my college mates enjoyed group activities but I just loved walking on the wet sand and feeling the waves on my feet. The tiredness from the journey melted in seconds as my feet touched the cool and soft sand. The ocean waves were inviting and a dip in them made the trip completely worth it.

Just before sunset and before leaving that beautiful place I wanted to take a last long walk on the beach. He joined me and we walked along the long beach holding hands, taking like we are dating for years, picking up any interesting shell that we spot in the sand and of course playing with the foamy waves with our feet. He suddenly stopped, “I think we came too far. We can’t even hear our friends. Let’s go back.”

We turned back but we stopped for few minutes to notice the most beautiful sunset we ever saw. The sky turned red it looked like the universe was blushing as we were getting closer. He held me from behind, his hands crossing near mine. I never felt so secured, so safe yet so vulnerable before. He kissed my cheek and they copied the blush of the sky. For us the world stood still for that moment. Our feelings for each other were clearer more than ever. That sunset was the end of all the awkwardness and confusion. That was the moment we became one.

My Platinum Day of Love was nothing like I dreamed or planned but it was magical. I did wear the dress and makeup I packed in my bag but on another day for our first date just the two of us. I thank God that it also went nothing as planned and that is a whole another story. Now every day I try to live my life not as per some schedule or plan but trying to recreate the magic I experienced on my Platinum Day of Love. Why Platinum because we are blessed with true love that does not fade with time and a precious metal like Platinum compliments our eternal love.

This post is specially created for Indiblogger’s Platinum Day of Love Contest.
platinum


This blog post was written for Indiblogger Contest.

5 tips to comfort your dog during fireworks


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5 tips to comfort your dog during fireworksmfhiatt / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

The festive season is close and firework stalls have opened in every nook and corner. For us a night of fireworks is a night of celebration but for the pets it can be nothing less than a nightmare.

Every year we hope that our fearful pup will react less to the noise and smell of fireworks; and every year it breaks our heart to watch him/her tremble with fear. In this situation if you play your role like a strong pack leader you minimize the anxiety level of your dog.

With the help of some research and preparation we can comfort our lovable pet and I am glad to share 5 tips that I found most helpful.

1. Prepare a safe place: Till now you must have noticed your dog’s safe place where he likes to go and hide when he senses anything he does not enjoy like fireworks or bath time. Prepare that place with clean and comfortable bedding. Keep some fresh water and some of his favorite treats in the food bowl. Placing some chew toys will make the hiding place more fun.

2. Exercise: Take your dog for a longer walk or play with him long enough to make him tired before the fireworks start. This will help him to be less excited during fireworks.

3. Indoors: Get your pet in the house long before the fireworks start. This will protect him/ her from running away and getting lost. After the fireworks cool down make sure that you take your dog for a walk in a clean area where he/she will not stumble upon burnt firework leftovers.

4. Id tag: Dogs do get scared enough to run away, get lost or worst get hurt where there are fireworks bursting everywhere. Make sure your Dog is wearing a comfortable collar and an identity tag that clearly gives your contact detail.

5. Stay calm: When the fireworks start at any time of the day or without any warning and you didn’t have time to prepare your dog, try to stay calm and do not overreact. If your dog is outside for any reason get him back in the house. Let him choose his hiding place and rather than cuddling him or making a big deal of him getting scared stay calm and behave normally. Your overreaction can create more panic for your pet.

You know what is best for your pet and how to keep him/ her comfortable during fireworks. I am sure that the above mentioned tips will come handy this festive season. I wish you all have an enjoyable and fun festival with your pet.

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

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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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Law of The Karmic Account – Dealing With A Difficult Relationship

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See No Evil, Say No Evil, Hear No EvilIndibang / Art Photos / CC BY-NC

In my last post “Karma Keeps An Account?” I discussed how it is not right to blame Karma for any misfortune in our life and by taking care of our thoughts, words and deeds we can change our Karma to positive. I also mentioned about Karmic account. Now let’s see how this account affects us and how to settle this for good.

The Karmic account keeps a record of the positive and negative exchange of energy between two souls. If you know someone who is in a difficult relationship (personal or professional) and for some reason cannot escape it, a little knowledge of Law of Karma can come to the rescue.

Here I want to make it clear that I am not trying to solve or discuss about domestic violence or serious mental trauma situations. In such cases I insist to take proper professional help.

I do believe in the famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt; “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

We have a special way to cope with the unpleasant relationships. We either;

1. Absorb the negative energy;

2. Withdraw self from the situation, or

3. Reflect back the negative energy,

All of the above mentioned three methods are unhealthy and it increases the bitterness in the relationship.

If we study the Law of Karma we understand a fourth method to transform the negative energy into positive and improve the relationship.

4. Transform negative energy to positive:

This may sound like a dream but it is possible and can be done with a lot of understanding and patience.

• When you face anything negative like blame or criticism and you know you are right on your part then keep calm and remind yourself that you are a powerful soul, a pure being, keep your cool

• The other person may not see your point or appreciate you now but will do so in time and even if that does not happen you are fine with it because you are at peace with yourself

• Never dwell upon hurtful remarks this only increases the pain. Instruct your mind to be calm.

• Detach yourself from the situation and study the reason for the dispute. It gets far clear when you see from a distance than being emotionally attached

• When you forgive and forget you reduce your own pain so take the high road whenever possible

• One needs a strong and powerful mind to stay calm in such situations or to forgive so meditation can be your best tool. Meditate daily and while or after meditation visualize being in a happy and loving relationship just as you desire

• Generate thoughts of love and peace for the person you want to improve your relationship with. If you send energy of love and peace you will get the same energy in return but as I mentioned earlier you will need a lot of patience

This is a lot of work, if you want to save the relationship it will all be worth it. On the other hand if you think you are done with the pain and cannot take it anymore. Then you will have to take a very serious, difficult and maybe permanent decision of moving on from that painful relationship and visualize yourself in a new loving relationship.

Again I will suggest Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualizationfor proper guidance to manifest a loving relation or anything else you desire.

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Being Classy!

Being Classy!!
Few days back a senior at work recommended my husband a classy new restaurant famous for its Mughlai cuisine. Mumbai has a lot of restaurants that serve kebabs, biryanis and tandoories; so what made this restaurant worth mentioning was its origin. Just like the senior and my husband this restaurant is from Kolkata.

After running four successful branches in Kolkata the restaurant’s owner decided to venture out in Mumbai. Anyone who had a slightest connection with Kolkata was pretty excited to try this new restaurant and my husband was no different. “Honey, do you know they serve biryani the way Bengalis like?” he showed excitement while taking about the new place he couldn’t wait to try. “That’s great”; I replied while imaging a pungent smell of mustard oil overpowering the taste of every spice in the biryani.

Last Saturday after an hour’s drive we reached the classy new place. A huge mob of people was waiting for their tables. I made my way through the crowd and found a restaurant staff taking care of table allotments. The exhausted man took down my name and informed me it might take more than an hour to get a table. I told him no problem and moved back to a side of the restaurants compound.

I looked at the crowd made of rich Bengali and Muslim families. The people standing out there with their expensive clothes, big jewellery and bigger attitude did not look happy about the situation. I noticed a takeout counter in a corner where some people were taking heavy parcels home. Near to it was a cook constantly making rolls like a street side stall in Kolkata. Looking at the response this place was getting I was happy to find a new place to dine on special occasions.

My husband entered after parking the car and looked at me from a distance; I pointed out the cook making rolls and he got a couple of rolls for us to eat while waiting. The rolls were tasty and our frustration shifted back to excitement for the famous biryani.

Finally we got a table; we ordered the biryani instantly. People who were enjoying their dinner inside showed no concern for the madness outside. They were chatting and laughing and were in no hurry. I noticed almost every table had biryani on it. These rich people were too classy and polished to notice the beautiful interior the restaurant had. It looked like a room in a Mughal Emperor’s palace with modern furniture. The staff was looking like they walked out of the Arabian Nights stories.

The famous biryani came and it looked colorless we assumed the meat must be below the white rice but after digging in we found just one bland boiled piece of meat. We called the waiter and he confirmed he gave us the right order. It tasted bland; it was a pile of greasy white steam rice with a piece of boiled meat. There was no flavor or spice. We pushed down almost half and told the waiter to pack the rest of it. I looked at others eating the biryani and they looked happy with it.

Not knowing how to react we left for home with our small parcel. When we reached home we noticed a stray dog looking at us with hope. My husband asked me lifting the parcel “Are you going to eat this?” I gestured no and he gave the rest of the famous biryani to the dog. The dog swiftly started eating. We looked closely and the dog looked very happy with that food. His satisfied impression matched the rich faces I saw in the restaurant.
Looking at the dog my husband said; “May be he gets it.”

“What?” I asked. He replied, “Being classy!”

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