Attitude Is Everything

I can’t overstate the importance of being able to maintain a positive attitude, but I’m the first one to admit that it’s not easy.

Wait to Worry

I used to worry. A lot. The more I fretted, the more proficient I became at it. Anxiety begets anxiety. I even worried that I worried too much! Ulcers might develop. My health could fail. My finances could deplete to pay the hospital bills.

A comedian once said, “I tried to drown my worries with gin, but my worries are equipped with flotation devices.” While not a drinker, I certainly could identify! My worries could swim, jump and pole vault!

To get some perspective, I visited a well known Dallas businessman, Fred Smith. Fred listened as I poured out my concerns and then said, “Vicki, you need to learn to wait to worry.”

As the words sank in, I asked Fred if he ever spent time fretting. (I was quite certain he wouldn’t admit it if he did. He was pretty full of testosterone–even at age 90.) To my surprise, he confessed that in years gone by he had been a top-notch worrier!

“I decided that I would wait to worry!” he explained. “I decided that I’d wait until I actually had a reason to worry–something that was happening, not just something that might happen–before I worried.”

“When I’m tempted to get alarmed,” he confided, “I tell myself, ‘Fred, you’ve got to wait to worry! Until you know differently, don’t worry.’ And I don’t. Waiting to worry helps me develop the habit of not worrying and that helps me not be tempted to worry.”

Fred possessed a quick mind and a gift for gab. As such, he became a captivating public speaker. “I frequently ask audiences what they were worried about this time last year. I get a lot of laughs,” he said, “because most people can’t remember. Then I ask if they have a current worry–you see nods from everybody. Then I remind them that the average worrier is 92% inefficient–only 8% of what we worry about ever comes true.”

Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.”

Most of us want to be positive. It’s advantageous to possess a sunny outlook. Doors open to optimists. They make friends, earn respect, close sales, produce loyal clients, and others enjoy and want to be like them. The question is, how can we do that consistently?

Om Namah Shivay

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The Secret of Happiness-1

Dragging my feet from one day to the next, what am I really doing? This one question is unavoidable in the life of every reasonable person. Call it existential crisis, midlife crisis or whatever you like. If you have lived your life by the book, and did all that you could to help others and yourself, this phase is inevitable.

Every sane person, at some point in their life, is plagued by a persistent feeling of emptiness. Everything is there but nothing is, you feel. There is no real reason to be unhappy and yet happiness is nowhere to be found. I have wealth, family, freedom, status, I should be happy, you think but life still kind of feels pointless. As if the more we acquire the emptier we feel.

Not every rich man feels empty and not every poor man feels fulfilled though. Not all the time anyway. Happiness is a flirtatious partner. You can’t bet on its loyalty or stability. Often we think happiness exists in my dreamland, a place where everything (and everyone) will move according to me. And since, life will function the way I want, I won’t have to deal with feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, anger and so on. This is a lofty and an ignorant view.

A life devoid of challenges and conflicts is not necessarily a happy life, in fact, it is immensely boring and will eventually lead to intense sadness and a big void. Our struggles teach us, they shape us.

Quoting Dr. Victor Frankl, whose philosophy bears significant and direct influence on my views shared in this post:

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.

Om Namah Shivay

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10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon-3

10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon-3

7. Some people are simply the wrong match for you.

You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down. You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material. If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them. If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition. There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.

8. It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.

It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.

Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU. 

9. What you own is not who YOU are.

Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need. That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.

You have to create your own culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.

Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is. “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.” And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important.

Om Namah Shivay

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Can you love others without loving yourself?

Once in a workshop, I was speaking about loving self and one gentleman started arguing. He said, uptil now we have been taught that we should never love ourselves and we should devote our lives to the service of others. I agree we should live in service but the big question is, can you give something to someone, which you do not have yourself? When you are deprived of something, you would keep asking for yourself and when you are asking for yourself all the time, then how can you give it to others?

 Whatever problems you see in others, whatever good things you see in others, actually are a reflection of the things you find in yourself. Whatever love you have been feeling for yourself reflects in love you feel for others. A mother also gives love to the child, because this is how she has been feeling. She feels it’s my child. A person who loves himself or herself unconditionally can only love others without expectations and unconditionally. A person who has not accepted himself completely can never accept others and this world completely. Whatever faults he would find in himself, he would find in others too. A person who does not feel good about himself, would also look at the world in same mirror. For him the world also would be a bad place.

Its a very noble intention to desire to give love to everyone you meet. However, that can only happen, if you have been loved enough. However, if you depend on others you would always be insecure and you would never be satisfied. It has to come from within you to satisfy you. Spend time alone, ask yourself what factors I do not like about myself, if there are some why they are there, do they matter. How can I accept myself unconditionally. What are the things I like in myself and how can I give them as a gift to the world. How do I love myself more. More you spend time with yourself and look inside, more you would know how vast you are. How limitless you are. You would realise there has never been a reason to judge yourself or evaluate yourself. You have always been complete and perfect. When you will be able to see your completeness, then you will be able to see completeness in the others and in this world.

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Love brings perfection. The realisation that you are not just the body but you are spirit comes through love.

Om Namah Shivay

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10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon-2

3. Being busy does NOT mean being productive.

Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.

Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

4. Some kind of failure always occurs before success.

Most mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.

If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful. The solution to this problem is making friends with failure. You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.

Bottom line: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.

5. Thinking and doing are two very different things.

Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Knowledge is basically useless without action. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.

And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.

6. You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.

Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.” It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.

Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

Om Namah Shivay

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10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon-1

You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.

This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

1. The average human life is relatively short.

We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

2. You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.

Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.

Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.

And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart. 

Om Namah Shivay

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Relationships

Relationships can either take the form of strength or weakness depending on the mind. If the mind is strong then relationships can be like a gift to us, but if the mind is weak and not in control, then relationships can feel like bondage.

How would you like to see yourself – happy and bubbling with enthusiasm or dull and difficult to please?

Often you like to be pleased, appeased and cajoled. So you put up a tough, upset face and act difficult to please. If a person has to appease and please ten people all the time, it will be so tiring. People who keep a long face and expect others to cajole and appease them make others run away.

Lovers often do this. They expend a lot of energy in cajoling and this brings down the joy and celebration of the moment. It is okay for you to show your upset mood or tendency once in a while, but doing it over and over again is taxing for you and the people you love.

If you feel low, appease and please yourself. Your need to be appeased by someone else is the sign of grossness. This is the root of ignorance. If you want attention, all you get is tension.

There is a secret about relationships. Women should never make their husband feel small.

If you tell your husband, ‘You are like a vegetable, good for nothing. You are a lazy goose!’ his self esteem goes down and he really becomes good for nothing. However, hopeless or weak he is, you should always tell him that he is the best. You should pump his ego.

The whole world may say that he has no brains, but you should not say that. As a spouse you should say, ‘You have the best brains in the world.

Just because you don’t use it, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any.’ In the same way, men should never pour cold water on women’s emotions. For women, emotional bonding is very important.

You should never complain about her parents, her father or her mother or sisters or brothers. If she herself complains, you keep quiet, don’t say anything.

If you oppose her parents, you will be in trouble and if you side with them, she will feel left out. Either way you are in trouble, so keep quiet. Simply move away from there or change the topic.

If in the relationship, both come from a sense of giving then there will be no problem. But if both want to take, there will be fights for sure. ‘I am here to contribute, what I can do for you?’ – your relationship will last longer with this attitude.

Similarly, don’t be feverish about a relationship, just relax and you will find your relationship with people will improve and become better. If you are like a leech, clinging on to somebody and bugging them, even though you say all nice words, that person will run away from you because they can’t handle it. One aspect is to give love, and another is to know how to handle love, receive love as well.

It needs only a centered, enlightened person. You have to be very much at ease with yourself. If you are at ease with yourself, everyone will be at ease with you.

Just be yourself. Be natural and simple. Relationships develop naturally. If you try to build a relationship that is when you become a little artificial and unnatural.

You like someone to be very honest, open, natural, unassuming with you. That is exactly what others also want from you. If you are a boss, what type of assistants or subordinates would you like? Someone who is open. And that is also what your boss wants. Don’t try hard to impress your boss, or impress your girlfriend or boyfriend. That is when everything goes wrong.

The best is to be yourself, natural, to be forgiving and to be in the present moment. It makes a big difference.

Om Namah Shivay

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