7 fool proof steps to plant a positive day

Planting a day? Does it mean, we can choose how our day is going to be? Yes! The steps given below are simple but do not underestimate its simplicity. It really works very effective when implemented.

        a) Planning – Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail!

 When you are about to go to sleep during the previous day, list out the things you want to do for the next day and prioritize them. Having a short list of about 5 tasks will suffice. Take one little baby step at a time. It may take approximately 15 minutes to do this. Also, have a rough frame on what you want to do towards each of the tasks.
Benefits:
  • Having a plan gives you focus
  • It avoids the starting trouble and helps you jump straightin to “doing” than wondering what to do first
  • You save a considerable amount of time everyday

    b) Getting things done  – Easy to say, now easier to do also!
Start simple. As simple as that!
It’s a myth that one has to get the toughest thing done at first, but in practical sense, it is better to get the most easiest done first, thereby adding to the list of ‘completed task’ than to struggle with the tough one. By the time you have finished your tough one or at least bought it to a shape, you are already exhausted and there is still more to do. Even the easier ones are left out. You end up feeling not having completed anything. Do we pickup the heavy weight the moment we enter the gym? No! We do warm ups. Then why change the time tested method which works fine? 🙂
So start simple. Focus on one thing at a time. See here on why multi-tasking is not only counter productive, but how it distracts you.
Benefits of starting simple:
  • gives a sense of accomplishment
  • you actually do complete tasks
  • the more you complete, the more you energized you are toget bigger tasks done
c) Great expectations – Expect success and you will find it!
Start your day with a energizing note, tell yourself literally ‘Today is a great day’ before even getting up from the bed. There is power in positive expectations. The brain gets wired to emotions, feelings and most importantly, repetition. What you keep repeating gets stronger in the mind. How is that our hands find it easy to reach our mouth, even if its dark? Mere repetition. Try the same with the other hand, you find it a little difficult, isn’t it? Repeat positive notes to yourself, though you may wonder why at first, it will work wonders in fact.
 
Neural PathwaysNeural Pathways. Image Courtesy – Annawrites.com
Here is an example from my own life. When I began preparing for a IT certification course, I had no clue how I was going to clear the so called ‘tough’ exam of that time. When I was on my way to the training center,the hoarding of Boost catches my eye. It had something like this on it “You can do it, you can prove it” with the cricketer Venkatesh Prasad in action. I use to repeat that to myself whenever I see it and feel it within me. It gave me a sense of confidence and made me believe that I really can come out of the exam with flying colors. And I did.
Dr. Abdul Kalam narrated this incident from his childhood. Climbing huge trees was his playtime hobby where on a stormy day, he and his playmate got stuck in one of these trees and the wind started blowing so heavily that it was enough to knock down the kids. The parents came rushing andthe father of the playmate shouted “don’t fall down” and that girldid exactly what they didn’t want. She fell down. Dr. Kalam’s father shouted “hold on tight” and that’s what happened. Our Kalam held the branch so tight till everything was normal. The moral of the story? The brain does not understand counter statements. Just say it straight and say it simple, it’seasier for our brains.
Now which one is easier to understand from the picture below?
 The brain understands direct statements better
The brain understands direct statements better
Benefits of positive expectations:
  • it works in the subtleties of your mind and does miracles
  • it has been proven that success or feeling satisfied isalso a habit and can be cultivated by this action
  • you are in a better position with positive thoughts thanthat of the opposite

d) Now here is a slap note – Do not indulge in newspaper humbugs in the mornings.

It’s a bold one, and it is true. If you want to do anything productive, get rid of this “collection of negatives” called newspapers and breaking news in the mornings. You can browse through them at a leisure time or when you have completed the task you listed. There is nothing other than knowing all the negatives happening around you by reading newspapers, especially in the mornings. No, I am not against ‘knowing what’s happening around you’ is wrong, but is that what you get when you read them or watch them in the television? The news media is highly manipulated one, at least here. They act. Simple. Shun them as poison and get to work on what’s productive and positive to you.

Also, get rid of any distractions such as opening Facebook the moment you get to work or personal mails. These are sure ways to get youdistracted. Focus on the task at hand instead. Facebook isn’t bad but the world will not fall apart if you haven’t updated your status on it. Facebook can wait till you complete what’s important. On the other hand, if you feel indulging in personal chores while at work, examine if you are enjoying your work. You may be feeling stagnant, bored or even unrecognized!

Benefits of staying away from media-crap:
  • less distraction
  • blocking all the negatives lets you focus on your work andleaves you with a lot more clearer mind
  • you realize that the news media is making you nothing shortof a dumb-head, by throwing all sorts of crap

e) Rise early and exercise – need we say more?

Do at least 5 Surya Namaskar everyday and see the results for yourself. One has to experience the benefit of getting up early than reading about it. This is the most important part of getting organized.

       Benefits:
  •         for a change, do it and you can list out the benefits yourself 🙂

f) Gratitude and love goes a long way – probably nothing else can go that long, not even Duracell.

Feel, literally feel the gratitude on everything around you.There are wonderful things happening at this very moment, can you imagine howbeautifully your body works, how your eyes read this and how fast your brain isinterpreting as and when you read?
The little finger in our hand, for instance, gets almostforgotten when its normal, but when it is hurt, it becomes the biggest issue inthe world for the individual. Appreciate every possible thing around you. Whatdo you think is the difference between a person of wisdom and us, but thisfeeling of love and gratitude?
Are you saying “I am not able to feel grateful becausecertain things aren’t happening the way I want it”? Well, things are nothappening probably because you are not feeling grateful. What is it going tocost you to express gratitude and love?
 
Gratitude goes a long way!
Gratitude goes a long way!

Imagecourtesy – http://joettles.com

Benefits:
  • feeling appreciated, feeling grounded and blessed
  • shift of focus, from ‘why things happen this way?’ TO ‘howblissful and blessed am I?’
  • like attracts like, gratitude and love attracts more of it
 g) Kick the deadline
Well, not to be taken literally. Simply don’t get bogged down with the deadline haunting you. If keep looking at the calendar and deadline is your habit, its time to break it. Take a deep breath (breathing is everything),and instead, focus on the task at hand and complete it.
Stopwatch
Questions to the reader:
What is the tiny bit from the above points that got your attention? Tell us why.
If you have interesting methods and tips on planning your day and getting organized, why don’t you share it here for the benefit of us all?

Breathing is everything

Take it in any sense, it is true. The doctor cannot agree more with that, or the yogi, even the athiest. If there is one thing which is truly common among every living thing in the planet, it is breathing. And this breathing is the key to everything says none other than the Masters of the Mind aka our sages, rishis, munis, raja-yogis, hatha-yogis, the crown of all, Patanjali Muni
 
Try this experiment. When you are about to sleep, watch your breathing. You will notice that it has reduced greatly and is almost subtle. Watch your breath after you have climbed up the stairs, the obvious difference is felt. But this is not all, the breathing holds the key to our very realization. The name Pranayama, which is derived from Prana or Life Force and Yama – the regulation is all about breathing properly.
 
GnanaBoomi’s favourite Swami Vivekananda narrated the following story to the western world, which conveys the importance of breathing. Let us see it in his own words.
 
There was once a minister to a great king. He fell into disgrace. The king, as a punishment, ordered him to be shut up in the top of a very high tower. This was done, and the minister was left there to perish. He had a faithful wife, however, who came to the tower at night and called to her husband at the top to know what she could do to help him. He told her to return to the tower the following night and bring with her a long rope, some stout twine, pack thread, silken thread, a beetle, and a little honey. Wondering much, the good wife obeyed her husband, and brought him the desired articles. The husband directed her to attach the silken thread firmly to the beetle, then to smear its horns with a drop of honey, and to set it free on the wall of the tower, with its head pointing upwards. She obeyed all these instructions, and the beetle started on its long journey. Smelling the honey ahead it slowly crept onwards, in the hope of reaching the honey, until at last it reached to top of the tower, when the minister grasped the beetle, and got possession of the silken thread. He told his wife to tie the other end to the pack thread, and after he had drawn up the pack thread, he repeated the process with the stout twine, and lastly with the rope. Then the rest was easy. The minister descended from the tower by means of the rope, and made his escape.In this body of ours the breath motion is the “silken thread”; by laying hold of and learning to control it we grasp the pack thread of the nerve currents, and from these the stout twine of our thoughts, and lastly the rope of Prana, controlling which we reach freedom.”

 
 
 We do not know anything about our own bodies; we cannot know. At best we can take a dead body, and cut it in pieces, and there are some who can take a live animal and cut it in pieces in order to see what is inside the body. Still, that has nothing to do with our own bodies. We know very little about them. Why do we not? Because our attention is not discriminating enough to catch the very fine movements that are going on within. We can know of them only when the mind becomes more subtle and enters, as it were, deeper into the body. To get the subtle perception we have to begin with the grosser perceptions. We have to get hold of that which is setting the whole engine in motion. That is the Prana, the most obvious manifestation of which is the breath. Then, along with the breath, we shall slowly enter the body, which will enable us to find out about the subtle forces, the nerve currents that are moving all over the body. As soon as we perceive and learn to feel them, we shall begin to get control over them, and over the body. The mind is also set in motion by these different nerve currents, so at last we shall reach the state of perfect control over the body and the mind, making both our servants. Knowledge is power. We have to get this power. So we must begin atthe beginning, with Pranayama.”
 
Marvelousis’nt it? Now if and when you feel imbalanced or angry or disappointed, know that it can be brought to a control by controlling your breathing.
 

Find the Core Of Your Being!

The superconscious mind and the body of the soul have been around a long time. This immortal body of yours has been around a long time, and it’s seen many lives come and go, many experiences pass by the windows of its eyes. Some need no explanation, because they are the playing out of vibrations. Others do need an explanation, the explanation that would come and impress you intellectually from your superconscious, would give you power maybe to face an experience that was yet to come. So, don’t analyze every nuance of a reaction or try to anticipate the next series of experiential patterns, for life is a series of experiences. They are all great experiences.

Hold your center. Find the place within you that has never ever changed, that’s been the same for many lives, that feeling that has been the same within you since you were a little child up to this very time. Find that! Catch that vibration, and you’ve caught the vibration of the soul and identified it to your intellectual mind and your instinctive area of the mind. Then build on that. Work with that. Say to yourself, “There’s something within me that never changes, no matter what happens.”
 

Work on the analogy that if your foot hurts, your head doesn’t hurt. If you have a pain in your stomach, it doesn’t mean that you have a pain in your hand. In the very same way, if your emotions are upset and you’re suffering, there’s an area within you that’s calm, peaceful, dynamic, vibrant, watching. That’s the body of the soul. Work with that. Find that within you that has never changed, never will change, cannot change. All it can do is become more than what it is. This will give you understanding. This will allow you to innersearch, because you have an inner anchor which you’re always trying to get into. You have identified the core of yourself very, very thoroughly. And each time you have unwound the emotional patterns and the intellectual patterns of an experience, you’ve graduated out of that classroom and you’re on to greater and fuller experiences in this lifetime. If you would like to live a lifetime where you have no experiences at all, because you don’t like experiences — you’ve had a lot of experiences that have been distasteful to you — you cannot do it on this planet. Lifetimes don’t come about that way on this planet. But the core of you is the observer of all experience of the emotional, the instinctive, the intellectual areas of the mind.

The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi – Silence and Solitude

 
Devotee: Is a vow of silence useful?

Maharshi: The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego.
 
Devotee: Is solitude necessary for a sannyasin ?
 
Maharshi: Solitude is in the mind of a man. One might be in the thick of the world and yet maintain perfect serenity of mind; such a person is always in solitude. Another may stay in the forest, but still be
unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is an attitude of the mind; a man attached to the things of life cannot get solitude, wherever he may be. A detached man is always in
solitude.

Devotee: What is mauna?
 
Sri Ramana Maharishi
 

Maharshi: That state which transcends speech and thought is mauna; it is meditation without mental activity. Subjugation of the mind is meditation; deep meditation is eternal speech. Silence is ever
speaking; it is the perennial flow of ‘language’. It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute ‘language’. Lectures may entertain individuals for hours without improving them. Silence, on the other hand, is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. By silence, eloquence is meant. Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. Silence is unceasing eloquence … It is the best language.
There is a state when words cease and silence prevails.

~ Courtesy: Sri Ramanasrama, Tiruvannamalai

Questioning – a vital base of Sanatana Dharma

 Perhaps, the core of Sanatana Dharma is solidified with this very attribute of Questioning. It is only by questioning, inquiring that one learns. It is also a proof to good listening, to ask good questions. Quite interestingly, almost any form of thought which is directed to learning is a question. Our ancestors used this natural way of the mind to imbibe their teachings. They not only encourage us question them, but dares us to challenge their claims!

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Our Puranas illustrate a lot of dialogues between characters. Be it Yudhisthira answering the Yaksha’s questions in the Mahabharata or Arjuna questioning the Lord Himself through which the wonderful Gita was uttered by Lord Krishna, or Nachiketa questioning the Lord of Death to know what the absolute truth is, our Dharma encourages us to question more. It is said that the Vedas are a compiled formation of questions and answers.

The present is echoed with a lot of questions raised (thankfully) by our younger generation, by the non-believers and on-lookers, urging us to check our authentic references for answers. It is a common misconception that the young ones question a lot and they don’t quite follow what has been said. Contrary to this, given the proper answer, they are clear and keen on following something than the skimmers and old ones who will know some facts here and there and quote it during their meetings with foreigners only to show off. They seldom know that the foreigners know much deeper about Sanatana Dharma than themselves.

Coming back, the guru-shishya (guru-disciple) parampara is a wonderful method of questioning and enlightening the inquisitive mind. The guru not only answers, but propels the student to question more, thereby expanding his field of knowledge. The children are to be taken as a role model in questioning. They question everything and don’t pollute their minds with unwanted blocks. They question what they don’t know, what interests them, simple. The very first of Lord Buddha’s eightfold path is ‘Right View’, which means to see and understand things as they really are. Needless to say, asking the right questions will help one get the real view about something.

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Here is an excerpt from Adi Shankaracharya’s Prashnothara Ratna Malika, a wonderful name which means Gem-Garland of Questions & Answers!

” Oh Lord! Which is to be taken?

The utterances of the Guru (Guruvachanam!)

The next question naturally is…

“Who is a Guru?

“One who has realized the truth and ever strives for the good of the disciple”

Today, in the myriads of corporate gurus and self-proclaimed gurus, the above answer can be easily read as “the one who never cares for the good of the disciple”. So care must be taken in posting the right question and to find the right Guru. Though this looks like a daunting task, it is said in the scriptures that for the right student who yearns for the guru, the right Guru will appear. Till then, keep your eligibility criteria under check and beware of the pseudo and boasting ones who call themselves as modern-age gurus.

Let’s ask right questions to get the right answers and never stop till we get it.

 

 

One more time!

An aged king called upon his son and handed over a small box saying ‘when you are feeling stuck and think of giving up, open this box and do what it says’. The son takes over as a king and for sure gets stuck in something and feels overwhelmed. Remembering what his Father had said, he opened up the small box. A text carved in a stone read:
“Try, one more time!”

The son thought ‘there must be something that my Dad wanted to teach’. He felt energized and went on with a fresh new perspective and was able to tackle the situation. Thereafter, he returned to this magic box whenever he felt stuck.

 

The difference between winners and the fence sitters is not extraordinary capabilities or a specialty that they alone possess. They haven’t attended any special coaching from any gurus. They are just like you and me but with a small difference in their mindset, a mindset that can be obtained by everyone, fortunately. They started off humbly, with almost nothing but faith in themselves and their idea and were mostly surrounded by critics who discouraged them and their ideas. But they stood firm and went on doing what they believed  just one more time and didn’t give up.

When we feel like giving up, or feeling down, the mind gets clouded where we lose interest in everything. The simple help we can do to ourselves is to read a couple of lines from our role models or recall an inspiring phrase, experience or even a movie scene or song, but above all, use this time-tested, highly recommended and proven technique – “do it just one more time” anyway. 
And if you feel this often, do some self-enquiry. The reason could be just the force of habit; even feeling down frequently is a habit. We know that a habit can be strengthened or weakened. Weaken the negative thought by ignoring it and reinforce with a powerful, reverse action, a positive one. Our mind replaces the neural connection that fires the negative feeling with a positive one. Our part is to replace the negative with an empowering positive action. However small it may be, as long as it is done repetitively, the
results are sure to show up.
Make it a habit and just do it one more time. Do it without worrying about the results. Did you know the long-term benefit of brushing your teeth when you began? You just did and it goes well even now. The same holds true to your thoughts. Just do it one more time and don’t give up, like the winners below.

NarayanaMurthy, Infosys

You become a star not because of your title;  you become a star because you are adding star value…”

 
Kiran Mazumdar, Biocon
“Today anything can be done!”
Try, one more time!