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नमस्ते, السلام عليكم, 你好, おはよう, γεια σας, hola, hallo, zdravstvuyte, Hi!

Sri Sri Daya Mata, President of Self-Realization Fellowship, puts it beautifully:

‘Visualize strongly the positive changes we want to make in our lives and to see manifest in this world, for out of the power of thought every worthwhile accomplishment is born.

‘The patterns we create in our mind mold our destiny and affect the lives of those around us.

Let us consciously choose to think positive, loving, confidence-inspiring thoughts, that we may tune in with the infinite Source of our being, and draw out the best in ourselves and others.’

धन्यवाद, شكرا لك, 감사합니다, ευχαριστία, danke, thank you…

Komarraju Venkata Vinay
Author, Affirmative Thinking

Hope

I am Hope. All is Well in my World

The flames of Hope shall ever keep burning in my heart. Come ravaging rain or hellish hail or storm or quake or flood or famine or devastating tsunami, my belief shall be firm that all will turn out for the best.

I will do what I can to heal or to harmonize, to support or to assist, to care or to share. And all the while, my heart shall thunder ‘all is well’.

Life may cut me pieces, wrench me or wreck me; it may burden me, burn me or bury me; it may tear me, torment me, torture me or terrorize me; it may stab me, starve me, hurt me or hang me; it may leave no room for me to live; yet my unconquerable soul shall roar ‘all is well’.

The world may reel under recession or drown in depression; it may be soaked in the blood of selfish wars or stomped under iron regimes; still my unbowed spirit shall shout ‘all is well’.

My affirmation will not perhaps change the world around me but it will surely hold my world together: my thoughts shall be sharper, my heart unafraid and my soul  steadfast on the chosen path. For while I live, I shall hope.

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Related thoughts of Great Men and Women

‘We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. ‘ – Martin Luther King, Jr.

‘Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit.’ – Norman Vincent Peale

‘Hope is always available to us. When we feel defeated, we need only take a deep breath and say, “Yes,” and hope will reappear.’- Monroe Forester

‘We judge of man’s wisdom by his hope.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘Hope is the last thing that dies in man; and though it be exceedingly deceitful, yet it is of this good use to us, that while we are traveling through life it conducts us in an easier and more pleasant way to our journey’s end.’ – François de la Rochefoucauld

‘He who does not hope to win has already lost.’ – Jose Joaquin Olmedo

‘”Hope” is the thing with feathers– That perches in the soul– And sings the tune without the words– And never stops–at all.’ – Emily Dickenson

Photo courtesy www.inmagine.com

I am always at the right age for I choose to grow up.

I realize that at every stage in life, I am at the prefect age. This, because I can be at a particular age only once. I may have been younger in the past. I may be older in the future. But now, as I am, I am at the right age. I lovingly acknowledge it and move forward.

I understand that age can add value or it can hold one back. It is a choice we make. I choose not to let my age limit me in any way. I choose to make it serve me as I travel on the highway of life.

I know, from the wisdom of the ages, that I cannot avoid growing old. Neither could Buddha nor Krishna nor Moses nor Christ. However, growing up is a decision we take. And I resolve to grow up.

But what is growing up? Growing up is about being directed by the mind, heart and spirit. It is about our quest to learn, our openness to love and our passion to pursue happiness. Growing up is about celebrating life with the right mix of a kid’s wonder and an adult’s wisdom.

And so my mind shall drink from the fountain of knowledge, my heart will feast on ambrosia of love and my spirit shall soar in the skies of ever-new joy.

And I shall keep growing up till the end of life!

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“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes.  That’s the day we truly grow up.”  – John Maxwell

“Growing up is never easy to do.  Some days you feel happy and carefree, and others you feel sad.  Some days you feel confident and self-assured, and other days you feel unsure.  Life can seem upside down, because you’re changing so quickly, but your life is made up of what you believe about yourself. Believe in your ability to succeed, and you will.  Believe in your ability to meet every difficult challenge, and you will.  Believe in your ability to give and receive love, and you will.  Believe in yourself.  You are a wonderful, unique person who is beginning to find out what the world is about and searching your place in it.  Have patience with yourself and love yourself.  Growing up isn’t easy, but you’ll make it.”  – Donna Levine

Picture courtesy from http://www.yesican.org/jonathan.html

Love Alchemy

Love Heals. I fill my Heart with Love.

All healing is within. I am aware that my thoughts shape me: physically, mentally, emotionally, economically, socially, and morally. In fact, in all ways!

As such, I realize that all illness, lack,  is materialized thought. Once I understand this, I heal myself by dissolving illness or lack in the most powerful of thoughts: Love.

Love is the greatest healing force ever. Everything it touches heals and becomes whole. Love rejuvenates the mind, recharges the heart, renews the spirit and fills one with boundless joy.

How, then, do I employ the healing power of love? By mentally addressing three magical words to all whom I meet or come across or live with: I Love You. I check my mind and heart and see if I am withholding love to anyone for any reason. If so, I radiate love and goodwill to them and accelerate the healing process.

As I do so, I throw open the floodgates of infinite healing to engulf me. And I am made complete, abundant.

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‘Even watching loving acts may improve immune function. It was reported that people shown documentaries of Mother Teresa’s work had increased levels of immunoglobulin-A in their saliva. This is the first live defence against viral infections and colds.’ – The Healing Power of Love by Roy Henshaw

‘Love is the alchemical elixir of life. Lovers live longer. Love is immortal. Love can never lose its own.

‘Love is the philosopher’s stone, the universal solvent that alchemically transmutes our imperfections. Love transforms us as rain transforms the seedling, bringing forth our greatest inner potential, our hidden virtues. In this way, love turns base metals into gold. Love alone can bring you happiness.

‘Love is the universal panacea. Love heals all wounds. Love enables us to forgive ourselves and others. Forgiveness releases the negative thoughts and feelings that imprison us in the isolation and unconscious motivation of ego and karma.’  – Back to the Garden Part 2: The Alchemy of Love by Curtis Lang

Related thoughts of Great Men and Women

‘There is no path greater than love. There is no law higher than love. And there is no goal beyond love. God and love are identical’ – Meher Baba

‘There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; No disease that enough love will not heal; No door that enough love will not open; No gulf that enough love will not bridge; No wall that enough love will not throw down’- Emmet Fox

‘We are shaped and fashioned by what we love’ – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Success

I am success. I am successful.

Success Naturally70,000 thoughts pass the brain in a day. Starting today, I become aware that there are only two types of thoughts in the 70,000: positive and negative. I do this because I know that success comes from positive thoughts and failure comes from negative thoughts.

I harness this 70,000 thought-power by consciously choosing positive thoughts for they generate positive energy which turns into positive actions. And positive actions result in successful outcomes.

I may have failed earlier a number of times or all the time. But now I know that failure is only a thought and thoughts can be changed. I am willing to change.

And how will I change?

I let the words ‘I am Success; I am Successful’ burn themselves into my heart. I watch the thought ‘I am Success; I am Successful’ sink into the subconscious mind.

I color every thought with the golden hue of ‘I am Success; I am Successful’. I see the thought ‘I am Success; I am Successful’ radiating from my mind in all directions like the rays of the Sun. I feel success thoughts returning to me multiplied and I am overflowing with the wealth of achievement.

I fill every idea with the perfume of ‘I am Success; I am Successful’. I hear my mind singing loudly ‘I am Success; I am Successful’. I touch everything with the thought ‘I am Success; I am Successful’ and it turns into success. I taste the sweetness of the thought ‘I am Success; I am Successful’ and enjoy it thoroughly.

In time, my brain becomes a 70,000 thought-power dynamo of success. And success comes naturally.

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How many thoughts does human brain think in a day? 70,000 is the number of thoughts that it is estimated the human brain produces on an average day. – Brain Health and Puzzles

‘I am success’ affirmation and inspiring, practical techniques to succeed is explained in detail in the e-Book Dynamic Thought, by Henry Thomas Hamblin at sacred-texts.com

Related thoughts of Great Men and Women

Material Success Affirmation by Paramhansa Yogananda from Scientific Healing Affirmations – 1924 edition: “Thou art my Father/ Success and joy. / I am Thy child / Success and joy.”

“If you envy successful people, you create a negative force field of attraction that repels you from ever doing the things that you need to do to be successful. If you admire successful people, you create a positive force field of attraction that draws you toward becoming more and more like the kinds of people that you want to be like.” Brian Tracy

The beautiful picture is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/esther-/1498191552

God

I am a child of God. I am one with God.

God is! I have not heard Your voice in the murmur of the clouds; I have not seen visions of You in my waking hours; I have not felt Your all-transforming touch but this I know, You are.

I know that Your Light surrounds me, that Your Love envelops me, that Your Power protects me and that Your Presence watches over me always. In countless ways, everyday, I realize that I am not alone, that You are with me.

The longer I live, the more I understand that nothing happens by chance in Your universe or our lives. As I look back, I see how Your Hand guided me at every step and I thank You for Your unconditional love and unceasing blessings.

All I need to do is to stay in touch with You. How? By reminding myself during the day, as often as possible, that You are with me. By relating all I do, with You.

When I see the sunrise, it is Your painting; when I eat food, it is Your power that digests; when I express love to my family, it is Your warmth that comforts; when I work, it is Your intelligence that performs; when I watch TV, it is Your energy that is harnessed.

During the busiest hours I stop for a moment and recall that You are with me. When I have moments of leisure, I share the time with You, talking to You as to my closest friend. This I do for I know God is.

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Nothing happens by accident in God’s universe or our lives.

Related thoughts of Great Men and Women

“The rishis wrote in one sentence profundities that commentating scholars busy themselves over for generations,” … “Endless literary controversy is for sluggard minds. What more liberating thought than ‘God is’nay, ‘God’?” Chapter 12, Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda.

What most people call thinking is what I call the recycled conditioning of society. Authentic thinking comes from inspiration. The Japanese have a word for thinking, kamkuru, which means “to return to the realm of God.” To me, God is the source of inspiration, and therefore the cause of genuine thinking. – Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Picture courtesy of Helix Nebula popularly called the Eye of God

To Read Step 1 Click Here

The Golden Rule of Cultivating Habits is this: work on ONE habit at a time. This principle is the foundation of cultivating Good Habits. We must remember this at all times.

In the Step II to good habits we will look into these:

  • Shifting from avoidance of pain to desire for pleasure mode
  • The Example of Getting up Early
  • The Rule of 21
  • Psycho-Cybernetics: Dr. Maxwell Maltz

Shifting from Avoidance of Pain to Desire for Pleasure Mode

Both modes of motivation – avoidance and desire for – work. Let us look closely at them.

The habits we call ‘Good’ – getting up early in the morning, exercising, reading an hour a day, learning a word a day, positive thinking, tolerance, compassion – are essentially beneficial to us. You can add your own list also.

The catch is that they do not produce pleasure immediately. The pain of forming them is greater than the pleasure.

Getting Up Early: How I Did It

I used to get up at 7 am in the morning and I decided to cultivate the habit of getting up at 5 am, the task was uphill. All the benefits, I knew, come after I leave the bed and it is leaving the bed that is painful. You get the point, don’t you?

Getting Up Early: What Did Not Work

This is what I used to do till I discovered the principle of pain and pleasure. I would in fact get up a few times to check the alarm. At times I would switch off the alarm or even change it. Or if it rang, I would simply shut it down. And go back to sleep happily. My guilt would return only after I got out of bed an hour or two later. Then I would vow it would be tomorrow. And tomorrow.

Getting Up Early: What Worked

Now this is what I do and get up joyfully.

I discovered that if I enjoy (pleasure principle) getting up, then getting up is easy. I also found out that getting up in the morning begins the night before as I go to bed.

I repeat to myself that I enjoy getting up. And in  the morning as the alarm rings, I  tell myself that I am enjoying getting up. I roll around telling myself I enjoy getting up. I stretch, twist, bend. I make the entire process of getting up pleasurable.

It takes about 10 minutes and I am up, up and awake.

The Shift to Pleasure Mode

All it takes to shift is this: make the process pleasurable. More often it is the pain in the process that is the biggest hurdle to cultivating good habits. Find your pleasure drives to form good habits.

The Rule of 21

It takes 21 days to form a habit. We all heard that, didn’t we?

I always wondered why. Why 21 days? I looked around knowing well that it is all in the brain. Habits definitely had their origin in the brain.

We discussed earlier in The First Step that habits are formed as a result of  neural pathways in the brain. These are physical pathways which control the way we think, the way we act and often the way we feel.  These paths are like ruts or grooves. They are hardwired, programmed.

Psycho-Cybernetics

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, M.D, F.I.C.S, a world renowned plastic surgeon in his book Psycho-Cybernetics explains: ‘It usually takes a minium of about 21 days to effect any perceptible change…when an arm or limb is amputated the ‘phantom limb’ persists for about 21 days…people must live in a new house for 3 weeks before begins to ‘seem like home’.

Brain circuits form memory traces called engrams and produce neural-connections and neural-pathways only if they are fired for 21 days in a row.

That did put my quest to rest. 21 days to a better me. A renewed me. A rewired me. A revitalized me.

End of Step-II To Read Step 1 Click Here

Step III will discuss these key points:

  • Self -Awareness: The Key to Change
  • Benjamin Franklin Method
  • Self-Talk Method
  • Listing Benefits Method

Step IV will discuss these key points:

  • Og Mangdino Method
  • Meditation Method
  • Visualization Method
  • Affirmation Method
  • Louise Hay Method

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Every habit is regulated by neurochemical patterns – Dr.Ajit

Creating New Neural Pathways – Sue Kira

Two Competing Neural Pathways in Your Brain

Related thoughts of Great Men and Women

“Only 10% of us die naturally from old age in our sleep. Another 10% die prematurely from bad luck. The rest of us — all 80% — will kill ourselves with bad habits.” – Dr. Lee Rice

“Thinking is a habit, and like any other habit, it can be changed; it just takes effort and repetition.” – John Eliot, Ph.D.

John Dryden observed that we first make our habits and then our habits  make us.  How true! Studies have shown that about 45% of our actions are habitual, that our brain consciously processes only 40 out of every 11,000 signals we receive from our senses.

Amazing! Is it not time we realized that our success or our health or our prosperity is based on the habits we form?

This is a three-part article. In the first step to good habits we will look into these:

  • What are Habits?
  • Brain Behind Habits
  • The Principle of Pain and Pleasure
  • What Motivates us: Pain or Pleasure?
  • What Are  Good Habits?
  • How to Cultivate Good Habits

What Are Habits?

The thoughts we think and actions we perform repeatedly become automatic. These automatic thoughts and actions are called habits.

A habit once formed does not involve conscious thought. It becomes automatic. Getting up early, exercising daily, positive thinking, taking the dog for a walk in the morning, writing a diary are all examples of habits. Habits help to perform complex actions easily. Imagine having to learn how to brush the teeth everyday.

The Brain Behind Habits

A habit, any habit, is first a thought, a simple electro-magnetic bio-chemical signal in the brain. This in turn triggers (‘fires’) another brain cell and that activates another brain cell, like a line of falling dominos creating a pattern or a pathway.

Once a pattern is formed, the brain finds it easier to work in the pathway. And with each repetition, the pathway becomes stronger. And a habit is born. This is how the brain forms habits.

It is important to understand this process because change also happens in the brain.

The Principle of Pain and Pleasure

I always wondered what drives us until I understood the principle of pain and pleasure. It is simply this: we are willing to do what we perceive will give us pleasure and are unwilling to do what we perceive will result in pain.

A little analysis shows all our actions are based on the desire for lasting happiness and removal of  pain and want. Our habits – good and bad – are built on this common, universal motive.

This principle is important as cultivating a good habit is about using the right pain-pleasure trigger.

What Motivates us: Pain or Pleasure?

We are in general more motivated to move away from pain than move toward pleasure. In other words, our desire to avoid pain is greater and more intense than the desire for happiness or pleasure.

Take a few seconds to think about it. Let it sink in. Now ask yourself, ‘What motivates me, pain or pleasure?’ Here are a few questions:

  • Do I  go to the office in time to avoid being penalized by the boss or am I on time for the pleasure of being punctual?
  • Do I visit a dentist to move away from my tooth ache or do I visit him twice a year to enjoy healthy, strong teeth?
  • Do I study in order not to fail or do I pursue my education for the pleasure of gaining knowledge and skills and building a great career?
  • Do I work to because I don’t want to be poor or do I work to become prosperous?
  • Do I finish my homework to avoid punishment or for the joy of work well done?
  • Is a God who is angry and vengeful more appealing or a God who loves unconditionally?

Once we learn what motivates us, cultivating a good habit or removing an unwanted habit becomes more streamlined, scientific.

What Are  Good Habits?

Our brain does not know the difference between a good habit and a bad one. So how do we know what is a good one or a bad one?

The answer is pretty simple: Whatever is healthy for the body and is strengthening to the mind is good.

Cultivating Good Habits

In order to cultivate good habits, we have to first identify them. How do we do this? By becoming aware of how strong our strengths are, by noticing what is needed to progress towards our goals, our desires, our aspirations, our dreams.

Once we identify the necessary habits, we can start working on cultivating them.  There are many proven methods. All of them are however based on four indisputable Ds:  Determination, Diligence, Discipline and Drive.

The Golden Rule of Cultivating Habits is this: work on ONE habit at a time.

End of Step I To Read Step 2 Click Here

Step II will discuss these key points:

  • Shifting from avoidance of pain to desire for pleasure mode
  • The Example of Getting up Early
  • The Rule of 21
  • Psycho-Cybernetics: Dr. Maxwell Maltz

Step III will discuss these key points:

  • Self -Awareness: The Key to Change
  • Benjamin Franklin Method
  • Self-Talk Method
  • Listing Benefits Method

Step IV will discuss these key points:

  • Og Mangdino Method
  • Meditation Method
  • Visualization Method
  • Affirmation Method
  • Louise Hay Method

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Habits Rule Our Lives

I am today the result of my thoughts

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Thoughts, Brain and Habits

Habits can be Both a Boon and a Bane to Humans

People are motivated by pain than pleasure

Related thoughts of Great Men and Women

Powerful indeed is the empire of habit – Pubilius Syrus

The skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame – Virginia Woolf

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