Monday, January 31, 2011

You Are Good.......

There is a verse by Kabir: “I went to find a bad person in the universe, and I found none. (बुरा जो देखन मैं चला बुरा मिल्या कोई जो मन खोजा आपना तो मुझसे बुरा कोई)“ All human beings are good! There are negative tendencies in people but that is not the basic human nature.

That is only on the circumference.

Why do we behave negatively? Because we are hurt.
A happy, joyful person will never do harm to anyone.

Antidote to jealousy is the knowledge that everybody is going to die. You and the person, whom you are jealous of, are both going to die. It is better to compare yourself with your own self. How you were 10 years or five years ago and what you can be yet tomorrow. The fact that you are a sane human being is enough.

What to do if you are jealous of other people?

1, Know that the person has done some good karma in the past and they are now reaping the fruit.
2, Take it as an inspiration to gain merit now.
3, Create a sense of belongingness with them. See that they are a part of you.
4, Think of all you have that they don't have and feel grateful.
5. Think of so many others who have much less than you have.

What to do if others are jealous of you?

1, Praise them in superlatives.
2, Create a sense of belongingness in them by your kind actions.
3, Know that their feelings are temporary.
4,The best is not to recognise their envy or jealousy at all. If you recognise a feeling as a reality, it only makes your ignorance grow.
5, Know all feelings and emotions are just like passing clouds.

In the Geeta, Krishna talks about all the good qualities. and then He adds that they are already in you. Just like in an atom, the core is positive and the negativity is peripheral. Don't ever think deep inside you is all sorrow or anger or jealousy. Know that it's not in the core.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marriage is good for physical as well as mental health - Studies

Washington, Jan 28 (ANI): Long-term committed relationships are good for mental as well as physical health and this benefit increases over time, suggests a new study.

David and John Gallacher from Cardiff University say that on average married people live longer.
They say that women in committed relationships have better mental health, while men in committed relationships have better physical health, and they conclude that, "on balance it probably is worth making the effort."

Men's physical health probably improves because of their partner's positive influence on their lifestyle and "the mental bonus for women may be due to a greater emphasis on the importance of the relationship", they write.
But the journey of true love does not always run smoothly, maintain the authors, pointing to evidence that relationships in adolescence are associated with increased adolescent depressive symptoms.

And not all relationships are good for you, they add, referring to evidence that single people have better mental health than those in strained relationships.

They also confirm that breaking up is hard to do, saying "exiting a relationship is distressing" and divorce can have a devastating impact on individuals. Having numerous partners is also linked with a risk of earlier death.
They conclude that while relationship failures can harm health this is not a reason to avoid them. A good relationship will improve both physical and mental health and perhaps the thing to do is to try to avoid a bad relationship rather than not getting into a relationship at all.

The study has been published in the Student BMJ. (ANI)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Watch out while sharing secrets with spouse

Being privy to every little quirk of your partner might not prove beneficial to your relationship... 

Lovelorn couples; here's a red alert! Sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on endless mugs of coffee and having a conversation to know 'absolutely everything' about each other might really get you nowhere. A recent study claims that not knowing your partner could be the key to a long-lasting relationship.

The study, conducted by two psychologists from a renowned Swiss university, found that couples married for an average of 40 years know less about one another's preferences than do partners who have been married or in committed relationships for a year or two. For many, the only explanation to the outcome of this study is that not knowing and liking is a better option than knowing and not liking. Simply put, ignorance is bliss.

Art dealer Vedhika Choudhurry completely agrees with this theory. She says, "If I come to know my husband smokes, flirts with his PA at work and is a closet misogynist, would I want to stay with him? Never. I find it better not to know what his faults are and accept him at face value rather than find out what he really is and go knocking on the doors of the family court!"

Psychologist Namitha says this study can be perceived in two ways. "One, people find denial more comforting than the hard truth," she says, "Another way to look at it is that rather than getting to know everything about a person in a short span, getting to know them over a number of years, discovering something new about them every day as you grow older, could be the secret magic ingredient. The best way to go about it is to achieve a balance in how much you disclose because as bad as it may sound, sometimes complete honesty really does kill."

This study might come as an irony of sorts in this age — a time that hails and celebrates the virtues of live-in relationships. An increasing number of young couples are opting for this marriage-without-being-married concept so they can get to know their partner inside out before saying the sealing 'I Dos'. Software engineer Kamal Krishnan says, "On one hand, it gives me jitters when I think of marrying someone I don't know entirely. On the other, there's got to be a darned good reason why couples who get married after a live-in period still split. It might have to do with raised expectations. For example, when you're courting, you find out everything about your partner, you remember that they don't like onions in their food. After marriage, if you happen to forget this little detail, all hell breaks loose. Might as well maintain some ambiguity from the word go, then."

However, happily married for 30 years, bank manager Saraswati Ramachandran rubbishes this study. "I think it's absolutely necessary to know what kind of a person your partner is. To know his likes and dislikes, his personality traits, his attitude and aptitude is a must. After all, you have to spend forever with him — he's not a roommate, he's your soul mate."

With change comes creativity. Welcome it

Creativity and change are closely related as they depend on each other.

When change take place in your life, it takes creativity to get through it. Creativity, then, causes another change in how you respond to a given situation. Both, the new change and the creativity to handle it, have certain risks involved leading to a new direction. You may experience fear and anxiety; and at the same time, there may be joy and excitement.

At times, these changes can occur too rapidly in a short span of time. The loss of tradition in one's life and too much of newness can lead one to a nervous breakdown. There are certain limits to one's ability to bounce back.

Humans tend to act contrary to nature's will. And then there are personal changes like marriage, children and the loss of one's dear ones etc. that require a great deal of creativity to carry on with life.

Women especially have to be highly creative to deal with the problems these life changes bring about. They are the ones often in charge of most of the developments occurring in a family.

In such cases, one has to not only get adjusted to the new developments but has to reevaluate one's entire life and go for drastic changes.

One has to reinvent oneself.

It is here that creativity is the key to making it through this kind of trauma.

Actually, one should reinvent one's life on a daily basis so that one does not get into a depression. Your ability to creatively deal with the situation at hand will determine your success or failure.

One way is to see whether you could do better by moving to another place. One must understand that it is change that opens up new opportunities. History tells us that those who could invent great things were those who were desperately in need of them. That is why it is said that necessity is the mother of invention. All great inventors had turned to their individual creativity for resolution.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Love and Attachment Explained

Love is one of the most used words. I love myself, I love my family, and I love ice cream. What is the difference between love and attachment? Is attachment pre-requisite for love? Or is it possible to be detached and full of love? Superficially, it is difficult to distinguish between attachment and love. In Vedanta, we find attachment is deplored but love is acceptable. While love is a source of joy, attachment leads to pain and bondage.

One of the secrets of spiritual life is to know the difference between love and attachment. But the two have got so intertwined that we have both love and attachment in our life.
What is attachment? The Sanskrit word is Raga or Moh. 

Detachment is Viraga or letting go. Attachment can be to a place, person or object and is seen as getting involved in the world while detachment is seen as isolating ourselves from the world.

Attachment develops with sense of `I' and this sense of ego spreads its tentacles in the form of ownership and leads to idea of mine. `I' seldom stands by itself. `I' always wants mine. `I' is weaker than not `I'. So `I' makes itself larger by owning something like my family, my community or my country.
Thus, `I' feels itself larger and it develops into `Mine'.
To defend this `I', we add more `Mine' and thus give rise to Raga.

`I' vanishes in deep sleep and so does `mine'. So mine cannot exist unless `I' exist.

This attachment to `I' and `mine' produces all the problems we have in life.

Attachment also brings fear, fear of losing. What am I attached to, what motivates me in life? Depending on the answer we get we will be able to understand the source of joy and sorrow, freedom and bondage.

Attachment leads to bondage and stress while detachment leads to freedom.

True love wants freedom and joy just like detachment.
The more detached we are, the more loving we become.
Rama, Christ and Buddha were detached, yet very loving.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Be Happy Now.....

If an alien visits our planet and watches football or a cricket match, he will be shocked. One leather ball and so many people after it! The alien would say, “This world has so many things. Just give a ball to each player. Why cause such a commotion?“ For an alien, this appears unintelligent and useless. But fans of football or cricket will say, “Oh we had such a fantastic time!“ Because the one purpose of everything that man has created is for happiness. And it is for the same reason that God created this beautiful creation.

God is trying his best; he has created so many things for you to be happy. God wants to see you full of enthusiasm, compassion and joy.

But what do we do? We keep a long face, worry about this and that. What are you waiting for to be contented?

Everybody keeps postponing his or her happiness. A child thinks she/he will be happy when they go to college, then thinks she/he will be happy when they start earning, then thinks she/he will be happy once married.

And the story goes on and that special day never comes! What's the fun? Life is not meant for this. It is a mixture of problems and pleasure. In life, there's 20% sadness and 80% happiness. But our mind converts the 20% into 2000%. If you can win your mind, you can win the whole world.

When the mind is outward and stuck in an event or incident, you have to retrieve it back. You think life is miserable because you are hanging onto desires of the past, not accepting the present, not moving ahead or hoping for something too much.

Wisdom is to see the past as destiny, future as free will and be in the present moment. So, resolve to be happy now.There are two ways of looking at life. One: “I'll be happy after achieving a certain objective.“ The second: “I am happy come what may!“ Which one do you want to live?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fix a bad relationship

Remember that falling in love is not a one-way ticket to a life long bond. Love is work in progress, you have to choose to love your spouse every single day, no matter what the situation is.

1.)  Most couples are unable to sort out their differences as they do not communicate. Talk to your partner, even if you know it will lead to an argument. Choose a private place and a time when you can discuss your issues without interruptions.

2.) Stick to this rule. No matter what the fight is about, no name calling will be allowed. Also refrain from references to past history and cheap shots during the argument. Stick to the issue at hand.

3.) Listen to your spouse attentively without interruption. Pay attention to the voice, the emotions behind the words and body language. Do not try to change those feelings or offer solutions, just hear them out.

4.) This is a golden rule to live by. Don't ever go to bed angry at each other. Call a truce before bedtime. Most things look much better in the morning.

5.) Take action. Do something every day that shows your spouse how much you love him/her. The gesture will definitely be appreciated and reciprocated.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bonds of offering

There are many types of relationships that you hold in your life. There are friends, spouses, children, siblings, and there are people who hate each other.

Fundamentally, all relationships in your life have come up because you have certain needs to fulfill physical, mental, emotional, social, financial and so on. You try to establish a certain type of relationship to fulfill whatever kind of need you have. If that need is not fulfilled, that relationship cannot exist.

Now, there is another way to exist experientially where one can exist without any relationships; one is so complete within himself that it doesn't matter. But right now, for most people, the quality of their relationships decides the quality of their life. If you look at it, you make friends, you get married, you have children.

You built all these relationships, in pursuit of happiness. In other words, you are simply trying to squeeze some happiness out of people. Once you do this, relationships will be a constant trouble; you cannot do without it, and you cannot do with it. There is no sense of joy or happiness within you; you are trying to extract it from somebody and that person is trying to extract it from you. And a battle begins.

If relationships have to be really beautiful, it is very important that a human being turns inward and looks at himself in a very deep way.

If you become a source of joy by yourself and your relationships are about sharing your joy, then you would have wonderful relationships. Is there anybody in the world who would have any problem with you if you are going there to share your joy with them? No.

If your relationship is about extracting something out of somebody, it doesn't matter how much you manage, there will be constant trouble. On the other hand, if your relationship is an offering to the person who is next to you right now, then everything would be fantastic. And life will be taking the right course.

Rules for a happy and healthy life!

They don't say health is wealth just like that. If you're among those who take their health for granted, it's time you change your outlook. There are very few things in life that are as important as your health — so look after it well. Adopting good habits right now will make you thank yourself in the long run. And these rules will help you do just that...


If you aren't a gym person, there are plenty of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Try and get a couple of your friends together and workout in someone's home a couple of times a week. Or join an aerobics or kick boxing class together. Having each other to motivate will be an added bonus. Another thing that you could do is go for walks. Walking for 30 minutes everyday has numerous benefits.


It's okay if you have two left feet. It's fine if you look funny when you attempt to dance. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. There are innumerable dance classes all over the city that offer to teach you different styles. Not only will you learn something, you'll also stay fit.


With the fast paced, stressful lives that most of us lead, it is important to slow down and give yourself some time everyday. Allow yourself at least 10 to 20 minutes to just sit and practice some deep breathing exercises. It'll do you a whole lot of good.

Soak in the sunlight

Sunlight has numerous benefits. That doesn't mean you spend hours under the sun without any protection. But a few minutes daily will help your body produce enough vitamin D that is so essential for good health.


Cutting down on your sleep to get more work or chores done will eventually burn you out. On an average you need to get seven to eight hours of sleep every day. Make up for a late night by resting adequately on the weekend.

Don't go on binges

Binge drinking is worse than being a regular drinker. Indulging yourself with huge amounts of alcohol after a long gap upsets and harms your body — skip it. The same goes with extreme diets.

Eat healthy

Do yourself a favour and cut out all the roadside and junk food from your life. It ain't good for you and if you really can't do without it, allow yourself to indulge on a rare occasion. Keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day.


Laughter has so many benefits. Watch funny movies, television shows, meet up with people who are positive and happy. Try to stay away from negativity.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Staying Alive

“The sun never sets on one's problems“. How true! I had heard this many years ago. Life is such that problems keep cropping up every now and then. I, too, had my share of problems. But the profound statement would surface in my mind and enable me to wade through the problems without getting disheartened.

Once I found myself in such dire straits that there seemed to be no way out. It happened when I had lost my job, which was my only source of livelihood and my only hope of continued education. Things worsened as time passed.

Soon a day came when I did not know as to how to arrange for the next meal.

The wolf was standing at the door. Several days went by one after the other with nothing but plain water to subsist on. And I had no one around to look up to. I had huge responsibilities to fulfill and so the thought of suicide could never enter my mind.

How did I muster the courage to get over the calamitous situation? First, my faith that this phase would pass. And what fuelled my faith were two priceless books I had read. One of these was the Diary of Columbus. The great mariner and visionary records the progress of his voyage of discovery at the end of each day. It seemed to be an endless sailing through the turbulent waters of the North Pacific Ocean. For days on what Columbus recorded in the Diary was the repeat of a one-line statement: “This day we sailed on, course WSW (west south west)“. No sight of land day after day. Columbus was the only one on the ship who would look forward to the next day with renewed hope while all his mates kept cajoling him to turn back.

The other book that helped boost my dipping morale was Lust for Life. It was about the life, work and struggle of the immortal Dutch painter of the 19th Century, Vincent Von Ghogh, each of whose paintings ironically fetched millions of dollars after his death.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Believe in self

When we have a worthy undertaking, we must make a sincere effort and must never go only half way through. Only then God will come to our help.

Right effort is important for one who is aiming at spiritual enlightenment. It is part of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path.

The Bible stresses on industriousness in different words: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard and observe its ways and be wise.“ Somerset Maugham wrote a short story criticising this teaching of the Bible and emphasised on chance, among other factors. But chance generally favours those who make an effort.

The Gita stresses on effort and not the reward presumably because such an attitude enables us to perform a task better. What are the driving forces for effort? Most people are driven by the desires for sex, money and power, while a few are interested in the pursuit of knowledge or philanthropy. Or people have these different motivations in different proportions. Putting it differently, psychologists say that man is motivated by the desires for love and sex, achievement or power. For creative work, the motivation comes from within. One has an urge to express oneself by say writing or painting and cannot rest till it is done.

According to Khushwant Singh, a man becomes a writer when he has a compelling passion to become one and he is not primarily driven by the desire for wealth or fame.

One's own efforts are necessary for learning the major lessons in life in the form of say reading books. As Oscar Wilde said: “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.“

While making an effort, one needs to believe in oneself and the value of the undertaking. A person trying to give up tobacco must have the faith that if he abstains for a week, the craving will die out almost completely.
When we face odds, it is important to keep on trying, for as someone said: “There is no failure except in no longer trying.“

Friday, January 7, 2011

How To Make Your Bond Stronger.....Few Tips

When starting from scratch about breakups in marriage and what causes it, a great number of people might term rate incompatibility as highest. But one among the many reasons is also the lack of emotional satisfaction especially in the husband. It’s not the battle of the sexes and yes, we’re breaking the myth that men (not a sex maniac) just needs physically satisfaction. It’s true, women of late, tend to not know how to satisfy their husbands emotionally. One might need to pause a bit and rethink on certain points that they might tend to ignore, thanks to their busy lives.

    Well, magazines, relationship articles and any close friend cum agony aunt might have told you this a zillion times, and we second them all; understanding is the key to any relationship. Psychologist Anjali Chhabria, says “Men are normally people of fewer words. So learn to understand what they don’t say.” Marriage is more than just what our ancestors said, the sacred institution between two people. You need to understand your man. He just might be the most confident person on the outside, but extremely insecure from inside. Try knowing him and make him feel that you do care about him.

    Men might portray they are content with it all, but they do need emotional satisfaction like any other human being. Men even might tag a woman as the gossip-queen, the chatterbox, but well, they are not any less themselves. It makes them feel important if their wife listens to the little things they have to say. Psychologist Chandni Mehta says, “Emotional stimulation is extremely important for one to be interested in any relationship. Bond with your husband on issues like discussing his friends, family, expectations, etc. When he feels the need for an ego kick, sort it out by easing him into a conversation. Never ever put him on a pedestal or judge him cutright as then he just won’t connect. Even if you are not all comfortable about certain things he says, just lend him a ear. Sensitivity is important. You may be shocked to know this, but at times, men prefer sensitive conversation to sex.”

    Like Chhabria says, the difference between the two genders is that, men need sex for love and woman need love for sex. The physical aspect is very important and that's what makes a marriage different from all relationships. Well, like we all know, when one has indulged in getting physically with someone, the emotional aspect plays subconsciously. Make your husband feel that you are happy and satisfied with him physically.

    Portray yourself like you are. Psychologist Varkha Chulani says, “Authenticity is the first bond of emotional connection. If he sees you naked physically, he should also be able to see you naked emotionally. The climate of trust is built on the transparency of a relationship. There should be no manipulation or game play involved.”

    It is important that he shares his thoughts with you. But don’t nag him to know everything about his life. Like Mehta says never set rules. Men don’t like to be instructed especially by his wife. Well, his way is not always the wrong way. “He doesn't need a ‘Miss Know It All’ who keeps criticising him constantly,” says Chhabria. And yes, there are other roles he might be playing, that of a son, a friend and a brother. You don’t need to track him down 24*7.

    Relationships are meant to be mutually beneficial. Chulani chalks this out by saying that he should be able to believe that being with you will enhance him as a person. The more self-enhanced he feels in your presence, the more emotionally will he connect with you. He will be in an emotionally better place only if you make him feel a better self.
With all this, you should remember that we’re talking about keeping your husband emotionally satisfied. But then, it’s not just about setting aside your life and solely prioritising his aspirations and interests. It’s also about balancing it out in the right way so as to make yours more than just a ‘Happy Beginning’.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Way to God(Supreme Power)

Once Lakshmana asked Ram, " Brother, how amazing it is that such a wise man like Vasishtha wept bitterly at the death of his son." Rama said, " Brother, he who has knowledge must also have ignorance. He who is aware of light is also aware of darkness and Brahma is beyond knowledge and ignorance, virtue and vice, merit and demerit, cleanliness and uncleanliness."

He said, "This world is superimposed upon Brahman and we can "see" the "world" and not Brahman. The same is the case when we see a rope as snake. In essence, the rope is real but our ignorance makes us see it as a snake. Brahma is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. It is eternal, ever blissful and pure consciousness. It is the very essence of everything but our ignorance sees the world, not Brahma. It is by going beyond the knowledge and ignorance only one can realise God.

The unwavering conviction that God alone dwells in all beings is knowledge and to know him intimately is a richer knowledge. When a thorn gets into one's foot, we need a second thorn to take it out and when it is out, we throw away both the thorns.
In the same way, one has to procure the thorn of knowledge to remove the thorn of ignorance, and then one must set aside both knowledge and ignorance and try to realise God, as God is beyond both knowledge and ignorance.

God is in us but we are not conscious of it because of ignorance. The more one becomes pure, the more one feels the tangible and living presence of God within. God visits the inward man. But, most of us are extroverts. We are so captivated by the outside world that we cease to be inward in our outlook.

No extrovert can hope to get spiritual bliss. To get spiritual bliss, one has to become an introvert. One can be extrovert for carrying out his day to day dealings, but along with it he must be introvert to reach perfection.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year - New Life

Happy New Year! But one wonders will it really be a happy new year? It is quite natural to feel certain amount of uncertainty and the fear of the unknown. The problems never change, the prospects look dim and yet, we need a new beginning, a ray of light, a fresh new feeling of hope that all is not yet lost, that, indeed, there is a way to make it. A new year brings to us all that and much more.

The rising sun is a symbolic dividing line between one day and the next. Every day, we begin a new chapter of our lives. The whole day stretches before us, a pristine wonderland of potential, a clean slate unsullied by mistakes, failures and disappointments.

A new year is a chance to reinvent our lives and reinvigorate ourselves. It is like a blank paper given to us, waiting to be filled up. Each day holds its promise, and life's journey begins anew. No matter what we have done or what others have done to us, it is a chance to start afresh.

When we cross out the past year and welcome the new year with open arms, there is the promise of a whole new future awaiting us. Truly, there is something tremendously exciting about new beginnings.

An important part of preparing for a new year is to review the past year and learn from it. The past is gone and cannot be changed but the future holds possibilities. A new year gives us a chance to break through from the habitual and constraining chains of the past and build a better future for ourselves.

The Bible has examples of God giving people second chances. That is exactly the promise God holds forth. We may have been through troubled waters in the past but God offers to us, right now, the exciting promise of a new beginning. And remember, “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.“ --Buddha

Monday, January 3, 2011

Learn to accept what you can't change

As intellectually evolved beings, we constantly analyze all events and endeavor to identify the underlying likely cause. This obsession for a cause extends even to actions or events of a past birth.

It compels us to look into outer space and implicate the movement of celestial bodies like stars and planets to serve as plausible causes.

Science has, to a large extent, been able to explain physical phenomena. But finding a cause for every mundane facile event might be taking things a bit too far. When the cause of suffering is diagnosed to be a person, it leaves one with a sense of victimhood. And along with it come anguish, resentment and a deep desire for retribution. This process continues unabated and over time becomes a stockpile of hate.

The feeling of hate, initially restricted to the individual, tends to be highly contagious and one day it could acquire epidemic proportions. All violence, racial discord and inter-personal strife are just manifestations of this perceived 'victimisation' that is derived from our obsession to somehow fix the blame.

Can our intellect be diverted towards fixing the problem? Can we, at the apex of the evolutionary pyramid, be redeemed from the curse of this blame game? Can't we accept events as just a pattern emerging in the kaleidoscope of life, the pattern which has no bias or machinations towards any individual being? In reacting lies a sense of insecurity, a sense of threat perception and inevitably a sense of being a victim of conspiracy. This approach only leads to further suffering. Constant threat perception is the genesis of insecurity. Over a period this induces metabolic changes in the body leading to a host of ailments.

We have the choice of continuously resenting whatever comes our way or equanimously accepting the same. Liberation is when we intelligently accept people and circumstances as they come. A state of zero resentment. Rather than asking 'why' it would be more prudent to question ourselves 'how'. How do i fix the problem?

The conspiracy theorists are also egotists because they believe that they are the obsession of the conspirators. Every person is leading his own life and solving his own problems. No one really has the time to target another individual to the exclusion of other activities.

Harbouring bitterness makes the person an eternal sceptic. Regret and unconditional apologies from the perceived perpetrator are celluloid events far from reality. What can be set right is neither the circumstances nor the other person but our (mis)understanding.

Memory is recorded in the dominant temporal lobe, which also houses the limbic system. The limbic system is one of the oldest neurological constructs and is responsible for all interactive behaviour by the organism. It is intricately interwoven with survival and procreation.

The limbic system is responsible for emotional templates as well. So it is possible that every byte of data stored is coupled with an emotional pixel as well. It may have its origins in survival mechanisms. Every person or object is recorded with an element of pleasure or pain to help the organism in future interactions. But then evolution of the frontal lobes in humans makes for finer data processing. It provides for intelligent acceptance of the vagaries of persons and events beyond the binary code of either pleasure or pain.

New Year thoughts

Even though sad to think that the New Year makes one older by a year, it is nevertheless good to have feelings and expectations that the bad days are gone and one may yet see one's hopes and aspirations coming true.

I received a message wishing me a new turn in life that could be, in a way, reward for all my hard work for decades without much in return. One hopes that happens, and yet one could be better off expecting nothing spectacular happening.

I am a fan of John Keats, and used to memories his beautiful poetic lines during my college days. One of his poems is emphatic on not to expect anything in life until it happens. “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced. Even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.

So, that is that. My New Year resolutions have this point clearly drawn. Work hard, even madly, but never expect that great returns will come your way. If they come in course of time, fine; otherwise one need not bother much. The very fact that you have worked hard and sincerely will give you peace of mind and happiness. You will have sound sleep and good health too. What else does one need?

One more thing that experience teaches is that one does not make full use of all the opportunities that comes one's way. Even if one grabs 50 pc of these opportunities, one would have been miles ahead in terms of achievements. What I see is that we lack the strength to make sound judgments, and don't pursue our goals all the way.

We are too lazy and give up too easily. Nothing is impossible, only that we make it so by our thoughts and actions not being in tandem. Also, one must value time and must never let it go wasted. Shakespeare reminds us how we while away out life: “... we play the fool with time and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.“

Perils of over-confidence

Confidence is good, but overconfidence is not. When you become overconfident, you tend to take great risks. If you fail, that might pull you down as it is not in your capacity to overcome such problems. It is like fighting against the laws of nature.

Why does a person become overconfident? The reason lies in over-assessment of his capabilities. Sometimes people over-assess their competence and jump into situations that are beyond their control.

Napoleon Bonaparte who became emperor of France, would say that the word 'impossible' was current only amongst fools. The overconfident Napolean invaded Russia in the winter of 1812. Although the Russian army at that time was not very strong, the severe cold proved to be fatal for Napoleon's army – it was caught in a hailstorm and because of this most of his army personnel perished before even entering Moscow.

Most leaders and generals who have either lost their ability to lead or win came to that state on account of over confidence. Overconfidence generally leads people into misadventures, jeopardising their prospects.

According to the divine scheme of life, any achievement is a result of two factors – one's personal planning and support from the external world. The share of personal planning is less than 50 percent while the share of outside factors is more than 50 percent. It is this fact which makes overconfidence untenable in this world. People, thanks to their obsessions, take into account only their planning, generally ignoring external factors. They become unable to foresee future developments. Hence the great risk of failure.

I know an educated person who was in a government job then. But because of his political ambitions, he resigned from service and threw himself into the arena of politics. This political adventure proved to be beyond his grasp and he was defeated in the elections. He lost both his job in the government as well as the assembly seat he was contesting for.

Then there is the question: of how one can manage overconfidence. The formula is very simple. Before taking a decision, discuss the matter with other informed people with an objective mind and when it is proved that you are about to go off the path, accept reality and say without delay: "I was wrong."

Overconfidence is a flaw characterizing such people as lack the virtue of modesty. Modesty makes you a realist; you become a person who is cut to size. People of this kind become very cautious; before taking an action they assess the whole situation. They adopt a realistic approach. They are able to discover their own shortcomings. This psyche serves as a self-controlling element in their lives, enabling them to save themselves from untoward happenings.

Overconfident people live within their own thoughts. They know themselves but they are unaware of others. Living inside their own cell; they are unable to make use of the experiences of others. This kind of habit is highly damaging to all concerned, disastrous for all men and women.

There is a saying that the young man sees the rule and the old man sees the exception. With a slight change, I would like to say that the overconfident person sees the rule and the confident person sees the exception. Overconfident people always live in risks. It is said that taking risks is good. They say: no risk, no gain. But risk must be a well-calculated risk otherwise risk becomes very dangerous.