Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Jul 05, 2007

Metro Plus Chennai

Just believe it!

If faith can move mountains, belief can turn your life around,
 says Sheila Kumar

We Indians inherently believe in belief. So much so, we are
forever telling people around us to believe. But how many
 of us believe in ourselves? In all we can do? In all the good things
 of life?

The power of positive thinking can never be underestimated, it has
 been known to work wonders on those who are seriously deficient
 in self-confidence as well as those who are drifting aimlessly
 through life. When you start to create a zone of constructive
thoughts, it acts like a protective shield, a cocoon that
insulates you against adversities with the power of your mind.

What needs work is the direction of those happy thoughts.
Merely thinking happy thoughts will not be a long-term
panacea; it will only create a bubble that will burst all too
 soon. After which, it will be harder to pick up the pieces.
You need to put some serious thought into your beliefs and
be consistent about them.

Belief No. 1 You deserve the best and it will come to
you. You are special; take the time to think about the many
 ways in which you are special. Your talents, your
communicative skills, your multi-tasking abilities,
your smile, your be autiful hands…it’s just a matter of time
 before you get all the goodies life has in store for you.

Belief No. 2 Count your blessings and don’t dwell on the
 negative. It’s never too late to inculcate the habit of
mentally ticking off all that you have going for you. And
don’t forget to include the little things, too : your collection
of old coins, your good health, that gorgeous dog of yours.
 Of course, life has dealt you a fair share of lemons
and if you can’t make lemonade, just think about those
 lows for a few minutes, then cast them out of your mind
 and out of your life.

Belief No. 3 Be kind to all you meet. Without exception.
Kindness really does beget kindness. It has also been
proved to be a buffer against ill health, a mental health
 booster, a de-stressor. Of course, all this makes sense
only if your kindness is shown to all and sundry, not a selective set.

Belief No. 4 Have three great friends. They could be men and
women you’ve been young and wild with, people you met and
bonded with later on in life, people you instantly connect with.
 The thing is, having and holding onto the rig ht beliefs
becomes that much easier when you are surrounded by
at least three people who make you feel good about yourself,
one way or the other.

Belief No. 5 Have a dream to dream. This is vital. The kind of
dream that makes your heart soar, yet is rooted in reality so
 you know you will realise that dream sometime in life. The
 kind of dream that infuses everything you do and say,
everything you think, with a special passion. A dream that
 fuels your life.

Now, if you thought this was a five-step plan to instant nirvana,
sorry, but that’s not how it works. Now that you have your
 belief system in place, you need to work on the antidote, too.

That is the set of ‘unbeliefs’ that dent your self-esteem, that
seriously impair your progress towards realising your full
potential. Spend some time pondering the unbeliefs listed
 below and ensure they have no place in your mind.

1. That you need to be less fat, younger, wealthier, to be
 in your prime. You are as young, vibrant, rich as you want
to be. You can do anything you set your mind to do.
So don’t sweat over the silly issues.

2. That hard work without tooting your own horn will take
you places. And that you don’t need help. Sure, you work
 hard and do a good job, too, but you need to have others
 know. Not bragging mind, just putting your achievements in
 the visible zone. A mentor, a guide can be of great help.

3. That you can get away with lies. At this point, you are
 reviewing all the small bluffs that you have got away with
 all the years. Lies that haven’t harmed anyone, you tell
yourself. Well, every little lie has harmed someone, wittingly
 or otherwise. And it will all come back to you, sooner or later.

4. That you can’t say ‘no.’ You can, only, you need to work on
 the delivery of that word. You need to be able to say it firmly,
 politely, but without closing any door that you may want to open later.

5. That some people always are lucky but never you, no siree.
 Luck plays no real part in the lives of those who have done 
well for themselves. Hard work, determination, focus, drive, 
ambition, yes. Luck, no.

6. That you can quit anytime. That one quick smoke or
 drink or something won’t hurt. This is the all-pervasive
 power of the rut. The rut you are in and ruts have high
 walls to scale. Appreciate and acknowledge that and
you’ll be ready to really quit.

7. That you could do more if you had more time. Hey,
 who has time, anyway? Learn to manage your time.


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