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Happiness Through Mindset

We don’t become happy by changing our situations
We become happy by changing our mindset

In this world, each and every one of us wants to be happy. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, but everyone is looking for happiness. We are in constant search of people and things that we think will make us happy. While we actively pursue this goal of finding happiness, often times we end-up feeling disappointed, frustrated and angry when our expectations are not fulfilled. So what is the “real” happiness then? Where is it hiding? Will the “real” happiness please stand-up?

People normally seek happiness in two ways – either externally or internally.

  • External – Happiness we perceive through our five working senses – Touch, Smell, Vision, Taste and Hear. We also use our conscious Mind to experience happiness.
  • Internal – An experience obtained through proper alignment of our whole sense of being.

Two major differences between the external and internal happiness are a) time duration and b) the experience itself. External happiness is mostly temporary, short-lived and the experience itself may not necessarily bring an ongoing satisfaction. On the other hand, internal happiness is long-lived and the experience brings deep satisfaction, sense of being and peace.

Happiness is a state of mind and what people consider as happiness varies from person to person. Happiness can be roughly measured through – how positive, balanced we are and whether we are adding value & positively impacting people’s lives. Happiest people possess qualities such as peacefulness, compassion, tolerance, and excellence.

Happiness is an inherent quality within us. It is pointless to run after and seek happiness from the external sources. We get caught up with so many mundane issues and often demand others to keep us happy. We try so hard to keep others happy but how much time and effort we are spending to create our own “real” happiness?

Happiness is an inside job! We need to become more conscious and experience it. Real happiness is contagious and we become a vehicle for spreading joy, peace, and love to everyone around us.

Bringing happiness into our lives involves striking a good alignment between our mind, body, and spirit. It is quite important to take care of different aspects of our wellness that includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual well-being. Spending more time with like-minded, positive people and choosing a work and home environment that feeds harmony, togetherness, and joy is the recipe for success.

Positive Thinking

What you think, you become. – Gautama Buddha

Imagine being on a sea cruise and you notice heaps of small bubbles appear and disappear in the water. Now imagine your mind as the big ocean and those bubbles as being your own thoughts.

They come and go, right? Exactly, our minds are thought-generating machines. However, how we act on our thoughts will shape our lives. And that involves thinking.

Thinking means action, we should try to analyze our own thoughts. If we start reacting to every thought that appear in our mind, then our life will become chaotic.

Therefore, it is important to process, analyze and regulate our thoughts. Thoughts are excellent tools to gauge our sense of being – whether we are positive/negative, happy/sad, peaceful/ unpeaceful etc. If a particular thought, feeling or an emotion (especially the bad ones) is holding us for a long period of time, then it is a good idea to investigate “where” it is coming from and “what” we can do about it.

What is positive thinking?

Positive thinking is about developing a positive outlook towards everything in life. Often when we face life challenges – we tend to give up, blame ourselves and others, try to sweep our issues under the rug, don’t seek help and overall become a bit negative.

However, that’s not going to help us long-term unless we accept our challenges, learn from our mistakes, forgive ourselves and others, become mature, take the high road, let it go and move on with life.

We all heard about this example of how someone sees the glass filled with water as either half-full or half-empty. Life becomes less complex when we have an adaptive mindset and perceive it through a different lens.

Positive thinking involves utilizing our mind and keep working on our challenges to get the best out of any situation. An attitude of gratitude and embracing the good in others will also help. People with a positive mindset generally tend to credit after a good outcome and avoid blaming themselves or others for a negative outcome. Positive thinkers always try to learn from their mistakes and constantly grow.

Advantages of positive thinking: 

Primary benefits of positive thinking include fighting inertia, reduces complacency and laziness, longevity, active brain, clear thinking, developing healthy habits and staying fit. Having a healthy body will support developing a healthy mind and vice-versa.

It is important to address the negative self-talk that appears in our mind and replace them with positive thoughts. Developing a sense of humor and smiling/laughing more often has also been shown to increase a positive mood.

In conclusion, it is important to nurture our body, mind, spirit through activities that bring us joy and happiness for our overall wellbeing. Make sure you all surround yourselves with people that have a positive outlook towards life.  Be positive and stay positive!

Spiritual Intelligence

 

Spiritual Intelligence represents our drive for meaning and connection with the infinite – Stephen Richards Covey

I am sure most of us have heard about Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ) but how about Spiritual Intelligence or Spiritual Quotient (SQ)?

Before getting into SQ, let us consider how people perceive things in life. The first point of experience comes from the senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and touch). The second point of perception comes from the mind that accepts and rejects things based on the first experience. Examples include I like this food, I don’t like that music, etc. However, how many of us realize that there is a layer beyond the senses, mind and that is intelligence. Intelligence is a master regulator that can direct our senses and mind to clear & right action.

We all utilize intelligence as part of our daily activities to achieve our goals. Traditional intelligence models were mainly focussed on studying Intelligence Quotient (IQ). However, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) are getting integrated into mainstream systems to evaluate people’s capability now. While rational thinking (IQ) and using the emotions (EQ) are excellent tools to achieve our goals, Spiritual Intelligence takes it to the next level by connecting us to our own inner self and facilitate intelligent decisions.

Pioneering works by Danah Zohar, Frances Vaughan, Cindy Wigglesworth, Ken O’Donnell, Michal Levin, Robert Emmons and many others defined SQ in various ways. For the brevity of this article, I will try to provide an explanation for SQ based on eastern philosophy. Firstly, it is important to understand the term spiritual. Though the term spiritual has been loosely used for different things now, the original meaning comes from the root word “spirit”. Qualitatively, the nature of spirit is essentially made-up of three aspects:

  • The Essence or True Being
  • Consciousness
  • Unlimited Joy or Bliss

Most of the problems we face in our lives are based on our false identification with things that are material. The best solution to address our problems is to connect back to our spiritual nature through intelligence. As we can clearly see from above, the three aspects are completely non-material and absolutely spiritual. Spiritual practices such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercise, yoga, etc have the ability to bring peace, inner balance, clarity, and positive emotions. These tools will eventually lead us to question our true being, consciousness and ultimately brings bliss & joy.

Spirituality can’t be rationalized but has to be experienced! We are spiritual beings going through a journey of internal evolution. On that note, it is always a good practice to try tap into all three types of intelligence (IQ, EQ, and SQ) within us. This way, we will be avoiding auto-pilot lifestyle but functioning at our highest level of expression.

Leadership Mindset

Whatever a great man does, the world follows.  Whatever standards he sets, the world pursues – Bhagavad Gita

Leadership is about committing to a goal/vision and lead others by own example. To explain it in simple terms – they practice what they preach.

Leadership is a role. Whether leaders are consciously aware or unaware, everyone is closely watching their actions. Therefore, leaders should be mindful of not leading others from the state of unconscious reactive but from the conscious active state. A brave leader doesn’t fear change. Though real change makes people feel vulnerable, in the long run, it makes them feel comfortable about who they really are and lead.

A good leader strives to create steadiness and normally stay balanced. One of the key qualities of a leader is to develop a balanced approach when it comes to dualities of life. Examples include happiness and sorrow, good and bad, heat and cold, fame and infamy, etc. Though life presents both pleasant and unpleasant situations, a leader should be willing to learn on how to tolerate and stay detached to both positive and negative outcomes. Developing a sense of calmness during difficult situations requires internal strength & clarity that can be developed through mindfulness and spiritual practices.

True leaders create more leaders! Though we are living in an age that promotes individualism, we all need help and support to accomplish great things in life. Nurturing others while traveling our own journey helps to create a new generation of leaders with giving and accepting mindset. This way we can potentially avoid breeding selfishness mindset for the next generation. One good example is Mother Nature that offers us so many things for free without expecting anything in return.

Leadership requires plenty of “internal’ work. To lead, whether it be a small or big project, it is important to understand our nature and motives first. According to Eastern wisdom, humans have three types of nature namely: (a) Goodness – the quality of peace, purity, and harmony; (b) Passion – the quality of being driven and (c) Ignorance – the quality of sluggishness and inertia. Throughout our lives, we go through and experience all three modes of nature although the proportions differ based on each individual’s psychological and genetic makeup. Once we identify our nature, it becomes easy to choose a leadership style that aligns with our inherent nature without going through any internal conflict.

We do understand reading from the lives of great leaders how they were introspective about their own motives and existence. On that note, it is important for current leaders and emerging leaders to dig a little bit deeper and ask the question of why they have taken a leadership role. This may further lead us to some of the fundamental questions of life: Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here? By making these inquiries one can determine whether they are leading others through conscious decisions.

Resilience Mindset

That which does not kill us makes us stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche

Have you all heard about Phoenix, a bird from the Greek mythology that obtains new life arising from ashes? Now consider the situations in your life when you feel burnt, defeated, unmotivated and lost. Do you want to rise and move-on to the next stage?

Most of us at some stage of our lives get this feeling of why “things” are happening to us. Why is life so hard? Why I got a bad boss? Why my relationship is quite challenging? Why am I struggling for money? Why can’t I have an amazing health? So many “Whys”. However, the reality is that “things” do happen to us all the time whether we like it or not. A more progressive approach is to learn how to cope with it, learn from our experiences and move-on to the next stage. Otherwise, we will be stuck in one place or a situation. To stay ahead and to keep moving, we need to build our Resilience.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from challenges and difficulties that happened to us. It also refers to the idea of building our inner strength. For some people building resilience comes quite naturally while for others they require some assistance. There are various ways to build resilience. I am providing some techniques that worked exceptionally well for myself.

Accept: Learn to accept that whatever happened cannot be changed but you are strong enough to leave the past behind and create a better future.

Identify: Try to identify what aspects of your wellbeing needs immediate attention – whether it be physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing.

Support: Seek help from people whom you can trust and make sure they are non-judgemental and have the best interest in your life.

Trust: Trust yourself first! If you don’t trust yourself it will be harder to do the same with others.

Avoidance: Avoid negative/toxic people and stay away from them. Be aware of energy vampires!

Gratitude: Practice gratitude. If you start appreciating what you already got, it will help you stop lamenting on obtaining things that you don’t necessarily need.

Purpose: Finding a deeper and higher purpose towards life will always help you to recover, refocus and live a meaningful life.

Now tell me, do you feel like a Phoenix bird?!

 

Personal Development – A Perspective

Have you noticed that “Personal Development” is one of THE commonly used words these days? Perhaps you are wondering what is it all about?

If you are not sure, believe me, you are not alone! I was in the same boat quite a few years ago and I am still working on my Personal Development! When this beautiful thing called life throws you a curveball, we pause, acting like automated machines, and tend to make some critical inquiries about our motivations, aspirations and ultimately our “real” purpose in life.

To start with, most of us do four basic things in common with other species of life (especially animals) and they are: a) Eating; b) Sleeping; c) Procreating, and d) Defending. Anatomically speaking, we humans are considered to be the highest evolved among many species because we are capable of doing certain unique things such as a) We can think; b) We have the sixth sense, and c) We can speak etc. That basically covers our physical evolution but how many of us considered life as such beyond these four basic things?

What is Personal Development? If we look at dictionary meaning of the word “personal”, it comes from the root “person”. When we see an individual, we identify them to be X or Y, male or female, from a particular country, have a skin color, speak a specific language, etc. But what we don’t realize is that there is something beyond this physical body which is pure Awareness.

It is common sense that if we want the betterment of an individual, we should ideally empower all aspects of a person that includes their mind, body, and spirit. “Real” evolution means complete improvisation and absolute utilization of our mind, body, and spirit. Any physical, mental, emotional and spiritual activity that helps us to experience the highest expression of our own mind, body, and spirit is Personal Development! Examples of such activities include Mindfulness, Fitness, Meditation, Yoga and Creative Arts.

Benefits: The benefits of Personal Development is multi-faceted – self-awareness, clarity of purpose, sense of happiness, internal peace, and helps us build healthy relationships. Self-awareness assists us to grow inside out. An integral aspect of awareness is self-love. As the common saying goes, charity starts at home. Therefore, self-care and self-love are quite important for any human being as first priority before they extend it to others in life. Self-confidence, a by-product of Personal Development is achieved through proper alignment of our values and beliefs systems with our mind, body, and spirit.

We never stop maturing – that is what makes us human, and our ability to change/grow & learn new things about ourselves and the world around us. Personal Development helps us to prioritize what is important to us, to think clearly, and even assists us to make decisions on some aspects of life that we generally dislike or not well connected to. A strong psyche is a recipe for success whether it be the personal or professional life.

Remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away! Make it worthwhile while you are still “living” here!


Female Empowerment through EQ

Women are naturally empowered!

Yes, you heard it right and they truly are. Over the past years coaching dozens of clients from both genders, I noticed a common theme, with females showing slightly high edge on coachability compared to their male counterparts. All these ladies had good Intelligence Quotient (IQ), however, I noticed them having this special ability of “connectedness” towards their own-self and others. I found them having high Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) that includes self-consciousness, social skills, and empathy. Men tend to rationalize more and when they are task-driven, they demonstrate less sensitivity to their surroundings and people. However, females are able to “connect” those different aspects of EQ more and bring efficient results for themselves and for others around. They tend to put their ego aside, seek help, ask questions  (a sign of intelligence) and willing to get their hands dirty when it comes to complete a task.

Women often face two major hurdles when it comes to empowerment. They are

  • Sense of guilt while practicing freedom of choice
  • Discrimination/Inequality

How to address these issues? Emotional Intelligence provides us two ways to handle these issues: a) Individually – Utilize the techniques of self-awareness and empathy yourself, and b) Collectively – get help working with others by developing social and interpersonal skills.

Guilt: Let us analyze why we feel guilty while acting upon our freedom of choice. Guilt is a feeling that is tightly connected to our own belief and value systems. When we wish to try something different from our own set of values/beliefs, we feel some form of internal conflict. Also, there may be some deep-rooted social and cultural stigma attached to it. So how to overcome guilty consciousness? We require some “internal” work to overcome this problem. Developing a sense of self-awareness will eventually help us to break the physical and mental barriers we created for ourselves. Some of the effective tools that can build our self-awareness are yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness. These tools are originally from the east and they connect our mind, body, and consciousness together to make us aware of our own nature/self and others. Once our barriers are gone, we start making intelligent choices and gradually set ourselves free from the feeling of guilt.

Discrimination: How to address the discrimination/inequality issue? One of the best methods to address discrimination is to work on our mindset and perception about this complex issue. At the end of the day, we should understand that we are all different and have different ways of working in this world. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “if we can’t change the world we can at least change ourselves (paraphrased)”. Together with the mindset, empathy is one of the powerful Emotional Intelligence tools that help women to address discrimination issue efficiently. Empathy can be broadly categorized into three types: a) Cognitive – Ability to understand how the other person sees things; b) Sympathy – Willing to help others who are in need and c) Emotional – Feeling what others feel. Intriguingly, women tend to excel in all the three different types and thus cultivate harmony/peace at workplace and home.

To conclude, empowerment is an “internal” phenomenon and we all need to work on our self-belief, self-love, self-trust, self-confidence and self-realization to lead a happy and balanced life.

I wrote this article for Mind Her Business magazine: http://bit.ly/2Ak7N1E

Mindfulness For Leaders

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How can Mindfulness help Leaders? Leadership is all about authenticity, productivity, clarity, positive decision making, and accountability.

Mindfulness, the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to self can help leaders with overcoming limiting beliefs, unhealthy behaviors, irrational thinking patterns and communication issues. A strong psyche represents better focus, sharp memory, and clear thinking. Mindfulness facilitates mental stability, emotional intelligence, sleep quality and body’s self-defense mechanisms.

Mindfulness for Leaders creates a positive ripple if not a big tidal-wave effect on organizations, businesses, communities, families and the whole society. The world needs dedicated and balanced leaders and there is no doubt that Mindfulness can play an important role to achieve that goal.

Stress Management

Stress Management

Do you feel stressed lately? How do you handle stress?

What exactly is stress? Stress is our specific response to any type of demand or pressure. Symptoms include irritability, lack of focus, anxiousness, procrastination, and negativity.  Generally, stress helps us to fight and flight on challenging situations. However, chronic stress is an ongoing issue that makes us react instead to respond.

At work, traditional ways to handle stress involved vacation time, flexible work options, and network gatherings. Recently, we are noticing services such as yoga, massage, gym, indoor/outdoor games and creative arts for employees. Yoga and mindfulness techniques are topping the stress-buster list, as conscious breathing helps people to gain a sense of balance and control in life. Organizations offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) for those going through challenges.

Find a stress-reduction method(s) that resonates well with your body and mind. To receive custom-made Stress Management strategies for yourself,  businesses or organizations, feel free to contact me through my website: https://smbhealth.com/contact/

 

Personal development

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Common question – What is Personal Development (PD) and do we really need it for our lives? Let’s consider some facts. Anatomically speaking, we are the highest evolved species on planet earth. However, have we thought about the evolvement of our mind, spirit, and awareness? The dictionary meaning of the word “personal” comes from “person”. Therefore, PD technically covers all aspects of a person – mind, body, spirit, and awareness. Any activity that helps us to experience the highest expression of our mind, body, and spirit is Personal Development!

The benefits of PD is multi-faceted – ranging from self-awareness, happiness, and to building healthy relationships. Self-awareness helps you to grow inside out. An integral aspect of awareness is self-love. Charity starts at home, so to love oneself before extending it to others is important. Self Confidence, a byproduct of PD is attained when we are in alignment with own values and beliefs systems.

PD helps us to prioritize our goals, stay focused, and helps us make decisions on something that we generally dislike or not well connected to. A strong psyche is a recipe for success when it comes to building healthier relationships whether it be personal or professional.

We all never stop developing and changing but that’s what makes us human, our ability to change/grow and learn new things about ourselves and the world.

I offer in-person & skype consultations on Mindset & Life Coaching. Call me on (61) 0421454209 or via our contact page.

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