Once an old farm donkey fell into a deep pit. The farmer and his friends tried to pull him out with ropes and nets but at the end of the day they were unsuccessful and could not haul him out. They decided to spare him an agonising death by shovelling mud into the pit to bury him completely. Every time a pile of mud fell on the donkeys back, he shook his back and stepped up on it. The farmers kept shovelling mud into the pit and the donkey kept shrugging it off and stepping up. Finally he reached the top of the pit and walked away, while the farmers stared in surprise!!
Do you feel life is throwing a lot of dirt at you? Do you feel that no matter how much effort you put in you cannot succeed? Are people shovelling mud at you and over you? Be like the donkey; shrug off the barbs, shake off the negative vibes. When you decide to shake off all negativity and step up, you will undoubtedly reach the top.
There is no greater power than the power of positive thought. Remember the word TEA. Thoughts, Emotions, Actions. What we think affects the way we feel and the way we feel directs our course of action, which in turn influences people’s reaction to us.
Situation: You have not been chosen for the school basketball team though you feel you played well.
Thoughts: The coach is partial. The captain has said something negative about me. I am always left out.
Emotions: Depressed, resentful, upset with life and with everyone around.
Actions: You don’t go the next day for practice. You don’t talk to the other team members who have been chosen. You do not even study that week because you are so stressed!
Result: The class coach and team feel you are a poor loser, with no spirit to fight back, definitely not an asset to the team
Thoughts: The others are playing better. I should talk to them, observe them and ask the coach how I can make it to the team. I have to get there whatever it takes!
Emotions: I am upset but never mind, there is a next time. I am feeling sad and but I will not be resentful, it is my team and I must be there for them.
Actions: You go for practice the next day, work even harder at the nets, smile and cheer the team even though you are feeling left out.
Result: The class, coach and the team perceive you as a sporting person, a fighter, and think about choosing you the next time!
We cannot control things around us, we can only control our reactions to things around us. We cannot always control our thoughts but we can change the way we feel and once we do that we can turn our actions into positive ones. Stephen Covey, author and management consultant, calls this the 90 /10 principle. Ninety per cent of things that happen to us are the result of our own actions and reactions. Only ten per cent can be accounted for by unforeseen, unexpected events beyond our control.
Thinking positive has to be developed like any other good habit. We have to practise it to perfect it. When any event occurs we have to (like traffic at a signal) stop, consider and then react. We have to:
■ Believe in ourselves. We can and will overcome all hurdles and troubles.
■ Believe that we have a hidden well spring of resilience that can weather the fiercest storms, and help us emerge stronger and more confident.
■ Trust that every problem has a solution and look for it, rather than meekly surrender to it. Our mind can only think one thought at a time. Make it a positive one!
■ Adopt an attitude of gratitude, i.e. look at what we have, not at what we do not have. If we are grateful for our families, our friends, our comforts, our home and hundreds of other things, we can only feel blessed, never depressed.
So, dear friends, absorb all the positive energy around you, believe in your own strength and have faith. You can move mountains!!