“T he way you think stems from habit, pure and simple,” Julian continued with conviction. “Most people just don’t realise the enormous power of their minds. I have learned that even the best-conditioned thinkers are using only 1/100th of a per cent of their mental reserves. In Sivana, the sages dared to explore the untapped potential of their mental capacity on a regular basis. And the results were astounding. Yogi Raman, through regular and disciplined practice, had conditioned his mind so that he was able to slow down his heartbeat at will. He had even trained himself to go for weeks without sleep. While I would never suggest that these should be goals for you to aspire to, I do suggest that you start to see your mind for what it is - nature’s greatest gift.”
“Are there some exercises I can do to unlock this mind power? Being able to slow down my heartbeat would definitely make me a hit on the cocktail-party circuit,” I suggested cheekily.
“Don’t worry about that now, John. I’ll give you some practical techniques that you can try later that will show you the power of this ancient technology. For now, what is important is that you understand that mental mastery comes through conditioning, nothing more and nothing less. Most of us have the same raw materials from the moment we take our first breath of air; what separates those people who achieve more than others or those that are happier than others is the way that they use and refine these raw materials. When you dedicate yourself to transforming your inner world, your life quickly shifts from the ordinary into the realm of the extraordinary.”
My teacher was growing more excited by the moment. His eyes seemed to twinkle as he spoke of the magic of the mind and the wealth of goodness it would surely bring.
“You know John, when all is said and done, there is only one thing that we have absolute dominion over.”
“Our kids?” I said, smiling good-naturedly.
“No, my friend - our minds. We might not be able to control the weather or the traffic or the moods of all those around us. But, we most certainly can control our attitude towards these events. We all have the power to determine what we will think about in any given moment. This ability is part of what makes us human. You see, one of the fundamental gems of worldly wisdom I have learned in my travels to the East is also one of the most simple.”
Julian then paused as if to summon up a priceless gift. “And what might that be?”
“There is no such thing as objective reality or ‘the real world.’ There are no absolutes. The face of your greatest enemy might be the face of my finest friend. An event that appears to be a tragedy to one might reveal the seeds of unlimited opportunity to another. What really separates people who are habitually upbeat and optimistic from those who are consistently miserable is how the circumstances of life are interpreted and processed.”
Excerpt from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, www.robinsharma.com