Empowering the mind : an individual’s model

Started servicing the interrupts at will? Are you finding it difficult? Don’t worry, so do we. Do not give up. That’s the key. Now, let’s take a step forward.

This time, as you would have guessed from the diagram above, we have something interesting to discuss. An Individual’s Model. Sounds complex? No, it isn’t.  Simplicity is one of the most important design value, I believe in.

This model represents each and every individual in our society. Yes, this is you. And that’s why, this model is  intuitive, isn’t it? What’s new with this? Let’s try to understand what it has to offer.

The human body can be treated as a ‘black’ box, as we are not concerned about the internal complexities. Based on the senses input to it, human body does some processing and performs some actions as output, which may or may not be visible, under the control of our mind.

The important point to notice is, assuming natural condition, that our body is always completely under control of our mind. Thus, empowering our mind would lead to utmost control over our actions, even on the split-second reactions, irrespective of our desires, if any.

One question may arise, where is our mind actually located? Is it a part of our brain or a completely separate entity? Science and Religion have different explanations. From the scientific viewpoint, mind is constituted by some parts of  our brain. And from observations, that science can’t explain yet, the spiritual viewpoint connects it to the unknown, soul. Where ever may it be located, for an individual, it means the key to complete control over actions.

Our mind evolves continuously with time and the current state of our mind and it’s ability to control is the impression of the past.  Throughout our life, we interact with our family, teachers, friends, relatives and others in the society and they contribute to make us what we are today. Sometimes, we notice it and sometimes we don’t. This interaction defines our early ethics/moral values as well as interests and how we approach life, which most of us stick to, unless one has courage to question and validate them. In the current state of our nation, this interaction is the biggest issue that we need to address. Does it mean that we should give credit/blame them for all our actions and do nothing, even if we feel or if someone points out, that we need improve our mindset and there’s more to it, than what we know? No, absolutely not, but the point take note of is that, it is not that easy to improve one’s mindset in the later stages of one’s life.

As an individual, every one has the ability to think, but definitely our surroundings influence the way we think. We should look forward to have an open mind, which would respect and reuse as well as ignore whatever we receive from our surroundings, based on how we analyze it. An individual should develop the ability to recognize and accept mistakes and more importantly, to correct them. Also, one must instill the ability to listen to other viewpoints carefully, learn from them as well as question them and accordingly modify one’s own viewpoint, if required. We must never let our perception to become static.

Let’s get back to the problem with the interaction amongst an individual and the society, in the early stages of one’s life. Today, considering the state of our education system, this interaction in the early stages of an individual in this world is the root cause of majority of the problems, we face.  Are our teachers or parents in a position to empower our children’s minds? The answer, unfortunately, is no for majority of cases and for variety of reasons. The most important reason being the quality of education, our teachers or parents received. And this is a chain, unless and until, we break this chain, we would never be able to reduce or completely resolve the problems, we face. The quality of education, one receives, from it’s surroundings, defines one’s mindset and as our mind is in full control of our actions, it in turn defines who we are in most of the cases, accepting the current state of our education system.

The surroundings are equally or even more responsible than a particular individual for any criminal  activity that we witness around us like corruption, sexual  assault, killings and etc. Whenever any crime happens, we blame the individual, punish that person and hope that it would not happen again, which I believe is a  completely incorrect approach. The punishment should be there, no doubt about that, but more importantly attention should be paid to improve the surroundings in order to allow our children to learn the ability to think on their own as well as making them aware of the social issues, including the issues involving sex, that we face and encouraging them to allow their perception to  evolve  with time.  We need schools that praise children for learning from the mistakes done in past, rather than scolding them for making mistakes.

Considering the current situation, a large number of children do not go to school, and those who do are not empowered to be autonomous learners, as suggested by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. By presenting this model, we hope that we would understand the importance of empowering our young minds by creating an environment  that would enable quality education as a fundamental right to each and every one in the society. This would reverse the chain effect, mentioned earlier. These children who receive quality education, would reach out to their parents, friends, relatives as well as others and also someday would successfully take up one of these important roles. If we perfect the causes, the effect take care of itself and in fact, will multiply automatically.

Every single mind, when empowered, with the ability to control actions, in the societal setting, irrespective of the senses, would lead towards the ideal society where love prevails and crime does not exist. While focusing on improving the quality of education, we must pay attention to the fact that, it is difficult to reach, each and every mind, instantly, thus the law and order needs to be given equal importance, which is a short term solution, as opposed to quality education, which is a long term and permanent solution.

We shall continue to use this model as we move forward towards empowering our minds. Stay tuned.

Empowering the mind : interrupts

What were you doing before clicking the link to this post?
You can service this interruption later as well.
If you were doing something ‘ important ‘, switch back to that activity. Do not forget to mark it to be pending (assuming that since you clicked this link, you are interested in reading it).

We are naturally very susceptible to interrupts; events that cause diversion from the activity in focus. Does that mean that we have to accept it and live this way throughout our lives? Not  necessarily, but of course many of us would do. Not because that it’s something we really want to do, but due to the fact that we choose to serve our senses, we decide to act to each and every impulse immediately.

Now, does that mean interrupts are something to be ignored? Absolutely not, but serving them without any filtering or prioritizing is the main cause of inefficiency.

Okay, assume, that at this moment highest priority task of your life is to count.. 1,2,3… till 20.
Facebook these days has become a major cause of distraction to many of us, though it is a very important medium of social communication, it reduces efficiency, if it’s use is not filtered or prioritized appropriately.

Did you complete counting or even started counting before you read the next sentence?
It is most likely, that the word ‘Facebook’ might have caught your attention, which you can say is an interrupt of a kind in this context, but in spite of that your priority was to complete counting till 20 first, before moving ahead. Though this is a very irritating example and you might have continued counting in your mind while moved ahead, the point to consider is generally, whenever an interrupt occurs, we serve it, forgetting all our priorities, even after judging that this interrupt is not so important and can be served once we finish the task at hand.

Suppose, somehow, as everyone might adopt different ways of doing it, if we achieve to serve interrupts at will, it would definitely be the first step towards empowering our minds. There are other aspects as well, which need to be considered next.

Till then, do practice serving interrupts at will. Do share the ways you adopted.
Stay tuned for more on this topic.

That’s what we need!

Small corrective steps.  That’s what we need!
Strong primary education.  That’s what we need!
A ray of hope. That’s what we need!
Ideas and courage to implement them. That’s what we need!
A bond for unity. That’s what we need!
A circle of trust. That’s what we need!
A vision and a mission. That’s what we need!
Higher level of understanding. That’s what we need!
Tears of belonging. That’s what we need!
Desperation for change. That’s what we need!
The might to defend. That’s what we need!
A sense of responsibility. That’s what we need!
The positive attitude. That’s what we need!
The spark within. That’s what we have!

पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

माझं घर उध्वस्त होतयं,
माझी माणसं मारली जातायत
पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

टीव्हीवाले सगळ्याचाच बाजार मांडतायत,
लोक आतंकवाद्यांना बघायला जातायत
पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

नेते इथे फक्त मिरवायला येतायत,
अजूनही मतांच्या पेट्याच भरल्या जातायत
पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

मुलं दहशतीचे खेळ खेळतायत,
त्यांच बालपण मात्र विसरतायत
पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

लोक सगळं किती पटकन विसरतायत,
आतंकवाद्यांना मारल्यावर जल्लोष करतायत
पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

डोळ्यांत अश्रु उभे राहतयत,
मनात राग कोंडला जातोय
पण मी काहीच करु शकत नाहीये!

मनात कुठेतरी नवी उमेद जन्माला येतेय
हे सगळं बदलायचं अशी जिद्द निर्माण होतेय!

I hope.

For a NATION, to be PROUD of.
For the WORLD, that ensures PEACE.
For the PEOPLE, who LOVE WITHOUT BARRIERS of race, religion and caste.
For a SOCIETY, that nurtures EQUALITY.
For a CULTURE, that evolves with TIME.

For a MIND, that’s OPEN to new ideas.
For a HEART, that beats to say, ‘I’m ALIVE’.
For a FACE, with a beautiful SMILE.

For an IDEA, that gets REALIZED.
For a DREAM, that leads to ACTION.
For a DECISION, driven by a VISION.
For a MISTAKE, that leads to LEARNING.

For GROWTH, that’s SUSTAINABLE.

I HOPE.  I ACT.

Empowering the mind : the role of religions

Religions are a kind of research work. Research on mind and life. There are a lot of things to learn from one’s own religion and an individual may choose to contribute to improve it. The stories you were told, which guided you how to live life, is to me your religion by default.

Now, to say that all our stories are better, is not correct on anyone’s front. The problems occur when these stories are used to create a negative atmosphere. The problem with the Muslim world today is the excessive distortion of such stories. And the same problem exists with other religious entities as well, but to a smaller extent. The point to understand is everyone needs to contribute to improve these stories we tell and rules we follow.  We should not do or spread something, just because a ‘so called’ representative of our religious ideology said so. We must analyze it and then decide to act accordingly.

The stories we tell our children are extremely important,  we must always continue to improve them by doing more research. Throw away the content that is irrelevant or was proved to be wrong. For example, just because many things said by Vivekananda are useful to live a better life, don’t assume that everything said by him has to be perfect. No one is perfect or can be perfect. Even Vivekananda was no exception. We must understand that, making mistakes is natural in the process of learning.

On a religious front, we must try to improve the existing stories or practices or even find out some better stories from other religions, if required, as well. We may even choose to write something new on our own to be told to our children, but let’s not forget to reuse what we already have. Improving a system from within is better than creating a parallel system.

Empowering the mind : the God, the unknown and the universe

There’s no doubt that there are more unknown things in this world than what we know by means of Science. The theories that arrived to explain these things led to religions and faith in God as a superpower controlling this universe, because we tend to relate to someone like us easily.

So our saints, let’s call them, researchers in terms of the modern world, decided to put across to people, the experiences that they had or ideas they thought, through the stories, the most effective medium of conveying ideas till date. There were scientific experiments carried out to know more continuously, but the unknown part was so much more as it is even today, that they understood that this not how it’s going to work out, we need some assumptions, to structure the unknown, in turn the universe, in more familiar words, God, in order to achieve a balance in the society, by guiding people on how to live.

A lot of research was done by these saints on human mind, which led to a unanimous conclusion that expectation is the main cause of all the pain. When one starts working on what one believes in after defining the effect, that what needs to be achieved, and by identifying the causes, that would produce this effect, then one just needs to keep working on these causes and stop expecting the effect, as it will come automatically.

But this does not mean that don’t ever seek change or define the effect itself. If we start to think that whatever happens around is act of God, then everything will start appearing fine to us, there would be no motivation. It’s us and the one’s around us who make up the God, the unknown, the universe. So the only way to unify with the God is to make sure that our actions do maintain the balance of this universe and we always seek betterment by defining effects/goals that will ensure balance. The means of interpreting or the stories to convey this message can be different, but at the end the God or the unknown is within.

Where the mind is full of fear

Where the mind is full of fear and the head’s never held high
Where knowledge is not free
Where the world has been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the worst of the lies
Where tired lazy even fails to stretch its arms
Where the clear stream of reason fails to find its way
Out of the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is misled by pseudo-thee
Into ever-widening divide
From that hell of a prison, my Child, set my country free.

This is with highest respect to Rabindranath Tagore’s vision for India, but the reality today is completely opposite. And our motherland is asking her children to set her free from this prison.

It’s high time, that we paid attention to her tears.
Let’s rise beyond the ordinary to realize Rabindranath Tagore’s vision for India.

Mind is like an inductor

Mind is like an inductor, it resists a sudden change. Later slowly it shifts to a state where the same change appears to be regular, as if there was no resistance.

What is an inductor?
An inductor is simply a device which, when connected in an electrical circuit, resists the change in current (flow of electrons) through it, just like our mind.

How an inductor works?
This video made by MAKE magazine represents a simple and practical view of an inductor. Click on the question above, to read more about it from HowStuffWorks.com.

For detailed understanding, watch MIT OCW video below,
which is a part of Electricity and Magnetism course at MIT, USA.

Now, let’s go back to the fact that our mind resists a sudden change.
See this article from Harvard Business Review.

Inspiring actions, one quote at a time

Crossing all hurdles it shall arrive – a solution to this problem.

To do this tomorrow, what is that needs to be done today.

Only consistent failure to give up leads to success.

Walk away from idle potential.

When to keep aside the questions unanswered and when to persist is a choice that defines you.

To get things done, get rid of the excuses first.

Initiative empowers. Small steps deliver.

Realize that the world will try to fit you in, but you can also fit the world to you otherwise.

Creativity spills over, use it that way.

A way to do the right thing emerges, all you need to do is to look hard enough.

First understand the game, only then you can play it well.

Speaking without listening first is an own goal.

Where the reflection ends, a journey begins.

If you’re machine efficient at something, don’t let others turn you human.

Almost always lack of either intent, effort or courage gets in the way of words translating into action.

Never create expectations you don’t intend to meet.

Time is precious, don’t consume it until you have a reason to do so.

An opportunity will not wait for people to assemble, neither should you.

When failing seems to have become the norm, expect success till you fail again.

Doing what needs to done is often a journey of pain and meaning.

Priorities make time.

Never let reciprocity be a filter to your kindness.

Not everything that is, needs to be said.

Abstractions bring growth whereas roots make it sustainable.

Time flies, but memories hover.

Plans don’t always work and then you must plan again.

‘Have been’ and ‘should be’ are not the same.

‘I did’ is always easier to handle than ‘I should have’ and you may even get a bonus.

Not giving up every single time you feel like is what takes you from a problem to the solution.

Always do enough and failures would bring wisdom, not regret.

There’s only one thing that can stop you, your inertia, literally.

A great idea, not implemented, is a responsibility.

There’s no other way, but courage, hard work and patience.

How you approach education is where it will take you!

Hear my dreams as I speak, see them realized in my eyes!

Do forgive, never forget.

Mistakes will happen, irrespective of how careful you are, it’s the courage to accept them and willingness to correct, is what matters.

Who am I does not matter, what I intend to do, does!

One of the shortest time spans of your life may trigger one of the biggest changes to the way you approach life. And may leave you in a confused state. These would be the times, when you would want to think the most to assimilate these sudden changes.

The ones, who lead the way today, are the ones, who learnt from their mistakes, yesterday.

Distortion of history plays a major role in retention of power.

Be courageous enough to go beyond ordinary, when you know deep down, that you are not meant to be other way round.

Problems can remain unresolved only till the time, we insist, that they do not exist.

Passion + patience + persistence = dreams realized.

Sustain the hitting of the waves, then you will see things clearly.

There would be times, when you do some senseless things in a sequence and at the end they all make sense somehow.

At the end, it’s always about the choices and not about the circumstances.

Be open to redefine your values, always, whenever you arrive at a reason to do so, analytically, but never do it, just because, others do not seem to be on the same page.

The freedom of speech does not mean the license to irresponsibly influence a larger mass, which does not even have right to quality education.

The most difficult questions are the ones, which never get answered.

An individual is defined by the society
and the society is defined by the individuals, it defined.
It’s a closed loop process
and what we need is a catalyst called education!

Perception is relative and may not always be the reality.
And the only way we can see reality is through perception.
So do not allow your perception to be static.
Let it evolve with time continuously and they will surely match.

Sometimes, suddenly everything starts going wrong for you, just everything and that’s the time, when you learn the most.

Mind is like an inductor , it resists a sudden change.

Sometimes, it is better to accept facts rather than being optimistic.

Coexistence is sometimes impossible and the right choice at the right time is what matters the most.

With your dreams clear in your mind,
and with the passion to see them realized,
the only thing, that you need,
is to motivate yourself, to be unstoppable.

The probability, of occurrence of unwanted events, peaks to the maximum when you want it to be the lowest, but remember, you are still the sole controller of your actions to minimize their impact.

It’s always about standing up again, no matter, how many times you fall down.

Always remember, people do forget, what you want them to remember.
Sometimes, you can keep reminding, but sometimes, you just have to forget as well.

The first step in learning is to make a mistake.
And the second, but important step is to accept it.

Unfortunately, most of the times, absence leads to appreciation and not presence.

Learn, out of everything that happens around you.
Think, before everything you do.
Dream, for anything that did not exist before.
Act, for everything that you want to realize.
And it will happen for sure.

Sometimes, you have to take a path, that you would have never wished to take, just because there’s no other option that leads to the destination. What matters is the time taken for this self-realization that there’s actually no other option available, be quick, the clock is ticking.

Not every question can be of multiple choice type. Be aware of the type of the question before you answer it.

Mistakes are no harm, but if you are not willing to correct them, then that’s the problem.

Time is running out for each and everyone here, but it’s choice of where to invest it in, that makes all the difference.

Sometimes, it’s better to let things go with the flow, rather trying to direct them.

Nothing’s impossible, but it’s the time that matters the most.

Never limit your dreams due to today’s reality, as dreams are the ones which extend the limits of reality everyday.

A person’s true nature is revealed by how they treat those they have no reason to be nice to.

Life’s a journey which begins in your mind, but ends in the minds of people you met.

Keep thinking, share your thoughts with others, that’s the way to stay alive forever, as our thoughts are so powerful, that they can make us immortal, in the minds of people, we shared them with.

Sometimes you are bound to hope for something to happen, though you have a strong feeling that it’s not going to, and that’s what makes it special.

You don’t meet good people often, hence when you do so, make sure you remain connected.

The most beautiful person in the world is the one who loves you the most.

Never give something better to people, than they deserve or need, otherwise expect nothing better than disappointment.

Sometimes it’s better to remain silent, even if you have something to say.

Time is the most wonderful cure-all medicine. It’s always available to both the rich and the poor, but the side-effects are always there, so consume it well.

It’s strange, but reality. Human behavior is so confusing, we tend to ignore the people who consider us important and keep paying attention to those who don’t.

Sometimes, it’s really good to wait for the best, but when you actually have it, make sure that you recognize it; don’t just keep waiting.

Mistakes are bound to happen, but ‘being quick to recognize them, and making sure that you never repeat them again’ is something that makes you a better person.

Some things are hard to remember, but some are even harder to forget.

Expecting yourself to be perfect to analyze your mistake, is again a mistake.

Some mistakes are such that you will always want to correct them, though you know you can’t.

It’s always up to us, whether we want to keep asking ’ why? ‘ and stay away or just say, ’ why not? ‘ and get involved.

The biggest conflict in the world is when your brain and your mind fight! And the more you try to resolve it, the more complex it gets.

When you stand for what you believe in, your dreams start turning into realities.

Great ideas are useless, if we don’t have the courage to implement them.

You see things and you say ’ why? ‘, but I dream things that never were, and I say ’ why not? ‘.

Never run behind someone who does not love you, but more importantly, never make someone who loves you, run behind you.

Sometimes you feel like you have everything, but the very next moment you realize that there’s still something missing and that’s what keeps you alive.

Mistakes are just the receipt of the fact that you are alive, so never be afraid of them.

It’s not that good to be too good.

Basically life is tough.
It’s people who you listen to make it easy.