“What is the use of writing a post on personal transformation when you have so many flaws and limitations yourself, what change can you bring about in this world?”
“Ho! You are superior to many, for you started meditating and thinking about life’s big questions, you can surely change others!”
This is exactly how my mind works in any given situation — sometimes it hits me down and humiliates me by showing me my limitations, and the next moment, it wears a mask of ego and tells me, ‘you are superior to all’ and ‘what you believe is correct’.
Here is my first post, after a big fight with myself or after
a self-fight, about how I brought about transformation in my life:
I’ve always found ‘mind’ to be a very strange phenomena. We cannot see it, we cannot touch it; but the day we are born, it starts to rule us. I want to get up early but my mind tells me to continue to sleep; I want to be
super-productive but the mind likes to waste time on social media; I want to be kind but the crazy mind likes to hurt others…
Is it possible to change this? Is our mind our enemy?
The answer I found to the questions above — ‘yes’ and ‘no’! Yes, we can change this, we can rule our life. No, mind is not our enemy, it’s just a collection of views… It’s up to us to choose. Is it possible to transform
Now, let me share with you, how I started on the journey of
self-transformation, and how I’m progressing:
It started with a book called The Ancient Science of Mantras written by Om Swami. My entire life, I’ve struggled with consistency and I’ve never completed anything properly (not even reading a book). But this book changed my life. I understood the significance of training one’s mind, and of sankalp (resolve). Guess what! I took a “purascharana“(meaning, for 30days I needed to perform some ritual at the same place, same time). And, I completed it! It gave me so much confidence, I realised that it is indeed possible to train our mind.
After this, I decided to start a journey of personal transformation. I just took a notebook, simply put down a list of what I wanted to change in my life, and what I wanted to learn.
At first, I chose the most simple thing that I wanted to change/learn and I decided to take up a 30-day challenge for it. For example, a simple task such as ‘I’d make my bed as soon as I get up in the morning’ would be followed for 30 days. In those 30 days, whatever may be the situation, I must complete that task. It started feeling like I was playing some game. You know what! Completing a challenge gives so much happiness and strengthens self-control.
Here are a few things I learnt from my mistakes while taking up challenges:
- One challenge at a time: When we hear something motivational, we feel overwhelmed… that very moment, we want to change everything. But you know what? It’s the tortoise that wins the race not the rabbit. So, one step, one challenge at a time. For 30 days (or whatever number of days you decide on), we must be focused on accomplishing that one thing only.
- Difficulties: When we take up a challenge, we encounter many difficult days and choices. For example: you decided to not eat junk food for 30 days, but your friend calls for a party, or your mind might say, ‘Only today, tomorrow onwards, I’d continue my challenge’. Well, that tomorrow never arrives. So, you just need to say ‘no’ to your mind.
- Keep up the motivation: A few days into the challenge, and we start losing enthusiasm. In such a scenario, I watch some inspiring video or read some article to motivate myself again. And everyday, before going to bed, I recall my challenges.
- Journaling is a great tool to remind ourselves of the goals, and also rate our progress.
- Get back on track: Sometimes, due to an emergency, we might miss a day. For example: you decided to exercise 15 minutes for 30 days; but on one of the days, you are running fever. In a situation like this one, immediately get back to the challenge upon getting better.
What is the use of completing these challenges? And, what happens if you fail?
In simple words: you will become a better version of yourself. With each challenge, you are breaking your barriers. A simple cup of tea or coffee no longer controls your mood. You wouldn’t have to snooze your alarm again and again. You will feel the transformation in small things. You will feel a completely new kind of freedom where you can listen to your mind and still take your decision.
Yes, failing challenges might decrease your confidence. I, too, failed at completing many challenges, on this journey of personal transformation. But, no worries! We all definitely have the next moment to correct it. The most important thing is to sit and analyse the cause for failure: Was it because we chose big challenges or multiple challenges or the challenge we took up was unrealistic? It’s very important to take one step at a time and keep walking.
My mind is the same but I’ve developed some ability to listen to its views and make my own decisions. We all have our limitations, how we handle these, decides our life and happiness.
If you feel you don’t have any control over your life, and that you are just a leaf floating in moving water — don’t believe any of it! Just take up a few challenges (one by one), stick to those for 30 days, and see how you feel afterwards.