“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

At recent times, when there is a flood of resources and “n easy ways” for achieving anything, there exist many who are wandering hungry, looking for the right path to unlock their highest potential. In this post, I will shed some light on this important subject. Based on my personal experience, one-on-one authentic conversations, and conscious contemplations coupled with readings of personal development books and articles, alongside discussions with genuinely influential and successful people, I have summarized into the following four key elements an essence of manifesting your aspirations into reality. Of course, by all means, I am solely proposing these elements as a guideline or a starting point. Having said that, I challenge YOU to craft these guidelines in a way that resonates the most with YOU. Cheers!  

Step 1: Perpetual passion

First comes passion — an inside-out excitement geared towards whatever it is that you want to attain — sustained for a long time, as long as it is required! Think of rice as the principal ingredient for cooking fried-rice, or the flour-dough for making a pizza. Even before analyzing if you have the right faculties or a conducive environment to support your goals, make “continual passion” your mantra to get started. 

Of course, I assume here that one has already figured out the “Step 0” — total clarity over one’s aims (stay tuned for another post on this topic). So, once you have total clarity of what you want in your life, you are to set the sails of your indomitable passion into the ocean of possibilities. What are you waiting for?

Step 2: Candid commitment

New year’s resolution of taking up some sort of physical activities for at least three times a week for one month, followed by procrastination, and eventual disinterest. Sounds familiar? 

Manifesting one’s dream requires sincere commitment. Period. Commitment takes birth from clarity. Clarity entails courage. In the prime text of Yoga, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, sutras 1.13 and 1.14 refer to the attitude towards practice, aka commitment:

Sūtra 1.13 तत्र स्थितौ यत्नोsभ्यासः [Tatra sthithau yatno’byāsaḥ]
[a guide to the question: “What is practice?”]

Sūtra 1.14 स तु दीर्घकालनैरन्तर्यसत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः। [Sa tu dīrghakālanairantryasatkārāsevito dṛḍhabhūmiḥ]
[a guide to the question: “How to practice?”]

Loosely, these sutras translate into the following: incessant appropriate effort towards steadiness is practice. Uninterrupted, for a long time, with interest [read “passion”]. 

To wrap up this point, I will remind you of one powerful saying by the “Cyclonic Monk” and flamboyant spiritual leader from India, Swami Vivekananda: “To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. “I will drink the ocean”, says the persevering soul; “at my will mountains will crumble up”. Have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard, and you will reach the goal.”

Step 3Buoyant beliefs
Did you know, your beliefs can “make” or “break” any deal? “Whatever you think that you will be. If you think yourself weak, weak you will be; if you think yourself strong, you will be,” declares Swami Vivekananda.

If you consider yourself as a hardcore scientist and if you have not already, certainly peruse the book “The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles (10th Anniversary Edition)” by the world-renowned cell-biologist, Dr. Bruce Lipton. Besides repeatedly asserting the power of our mind and the stories we create there (aka, our beliefs) through various scientific examples and analogies, Dr. Lipton refers (Ch. 5, Biology and Belief, p. 138) to the words of the Father of Indian Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi): 
Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your values
Your values become your destiny.”

Another fascinating reference could be “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon” by the great neuroscientist of the modern era, Dr. Joe Dispenza. Go, flip over the pages TODAY, and discover yourselves all the surprises that await you!

In a nutshell, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible with our “beliefs”. All you need to do on your end is to start with setting your thoughts-intentions-beliefs on the right platform, as coherently as possible.

Step 4: Aligned actions
What happens when your actions do not align with your thoughts-intentions-beliefs, and yet, you think they do? How do you bring forth the alignment? Psychology would vouch that so long as there is a clarity in purpose and meaning, there is less chance of suffering. 
Now is the time to learn what an aligned action is? Aligned action arises when your intentions meet your thoughts and beliefs. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are living with an intention every single day. That intention may or may not be aligned with your values, purpose, and mission in life. Your intentions stem from your mindset, and the mindset is a prime reason for the way your life is at the present moment. Intention is an energetic force that one can master, which in turn helps align one’s actions! Robin Sharma says, “What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny”. 
What we focus on will expand. What happens when your actions align with your intentions? Opportunities open up, more gets done, and life simply becomes more available to you! You don’t have to reach for, grasp, or control. You become more aware of how everything can fall in place. 
To conclude, choose to foster an uplifting and positive mindset (check out “Mindset: The new psychology of success” by Carol S. Dweck). If you are unsure what that is or how, try the following, seemingly simple yet very powerful, exercise: Allow your gaze to soften or eyes to close and take several slow, deep breaths. Ask yourself, “What prosperity do I want to bring in my life? What is the best way I can use that to contribute to the welfare of the community?” Closely pay heed to the response that comes from within. Repeat. Continue until that inner response converges to something stable. Remember, you and only you get to plan your life-journey. 
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
Acknowledgements: I gratefully acknowledge Ms. Alena Gripass for the engaging discussions and edits that helped shape the article. I also thank all who have left a positive impression on my life, in one way or the other.

Four Purposes of Life: Reflections

As always, I love reading Dan Millman. This time I was going through the book called “Four Purposes of Life: Finding meaning and direction in a changing world”. According to Dan, the four purposes of life are:

  1. Learning life’s lessons
  2. Finding your career and calling
  3. Discovering your life path
  4. Attending to this arising moment

The first purpose reminds us our eternal student-nature, always learning until we stop breathing. We learn from our parents and our well-wishers; we learn from people who teaches us important lessons in life; we learn from Mother Nature, we learn from each and every moment we spend in life. Of course, some are positive and all pleasant, while some are not as pleasing. The important thing is our attitude towards the events we encounter in life. They say, “Life is not what happens to us, but how we choose to respond to the situations.” This is an immensely powerful statement, or advice if you wish. So, let’s pledge to rise to our alertness today, and welcome the teachings that life offers to us. As Dan says, “Smarten Up. Grow Up. Wake Up.”
The second purpose is immensely important specially in this world of aimless pursuits – pursuits for everything but HaPpYnEsS – figuring out our careers and inner callings. Of course, it is not easy to hear our inner voice, not to mention about following that. Since career occupies a lion’s share of our life’s time being our bread-earner, its selection also calls for utmost care. By this I don’t mean in any means that we need to be “perfect” in our choice. The final choice may appear after repeated trials and errors, after multiple episodes of resorting to different routes. All I mean is that as long as we do not “settle” with something that’s not “real us”, as long as we are enthusiastically alive in our pursuit of discovering our inner voice, we are very much “in the game”. All we need is the right curious attitude . Remember Purpose #1?  For Purpose #2 Dan mentions, “Choose Satisfying Work. Earn a Good Living. Provide a useful service.”
Purpose #3 adds on to the previous two. Once we have figured about out inner calling and found a compatible career for our living by staying always receptive to our student-self, now is the time to fine-tune our path. The more we understand it better, the more we add cherries to our cake. We need to know that what we are capable of is not defined by our limitations of today. If you need more affirmation on this statement (and many many more like such), you are most welcome to watch Brendon Burchard videos. We need to have faith on the infinite capabilities of our higher potentials. Dan says, “Understand Your Hidden Calling. Follow Your Higher Potential.”
Finally, regarding Purpose #4, Dan mentions, “Pay close attention. Make each moment count.” Here comes the magical tip for how to proceed towards all these. The answer is simple, again following Dan’s concepts of a “Peaceful Warrior”:
“What time is it? NOW.
Where are you? HERE.
What are you? THIS MOMENT.”
If we just think carefully, all our worries, concerns, miseries, etc. are either regrets / reprimands of our past, or our anxieties about the uncertainties of the future. We are never present at the present moment. But amazingly, every “now” is fresh, brand new, and full of potentials. Imagine ourselves for a second constituted with all these freshness! How do you feel? 
My beloved people, life is a blessing! We are blessed, each one of us, to have this life to live. Let’s celebrate this precious opportunity to our fullest capabilities, with free spirits and open heart! I am in, are you?

The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz exquisitely shares some practical ‘Toltec’ wisdom about how to attain personal  freedom in life. This entails adhering to the following four simple rules, which he calls ‘agreements’:

  1. Being impeccable with our words;
  2. Not taking anything personally;
  3. Not making assumptions;
  4. Always doing our best.

Easier and ‘common’ it may sound, but I believe implementing these in our lives are very challenging and demands constant effort. If one scans through the above list once more, and think deeply for a while, one will have the ‘Ahh-you-are-right’ feeling. I really enjoyed this ‘Wisdom Book’, because it made me ponder over some fundamental but always-forgotten ‘mantras’ of life. Are you ready to join in this adventurous journey of ‘personal freedom’? Let’s give it a shot! 🙂