Turn your life around
Three powerful life-altering principles hold the key to the life of your dreams, says Sunil Parekh, in a continuation of his series on mind power
Archana K. from Aurangabad was 90 kgs, and constantly carped about the circumstances and people in her life. It was only when she moved out of her ‘victim’ mentality, that life began to look up. Today, she is 72 kgs, has developed a positive attitude towards life, and finds joy in her work as a teacher.
Altaf B from Kashmir suffered from severe backache and migraines, had major conflicts with his father, and was dissatisfied, in spite of achieving significant material success. When he too learnt to take responsibility for the results in his life, his life turned around. He took the right steps to improve his health, and to restore harmony to his relationships. Today, he leads a joyful life with excellent health, and a healthy relationship with his father.
Human beings are born with unlimited potential. Yet most people live far below their true potential, and are unhappy, unhealthy, or impoverished. Why is that so? When God created all of us equal, why is it that some people achieve towering success and happiness, while others struggle all their lives?
From my 15 years of research in the area of human potential development, and my own personal life experiences, I have understood that there are certain principles that one needs to master in order to lead a successful and happy life.
Let’s start with the first principle, which is critical for success and happiness. If you simply follow this one principle in your life, you will be able to create the life of your dreams.
Principle one: Take 100 per cent responsibility for your life
This means that the only person responsible for whatever is happening in your life is YOU. Whether the results in your life are good, bad or ugly, you have only yourself to credit or blame.
Most people are unwilling to accept this. They say things like:
“I am unable to go up in life because my parents did not put me in an English medium school.”
“My business is down because there’s a recession in the market.”
“I did not get good marks in my exams because the paper was too difficult.”
“My boss has made my life miserable.”
When you don’t take responsibility for what is happening in your life, you will, like most people, end up doing three things: Blaming someone, complaining about your circumstances, or justifying the lack of results.
When you blame, complain or justify, you indirectly imply that life is not in your control, and as a result, give away half your power to the other person or situation. Through this, you lose the ability to resolve your issues, and triumph over your circumstances.
Successful people say “I am in charge of my life. The only person responsible for my life is ME.” They take 100 per cent accountability for the results in their life. Now hear this. While you have very little control over the events in your life, you can always control your response to the event.
Let’s take an example. Assume that petrol price has gone up significantly. Different people will respond differently to this event. One person may say, “I had better stop using my car, and shift to using the public transport system”, while another may muse, “No more rickshaws, I will only take the bus now”, and a third may decide, “There’s nothing new in the petrol price hike. All I need to ensure is that my income keeps up with inflation”. As we can see, no matter what the event is, our response to the event is always in our control.
In my seminars, many people say, “Taking 100 per cent responsibility is too big a burden”. It may appear to be so, and certainly we can no longer look for scapegoats. But the good news is that when you take responsibility for your actions and results, you get into a position of ‘power’, rather than remaining a victim of circumstances.
Principle two: control your thoughts
The question is, how does one take 100 per cent responsibility of one’s life, when so much depends on others?
If we learn to change our response to external events, we get dramatically different results. In fact they make all the difference between a life that works, and a life that does not. There are only three responses that we need to work upon:
1) Our thoughts (including our self-talk)
2) The words that we speak from our mouth, and the way we speak them.
3) The images that we see in our mind, including those of the future.
Notice that all of the three responses are directly in your control. Nobody can force you to think, say, or see in a particular way. This is the one thing you can control in all circumstances and situations.
Notice that the words you speak from your mouth are a reflection of your thoughts. The images that you see in your mind are also a reflection of your thoughts. To summarise, you simply need to learn to control your thoughts. If you can do this, you can create a life of your dreams.
Yes, this is not the easiest thing in the world, but this is the only way to achieve your highest potential. All great people from all cultures and religions have known this.
“Your thoughts create your destiny. You are the architect of your future.”
“What we think, we become.”
“Change your thoughts, change your life.”
-Dr Wayne Dyer
What they mean is that our thoughts are very powerful. The dominant thoughts in our minds convert into real-life experiences. This is a power that God has given us. For instance if our thoughts are positive, optimistic and confident, our life in general will be happy, and successful. If, however, we believe that we are not capable of coping with life or that we are lazy, that is how we will lead our lives. If you want to know what kind of thoughts dominate your mind, all you have to do is to look at your life!
Principle three: believe in yourself
When I was young, I dreamt of studying at IIT, and going to the US for higher studies. Since I came from a business family, nobody knew of IIT, or how to go abroad for studies.In my time, there was no access to Internet either. But I was determined to achieve these goals, and sure enough, the right kind of people, events, opportunities and ideas started coming my way.
In retrospect I realise it happened because of two things. One, I had a burning desire to achieve my dreams. Two, I also had a strong belief in myself. This is how people achieve big things in their life. A burning desire mixed with belief in self and the dream, will move Providence to fulfil your aim.
Similarly, at a certain point in my career, I wanted the position of a COO with a stipulated salary. When I constantly held this thought in my mind, suddenly one day, I received a call saying “Mr. Parekh, we have an opening for a COO. Would you be interested in taking it up?” And the salary met my expectations too! Many such miracles have happened in my life, and in the lives of thousands of people trained at my academy. The mind is very powerful, you just need to know how to use it.
Check it out
Try this exercise for the next 30 days and see what happens in your life:
Catch yourself saying something that you don’t wish to have in your life. Let’s say that your child does not listen to you. In your current reality, you keep saying “My child never listens to me, my child never listens to me”. With this dominant thought, your child will unfortunately never listen to you. So if you catch yourself saying anything that you don’t want, immediately say the words “Cancel, cancel”. Replace the statement with a positive sentence such as, “My child always listens to me. We have a wonderful relationship”. When you hold these new thoughts in your mind, they will eventually become your new reality. If you keep holding the thoughts, words and images of your current reality in our mind, the reality will never change. If you wish to change your reality, you must change your thoughts. For the next 30 days, refuse to think, say or see anything that you don’t want to, and keep yourself focussed on what you want. You will see that that your child will begin to listen to you.
The mind has the ability to convert your thoughts into reality. Using it correctly is the smartest thing to do. The mind will always direct your inner powers to help you achieve what you want. If we keep thoughts of our misfortune in our mind, unfortunately, the same thing will happen over and over again.
But the moment you change your thoughts, your life will change.
Take charge of your life by taking charge of your thoughts.
Bio: Sunil Parekh is an international success coach and a mind power trainer. He is the CEO of RISE Development Academy.