On a regular basis, we get emails, sms and calls and those of us who are active in the social media, get a barrage of notifications from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to name a few. Some of these are in response to our own initiatives and some others are on their own. There is nothing we can do about the latter, except perhaps switching off the phone or not opening the email, in which case we needn’t have bought/got into them in the first place.
The real question is: What do we do about these inputs we get from different sources?
We can respond to each one of them as they come in, ignore them totally or deal with them selectively. What most of us do is the first or the second, depending on our moods, whims and fancies.
- If we get entangled with these inputs on a constant basis, we sometimes realize that we have wasted a lot of time and effort but continue to do it because we are addicted and conditioned. How many times have we found ourselves reading an update on FB, then the comments from others, write our own and respond to the responses to our comments?
- If we ignore them completely, it is akin to cutting ourselves off and that puts off people who are keen to interact with us. Man is a social animal, so they say and hence there is an element of social interaction that we need to have.
- The most appropriate option is to selectively respond, depending upon the merits, the relevance and our own priorities.
You might be wondering why I am stating the obvious! This is an analogy to the root problem of our lives. Allow me to explain
Neuro-scientists claim that on an average day a human mind deals with 65000 thoughts. Now where do these thoughts originate from? They come from everywhere in the cosmos, some as response to our previous thoughts and some on their own, very similar to the emails etc that we saw earlier.
The key question is not whether it is desirable to have such thoughts but how do we respond to them.
- Unfortunately and unconsciously, we end up mentally responding to most or all of these thoughts. In the process, we get entangled in worries, doubts, feelings of anger etc. It is not that we allow our mind to do so but we have become so habitual that we do not even realize the self-destructive path that we are in.
- Can we afford to ignore these thoughts altogether? That’s virtually impossible.
- So how can we deal powerfully with these myriad of thoughts that reach us every second? By watching the thoughts as they come and choosing the ones to deal with and ignoring the rest, in a way very similar to selecting the posts, tweets, emails, sms etc to respond.
Watching the thoughts as against following them indiscriminately is also known as Meditation.
So let’s use the powerful weapons of Awareness and Choice to lead a powerful and peaceful life