We want to be super achievers to earn money and buy all the things we want and need. Of course, we do this to be happy, don’t we? This is a true paradox.
We live in a world of “plenty”. Where we get plenty of opportunities, achievements, people and distractions, plenty of material things, gadgets, media, and information. But we never thought about what exactly we are living for and what we want in our life?
We are surrounded with material things and our material wants and needs are far different from the other needs like mental peace, emotional happiness or spirituality.
Let us start with some basic needs. Food, clothing, and shelter are three basic necessities which make us feel secure. Now let us add some wants to this list – we want a good quality of life, a good place to work, good salary of-course, good school for the children, best toys and games for them, the ability to take your family on an amazing holiday, buy good designer clothes or that red car as shown in the magazine. The list of want never ends and to get what we want we need money. And this allows the shark called banks, credit card companies and the loan vendors to thrive. It forces us to extend ourselves in order to afford and accommodate our material wants. This comes with the price and EMI pressure which ultimately leads to working hard on be on top in this competitive world. This puts us under more pressure and constant stress. But what does this stress do to us?
Does it give us what we want? Don’t get me wrong but stress is not all bad, it gives us that little push from complacency to ambition which has become second nature to us.
The brain is a complex organ and it knows that one of its jobs is to protect us. It treats stress as a threat and puts us on a defensive mode. This is where we mostly operate in an unconscious state and constant stress which causes a dramatic reduction in the prefrontal cognitive abilities of the brain. It steals our focus, perception, deep reasoning and even memory and presence. We start living and reacting with the past fears in mind or thinking of the future uncertainty with fear and apprehension and rarely stays in the present. We forget how to just be in the moment and be happy.
Let us take a deep breath and re-align our goals and action plan. Let us say our goal is to be happy and ultimately we do the entire circus in life to be happy after all. We always need more and more things to become happy, it can be a mix of material abundance, emotional grounding and stability, mental peace and a dash of contemplative spirituality. Now that we agree on what we want to achieve, let’s put up an action plan. Life and competition will not vanish away. So how do we deal with what life throws at us? How do we cope with stress in life and still be achievers?
Take some time off from the daily routine and busy world, choose a peaceful place and spend a couple of hours for just yourself. It gets us out of the stress and anxiety loop, it allows our mind to change from the constant stress mode to a creative mode. It also helps our brain to access our emotion and tune it with our thinking ability which allows us to relate and access empathy, be mindful, be positive and allow us to look at challenges as opportunities. The negative loops will come again and again as it is the neutral pathway in our brain we have unconsciously trained ourselves to be strong. By taking a deep breath and maintaining focus on the ‘Now’ moment, by consciously bringing out attention to the moment, we start training our brain to make this new positive neutral pathway and the older one just fades away. We start by focusing on where we want to see ourselves in 5 years down the line. We can think and plan on the material, relationships, and social aspect and we can put it all together as a holistic goal.
To achieve the goal our own relaxed brains can assess its creative side and it can make a good set of action plans. The stress, the resentment which was weighing down our body and mind, tiring us has now given way to an enthusiastic self. Having a positive frame of mind helps us to look for opportunities in tough situations and ways to beat the crowd and fear. We start looking at the same problem in different perspectives and learn to articulate our emotions and finding vent for it. For example, if we talk about anger it helps us to find a release and to explain other people the reason for anger. By talking about the anger we sometimes realize how baseless our anger was in the first place. Or the other person can understand why we were angry and appreciate it better and change perhaps and can lead to a conversation or an opportunity. Learning to define our boundaries and saying NO is another assertive behaviour that shows up with ease. All these actions increase our confidence to succeed in our ambition and our goals. As we add accolades to our cap, we not only increase our self- esteem, feel confidence but we also unleash success and are able to have a perfect and happy work-life balance.
Happiness and not money is the focus. Money becomes a natural outcome, with the ability to have and to buy all that we need and want in this life.
Image is a still from the movie Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
Ms. Geeta Ramakrishnan, Author of #1 Amazon Best Seller book ‘The Game of Change’
Intimidated by the overwhelming task of handling multiple roles in today's high-pressure world,
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