Free Press Journal

A curious mind and unconventional thinking can engineer change

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Those with a curious mind and an unconventional or atypical thinking process try to refashion their personalities by re-engineering themselves from inside out, writes RAVI VALLURI

Often, conventional and commonplace way of think only results in clambering the ladder. A person leading a ho-hum existence is invariably complacent and satiated with the prosaic lifestyle. Those with a curious mind and an unconventional or atypical thinking process try to refashion their personalities by re-engineering themselves from inside out. They possess the assiduity to carve a niche and become role models. Certainly, such a path is not restricted to a stripling or youngster. The elderly, hemmed by the burden or wearing the cross all through life too can venture into the realm of re-engineering their personalities.

Tale of an old man


Aeons ago, lived an elderly gentleman who in the winter of his life decided to embark on a spiritual journey to re-engineer his personality. The immediate family of the geriatric gentleman was solicitous of his welfare and simultaneously perturbed at what they thought to be an unusual desire.

The Pater now embarked on the spiritual sojourn and enrolled in a monastery. Upon completing his tutelage, armed with various nuances of Zen teachings, he left for his small town. Once an emaciated and enervated looking individual, he had transfigured his mind and was suffused with jollity.

Miraculous escape or metamorphosis

He stepped out the portals of the temple of knowledge and involuntarily slipped into a rivulet. “Oh, the old monk falls in the river!” chortled some young tutees. However, the senior gentleman emerged from an up-surging stream.

He was to dramatically declare that the re-engineering processes and techniques he acquired had enabled him to accommodate water into himself and not the other way round.

 “We are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves,” said Gautama Buddha. Thus, our mind and the thoughts that cannonade it are the deciding factors of the performance of an individual on planet earth.

Thought process, thinking patterns, building blocks of thought, organized thinking and goal direction are five keys to re-engineer the mind in order to metamorphose and refashion our lives.

It is quintessential to appreciate that thinking is the basis of all cognitive activities or processes and is unique to individuals. Human beings are bestowed by the universe the divinity to rejig and transmogrify their lives and be constructive in order to give back to nature and society.

Strategy of the astute and perspicacious

An ingenious individual in order to re-engineer his life to change the existing pattern begins with identifying the problem. In the swathes of his mind, such a process represents and delineates the problem; as he /she is mindful and discerning, solutions and set of sub-goals are outlined. Once the inventory of plausible expositions and elucidation is prepared, those are evaluated.

The quick-witted individual then selects the balm for the misadventure and executes it with precision. The human mind is now brimful of ideas and it is time to evaluate the outcome and once again rethink and redefine problems and arrive at new solutions. This is a cyclical process which is perfected by a canny individual.

 It was the time of Sakhya Muni Gautama Buddha, when an animated group of denizens were involved in a rambunctious argument about Divinity and various religions. Much as they attempted, none could zero in on a suitable answer.

In sheer exasperation they arrived at the feet of Lord Buddha. The compassionate and enlightened one smiled and ruminated for a while. Lord Buddha then asked his disciples to arrange for an elephant and for four persons to be blind-folded.

And so, it happened that the first of the blind-folded persons felt the elephant’s leg and exclaimed that God appeared as a pillar. The second person touched the elephant’s tummy and opined that Almighty God was a wall. The third gentleman stroked the elephant’s ear and made an observation that God was a piece of cloth. The fourth man grazed the tail and described that God was as a piece of rope. Once again, the group of four was engaged in a raging debate on the form of Almighty God.

After the exercise was completed, Buddha asked the assembled disciples and citizens. The four blindfolded individuals felt the same elephant, but provided varying answers, so what could be the correct answer? The episode just proved that no one individual or thought process is complete. One should always be prepared to accept that one might be correct in parts and that other streams of thought could be complementary.

Pearls of wisdom

Human mind views the vastness of the universe from the cranny corners of the mind through one’s own perception, delineated as it is by limited thinking and understanding. The four blindfolded individuals and those bestowed with vision appreciated the point made by Lord Buddha that they carry much baggage of past impressions and limited thinking that they end up wrangling about the form of almighty God, when they are unable to even comprehend and envisage the form of an elephant.

However, a trained mind, which looks within, gains insight, becomes wakeful and mindful. In an unfeigned manner undertakes the process of re-engineering the mind and the baby steps necessary to undertake a change in their lives to make it pregnant with possibilities.

Techniques for training

The spiritually inclined can re-engineer their lives undertaking the bouquet of courses imparted by the Art of Living, or pursue Vipassana; attempt to mutate their minds through the practice of yoga, pranayama and meditation. There are others who have a logical bent of mind and charter a different path. They need to develop a passion, or take up a sport, read inspirational literature among other things. But it is elemental and foundational to reengineer the mind and thought processes at regular intervals to live life with gusto.