We see so many people around us. We keep meeting so many personalities. Every personality has many different features. Sometimes, we like a particular feature of a person’s personality or mindset. For example, you may wish that you could be as bold as a particular person and think like, “He has no stage fright or he talks so coolly, easily, fluently on stage in front of audience. I wish I could do that.” Or you may feel that Mrs. A. is so caring, loving, not only for her family but towards everyone around her. You may observe that Mr. B. is always so enthusiastic and cheery and wish you could be like him.
On the other hand, you may dislike a particular mind feature of Mrs. C, ‘she is always in an irritated mood.’ So you don’t want to be like her and so on.
On the other hand, all of us keep noting how our own mind is. Our good mind features that we are happy to be having and the bad mind features that we would like to get rid of. One person may like to get rid of the constant anxiety, another may want to remove the sadness. Somebody may want to develop more concentration and reduce distractibility and another may desire boldness when dealing with people and so on.
How to bring about these changes in our minds? One way is to work on the negatives and try and reduce them. The other way is to develop the positive features. This second method is generally easier and more effective. Let us see how to go about it.
“You cannot reach a town, if you don’t know where you want to go!”“On the other hand, if you keep thinking about the same town that you are currently in, you will remain there!”
Very simple and profound principle, especially when we think about the mind. Many of us are troubled by different unwanted mind features. A basic human tendency is to keep thinking about our problems, in order to solve them. But frequently, we keep thinking about the problem ineffectively, without producing any solutions. For example, a person may keep brooding endlessly about the prolonged sad mood that she is suffering from and so the person continues to remain stuck in that mood. This is the principle of ‘if you keep thinking about the town you are in, you will remain there’.
If you want leave that town, then you must know where to go! If you want a new mind, you must know how it looks like! Only then you will reach there.
So the first thing is having a clear picture of how your mind should be. My mind should be happy, full of peace, humorous and so on. Make a list of all the mind features you desire: calm, fast & efficient, active, naughty, funny, loving, caring, sharp and street smart and so on. Every person will have her or his own list of features your mind should have.
Put that list where you can see it often in your mobile or wallet etc. Then keep seeing the list often – many times a day. It is not enough to read the list. It is important to feel every mind feature that you want. For example, you want more enthusiasm in your mind. Then it is not enough to read the word enthusiasm, but it is necessary to feel the enthusiasm. Spend a few moments feeling the enthusiasm, practising the enthusiasm.
Sometimes it is easier to observe the body actions while working on the mind. For example, if you want be enthusiastic, talk and walk like a person who is enthusiastic. The volume, the speed or the tone of speech of an enthusiastic person is quite different from the speech of an unenthusiastic person. So try and create that speech and you will be able to bring enthusiasm into the mind.
This brings us to another simple method of developing desirable mind feature that is mimicking people. We observe and like certain features of certain people. One simple way of acquiring those features is to observe and mimic and learn them. For example, suppose your problem is that you panic when a problem crops up suddenly. But you know a colleague in your office who is always cool and calm when facing problems. So observe that person when she is facing the problems, how she listens, how she pauses before talking, how she talks slowly and unhurriedly. If you think about that person’s responses, one day you will be able to respond calmly like that person.
So, rather than wasting time thinking about the problems in your mind, think about how your mind should be.