Remember Sharjah cricket stadium in the early 80s? Javed Miandad at the crease and Chetan Sharma was to bowl the final ball of the over. A four had to be scored for a Pakistani victory and Miandad hit a six and the stadium was suddenly populated with delirious Pakistani flags.
Similarly, readers may recall that Sunday afternoon at Lords. The year was 1983 when India was defending a paltry 183 and Mohinder Amarnath ambled in and trapped Michael Holding, LBW. We won the World Cup which was then known as prudential cup for the first time and Indian flags fluttered across the stadium and India and Indians in unison celebrated the victory. David had successfully overcome Goliath.
This was a case of positive thinking by the Indian cricket team which metamorphosed in positive results. The sub-continental teams finally crossed the Rubicon. And one can certainly state that it was a clear case of the operation of the ‘Yes Mind’.
Bertha Calloway writes, ‘We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.’
Why are some people mentally strong and some not? What distinguishes a decisive person from a person who only frets and fumes and lives in the past?
Mental strength and attitudes greatly depend on two important factors. These are extraversion and introversion. A significant factor is human’s conscious perception and reaction to our universe or environment. Now who are extraverts and introverts?
Extraverts are normally opened, sociable and socially assertive, oriented towards the world outside. On the contrary introverts are withdrawn and more than often shy by nature. They normally tend to focus on themselves, on their own thoughts and feelings.
Noted psychologist’s like Carl Jung elaborate this in depth by stating that humans have strains of both the attitudes – that is extraversion and introversion. However a particular attitude becomes more predominant and tends to guide and direct an individual’s behavior and consciousness.
Invariably extraverted thinking leads to logical and objective thinking which at times can become dogmatic. Such individuals are creative by nature and seize opportunities. On the other hand introverted thinking leads to reserved and undemonstrative thinking.
So on that salubrious Sunday when Lords (the Mecca of Cricket) was soaked in brilliant sunshine the Indian cricket team became extraverted and the West Indian cricket powerhouse turned into introverts. The reality lies in the fact that India grabbed the opportunities while West Indians became complacent and perhaps arrogant to lose the match.
Perhaps mathematically we can configure an equation in our minds. Mental strength = Positive Attitude + Extraversion attitude-Introversion personality.
From a different space humans can become achievers in life and surmount problems, by living in the present. A couple lost their daughter in a tragic accident, yet through the powerful techniques imparted by Art of Living in the form of Sudarshan Kriya, Pranayama, Yoga, Meditation and Seva were able to confront the problem and reconfigure their lives.
Through continuous and unflinching service, they were able to meditate deeper and that brought back their smile and started living in the present moment.
Another colleague lost his wife, but by attending various courses of Art of Living regained his mojo. He is not only attending courses but is continuously conducting courses and spreading waves of happiness.
Yet another friend from the railways discovered that his daughter was suffering from life threatening cancer. It was his surrender to the Master and following the techniques of Art of Living that transformed his life. Today he has quit railways and is running a software firm which is poised to make path breaking advances through the technique of live streaming.
All these people have one common strand. Their unflinching belief in Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and following the fundamental tenets of Sadhana, Satsang, practice of Sudarshan Kriya, being in knowledge and performing Seva. This has brought sanity to their lives.
There are innumerable such instances, where Guruji has provided the direction and devotees have followed the path. And they are all living in the present moment.
A mentally strong person lives in the present moment.
Buddha says, ‘Do not dwell in the past, and do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.’
A mentally strong person does not succumb to macabre thoughts. Such an individual maintains a positive disposition and controls emotions and not the other way round.
Such individuals do not fall prey to stress easily, improve the quality of their lives and enhance their performance. But this the seeker can achieve through regular practice. They do not wallow in self-pity .
‘Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.’