Monday, August 15, 2011

Some things I have learned

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Life can be hard, especially as Sikhs when we are very aware about the patterns of our mind and our subconscious.
Here are some tips that I have learned in my life as a Sikh, some things I have noticed as I journey forward. 

1.      Don’t generalize. When facing an adverse situation, it’s sometimes convenient to say, “Oh this always happens to me” or “I’ve been going through this forever.” But these kinds of statements, not only bring the negatives emotions of past events into the present, but also paint a bleak picture for the future. Try to focus on the current event, what the problem is, what you can do about it, what you have learned, what you would differently in the future.  Remember, there are always exceptions to the rule, and although finding a pattern in your life can sometimes be useful, it can also be detrimental to stay stuck in the past and convince yourself that past events will repeat in the future. The same applies to making generalizing comments to someone else like “you never care about me” or “you always do [blank]”.

2.      Be careful of TV. In the old days, people had to sit down and watch their fave tv show at the exact time it came on TV. Now with modern technology, like DVR/PVRs, DVD players, youtube etc. we can watch entire seasons of TV shows at a time, something I admit to doing. Someimtes watching TV though is to keep your mind preoccupied. If you are watching TV excessively, you should ask yourself why. Chances are you are trying to avoid thinking about or feeling something that is bothering you, which leaves you exhausted the next day. Watching TV should not come at the expense of your sleep. It is better to be well rested to tackle the next day, than watch another episode of Modern Family.

3.      Consider yourself equal. With the increasing globalization of the world comes more competition for jobs and positions. Sometimes you have to tout your own horn to get ahead. Although many Sikhs are adverse to bragging about what they have done, there are very few CEOs or committee members that would understand this. You have to let people know what you have accomplished in an honest fashion. Don’t think your better than anyone, but don’t think you are less than anyone either. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish many things without the need to sabotage or destroy your competition.

4.      Don’t self-sabotage. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in our past, and let the decisions we made rule our future. Remember, Waheguru gave you this opportunity to life for a reason. If we live in chardi kala (a positive attitude) and rise to the challenge, then Waheguru will give us all the tools and skills we need to complete the tasks we are meant to complete. But if we self-pity and think that we are too inadequate for the job, we are not only self-sabotaging ourselves, but also fighting against Waheguru’s hukam- thinking that we know better than he does.

5.      Care about what you think about yourself. People will judge us no matter what. Some people will think good things and some people will think bad things about what we do, how we dress etc. What people think about us is not really a reflection about us, but rather a reflection about the person who is judging and their mindset. For example, an open-minded positive person may think very highly about a project that we completed, but another person who has a negative mindset or a person who gets jealous may tell us our project is a disaster. None of these opinions are the absolute truth and more or less reflect on the person judging us, rather than our project. So it is more important to understand what you think about yourself, rather than strangers. 

So these are just some things I have learned on my journey, by serious self-reflection.

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