Saturday, 25 May 2013

Failure- A Door to Success

Failure is not an end but a door to Success.

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What is Failure? Is Failure Permanent? What is the Relation between Failure and Success?

Before going into these questions, just try to find the way by entering left side and coming out of right side of the following maze in one attempt.


Did you succeed in your first attempt? It is very difficult to solve this maze in one attempt but could be solved in subsequent attempts because it is designed in such a way; so are our worldly problems. Failure is not an end that nothing could be done further. It only says that one is on wrong path; just try again. If we go in the etymology of the word ‘failure’, we would find that it is derived from Latin word ‘fallere’ which means ‘to deceive’ i.e. one is misled in his path. As one is succeeded in solving this maze in more than one attempt by remembering the wrong ways and not entering them, so one could succeed in life also by following the same principle.

Failure is not an end that nothing could be done further. It only says that one is on wrong path; just try again

Failure is not an end but a door to success. No one can ever reach success without entering this door. In the words of Michael Jordan, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeeded.” David Copperfield was penned after the tragedy faced by Charles Dickens in his first love. O. Henry found author in himself after meeting a great misfortune which ended in his prison in Columbus. In fact, all the great works are written in prison. There are many proofs in support of the statement such as Pilgrim’s Progress, My Experiments With Truth, Mein Kemf etc.

No One Can Ever Reach SUCCESS Without Entering the Door of FAILURE

There lived a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative race at 22; failed again in business at 24; overcame death of his beloved at 26; had a nervous breakdown at 27; lost a congressional race at 34; lost senatorial race at 45; failed in an effort to become Vice President at 47; lost a senatorial race again at 49; and was elected President of the United States at 52. He was Abraham Lincoln. Success is not determined by one’s position but by the number of hurdles one overcomes to reach it. It is the failures that make success a special or an important experience.

Success is not determined by one’s position but by the number of hurdles one overcomes to reach it

Dale Carnegie is a noted authority on social behavior and business communication. He is author of the most famous and acclaimed book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ which was published in the year 1936 and is still a hot cake of market. In his extensive interviews with successful persons, he found that successful persons loved to talk about their initial struggling stages with great delight. After all, incidences of initial failures are the greatest determinants of best selling biographies.

Incidences of initial failures are the greatest determinants of best selling biographies

At this stage, I’d like to introduce you one of my greatest inspiration, an ant. It is strange but true. In my childhood, like most children, I also used to play by torturing insects. One day I found an ant lost its way and wandering alone in my verandah. I put water around it and confined it to ground encircled by water. It swam the water and came out; and I again pour water around it to confine it within the thick line of water but again it came out. This process continued until ant died. I felt sad because I didn’t want to kill it but suddenly out of my grief a thought stroked me that if an ant chose to die but didn’t surrender to circumstances how could I? I took the ant out of the water and froze it within the wax of candle and kept it with me to remind me that one does not fail until he surrenders.You can see the wax made tomb of the ant in the picture below.



If you think that what the ant got by sacrificing its life; then I’d like to remind you that perhaps it is the only ant that is remembered as inspiration; has a tomb whose picture is posted on internet. Do you call it a failure?

Any physical impairment or even death could not be labeled as failure because Beethoven was deaf, Milton was blind, Hellen Keller became deaf, dumb and blind shortly after birth while Socrates was poisoned and Christ was crucified.

One does not Fail until He Surrenders  

Now, I tell you about a system somewhat similar to life, a pendulum. An ideal pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When its bob is raised to a certain height on one side and released; it will reach the same height on the other side. Failure and success could be considered as the two extremes of pendulum. If one reaches one extreme, he reaches the other too.

Failure and success could be considered as the two extremes of pendulum. If one reaches one extreme, he reaches the other too.

An experiment of quantum physics was carried out in Geneva which involved the production of pairs of photons in lab. For some of these pairs, one member was sent by optical fiber to the village of Bellevue while other was sent to the town of Bernex. The two towns lie more than 10 km apart. Experiments on the arriving photons are performed in both villages essentially the same time. The observed connections between the outcomes of these experiments confirmed the non locality of quantum reality i.e. if certain properties of two systems are known to be correlated; then finding out about one system could tell something about the other. Failure and success could be considered as pair of photons. It doesn’t matter how apart they are; knowing one could tell about other. So if you think success is tough, go for failure. You’ll ultimately meet success at end.

If you think Success is Tough, Go for Failure. You’ll ultimately meet success at the end

There lived a Prince Siddhartha around 400 BC in Shakya clan, whose capital was Kapilavastu, which at present is in Nepal. He was married and had a son. It was forecasted by astrologers that if he saw misery in life, he would become a sage. So, he was not allowed to go out. The persons who were hired for his service were young, healthy and beautiful so that he would have no idea about being old, diseased or ugly. One day, somehow, at the age of 29, he managed to go out of his palace and saw an old man, a diseased man and a corpse. These depressed him, and as predicted, he abandoned his family and palace and left for jungle in quest of truth.  He learned yoga, kept fasts and wandered from one guru to another but all his effort went into vain. Despite his utmost sincere efforts, he was not moving an inch further after attaining a certain stage of ritual. He got bored and finally, renounced all rituals, gave up fasts and even stopped practicing yoga. It is said that he was tired and sat under a banyan tree. He did not have any strength for thinking even about his quest: neither success nor failure. He was just there and nothing further could be said about his state. From outside, it appears a state of absolute failure but inside some transformation took place and he got enlightenment. He was Gautam Buddha and the tree under which he got wisdom is famous as the Bodhi tree which is situated in Bodh Gaya, India. 

The secret of success lies in the irony of life. It is seen in the story of Buddha that he found what he wanted after he abandoned the very desire of it.

The SECRET OF SUCCESS lies in the Irony of Life. One Succeeds After He Abandons the Very Desire of It

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Desire- Seed of Success

The central role in quantum theory of discrete choices- the choices of which questions will be put to nature, and which answer nature delivers- makes quantum theory of discrete events, rather than a theory of the continuous evolution of locally conserved matter/energy. The basic building blocks of the new conception of nature are not objective tiny bits of matter, but choices of questions and answers.
-Henry Stapp

Desire could be understood in terms of question and answer of quantum theory; freedom is given to each individual to choose freely which question he will put to nature and, similarly, nature is free to pick an answer to the question from numerous possible answers. Despite the freedom on both sides (individual as well as nature), it is certain that questions motivated by positive emotions will result in success answers while questions arise out of fear or negative emotions will result in failure answers. In fact, failure answers are success answers in a manner because one desires for them by invoking negative emotions. 

The word 'desire' was originated with the meaning in respect of guidance by nature for ones' concern. Desire is derived from Latin phrase 'de sidus' which means 'from the stars'. Later, in advancing world and rising competition, a feeling of insecurity emerged into prominence and transformed the meaning of word desire from accepting conscious choice of answer selected by nature to a fixed answer chosen by individuals which prohibits ones' chance of meeting higher opportunities.

I heard a story of a boy who was sent to buy two pastries. He was told that they would cost 6 rupees. He went to bakery and asked for two pastries. The bakery owner asked five rupees for the pastries but he started arguing that he was told that they would cost 6 and he would pay only 6 rupees. The owner understood his problem and said with a smile that "5 is less than 6". The boy finally realized his mistake, stroked his head with blush on his face, paid 5 rupees and took the pastries. This happens to most of the people who choose the answer themselves and miss higher opportunities.

A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air. Socrates asked, 'What did you want the most when you were there?" The boy replied, "Air." Socrates said, "That is the secret to success". 

The story is mostly misinterpreted and desire is considered as obsession for success but the story only displays the extent of his preparedness for success. Desire is not the state of obsessed mind but a state of relaxed mind. It simply means availability to receive nature's answer selected for him. Desire is a declaration that one is available and ready to face any test imposed by nature to prove his eligibility to greet the success. 

Dr. Richard Wiseman, a noted psychologist and author of the book 'Luck Factor,' did extensive research over a period of 10 years in finding factors for good or bad luck. In one of his experiments he gave lucky and unlucky person a newspaper asked them to find out how many photos were inside. On average, unlucky people spent about 2 minutes on this exercise while lucky people spent seconds because on the paper's second page- in big type- was the message "Stop counting: There are 43 photos in this newspaper." Lucky people tended to spot the message. Unlucky ones didn't. He put second one halfway through the paper: "Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250." Again, the unlucky people missed it. He deduced from the experiment that unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they're too busy looking for something else. Lucky people see what is there rather than just what they're looking for. 

Once Michaelangelo was working on stones and someone asked him what was he doing? He replied, "I am removing extra stones from the statue inside." The same man asked the same question with another artist who was working with stones. The reply was general. He said, "I am making statue out of this stone." This is the basic difference between the art of Michaelangelo and others. Michaelangelo used guidance from the nature itself while others were obsessed with their preoccupied image of statue. There is no doubt why Michaelangelo's art was beautiful, magnificent and widely acclaimed because it was the choice of nature among the enormous possibilities, not the choice of Michaelangelo. He was just following the stars.

It was the year 1893, a young Indian Saint had heard vaguely of a Parliament of Religions to be opened someday somewhere in America and he had desired to attend it. He knew nothing about it, neither the exact date nor the conditions of admission. He also didn't have enough money to complete his journey; his ticket was sponsored by Maharaja of Khetri. He left Bombay on May 31, 1893 for America. Upon his arrival, in the middle of July, in Chicago, he discovered that the Parliament did not open until the first week of September and that it was too late for the registration of delegates; moreover, that no registration would be accepted without any official references. He had none, he was unknown, without any credential from any recognized group and his purse was nearly empty; it would not allow him to wait until the opening of the Congress. Instead of hoarding in inaction, the few dollars left with him, he spent them in visiting Boston. In the Boston train, a rich Massachusetts lady got flattered by his intelligence, invited him to her house and introduced him to the Hellenist, J. H. Wright, a professor at Harvard; he insisted that the young genius should represent at the Parliament of Religions and wrote to the President of the Committee. He offered the penniless pilgrim a railway ticket to Chicago and letters of recommendation to the Committee for finding lodging. In short, all his difficulties were removed. On September 11, 1893, as the last orator of the day, he hardly had pronounced the very simple opening words "Sisters and Brothers of America"; then hundreds rose in their seats and applauded. He was Swami Vivekanand. And what happened after that is history. He proved that desire is seed of success and when planted on the potential ground of uncertainty, having enormous possibilities. meets the chance of higher opportunities.  

Everyone has a will to win but very few have the will to prepare to win.
- Vince Lombardi

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Imagination- A Tool Of Geniuses

One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the Universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believes in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?
-Stephen Hawking

It is said that our subconscious mind could not differentiate between real and imaginary because it uses the same mechanism to process both phenomena. The brain is the center where the reception and transmission of incoming messages and their transformation into outgoing messages are made, being a sort of central switchboard which permits the sense organs to come into communication with muscles. The brain communicates with electrical spikes. Sense organs receive input from stimulus and produce sequences of electrical spikes that go to the brain. The sequence of spikes is a code that represents actual sensation received by the sense organs. But somehow, through a yet unexplained process, the spikes are transformed into the experience. Similar experience is also found in case of thoughts or feelings. This experience is called image in the mind. It appears from etymology of the word image that it is derived from the Latin word ‘imāgō’ which means copy or likeness. The subconscious mind only processes the image (copy) to produce muscular movements. Imagination is, thus, the formation of copies of experience that could be of senses or feelings on the floor of mind to generate muscular movements.

Let me make it clear. An experiment was conducted during 1980 Olympic called 'visual motor rehearsal.' Olympic athletes were asked to run the event within their mind with actual emotions. It was found that the same muscles were fired in the same sequence as real event on tracks. One could also experience the same after seeing a dreadful dream. The tiny droplets of sweat could be easily traced on the forehead of the experiencer along with his increased heart beat.

The images which flash in the mind could be interpreted as archetypes of Jungian collective unconscious. Carl Jung believed in the possibility that his concepts of archetypes and synchronicity might be related to the unus mundus (Latin for one world) and both the observer and the connected phenomena ultimately stem from the same source, the unus mundus. In somewhat similar concept profounded by Roger Penrose, the archetype images could be considered as fundamental properties of nature like mass, spin or charge and unus mundus (Jungian collective unconscious) as basic field of proto-conscious experience where events or occasions of experience may be comparable to quantum state reductions, or actual events in physical reality. This suggests that consciousness may involve quantum state reductions (e.g. a form of quantum computation). Regarding the transitions from pre-conscious processes to consciousness itself, the pre-conscious processes may equate to the quantum superposition/quantum computation phase, and consciousness itself to the actual (instantaneous) objective reduction events. As Penrose objective reductions are proposed to be non-computable (reflecting influences from space-time geometry which are neither random, nor algorithmic) conscious choices and understanding may be similarly non-computable, so is imagination. Stuart Hameroff proposed tubulin in microtubules of neuron as biological basis for Penrose theorem and the joint proposal of Penrose and Hameroff for human consciousness is called Orch-OR model. The interpretation of consciousness in terms of quantum physics especially quantum entanglement and quantum superposition with imaginary time concept of Hawking opens the door of enormous possibilities for active imagination such as telepathy, clairvoyance etc.

Apart from the parapsychology and the metaphysical concepts of imagination, it is also a matter of fact that geniuses have the access to the power of imagination even in the field of science which is thought to be reason driven. The eminent scientists, from Tesla to Einstein, acknowledged the use of faculty of imagination in their scientific works. Tesla admitted that he did not need models, drawings or experiments. He could picture them all as real in his mind. Einstein started talking after age of two. It is likely that his tendency to think in pictures rather than in words accounted for his verbal slowness. He later said, I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards."

There was a man in Air Force, Colonel George Hall, who was kept in prison for seven years in the North Vietnam. Every day he played a full game of golf in his imagination. One week after his release, he entered the Greater New Orleans Open and shot a 76.

Now allow me to introduce a licensed massage therapist, an esthetician, a makeup artist, a model, an actress, spoke person of many companies and organizations including Element Skateboards, co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a highest ranked female adaptive snowboarder who won two world cup gold medals back to back but only one Amy Purdy who was born in the year 1979. On the other side of story, at the age of 19, she suffered from bacterial meningitis with less than 2% survival chance. She remained in coma for nearly three weeks. Over a period of two and half months, she lost her spleen, kidneys, hearing ability of left ear and both of her legs below the knees. She was transplanted a kidney donated by her father. In spite of these odds, she managed to be successful. How? In her own words; she said "I imagined myself walking gracefully and helping others through my journey and snowboarding again. I didnt see myself carving down the mountain but actually felt it. I felt the wind against my face and the beat of my racing heart as it was happening in that very moment."

Our imaginations could be used as tools to break borders.
 -Amy Purdy

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Decision- How one should make? (Part-2)

Trust in yourself. Your perceptions are often more accurate than you are willing to believe.
-Claudia Black

What happens in decision making is that we have given choices and we have to select one. How do we select? We select by comparison. First we set an ideal and then compare each choice with the ideal and the choices which do not match are cut. The word 'decision' is itself derived from two Latin words 'de and caedere' meaning to cut off. The matching or nearly matching is selected and we act accordingly. Now the question arises that from where do we get choices? The answer is from past experiences or probable outcomes.

Let me give you a situation. Suppose a person is just arrived on earth and he had no prior experiences of anything, his memory was empty and he started a grocery store. He met his first customer and the customer wanted to purchase on credit and agreed to pay by the evening. Since he had no prior experiences of this type, he had to select on random basis. The outcome is 2 i.e. either he would pay or not pay; hence, the probability is 1/2. He sold the item to the customer. The customer also kept his promise and paid by the said time. Next day also another customer came and offered the same and he sold but that customer did not kept his promise and didn't pay by the said time. Third day a different customer came and demanded the same term. Now he had two prior experiences; in one promise was kept and in another promise was not kept. By combining the two separate incidences into one, the probability was still 1/2. So he trusted this customer and sold the item but this customer also failed to pay by the said time. On fourth day, a new customer came and promised the same terms as promised by previous customers but this time the person refused to sell because he had a reason to deny. In his last three experiences only one out of three paid and remaining two failed. The probability of paying is 1/3 and the probability of not paying is 2/3 which is greater than the probability of paying. Hence, his decision is justified. Is it? If we look from another perspective, this is a new event and the probability of paying is still 1/2, so it is not wrong to predict that he might get the payment this time.

It is deduced from the constant studies of Sir Roger Penrose, the eminent physicist of these days, on physical basis of consciousness applying quantum physics and Einstein's general theory of relativity on Plank's scale that consciousness involves a factor which is neither deterministic nor probabilistic but non-computable. Conscious choices and understanding may be non-computable and free will may be seen as a combination of deterministic pre-conscious processes acted on by a non-computable influence. This can explain why we generally do things in an orderly, deterministic fashion, but occasionally our actions or thoughts are surprising, even to ourselves. The finding seems true because in our hypothetical situation why the person chose to sell to the first customer despite the probability of payment being 1/2 is unexplainable.

There is also a way of choosing, called intuition, other than reasoning, which is non computable. It is also valid in situations of decision making where we do not know anything about ideal solution or the choices available and often referred as hunch. Let me clear by citing examples. We all are familiar with aromatic compounds. The basis of aromatic compounds is benzene ring which structure was revealed to August Kekule in a reverie of a snake seizing its own tail. We also know the famous story of Archimedes, who, while bathing in his bathtub got the idea of specific density and the displacement of water by it which later turned into famous Archimedes' Principle of Buoyancy, ran naked into the court of king shouting "Eureka Eureka" meaning I have found. The falling of an apple before the eyes of late Isaac Newton led to the theory of gravitation is also an established fact.

There was a scientist who was less publicized but had more than 200 patents in his name. He earned his living using faculty of intuition in making decision for individuals and corporation. He was Dr. Elmer R. Gates. He had a sound proof room which contained a table with papers & pen and a chair where he sat for ideas. Whenever he had to make decisions or seek ideas, he sat in that room thought over the problem and choices if available and remained there quietly until solutions began to flash in his mind.

I heard a story of a man who went to high mountains of Tibet to learn how to use faculty of intuition from a Buddhist monk. He arrived after long trekking of mountain. Upon his arriving, the monk gave him a cup and started to pour tea in it from kettle. He kept pouring. The cup overflowed but he didn't stop. The man shouted "what the hell happened to you? I heard a lot about you. I travelled such a difficult journey to learn from you but you seem to be a mad one. All my effort went into vain." The monk replied "in order to gain you must have some empty space to fill. Just trash out your mind."

The faculty of intuition functions only when the conscious mind is at harmony with nature and found to be more active in artistic persons such as painter, writer, musician and poet because they rely on inner perception. It is also a well known fact to the people who have keen imaginations that their best decisions come through the faculty of intuition. That is why; Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge.

We used intuitive faculty frequently in our childhoods but have become weak through inaction. It can be revived and made alert through use. This faculty needs to be trusted, the more a person relies on it, the better it functions. Just empty your mind, practice silence, non-judgment and spend time in nature.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary.
-Steve Jobs

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Decision- Why One Avoids? (Part-1)

The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs are, generally, easily influenced by the opinions of others.
-Napoleon Hill

Why one is not able to take decisions? Why one feels so tense at the time of making decision? While asking these questions, be aware of the feelings and thoughts rises in the mind. One will find that these feelings and thoughts are having negative connotation and somehow linked to fear; mostly the fear of being ridicule by others than fear of failure.

In my childhood I heard many stories of Akbar and Birbal. In one of them, Akbar challenged his courters to make a stick smaller without touching it by any means, which on his order was fixed in the centre of his court. None could find a solution except Birbal. What he did was fixed another stick bigger than the stick fixed by Akbar beside it. The moral of the story opened the door to a new way of thinking for me that one could do destructive things also in constructive manner. Here, the motivating source is not fear but gratification.

In doing some destructive thing the fear of criticism is very high as compared to constructive things. Let me give an example, if one is asked to edit an article he would feel fear because he has to find faults which is in someway is destructive. On the other hand if the same person is asked to write a new one he would feel relaxed or might feel delighted. This is because one is comfortable in taking responsibility for oneself than for others. The factor for this way of thinking is the fear of criticism by others.

One thing I could tell with utmost responsibility that no one ever is praised by the whole world for taking a particular decision. Jesus was crucified. Socrates was poisoned. Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln were shot dead and still there are many more which could be shared.

Lord Rama, according to Hindu mythology, was an ideal person, worshipped as symbol of truth and justice but his decision was also not accepted by all. He decided to accept his wife back after passing chastity test by her but his decision was challenged by a washerman. So it is unwise to expect full acceptance (for whatsoever may be the cause). The famous lyricist of Indian Cinema, Anand Bakshi, in his evergreen song for the movie Amar Prem wrote "don’t bother for other's comment; it’s their duty to say".

The other prominent interruption in arriving decision is fear of failure. At this point, I must tell that every success story is also a story of great failure. History is full of examples in support. The most quoted one is the example of KFC. Colonel Sanders at the age of 65 started to sell some specially prepared chicken dish but outright rejected at 99 doors. He found his first customer at 100th door. Thomas Alva Edison while struggling to find the correct metal for bulb filament tested 9,999 metals but failed. Finally, in his 10,000th attempt, he succeeded and found tungsten. It is well said by Tom Watson Sr. that if one wants success, he must double the rate of his failures.

I heard a story of a man who had a habit of avoiding decision and always rested decisions on fate. One day he had to cross a river and only one boat was available. He felt happy because he didn't had to choose; it was the decision of fate. He hired the boat. While rowing in mid of river, suddenly, the boatman lost control and the boat started to sink. He was a firm devotee of Lord Mahavir and hence started shouting "Save me Mahavir Save me! It wasn't my decision. I had no option. I am not responsible for it. You have to save me". Finally, a hand appeared from sky and took him out of the sinking boat. He felt relieved but next he heard a voice asking whether he sought for Lord Mahavir, disciple of Lord Rama or Lord Mahavir, the Tirthankar of Jain. One cannot escape a decision but can only prolong.   

Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.
-Brian Tracy

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Solution- An Approach

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.
-Gautam Buddha

There are only two kinds of behaviour seen in the Universe, either attraction or repulsion and the motivating force behind them are pleasure and fear respectively. Every human behaviour could be explained in terms of attraction or repulsion. The term behaviour could be understood as the counter-action of a body towards the change in its surrounding and character as the information that governs behaviour. Character is, thus, an accumulation of information gathered as a result of interpretation of interactions held between a body and its environment, stored in a form of memory and associated with the emotion of either pleasure or fear. Why every item in memory is either associated with pleasure and fear and triggers an outcome in the form of attraction or repulsion will be discussed in my later articles.

Every behaviour of human is somehow related to something in his memory and addiction is not an exception. Addiction is related to some problem whose solution people don't know or don't want to find out and indulge himself in some pseudo-solutions. I refer pseudo-solutions to those solutions devised in a similar fashion as by ostrich, the largest bird on earth, to do away its enemies. Ostrich simply shuts its eyes to make sure that its enemies are no more. This is not a solution but a problem in guise of solution, a pseudo-solution. The same is true with the practices devised with the intention to solve a problem which are unable to solve and moreover revealed itself as a new problem, addiction. In other words, these practices are palliative not curative with also having side effects.

One is so involved in the practice that he forgets his problem or thinks like ostrich that the problem solved (Is it?). To get in touch with the problem, stop the practice with assertion of will and focus on the feelings and memories that surface with the withdrawal of activity. The observed thoughts or feelings unveil the underlying problem(s) which must be somehow related to fear in memory. The only answer to fear is feeling of well being lies in fulfilling of some conditions turned out important for us by our previous behaviours. We are the victims of whatever belief system we made and so it is very essential to use conscious mind to build such system and make sure that last link is pleasure in memory.

To kneel down the addiction be very specific regarding why one want to quit. The reason must be solid to break the withdrawal jarring.

Write the problem uncovered in introspection on a piece of paper and try to find out the solution. With every solution ask a question whether will this eradicate the problem and if the answer is yes then proceed for next step. Don't worry about addiction during these phases; let it be as it is.

The next phase starts with the implementation of solution. Write down the action plan on a fresh piece of paper. The statements written should be affirmative in not more than ten sentences.

Make a daily routine to wake up at dawn, walk for 30 minutes before sunrise, take interest in gardening or seeing stars at night or both as per your taste & likings. The point is be in touch with nature. In spare time try to recall the taste of ones favourite dish, fragrance of ones favourite flower or perfume or anything just be creative. If possible try to meditate.

Before starting the action plan, it is very important to shatter paper on which problem is written into tiny pieces and throw them into dustbin. This behaviour triggers a new neural pathway apart from old addictive one and signals the brain that he no longer use the old pathway. Since learning is habitual, one has to cultivate the habit of not involving himself into habit by practising habit and any exception would draw the neural current in old pathway deepens it and makes the task harder. To avoid this one could keep the piece of paper on which action plan is written in his purse or pocket to remind the cause to quit the addiction and each remembrance reinforces his conviction and commitment.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. 
-Carl Gustav Jung

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Addiction- Lethal Allele of Habit

Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.  -St. Augustine 

It is the irony of reality that it gives as well as take at the same time but appears as giving at macroscopic level, hence, referred as illusion. As soon as we are born, our death is certain. But it rests with us to acknowledge ourselves as dead whether at the time of birth or death. Gautam Buddha, founder of Buddhism, while roaming for the first time out of his palace, saw a corpse and thought himself as dead and felt a strong urge to liberate from twin of birth and death. But that story some other day. 

Habit is no different in this case, it is accompanied by its lethal allele, addiction. Habit is very essential for learning, in fact, learning itself is habitual. But sometimes habit, mixed with a series of events or thoughts as a result of some emotion into prominence that bring change in behavior pattern, mutate to its lethal allele, addiction, which is a state of being enslaved to habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Addiction is different in its nature from habit and must be fought differently. It cannot be defeated by assertion of will only because its motive force derives from some underlying need which exists independent of the practice. The addiction is itself aggravating the need, and in this sense is not merely a symptom of the need but for the most part, other practices or life experiences are generating the need. The sufferer from addiction is choosing his practice as a palliative for his pain or discomfort.

Practices that become addictive are not always newly adopted ones. The practice may be an occasional activity of the past, like playing cards, which suddenly takes on consuming importance because it becomes the most effective way that mind finds to reduce some intense craving. The habitual cigarette smoker who suddenly develops personal problems may, by using smoking to calm himself, convert the habit into a addiction. Now when he tries to stop, he will become much more anxious than if he had tried earlier, and continued abstinence may not reduce anxiety. He may find it impossible to subdue his urge without replacing smoking by some other activity and thereby reducing his underlying need. We may describe addictive behavior as the attempt by the mind of the sufferer to solve some underlying problem, one perhaps intensified by the activity, but one that owes mainly to difficulties elsewhere in the mind and seldom identified by the sufferer.

Two characteristics apart from the strength of the impulse may make a practice difficult to stop. The first is insignificance. Habits difficult to identify may be surprisingly hard to break such as habits like gesticulating etc. The second kind of habitual practice which is difficult to control is the kind that when carried out in moderation is serviceable or necessary such as habit of overeating. 

In addition, when we resist our impulse, we nearly always feel incomplete at first. The person who tries not to gesticulate may suddenly feel that his sweeps of the hand are eloquent and that what he is saying cannot be conveyed without the use of his hands.

Any strong psychological need may underlie a addictive practice, and any practice may be addictive. Like all palliatives, addictive practices tend to obscure from us the needs that caused us to use them, and lull us into underestimating the urgency of those needs. With nearly every addiction there comes some reduction in the person’s ability to enjoy the wide spectrum of experiences once pleasurable to him. When a craving becomes intense, it tends to become highly specific; other satisfaction will not do. The sufferer from any addiction of long standing, if he stops his practice before carefully resurrecting other sources of gratification, undergoes a “withdrawal reaction” like that which alcoholics report.

Habit is habit, not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
-Mark Twain

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