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Practice : A Mantra

 

Marines with the Wounded Warrior Regiment line up to shoot during archery practice at the 2012 Marine Corps Trials at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 17. More than 300 injured Marines, veterans and allies, are competing in the second annual Trials, which includes swimming, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, track and field, archery, cycling and shooting. The top 50 performing Marines will earn the opportunity to compete in the Wounded Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., in May.

“Go & practice till you reach perfection” this was the only lesson Eklavya got from Dronacharya. He belonged to a backward clave, this made Dronacharya deny him lessons in archery. But Eklavya considered him as his Guru, made his statue & feeling the presence of his Guru he practised the art in the forest. After years of practice he turned out to be a perfect archer.

Once Dronacharya & few of his students were passing through the forest 3-4 dogs were accompanying, their bark disturbed Eklavya who was practising. The dogs moved forward from the group. After sometime the dogs returned, they had arrows stuck in their throat. There was no sign of violence or pain but their sound had ceased. They looked around for someone who might have done it but found no one. The shot was from distance. It was done only by tracing the sound.

Walking further they saw a man with a bow in his hand, they knew this was the arches they had been searching. Eklavya did not fail to recognize his Guru though his Guru did. After hearing from him what made him a good archer Guru was sure Eklavya was the best archer he had ever formed.

A woman runs on a trail silhouetted by a setting sun shrouded by fog.

Sherly had made up her mind to win Olympics when she was in school. She participated in competition & practised running. Her parents took it just as enthusiasm in childhood. But fate played its dirty trick on her, she fell ill & while recovering she realized her legs were lifeless. Her dreams to win Olympics were still alive.

After 2-3 operations & by using special type of footwear she would walk. She returned to school & continued with the studies. During the sports meet, her teacher was surprised to see her name in the list of participants. She tried to make her understand, where walking was difficult, running seemed impossible. But she was adamant. Her parents were called. They tried to explain her, but she pleaded in her innocent voice. They allowed her to participate. The race started but she could not complete. But on the 2nd day she completed.

She started practising & took part in many competitions. In 1956 she took part in Olympics & won gold medal. It was the victory over her disability.

In both the stories their dreams came true by practice. Practice made them perfect. They never gave up. There are dreams & hopes in our mind & they can be achieved only by practising.

 

The Power of a Positive Attitude – ASK formula.

There are three things that are essential for success – attitude, skills and knowledge. In other words, the ASK formula.

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ATTITUDE:

Attitude is nothing but a state of mind that directs our action in daily life. It is a kind of mental orientation. We are all products of our attitudes – whether negative or positive – and it is important to examine them from time to time discover their real impact on our lives.

SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES:

A skill can be described as an ability to do something or to apply a concept or idea; competence is the ability and willingness to do it. Skills and competencies are as importance as knowledge and are critical component of a composite leadership development.

KNOWLEDGE:

It’s a key element of success. The right kind of knowledge enables us to correctly identify facts, helping us to acquire a better understanding of the internal and external environments. Some people equate good education with good knowledge. The reality however is quite to the contrary. Good grades in examination do not guarantee high knowledge levels: degrees or grades that have been acquired through cramming, for instance, are of little value in real-life situations. The route to rule knowledge has to pass through the valleys and passes of great character, discipline, commitment and timely activation of dormant capacities, energies and intelligence.

A positive attitude is the first stepping stone to success

What distinguishes successful people from the rest of the pack is a positive attitude: a positive attitude leads to positive behavior and ultimate to success. This is important if we are to optimize our potential and capacities; in a vast majority of people these remain grossly under-utilized. A positive attitude is a potent force; a negative attitude, on the other hand, prevents us from our full potential.

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Inventor Thomas Alva Edison made 10,000 attempts before he perfected the light bulb. Any other person would have quit the scene, but Edison refused to give up. Now people with a negative mindset might say that Edison failed 10,000 times before he succeeded. However, the fact is that Edison discovered 10,000 ways of not failing.

A positive attitude is also the first step towards tracking everyday problems – be it personal or professional. You see everything that happens around and within you through the filter of your attitudes. Since many events are beyond your control, you can neither choose what happens to you, nor guarantee success and happiness. But you can definitely choose how you feel about these happenings or how you react to them. A positive mindset allows you to have mental ability and the strength to be happier and take things in your stride. In today’s fast-changing environment, most people feel that it is not so easy to succeed and move ahead. As I have said earlier, it’s all about attitude. If you think you can win, the changes are that you will; if you feel that you can’t, you probably won’t.

A positive attitude always leads to:

  •  Higher productivity.
  • Good teamwork.
  • Good relationship.
  •  A secure feeling.
  •  High self-esteem.
  • Trust.
  • Pleasant personalities.
  • Passion and optimism.
  • Good motivation.
  • A sense of integrity, service and contribution.

The poem by an unknown author below beautifully sums up people with high energies, confidence and a positive attitude.

There is nothing to fear – you’re as good as the best,

As strong as the mightiest, too

You can win in every battle or test;

For there’s no one just like you

There’s only one you in the world today;

So nobody else, you see,

Can do your work in as fine a way,

You’re the only you there’ll be!

So face the world, and all life is yours,

To conquer and love and live;

And you’ll find the happiness that endures

In just the measure you give;

There’s nothing too good for you to possess,

Nor heights where you cannot go;

Your power is more that belief or guess,

It is something you have to know

There is nothing to fear – you can and you will

For you are the invincible you,

Set your foot on the highest hill,

There’s nothing you cannot do

People with a positive attitude are energetic and take initiative. They don’t sit back for want of opportunities. They act and make the opportunities if they don’t find one.

Tratak : Concentration Boosting technique for students

 
 Best Meditation type for students

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Tratak is a type of yogic sadhana which helps a person to increase concentration, boost confidence and develop positive attitude towards life. This can be done by anyone and everyone. It removes bad thoughts and negativity from one’s mind and brings out positive vibes. It also improves eyesight and keeps you away from depression.

There are various types of Tratak Sadhanas. The one most suitable for students is Madhya Trataka in which we concentrate on flame of candle or lamp.  This has to be performed at sunrise or sunset in natural light.

Procedure for Madhya Tratak :

  1. Place a lighted candle or lamp (diya) on a table/chair such as the flame is at a straight line height with your eyes when you are seated on the floor.
  2. Take a blanket or mat. Place it on the floor and sit on it. Take a wet handkerchief and place it beside you.
  3. Make sure there is least disturbance of any other light or sound.
  4. Now concentrate on the flame. Slowly you are only able to see the flame and nothing around it.
  5. Try to keep your eyes open and concentrate until eyes start watering.
  6. Then close your eyes and imagine that you can still see the flame for minimum of 2-3 minutes.
  7. Chant “OM” or any other prayer your follow. Keep your eyes closed.
  8. Wipe your eyes with wet handkerchief. Then slowly open your eyes.
  9. Wash your eyes and you would feel completely fresh and charged
  10. Follow this 3-4 times a week. Following this regularly will bring in tremendous positive change in you.

I have followed this since my school days and this has really helped me a lot. If hope this would be beneficial to you too. Give it a try and let me know if it makes you feel different and positive. Feel free to comment/share/like this post.

Sharpen Your Skills

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A villager sees a wood-cutter working hard in a jungle trying to cut a huge tree with his axe. The villagers asks him “How long have you been doing this, you look really tired.”. Wood-cutter replies “It has been 5 hours I am working to cut this tree. This is really a tough job.”

“Why don’t you take a break and sharpen your axe” exclaims the villager. “No. No. I don’t have time to sharpen the axe.” The wood cutter says empathetically. “I am busy axing.” Time passes and it started getting dark. The wood cutter finally completes his job for the day and returns home to come again next day.

While he is returning home he thinks about what the villager had told him. He goes home and sharpens his axe for the next day even though he was very tired. The next day when he starts working on the tree, he finishes cutting it in little time and with very less effort than the day before.

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Here the Axe symbolises your skill set and abilities. In our daily life we get so busy with work and studies that we can hardly recognize that we have to polish our abilities and skills to perform better. We are so busy with work that taking out time for other activities seem impossible or waste of time.

But as the story suggests, we should take out some time to learn new skills and techniques that would help us perform better at work and studies. We should spend time in learning new concentration techniques, memorization techniques, self-study techniques etc. which will help us study efficiently. We should not only learn them but also take out time in our daily routine to practice them. Practice meditation, yoga and/or exercise which will relieve our day-to-day stress and keep us motivated and energetic.  All this would improve the performance level of our mind and body and we would feel more accomplished. We would complete our work in less time and utilize remaining time for rejuvenation.

The Art of Memorization

 

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Human memories are associative. We always tend to remember an incident by its association to other incident. You can try this exercise, sit idle and close your eyes and let your thoughts flow for few minutes. Now stop the flow of thoughts and traverse back what you were thinking about one by one and think about how you jumped from one thought to the other. The reasons that cause jumping are the association.

Now that we know how it works, we have to practice and implement it for remembering what we read or study. Therefore now we have to learn to deliberately create associations. Here is an article that would help you start: http://www.wikihow.com/Memorize-a-List-Using-Numbers-and-Rhyming-Words

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Another efficient way of memorization is using audio-visual techniques. We generally tend to remember movie scenes and songs easily than we can remember our formulae. We can use audio or visual techniques to the same. A Simple visual technique would be using colour pens to write a formula attractively such that we can remember it in the form of a picture or converting a definition into a rhythm to remember quickly.

The above given techniques have proved very efficient to those who use it. A good practice at associating day to day work, study and facts would certainly lead you to perfection in memorizing.  If this article helps you or if you have queries regarding the same feel free to comment and connect back.

Last Minute Study & Tips

 

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Last moment revision will always be important for all the exams you would appear for. And this applies to both students who have studied well before and for students who were unable to prepare earlier.

It is observed that students tend to lose their self-confidence if they are not prepared well, as expected or if they are not able to re-collect what they have studied and learned. Good amount of practice would surely build this confidence level but the efforts have to be put in the right direction when time available is less.

Follow these simple techniques for efficient study :

  1. Whenever you read or study from books, underline the important lines and words. Highlighting will help revising more in last moment.
  2. Take notes while reading or in lecture. This helps in 2 ways. It keeps you more attentive in the lecture or while studying and the notes made by yourself are best handbooks for revision.
  3. Reading is not enough and you need to check that your brain is sharp enough and is able to recollect what you have learnt. Giving Mock Tests is the best way to do this. Instant evaluated mock tests as on PREXAM is the best judge of your preparation level.
  4. Revise deeply the part you were evaluated to be weaker than others. If you are able to answer the question well in time, you are all set for the final test. Take another mock test if time permits and you can re-evaluate yourself.
  5. Now revise all formulae, diagrams, laws, nomenclatures, dates etc.
  6. Take good rest before exam so that you brain is active enough to answer twisted questions in the exam.
  7. Eat light food, fruits before and during the exam so you do not feel sleepy.

Hope these tips help you. Feel free to comment on it. Good Luck and Happy Preparations!!

Magic of Involvement

 

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After a performance in the court, King Akbar told Tansen that he was the best singer.  Tansen thanked the king but corrected him humbly by saying that there was someone who could sing better than him, his Guru. On hearing this Akbar was delighted to hear Guru sing. But Tansen made it clear that his Guru would not come to the court & he does not sing for earthly rewards.

King Akbar & Tansen started off to Guru’s  residence, a case on the hills. At dawn, Guru went to the river, bathed & started singing in his melodious voice. The whole surrounding was immersed in his voice. While returning Akbar asked Tansen, “There was some magic in his voice that’s incomplete in yours. What makes his voice so different? Tansen replied, “Huzoor, I sing for thee, but he sings for divine.”

Tansen sang with an intention to satisfy the king & win earthly reward whereas Guru sang for his own satisfaction, with full involvement & found more happiness in it.

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Once a sage was passing through a village. He saw men working in the scratching sun, seemed like Mother nature was being cruel to them. They were carrying heavy stones.  He approached one of the worker & asked, ”What are you doing ?“ He replied angrily, ”Can’t you see what am I doing?”. He asked another person “What is being constructed?” He answered,“ I don’t know I have nothing to do with it.  I get my pay at the end of the day then why bother.”

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The sage continued. On enquiring with another worker he knew a temple was being build. Further he“Why are you so happy?” asked the sage. “I heard a temple in being constructed here.  I wanted to help. It is a rare opportunity one gets in ones life.  No other work can make me happier.” did not find a man who was working happily in the hot sun

In this story we come across four people who thought differently. The first one is working due to compulsion & is not at all happy to work, second, with an aim of earring, third was partly involved in his work, fourth working happily.

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If we do something on our own without any compulsion we do it better. It’s something we do for our satisfaction & not to satisfy others. Even if it is a small thing we did, we will be able to find greater happiness & beauty in it.

Journey to Success

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Slavery existed in America when Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President. A debate to bring an end to slavery was going on. In northern states, public supported this view. Industrial development was taking place & they needed free mobility of labor. On the other hand, in southern status agriculture was the main occupation & the number of slaves one had, determined ones power.
Government started taking necessary steps to eradicate slavery. In South, masters started selling their slaves to different places. Once a child of a slave was left behind, he was not grown enough to start working. A woman started looking after him. After 2-3 years his mistress put him in charge of the garden. Very soon he turned out to be an expert in the assigned work. By seeing his interest to know things and ability to grasp quickly his mistress decided to educate him. He was sent to a nearby school. He passed out with highest marks in the district.

For his high school studies, he was sent to town. To meet his necessities he worked in a laundry. He would spend his night in a farm on the outskirts since he had no place to live in the town & would return before dawn.  After a year or two the owner of the farm discovered it. But he let the boy continue because his stay had put an end to the robbery that had been taking place. He struggled hard to cross the hurdles whites created for him. It is hard to swim against the current.

He passed his high school with flying colors & wanted to continue his studies. It was sure he would not be admitted in a college in southern states. So he moved north & got admitted in a government college. He had to live in hostel and to meet his expenses he started laundering. He completed his post graduation & went for Ph.D.

After completion of his studies, Government offered him a job. He started a research and invented many things. One of them was, he made seventy-six substances out of groundnut grain. Later, a university was found in his name.

 ” Success comes from knowing that you did your best to

become the best that you are capable of becoming“.

Continue reading Journey to Success

Let’s live a Kings life

With enthusiasm of a child waiting for his Grandpa to start with the story, we waited for Doshi Sir to start.  The narration of the story in a rhythmic style and popping eyes with eagerness filled the classroom with an atmosphere of suspense.

The story was about a kingdom,

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Fate of the kings who ruled it & its subject.  A king lost his throne because he did not look after the welfare of his subjects.  Death was the punishment they gave their king.  He was tied up & put in a boat with the instruction to the rower to leave him in the forest on the other side of the river.

Since then in this kingdom, there was need for a king.  They decided to select a king amongst themselves on a condition that the king may have his powers for five years but on the last day of the fifth year he would be tied up & sent to the forest. Thereafter whoever became the king tried to hide themselves to escape the punishment at the end of five years.  Unfortunately they never succeed.

 

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Similar such a day arrived. The day to send the king to the forest arrived.  As usual the subject went searching for the king throughout the kingdom.  Unable to find him they returned to the palace.  They were surprised to see the king seated on his throne & waiting for them.  He had only one desire, his journey to the forest must be in a royal manner.  In astonishment they arranged for it ‘How can a man welcome death so happily?” was the thought that disturbed them.

On their way to the forest, the rower asked the king, “How can you be so happy when your end is near?” The king smiled and answered, “I am not facing death now, I am in the joy of being welcomed as a king.  When I was crowned as the king. I knew what would happen.  So within five years of my rule I got a part of the forest cleared and set up a kingdom there.  Now I have my own kingdom & my subject is waiting for me.”

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The five years in college is the time in our lives where we live as kings but latter loose everything if we have not set our lives.

Till now we have been travelling through a tunnel, a tunnel where comfort was the darkness that surrounded us.  There is a world beyond it, shining in light & filled with opportunities.  At the same time, like the wild animals in the forest there are dangers which are invisible even in daylight.

So let us be wise & follow the example of the king who setup a kingdom for himself. Let us set up our lives for the future, identify our goals in life and prepare ourselves for it.

Gone Forever

night ‘Time & Tide waits for none’  Time that is gone can never be brought back or stood.  Our daily activities are mainly of 4 types.  Crises – Important & urgent, Planning – important but not urgent & entertainment – not important & urgent.

Entertainment is important for mental relaxation but the time allotted to it should be limited.  Delegation is work that you can get it done from others.  Planning is needed to conduct things smoothly.  If there is no proper planning, task entrusted to you may not be completed on time & it turns into crises. When time falls short of this stage, the time we allocate to entertainment is utilized here.  If this continues for a longer time it can lead to mental disorder. Value of time cannot be determined.

 

Once a fisherman went to a river in a forest, for fishing.  After trying for several times he did not get anything.  It was turning dark & he decided to stay back.  After every few minutes he castled his net into the river.  After several try he felt something caught in his net.  It was heavy.  After pulling the net he found a bag full of stones.  He was annoyed.  To pass his time he started throwing the stones into the river one-by-one.  It was dawn. In the mild sunlight he realized that what he thought was mere stones were precious stones. The bag was half empty by now.  He would do nothing but only regret.  He could not get back what was lost.

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Time is like these precious stones which we ourselves waste without knowing the value & when we realize its value very little of it is left with us.  We have limited time & much work to do ‘At last its not the years in life but life in years that count.’

 ” LOST TIME IS NEVER FOUND AGAIN “