August 2015

To discover difficulties in every opportunity is the nature of the failures, while to discover opportunity in every difficulty is the nature of the successful. –  Chinmaya

Our attitude determines how we handle situations in life.

Whenever a situation/challenge/obstacle prop up in life, the mind gets ready to face the situation. The thought patterns generated in us to respond to this challenge is what is called as attitude.

A mind with negative attitude imagines the possible failures, fears the insult of defeat, exaggerates the intensities of pains and difficulties en route, questions the possibilities of success and seriously doubts one’s own self-confidence.

On the contrary, a mind with a positive attitude is filled with enthusiasm, courage and confidence. It gets filled with the ideas of ‘how it will work’ rather than how it won’t. Never bored of patient waiting and never afraid of risky undertakings, it looks forward to the ways of succeeding and the possibilities of winning.

What determines our attitude? 

The mind takes the shape of that which it constantly meditates upon. Consistently entertained thoughts become natural to us, and after a long period of time become our attitude.

A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing: “Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time.

The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favourite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.

The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father. And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in bed at hospital with the cast on for several days. The destruction of the car was another loss.”

In the end, he wrote: “Alas! It was such a bad year!”

When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking sad, lost in his thoughts. From behind his back, she read what was written on the paper. She left the room silently and came back with another paper and placed it on the side of her husband’s writing.

When the writer saw this paper, he found this written on it: “Last year I finally got rid of my gall bladder due to which I had spent years in pain. I turned 60 with sound health and got retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write something better with more focus and peace.

The same year, my father, at the age of 95, without depending on anyone or without any critical condition met his Creator. The same year, God blessed my son with a new life. My car was destroyed but my son stayed alive without getting any disability.”

In the end, she wrote: “This year was an immense blessing of God and it passed well!”

 Same incidents, contrary viewpoints!

Success or failure is determined, not by the outer situations, but by the nature of our mindset.

A traveller narrates his interesting experience:

“I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black pants, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: “I am Wasu, your driver. While I am loading your bags in the trunk I would like you to read my mission statement.”

Taken aback, I read the card. It said: “Wasu’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.”

This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside – spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”

I said jokingly, “No, I’d prefer a soft drink.”

Wasu smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.”

Almost stuttering, I said, “I’ll take a lassi.”

Handing me my drink, Wasu said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Hindu, Times of India, Economic Times and India Today.”

As we were travelling, Wasu handed me another laminated card, “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”

Wasu told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.

Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.

“Tell me, Wasu,” I was amazed and asked him, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wasu smiled into the rearview mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about the power of choice one day.”

“Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle. If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining! Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.”

“That hit me right,” continued Wasu. “It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining; so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I assume that has paid off for you,” I said.

“It sure has,” Wasu replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. I am getting busier day by day as my customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.”

The choice is ours: to quack like ducks or to soar like eagles.

When written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters — one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. What we see depends on our attitude.

In short, the law of life is simple: whether we think ‘we can’, or we think ‘we can’t’ – both ways we are right.

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Posted in: Chintana

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