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Thought Provoking

13 Sep 2015   Shanti Gowans
Joe was very unlucky in everything he did. His businesses were always failing. He longed for a wife but could never find one, and his health was not that great.
When Joe asked the people of his town for advice, he was told, “Go to the desert. Find the angel that lives there. Tell him your troubles. He will help you”
And so Joe embarked upon his quest, walking in the desert. All of a sudden he stumbled upon a lion who was sad and crying.
“What’s the matter, lion? ” Joe asked
“I am hungry” said the lion, “I haven’t eaten for so long and there’s nothing here but sand.”
“Don’t worry” Joe reassured him, “I am going to find the angel, and will put in a word for you as well. He will help you”
And so Joe kept walking. Then he came upon a beautiful young woman who was sad and crying.
“What’s the matter” asked Joe, “Why are you crying?”
“I am crying because I don’t have a husband” said the woman “and I am alone”
“Don’t worry” said Joe. “I am going to see the angel and will ask him to help you”
And Joe kept walking. He then came upon a tree, sad and crying too!
“What’s the matter tree?” asked Joe, “Why are you crying?”
“I am crying because I have something stuck in my roots, and I can’t reach the water in the nearby lake”
“Don’t worry” said Joe, “I am going to see the angel and will ask him to help you”
And so Joe kept walking until he reached an oasis. Naturally, the angel was right there.
“How can I help you, dear man?” Asked the angel
And so Joe told the angel his troubles, and didn‘t forget to ask for help for his new friends.
The angel then told Joe to head back home and  that he would encounter luck on the way, adding, “Make sure you pay attention to signs! As for your friends, take these three letters to them and make sure they read them while you’re there.
First Joe came back to the tree and handed him the letter
“A letter?” ” asked the tree
“Yes, read it” said Joe
“What does it say?”
“It says that the thing that is stuck in my roots is a treasure and one day a man will be kind enough to remove it and let my roots grow free and reach the water”
“I am sure someone will” Said Joe “Good luck with that tree. I must go home and wait for my luck”
Then Joe went back to the woman and gave her the letter
“what does it say?” he asked
“It says that the first man that shows up will be my husband!
 “Oh wow, that’s fantastic!” said Joe “Good luck. I am sure that he will come soon, I have to head back home and wait for my luck!“
Then Joe went back to the lion and gave him the letter. Then the lion then jumped on him and tried to eat him!
“Hey! What are you doing? asked Joe “What does it say in the letter?”
“It says” said the lion, “If this poor fool comes back to you, then eat him! There’s no hope for him, he just can’t see all the gifts that I‘ve sent him!” 
Thought provoking indeed. Everything we need is right in our path. Sometimes we are so fixated upon our problems that we fail to see the treasures given to us. Our reality is a projection of our thoughts. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at changes. Just step back, keep your eyes and mind wide open, see past your nose. Opportunities abound, if they don’t seem perfect for your expectations.

Our thoughts impact our actions, and ultimately, the level of success we achieve. They influence our emotions and perspective of the world. If you can identify your unhelpful thought patterns, you can correct them and develop new ways of managing yourself and the world.

Here are some examples how your thought patterns can influence multiple aspects of your life:

Making assumptions

How many times have you made a decision too quickly and regretted it? Sound, fruitful decisions require information. Too many of us jump to false conclusions because we don’t have all the facts. Before you reach a negative conclusion about a situation or person, delay your judgment. Gather all the available information and then make an informed decision.

Give yourself the chance to succeed.

Applying the past to the future. 

The most appeal person in high school might have ignored you, but that has nothing to do with your ability to appeal to the person of your dreams today. The past doesn’t have to equal the future. We are often too quick to believe we are experts regarding our abilities. One failure is not enough to prove anything. Pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to test a drug on just one person and then release it to the public. Many attempts are required to prove that results are not due to random chance. Do you believe that a flipped coin will only land on ‘heads’ in the future after flipping it once or twice and getting that result? You were not born knowing how to walk or do arithmetic. Even if you lack natural skills in one area of your life, you can always learn. You can learn to be a great public speaker, a meditator, or sociallly adept.

Focus on the negative

Strive for clarity, and to be truthful and accurate. Withr your relationships, focus on the real person, and that they are a living, breathing being with feelings. When the relationship is floundering, could it be that, you are too focused on the negative?

Unbalance thinking

Do you give your failures too much attention and relevance? Do you give your successes too little? Have a balanced view. Just because your boss ignored your morning greeting doesn’t mean you’re about to be fired. Be patient and kind and give yourself the credit you deserve.

Taking something personally that has nothing to do with you

People do and say things for many reasons that do not include you. They might be having a bad day, or contending with a personal issue. Other people have more on their minds than just you. Your car breaking down doesn’t mean the universe is out to get you. 

Focusing on the past

The past can provide lessons. However, most people don’t use the past constructively. They focus on the missed opportunities and mistakes. When used this way, the past creates feelings of regret. Let go of the past and avoid allowing it to cloud your future.

• Focusing on the future

Having goals and plans is great, but it is common to use the future as a source of worry. Stay focused on today. Today is the only time you can change your life. Allow the future to arrive, it will, sooner than you think. The future is now. 

• Putting things off. 

It is easier to have your muffler replaced when you notice that it is deteriorating than to wait until it falls off in the middle of the highway. If you wait until you are forced to deal with things, your solutions will be less elegant and less convenient. Attend to things in a timely manner.

If you indulge in any of these thought patterns, noticing your tendencies is the first step to changing them. When you catch yourself thinking in a way that clouds your judgement, replace your thought pattern with one that serves you well.

Choicest blesings.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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