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NLP: How to Communicate Effectively

It is true that communication is the key to success in this fast paced digitised world. We live in an ‘Information Age’, and our life has been dramatically transformed by the advancement in science and technology. The information highway has revolutionised the way we interact with people.

The Information and Communication Technology has to a great extent removed the intermediary, and enabled us to talk to our target audience direct. This has opened the enormous opportunity of new and effective relationship building and growth.

But whether you use advanced technology or the golden old ways of personal communication, effectiveness in human communication remains the key to excellence.

And any form of communication is successful only when the audience gets the right or intended message. In other words, we can say, “The meaning of the communication is the response that we get.” We may spend millions of advertising dollars but we may not get the desired response. And I am sure you are aware of many marketing disasters. This concept does not apply to business and organisations only but also in our personal life.

For example, you are interacting with someone and you are not getting the response that you expected. The best course of action in such a situation is to reflect and rethink the way you are communicating. And change your approach so the other person responds positively. And this is important if you want to get the desired response and achieve success.

Remember, our success in communication does not entirely depend on how well planned or organised we are, please do not get me wrong, planning, and organising is important but communication is successful only when we get the desired response. We cannot control somebody else’s response but we can always influence it by using a suitable strategy and some innovative thinking.

Exercise

(1) If you are not getting the desired response, reflect, rethink, and change your approach till you get the desired result.

(2) If you are not getting the desired response from your target audience, ask yourself, “What can I do to get the desired response?” And do it. Or, you can further explore to see if anyone is getting the right response from the same audience. If they are, learn and mirror them, and get the desired outcome.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 7:41 AM, , links to this post




How to use NLP Future Pacing to Achieve Excellence in Your Life?

“Change Your Mental Picture & You Will Change Your Life”

Have you ever thought that we have a mental image of ourselves stored in our mind? We form certain opinions about ourselves, on what we can do or achieve in our life. Are you surprised to know this? Self-image is what we think about ourselves, the mental picture which we form about our abilities. Self-image influences our self-esteem, attitude, and our behaviour. We create a high boundary wall and we work within that mental boundary or framework. And that becomes our comfort zone. So, our achievement and success in life is highly dependent on our Self-image. If self-image is that important, do we need to do something about it? Please read on if you want to create a positive self-image.

We hold both positive and negative views about ourselves and self-image is the sum total of both. Comfort zone does not necessarily mean that it is the best place for us. We may experience great pain in our comfort zone but still we may like to stay there. Normally we do not like to go out of that zone and accept a new challenge because we become use to that lifestyle. Human beings always resist change and we fail to accept that our environment is constantly changing.

I have met many people in my life and I know for certain that they can live a far better lifestyle if they change. But they prefer to stay where they are in their so-called comfort zone. And the problem is they even do not realise that they are suffering. I have done it myself in the past. There were times in life where I let myself down. I thought I cannot do something, but later, I realised that it was only my thinking, which was limiting and stopping me to move forward.

But one thing that I always do when I identify a limiting belief; I do my best to find a new way and take a different approach. Replace the old limiting belief with a new powerful and positive belief. I believe and often say to myself, “I have unlimited potential.” When we repeat this statement again and again, amazing things start to happen in our life. You do not need to trust me, try it yourself sincerely for at least a year. There is no quick fix. Then, you can decide for yourself what the truth is.

Let me tell you a real life story, a couple of months ago I was watching the news in BBC. And became shocked when I watched the news about a young woman who faced torture from her partner for many years before she sought any help from Police. During the interrogation, she revealed why she did not seek help earlier. Surprisingly, she said that she felt the torture and agony was a normal part of her life.

I still cannot believe it. And at that moment, I asked myself: how can someone form such a negative self-image? I am sure you know about similar examples where people let themselves down. They think they do not deserve any better. Can you remember any such examples?

Let me share a beautiful story about an eagle. Once upon a time somehow, a chicken hatched an eagle’s egg. So, the eagle grew up with other baby chicks. And with his other chick mates, he learnt what everyone did in the chicken world. In other words, he adopted a pure chicken lifestyle. So, everyday he used to go looking for food with his Mom and others, scratching and digging the ground looking for grass, seeds, and insects. And it seemed he was living his dream.

One day the eagle saw a majestic bird flying in the sky and he turned to a fellow chicken and asked him, “Hey look how wonderful that bird looks in the sky.” The fellow chicken replied, “Don’t you know that’s a majestic eagle. We can’t fly like them because we are chickens and meant to be in the ground.”

The eagle accepted what his mate said to him and nodded his head. Thereafter he led a life of a chicken and died, as because he formed a self-image and he believed that he was a chicken. Now we need to ask ourselves: do we sometimes behave like this eagle? Can we fly high majestically if we change our mental picture? Yes, off course we can, the moment we decide to take a new approach to life.

When we decide to break out of that boundary or loop, we experience ultimate freedom, and that becomes the turning point of our life. You can stop reading for a moment, think deeply, and identify your mental boundary. What is keeping you behind? What is limiting you to grow and have more in your life? What are your limiting beliefs? Is there anything that is stopping you to reach your full potential? Take your time and identify any blocks or barriers that you have at the moment. When you identify them, write them down immediately.

Now ask yourself: what can I do to change them? How can I change my approach to life? What are the different options or choices? And write them down as well. At this stage you do not need to worry whether they are right or wrong, just write them down as a list, as you can always change and modify it later. It is your life so it is you who decide what is right or wrong for you. Off course, we have to keep in mind that our actions do not harm or disturb others.

When you think deeply and start to question yourself, you will experience deep change, and move towards releasing your untapped hidden powers. And you will also realise that some of the opinions you held about yourself seems unfounded now. You might even laugh at yourself. And this happened to me a few times.

Sometimes when I sit down and look back I laugh at myself thinking about few opinions and views, which I held about myself in the past. I now know that they were my limiting beliefs. I don’t feel sorry or repent, but I definitely reflect and learn from my mistakes or feedback. Remember, there is no failure in life, only feedback. If you do not like something, keep changing your approach till you get what you want.

There are many successful people in this world who have faced severe hardships but they never stopped and accepted defeat. “When the going gets tough the tough gets going”,
read this inspiring story of this brave man called Stephen Hawking. Take responsibility for your own life if you want to control and create your own destiny, if you decide otherwise, someone else will. Let me quote Anthony Robbins, one of the world’s top motivational speakers, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

Read about this great man if you think you are a failure or not achieved much in your life. Then, ask yourself: if he can do it why not me? We have to keep in mind if we want something amazing to happen in our life we have to pay a price. Ask yourself: Did I pay a price? Or, Am I ready to pay a price? And I believe that if I am not ready to pay the right price than I should not expect it.

By ‘paying a price’, I mean the following: Am I taking responsibility for my life? Am I taking massive action? Am I doing everything possible to achieve what I want in my life? Are you the man who believes, “The man who wins Is the man who thinks he can!” You can
read this beautiful poem by Walter D. Wintle.

Remember, the more positive is your mental picture about yourself, the better are your chances of success. Change your mental picture and you will transform your life. So, how simple is that?

Let us explore briefly how we form our mental picture. Do you know that your mental picture started to take shape from the day you were born? Our environment has a massive impact on how we think and behave. Our parents, brothers and sisters, family members, friends, teachers, supervisors and everyone we have met till now have played a role in our life. And influenced us in some way.

They told us what is right or wrong. Some of them were experts in their field; ‘Gurus’ or they had more of life’s experience. Some of them even made some major decisions of our life. They told us what they personally felt was right. In other words, they gave their own opinions. And we accepted some of the opinions without giving a second thought. We never questioned whether that opinion is right or wrong. Or whether it is applicable in today’s environment.

Remember the way people treated you and behaved with you made the person you are today. Let me give you an example, a teacher might have reprimanded you in your Math class for not doing so well. And from that day, you thought that you are not good at Math. Therefore, every time you faced a Math problem you avoided it, and you sent a message to your brain, “I am not good at Math.” And you told your parents, friends, and everyone that you are not good at Math. So the more you did that your opinion about yourself became stronger and stronger, and gradually you formed a mental image that you are not good at Math.

It is important to understand that when we make a statement we try to collect evidence to support that statement. We want that statement to be true. For example, if someone says, “I am not good at Math”, he or she will collect all the necessary evidence to support that statement. And in real life, they will act and behave accordingly, and they will also expect others to support their statement. And with every reference or support, his or her belief will get stronger and stronger. Then, it forms an integral part of his or her self-image. For this example, I am assuming that the individual is not suffering from any mental or physical disability.

But I would also say that a disability should not be an excuse, we have many examples in this world.
Stephen Hawking is one of them, and I have great respect for this brave man.


Exercise:

Now let us do some simple exercise, which will help us to challenge our limiting beliefs, remove and replace them with empowering positive beliefs. We will also use some NLP to change our mental picture to a more positive one. Are you excited? I know it is a long article, but we know it well there is no quick fix solutions.

(1) Be careful what you say to yourself. Always send positive messages to your brain. From the previous example, let’s say you feel that you are not good at Math. Say to yourself, “I am good at Math.” It does not matter whether the statement is true or not, now. It will become true with repetition. But you have to take necessary action such as taking extra Math tuition. Jim Rohn said, “Affirmations without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” Affirmation with discipline creates miracles. So, if you do not take some concrete actions, only affirmations are not going to make any difference. You have to walk your talk. Read the following articles:

(a)
Your thoughts decide your destiny 1
(b) Your thoughts decide our destiny 2
(c) The Principle of positive self-talk
(d) Strategies for developing self-confidence

(2) Easiest way to identify your limiting belief is to challenge and question yourself. Whenever you say that I cannot do something, make sure that you question yourself. And find out how other people are doing it. Learn by modelling or mirroring their actions or behaviour. Find out exactly what they are doing and do it.

(3) If you fail in doing something, never give up; keep changing your approach till you get the desired result. There is no failure in this world, only feedback. We learn at each step, accept without hesitation that learning is a natural part of our life. Say to yourself, “It is alright to make mistakes.” But please do not abuse it. You know what I mean. Don’t you?

(4) Let me show you how to use a simple but immensely powerful NLP (
Introduction to NLP) technique called ‘Future Pacing’. It will help you to re-engineer your thinking. In future pacing you mentally rehearse a future outcome to ensure that you get the desired result. It is similar to visualisation. Some of you may be aware of visualisation technique, but if you are not, there is nothing to worry. The following examples will make it clear. Please feel free to adapt and change these examples to suit your needs.

(a) How to Use NLP Future Pacing to Excel in Job Interviews?
(b) How to Use NLP Future Pacing for Effective Dating?

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 7:43 AM, , links to this post




How to Use NLP Future Pacing to Excel in Job Interviews?

Scenario
Let us say you want to achieve excellence in your performance during an interview.

Future Pacing
Before you begin this exercise, find a quiet place where you will not have any disturbance. Close your eyes and take few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale deeply and gently. Please do it for about 10 times and say to yourself, “I am calm and relaxed.”

Now with your eyes closed, imagine in your minds eye that you are in your favourite movie theatre. You are alone and sitting comfortably in a seat in the theatre. And you are feeling calm and relaxed.

Now imagine that you are watching yourself on the big cinema screen. And visualise the interview scenario. It is similar to watching a movie. Remember in this movie, you and the other members in the interview panel are the actors.

Imagine that you have walked into the interview room, you have greeted everyone with a gentle smile, and you have a sign of confidence on your face. Then, when they ask you to take a sit, you thank them, and sit down comfortably.

Imagine that you are acting and behaving in a confident and relaxed manner. You have a gentle smile in your face and you are answering all questions confidently. Think about the exact questions and answer them effectively.

Imagine that you are sending positive vibes to the panel members and you are enjoying every moment of the interview. You are in total control. You are managing yourself effectively by using suitable body language. You feel powerful because you know you can convincingly answer all questions. You are confident about your skills and abilities. You are a unique and wonderful human being. Once you have finished the interview, you thank the panel members, and leave the room feeling great.

Remember, whatever you do in the future pacing exercise, you can easily replicate it in the real life interview. I do it in my life and I also do it often with my clients, it works wonders. The interesting part of this exercise is that you can do it as many times as you want. If you do not like something, keep changing your approach till you get the desired outcome. There is no failure, only feedback.

Let’s say you do not like something in the first session, your body language, voice, or whatever. Then in the second session repeat the same process and change what you do not like to what you like.

As you do this exercise few times, you will experience the great change in you. You will become more confident in accepting any new challenge in your life. You will remain calm and relaxed.

Good luck! And God bless.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 7:42 AM, , links to this post




How to Use NLP for Effective Dating?

Scenario
Let us say you want to achieve excellence while you Date someone. And make it a memorable experience.

Future Pacing
Before you begin this exercise, find a quiet place where you will not have any disturbance. Close your eyes and take few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale deeply and gently. Please do it for about 10 times and say to yourself, “I am calm and relaxed.”

Now with your eyes closed, imagine in your minds eye that you are in your favourite movie theatre. You are alone and sitting comfortably in a seat in the theatre. And you are feeling calm and relaxed.

Now imagine that you are watching yourself on the big cinema screen. And visualise the dating scenario. It is similar to watching a movie. Remember in this movie, you and your partner are the actors.

Imagine that you have walked into the restaurant or wherever you want to go, you have greeted your partner with a gentle smile, and you have a sign of confidence on your face. Then, when he/she asks you to take a sit, you thank them, and sit down comfortably.

Imagine that you are acting and behaving in a confident and relaxed manner. You have a gentle smile in your face and you are interacting with your partner confidently. You are in total control. Think about the exact topic of your conversation, and talk effectively.

Imagine that you are sending positive vibes to your partner and everyone in the room and you are enjoying every moment. You are managing yourself effectively by using suitable body language. You feel powerful because you know you have all the good qualities in you. You are confident about your life, skills, and abilities. You are a unique and wonderful human being. Once you have had your meal and the nice conversations, you thank your partner, and leave the place feeling great.

Remember, whatever you do in the future pacing exercise, you can easily replicate it in the real life situation. I do it in my life and I also do it often with my clients, it works wonders. The interesting part of this exercise is that you can do it as many times as you want. If you do not like something, keep changing your approach till you get the desired outcome. There is no failure, only feedback.

Let’s say you do not like something in the first session, your body language, voice, or whatever. Then in the second session repeat the same process and change what you do not like to what you like.

As you do this exercise few times, you will experience the great change in you. You will become more confident in accepting any new challenge in your life. You will remain calm and relaxed.

Good luck! And God bless.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 7:40 AM, , links to this post




How to be aware of opportunities and threats by resolving conflicts?

Sometimes I wonder how much time and energy we spend on conflict resolution both in personal and professional setting. Can we avoid it? Can we save precious time and energy if we are proactive? I feel at times we become so involved with our differences and ego that we lose focus of our present opportunities and threats. Fire fighting takes prominence rather than looking forward for newer goals and objectives. Think for a moment and ask yourself: do we need to step back and reflect on our actions?

What happens normally when we have a difference with someone? We become defensive and overprotective. And I think it is normal as a human being, as it is a basic part of our nature. We want to prove our point; we want to make sure that people understand us. But the problem occurs when we do not retract and reflect on the situation to find a middle way. And more often than not, we find the other person doing the same. And this results in a deadlock.

So, what should we do and what is the best principle to follow? I have written about the
Win-Win principle before, and I feel that it is the best way to resolve a conflict, read the article, and see if you can relate it to conflict resolution.

I am sure you will be able to find your own answers by reading the
Win-Win principle. What happens if we do not act wisely and resolve our conflict? There is a beautiful story, which I would like to share with you now and it fits in well with this article. This story is again a gift from my Dida – Grand mom in my native language. I hope you enjoy it.

The story

There lived two gorgeous cats in a little village in India, and they were great friends. They loved to go for long walks together and that also helped them to find their daily food. One fine sunny day as they were passing by a rich merchant’s house, the merchant’s daughter saw the cats and liked them. So, she lovingly offered them a large piece of tasty biscuit. The cats became delighted and overjoyed. I am sure they thanked the lady in their own cat mannerism, and quickly took the biscuit and went to a safer place.

They decided to sit under the cool shade of a banyan tree and enjoy the meal. One of them divided the biscuit into two parts so they can share it. But a problem arose, as one part of the biscuit was little larger than the other. And both of them wanted to have the larger part. This created a big tussle between the two friends.

By seeing this entire episode, a monkey who was sitting in that tree volunteered to solve the matter. So, he told the two cats to stop fighting and assured them that he would resolve their differences. The cats felt relieved and stopped fighting.

So, to make the two pieces of biscuits equal, the monkey took the larger piece and had a bite. The cats saw this and asked the monkey, “Why are you eating our biscuit? You have told us that you are going to make both the parts equal and solve our problem.” The monkey replied, “Yes that’s what I am doing. If I do not take off a part from the larger piece how can I make them equal.” The cats thought the monkey was right, and was doing his best to help them.

Once the monkey had the first bite, he compared the two pieces. Now it seemed the other piece is bigger. And he asked the cats about what they thought. The cats replied, “Still the two pieces are not equal.” So, the monkey had another bite of the larger piece. And this time as well the two pieces seemed unequal. So, as the cats watched, the monkey took one bite after the other to make the two pieces equal. Gradually, at a point, there was nothing left because the monkey had eaten the whole biscuit. Then he ran away. The cats then realised how foolish they have been by not resolving their conflict themselves, and they decided not to make the same mistake ever again in their lifetime. So, they shook hands and carried on with their stroll.

Before I close, I would ask you to project your consciousness on the article again, and reflect for a while. And then, take a piece of paper and a pen, sit down in a quiet place, and do the following exercise. And soon you will see the difference it makes to your life.

Exercise:

(1) Ask yourself: what can I learn from this story?
(2) What happens when we give in to our ego?
(3) Is it necessary to resolve a conflict quickly by following the
Win-Win principle?
(4) What happens when we involve ourselves in a conflict, do we lose focus of our threats and opportunities? Take a moment and think does it apply to both family and professional situations?

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 6:33 AM, , links to this post




Power of Choice: Stephen Hawking and his Incredible Inner Strength

I usually publish three articles a week though I want to write more and connect with you but somehow I cannot manage to write because of severe time constraints.

I want to tell you something strange about this article. I was wondering last night about what I am going to write this weekend and therefore I was not too sure. But strangely, this morning about 4 am the thought of Stephen Hawking’s life came to my mind. And I decided to write about his incredible inner strength.

Anyway, I did some quick research and sat down to write an article based on his incredible life story. And I must say that I am deeply inspired by his story of personal power, inner strength, courage hope, and determination.

We know Stephen from his great work on Physics. And his famous book ‘Brief History of Time’ was my personal favourite. I am sure you are also aware that he has contributed a lot to us through his research, and he did these despite his severe disability.

Let me quote this powerful words that touched me the most, “I have had motor neurone disease for practically all my adult life. Yet it has not prevented me from having a very attractive family, and being successful in my work. This is thanks to the help I have received from Jane, my children, and a large number of other people and organisations. I have been lucky, that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope.” And I suddenly thought if he could do it despite all his difficulties. If he could overcome all his obstacles, we can do it too. We have something to learn from this brave man.

Now let me tell you about the ‘Power of Choice’. The ‘Power of Choice’ simply means our inner power to choose what we want in life. Our decisions shape our life. It does not matter what happens to us in life but what we decide to do with what happens, and that is what shapes our destiny. This is exactly what Stephen Hawking has done in his life. He is disabled, he cannot write or speak, but he decided he would do his best to contribute to the society. And he has done wonders.

When we face an unexpected event in life whether it is personal or professional, we as humans lose control on our decision-making capacity. Sometimes even worse, we make the wrong decisions or choices. It did happen to me several times and I felt I was powerless, out of control and my life was in a mess. Did it ever happen to you? Did you ever feel you are out of control? I am sure we did at some point.

So, what should we do in such situations? It is important to realise and understand clearly that we are always in control. It does not matter what happens to our life, we always have the choice to drive ourselves forward by striving continuously. It is true that sometimes our life’s journey becomes difficult if we hit rough weather. And I completely agree that driving through life isn’t easy during those times. But we always have a choice to sit idle, repent, moan and groan or take responsibility and do something to change and take control of the situation.

By taking responsibility, I mean becoming firm with our decisions. To muster the courage and strength, to make ourselves determined, to believe in ourselves by saying we can always find a way if we have the will.

We should also remember that we always have the choice to create a way if we don’t have one. Before I close let me share with you this beautiful proverb, “No choice is also a choice.” Please
click here to read the inspiring and energising short story of Stephen Hawking. And then, take a piece of paper and a pen, sit down in a quiet place, and do the following exercise. And soon you will see the difference it makes to your life.

Exercise:

(1) Take a moment and ask yourself how this article will help you.
(2) Focus on what you have, in other words, ‘Count your blessings not your sorrows’. Make a list of all the positive things in your life, if you do, you will make an amazing and empowering discovery.
(3) What did you learn from Stephen Hawking’s life?
(4) How can you create your own destiny by making the right choices every moment?
(5) Think deeply and visualise how you can create your own way, if you feel you don’t have one.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 8:26 AM, , links to this post




How to use the Ripple Effect Principle to make a positive difference to the world?

Do you want to do something different in this world? Do you want to touch people’s lives in a special way? Yes off course we do. Don’t we? We want people to acknowledge our work. We want people to treat us with respect. And we also want to give something back to the world; we want our friends and families to feel proud of us. And when I use the word difference, I do not necessarily mean in a materialistic sense but in a wider context.

So, what exactly is making a difference to this world mean? Is it only the domain of celebrities or famous people who connect them to millions? Or can it happen in every little thing we do in our life? Does it mean we can touch everyone we meet in a special way?

We have our own belief systems. We have a unique way of looking at life, what is good or bad, or what is important to us. Let me tell you about myself. My idea of making a difference to this world was to help people to lead a blissful and harmonious life. And as far as I remember, I had this thought for many, many years. And I also had the problem of not knowing what to do, how to do it, or how to make a start. Did you ever face such a problem?

As I did not know the secret of making a difference, I used to think and make many plans and say to myself I will do this or I will do that. I am not saying this thinking did not help me but I was not achieving or doing much at a physical level. Whenever I used to say I want to do something for people my Dad used to say to me, “Charity begins at home.” He also said, “Start small, help yourself first, help people in the family, and make them happy.”

I think I did not take his words too seriously, and I suppose it was my immaturity as a youngster. We sometimes think that we are smarter than the older generation. Don’t we? I did not realise what he meant until few years from now. And I know and understand now that he was talking about the ‘Inside Out Approach’.

Have you ever noticed what happens when you throw a stone in a still water? We see the ripple effect in action, isn’t it? So, the ‘Inside Out Approach’ is nothing but the ‘Ripple Effect Approach'. So, if we want to make a difference to this world we need to follow the Ripple Effect Principle. And if we follow it diligently, we will continuously expand our centre of influence.

And the most important thing to remember, it starts with us, we have to make a difference to our life first. If we want to create, positivity in our life, we have to become positive first. If we want to influence and bring a positive change in someone else’s life, we have to change ourselves first. And the same natural law applies to creating abundance both material and spiritual. Now let me share with you another beautiful story about a Buddhist monk.

The story

One day after a big storm, a Buddhist monk went for a walk on the sea beach. As he was walking and enjoying himself, he suddenly noticed the sea waves have washed large amount of fish to the seashore. And as he watched, it made him feel bad, as most of them were dying because of dryness of the sand. So, he stopped and started to pick the fish that were alive, and put them back to the seawater one by one.

A fisherman who was also present there saw the monk, and found the monk’s behaviour little strange. So, he went and said to the monk, “There are thousands of fish on the seashore, and you cannot put all of them back to the sea. So, your effort of picking one fish at a time won’t make any difference.”

What do you think was the monk’s reply? Can you make a guess? So, the monk looked at the fisherman as he picked another fish and said to him, “I am going to make a difference to this fish right now.” The fisherman then realised what the monk meant so without making any more comments joined him to save the dying fishes.

Now that you have read the beautiful story I would ask you to take a moment, think what you have gained from this article, and how you can use it in your life. Also, please ask yourself: How can I use the ‘Ripple Effect Principle’ to make a positive difference to the world? Take care and may God bless.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 1:39 PM, , links to this post




How can we free ourselves from becoming the prisoner of our own thoughts?

This story is about my sister and me and as I am writing, I am going back to a point in time in India, almost 25 years from now. We had only one TV set at home. As it happens with children in every family, we had frequent fights on who is going to watch their favourite programme and so on. I do not know whether some of you still remember about a popular television series called ‘Dallas’. And that was my favourite. My sister never liked it and she had a choice of a different programme broadcasted at the same time.

So, one fine day we had a massive disagreement. I am sure you can easily imagine the situation as we have all gone through those funny moments of life. Childish sentiments and rage was in the air. Nothing helped to ameliorate the situation. Though I feel bad now as I always won being an elder brother and a boy I suppose. And I think she was more forgiving and understanding, as she always is.

Anyway, we stopped talking to each other and the whole situation was warlike. You must be wondering what happened next. My Dida - Grandma in my native language - saw this situation differently. I suppose she knew how to handle us better than anyone else in the family. So, one night just before going to bed she said to us, “Are you interested in listening to a beautiful story?” As I have told you before, she was such a wonderful presenter, and we could have never said a ‘No’ at this great offer. So, we all sat down in our favourite corner of the house.

The story

Once upon a time two Buddhist monks went for a trip to the nearest village. And as they were returning to their monastery they approached the village stream, where they saw a beautiful woman struggling to cross the stream. So, the monks stopped and looked at each other, as they did not know how to help her. Then, the older monk decided to approach the woman, and as the younger monk watched, he lifted her in his arms, crossed the river, and gently put her down on the other side. The woman was grateful, and thanked the monk for his generosity.

Then, the monks carried on with their journey to the monastery. Once they had reached their destination, the younger monk seemed little unhappy. And he approached the older monk and said, “How could you commit such a sin? We are monks and we should not touch a woman. How could you lift the beautiful woman in your arms and cross the stream?” The older monk with a gentle smile in his face replied, “I have left her on the other side of the stream but you are still carrying her.” The younger monk soon realised his mistake and asked for forgiveness.

After our Dida finished the story, she asked both of us about the moral of the story. Since we found it difficult to give the right answer, she explained to us how our past thoughts determine and control our present actions and thoughts. Then she said to us, “You had a difference of opinion in the past but why are you still carrying it in your mind.” And related our thinking to the monk. Both my sister and I did understand the principle instantaneously and we called a truce. I must also tell you that as kids, we did have differences after that day but the wonderful memories of that moment are still fresh in my mind.

So, take a moment and think whether you have gained anything from this story. How you can apply this principle in your own life? How many times do we think like the younger monk? Do we carry hatred? Does it help us both physically and spiritually? How can we free ourselves from becoming the prisoner of our own thoughts? If you have something interesting to share with us, please do leave a message. In the meantime, let me go and call my sister in US to read this article. Take care and may God bless.

posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 8:48 AM, , links to this post


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