A file picture of a recent corporate event

Battling the Phantoms of the Mind

In a recent corporate seminar, I was espousing the thought that everything we did – or not, was linked to the mind. We are in a constant state of conflict with the mind, our mind – to take on the challenges that come our way in this modern-day world. And more often than not, the battle is lost even before it starts owing to the thoughts of doubt and the baggage we carry.

To illustrate the state – and just how much our thoughts control us and our results – I got people to visualise that their hands were stuck to each other and could not be separated. In a moment, the hands of all the CXOs did just that: they got stuck as if they were instant-glued together. No. There was no hypnosis or trance at work here; in fact they all had their eyes open.

What made the unbelievable result possible was just strong imagination of the participants. They felt what they imagined and believed they would feel. Not very different from our daily life when we make our fears come to life, by thinking and believing – wishing in a weird sense – that it would happen.

And then the moment they told themselves they were unstuck, they were. How wonderful it would be do be able to unstuck ourselves in daily life. Yet, it is possible. The trick remains winning the battle with the mind, of taking on challenges with the assurance of a total victory; without the worry or fear of failure. Easier said than done, you say?

The words of Ralph Waldo Emerson come to mind here: ‘Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen’. A slightly varied version of this prudent thought was made famous by Paolo Coelho in his mega bestseller The Alchemist: ‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’. In his interesting book ‘Unthink,’ Chris Paley spends a whole section discussing & debating the idea that “the unconscious does what the conscious thinks the conscious does”.

Half the fight is won the moment we realise it is not just what we think we wish for, but also that we fear, that makes our constant thoughts. The second part of the battle is of course to get a grip of our conscious thoughts and allay our fears. This is best handled not by trying to reject the fears, but face them.

Look and study each of those aspects that can spoil or hamper the plans as we have it. Analyse them, play them over in the mind’s eye, and look at how the problems can be overcome. See yourself dealing with each of these problems and fears, and gain the confidence that they can be overcome. The moment this happens, the burden of failure is lifted away and you will be willing success to come your way.

Be prepared to embrace success, and success will be yours.