Updated: Dec 18, 2020
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Thinking of your favourite action movie. When heroes in a story continuously need to fight their enemies, will they ever have time to build something new? They need to have time for training, strategizing, rest, recuperation and be battle-ready at any moment.
On the flip side, who else knew more about a peaceful revolution than Gandhi?
"Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts, and everything will be well." Gandhi
How can we then choose our battles to create harmony in all aspects of our lives?
Battles in the past
Parenting can quickly become a battlefield with personality clashes, religion and cultural differences compounded by external stressors and phases of life. The "my way or the highway" approach does not contribute to a respectful home environment.
When you think back on your childhood, what type of battles do you remember?
They can be subtle or conscious.
Who claimed victory and who was left wounded?
Note similarity and dissimilarity of how you handle confrontations.
Have you positively kept or changed some of those learned behaviour patterns in your current family life?
When we're used to always fighting for a harmonious existence with others and self, every difference in opinion has the potential to turn into a full-scale battle.
Once we become aware of habitual reactions, then we can find ways to purify our thoughts, words and deeds and practice healthy ways to live.
Stand up for values, not beliefs.
When we participate in every battle, we'll run out of energy real soon. Family life and social media platforms show surprisingly many similarities.
It's easy to blame social media for inundating us with this cause and that outreach. We can start to feel guilty about not being a part of every single cry for help out there. Realistically, this is not feasible. First and foremost, we all have different passions and purposes in our lives. In a previous blog post, Values vs Beliefs, we go into detail defining the way we interact either through beliefs or values. If I share the same values as you, there will be peace. We are all working from the same platform, however, our beliefs on how we get there is usually where discord stems from.
When we believe that change or sustained values can only come in a certain way, we miss the opportunity to diversify our strengths. Just because I don't do the same that you do, doesn't mean that we don't have the same set of values.
An essential part of making a difference is understanding individuality. This encompasses all the grey areas of life, allowing us to be in the flow of the universe, adjustable when we receive new information and empathetic towards ourselves and others. Prejudices fall by the wayside because we are willing to learn, but cautions to judge others and ourselves.
Psychology findings on what makes a person successful at any task suggest that focus is one of the main attributing factors. From the most prominent sports stars to trailblazers in their industry to those who bring about change in their personal lives, the focus is at the core.
We will be much more successful in our causes if we choose one or two external causes to attach our time and effort to.
Allow time to fight for you.
If you're an overthinker like me, it's easy to regret some conversations, actions or inactions, "I should have said this or done that." The realization occurred to me that I don't have to accept all invitations to respond at the moment. Our first point of why we feel the need to respond can be so ingrained in our daily patterns that it takes real conscious decision making to change our behaviour.
One technique that I devised is to place a time frame on the interaction. For example, if I've had an altercation with someone, my past self would figure out precisely what to say and then call them up and give them my opinion and solution or resolution. Now, more enlightened, I wait. I wait for the next time the topic comes up or when an event happens where my response will be received in a better light or circumstance.
Initially, we posed the question, if the hero only fights, when will they get time to build? This is the answer. Between the last fight and the next one, if that ever happens. More often than not, once we've reflected on the altercation, a situation will occur that we can calmly communicate our point of view, without being on the attack.
We can only be ready to take on the challenges of the world if we have specific skills. This requires us to know what we're about. All warriors train daily, mentally, physically and spiritually to be ready for battle. How do you choose to train? If we are in a jumble of emotions, it will be harder to overcome obstacles, and when the big battle comes, we will be ill-equipped. Fear is a motivating factor in fighting all battles, fear that we will be seen as weak or not caring enough or whatever the theme of the day is.
Let's, for a moment, see it for what it is. It is no more, no less, than a testing ground, an obstacle course or a game show. You can decide to participate or not with the understanding that, if we participate, we do so out of our own volition as part of our "training".
Take inventory of your skills right at this time, where do you think you need to gain more strength?
Is it in quiet reflection, outward exercise or spiritual connection to your bigger purpose?
Success is 10% talent and 90% dedication.
When we bring the energy back to ourselves and how we can become our best, fear disappears. Our end goal is to contribute to society in a healthy, productive and constructive manner. We can only do this if we allow space driven by an inner desire to create harmony, not out of fear.
Insecurities are loud, and confidence is quiet. Do you ever feel the need to justify why you think the way you do? Insecurities manifest itself in childish behaviour, jealousy and gossip. These are the opposite of a life connected to the core self or appreciation, acceptance and self-love. When we make decisions from the ego, we opt to withhold facts, opportunities or compliments that can advance others. Armoured with arrogance and selfishness, we feel the need to downplay and belittle the ones we regard as our competitors, wasting a lot of energy to try keeping children, spouses, friends and colleagues from reaching their personal goals and their fullest potential.
Take a moment to rethink your battlefield. Are you the only warrior on the field?
Our insecurities are like mirrors, it's shiny and reflects back everything so that the outside world cannot see how small and vulnerable we really feel inside.
Alignment, however, is like a window that the world can see through. Protected with glass, the light, beauty and wonder are shown to the world without being showy or boastful. Aligned people have a growth mindset and share their compassion freely with everyone who crosses their way, they live compassion in their everyday world. When we share our authentic selves, we expand, and the universe expands with us.
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." Mahatma Gandhi
I join the forces to holistically better the world for the next generations, practice kindness, empathy and groundedness today. We are all learning, experimenting and concluding to master our own harmonious ways. We choose our battles wisely.
Keep Journaling, Keep Growing.
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