Paramanand continued, “I repeat this again: It is all a matter of one’s attitude, and attitude is everything in life.”
Sakthi was quick to respond with a question. “But, how does one’s attitude develop?”
“Attitudes develop from one’s belief in oneself. Beliefs like – ‘I am handsome’, ‘I am brave’, ‘I am unlucky’, ‘I have no hopes’, ‘I am a confident person’, ‘everything is possible for me’ and so on.”
“How did we happen to develop these beliefs?”
“Honestly, it is a lengthy subject. To put it briefly…Knowingly or unknowingly, our primary beliefs were given by our parents, to begin with…Like, if they continually treat you like a prince, you begin to assume that you are really a prince and act accordingly. But, if they continually abuse you as sluggish, you start believing that you are sluggish…We then nurture such belief, over time.
Beliefs are also formed as a consequence of the meanings we give to our experiences in life…Like, for example, if your childhood friends treated you badly you may conclude that people are all bullies. If you had jumped from a bench and fractured your legs even when the bench was only small, you may conclude that jumping is dangerous. If people generally treated you nicely, you may conclude that people are generally nice.
Your beliefs are generally responses to how people had treated you.
Many of our childhood decisions may be illogical, but they form our beliefs and control us. Mostly, we pass from our childhood to adolescence to adulthood, carrying with us these illogical conclusions. These beliefs play their full control drama when we are adults and wreck our lives and relationships.
“TAT TVAM ASI” declared Sri Adhi Sankaracharya, the famous guru. THOU ART THAT. You become that, which is your belief.”
Sakthi had a number of questions to ask. But, he knew the bearded was ready with another story. So, he decided to wait till he heard the next story.
“Subconsciously, we structure our attitude and behavior based on our beliefs. So, we need to carefully examine our beliefs and weed out the disempowering ones, however painful and difficult the process is, in order to succeed.
You change your belief, everything changes outside. Let me tell you a real-life story of a friend of mine. It shall tell you how beliefs could impact your life.
“Sundar was honest, intelligent, and hardworking. He gave up a stable, lucrative career as a senior management executive in one of the government undertakings and took up a marketing job in the Gulf, in pursuit of money. He had enjoyed several privileges from his earlier employment, but his finances were always tight. Money never looked at him favorably.
His earnings in the Gulf depended on his production. So he worked very hard in the Gulf too, but he could only make both ends meet. There was never a surplus in his hands. He was frustrated. He worried what was going wrong with him, given his long work experience. Money always eluded him.
One day, he was sitting with his manager in the company for a performance appraisal. His manager too was quite baffled that Sundar’s poor performance didn’t match his impressive past background. Sundar too vented out his frustration to his manager about his inability to sell.
Suddenly, the manager threw a question at him “Which car do you drive?”
Further conversation between them went somewhat like this:
Sundar: No, Sir, I don’t drive a car. I use the public transport.
Manager: Assume you were a millionaire. Which car would you like to drive?
Sundar: No, Sir. I don’t really aspire to be a millionaire and I don’t aspire to be driving around in a fancy car.
Manager: But why?
Sundar: Honestly, I hate to be a millionaire. I consider money as evil. History had shown that it brings downfall.
Manager (after some rumination): Do you see what your problem is? You hate money. You hate to be a millionaire. You don’t want to be driving the best car. You consider money as evil. You believe money will bring your downfall. Do you see why you don’t make enough money? You hate money and still expect money to flow into your life in plenty for your family. How do you reconcile the two: your hatred to be rich and the desire to have it in plenty for yourself? You have needs and aspirations that require money. If you really want to have something, you must love it – love it very deeply and passionately. Okay…let us see what money can bring you in your life…
The Manager and Sundar went on a detailed joint exercise to list out what money can do for Sundar in his life – good or bad. In the end, the manager said, “You change your ideas about money and see what happens. Just try it out. Think of what good, money can bring into your life.”
Sundar pondered over his discussion with his manager during the next about three months. Gradually, he realized he had been completely wrong about his beliefs about money, and he made conscious attempts to believe that money could bring a lot of good things in his life too. Slowly, his beliefs about money changed. He started dreaming about the good things he could enjoy when he had a lot of money. Slowly, as his belief about money changed for better, things outside started changing for him too. Soon, he started earning more from his marketing job and became highly successful. In the next couple of years, he became a millionaire too.”
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