At one point in my life, I was a school teacher at Itahara, Morang, Nepal, teaching Mathematics and Science to fourth grade students. I would spend my spare time in other creative activities: painting, reading literature, art, meditation, writing and mostly dreaming about better future at night, after everybody went to sleep. When the whole family went to bed, I would go outside the house and sit on the small bench, looking up on the clear sky watching moon and beautiful stars. That would give me tremendous amount of peace and hope about the beautiful future.
In school, I had few good friends who were teachers, teaching various other subjects. After school hours, we would regularly meet and discuss about some creative topics: poems, drama, spiritual discussion, philosophical talk. One night, I had invited all my friends for dinner. I sat for evening prayer and meditation and after some time, I felt deep peace during meditation. Even though my mother kept on calling me to come for dinner, I told her to let my friends eat since I was not feeling any more hungry but was in a happy state and didn’t want to come out of it. It was the first time in my entire life that I had felt the inner peace, satisfaction and happiness. Out of few teachers that I befriended, one of them would always encourage me and say, “Prem, anything you put your mind to, YOU CAN DO IT.” After many years have passed, those words still resonate in my mind as if it was just yesterday.
How many of us are fortunate enough to have someone who cares us enough and without expecting anything from us, says “YES, YOU CAN DO IT.” In today’s fast moving world, it is almost very hard to find someone like that. Because of the tremendous growth in information technology, we don’t spend enough time to take a break for all these external noises and find some time to contemplate and do something for someone without any selfish desire attached to it. I am not being philosophical here but even for our own overall good health, it is very useful to do some “random acts of kindness”. Just by encouraging one person, we impact many people who would be benefited in so many ways by that one individual.
Michael Jordan had somebody to encourage him; Tiger Woods was fortunate to have his own father as a source of encouragement; Mahatma Gandhi had someone to tell him, “You can do it”; in the midst of darkness, Abraham Lincoln had good friends to visit him in White House to just to listen to him so that Lincoln could get courage to face the difficult time and so on. These were just ordinary people who did a little bit extra everyday to be an extraordinary. Just little ‘extra’ everyday can accumulate in long run to make anybody extraordinary from an ordinary (average) life.
The more I read the biography of extraordinary human beings (as public calls them), I find them to be more and more ordinary human beings who had strong desire, discipline, determination, passion and enthusiasm to accomplish something that their heart desired. But they had always been self-motivated individuals, who either had someone to tell them “You can do it” or their own strong inner voice telling them again and again, “Yes You can do it.” Positive affirmation repeated many times a day, can totally transform an ordinary human being to become extraordinary. I remember reading about Henry Ford who had his favorite saying, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” Nothing is impossible to an individual who believes that he/she can do anything and is inspired to do something that is beneficial for humanity.
My parents had always encouraged me to be the best in whatever work I do. Even though I grew up in a village, my father had blessed us with two private tutors so that we could get good education. When I see young people getting sidetracked from their education and following the wrong path, it hurts me so much and I always wish that somebody in their life could just tell them, “Yes, you can do it. You have what it takes to be the Number One in anything you do in life.” We need leadership role in our family, society so that more young people stand up and follow their own dream instead of following sports and music superstars on television. Leadership starts from home and when home environment is positive, children grow up to feel important and their self-image grows. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics talks about self-image, “The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior.”
When we analyze our thought process, most of the people are influenced by other people’s opinion about themselves and do not have their own belief system. It is easier to believe in others but not in ourselves. It needs to change, otherwise we do not achieve what our dreams and goals in life are. Mostly, it is because of fear which is created in our mind from external sources. People have fears about so many things which stop the process of creative thinking. I like what Napoleon Hill in his best selling book “Think and Grow Rich” says, “There are six basic fears, with some combination of which every human suffers at one time or another. Most people are fortunate if they do not suffer from the entire six. Named in the order of their most common appearance, they are:
The fear of poverty
The fear of criticism
The fear of ill health
The fear of loss of love of someone
The fear of old age and
The fear of death. “
When we analyze FEAR, it is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear seems to appear real because we are not living in the moment and mind is going either in the past or future doubts and uncertainties. Once self-image starts growing, fear starts getting less and less as fear and faith do not stay at the same place. When faith in ourselves and our abilities increases, fear naturally starts decreasing. When we start living in the moment, most of the fear and uncertainty disappear and we truly live a life of value and fulfillment. As it took some time to accumulate all the fear and feeling of nothingness, it takes time to believe in ourselves and when we start choosing positive thoughts, by associating with positive people, reading positive books, listening to positive CDs, it will become second nature to say to others, “Yes, You can do it.” And it becomes reciprocal as others will start encouraging us too by saying, “Yes, You can do it.” Let’s help ourselves by helping others as Zig Ziglar, the world famous motivational speaker and author says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Today, when I look back and think of all the people who encouraged me, it is only handful of them. Next time, when we feel like saying something negative to our friends, family members or strangers, think really hard and just change the thought process and say, “Yes, You can do it.” This will benefit the person who hears it and will never forget you and it eventually helps you because you feel great by making someone feel important. Making someone feel important is one of the most important characteristics of a successful human being. You can become extraordinary from ordinary by just adding little bit ‘extra’ in our ordinary life. Give it a serious thought and see the miracle happening in front of your eyes.
– Prem Guragain, Anaheim, CA