Faiez Hassan Seyal | October 1996
In my previous post “The Magic of Positive Thinking” I discussed about the Right Brain, the Left-Brain, principles of the unconscious mind, how it stores information and how does this stored information affect our lives.
In this post I will tell you the rules and regulations of the unconscious mind, along with this I will help you solve certain problems with the help of Positive Thinking. If you want to benefit more from this post then you must read the previous post; “The Magic of Positive Thinking”.
I regularly notice that people unknowingly train themselves towards an unsuccessful life. These people diminish their lives and flatten their dreams. Often people sit with me for hours cursing themselves, narrating stories of their failures, when they aim for what they want out of life, most of them aim too low. If they are achieved that they should count their blessing not their misfortunes, with a little effort they can clear the hurdles, the answer is; “I am hopeless, there is nothing you can do about me!” Too often people set themselves a difficult task, then give up. They are plagued with fear of failure.
Let us concentrate on what they are saying, these unfortunate people do not know that what they are saying unconsciously is being stored in their unconscious mind. Then when you perform an act consciously, this stored information in the unconscious mind tells you that you are a failure and there is nothing you can do right. It is the anticipation of failure that paralyzes, not failure itself, this is what you had stored, and what you store, you take out. The basic principle of life is “Garbage in and Garbage out.”
If you put garbage in the machine, the end result or product will be garbage. The thoughts that crystallize in your mind, your evaluation is accordingly. You say ‘I am a failure, ‘I am no good, ‘I am tired, ‘I am confused, ‘I am angry, ‘I am upset, etc. etc. The minute you utter these words, your brain will accept these words a your command and will make you behave accordingly. When you say ‘I am tired” or “I am sleepy” you will definitely feel more tired and you will start yawning, your mind will breed fatigue, it will be blocked, it will not more a head. These commands are subjected to your brain consciously or unconsciously. But if you really are feeling tired, inspite of this feeling you say, “I am not tired”, “I am full charged”, “I have to finish this work, you become increasingly sure you have to do it, you are really committed you can make it, this means you are consciously ordering your brain to more towards the objective rather than away from it. I am perplexed when I ask someone how is he, the answer is, “Oh! Life is dragging on” or “there is no fun in life,” etc.
Let us try to understand the psychology of these phrases. As soon as you say, “life is dragging on,” the brain stores this information, what you are trying to say is life could be better and you are not satisfied with the present state of affairs, then when you transform yourself into a life’s spectator, your brain will transmit the message, “there is no fun in life”. You are not at fault in uttering these words, what you fed your brain with, it is emitting the same food. This is the reason I always tell people to answer back in positive words because happiness is both a “state” and a “trait”, it generates inner happiness. Therefore if you are asked, “How is life?” do not just say “I am OK”, you should say “it is wonderful, it is great.” As soon as you say these words, your brain thinking it a command will definitely make you feel wonderful and great.
As your thinking improves, so will your confidence. You will feel a tranquilizing effect inside you, you will feel the world great and wonderful. Try this exercise on yourself. Say “I am sad”, “I am OK”, note what happens inside you, note the expression on your face, your shoulders will droop, the color of your face will turn yellow, you will fee a certain psychological fatigue.
But if you say ‘I am great’, ‘I am excited’, ‘I am wonderful, you will immediately step into a cheerful disposition, there will be a spark in your eye, the face will glow, your body will feel stronger, the effect will be sensational if you get your signals straight.
If you are asked to perform some task which you have not done before, instead of saying, “Can I do this work?” “I can’t do it”, “How can I do it”? You should say, “I am a self starter,” “I have the quality of being initiative”. Let us motivate you to broaden your horizons. Tune your brain to say;
- This task is no problem for me.
- I can do anything
- No one can perform this task better than me.
- I honestly feel it would take someone like me to do this work.
You are actually training your brain with the applied method. When you begin working, perhaps at first you may hesitate but your brain is sending out signals you can do it. There is no problem, motivation will drive you on and finally you will get the work done. This motivation is also very important in raising your self-esteem, you can perform any task. This positive attitude improves your image, self-respect and these qualities are found in all the successful people of the world.
So much for positive words but many a time in life you cannot speak out positive words e.g. if someone has hurt you, you are experiencing an emotion of anger and you want to express your resentment, then what will you do. The answer is at such moments select neutral words instead of negative words. If you are annoyed, don’t say “I am angry” say “I am disappointed”. Angry is a negative word, disappointed is a neutral word. Instead of saying, “I am sad” you can say, “I am not very happy”. You may not be totally sad by using these neutral words.
We do not give much importance to unconscious mind although it is as sensitive as the conscious mind. It is watching over you in whatever you do and is recording every action of yours. What you do, say, hear, think, see or the kink of people you live amongst, is being recorded in your unconscious mind, which has a direct effect on your life.
Just like you watch an unenterprising program on television, you do not even think about it, nor do you say anything about it, your unconscious mind has written it down that you watched this program. When you see that program again, your mind will not stop you because you can tolerate such a program.
Another example is you live in an environment or lived, where people abuse each other. Your attitude was neutral but your conscious mind noted it down that you live in this abusive surrounding, you do not abuse but you do not try to correct people either. Next time when you enter into this dismal environment you will accept it, when this action is repeated 3 or 4 times, this acceptance will become a part of your system.
Observe, 10 years back when the culture of Indian films and India songs began, some people objected, but as times passed our system accepted this culture and now lives are incomplete without Indian songs and we justify this acceptance by saying; “Times have changed, this culture is part of our lives.”
Let me illustrate with the help of a research which proved that today all those people who commit crime and who take part in unethical actions are the ones who read this type of material or who see unethical films or hear about it. Your system quietly and slowly accepts this kind of work and the result is you indulge in it.
This latest research verifies the guidelines in your religion presented to you 1400 years back. This is the reason our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said; “Who so ever says an indecent saying or spreads it are equal in sin.” In another place our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said; “A man follows the religion of his friend, meaning he becomes just like his friend, therefore think with whom are you creating your friendship.” What ever he says, does, see, you will start doing exactly the same.
I know many many people, who before committing a crime, saw films, read books, heard stories about the particular crime they wanted to commit. These things helped in breeding an interest in them. Human psychology nurtures the bad end the good man in every human being. A man cannot do wrong unless and until he kills the good man inside him. To kill or convince the good man inside the bad man say’s, “All this happens in present times”. This is his excuse for committing a crime. It is very important you meet bad people, see crimes being done, read about criminals, most important enjoy doing all this so that you can boast in front of your good man that times have changed and now all this has to be done.
When you will think about these actions, see them, hear about them, talk about them, automatically your unconscious mind will accept these actions and your conscious mind will not stop you from doing wrong. Proofs are available from the room you live in, its colours, the colour of your cloths, the pictures hanging on the walls of your room, these things directly touch your life.
If you watch a photograph of a model year after year, your role model will be converted into that particular model. If consciously you do not gaze at that picture but it is present in your room, you enter that room only to sleep, but remember your conscious mind goes to sleep when you sleep your unconscious mind is wide awake; it is this brain which helps you in breathing, keeps your heart pumping, if this brain sleeps, then you die.
You are fast asleep but your unconscious mind is awake, it is watching the photograph hanging in your room and that picture can have an effect on your life. This is the reason Islam, 1400 years ago gave you the guidelines about pictures, statues, even colours because Allah our Creator knew how such things could effect us. Today modern science is working on this psychology. Allah knows when He created the first man. Alas! If only we could understand this human nature, all these problems would never have come into existence. Anyway its never too late, if understanding takes over we can still revolutionize our lives.
The question arises if we ourselves do not see bad, hear bad, talk bad, think bad, do bad but what to do about the society. If an undesired picture is hanging in someone else’s house or people around you are abusing or wrong doings are no common as they are today, what should we do, because the unconscious mind is recording all the time. My brothers and sister, the solution is present in modern science as well as in your religion if you believe in it.
If you see or hear some evil being done, and you do not try to stop it, it will be stored in your brain and will stay there but the beauty of it is if it can be stored we can also delete it. This is how it is done, if someone utters evil words, we may not have control over the person who uttered those words but immediately, consciously we tell our brain, this is wrong, it is very shameful, I detest this action, it means you nullified the information your brain had stored. The brain acting as an obedient servant deletes the outside information. As n’t it interesting? Yes Sir! It is as simple as that. But remember if we do not react, this data will be stored and if wrong is done then please do not blame anyone. In this very Quran, the pious have been pointed out as; “Successful indeed are the believers”. “And those who turn away from Al-Lughw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden). “To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism) ” (Surah Al-Kafirun). In Surah Al-Imran Allah says, “You (true believers) in Islamic Monotheism and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his Sunnah are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden).
“Surah Al-Asr”; “Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommended one another to the truth [i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’Ruf) which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allah has forbidden.]
So sir this is what 1400 years old guidelines are saying what modern behavioral and mind sciences are saying to day. This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because the Quran says so. I leave it up to you to act upon it thinking it your religion or modern science.
Another golden principle of positive living is positive imaging, meaning doing those works or watching those people whose virtues you trumpet. You will receive in life on what you stay focused. If you ask a race car driver the secret of his success, he will tell you never take your eyes off the road even your speeding car goes off the main road and into the dusty side way, do not look at the side way, just keep your eyes glued on the main road. The thing you look at, its picture makes a print in your mind, the brain thinking this is what you want, makes you his slave, and if you keep your eyes fixed on the road, at the very last second your car will be on the road again. But if you gaze towards the side way your car will definitely go off the road.
You must be observing in your daily life when you are driving a car, your companion is constantly warning you, “Look out there is a pole on your right, drive straight or you will hit that motor cycle”. You are bound to hit something. If you concentrate and stay focused, you will drive on but if you look around and worry about hitting someone, you will do exactly that. On my way to Gilgit, I stopped at a way side hotel for tea. There I met a truck driver whose truck had fallen in a mountain ditch, he saved himself by jumping out at he last second from the truck. I asked the driver what exactly was he doing at that moment, what was he thinking when his truck was heading towards the ditch. The driver replied before the accident he was feeling scared, looking at the ditch he was thinking if someone fell into that mountainous ditch he could not come out of it alive and just a few seconds later, the truck was falling.
I think you understand what I am trying to say. No mater how great your difficulty is, God forbid if the doctors have stamped you with a death certificate, remember the bounties during calamities, never ever think negatively, know that the quality of your life is connected to the quality of your thoughts. Never think if you fail what will be the result. If you die what will happen to your family because Allah forbid your thinking will turn into reality. This is the law of Nature and this is modern science. In order to busy yourself away from the causes of sadness and misery, dedicate your attention and thoughts to all that carries benefits, and strive to achieve them.
Sir, we have talked on many issues, now, all that we have learned so far, how can this information be applied in our life. We will take situations or cases one by one and try to find their solutions but keep in mind every situation can have many many solutions. In this post we cannot discuss answers to all situations but I or two answers can be given. Our aim is not to solve, you yourself have to find answers with a few guidelines. We will provide you with a new perspective to every difficult situation. Another point to remember, what ever advise I gave to my clients in any case concerned that particular case only. It is not for me to believe what should happen or what is right. My duty is to help my clients, motivate them or inspire them to do what they want to accomplish but are finding it difficult to do so. I simply want to give them tips as long as their desires do not clash with our cultural, behavior, national and religious values.
Situation No. 1
You are late from work, you are in a traffic jam, the car in front of you goes out of order, there is a long time of cars behind you. Now people who cannot repel negative thinking will sit in their car and start abusing, will utter evil words, burn their blood with anger, will blow the horn time and again but if he is a person whose thoughts bring benefit to him and to others will come out of his car and try to help the driver in trouble. Will try to push the car towards a side lane and if the car does not budge he will try to request the drivers in the back lane to reverse and so much can be done. If you remain sitting in your car then nothing can be done to solve this problem. If you are caught in a traffic jam where you have to wait for 10, 15 minutes, you have the choice of wasting your precious time by just looking at peoples faces, listening to music or you will read a book, a news paper, some article or you will make one or two important calls on your mobile phone and save some time and grief by mastering positive thinking. Saving time makes life more pleasant.
Basically the whole concept of positive thinking and negative thinking is what is not present do not see it and what you have see that. Work on the jobs at hand, a bird in hand is better than two in a bush. In this case traffic jam or the closed railway-crossing gate are not within your power to clear or open but if you utilize this time in productive and constructive work, that is 100% within your control.
Situation No. 2
This is a situation in which for some years now many people are passing through. Companies owing to merger reasons or lowering the cost are discharging workers from their jobs. Roughly speaking about two lack or more have been set aside from their jobs in the last three years. Many of these people have established themselves properly but the majority are suffering and they blame the current situation of the country or the company. Now listen to this true story and decide for yourself what is correct.
Two years back the manager of a multinational company rang me up because he wanted to meet me. He had heard from someone about my seminars and he wished to meet me in this connection. On meeting I discovered that his company was going through the process of merger the next year and was going to make 30% workers jobless. The criteria that was made presented 80% chances of his loosing his job as well. The gentleman was extremely worried, he had become irritable, everyday there was a row with his wife and children. His health was falling and a strange kind of tension prevailed in the house.
My first question to the gentleman was; “Is it only the job you are worried about or do you have some personal association with the company which is forbidding you to leave”? It was discovered that it was only the work which was bothering him, he was afraid of the present times and at his age (the gentleman was fifty years old) will he be able to get a job somewhere else. On hearing his story I told him what has to happen has to happen, no one can avert it but he has one whole year a head of him to plan for a new start in life. One lose doesn’t make a season. When he knows for sure what he wants to do and is ready to do it, his worry will start disappearing. We worry because we are not ready for this incident. The minute we carefully plan what we intend to do our worries will vanish. For the last twenty years this gentleman was working for this company, he did not know any other work except his own field, he only knew short hand typing or life management. Now is the age of computers, this is what was scaring him that his outdated skills will not fetch him a job anywhere.
This gentleman sat with me and thought what type of work could he do and which are the areas where he can find a job. It was learnt that he could work, in the administration department or some firm related with sales with the help of some training of course, there’s no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs. I advised him to read the newspaper daily and start looking for what type of skills and experience do such firms require and begin acquiring those skills.
To cut it short, this gentleman learnt the language of French in one year, he became an expert of French in computer skills, apart from this he attained a diploma of the labour class, became popular among people, attended different courses and seminars. After one year he applied in an Embassy, he got this hob with more money than his previous job. Instead of the company dismissing him, he himself used the policy of Golden handshake and resigned. Receiving many lakes of Rupees from the old company he took over his new job. This is the wonder of positive thinking, it is an invitation to live, it is an invitation to hope. We live when we are true to ourselves, authentic in our feelings, responsive to our convictions. We live when we build and create hope.
In the same manner another gentleman who highly satisfied with his company that he did not want to leave it at any cost. Applying the formula of positive living in learnt the skills of two other workers, his performance was commendable to the extent that he became indispensable for the company. One man doing the job of three workers, how could the company do away with him? Thus he was saved while others who just sat and lamented lost their jobs.
Situation No. 3
Another situation and another incident: A gentleman was a company director. He had full hopes of becoming the new MD after the retirement of the present MD. He waited for this new post for five years, when the old MD retired, the company hired a new MD who did not belong to this company. The gentleman was furious with the company and the new MD. His performance declined and there was a constant cold war with the new MD. When he came to me for counseling, I told him sir with this cold war and negative thinking you will certainly not become MD instead you will loose your present job. His reply was; “To become MD is my right”. I said let us suppose you are right, but this did not happen now you have the choice to think negatively and lay stress on killing the new MD or you think positively and improve your performance to the level that the whole Board is impressed and the new MD sings songs in your praise and then when the opportunity comes, may Allah promote you to the post of MD you can let had times make you bitter-or better.
The gentleman began to grasp what I was saying. He started supporting the MD, he began to concentrate on his work, he enhanced time commitment in the office, started sharing the MD’s burden of work, improved his relationship with his vendor’s customers, apart from his financial area, he started taking interest in marketing, HR production. This practice continued for two years, after two years his MD received a better job offer. When he was leaving he was asked who would he propose, this gentleman’s name was mentioned, thus with the help of positive thinking, after two years this gentleman became MD.
Situation No. 4
A gentleman working as an accountant in some company came to me rather worried, starting he had a problem and wanted advice. I have made a mistake, I repent it deeply, I feel ashamed of myself. The sense of guilt has made my life miserable. I want to correct this blunder but don’t know how to do it. On asking it was discovered he had embezzled three Lakh Rupees from the accounts of the company. Untie now this theft has not been discovered but after some time the truth will be unfolded. On advising him he decided to take the bold step but then positive thinking requires bold and courageous steps, happiness is a serious problem. Listen to what he did. He went to the MD of his company and told him his story of the crime he had committed, returned the money and asked for forgiveness. The MD on hearing his story thanked him, comforted him, appreciated this courageous behaviour but now he could not let him stay in the accounts department therefore he should select some field job. Because of the gentleman’s positive thinking the MD did not expel him from the job. The gentleman engaged himself in sales job. In the beginning he was demotivated but positive thinking made him boil and bubble with work. He began to learn new experiences, roaming from place to place, meeting new people, more commission for more work etc. etc. in few moths he was well adjusted in his job, the next year he was awarded with the award of the Best Salesman of the year, promotion was also granted, his pay was raised and within three years he became Product Manager. He met me after three years and told me he had been reinstated in the department of finance as Finance Manager. He was extremely happy and said; “MR. Faiez if you had not given me this right advice I would not be in this position today. I think this credit goes to his positive thinking attained only through concrete action and perhaps this is the path of promotion Allah had ordained for him. Clear conscience is the best step towards success.
Situation No. 5
A new situation and a new story. In America The Golden Gate Bridge has two check posts at each end. The size of each check post is 6×6 feet. They are equipped with TV, Telephone, Computer, Air Conditioner etc. there are three shifts of security guards in 24 hours, each shift comprising of eight hours. The security guard on one end of the bridge says no job is worse or boring than this job. He is in this job for the last five years and every day he is spitting out his venom to every person. According to him he is fed up looking at cars passing by, there is no restaurant near by, no one can come to meet him etc, meaning he is a negative thinker and life has no relish left for him now. On this very bridge the security guard on the other end is a positive thinker. It is attention is focused on every thing that is beneficial in this job. This saying is that this job provides him plenty of time to read. He has learnt the computer because no one disturb him this is the reason with the help of distance learning he has completed his Bachelor Degree. As there is no restaurant near by, he does not have to leave the check post to get food and this saves a lot of money etc, etc. Three years of employment he completes his BA and saves twenty thousands dollars. Later he secures a white-collar job meaning a job of Management Level while the first security guard finds no change in life in three long years instead his frustration is growing with the passing of time. Sitting and eating all the time he has increased thirty pounds in weight and looks much older in age. So what is the difference between them when both are doing the same job. For one it is trouble while the other thinks this job is providing him a new direction, a purpose. Positive thinking is helping him to get the most out of his job.
Situation No. 6
In this situation gentleman was not satisfied with his accounting job. He wished to go to HR Department, he had applied twice but to no avail. He met me when I finished my seminar. He had praising words for my seminar but did not agree with me when I said we can do anything we want. Those people are just lucky who can do what they wish to do. He had a deep-rooted belief that they can’t do much or do it well. I want to work in HR and I am not happy with my current accounting job. Your intelligence will click when you will tell me what I should do to secure the HR job.
My first question to him was how long have you been trying, “For the last three years”, was his reply. On further inquiry it was discovered that in three years he had tried forty times, applied in many places but without any luck. My next question was have you sought beneficial knowledge relating to HR, his reply was in the negative. I asked him, you are trying since three years and if you are interested in this field then you must have attended many courses, read many books, you might have been impressed by someone, he looked at me bewildered, he had not done any thing. I reminded him his education was limited to accounting and his five years experience was only in this field.
Why should anyone employ you in HR when you tell people you are interested and yet you show no interest in learning more? Interest alone will get you no where then how can you expect from others. Anyway when an hour passed the gentleman absorbed my point of view. In the following year he attended many courses, read many many books, started helping his HR Manager with his work. He extracted time from his internal training course to make training material for his HR Manager. After one year when there was a vacancy for the job of Asst. HR Manager, this gentleman’s name was the first choice. Positive thinking makes you increasingly sure you can do it. If you are really committed you can make your goal a reality.
Our work is not to criticize the world, we just have to work for specific objectives. It is correct the world gives us jobs but to ensure there is no better candidate than us is our responsibility. The time to read the instructions is before you put the swing set together. Unfortunately we do not do what we should do, we worry about the present times, about people and we do not have any control over both.
Situation No. 7
I present to you another true anecdote of positive living. A young MBA came to me, he was dejected and disappointed. For two years he was unemployed, had sent his application to two hundred companies, he received 50 interview calls but was not employed. He said, “Why do some count their money while others curse their unpaid bills. Circumstances are now forcing me to work in my uncle’s video shop and also marry my uncle’s daughter. Thou even I am compelled to think that without bribery and approach one cannot find a job. Desperation was driving the man to work for R. 6000 monthly.
“Why have you come to me”, I asked, he said someone had told me I could come to you for help. I told him clearly that I will only advise, you have to do the rest, because if there is no pain, there is no gain. You have to promise me that whatever I tell you, you will do exactly that. The gentleman agreed quietly. I asked him, the fifty companies in which he was interviewed, did he bother to find out if that job was given to somebody or why was he not selected. He replied in the negative, it was no use finding answers to these questions. I thought this gentleman has lost 50 good opportunities of learning and he is saying, “its” of no avail”.
Anyway I spent two lengthy hours with this gentleman and chalked out a plan of action and instructed him to stick to the plan only and no matter what happens he is not to waver from what is in the plan. What was in the plan, the instructions are rather lengthy. Cutting it short the gentleman working according to the plan started visiting 20-25 places and started dropping CV at every place he visited. If the interview was average he would take it otherwise he would simply drop his CV. He improved his appearance and with it his confidence improved. He started reading newspapers, would find out the basic information about the company and stored it.
He began to think active, thus he started using positive words. Apart from this I instructed him to send a “Thank you Card” wherever he went for an interview, he would follow-up the procedure. Even when he was not selected he would thank the Manager and would say, “Sir, I am a fresh Graduate and I have a lot to learn from seniors like you, would you like to tell me in which things I need improvement”? He would listen to his senior attentively, work accordingly and wold try to erase his defects. He kept working on this plan and in the first weak he changed his CV thrice.
In the third weak he was offered two jobs with a pay of Rs. 8000 for each job but he refused, now he was certain he would find a better job. At least when three months passed he received an offer of a job with Rs. 15000 pay. Be that time he had given more than 100 interviews. Instead of accepting the job he asked the manager on which quality was he selected.
He was informed he had followed up his interviews with great patience and perseverance whenever he was called, he was very punctual and every time he came with a big smile on his face. The manager felt if this person can work so diligently just to get the job, he will try harder to keep the job. He thanked the manager and that very day he decided to keep the job. He opened a small training centre in his house and began to train business college students interview skills. He was sure no one else could teach this subject better than him after appearing for so many interviews. In this manner he began to earn Rs. 30,000 monthly and within a year in the Middle East he found a job in a Multi-national company in HR department with a pay of Rs. 100,000. Just think, trying to obtain Rs. 6000 and obtaining Rs. 100,000 within a year. How did this happen, positive will power helped him overcome inertia and focus on the future.
Situation No. 8
In another case a gentleman who had done his MBA was struggling for two years to find a job. Every where he went there was a big “No”. He had many domestic problems and was really upset. I advised him to work as a waiter in a hotel. He took this job for Rs. 3000 and received Rs. 4000 tips every month. In this manner he regained his lost confidence and as you know in serving business you come in contact with hundreds of people. After six months a company director came to this hotel to dine with his family. This gentleman served him so well that the company director was compelled to ask him his qualifications. He replied politely he was MBA, had searched for a job in many places then thought no work is small or undignified. I wanted to save time and grief thus I started working here. Highly impressed the director called him to his office and within a weak pay of Rs. 12000 monthly plus manager of Alto car job was offered to him. The boss was looking for a man who knew the dignity of work. Now a days graduates are two fussy and too choosy about jobs. Positive thinking is most dynamic when applied to positive, uplifting purposes. It helps you to gain not loose.
There is a beautiful example of positive thinking when in 1914 Thomas Edisons’s laboratory worth two million dollar was burned down. This lab contained years and years of research work and was his entire life’s saving. When the laboratory was burning his wife, children and neighbors began to cry and lament, Thomas Edison turned to his wife and said; “Whatever is happening is good, God is burning our sins, from tomorrow we can start a new clear fresh life”. Will you believe after two weeks he made his first invention which was a phonograph.
How many of us will accept such a big tragedy positively. We will think it as the end of the world and will spend the rest of our lives crying and weeping over this tremendous loss. Successful people are not born lucky. Positive thinking is such a human quality which is more profoundly rewarding than many of us realize, it can comfort us when we are under stress, in times of sorrow and anxiety, it can heal wounds of tragedy. There is mental growth in positive thinking. The basic difference between successful and unsuccessful people is thinking.
These were applications of positive thinkers on professional levels, now let us talk about personal applications.
Situation No. 9
A gentleman came to me. He was feeling lonely, dissociated had a sour, pessimistic outlook and a condescending attitude and suffered from illness. His age was about forty five years, highly educated, good job, belonging to a respectable family but with all these benefits he was married twice. He first wife took divorce after eight years of marriage.
He remarried after three years but the second wife also left him after three years saying he was intolerable. For some years he kept meeting his children but as time passed his children refused to meet him.
When I asked him about his blood relations, he stated he had two sisters and one brother living in the same city but they did not like to meet him, apart from this he had no friend. With the beginning of our conversation he began to talk negatively about the present times abut people. He disliked his world and assumed everyone around him was dishonest and stupid. He cast a dark pall over everything. For two hours he chronically complained about the changing values from bad to worse, love and care had vanished into their air, people are not honest anymore. In his conversation the arrogance of “I” was evident. to dig deeper into his problems I asked him about his wife and children, he started talking against them, backbiting about his friends was also evident. In short everyone was had except him. At the age of 45 suffering from heart disease, headache, at least 45 pounds overweight, looking ten years older than his age. He did not realize he was advertising himself as a looser. It’s a chronic fate for chronic complainers.
When he finished his sad tale I asked him if he had ever asked his wives, his children his friends what was it they did not like in him what was the invisible barrier between him and them. The minute I finished my question the gentleman became defensive, he tried to convince me that the problem was not with him but with others he had to tell everyone that they were wrong. I thought to myself this is where the problem lies this gentleman thinks he is right and the whole world is wrong. He was a typical case of a negative thinker. Unwillingly I told the gentleman so many people cannot be wrong at the same time. I think your problem is everyone is at fault and you are the only sensible person and your assumption is so strong that you have not bothered to ask people why they do not want to live with you. Probably this is the reason you have been criticizing people and thinking yourself “Mr. Right”. If you want to improve your life then you will say little and hear more. For the last three hours you have been cursing the times and you have said nothing else, alight we accept times are very bad but what makes me wonder is you have never felt the need of looking inside yourself. On hearing this gentleman was so upset that he left. There was nothing I could do, the topic was closed. Two months passed the gentleman sang up, he wanted to meet me, I invited him over, when we met he said you must be surprised to see me but that conversation with you shook me up and I spent a sleepless night.
That night I felt the fault lay inside me. How long had I been engaging in negative thinking that was squandering precious time and irreplaceable energies? And all under the virtuous cloak of egoism. What has been done is done, now what I have to do, I will do Insha Allah! I rant up my second wife, pleaded and begged her to meet me. I related about my meeting with you and tried to convince her that I am a changed man. In convinced her that I want to get rid of the habit of criticism and how this is my necessity. I laboured for many days and after one weak she felt a positive change in me and came back. After this I used positive thinking to guard and control my human emotions, with this exercise I tried to dissolve barriers between my sister, brother and children and within two months positive thinking magically broke down the emotional walls I had built with in myself. Both my children are living within me, my sisters are expressing tenderness and showing emotional support. Positive thinking helps us to grow and we enable others to grow. I am simply telling you all this because I want you to send this message to negative thinkers like me, we are not only destroying ourselves but also the lives of others. You can let bad times make you bitter or better. No one would prefer to live with a negative thinker. This is the wonder of positive thinking, happiness is like perfume, you can’t give it away without getting a little on yourself. Negative thinkers only use their left brain which only criticizes while the positive thinkers use their right brain to find solutions to problems. They transform themselves from one of life’s spectators into real participants.
Situation No. 10
Negative thinking is destroying the peace & tranquility of our homes. Usually people make their own bad luck by regularly getting trapped in self-defeating attitudes and behaviour. Negative thinkers constantly lie to themselves about their own lives. To know this here is a typical case, listen.
I was conducting a seminar in Islamabad, immediately after the seminar a lady came to me and said, “I have to meet you no matter what happens”. I told the lady I have to return to Lahore tonight but the lady was extremely disturbed, seeing her worried condition I decided to meet her. At 9 O’clock p.m. that lady along with her mother came to me. She was extremely worried. Her age was twenty eight years, she was married since eight years, had two children, the son was six years old and the daughter four years old. Her husband was working in a foreign bank and was holding a very good post, he belonged to a very respectable family, his father was federal minister grade 21 officer. The lady herself was MBBS doctor. All that I was told was highly pleasing and I began to wonder what could be the problem, she even showed me the photograph of her husband, a very smart gentleman infect very handsome, his age was thirty years. She herself was good looking but a found out from the lady that she was over weight compared to her husband. When she finished her introduction I inquired about the problem, the lady began to cry.
I was told that the first six years of marriage were happily spent but for he last two years her husband was having an affair with a girl who was working in his bank and they are planning to get married. On hearing her sad story my first reaction was what could I do. She asked me for my advice. I reminded the lady she could everything, after all what did she want. On inquiring I discovered that she loved her husband dearly and he loved her also, according to her someone had cast an evil spell on them. On further inquiry the lady began to criticize calling the bank girl a witch, abusing the husband’s parents, abusing the present times, cursing her husband and his relatives.
After all these abuses I asked her if her husband’s family are so bad them why does she want to live with him. The answer was she loved him. Then I began to probe into her life. She admitted that small level quarrels and disputes had begun after two to three months of marriage, they lived in a joint family system. After one year the lady insisted they live in a separate house but the disputes did not end. I noted another problem, I used to question the lady but the lady’s mother gave the answers and I had to remind the mother repeatedly that the lady was in problem, let her speak please.
From this is began to suspect that the lady’s mother had a big hand in this whole affair. I asked about her husband’s habits, I was told that he was a quiet person, even during a quarrel he remains quiet. He is the only son of his parents and is homely type, goes to office comes back home. The personality she described of her husband was totally opposite compared to her own personality. In order to solve the jig saw puzzle I inquired further. I wanted to know the reasons behind the disputes at home and I noticed that the lady was an extrovert, all day long she would either be at her mother’s house or was with her friends. She was very fond of fashion, make-up, TV, films and magazines, she had no interest in household affairs. She met her mother daily but would visit her in-laws once a month but that also in a bad mood. This was also one of the reasons of their quarrel. Twenty days in a month, food came from restaurants or they would go out themselves to eat. Three servants were always present in the house. The husband complained about not having privacy and they would fight over this issue also. Fight would also start over the lady’s extravagance.
There was no romance left in life. After one year, her husband became from quiet to quieter, on holidays he stayed at home but spoke very litter. He loves his children. He meets her parents but remains quiet, in his words he does not like her mother.
I came up with another question, “what do you do for your husband”? She felt I had asked an alien question. For further clarification I asked if she did any work for her husband, like ironing his cloths, cooking food for him, preparing special dinner for him on special occasions, she must be doing something. The answer came in a soft tome, “no”. At once the mother spoke out, “my daughter does not know these works, she is not a maid servant, she is a doctor, a doctor”. I asked her if she was practicing, the answer was again in the negative. The mother defended her daughter again and said the doctor’s pay can only buy her make-up stuff so why should she work. I spoke to myself, “I can see that”. (Please excuse me for my rudeness but this is the exact answer to my question.) The lady had long hair, after her marriage she cut them into a short hair cut, there was a big row over this issue also. In eight years she had gained fifty pounds, her husband repeatedly told her to do some work or she should exercise, all day long roaming in the house, sleeping, watching T.V are not good habits. The lady was again infuriated. I came to know many other defects.
Cutting it short, I began to understand the problem, it was a typical case of a negative thinker. My final question was if I could talk to her husband, she said no you cannot talk to him, ask me whatever is to be asked. My answer to her was she herself was responsible for this misfortune and any man her husband’s shoes would have clone what he is doing. If you want to save your marriage, you will have to dissolve barriers between yourself and your husband, it’s all up to you. She asked for advice. I requested her to listen to me very carefully. First of all you will have to clear this notion from your heart and head that your husband is mistreating you, this is due to your negative thinking. Whatever you have told me I gather your husband kept giving you a clue about his likes and dislikes, but you always took those clues negatively and to escape from every day quarrels he took this gold step. He tried his level to warn you but you were so engrossed that you did not want to change your life style, how you want to change what is going to happen. You can only change your life when you change yourself. You can’t aggravate him endlessly and still expect him to remain loyal to you. If you sincerely want to do something then try to create his want, if it’s not too late but you will have to follow my instructions, even if there is no benefit you will still have to do what I tell you, if Allah wishes everything will be alright.
She began to cry after hearing all this and began fighting with her mother, accusing her for her miserable state. Negative thinkers make a habit of being friendly and grateful to those who are unhelpful to them and disdainful and ungrateful to those who are kind to them, they remain directionless. She took her husband for granted. She mentioned her husband name and stated he was not what he is now. I interrupted their conversation and asked the lady to concentrate on what she has to do. There were my instructions:
- Stay at home when he comes from office. Cook food for him, do not taunt him for his affair, infect do not even mention about it, act as if everything is normal, dress up for him.
- Ask him how did his day pass in his office.
- Even if he has had his food, do not grumble, say something nice to him and tell him you will eat with him otherwise you will not eat. After saying this forget what you said.
- Spend good times with him, do his work with which he will be pleased, appreciate him for what he is.
- Tell him that you are going to grow your hair.
- Now there is no need to visit your mother every day.
- Every day ring up your husband three to four times in his office and inquire about his well being even if he does not return your call in the beginning.
- Start exercising, if he likes to walk with you, good enough but if he doesn’t, then walk alone, loose your weight.
- Wear clothes of his choice.
- If he does not like make-up don’t wear it.
- Dispose off two servants from your home.
- Start doing house hold chores yourself.
- Get your children together and make a program to enjoy the weekend.
- Say your Sallat (Prayers).
- Do not criticize him on any matter nor angue with him just for the sake of argument.
- Set your priorities, setting priorities is an iron – dad necessity.
I extracted all these rules from her very own conversation. Apart from this just forget you are four years older than the girl your husband is flirting with or she is prettier than you are, you have two beautiful children, you are his wife, you belong to a very respectable family etc. etc, physical beauty is not everything. All these qualities are the soul of your relationship with your husband. Your negative thinking is pointing to the fact that the girl is younger and more beautiful than you are when you are forgetting all the assets you possess.
I kept giving her different tips for one hour, then I forgot about this meeting. About eight months later I received the lady’s call, she wanted to meet me. She came and with her was her husband, both were very happy. When I say the lady, she had done everything I told her to do. She had lost weight, she was wearing light makeup, she had grown her hair and was glowing with happiness. She said Salman wanted to meet you and this is the reason we have come.
You can sum up yourself, this miracle happened because of positive thinking. Fundamental among man’s inner powers is the tremendous unrealized potency of man’s own positive thinking. It is a “masterful weapon”. Positive thinking is a skill that can be developed, strengthened and targeted to help us achieve our goals. The day the lady stopped thinking she was being harassed and tyrannized she looked inside her for an inner strength that pushed her to confront the challenge and kept her going. To keep this relationship in tact she changed her life. Remember positive thinkers know they can change – and they do.
Always remember you can achieve miraculous results in your life with positive thinking. We will always pray for your happiness, please remember us in your prayers. If after reading this book, there is any pleasant change in your life please let us know. It is possible the incident of your life may change someone doe’s life and Allah’s blessings may be upon you forever. Just remember nature’s law, making others feel good about themselves makes us feel good too. Give encouragement, broaden horizons, limit passivity, promote activity. May Allah be your Guardian.