This topic was suggested by aathmana02. There are some people you have never met except through screen, and yet you feel much closer to them than your neighbour. Aathmana is one of such blogging friends who I have discovered recently. Check out her blog Read. Love. Live for more…
The topic she wanted me to write was “pros and cons of convincing others and ourselves.” It is a really interesting topic because it deals with two important factors of life: our relationship with others and our relationship with ourselves.
This post is entirely based on my own experiences of convincing others and myself. I hope to leave you with a few good insights at the end.
Since we are interdependent, we will always face times when we need to convince others. However, our success in doing that is not always guaranteed. In that case, we have to accept others as they are and make the best of that situation. Here are a few points about convincing others:
When should I NOT try to convince others?
Convincing someone is a very responsible act. You are playing with someone’s mind, even if with good intentions. If you are not aware, you can also end up planting wrong seeds. For example, if you convince someone to pick a career or make a decision which they don’t like in the long term
Everyone has their own decision power but most of the times they only need a guide. If someone is in an ambiguous spot in their life, I try to guide them with whatever little understanding I have. I never try to make their decisions for them.
When should I try to convince others?
I try to convince someone only and only when I know for sure that the path they are taking is unhealthy and will only lead away from progress.
When I was in 3rd year, some of my friends started smoking. Now smoking is a habit which is completely unhealthy. It has no benefits. So I tried my best to convince them not to touch a cigarette.
Ultimately all my attempts proved useless anyway.
Final words about convincing others
Don’t try to convince anyone unless absolutely necessary. You have to remember that your views are different from theirs and hence, your solutions may not always fit with them.
If you do try to convince someone, know that it may not always succeed. Personally, whenever I needed strongly to convince someone, it has never worked. But I accept whatever it is and prepare for the worst.
This is far more important than convincing others. We have more control over it and also, our life depends on it. Our beliefs form our perception. Our perceptions are how we see the world.
When should I convince myself?
Most of our decisions are taken intuitively but the important and life-changing decisions require us to convince ourselves. I can think of 3 times when I need to convince myself.
1.) Facing an important decision
When I face an important decision, I try to think it as objectively as I can. I think about various possibilities, pros and cons of making that decision. But after I choose one path, I don’t look back.
A decision is a decision. Once I have made it, I would work with all my heart and reach the end. After you take a decision, all doubts and questions regarding it have to be left behind.
2.) When my mind turns towards pleasures and selfishness
“Yama said: The good is one thing and the pleasant is another. These two, having different ends, bind a man. It is well with him who chooses the good. He who chooses the pleasant misses the true end.”THE LORD OF DEATH EXPLAINING THE MYSTERY OF DEATH TO NACHIKETAS
If my mind drifts towards selfish thoughts about my own good, I have to try to convince myself to turn back towards kindness and selflessness.
3.) When the mind turns towards negative things
I try to convince myself to bring back positivity when my mind tends to feel negative feelings.
How do I convince myself?
I have a certain set of beliefs which kick in when I am taking a wrong path. These beliefs have formed after years of struggle, search for knowing myself and learning from great books (like Bhagvad Geeta) and leaders (Like Swami Vivekananda). Here are some of them which might help you.
- Death is the ultimate result. Success and failure are illusions; they do not matter. What matters most is the self-less work.
- Our ultimate aim in life is to be free from the bondage of Karma. It can be done only when I devote all my work to the lord, or whatever higher power I believe in.
- Anything can happen in this world. I have to remain detached from any ideas of what ‘should be’ and always accept ‘what is’.
- Pain and suffering is as much a part of the world as happiness. I cannot accept happiness without pain. I can choose it all, or I can learn to go beyond all.
- The mind is the most mysterious part of our existence. Mind is the only key to reach beyond our limitations. So I should dedicate my life in expanding my mind.
There are many more like these and they help me govern the way I do things. They are my most valuable assets.
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