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It Begins With The Mindset

It Begins With The Mindset

Why does it all begins with the right mindset? Is the mindset really important to help us achieve what we desire? Let’s explore this.

What is a Mindset?

A mindset is a way of thinking. It is a collection of thought habits of how we make sense of what is happening around us. These thought habits are our mental inclination towards what we believe and how we see things, and often affects how we think, feel and act.

Conditioning Your Mind

The natural conditioning of our brain is formed through the repetition of thoughts, feelings and actions. How we were raised, our experiences and beliefs strengthen the neural pathways in our brain that form the brain’s pattern of thinking, feeling and acting. 

Habits, beliefs and perceptions are the result of the natural conditioning of our brain. The beliefs we hold in our mind forms our attitude which shapes our mindset, and our attitude in turns strengthen the habits we have which reinforces our mindset. Your mindset is what leads you to your destination of the life you create for yourself. 

Two Types of Mindsets

The growth mindset

When challenged or faced with something difficult, you believe you can do it. You learn and develop the skills to solve the matter at hand.

The static mindset

When challenged or faced with difficulties, you believe you are hopeless and provide all sorts of excuses why it is undoable or unreachable.

Why Growth Mindset Is Important?

As Carol S Dweck explains:

Growth Mindset (Intelligence can be developed)
  • embraces challenges
  • persists in the face of setback
  • uses effort as the path to mastery
  • learn from critics
  • finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others

As a result, they reach even higher levels of achievement.

Fixed Mindset (Intelligence is static)
  • avoids challenges
  • gives up easily
  • sees effort as fruitless or worse
  • ignores useful negative feedback
  • feel threatened by the success of others

As a result, they may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.

Why It Begins with the Mindset?

Significance of Powerful Positive Thoughts and Actions

As pointed above, when we have a healthy and growing mindset, we can accomplish great achievements.

AS WE THINK WE ACT,

AS WE ACT, WE ARE

AS WE ARE, WE THINK.

I find this to be very true based on my own experiences with my life challenges. There was a time years ago, when I was going through one of my darkest period in life, it was a growing mindset filled with gratitude and positivity that drove me to become alive again. 

Mind you, it wasn’t easy when all I wanted to do was to lie on my bed and wished my sorrow away. Everything that was the essence of me, all vanished into thin air. On many days, I was aware of my zombie state. I was also very aware that it all begins with my mindset, but my mind refused to do anything. Until one fine day, my inner strength finally broke through my weaknesses and called out to me. Enough was enough! I awoken with the tenacity to dig myself out of the mud hole I buried myself in. 

Initially, the journey of returning to my true nature was arduous. Every single day, I had to consciously push myself to look inwards to find the true essence of me again and in what I believe in – growth, positiveness, gratitude, and love. I strived to be mindful in my thoughts and actions. Every morning, I gave thanks daily for another day to work on my shortcomings. I remember to be grateful for everything around me, even on days when I did not feel grateful at all. When negative thoughts arised abruptly, I purposefully rewired my mindset to change them into powerful positive thoughts, and focus on the moment of where I was and what I was doing. There are still days when unwanted negative thoughts appear. I just observe them, accept that yeah, I’m human and move on from that thought. It is what it is as part of my growing and learning journey where I work on improving my mind power. As I think, I am. 

Which Mindset Do You Have?

It is our present mindset that determines the life we create. How we think and what we decide to do today leads to a future of what we did in the past. 

The problem though, is that most of us are not mentally strong enough and we have yet to master the growth mindset. Without a growth and positive mindset, it is always easier to look at the external factors for blame in our current life. It is always easier to give up than to struggle. A person with a fixed mindset has limited beliefs that often leads to self fulfilling  prophecies which prevents him or her from being their personal best. 

Mental Conditioning

Train your mind to rid the default negative beliefs and impressions planted in your brain  Modify your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to accept reformed positive thinking patterns that will ultimately optimise your performances. 

Observe your thoughts 
  • Keep a log of your thoughts.
  • Are your thoughts more positive or negative?
  • Why do you think the way you do?
  • Understand the mechanisms in your thought patterns so that you can address them.
Be aware of your thoughts. 
  • Realise that your subconscious mind cannot distinguish between truth and false.
  • Whatever you feed your mind constantly and repeatedly will be accepted as its truth. 
Build good thoughts habits.
  • Be in control of your thoughts.
  • Do not give power to negative thoughts.
  • Whenever a thought that does not suit your purpose pops up, tell yourself it is ok but it is not you.
  • Discard it and consciously bring a good thought to counter that negative thought. Tune in to positive thinking Remember, what you repeatedly tell yourself is what your mind perceive as the truth. 
Build Mental Toughness Of Positive Thinking
  • Focus on gratitude. Be grateful for the good things in your life. Write 5 things you are grateful for.
  • Believe in who you are. Write 5 positive affirmations about yourself and read them out when you awake and before you go to bed. A trick here is to look at your eyes in the mirror as you make the affirmations, totally believing in yourself. 
  • Train your brain to speak in positive ways. Have positive responses to everything that happens to you. Do not allow external factors to control your emotions. 
  • Whenever a negative thought or feeling arises:
    • STOP.
    • FOCUS ON BREATHING.
    • COUNT to TEN before you respond.
    • Tell yourself you are no longer that person and return to the present moment with a good thought. 

Positive Thinking, Mental Toughness, Focus and Concentration

You can increase self awareness of your mental and physical states by

  • having a clear positive vision of what you want to change
  • understanding why you want the change
  • develop the positivity, mindset and focus to achieve the change

It all begins with the mindset. So, plant good thought seeds to sow great intentions and form robust habits to gift yourself a growth mindset that endures and overcomes all your challenges. Namaste.

5 Powerful Steps To Reduce Worrying

5 Powerful Steps To Reduce Worrying

Why We Worry?

Worrying is when you allow anxiety and fear to pop into your head. It is an invisible activity we all do one time or another. It usually has no limits. So why do some of us spend so much time worrying?  Well, sometimes worry could be a good thing to help us get on top of matters by allowing us to play out different scenarios and create various plans to overcome uncertainties. We need the inbuilt ability for anxiety to deal with danger and fundamental threats to our basic survival. But more often than not, it is like a broken record that keeps coming back to us and is exhausting. When this happens, we need some positive actions to reduce worrying and anxiety.

What is Worry

Worry is the act of feeling unsettled and being troubled over a particular problem or situation. It is a self-talk activity that originates from anxiety and fear for the unknown, where we are bothered by a problem and project possible negative scenarios that may happen now or in the future in which we are afraid, or feel we are unable to handle.

A little bit of worrying from time to time is a normal part of life as we face life’s daily trials and tribulations. However, when you experience constant worry and negative thinking repeatedly, and if you cannot disengage, it can take its toll on your health and interfere with your daily life. Being stuck at pondering your worries

  1. does not help you, and
  2. makes it impossible for you to focus in the present moment.

Cause of Worrying

Worry may be triggered by stressful events that occur in your life, especially major changes, such as:

  • Work problem
  • Health problem
  • Personal problem
  • Relationship problem
  • Loss of job
  • Financial difficulty

With the world locking down and everyone having to stay home, many individuals are released by their employers to cut cost, as establishments and businesses close temporary. Many have lost their source of income. On top of this, some may be fighting illnesses, including the latest most rampant infection COVID-19. The healthcare system is strained and many of us are bored from staying home, angry and/or depressed that this is ongoing and worry sets in.

Working through Worries

Worry is a type of thought-pattern where our mind repetitively focus on the problem and the consequences that may arise from the problem. To work through this, we need to understand:

  1. Our negative thoughts that derive from worrying are not the problem. It is how we respond to our thoughts that creates the problem of worrying too much. 
  2. The mind does not differentiate between imaginary and reality.
  3. Thoughts are just our ideas, impressions, and beliefs we have about ourselves, others and the world around us. They are mental cognisance that creates the perception of our views on any given situation, experience or person (for better, worse, or neutral). Thoughts are often shaped by life experiences, upbringing, genetics, and education. If you are conscious of your thoughts and attitudes, you can choose to change them. 

We can’t prevent worrying but we can learn to balance this negative act with positive actions.

Here are 5 Powerful Steps to Reduce Worrying and Anxiety

  1. Observe your thoughts and feelings. When you worry, admit you are vulnerable and that a bad scenario might happen.
  2. Separate your thoughts from reality. The goal is to pay attention to your worry thought instead of looking through it. View your worry thoughts as separate from you, and remind yourself that your thoughts are not reality, they are not actual events and they may or may not happen.
  3. Label your worry, accept it is there and let it go. When a worry pops up, label it as “a worrying thought.” It is not you. Do not identify with it nor let it overtake you. Think realistically of the “what if” worst scenarios. Write them down and put them as your thoughts. Pay attention to your emotions as you are thinking those thoughts. How do you feel? Write them down too.  Learn to observe your thoughts and emotions as you are doing this. Reflect on how you can take charge of them.
  4. Control where your thoughts lead you. Actively shift your mind to focus on more positive aspects of the situation. Is there anything you can do? What steps can you take if it happens? Take your time in mindfully looking at the scenario and come up with a positive realistic plan based on your values. The more clarity you have (about your values and direction), the more willing you are to do the work. Trust your plan will succeed to overcome the situation of worry you have.
  5. Practice mindfulness to feed your mind with the right food. Channel your thought energy into gratitude, improvement, and positivity. Learning to control and direct your thoughts to the present moment and gratitude will greatly help you to reduce anxiety and depression.

Your attitude towards coping with worry and anxiety is important. 

Remember, your thoughts and worry are not you.

Learn to Observe them, Control them and Rule over them.

Whoever is stronger wins.

8 Universal Moral Principles That Can Improve Our Way Of Life Now

8 Universal Moral Principles That Can Improve Our Way Of Life Now

What are moral principles?

The Free Dictionary defines moral principle as “the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group”. It is also defined as “the principle that conduct should be moral”.

Why we need moral principles?

Who we become and who we are boiled down to the moral principles we uphold. I believe that no matter how successful we are in terms of fame and money, we are nothing if we do not abide by moral principles and have moral values.

Filial piety

What is filial piety?

Filial piety originated from Confucius. The character 孝 “xiao” consists of an upper component representing “age” and a lower component representing “child”. It signifies the relationship between parent-child where the parent leads the child and the child supports the parent. This means that the parents must rear and educate their young ones, and children who are of age must support and assist their parents. Filial piety is the most important virtue in Chinese culture, for without our parents, we would not exist.  

Practicing filial piety in times of COVID-19

Now is a good time to repay your parents’ kindness. At times when we are forced to stay home due to the danger of COVID-19, where old aged people are high risk to this infection, it is only right for us to do our filial duties. If your parents are old and senile, If you are away from home during this time of duress, be mindful to check up on the well-being of your mum and dad. Skype, FaceTime or Whats App Video call them to ensure they are ok and also to let them know you are ok, wherever you are. If they are fortunate enough to live with you, respect and be kind to them. A parent’s love and worry never end no matter how old their child may be. Wherever you are, ensure your parents are getting the assistance they may need to stay safe. Our parents are the utmost important people for us to be of service to when we are grown and capable. Love, honour and respect them always. When we were young and helpless, they provided and took care of us and it is only right we look after our elders when they become old and helpless. Do this not just for this COVID-19 period but for the rest of the days of your parents.

Mindfulness

Be aware of your present moment and focus on your thoughts, words, and actions that they may be wise and filled with common sense and truth. COVID-19 has taken away our norm and there are still many who are not mindful of the safety of others and themselves. Fear, anxiety, and panic may have taken over our lives. Wake up and breathe for a moment. Put some thoughts into the current situation of COVID-19 and use your wisdom. Be mindful to fact checks what you can do. Accept the reality of what is happening now and why we need to stay home. Discard our ignorance by learning from trusted sources and experts, transform our fear and worry into courage and resilience to face this adversity and reduce sufferings together.

Attitude

Be responsive to situations. Have a caring attitude and act in the best interest of mankind. Care about the people around you and care about the environment. Only when we care with love, kindness, and compassion, we are motivated to do our best for a better result. Humanity is the first principle to ensure the survival of all humans and matters. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, or harping about what happened, focus on what we can do conscientiously and collectively to bring this epidemic to an end.

Service To Others

Find ways to be helpful to others. What goes around comes around and what comes around goes around. Serving others with humility teaches us to let go of our ego. It enables us to learn and grow to be better as we listen and put others first before us, creating a harmonious affinity and environment with people. It shows our willingness to be open-minded, to practice patience and understanding the perspective of another. 

Character Building

Now more than ever is your chance to build your character. Be mindful of who you are becoming as our character is what makes us authentic. Look in the mirror of your mind and check to see if you like the person that you are now. Are you being authentic and real, not just to others but to yourself? Are you the same person behind closed doors when others cannot see you or are you always the same person you are, no matter where you are? Character is built from our experiences and what we choose to learn from them. Be mindful of your daily thoughts, decisions, and actions as they turn into habits that will define your character.

Gratitude

Be grateful for what is already in your life. Look not at what is not with you but open your eyes to the treasures that are in your possession now. Be thankful for each day and accept all experiences that happen as an opportunity to learn and grow from them. Everything happens for a reason and if we can take the positive out of every experience and situation, our lives can only improve for the greater good.

Acceptance and detachment

Understand the cause and effect. Know that every thought, every word and every action we take have consequences. Learn to accept matters as they are and let go of what we cannot control or change. Good thing or bad thing, who knows? Things eventually always even out.

Truth

When we practice truth, we deal in honesty and transparency. It means we are reliable, and it builds a good reputation of trustworthiness and respect. So always speak the truth and keep your promises. 

Conclusion

These universal moral principles have always been within us. We know the principles and the virtue of practicing them but only a few will follow as ego, greed, and desires overcome our true nature. However, as the world goes into lockdown, this is a great time to dwell deep within oneself to reflect. You have the power to bring these moral principles alive in your day to day life.

Mindfulness On The Infection Prevention of COVID-19

Mindfulness On The Infection Prevention of COVID-19

Today, I am writing about mindfulness on the infection prevention of COVID-19. In times of this COVID-19 crisis, it is more adamant that we need to practice mindfulness. It is crucial to be mindful in our thoughts and actions and to consciously build thought seeds that will lead to positive deeds and outcome of this crisis. Mindfulness in our everyday life helps us to be in the moment and to be aware of our surroundings and others.

Mindfulness in Sharing Information

Be vigilant to share only validated news and information.

While some fake information on how to prevent the coronavirus are shared by well-meaning individuals, sometimes it can do more harm than good. Take for example, the viral information that is passing around, informing that gargling with salt and drinking warm water every 15 minutes will help dislodge the virus from our throat and pushes it down to the stomach where our stomach acid will kill it. People who think that this is true will believe that they are safe as long as they drink warm water and gargle with salt. The truth is doing this does not dislodge nor kill the virus.

By spreading what we think are “helpful” but in turn are fake information or news, we are only creating more confused and ignorant people.

Stop Fake News Mindfulness Chart

When we are careful on how we disseminate information, we ensure only true facts are shared and this will also reduce inundating chats and social medias with viral rubbish.

As I mentioned in my previous blog on the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s be mindful to only share COVID-19 health information that has been validated by CDC or WHO.

Mindfulness when Sneezing and Coughing

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or a tissue.
  • Throw the used tissue straight into a bin.
  • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer immediately.
  • Wash your handkerchief with warm soapy water.
  • Sneeze into your inner elbow if you cannot cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or handkerchief.
  • Most importantly, do not sneeze or cough into another person’s face or presence and onto open air.

Mindfulness in Our Contact with Others

The COVID-19 transmits easily from human to human within the community, especially between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

It also spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes where these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Some spread might come from an infected person who is not showing the COVID-19 symptoms.

Apart from that, you may also get infected by touching contaminated surfaces and objects, and then touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth.  A recent study has also shown that the virus is also spread through faeces.

Social distancing/self isolation/lockdown

Think of the health professionals and law enforcement officers who are working tirelessly to curb the pandemic and save life. It is paramount that we be mindful to do our civic duty in social distancing, stay home and self isolation if need be. We must conscientiously work together to stop the spread of the virus and to avoid infection. We need to help reduce the burden on the health workers, volunteers and the health system so that we may return to normality sooner.

  • Avoid close contact with people unwell with cold-like symptoms.
  • Be careful to stay away from crowds and if for any reason, you need to go out, wear a mask and try to keep at least 6 feet from another person. When you get home, immediately wash yourself very thoroughly as a caution to prevent contaminating your home and protecting your loved ones.
  • However hard, please self isolate yourself for the minimum 14 days recommended if you are feeling unwell (especially if you have flu or cold like symptoms) or if you have travelled. If you are showing symptoms of the COVID-19, call the hotline or visit the nearest health authority in your community.
  • If the country is in a lockdown, abide by the law and do your duty as a good citizen.

General Daily Mindfulness on the Infection Prevention of COVID-19:

Wash/sanitize your hands correctly. 

  • After touching common/public area surfaces and objects.
  • Before and after you eat.
  • Before and after using the toilet.
  • When you return from your outing.
  • Before brushing your teeth or washing your face.
  • Anytime you feel you should clean your hands, and consciously before touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be extra mindful to only turn the tap on to wet your hands and to rinse the soap lather off to cut water wastage.

Check this educating video on how to wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly. 

Keep frequently touched surfaces clean and disinfect where required.

  • Clean common areas and surfaces often.
  • Use a disinfectant spray or prepare your own bleach solution to disinfect surfaces that are high volume usage such as the door handles, taps, toilet flush handle, bathroom sink, shower, kitchen sink, table tops, etc.
  • Try using the back of your hand, elbow or knuckle to turn switches or taps on to reduce the risk of contamination on surfaces.

For some great tips on how to disinfect your home, check out this video.

Note: Never use vinegar and bleach or ammonia together or right after each other because it creates a toxic gas.

Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose and mouth.

If you watch the videos that are going  around the world where leaders are advising and talking about COVID-19, you will notice some are mindlessly licking their finger to flip their speech pages.

I cannot stress enough that our hands are the most likely channel of passing on germs and viruses. So be very aware of what you do with your hands. Be conscious about how your hands are behaving. Train yourself not to touch public surfaces such as railings or walls as you walk. Now more than ever as we move towards being mindful on the infection prevention of COVID-19, make better effort in kicking the habit of touching any parts on your face.

Boost your immune system.

  • Get adequate sleep. Sleep allows your body to recover and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.
  • Eat healthy to build up your immune system. Have plenty of vegetable and fruits and a balance diet.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water every day is important for many reasons. It helps to regulate body temperature, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, lubricates joints,  removes waste and supports organs functionality properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

Keep fit.

At the point of writing this, many countries have started some sequence of lockdown and social distancing. I come across many “I am bored” posts in social medias and my messages are all bogged with “boredom” insanity texts. So if we can’t go for walks or run about, how do we keep fit in mind, body and soul?

If you are on lockdown, self isolation or staying home:

  • Use some “me” time to read a book, paint, write or do something that you meant to do but never found the time for.
  • Spend quality moments with your family who are at home with you. Play board or card games. Find things to do together. Talk to each other. It’s great family bonding.
  • Expel some energy within the house. I run or walk up and down my stairs 20 times. I do my sun salutations every morning and evening. I work on my garden and enjoy the fruits of my labour. How about you?
  • Try online exercises. You will find plenty on You Tube.
  • Connect via video chats with your friends and family who are not with you. Bring chats alive, sing, dance and exercise with each other online.
  • Cook. Many of my family and friends are actually trying out new recipes and the best part is the household gets to cook and enjoy the food together.

I could go on endlessly with this list. Lockdown and staying home on our part to help curb this pandemic is simple and gratifying when we focus and appreciate the positive things we can now do and enjoy, thanks to this pandemic crisis. What will you choose to do? How will you exercise your mindfulness on the infection prevention of the COVID-19?

Dramatic situations require creative dramatic actions.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic 2020

So much has happened since Wuhan, China first reported its coronavirus outbreak to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 31st December 2019.  The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency a month later as it spread around China and new cases were discovered in other parts of the world. WHO named the coronavirus COVID-19 on the 11th Feb 2020.

By 11th March, COVID-19 became a worldwide phenomenon after spreading through 114 countries and killing more than 4000 people. WHO then classified it as a pandemic. The large outbreaks at this point were in Italy, South Korea and U.S.A. 

Updated COVID-19 cases around the world: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

I believe this is nature’s way of bringing the world back to a balance again. Throughout history, we have had devastating contagious diseases and sickness such as the plague, cholera and influenza that reduced the world of its population. Only the fit, healthy and strong survive. With research, improved knowledge. vaccination and medication, human have been able to better survive catastrophe such as these. 

So now everyone around the world is affected by COVID-19 one way or another. Panic pandemic has joined the world where everyone is stockpiling and fighting each other for toilet rolls, pasta, milk, bottle water and more. There is no escape as everyone allows fear for basic mundane survival to take over.

Unfortunately, right now, the only way to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. I cannot foresee this virus going away in the short term. Amidst all this, I can only say there is one caution. We need to be mindful and be vigilant to bring this crisis to a plateau and allow our scientists and medical experts to find the source, vaccine and perhaps a possible cure.

Let’s not let fear and ignorance blind us during this time. Instead, let’s focus on how we as individual can come together to overcome this crisis.

How to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Stop spreading fake news.  We all mean well when we get new information on the news of COVID-19 but we should only share information that has been validated by CDC or WHO.
  2. Be mindful of how you sneeze and cough. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue, handkerchief or use the inside of your elbow. Throw the tissue directly into a bin and wash your handkerchief with soap and hot water. Do not sneeze or cough into another person’s face or open air.
  3. Practice social distancing. Reduce the need to be in a crowd or near to anyone.
  4. Avoid close contact.  A distance of at least 6 feet or 1.5m is recommended.
  5. Self isolation for 14 days or more when you have been exposed to crowds and/or travel.
  6. Wear a face mask if you are sick or looking after a sick person.
  7. Avoid touching surfaces when outside. Use hand sanitizer to clean your hands if you do touch public surfaces.
  8. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as the bathroom sink, kitchen sink and table tops, etc.
  9. Boost your immune system. Remember to eat healthy and keep yourself hydrated.
  10. Keep fit. Keep the mind and body healthy by positive thoughts, meditation and, simple breathing and movement exercises.
  11. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth with your hands. Our hands are the most likely channel of passing on germs and viruses.
  12. Wash your hands properly and frequently. Lather soap for at least for 20 second covering the in-between your fingers, under the nails, palms and back of your hands right up to the wrist. Reminder to save water while washing your hands. Only turn the tap on to wet your hands and to rinse the soap later off. 

Please do stay safe and do the right things to protect yourself and your loved ones. When each and every one of us plays our part together in unity simultaneously against COVID-19, we will slowly but surely win this battle.

Life Is Meant To Be Happy

Life Is Meant To Be Happy

Life is not meant to be the best. Life is meant to be happy.

We often talk about wanting a happy successful life. How do we define success or for that matter happiness? When we are successful, we are happy and when we are happy, we are successful in all we do.

So is success and happiness linked to material wealth, health wealth or spiritual wealth?

To me a successful life filled with joy means we have a roof over our head to keep us safe and warm, enough food on our table, great health and especially be full of spiritual wealth. When we stop chasing material things and appreciate what we already have, when we are in good health and when we are at peace within our self, life is balanced. Does that mean we do not go for higher achievements? No, it just means we need to learn enough and to appreciate what we already have while still striving towards our ambition and goals.

So what does this phrase “Life Is Meant To Be Happy” mean? Well, let me tell you this amazing story and hopefully, it will enlighten you to see the truth about happiness in this case.

The Story of the 99 Club.

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was not happy nor contented. One day when he was out travelling, he noticed a peasant who was singing happily while he worked.

The King wondered how this lowly peasant who has nothing can be so contented and asked the man “Why are you singing so happily?”

The peasant replied, “ Your Majesty, I am but a common man. However, my family and myself don’t have much wants, just warm food to fill our bellies and a roof over our heads.”

The King doubted the man’s words. When he returned to his palace, he sought advice from his most trusted minister. After hearing the King’s headache, the minister said “Your Majesty, I believe this peasant that you saw is not a member of the 99 Club yet.”

“The 99 Club?” asked the King. The minister proceeded to explain. “Your Majesty, to understand the 99 Club, you need to deliver 99 gold coins in a bag and place in on the man’s front door.”

So the King did exactly that the next day. When the peasant returned home that evening, he saw a bag on his doorstep. He took it into his house and opened it. When he realised the bag was filled with gold coins, he gave out a shout of glee. He began to count the coins one by one and after several counts, he confirmed there were 99 gold coins. He began to wonder why there were only 99 coins? “What happened to that last gold coin? No one would leave just 99 coins!”

He searched everywhere but he could not find the 100th coin. He decided that he would start working harder to earn the one gold coin that would complete his collection of 100 gold coins.

From that day, the peasant worked extra hard and had no time for his family. He was completely focussed on earning the one gold coin. He worked from morning to night without stopping. He was exhausted and grumpy by the end of the day. He stopped enjoying his work and he stopped singing.

The King observed the dramatic change in the peasant and was puzzled. He asked his minister to explain. His minister replied “Your Majesty, the man is now a member of the 99 Club. The Club consist of people who have enough to be happy but they are forever striving for that one extra thing that they think will make them happy, thus they are never satisfied nor happy.”

The moral of this story is that we can be happy and contented regardless if we have a lot or very little in our lives. The moment we forget to appreciate what we already have and let our desire and greed overpower us, we join the world of discontentment and unhappiness; adding unnecessary stress into our lives. Choose to be grateful and happy while living your dreams. After all, life is meant to be happy, truly.

Have you count your blessings today?

Namaste.

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