Let's Share Emotions, Thoughts


Understanding Confidence

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/definition-of-confidence-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Understanding Confidence
Confidence is generally defined as a person’s trust and belief in his abilities in various fields, activities or skills. Actually it has been derived from “confide” which is to trust or have faith in another person to impart and entrust secrets. Hence a person who is trustworthy becomes a “Confidant”. Confidentiality also comes from the same root i.e. maintaining a person’s trust and secrets that have been shared in confidence.

However, for this article, I will be focusing on the ability of a person to develop confidence in himself, and to be able to carry out tasks that are either entrusted to him, or which he himself desires to carry out. Also, I aim to make you aware of the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem, which are not the same. Then we shall move on to some practical steps to understand how one can build confidence in oneself, in others who we wish to help, and also in children.

Not necessarily related to Skills or Abilities

A person who has no talent in a field may be very confident about trying it out, and may even make foolhardy moves. Another person, who is quite capable of succeeding, may hesitate wondering whether he will actually be able to do it or not. Hence confidence is an emotional state that is within a person, and is not necessarily connected to his actual abilities, experience or talent.

If you happen to be one of the people who is confident (maybe even over-confident) in various facets of your life, or different roles you play, then it is a wonder that you are reading this booklet at all. Maybe you are putting on an outside show of being confident, but deep down inside you are questioning your abilities. On the other hand, you may be a person who is frank about the fact that you do not have confidence commensurate with your abilities. Also, if you are reading this book to help others develop confidence, then my salutations to you, as you can not only use the tips given here, but can also be a good role model to those who you are going to work with.

Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong.”

Understanding Confidence

About the author



The Constancy of Change

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/what-is-the-constant-factor-in-life-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

The Constancy of Change

The only constant factor in your life is Change. Make friends with it.

If you find that you have become rigid over a period of time, there is no use of complaining how bad things have become, or lamenting about the “good old days”. By bringing about some amount of flexibility in our own self, we can adapt ourselves to the changing times, and enjoy the challenging new world unfolding ahead of us.

The first step towards bringing about change is to take responsibility. Tell yourself that your life is in your control. No one can make you happy or unhappy. Work towards focusing on your strengths and weaknesses rather than commenting on others. I can assure you that you will be able to not only enjoy work, but also enjoy life in general. Your glass, instead of being half empty, will become half full.

Action Points for bringing change in yourself
  1. Do first the task you like least.
  2. Get into the habit of writing down your list of jobs.
  3. Give yourself a pep talk or positive affirmations daily.
  4. Don't wait for things to improve. They never will.
  5. Use action to cure fear -- do what you fear.
  6. Add more points to this list based on your needs & wants today (& every day).

About the author



10 tips for Happiness

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/does-happiness-comes-from-materialistic-things-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

10 tips for Happiness
Happiness comes from within. No one can make us happy or unhappy. And happiness never comes from material things. If you can learn to take pleasure in small blessings, your joy will automatically increase with each little incident that will enhance your quality of life and increase your motivation. Research shows that those who are contented, fulfilled and happy with what they have, are the happiest. The less one chases happiness, the more it chases them.

From years of experience of enjoying the happiness of seeing people through their journey of life, I have short-listed the following ten factors that contribute the most to deep inner happiness. These factors may vary from person to person, but to greater or lesser extent, each one of them is important. Do reflect over them:

  1. Take responsibility for your life. Give up the habit of blaming others, accept your position in life today, and move ahead with the strong resolution that you will accept your role in whatever good and bad happens to you.
  2. Understand yourself. We spend time trying to understand others’ behavior and intentions, and we exhaust ourselves worrying about or gossiping about so many people around us. The most important person in your life is you yourself. The more you understand yourself, the better you will be able to shape your life.
  3. Understand and manage your emotions. Be aware when and what makes you happy, sad, jealous, angry, scared, content. Learn to differentiate all the emotions in the Happiness family i.e. joy, ecstasy, fulfillment, contentment, bliss, optimistic, satisfaction, loved, etc.
  4. Don’t compare yourself with others. If you compare with those better than you, you will feel low and sad, if you compare with those who are worse off, you will become proud and arrogant. Compete with yourself.
  5. Keep yourself motivated – believe in yourself. Find out what motivates you today, have faith in your ability and your inner strength, and keep moving forward.
  6. Have Goals -- Long term and short term goals should be in congruence with each others, and every time you succeed or fail, you should reset your goals.
  7. Listen – with your heart. Listening gives you more information and insight than anything else. You can understand and learn from others, and you will not repeat mistakes.
  8. Develop empathy, try to understand others. Do not go by their actions, try to comprehend the cause, the emotions or the background behind the actions of others.
  9. Learn from the younger generation. Change is taking place rapidly. As we grow older, there is very little we can teach the youngsters, but a lot we can learn from them.
  10. Reach out to others -- Invest in people. This is the greatest investment that is guaranteed to get you happiness in some form or the other.

About the author



Change Vs Transfomation

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/knowing-the-difference-between-change-vs-transformation-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Change Vs Transfomation

Be aware of the difference between: Change vs. Transformation. The first is in comparison to something or someone, the second is an irreversible act like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon. Change has the following characteristics …..

Slow vs. instant (we are living in a world of instant gratification)

Temp vs. permanent (we are looking for short-cuts, even if they give only temporary benefits. Ask yourself whether your change is permanent, a transformation) a transformation takes a long time… like the emerging of a butterfly from the cocoon takes repeated and consistent effort.

Change always benefits YOU. Understanding this motivates you.

Those who do not wish to change, and keep complaining, or putting blame on others – try and understand what happens to them, and why you should not be one of them. Being proactive will ensure you are always in control of your life.

About the author



Sharing Thoughts on Palliative Care"

AuthorAlpa Dharamshi

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/volunteering-at-palliative-day-care-by-author-counsellor-alpa-dharamshi

Just sharing my thoughts on Day care activities of Helping Hands at Kidwai.

Volunteering at Palliative Day Care activities I am sure we cannot add years to a patients life but can surely add LIFE to their days by providing recreational and diversion activities.

People will forget what you said or did but in the last leg of their lives they will never forget how you made them feel.

We Helping hand Volunteers ensure that "Recreation's purpose is not to kill time, but to make time live, not to keep patients and caregivers occupied but to keep them refreshed, not to offer an escape from life but to provide a discovery of life."

As a Counsellor we also make sure that Activities which gives enjoyment to the patients and which produce positive results should be a part of everyone’s lives, whatever be their age, health status or socio-economic background.

The most popular games and activities are:
  1. Music can work wonders for patients and caregivers, and in the Indian hospital scenario where we have multilingual patients Music Therapy is the best choice be it singing, dancing, listening or playing a musical instrument. The benefits include - improve in memory and recall, higher self esteem, decreased pain to name a few.
  2. Intergenerational programming is a way of uniting and bringing the young and old patients of both the male and female wards, allowing them to bond and enjoy. By sharing their knowledge through stories and incidents we exchange of ideas and socialise.
  3. Reading out or sharing the news by volunteers helps the patients and the care takers to stay connected with the outside world. It improves their mood and memory recall as well.
  4. Playing the number games, Ludo or the Chinese checkers adds on to the patients mood enhancement.
  5. Women and young girls feel left out if we don't share a craft or a special recipe. Volunteers ensure the ladies are educated on the same.
  6. All good things come to a memorable end when patients and prize winners take home wonderful gifts with beautiful memories.

All is well that ends well with a very healthy and patient friendly lunch along with porridge or tea to start the day care activities.

Every Wednesday morning when I volunteer, I know that I will meet at least one patient who will either touch my heart, make me smile or give me something to reflect upon. It is such a privilege for me to listen to a patients story( I realized every person has one story to tell) and interact with people from so many cultures and walks of life. Behind one door there could be a homeless man , a half naked child and behind the next one the CEO of a big organisation. When I can answer a question, solve a problem or just make a patient feel less lonely, I know that I have been helpful.
Alpa Dharamshi is our Helping Hand Volunteer at Palliative Care Department of Kidwai Cancer Institute, Bengaluru.
Alpa Dharamshi

Volunteering has been the most rewarding experience of my life at the Kidwai Memorial Institute Of Oncology. And I take this opportunity to thank everyone, right from the Director, Doctors, Nurses and helpers and the entire Kidwai Palliative team for helping me travel over a decade and continue my journey on the road less traveled.

Alpa Dharamshi is our Helping Hand Volunteer at Palliative Care Department of Kidwai Cancer Institute, Bengaluru.



Some De-Stressing Activities

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/what-are-the-routines-that-has-to-be-establised-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Some De-Stressing Activities


Some De-stressing activities that you can do as a regular part of your routine:


    a) Everyday routine
  1. 5 min silence after return from work
  2. A walk in the evening
  3. A chat with like minded friends
  4. 4. Exercise
  5. Playing with child or pet
  6. Gardening
  7. Listening to music
  8. Reading inspiring, thought provoking books
  9. Maintaining a Diary

Add more to the list:


    b) Weekly routine
  1. Reading a book
  2. Watching a movie
  3. Learning a skill
  4. Attending a class
  5. Learning a sport like tennis, swimming
  6. Spending time with good friends
  7. Meeting new people
  8. Community work or service/li>

Add more:


    c) When you get a vacation or holiday
  1. A visit to your home town or childhood memories
  2. Vacation with family
  3. Vacation away from family (why not?)
  4. Three activities you will do only for yourself
  5. Books you will read
  6. One short term goal you will complete (for yourself only)
  7. Activity to improve your physical or mental health
  8. One gift you will give to yourself
  9. One relationship you will work on improving or understanding
  10. One resolution how you will start afresh after your holiday and break from work

About the author



Understanding Your Personal, Spiritual and Ethical Side

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/understanding-self-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Understanding Your Personal, Spiritual and Ethical Side


  • What skills have I acquired that I'm proud of?
  • What accomplishments am I proud of?
  • Beginning when I was a child, what are the 10 most significant events in my life? Why did I make them significant?
  • What period of my life do I like most? Why?
  • What period of my life do I like least? Why?
  • What are five of my greatest strengths?
  • What do I desire most right now? Why do I desire that?
  • If I was to receive an award, what would I want that award to be for? Why that?
  • If I was to pick out a general theme that showed up often while answering these questions, what would that theme be? What does it mean? How do I feel about that?
Spiritual / Ethics
  • Do I believe in god? If not, how do I believe the universe operates? Why this belief?
  • How has my childhood effected my beliefs about God/or lack there of?
  • What characteristics do I believe God possesses? Why do I believe that?
  • What is my relationship with God/Universe? Is it the relationship I want? Why?
  • In what way does my spiritual beliefs effect my day-to-day life?
  • Do I have a code of conduct that I follow? If no, do I want one? Why or why not? If yes, what is it and why those codes?

About the author



Perception And Reality"

AuthorRaju Thomas

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/ideas-of-perception-and-reality-by-author-raju-thomas

I believe that there is a close connection between the ideas of Perception and Reality. Perception is nothing but the way we interpret things happening externally or even what is going on in our minds, and the idea of Reality is not something considered incomprehensible by most people. However ‘Reality’ is a word which is rather difficult to define, especially in today’s world. It connotes different things to different people. Reality is connected with real things, that is, something genuine or authentic, and not imaginary. So one way of defining Reality would be to consider it as the quality or state of being actual or true. Another way of thinking of reality is as something which is not illusive. There are gadgets available these days which provide what is called ‘ Virtual Reality ‘ experiences, in which reality is simulated on a computer. Then there are ‘Reality Shows’ on TV where actors act as in real life, as against acting in a film- real life and reel life. Even in the field of Mathematics we have real and imaginary numbers, and there is also a ‘Real ‘ Estate business. In yet another sense, spirituality talks about searching for one’s inner reality, which is found through self realisation, orunderstanding of the true meaning of self. According to a certain religious philosophy, nothing is real and everything is just an illusion or ‘Maya’.

As mentioned above, the concept of reality is intimately connected with one’s mental processes and belief systems. What really defines a person in a true sense is his belief system, and this becomes his identity or his sense of reality. Based on such a premise, reality can be thought of as one’s subjective perception and judgement.Also, reality refers to experiences which are not considered illusive. But such a viewpoint may not always be true. Perceptions are, after all, subjective interpretations of some stimuli on the mind. Perceptions resulting from a particular external stimuli or sensory inputs can be different for different individuals, and it may be possible that none of these perceptions correspond to what is actually being portrayed. For example, a magician or an illusionist can perform certain acts which appear to be real, while in fact they are just illusions. There is also a degree of reality with which such acts are perceived by different individuals; the illusionist is capable of tricking the minds of the observers to perceive his acts as real, almost real or just as an illusion. So the same act can be both real and illusive, which means that reality and illusion cannot be considered as mutually exclusive events. To take another example, a mentally challenged person may indulge in imaginations which can also become hallucinations turning illusions into reality and vice-versa. It all depends on the way the mind reacts and interprets situations and events at a particular moment. He may imagine himself to be somebody else and nobody will be able to make him change that mental image in his mind. For him that image is his reality, and what is reality for others is illusion for him. For persons with personality disorders, what they think as real keep changing with time, and they find it difficult to clearly distinguish between reality and illusion. Also, for those who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, while recalling past traumatic experiences, they feel as though what is going through their mind is more real than their present situation. Another instance of confusion between reality and illusion is what happens when we are dreaming. At that time whatever we are experiencing is registered in our minds as something really happening, due to the fact that even when we are asleep, our mind remains in a conscious state. Whatever happens at a mental level has a corresponding impact on the body. So while a person is asleep and having dreams, the body responds to such dream images as if it were really happening. Hence the concept of reality is intimately linked to one’s perception or mental processesand is a purely subjective matter.

One final thought on the subject of reality. There is one question for which people have been seeking an answer since time immemorial. This is about the reality of the existence of God. I think that this is question which will forever remain unanswered for the simple reason that there is no unique or unambiguous definition of what we mean by ‘God’. However, this is not to deny or take an opposite view on this question. If it helps people to believe in the existence of God, they can certainly do so and hold on to whatever image of a God they have in their minds.



Words Can Hurt, Words Can Heal"

Author: Varsha Chipli

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/words-can-be-forgiven-but-cannot-be-forgotten-by-author-varsha-chipli

Words! We all know what words are; they are a form which enable us to express our innermost feelings to others or to ourselves. Remember that old nursery rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’’ Have any of you found this to be true?

I haven’t. Words can hurt me very deeply and may leave a deep scar on me, maybe for a little while or for life. But no matter what the words, they remain with me in life and in death just like how the Egyptians used to bury their kings along with their favourite accessories. Words are like that: they are accessories which we can acquire without money, but are still precious none the less.

We hear our elders at home and our teachers at schools, colleges and universities telling us many a time that words once spoken cannot be taken back, choose your words wisely. But we rarely heed to that piece of advice because we are ignorant and arrogant by nature, and it is not until we actually do hurt someone deeply with our words that ‘that’ piece of advice which we all thought was ‘irrelevant’ takes its form in our minds. Only then we make sure to not repeat that mistake to the best of our abilities.

Just like how there is a saying that “people hurt people, but it is also people who heal people,” words too have that exact role. We use words on a daily basis, we use them on a 24/7 basis. Though we may not be aware of it our words might have just hurt someone on that particular day. Words are very strong and they never will disappear. Writers, poets, singers, journalists express their thoughts and view with the help of words. Words have the power to reach people and influence them in many uncountable ways that cannot be even imagined by us.

When words can hurt, why can’t they heal too ....right? I am going to enlighten you all with a story based on this moral, so pay attention:

You may be aware of the famous children’s novel/ movie ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Mr Wonka is someone who is obsessed with the idea of chocolates and he opens a chocolate factory which does not produce ordinary chocolates but chocolates which are based on his unique ideas and imagination. Charlie is a boy who comes from a poor family, and as luck would have it he gets a chance to visit this extraordinary factory with 6 other children. This is a once in a lifetime chance to visit the factory as Mr Wonka does not usually allow visitors. Throughout the movie we see that one by one the children are taught an important lesson which they will carry with them throughout their lives, but it is not only the children who are taught morals, it is also their parents who acquire morals along with their children too. Often in the movie we see that Mr. Wonka’s childhood days are shown to us and the memories are often triggered by Charlie's words. We see that Wonka’s father had banned him from eating candy especially on Halloween, as he was the town’s only dentist and he had banned him from eating chocolate as he had to wear braces all the time. The pain on the child Wonka was so severe that one day he ran away from home. When he returned much later, his father had moved away and was no longer present in the same town. In the end it was Charlie’s words which healed Wonka and encouraged him to drop the lifetime grudge he had been holding against his father. Charlie thus reunited father and son.

The pain that Wonka had kept inside him and had immersed himself in making unique chocolates to distract himself was finally brought to the surface by the words uttered throughout the series by Charlie and had healed him completely.

The movie teaches us many other morals but among the rest this moral stands out the most and has influenced me deeply. Words can hurt so choose them wisely. I would like to wrap up by telling you all one last thought based on the words

“One kind word can warm three winters”.

Words can be forgiven but cannot be forgotten. So what did yours do today?



The Need to Overcome Mental Blocks

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/does-overcoming-mental-blocks-helps-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

The need to overcome Mental Blocks
Overcoming mental blocks helps us in the following ways:
  • We break free from confusion, fear or insecurity that may be haunting us.
  • We boost our self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • We feel more at peace, are happier, and generally more satisfied with life.
  • We prevent the recurrence of situations that make us lose control of ourselves.
  • We increase our Emotional Intelligence, our decision making capacity.
  • We look at people and situations with a wider and broader outlook, thus paving the way for better relationships.

Thus, if we understand that we have developed mental blocks in any specific area, it is prudent that we start the process of overcoming them, at the earliest. Initially the process may look difficult. We may not see results soon. But we need to remind ourselves that the results will have long term positive effects, so the wait and the struggle are worth it. Becoming proactive and taking out life in our control, we can begin the process …….

About the author



Knock! Knock! Who’s That?
A Neighbour in Need!

Author: Nigar Ataulla

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/in-need-of-a-neighbour-by-author-nigar-ataulla

Several years ago, when Bangalore was still luxuriantly green and hadn’t yet been invaded by glassy towers and mega-malls, or what I’d like to call metromania, my parents decided to move to the city, to an apartment built for middle-income families. Today, this apartment is over 35 years old, and that’s where I still live.

The apartment isn’t what’s curiously called the “gated community’ sort. By God’s grace, the gate leading to the compound is kept open all day and night and we don’t have security guards supplied by specialized agencies. There is still a bit of greenery around for cows  to come and nibble at. Stray dogs can enjoy a peaceful afternoon nap under a flight of stairs. Cats run around as and where they please. This summer we had water problems, and so the residents got together and shared the cost of a tanker to fill the water-tanks.

There aren’t any “No Parking” signs on our gates. Visitors park their vehicles pretty much where they please, and nobody hollers at them and quotes rules from an apartment handbook for that. Pigeons flutter and mutter about, building their nests in kitchen windows. Nobody shoos them away. We don’t have a park, and so kids play in the place where vehicles are parked, and nobody shoos them away either.

We are a small group of families here who’ve known each other for years—perhaps not intimately, but, still, when someone falls sick or lands up in hospital, word quickly gets around.

With the boom of high rise apartments in Bangalore, the concept of “gated communities” has set in. It’s the ‘in-thing’ now, or so some folks think. It’s like a “one stop-shop”, where everything is available under one roof. If you live in a fancy ‘gated community’ of this sort, you have the plumber on call, the electrician, too, and the grocer as well, and so on—all your material needs and comforts taken care of. And you have (probably underpaid) uniformed security guards, too, who stand up to attention when your car comes in or goes out.

But things aren’t as rosy as they might seem. Just the other day I visited one such fancy ‘gated community’. An elderly friend who lives there asked me to come over. She wasn’t well at all.

Aunty is all of 84 years of age, and she lives all by herself. Some days ago, she fell and hurt her back. She spent a week wondering whom to call for help, but couldn’t think of any of her neighbours. In her gated community—as in many others—people don’t know even the names of the folks living just next door to them. Needless to say, Aunty didn’t have her neighbours’ telephone numbers, and, even if she did, she wouldn’t have wanted to ‘trouble’ them with request for help. Who knows how they would have felt and reacted?  Aunty didn’t want to ask them for help. That’s why she had called me over.

Aunty rang me up and explained her condition. Her driver was unavailable. She could not drive herself as her injury had restricted her movements.  Luckily, her doctor wasn’t too far, so I fixed up an ambulance and accompanied her to the hospital. The doctor did various tests and asked her to go home. She’s back in her flat now, but there’s no one in her gated community to take care of her now or even to ask how she’s doing.

That’s sad, of course, but it’s quite preventable too, I think. Here are some thoughts that come to my mind thinking about Aunty’s unenviable predicament.

Most residential areas, including gated apartments, have an residents’ Association. For help in situations like the one Aunty finds herself in today, perhaps associations can make a list of all residents, along with their landline or cell numbers, and give a copy to all the residents so that everyone knows who lives where. If some residents are doctors, this could be specifically mentioned. Another list, exclusively of senior citizens, can be prepared and distributed, as well as a list of all hospitals within a 5 kilometre radius of the apartments, along with their telephone numbers and the numbers of ambulance services, too.

Last, but certainly not the least, neighbours can forget and forgive each other’s faults and frowns, burying old squabbles about “He parked his car in my space” , “She didn’t give me sweets for New Year’s”, “She did not send a bouquet for  my birthday” and “He screamed at my dog’—all of which keep them pretty much as total strangers who happen to share the same physical space but have otherwise nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

It may be too much to expect everyone to be a ‘ministering angel’ like Florence Nightingale was, who devoted her life to the care of the sick. But at least when our neighbor calls when in need, we could be inspired somewhat by the amazing woman in Henry Longfellow's poem:


“Lo! In that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room”.



Exercise: Becoming Aware of Your Emotions

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/do-i-have-much-control-over-my-emotions-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Exercise: Becoming Aware of Your Emotions
List three situations and/or times when you were the most happy in your life. Specific instances...What elements were present when I felt that way? How was I feeling about myself during those times?
What do I fear most in my life right now? Why? What would it mean if that happened?
When do I feel the most angry or frustrated? What is it about those situations that I feel that way?
What is my definition of love? (not the Dictionary meaning)
What are my primary beliefs about love? (it’s easy, scary, short-lived, feels good, not possible, difficult, etc.) Where/when did I acquire those beliefs? Do I still believe them? Why or why not?
Do I have much control over my emotions? Why or why not?
What emotions do I want to feel most of the time?

About the author



Introspection Exercises to Overcome Mental Blocks

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/understanding-how-many-mental-blocks-we-have-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Introspection Exercises to Overcome Mental Blocks
To help you understand how many mental blocks you have, here is an introspection exercise. In each category a few examples have been given. They are just indicative, and may not apply to you. However, they will give you food for thought to think whether you have similar or allied mental blocks. Spend sufficient ti me in each category till you are sure you have listed out all of them. Only then will you be able to move on to the techniques outlined above, and make your attempts at resolving all of them. Otherwise you may find yourself in the unhappy situation that you have overcome one mental block, and have allowed another one to keep pulling you down.

Check yourself whether you have mental blocks in one or more of these areas:

  • Individual persons: Try to list out people in your life against whom you have developed resentment, hatred, dislike or a feeling of revulsion. It could be someone very close to you, or it could be a casual acquaintance. But it is important that you list out all of them.
  • Groups of persons: There may be categories of persons you have a block against e.g. people in your Sales Department, neighbours living in the narrow lane behind you, your in-laws, clerks in government offices, people who spit on the road, etc.
  • Situations: Review whether you have blocks against situations e.g. the monsoon, traffic jams, being in a crowded hall, particular type of religious places or ceremonies, being made to stand in a queue for a permit, puncture, etc.
  • Activities: You may be unhappy taking up some type of activities e.g. learning how do ride a two-wheeler, using the computer, public speaking, walking through a slushy road, getting an injection in a hospital, etc.
  • Places: Check if you have developed blocks against specific places e.g. your home-town, the police station, the vegetable market, your mother-in-law’s home town, etc.
  • Developing skills: Sometimes we feel that we are not competent in developing particular skills e.g. cooking, feeding the baby, checking accounts, drafting letters, etc.
  • Taking decisions: This is one of the most important. If you find you are holding back from taking decision in particular areas of life that are important to you, then you need to become aware and do something about it immediately. Think of all possible areas where you are procrastinating in taking decisions.
  • Experimenting with a new method or technique: Some of us become very cautious and recess into our comfort zones. Initially this may not look like a serious issue, but over a period of time, it can create many blocks as we get more and more used to not taking risks or trying out new things. List out where and how you are resisting variety.
  • Removing biases that you have carried since a long time: As mentioned in the beginning, we may be carrying a lot of baggage from childhood and earlier years of life. This may include biases and prejudice against many people, situations or activities. Many of our ideas may have become outdated, but we may not have been able to overcome and change our thoughts just because our prejudice does not allow us to do so. This is the right time to do an introspection, change with the times, let go of old baggage, and find yourself a fresh, free and happy new life.
  • Rebuilding yourself back from a mental downfall: If you have already tried out some activities, or made attempts to change, and have had a bad experience, then obviously you will have a strong mental block against trying it out again. Do you remember that Thomas Edison failed a thousand times before he found how to make an electric bulb? And just before he succeeded, he said “I have not failed. I have found out 999 ways of how NOT to make an electric bulb.” Do not let past failures or setbacks close your mind to subsequent attempts. Remember that failing once does not mean that you are a failure, it only means that you have to try it out differently. Do it.
It is important that we periodically review where our life is heading, and try to set it in the proper direction. Let us not become so busy in making a living that we forget how to live.

About the author



Steps for Success"

Author: Dr. Shobha G.

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/what-leads-us-to-success-by-author-dr-shobha-g

The biggest wish of any parent is to see their children grow up as successful individuals. Parents toil day and night to help their children achieve success. Success for many is scoring high marks in exams, getting seats in prestigious institutions, getting on to great jobs, making money and many things more.

Somewhere along this journey of chasing the big ‘S’- Success, we forget the small STEPS which are in fact most crucial to lead us to success and to maintain it.

These STEPS for success are :

Self Esteem :

Build in your children a huge reservoir of self esteem. Self esteem is that feeling which makes you feel good about yourself, irrespective of what your current position is. Life is filled with ups and downs. But good feeling about one’s own self will help one achieve success, otherwise the nuances of life can pull us down. A child with good self esteem can cross the hurdles of life more successfully.

Thinking Skills:

No amount of reading, writing and schooling will help your child become successful, unless you have given your children the ability to think. Success comes to those who can think, think at the time of adversity and think at the time of ecstasy. So, facilitate thinking in your children by giving them opportunities to ask questions, take decisions and giving them choices in life.


‘Failure is the stepping stone to successes. For failure to translate to success, encouragement is crucial. This ingredient in abundance from parents at all times, even when the child has not achieved well in life, is what helps children transform as successful individuals. Guide your children with “You can, You will” attitude and not with ‘You can’t you won’t’ attitude.

Provide Opportunities:

Children learn through trial and error. Provide children a lot of opportunities to learn. Let them learn to manage people, money, relationships, assignments and responsibilities. Give them a taste of life. Life is filled with uncertainties, sudden shifts and deep curves. Exposé children to life in reality, educate them. Do not insulate them by projecting a perfect world before them. A child who sees the most, experiences the most, solves the most will learn the most.

Slow Down:

It’s a fast paced world. From the cars we drive to food we eat, all things are fast. In this fast paced journey, chances are there that we do not make time to savour the little things. Teach your children to enjoy little pleasures, little triumphs. Enjoy a family dinner together; go out for a leisurely walk. Make time to build relationships, invest in people and invest in time. Slowing down gives us an opportunity to take a fresh look at life, which may even redefine what ‘Success’ means to you.

Let your children come up these ‘STEPS’. This will not just help them reach Success, but will help them stay there, come what may.


Page 1 of 28


FREE Online Psychological Counselling by Banjara Academy for anyone, anywhere in the world FREE online counselling for the depressed

  • Are you stressed about your child?
  • Is your marriage in trouble?
  • Are you stressed about your education?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed by anxiety and fear?

Just mail your counsellor now, sharing your problems, your worries, your anxieties, your fears. Your counsellor will reply to you, and be there for you until you need her to help you cope and get going.

Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja


This website was initially conceived and designed by the late Sitaram N
Copyright © 2017 www.banjaraacademy.org. Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the Content of the Website of Banjara Academy - the text, the audios, the videos, the images - contributed by Dr Ali Khwaja and his team of volunteers at Banjara Academy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.