Friday, January 10, 2014

Positivity Weekly - Vol 7

If well begun is half done, then January is a key month of the year, right? So let's set the tone, the standards and the enthusiasm for 2014 right away. Let's begin by packing as much aliveness into this issue of Positivity Weekly as we can!

News from the public domain

14 reasons 2014 may be the best year ever
In this video, John Green rattles off countless statistics that make a case for optimism. What caught my attention was his joie de vivre. A bubbly, energetic, uplifting message delivered in less than four minutes.
IQs are always on the rise
Each generation has more ability to think about the hypothetical/abstract and solve analytical problems faster and better. What does that mean?
The possibility that we are getting smart enough to solve the problems we have ourselves created? You watch this video and decide for yourself. The way Flynn – the man who initially informed us that we were getting smarter all the time – describes the phenomenon, I feel quite hopeful about the future.
Domestic help turned writer
I don’t know much about writers, being one myself. But I’m told that they are snobbish, pretentious, pricey, standoffish (and so redundant with their words!).
In contrast,here’s the story of a lady who, despite being a bestseller and a much-translated writer, stills works as a domestic help for various reasons. She is not only creative but also humble and an excellent time manager, I suppose. Next time I suffer from Writer’s Block, I shall seek inspiration from her.
Science is Art indeed
Why should anybody 3D print a 3D printer on a 3D printer? Well, enthusiasm can make you do crazy things. Crazy, brilliant, brilliant things.
Here's a clip of a young boy who quit school so that he could hold on to his imagination and curiosity. Watch him in this video. And watch out for him in the future!
New hand on demand
From Marblehead, Massachusetts, comes the story of a boy who is partially human and partially a cyborg. And wholly cool. Because some fathers see their sons for what they can be and ask: why not?
Instructions for a Bad Day
Life is dotted with hard times and tough choices. There will be bad days. Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end. Here’s what you can remember when things go wrong, as they sometimes will… you could call this video Instructions for a Bad Day.

As told to me

Chin Up equals Back Up!

I remember the day when my aunt was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis. It’s a condition that manifests as chronic pain in the upper back. In my aunt’s case, it meant that for every day for the rest of her life, she would feel this pain shoot up through her spine, numb her neck and then radiate out towards her shoulder blades.
 I was then a young lad and my aunt was not yet 26. She had, just a few months ago, given birth to her first son. As per the doctor, bad posture while feeding the baby was responsible for her condition.
What I remember vividly is the look of concern writ large on the faces of all family members. Anxious questions hovered over us all. How would she manage her life? Will she be able to fulfil her responsibilities as a mother, wife and daughter-in-law?
Being a tough nut, my aunt was far more relaxed about the future than the rest of us. Almost the first decision she took was to ignore the doctor’s directive to wear a neck collar.
‘I’ll declare my frailty by wearing it,’ she said. ‘I’ll look like a sick person and attract people’s sympathy. I don’t want that.’
So the neck collar became a chew toy for the household dog Sweetu.
Ten years after this diagnosis, she developed lower back pain symptoms to go along with the cervical spondylosis. Thus, she contributed to a rare statistic – she became a person having both upper and lower back pain.
For the past 28 years, she has lived with this pain. She seeks a wall to lean against while sitting down. She cannot, even for a moment, sleep on her side unless she wants unbearable pain for the next few days. Comfortable, soft mattresses have been a strict no-no for her. In the afternoons, she lies supine on a hard floor as she watches television. This gives her back and neck the rest they need and deserve. If she doesn’t find time for this afternoon lie-down, her evenings turn more painful.
What’s amazing is that in all these years, I don’t remember her even mentioning her ailment, let alone cribbing about it. And as for being stopped in her life, let me summarize the 28 years since that first diagnosis.
Two years after the diagnosis, she gave birth to another son. Since then, she has travelled to all parts of the world along with her husband, set up homes in three countries, kept these homes spic and span (doing all the housework herself), cooked three elaborate meals each day, raised her sons to be healthy, successful professionals and has been certified by her husband’s family as the most loveable daughter-in-law ever.
How did she manage her pain? How did she not let it affect her?
She says:
‘I didn’t allow my mind to dwell on the pain. I’ve always been a staunch believer in willpower. I knew I would not let the pain affect me because I had decided not to let it affect me. I am a productive person and even during pregnancy, I kept working in the kitchen till the day of the delivery. And one thing I realized – when I’m occupied with work, the pain goes away. The pain needs my mind’s full attention to become powerful.’
In other words, our thoughts energize our realities. What doesn’t exist in our thoughts ceases to exist out there. And like my aunt, can we also choose our thoughts with care?

In conclusion

Enough said. Have a lovely week :)

For the previous volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.
For the next volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.
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