What are the primary factors that influence thinking or the key factors affecting growth mindset?
How much successful you are in life is mostly dependent upon your mindset, there are many factors influencing our success. But the major factor influencing the mind and every other aspect is our mindset or state of mind.
What Influences the Mind?
When we talk about our state of mind, there are many factors that influence it. But the major factor is the people we are with. In our day-to-day life, we meet so many different people at our office or college, while traveling, in coffee shops, at our home.
Some people, we meet daily some people we meet occasionally while some we meet for the first time. Meeting different people leaves a certain impression on our mind and that determines our state of mind.
Some people make us feel good, some make us feel bad, and some people make us angry, very little makes us calm, some might make us confident and boost our energy, while some might drain our energy. Some meetings are such where we feel ‘when the other person will go’ and in some meetings, we don’t want to leave.
During all these daily interactions with different people whether they are family, friends, known associates, or strangers, we feel a variety of emotions within us, some pleasant and some bitter. If we observe closely we will notice that it makes us go on an emotional roller coaster ride.
Sometimes the ride is slow & steady and sometimes the ride is wild & wobbly. When we meet someone who makes us feel pleasant it is good but when we meet someone who makes us feel negative it is very harmful to us.
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Can We Avoid People Completely?
Therefore in many spiritual discourses, they don’t let you connect with people for the duration of course. But we cannot always do that, also we cannot always avoid people who make us feel negative, because many times these people are either our friends or people who we have to work with or someone we cannot avoid.
Moreover, in many cases, the other person is suffering from his/her own life challenges and we cannot avoid them when they need us.
But at the same time, we must not ignore the fact that their behavior motivated by their own emotional tornado impacts our state of mind in a negative way. And the way we feel impacts our life in many different ways.
What Can Be The Solution?
Now that you know about the main factors that influence thinking and mindset, it is time to understand what does a growth mindset believes.
There was a great ancient rishi or you can say scientist or you can say a psychologist around 2300 years ago named Patanjali. Yes, this is the same guy who wrote Yoga Sutra, an ancient text on Yoga, famously known as Ashtanga Yoga (8 Limbs Of Yoga).
These Yoga Sutras are considered as the basis of modern-day yoga however these sutras contain nothing of the studio yoga that you see all over. But in these yoga sutras, there is specifically one sutra that is mentioned as a solution to keep our mind not only happy but in a constant state of euphoria (paramananda).
It holds the secret of keeping one’s state of mind in one’s control irrespective of whatever situation one is in. Remember that your state of mind is a determining factor of how your life is.
This technique specifically tells us how to keep our minds happy while dealing with different people. However what we can learn from this technique is that we can deal with different types of people without getting affected, without breaking our inner bliss. So the sutra is
भत्रै ीकरुिाभणुदतोऩऺे िा ं सखु दु्खऩण्ु माऩण्ु मणवषमािा ं
बावनातणित्तप्रसादनभ ॥् ३३॥
Friendship, mercy, gladness, indifference, being
thought of in regard to subjects, happy, unhappy,
good and evil respectively, pacify the Chitta.
Now before we precede one thing we must be clear in our mind that all these expressions must be toward personalities and not toward the person.
Because the person is having one type of behavior today which you may like or dislike but he/she might have a completely different type of attitude the next time you meet.
Because all of us are in different types of emotional states during different phases of life and so one must recognize the state of mind of the other person and then deal accordingly.
Expression of Friendship Toward Happiness
Happiness is contagious so whenever you see someone in a happy state of mind you must have a sense of closeness toward the emotional state of that person. This will let the happiness touch you too.
You might have noticed this with kids that when they see people around them laughing they start laughing too. So when you see a person happy you must feel friendship toward that person, especially if that person is known to you.
Celebrate his happiness as if it was your own because this will attract more happiness in your life too. When a person is happy he/she will have compassion toward all beings and his or her actions will be more productive and precise.
This will not only make his/her life successful but he/she will also have a positive influence on society. Bliss is the most optimum state of mind and when a person is in that state the effort becomes effortless.
Whatever a person does look easy & smooth. Even the toughest job becomes clear & easy for the person who is blissful.
So the optimum state of mind is the ultimate goal of any person & by keeping a sense of friendship toward happy states of mind we can manage to be in bliss all the time.
Expression of Compassion Toward Happiness
No matter how much happy and blissful we get, we will always find someone who is not happy, who is sad, and who is suffering. Some might be having financial problems, some might be having health problems, and some might be having relationship problems.
Some might have witnessed the death of a close one, some might have lost his/her job, and some might have undergone divorce recently. Anything can be a reason for a person’s suffering but many times this suffering is very much intense and also literally infectious.
Meeting such people can also bring down our energy drastically. Avoiding such people at all costs seems to be a perfect solution, but what will you do if the person who is suffering is your daughter, husband, mother, or your close friend.
How can you avoid such a person who is so close to you, especially when he/she is in so much agony? This is the time when they will need you the most; avoiding will only make you selfish and inconsiderate.
So how to keep ourselves in a happy-go mood and also support the one we love? The answer is by keeping compassion for them in your heart.
When someone comes to you and whines and complains about all his/her life problems, the person is in an extremely negative state of mind and just like osmosis, chances are that the negativity may affect you and your state of mind.
By keeping compassion toward that person you can create a mental barrier where you will be listening to the person and that will help him/her puke out all the negativity and you will still remain untouched.
It is a win-win situation where the other person feels better and you also maintain your state of mind & your relation with that person.
You may have noticed that just by helping someone to get out of some situation; or just by referring someplace to someone where he/she can get the solution to the problem makes us feel good.
You may also have noticed that when you see any negative news on the TV about some incident that has happened in some far place and has nothing to do with you but you still feel compassion about the people associated with the event and pray for them, it actually makes you feel good?
The same is the case when we are dealing with people face to face the only difference is that they are very close to us and so their state of mind might also affect ours. But by keeping compassion for them we can remain immune and be in bliss.
Expression of Joy Toward Virtue
It is a very natural tendency of any average human being of dividing the world between good and bad, virtue and vice. We mainly categorize people in these two sections. And many times we even interchange them.
People, who we think of as virtuous and who actually are into virtuous deeds, are not only very important for society but they are also important for our state of mind. Wherever we take our attention, our energy follows; this is a very basic rule of metaphysics. When we think or discuss some person who recently did a very righteous act, it inspires us to do something good, doesn’t it?
Think about someone who helped you when you were in deep trouble and you feel so good about the incident of the person helping you and you feel how virtuous is the other person. Maybe he/she helped you financially or by doing some favor to you.
Whenever we recall such incidents of virtue, especially the ones in which we are benefited we naturally feel good. Virtue and joy go hand in hand.
So whenever we see, think, or discuss people who are virtuous, to put it precisely, people who did some virtuous act, feel joy towards them.
This will always boost your energy. Even when you are feeling low, thinking about someone who you consider as the saintly person or a person who inspires you or someone who is involved in praiseworthy acts, your frequency will shift instantly and you will maintain your bliss.
Expression of Indifference Toward Vice
As mentioned earlier we always have some people who are bad and involved in some ghastly deeds. Also, there are people who might not be that bad but your relationship with them may have come to a stage where their behavior has become wicked toward you.
This can be anyone, your boss, your wife, your mother after your marriage, your competitor, your ex. Also, there are some people who are completely evil and vice. Now, these people will reap the fruits of their karma when the time is right but until then if you are to deal with them, you must tread very carefully.
Understand the more is your interact with such people the more adversely you will be affected. If you cannot evade them you keep a feeling of INDIFFERENCE toward them. Now, this feeling of indifference is used by many advanced level sages for centuries, not only for the wicked but for everyone.
This feeling of indifference keeps them untouched from SANSAR (worldly desires). If this feeling of indifference can keep them from worldly desires, you can definitely get immune of wickedness around you.
Let’s understand how this works, imagine you are walking down and you come to a food stall where you saw your favorite food item, it brings water in your mouth, and as you go forward you see a stinking decomposing carcass, you immediately get a feeling of nausea.
This is because our mind reacts to what it sees, listen, hear, taste, and feel almost instantly. Our reaction is almost instant and it affects our state of mind as well. The reaction leaves an impression in our mind which lasts longer especially if the reaction is very intense.
Reactions that are negative are very intense and lead our state of mind into negative. The longer we stay in that state of mind the more damage it does.
If we have to deal with situations where we get engaged with people who are in such a state of mind, it is best that we stay in a constant state of indifference or dispassion. This will not only keep you immune but also it will calm the other person down.
It will slowly neutralize the other person’s counterproductive emotions. However one must react according to the situation using one’s own wisdom.
Wickedness is like cancer when it is in the initial phase chances are that we can get it out of the host by treating right but if it has contaminated a large part of the person’s consciousness then it will overpower the person and nothing can be done about it.
Whatever the case may be, you can always remain immune by having a sense of indifference toward that person.
By keeping these responses in our mind and by applying them appropriately we can navigate successfully in any situation of our life. We will be in power and the outcome of the situation will always be in our favor.
One can slowly develop the skill to get the best possible outcome in every situation. Also, all these techniques can be applied to your own self when you are feeling happy, sad, virtuous or vice, however, that is something very advance and must be learned in person.
Patanjali has given many more solutions or methods of taking control of our state of mind which I will cover in another article. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and Bhashya (commentary) on Yoga Sutras By Maharishi Ved Vyasa are the subjects of detailed study.
There are people who do research and study on just one sutra for their entire lifetime. These sutras hold the secrets of true human potential but they are coded, one needs to decode to understand the true human potential.