Breaking Down Barriers of the Mind

Often, the biggest obstacles are situated in our own minds. It is our thinking that suggests”what we can do and what we cannot do”. It is our mind that determines our understanding of our own potential and limits.

SalmaSultan had spent the first 35 years of her life sitting at home doing nothing. She is blind and both her family and she felt that she could not do much and that it was best for her to sit at home and relax. Her family could take care of her. This was the case till she heard interviews with Madhu Singhal, a totally blind social entrepreneur and Preeti Monga, a totally blind motivational trainer. For the first time in her life Salma realized that she too had talents and abilities that were not being used. She got her brother and sister in law to call up and speak to Score Foundation, the NGO that had interviewed the two women on their radio programme “Eyeway, yea hai roshni ka karwan”. Salma started learning Braile and Tailoring. She suddenly had a dream and direction in life. She also began moving out and interacting with people.

Our mind works on the knowledge it has at its disposal. The moment Salma and her family got that extra information, their lives changed dramatically. Hence it is important for us to constantly add to our knowledge base so that we can understand ourselves better and also set goals and give direction to our lives.

All of us human beings have talents and abilities. Often we are hesitant to move ahead as we are dependent on others for our activities. We depend on others for our mobility. we need people to help us with our reading and writing. We are not confident about doing things ourselves. Again a state of mind. It is critical for us to work on our Independence and self reliance. The less we depend on others for our work, the better it is for us. This independence not only enhances our efficiency, but also it raises our self esteem and self respect. Thus we need to constantly work on developing our skills that break down the barriers of dependency.

All of us have challenges and problems in life. In fact these problems some time can take control of our life. It could become an obsession. The problems, many a times give us an excuse for giving up or not trying. Again, challenges , problems and struggles are huge barriers in the mind In such situations we endeavour to focus on the Solution rather than the problem. As Edward Debono would say,try to think laterally. Napoleon had said “Nothing is Impossible”- meaning that there is a solution to every problem. It is for us to look for it. We need to shift our focus from the problem to the solution. We are talking about an attitudinal shift. Be “Solution driven”.

We are living in a competitive World. We could be good at something. But then there could be many others who are better than us. Hence there is a need for us to “Strive” to be the best. This calls for us to constantly improve ourselves so that we are ahead of the rest. We can definitely choose to use our disability as a reason to not work on our skills and not strive for excellence. But then we always need to remember that we are responsible for our own lives. Our success and failures ultimately depend entirely on us. As they say the buck stops with us.

Well, one can argue that all this is easily said than done. Believe me, nothing in life comes easy. There is no pain without gain. Fruits of life are directly propotional to the effort we put in. The effort has to be in the right direction. Let us not allow the barriers of the mind restrict us. Let us break down the barriers of the mind using the KISS principle

K Knowledge
I Independence
S Solution driven
S Strive to excel

We need to have a goal in life. A goal that we are passionate about. It is passion that drives us. When you are passionate about something, then you go flat out to gather information, find ways of doing things and strive to excel. A passionate goal is like a magnet that draws you to it. As the CNN IBN punch line goes, you would do “Whatever it takes” to achieve. I did experience this KISS principle when I was going after my dream of a “World Cup cricket tournament for the blind in 1998. So KISS with passion.


George Abraham .

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