BY IRFAN BABA
Medical science says that all babies are born with underdeveloped brains, hypersensitive to the stimulus. This implies that normal brains start marathon from same point then develop in correlation with the given atmosphere and nourishment. It is a clear gesture that brain germinates, acquires ability, provided it is groomed well. If the amplification of brain was not subjected to external factors, everyone on the planet would have been with identical virtues.
Unlike our body the growth and development of brain, which is primary source of success in any field does not stagnate but continues, however the process is reversible too, if brain is not sprinkled with developmental activities. Sharper the brain is, brighter are the probabilities of success and vice versa. Hence ability, which is directly proportional to brain, plays a vital role in success. The other factor is good fortune. Ability indeed pertains to brain, however sheer competency can not avail anything without a positive mind set.
Positive mind-set acts like a foundation for success. Similarly the elemental factors of stagnation or de-growth are: mental- block and hard luck. Please bear it in mind that luck can only be good or hard. There is no bad luck. Allama Iqbal has said:
Kab tak rahe mahkoom-i-anjum mai meri khaak.
Ya mai nahi ya gardish-i-aflaaq nahi hai.
(How long the stars shall hold their sway on fate of man, sprung from clay.
Either bereft of life I drop, or the wheel of fate must stop.)
Halt in persuasion or giving up turn hard luck into permanent failure. Those who fight continuously, mould luck to their side. Consistent persuasion, despite failures eventually offers success.
Before we dispute with hard luck we need to amputate the other factor of failure which survives within us, on the oxygen we inhale i.e. mental-block. Let’s analyze the mental block.
A blocked head cannot come, nor go away, nor sit, nor rise, nor stand like a man of sense.
Mental block is the creation of a complex compound, chiefly comprises of unwanted or negative thoughts, fear, wrong perception, lack of interest, failure or repeated failure, giving-up and lack of survey. Before we move on with these elements, let’s first go through a small story.
The story began with the kidnapping of a man, who is dragged into a jungle and locked in a room with no window except a ventilator, quite high on ceiling, the round spherical room resembles a dry well. The bizarre thing is that the motive of the abduction is not disclosed to the man, though he kept querying. None of the kidnapper uttered a word.
Wounds pain intensely but initially, body then learn how to bear and adopt the injuries. Similarly the man shouted in the beginning, demanded for the reason of his kidnapping. His frustration kept elevating with the silence of kidnappers. He kicked the walls hard.
Anything which is utilized exhausts and need replenishment. The man after shouting and kicking walls lost much energy, frazzled, then gave up and began wailing and begging before them. However it did not affect the silence of the kidnappers.
At lunch time the ventilator opened for food. With the opening of ventilator the sunlight beamed in and worked like fuel. The man agitated again but all in vain. He then entered in compromised state when felt hungry. He took lunch and slept. This way he entered the second phase i.e. compromise after agitation. Every time the opening of ventilator flared him up; then he calmed down, ate food and slept. Some days passed. He begins harmonizing with the situation. His furor extinguished, no more shouts, no kick on the walls, no whining or craving even nothing on the opening of ventilator. He simply waited, meal to meal and slept in between.
One day he dreamed. The smiling faces of his family flashed before him. This broke his sleep and made restless. He becomes furious. He squalls and kicked the walls again. He went to the door and kicked hard. To his utter surprise, the door opened. He overjoyed, simultaneously apprehended. He saw some armed men guarding the door. They gazed at him. He shrived, his throat dried. The fear pushed him back into the room but the dream urged him to step-out. He moved out with the anticipation to be beaten by the guards. However nothing happened. This encouraged him to advance. He kept looking at the guards who did not react. He gradually increased his pace and moved on until the guards went off his sight. He then ran till reached on a road where he felt secure. He felt free and happy albeit with two questions that froze his steps. Why he was kidnapped and why let go so easily? He first thought to rush home but then decided to dig out the answers. He returned to the prison site where guards had almost wrapped up their tents. They saw him back. As usual they did not speak but of course this time grinned. The head guard broke the silence.
‘I know why you put yourself at risk, just to know why you were taken and allowed to escape. Am I right?’
The man did not utter any word, just nodded is head.
‘Some men did an experiment on you. We were hired to kidnap you. We were instructed not to speak you and let you go when you open the door. This may stun you that the door was never locked. It was just closed. It took you long to kick the door, though you kicked much on the walls. Had you realized it, you could have been free on the first day but you didn’t. It seems that your mind was block. Go home and enjoy life.’
The story concluded here, however left much to be pondered upon.
The first and far most cruel factor is negative thinking. It is the root of cause mental block and gives rise to fear which in turns impede us from acting. The man’s negative thoughts induced fear in him that the guards may beat and lock him back. Negative thinking is not easy to vanish. However it can be suppressed by thinking positively, besides can be combated by remembering good times and looking at the achievements.
Fear hampers advancement. Removing fear is inevitable. It can be removed by positive thinking and facing the situations repeatedly. Encountering any situation that we fear, multiple times helps us battling and overcoming the fear.
Perception and reality often lack synergy. It was indeed his perception that the door must have been locked from outside. We lose directions by wrong perception. Wrong perception can be corrected by asking ourselves and involved people relevant questions that help in clearing the doubts, besides indulging practically in the affairs. Until and unless we do not clear doubts, we cannot change our perception and peep into the reality.
One can fail but should not be called failure until he gives up or surrenders. According to Edison, ‘Failure is a way found that does not work.’ In the sense, failure itself is a success provided attempts are made continuously.
Failure or repeated failure sometimes develops lack of interest which consequently leads to backing down. Giving up is the actual failure. The man failed to get freedom after kicking the walls. This lowered his interest in getting free and finally he gave up. It was the dream of his family which evocated interest in him and provoked to pursue. So it is important to foster and retain interest. We can develop interest by continuously looking at the aim and dreaming the success. Increase in interest, urges for success and deny giving up. The continuous efforts eventually bring success.
He randomly kicked the walls but never bothered to hit the door. It means we need to put our efforts into the right direction. We can do so only by understanding the situation properly. Survey is one of the key to analyze, understand the situation and find the right direction.
Hence we can say that mental block is a primary reason of failure which can be removed by thinking positively, fighting fearlessly, eliminating the wrong perception with proper survey and never give up attitude. We may not be lucky enough to find unlocked door but we must have courage and determination to break the door. The fight against mental block initiates with the positive thinking. This may be concluded with a quote that sparks the positive thinking:
“And when you crush apple with your teeth.
Say to it in your heart,
You seed shall live in my body,
And the buds of your to-morrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”
(The Prophet by Khalil Jibran)
Irfan Baba is author of a novel entitled ‘Love and the Other World’, a blogger and mostly writes fiction, deals with Kashmir conflict current affairs, politics and religion.