Can you please advise me about positive
thinking and living?

Sit quietly for some time and reflect upon the purpose of your life and the way to fulfill it. Set a reachable goal of life and then work on it. Focus on the `now`. Never brood over past mistakes.
Don't mind failures. Failures pave our way for success. So try once more.

Now and then read inspiring messages; memorize some of them and repeat them to yourself in moments of despair or weakness. Cultivate some good hobbies. Our homepage also features a 'Discourse Text Gallery' where an article on 'Positive Living' can be found in the Archives.

How can I maintain a peaceful mind in daily life?

By the practice of meditation for 20 to 30 minutes every day, continuing the mood of meditation throughout the day, and by focusing on the work at hand. Please also see the answers to questions on meditation in section V. Spiritual Practice.

How can I concentrate the mind?

Most of us experience concentration when we are engaged in something which we like, but not everything we like is always beneficial. Again, all that is beneficial may not be interesting;
hence we find difficulties in concentrating on such things. If we want success in life, and to learn or practice something for self development, we need to focus our mind on things irrespective of their being interesting or not.

Through regular practice of meditation we can surely develop the power of concentration and then apply it as needed to accomplish great things. But if we want to learn and master this technique of concentration, we have to work at it. Results require that we must give at least 20-30 minutes for the practice of concentration every day. For more details on concentration see section V. Spiritual Practice and answers to questions on meditation.

Negative and weakening thoughts often appear in my mind. How can I become mentally strong?

a. Remember now and then the following saying of Swami Vivekananda:`
   The remedy of weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength.
b. Prepare a whole day's schedule and try to follow it by focusing your whole mind
    on each scheduled task.
c. Live each present moment well.
d. Whenever negative thoughts and unnecessary worries appear in the mind, mentally repeat some
    Holy names or words (Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Shiva, Krishna, Ramakrishna or Om) or any
    positive words (for example, peace, harmony) for some time and next resume your focus on your
    schedule.

After listening to a spiritual discourse and doing meditation,
I feel at peace during work and feel a harmonious
relationship with others, but with time my mind is gradually disturbed. How can I maintain that peaceful mood with me always?

In addition to listening to spiritual discourses, practice of meditation 20~30 minutes every day, mentally chant a mantram, the holy name of God or prophets, as much as possible at other times, and do work in a worshipful way.

How can I forget past mistakes, wrongdoings, and sad experiences?

However grievous a sin one may have committed, God forgives it if one is sincerely repentant for such a wrongdoing, takes refuge in God, and vows not to commit that sin again. It is better to follow this positive method than to fall into useless brooding over past wrongdoings and mistakes, and thereby weakening oneself.

I worry too much about the future;
how can I concentrate on the present?

a. Remember now and then the following saying of Swami Vivekananda:`
   The remedy of weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength.
b. Prepare a whole day's schedule and try to follow it by focusing your whole mind
    on each scheduled task.
c. Live each present moment well.
d. Whenever negative thoughts and unnecessary worries appear in the mind, mentally repeat some
    Holy names or words (Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Shiva, Krishna, Ramakrishna or Om) or any
    positive words (for example, peace, harmony) for some time and next resume your focus on your
    schedule.

How can I stop feeling repentance or guilt over trifling things?

By growing self-confidence and focusing on the `Now`.

How can I be selfless?

We can grow the desire for a higher life – a value-based life of wisdom, purity, compassion and service - a desire for a God-centered life and work on it. Ponder on Swami Vivekananda's words, "Unselfishness is more paying than selfishness; only people have not patience to practice it."

How can I distinguish between 'good desires'
and 'bad desires'?

By analyzing the effects of the fulfillment of a desire. If fulfillment of a certain desire makes us physically, mentally, spirituality weaker sooner or later, and also makes us feel repentant, such a desire is undoubtedly bad. On the other hand, fulfillment of a certain desire makes us strong, joyful and elevated, such desire is definitely good. Please study Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic happiness as explained in the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verses 37, 38 and 39.



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