Possibility Thinking

by Mahatma das and Akrura dasPlease visit the following link to download to hear the conversation betweenHG Mahatma das and HG Akrura Dashttp://www.tstrain.com/illuminations/Possibility_Thinking.mp3Possibility thinking means there is always more than one way ofapproaching a situation. Generally we have patterns of thinking which lockus into seeing situations in a narrow way or the same way over and overagain. But there is always more than one way to deal with a situation. Bybeing open to other ways of viewing the situation, we begin to seepossibilities we didn’t know existed.Think "what can I do to improve my service to Krishna in this situation?"If we really believe in Krishna, we should be thinking that anything ispossible by His mercy. For example, in any difficult situation we can think,"What else can be done?", “How can I maximize the situation?" "How can Iturn my obstacles into opportunities to serve Krishna?" There is always asilver lining at the end of the cloud.What’s good about this?You can see how bad experiences in the past have helped you become strongertoday. There were valuable lessons learned from those experiences. But atthe time you didn’t know this. Those experiences are blessings in disguiseto learn what we need to learn. So, even the bad, seen in another way,becomes a source of strength and knowledge.Once, a king placed a boulder in the middle of a street and hid himselfbehind a bush. Most persons just went around the boulder. After some time, apeasant came and pushed the boulder aside. Below the boulder he found apurse with gold coins and a note from the king that said "This is a rewardfor the person who removes the boulder."In essence, there is gold at the end of a rainbow. Behind each obstacle,there is a lesson that Krishna wants us to learn.Dealing with anarthasAn outside of the box way of viewing anarthas is to see them as things whichare so valuable to us that if we give them up, we’ll be giving up that whichwe are dearly attached to. Krishna appreciates it when we offer himsomething that we’d rather not give up. So, attachments offer us greatopportunities to serve Krishna.Since everything in creation must be offered to Krishna, we can offer toKrishna our determination to drop the anartha or a bad thought and continuewith faith in our spiritual practices. Having a different perspective on howto deal with anarthas has helped many devotees.Tools for Possibility thinkingBrainstorming or mind stormingSome persons suggest taking a piece of paper and writing down 10 to 20possibilities. This forces one to think differently from how one generallythinks. It is also highly beneficial to do this exercise with a coach or amentor.Is there a third alternative?Often times, two parties are caught up in "I have an idea" and "You have anidea". But there could be a third alternative which encompasses or farexceeds both the ideas. Generally, people think like a funnel, a narrowpipe. It is said that if the mind has 60,000 ideas in a day, they may allhave the same pattern. People have a habitual way of thinking. Most of ourthoughts are the same day in and day out.Win win thinkingWhen two parties come together, its best to come up with an option that isbeneficial for both parties. It’s called synergy or creative co-operation.Such an approach is very beneficial because it helps one develop respect forthe other person's opinion, the other person's needs, and the ability tounderstand the other person.Obstacles to Possibility thinkingI can'tIt is said that what you think to be true is often just your belief orattitude. When devotees use words like "I can't", "It can't", or "This can'tbe done" they are limiting themselves. In fact the words "I can't" can beredefined as "there is no possibility" of any other way of doing it orthinking about it. It’s important that we catch ourselves when we use thosewords. Instead, it’s a healthy habit to use words like "let's look" and "letme consider".Bhakta Henry (Ford), the grandfather of Ambarisha prabhu would say "If yousay ‘I can't,’ you have 100% failed. You have determined your path to fail."Another alternative is to ask other devotees how they view a situation.They’ll often have a completely different perspective.Neglecting the most obviousOften times, because of our fixed mind set, we tend to oversee the mostobvious things we can do to solve a problem. We are surrounded by all kindsof solutions and possibilities. We just don’t see them.Akrura narrates a true story of an African farmer who sold his land andembarked on a journey to find diamonds. When he was unable to find anydiamonds, he drowned himself in the ocean. The new owner of the land one dayfound out that the acres of land that were sold to him were mines ofdiamonds. We also have acres of diamonds as wonderful devotees around usand talents given by Krishna. All we have to do is to open our eyes and lookaround.RoutineWe are caught up in a routine and we don't even know what's beyond that. Wedon't go beyond our routine to explore opportunities. We can become likemachines who can only do a few things. Then we say, “This is just the way Iam.”Being satisfied as a mediocreDevotees often become complacent in their devotional practices. It’s a goodexercise to think from time to time how we can be a better servant ofKrishna. "How can I be a better spouse for the pleasure of Krishna?" "Howcan I be a better parent?" "How can I be a better disciple so I can serveKrishna better?". When we ask such questions, the hidden opportunities forservice start showing up.The hidden blankets in the cold room of your lifeAkrura narrates the story of how he slept in a Slovakian temple on a coldnight with a thin blanket. When he woke up next morning, he found a box nextto his bed with a warm blanket. He obviously did not see the most obvious.What are you not seeing?Krishna has given us intelligence, creativity and talents. We have to lookand unveil our talents for His service.
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  • Hare Krishna Prabhu!
    Thank you for sharing this wonderfully inspiring article! The ideas herein are of great practical use :)
    Your eternal servant,
    eternal muser
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