Inspiration

Dr. Reeta Sonawat writes on the need for inner transformation

In order to transform we first need to discover the need to transform.

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Transformation is basically changing in form or shape or appearance. This transformation takes place through a process of evolution in which something passes by degrees to a different stage. Transformation, when heard as a term it means ‘a marked change in form, nature, or appearance’. It is not a one day or one month process. It happens gradually over a period of time. It is a very necessary process to proceed in life.

Transformation is something that each and every person has to undergo for his personal, emotional, psychological well-being. The process of transformation is basically a process of changing. A change is essential not only for one person but for society as a whole. But for a society to change it should initially start at an individual level. As a person struggles to develop and further in life, he has to change in a variety of aspects on his personal level. All the transformations play a very important role not only in the holistic development of a single person but for the society as a whole. When these transformations start taking place on a personal level, they soon start showing changes to the whole society and in the larger picture are highly beneficial to the whole nation.

There are 3 D’s of transformation:

a)         Discover:

In order to transform we first need to discover the need to transform. Unless a need is identified, a change cannot occur. Thus the first and foremost step in transformation is to identify the need and also the area of transformation.

b)         Direct:

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After the need to transform is identified, the change needs to be directed. The area of transformation is zeroed on and then the necessary changes are done in that particular area to transform. Hence in this step, the identified need gets a direction and an individual starts working on the transformation.

c)         Development:

In order to become a better version of own self, individuals discover and direct their need to transform which in turn leads to development. Development is constant for human beings and in order to develop transformation is required.

Human beings are considered social animals. For them to survive they need a society that can give them their reason for existence. But if the society remains stagnant then the growth of its citizens is impossible and over a period of time, they perish. Also, development is a characteristic of a society that is in constant evolution. So, it makes a change or transformation in society imperative. In case when a society needs to change, the first and foremost change is required in its members. When there is a change at an individual level then only can a major revolution occur.

In today’s day and age, transformation is needed in myriad areas of life to succeed. These various areas could be patriotic, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, universal, and also cultural. Here we will look at four areas namely, patriotic, spiritual, emotional and intellectual transformation.

Patriotism means love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it. A person who loves his country and is willing to sacrifice for it is called a ‘patriotic’. In the view of recent events in the country, we can say that there is a dire need for patriotic transformation. In these new waves of love for the country flying in the air, we need to transform on the patriotic level for the betterment of the nation.

In order to become Actively patriotic we need to:

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Dare to

A- Appreciate the GREATNESS of India:

As a national to this country we need to know and must be proud of the history, culture and heritage of our country. There should be a willingness in all of us to be informed about our country, appreciate it and try our best to contribute to certain level for the betterment and progress of India.

C- be the Change:

Change is essential and integral to development. But it is not just sufficient to say that change is needed, to see that change we ourselves have to be that change. Many of the Indians that have been the change and are making a global name for India are Indira Nooyi (CEO, Pepsico), Sunder Pichai (CEO, Google Inc.), etc.

T- Transform and transform:

In order to understand the need to transform we first need to transform. Unless we recognise the need and take an initiative to transform, we need to dare to question, dare to change, dare to act, dare to dream and most importantly we need to transform ourselves to transform others.

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It is a belief that a person who does not belong to his nation cannot belong to any other place. To negate this, individuals need to transform patriotically. It does not necessarily mean going on the border and fighting for the nation. It means doing small deeds on the personal level that benefit the person and the society at a larger level.

Hence it is rightly said,

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

-Mahatma Gandhi

B)         Intellectual Transformation:

Intellect is the capacity for rational thought, inference or discrimination. A person who uses his mind creatively may be called an intellectual. Experience plays a crucial role in the formation of intellect. Intellect is like the banks of a river. Intellect gives our thoughts a direction. Well-known intellects from India and around the globe are Rabindranath Tagore, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, etc.

All these individuals became great personalities due to their work in their respective fields but when we have a closer look we understand that this was possible as their intellect was highly developed which enabled them to think differently and also turn their thinking into realities. These people help us to understand that in order to succeed in life and prosper not only for own self but the others around us we need to intellectually transform.

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In order to intellectually transform we need to be CLEAR:

C: Clarity In Thinking

A person needs to be clear in what he is thinking. He cannot be confused and not have a defined thought for a long period of time. There are three levels of clarity in thinking namely, moral, role and goal.

L: Love What You Do, Do What You Love

Any act that is performed without heart in it always seems incomplete. So, to succeed in life and making it worth living we need to do what we love and love what we do. Individuals who have their heart and soul in what they are doing can strive and survive against all the odds and make their dreams come true.

E: Excellent Love

A team is basically a cooperative unit. When a person works alone, he takes a long time to achieve the same thing that can be achieved in a minimum time when a group of dedicated and goal-driven individuals work together for it. To progress it is essential to understand that together we can achieve much more.

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A: Act In The Present

All mortal beings do have a history attached to their name. But it is always a choice to exist in that past or to move ahead of it and embrace the innumerable possibilities of the future by working hard in the present. All better tomorrows become a today. So, to increase productivity an individual must act in the present.

R: Result Acceptance

Any done deed has a result of it. Each and every action committed by a person does have its equal and opposite reaction. To free one from the mental shackles of ‘what will happen’ a person should be ready to accept whatever result will come of his action. It is best to have a life motto like ‘Do your best and leave the rest!’

In order to succeed, a person first needs to change his way of thinking. As a person changes his intellect, he will influence others and gradually will transform the society as a whole.

So, it can be said that,

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

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― Albert Einstein

C)         Spiritual Transformation:

Spirituality cannot be defined as rather than being a term, it in actuality is a concept. Spirituality may refer to almost any kind of meaningful activity, especially a "search for the sacred." It may also refer to personal growth, blissful experience, or an encounter with one's own "inner dimension. It is something can be said to be concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul of a living being.

To transform spiritually we need to be AWAKE and understand this whole concept of spirituality.

A: Aim Of Life:

The ultimate aim of life is happiness. It can be achieved when we have a calm and peaceful mind. A mind consumed of riots of thoughts always can never be calm and peaceful and in turn, never allows a person to be happy. Some people in history thought that happiness could be achieved when individuals believe in something larger than themselves, believe that serving others is of greater value than to serve themselves.

W: Work as worship:

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Worship, when restricted to the walls of a religious place, loses its meaning. Worship is the extreme or supreme form of love. Hence, to survive in this lifetime we need to make our work our own worship.

A: Altar of concentration:

We need to concentrate in the here and now. As we strive to achieve happiness we need to free ourselves from the chains that bind us to past or future but concentrate on present.

K: Know yourself:

Nothing makes sense until we know our own selves. To be a better person we need to know ourselves, our strengths, weaknesses, our dreams, our aspirations etc. No person can help us until we attain this understanding of our being.

E: Equipoise:

A balance has to be there in the life of a person. An excess of anything can only be harmful. Hence, equipoise is an essential concept and to be truly connected to the Superiority above a person should strive in his life to achieve this balance or equipoise.

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Spirituality is a very important concept in India today. Here when we are fighting in the name of caste and religion, a concept like spirituality not only binds us to the Superior Being above but also relieves us of these binding shackles of religion and caste is of utmost importance. Spirituality thus, can be conceded to be there in the relationships that we share in a lifetime. It can be the willingness of a person to submit to the One he believes is above him and no force is required for him to do so.

Hence, it is said-

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

D)         Emotional Transformation:

The mind is the centre of all the activities that take place in humans. It is the place where thoughts are generated and emotions too. Thoughts and emotions are said to be interdependent. Thoughts lead to emotions and emotions lead to thought. Emotions are complex. Emotions when start dominating a person they cease his ability to think rationally and steer him into directions that may not necessarily lead to prosperity. Thus, to move ahead we need to be at PEACE emotionally.

P: Pause

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Just like a pause button in the remote control we also need to have a pause button in our life to control it. More often than not we tend to react even before we gain a complete understanding of a situation thus ruining a situation further. Pause is thus, the crucial moment which determines how things will turn out. It is the form of patient listening. It is the moment we give our self to gain a perspective of a situation before drawing inferences. There are three steps of PAUSE that help us to check our perceptions and rethink our assumptions namely, stop, think and respond.

E: Educate Yourself

As human beings, we have to educate ourselves about our emotions. Generally, we tend to confuse facts and opinions with our emotions. We need to take the onus of our feelings. Also, it is imperative to understand that feelings are temporary. So, any decision taken in a spur of emotion may become a permanent reason for guilt or regret in future life.

A: Anger

Anger is a very powerful emotion and a lot of people succumb to decisions in this emotion which they later regret. Anger is an emotion which holds a multiplication equation of expections and denial. We need to appreciate people and understand not the person but the situation is the one that has caused you to get angry. We have to appreciate people for what they are in spite of their shortcomings.

C: Care and compassion

Care and compassion are those feelings that can overcome any anger that you have. Anger becomes more prevalent an issue as the love in a relationship reduces. So, we need to be clear that love is never ‘because of’ but ‘in spite of’. 

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E: Evolve

Evolution is the one thing that is constant to mortal life. To progress we need to evolve. And progress is distant till we learn to manage our emotions. So, we need to manage our emotions and at the same time let them develop. Let attachment blossom into love and finally reach the superlative level of devotion.

Hence emotional transformation guarantees less impulsive decisions which in turn is a guarantee of fewer regrets.

So, emotions need to be known to transform as,

“In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.”

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

To conclude, it is essential to understand and believe that transformation is an inevitable process in today’s day and age. Human beings need to transform at various levels to develop a better life for self and society on local as well as global level. It would be very safe to say that ‘Transformation’ is the first crucial step to all the evolutions and innovations that can further mankind. A transformed individual is armed to face the society and world at large and take on the challenges of life and further his life and evolve himself as well as change the society at large.

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Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.

Nia Peeples

Transformation surely is not an overnight process and will need constant and nonstop efforts. But the end results will be worth all the efforts and beneficial to all i.e. the person, the family and the society.

Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.

– Rick Warren

About the Author:

Dr. Reeta Sonawat is Former Dean, Faculty of Home Science; Prof & Head, Department of Human Development, SNDT Women's University, Juhu Campus.

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