Hi everyone, the last month for me, was filled with numerous experiences I perceived as challenges which tested the level of faith I have in my path, process and what I’m doing, and as such I felt compelled to write about this topic. I figure there are many more out there that are going through or will at some point go through similar experiences. My intent is to again help raise awareness and clarity about the “real” truth of how we perceive the experiences of our lives and how we can instantly start feeling better about ourselves and our life, regardless of what’s going on. I hope you will once again, find this article useful in its application to your life from here forward. Enjoy…

“There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.”
~ William F. Halsey

Faith is an oasis in the heart which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
~ Khalil Gibran

What Does Everyone Want?

Inevitably, every human being, no matter what race, creed, religion, culture, or upbringing, wants I believe the same thing. We are all after the same end result no matter what we do in life and how we do it. Everyone just wants more Serenity. Some people call it peace, some call it happiness, some call it centeredness or being grounded, some call it contentment, and some even call it accomplishment. There are many names for it, but really, we are all after the same end result which is a feeling. We do things, we work hard to achieve goals and results in our life thinking they will make life better, but really, we are after the feeling that we will get once we have accomplished what we set out to do or once life is better than it currently is.

The Truth about It

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go exactly as we plan or flow the way we want it to flow. We experience road blocks, obstacles, speed bumps, dead ends, walls and many other things that “get” in our way. And, instead of feeling serene, happy, peaceful, content in our journey towards the goals, results or outcomes we are after, we end up feeling, distressed, frustrated, angry, confused, and sometimes like life and the Universe itself is against us!

I’m sure you’ve experienced numerous times in your life when you’ve felt this way too. So if you can now, remember a time when you were working towards a goal or result and some huge obstacle fell right in front of you. Fine! You worked around it. Then just as you started to get moving again, another huge obstacle, then another and another and another, until you just felt like giving up. Or perhaps instead of feeling like giving up, you began to doubt if you are meant to be on that path at all. Or, you began to run questions in your mind like: “Why is this happening to me?”, or “Why is the door being slammed shut with every step I try to take forward?” Of course there are a whole multitude of other questions that people run in their heads.

What questions did you start asking and what did you do, as you remember that time in your past now? This is a really important question because, when you look around, you will see many who have given up on their dreams and goals because of the numerous obstacles that came in their way, so they believe.

But could they have carried on and still achieved their dreams and goals? Of course they could have! What stopped them then from doing that? What were the root causes of them giving up and settling for a life without their dreams and goals, a life of mediocrity or scarcity? So many people all over the World have experiences called “obstacles of life” and end up settling for less than they deserve. And worst of all, they then convince themselves that they are content and happy with what they have. They live with this illusion of contentment until a time when, for example, they have kids and begin to try to sculpt the lives of their children into the lives they wished they had.

As I say all this, I do of course recognize that there are many people who really are content and happy with what their life is about and what they have already and therefore I am not talking about them. But what I am trying to raise to awareness are the illusions or delusions that so many suffer from, like:
1)They think they are content and happy when they are actually not and this causes a silent internal conflict or dissatisfaction which will reveal itself in times of extreme stress, or
2)The illusion that life is giving them problems or people are giving them problems, or
3)Life or the Universe is not supporting them in their pursuits.

Life’s Challenges

So what are life’s challenges about then and why do they seemingly “block” us again and again from having the life we truly desire?

The quote from William F. Halsey above infers or suggests that the challenges we experience are designed to help us become greater men or women, and to become the true, higher and more evolved human beings that we can be.

Have you ever worked out or exercised with the intent of getting stronger and healthier physically? I’m sure you have right? Great! Then think about this for a moment. If you wanted to make your biceps stronger, what would you have to do? You would have to lift weights which offer some level of resistance to your biceps right? If you used weights that are too light, would your biceps grow stronger. Of course not, because there would be insufficient resistance for your muscle fibers to be challenged to grow. And even if you used the right amount of weights, would you stay with those weights for the rest of your life or would you incrementally increase the amount of weight you lift as your muscles get stronger? Of course you would increase the weights.

You can obviously apply this metaphor to any other type of exercise you would do, be it lifting weights, running, cycling, doing aerobics, etc. It’s all about increasing the amount of resistance that your muscles have to deal with as time progresses.

I heard a story recently that I’d like to share with you about a weight lifter being asked how he creates the amazing and strong muscles he had. The weight lifter responded by saying with intensity, “Everyday, I push against tremendous amounts of resistance and that’s what sculpts these muscles of mine!” So maybe that’s why God or the Universe gives us problems. Because the problems are the resistance we push against everyday that sculpts our soul and makes it stronger!

I was recently at an Anthony Robbins seminar and I heard him say this: “Problems are a sign of life. The only people who don’t have problems are buried in a cemetery! So if you don’t have problems, you really want to start praying.” I thought that was really funny and so true at the same time.

Life’s problems and challenges bring much uncertainty, that’s for sure. We begin to doubt ourselves, our path, the actions we are taking, what we are doing, and sometimes even our purpose in life. But my friends, if there is one thing that you will remember and take from this here today, it is this: “It is in the realm of uncertainty, where your true and highest passion is found. There is no passion and excitement in what you already know”.

Tony Robbins also says, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can COMFORTABLY live with”. Think about that.

Experiencing Serenity No Matter What You Are Experiencing is Something That Needs to Be Learned and Conditioned into Our System

What we Need to Get through Challenges

There are obviously many ways to handle and get through the challenges we experience but I’d like to talk about one key element, one key aspect/emotion which lies in the foundation to how we create our destiny – Faith! The reason I say it is the key element in our foundation is because I’m talking about those times in life where nothing else seems to be working, where no matter what you try, the door just keeps getting slammed in your face, and where with each door being closed and each stumble and fall, you begin to feel more and more like it’s not worth it and you want to give up. In moments and situations like I just mentioned, people feel lost, people feel like “life” is impossible. Some people give up on their goals, most people give up on the dreams and a few people even give up on their life. In situations like those, it seems like the only thing that works is a belief in something greater than ourselves. It doesn’t have to be God necessarily. It can be a belief in the knowing that “things always get better eventually” or “when I’ve hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up”. It can be the belief in that energy in you that will eventually find a way out and up again. It can be the belief that whatever it is you’re experiencing is there as the resistance that you must keep pushing against in order to sculpt and make your soul stronger!

That is the faith I am talking about. Faith is invisible and can’t be justified or quantified by logic or reason. It is just there in your heart and soul or it isn’t. It is either cultivated and made stronger in your heart and soul or it isn’t. Usually you will only experience the fullest intensity of faith you have inside of you when life seems or feels like it can’t any worse. And it is at those times when it is needed the most. Fortunately for me, the beliefs I “choose” to hold onto in my life (like those I mentioned earlier) help increase my level of faith and therefore helps me push through things and sometimes even learn to dance with the moment or situation rather than pushing against it. There are times to push and there are times to dance. Just like a river, there are many stages or parts of a river, slow and calm, stagnant, fast, raging
wild and a thundering waterfall. But no matter what you choose to do or how to act, faith will always be required in your foundation, at your core. Without it, you probably already know how life can feel at times.

So how does one cultivate and strengthen faith within? Because, unfortunately, most people only begin to think about this when the going gets tough or when it’s too late and life has already presented them with major challenges. And then as soon as life gets better again, they go back to their old patterns and forget to keep conditioning and strengthening their faith.

Some people strengthen their faith by prayer, some people through meditation, some people through having support groups and peers they call upon and work with, and some people by living by focusing on beliefs about life that make them feel they can get through anything. There are many ways.

One of the simplest and most effective ways I have found (especially lately), is through the vehicle of GRATITUDE. What do I mean by this? By ALWAYS going back to being grateful and by always cultivating that sense of gratitude within me, it lessens and even eliminates the overwhelming feelings of being lost or not knowing what to do. Gratitude for all that I have had, all that I have and all that I will have, combined with a knowing that what I consider my worst life conditions, doesn’t even come close to what many people are experiencing right now, seems to immediately ALWAYS put perspective back into things. It’s funny how just that simple combination, will put to rest any doubts I have about my life purpose or whether I am being supported and looked after. And with new clearer perspective on how my life is actually better than the many millions that are not anywhere near as great, faith that things can only get better naturally comes.

A Method through the Madness and Towards Serenity

Before I end this I’d like to share a method I have learnt and use every day which can immediately create within you a sense of gratitude and quiet down the internal noise within. This method also has scientific research and backing behind it and how it works but I won’t get into that for now, since this article will then end up being another 20 pages long! You can use whatever way you already use, but here’s a really simple way to start feeling grateful and great anytime you feel stressed or lost or overwhelmed etc.

Just close your eyes as you sit or even stand somewhere. Begin to breathe naturally and place your right palm on your heart. Now imagine, with every breath you inhale that you’re breathing right into your heart, filling it up and expanding it gently. And with every breath you exhale, you exhale from your heart. Just keep breathing into your heart for a few minutes as you allow your mind to float back to your past, allowing it to land on whatever time feels right and when you experienced something or someone you can be grateful for. Or you can even float back to times and experiences when you went through something difficult and it felt so challenging at that moment but how everything turned out just fine and even better after that. Just keep repeating this – breathing into your heart and allowing yourself to remember all the past experiences of your life which turned out just great and be grateful. And as you do this, remember and know that there are millions of people all around the World that would give anything to have it as good as you do. With that remembrance, I now leave you with gratitude for taking the time to read and absorb all that was necessary for you and once again I encourage you to feel free to share your thoughts with me at anytime.

Have an extraordinary few weeks till the next article!

Author's Bio: 

Mahindra Raj is a Mind, Body and Soul Transformation Coach who specializes in helping people get the Results they want, create more Balance in their lives, create better Health and feel more Balanced. He lives in Mexico City now where he shares and teaches from what he has learnt, experienced and what other great teachers have inspired him to teach and share.

Experiencing Serenity No Matter What You Are Experiencing is Something That Needs to Be Learned and Conditioned into Our System