Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two of us : Me, Myself !!

Today, my family is away and I am alone at home. Wait! Am I really alone? Who is this I keep talking to? Me? Myself? you talk to yourself? How many times in a day do you talk to yourself? How long do you talk to yourself? And how many times does "yourself" talk back to you? Well, doesn't that make two of you. One identity but two of you? If you are feeling that way, that makes two of us now!! Confusing as it sounds, when I look at this experience, it really intrigues me.

Alright, now if we agree that I am not completely nuts, and that we do talk to our "selves", let's look a little deeper. I did that with the help of a coach. I have a coach outside work who gives me a "non-work" and "third party" perspective to my actions at work. He is the one who introduced me to this concept of "self-talk". Here is a nice bit of statistic that I picked up in my discussions. We have an average speed of speech close to 200 words per minute. That is the speed when we are talking to others. When you talk to yourself, it is about ten times faster. So, what you tell yourself is important, it is very important!! If it is a negative, and you repeat that to yourself at the speed of self-talk, you will be digging yourself into a hole. Now, if that was positive self-talk, you might end up with a bloated self image of yourself unless you are careful. But, a realistic yet positive self-talk helps. That is what can get you in the zone. If you need an example, that is what helps the really big sport stars get in the zone. Self-talk, positive self-talk...give it a try. And then, observe and detect the negative self-talk and don't let that grow.

Now, let me push this a little further, if you subscribe to "self-talk", you are also subscribing to the "self". There is the self that talks and there is the self that listens, that observes. Can you do both at the same time? Can you train yourself to do both at the same time? Can you detach and observe your own self? I hear that the world's best negotiators do just that - participate and observe at the same time. And observe not just others, observe your own self. It is hard, but it is surprising to experience "Me" and "Myself".  Two of us : Me, Myself. At times.....Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal self are perched on the branches of the same tree. One bird tastes the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree and the other calmly observes. These words from the Mukunda Upanishad say a lot....Think about it!!!

1 comment:

  1. RP - Very well written and very true..many impulsive actions can be toned down by pausing just a little and having a meaningful discussion with "myselves" and 'observing' the sitation rather than 'participating' - but then sometimes it is better to be totally spontaneous! as you said training to do both together is the ultimate.