One day he compiled a list of activities that defines him- things that helped him connect deeper to himself and contribute to others’ happiness. In a symbolic basket, he piled up these activities. From experience, he knew he couldn’t trust his mind, so he put the basket outside as well. He drew a picnic bag on an A-4 paper, and using creative images, wrote down the following: jogging, reading novels, listen to Flute (Hindustani classical), journaling, cycling, yoga, etc.
A daily little of the good acts kept him in excellent spirits, and his mind nurtured. Over time, living in a stimulating space helped improve his awareness- he now catches his slipping mind faster. And the familiarity with his arsenal gives him confidence for prompt action.
Winning the mind game
It’s the words of Saint Francis (of Assisi) that first hinted at the basket, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
The basket is our repertoire against mind’s relentless attack. Whenever you feel terrible, look at your container- and pick up anyone from the list.
In time, a realization dawned on Akash: he earlier grabbed chocolate because it fulfilled his need for excitement. Now the healthy options from his basket attacked his boredom with a stimulating experience. He now has an innocuous looking ‘basket’ that’s helping him win the mind game, albeit slowly. To create the basket he needed to know who he is, but now the basket’s helping him know what he could be.
Often, like Akash, we recognize what’s not healthy for us, yet we succumb to those very things. But the ‘basket’ brings hope. The American author Robert Kiyosaki rightly said, “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.”