Many of us are extremely bored with the monotony of routine of everyday life. We might wonder why our life seems dull and boring. We are bored with the routine of college life, the lectures, the assignments, the food and the environment.This boredom leads to frustration, and, not knowing how to bring about a change in the way we function, many of us sink into lethargy and idleness. However, instead of settling into a state of stagnation, the frustration we feel, can be used to fuel our motivation to grow and expand the boundaries of who we are.
Great achievements in the world took place when people questioned the limitations set by humanity for itself. Everybody thought that Mount Everest was insurmountable. Along came Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who strove to scale it, and succeeded in breaking the boundary set by Mankind.
When we challenge ourselves and strive to break our own limitations, we grow in capability and expand in vision. One must start from where one is, at the present time,and set oneself challenges to overcome one’s physical and mental limitations.
For example, a simple challenge would be to wake up in the morning at 5.00 am and exercise .Waking up early might be difficult for many. Hence, this is a challenge for the body. By doing this, one overcomes one’s physical limitations. Likewise, one can work towards expanding one’s physical capabilities.
We all want to feel energetic and vibrant.The food that we eat is plays a vital role in determining our energy levels. Food that is excessively spicy, pungent, containing too much oil and masala and especially non-vegetarian food, are heavy on the stomach and much energy goes into digestion. Hence,our energy levels go down and we are not able to stay alert. Consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and sattvic ahaara, which are light on our stomach, helps us remain fresh and alert, with the brain functioning at its best. Setting ourselves a challenge, to avoid eating those foods and turning to a sattvic diet would go a long way in enhancing the quality of our general health and well-being.
Many people get together to gossip about others, or speak ill of the things and persons around them. This breeds negativity in the mind and makes one’s perspective of the world and the people negative. Hence, one can set oneself an interesting challenge. One could maintain a piggy bank exclusively for this, and each time one gossips about or slanders another, one must remain true to oneself and drop Rs 10 into the bank. This helps to put a check to gossip and slander. Another very powerful challenge is that of mauna, silence. One could abstain from all speech for a day and remain silent whilst going through the day’s activities.
Trekking is an awesome way of breaking limitations that we have set for our body and mind. Most people do not take up trekking because they are not comfortable with the pain they feel in the body during and after the trek. If your leg aches..it is just a leg ache! If your head aches, it is just a headache and nothing drastic happens. Your body takes sometime to adapt to the new setting. Definitely things are not going to be the same on the plains and the mountains. Do not panic if you feel different. Just enjoy the trek. In most treks, the last few kilometers are the toughest. Firstly because you are tired, secondly because you may be getting closer to the peak. That’s when most people give up. But believe me, it’s going to be awesome once you reach there. So challenge your body a little bit. That’s the only way to break the limitations that you have set for yourself and that’s the only way to understand your true capabilities.
In the Indian yogic system, it has been advised that any form of practice be done for one Mandala i.e 48 days. Just as the embryo needs to spend enough time in the womb to become a fully formed child, a yogic practice needs it’s time to mature within our system. It takes some time for our food to digest and give us energy. Similarly, it will take some time for the practices to integrate with our system and offer us benefits. While creating a new habit, like an exercise routine, we create a space in our mind for it. We also make the necessary adjustments in our environment to accommodate the new habit, say an adjustment in our time schedule. It takes time for the mind and body to be tuned to this. Hence don’t be quick to judge, keep practicing for a Mandala and then beyond.
Setting challenges such as these, overcoming them and pushing our own physical and mental barriers not only gives us a sense of achievement, but also motivates us to set bigger and greater challenges to keep growing and expanding in ability and vision.