A website based on Radhanath Swami's Leadership Lessons

Four Ingredients of Positive Thinking

A few years ago I went through a serious confusion; I’d been hearing rumours about someone I loved and was disturbed by the news. Moreover my relationships with people I knew closely soured; I was distressed and began to feel strong negative emotions engulfing my consciousness. I had a chance to meet Radhanath Swami during this time and I expressed my situation to him. He heard me patiently and offered a simple solution, “Just be positive and you’ll be empowered beyond your ability.” I contemplated on this for a few days and wondered what it meant to be ‘positive’; the whole world talks about being positive and is Radhanath Swami’s formula the same or is it different? I’d also been disappointed with the positivity formulas that are abundantly available in this world. I hoped as a spiritual leader Radhanath Swami offered more insights into this; besides my services in leadership and management demanded dealing with abounding negativities. I wasn’t satisfied and sought more explanations.

A couple of days later I chanced to meet Radhanath Swami again and humbly requested him to throw more light on being ‘positive’. His answer has changed my life. He said being positive has four ingredients, and if we can constantly work centred on these principles, our lives would change for the better.

  • Accept the truth

When certain situations go bad we may artificially psyche ourselves up with false assurances that things are just fine as ever. This is an immature and foolish response to the inevitable downturns of this world. When things or people change, denial makes the pain acute. We may offer a cosmetic smile and a gung ho ‘all’s well’ pep talk to ourselves but the seething pain is building from within. Accepting the unfortunate turn of events as an inevitable outcome beyond our puny control takes the steam off the potentially stressful situation. However simple as it may sound, this is the most challenging of the four steps. The strength to accept the bitter truths of life comes if we are anchored on the Absolute Truth, the Truth of God, and our sweet and loving relationship with Him. A culture of prayers and chanting of God’s Names gives us the strength to accept disturbing events and be peaceful and sober even during the emotionally painful periods of our lives.

  • Be optimistic

However bad the situation is, there’s always a cloud of silver lining. We need to look for the possible positive and good outcome of an apparently tragic or negative event. As Radhanath Swami urges us to be optimistic, I remember the words of W. Clement, “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it’s positive or negative.” If we hope for a better future even amidst a hopeless mess, we are placing our tender hearts in the hands of benevolent God. He’ll then work wonders in our lives.

  • Gratitude

Our life is a constant flow of blessings. If we can simply thank God and other people for all the gifts that we are constantly getting, we’ll remain positive rather than get cynical. Cynicism drains out our vital energy; gratitude keeps our life simple, hearts purer and mind peaceful. As life treats us badly, we can focus on the things that life has given us, although we may be undeserving of them. “I had no shoes and I complained until I met a man with no feet” is a wise maxim and a sacred tool of a grateful leader.

  • Appreciation

Kind words of encouragement and sincere appreciation of others emits positive energy everywhere and especially to those who come in close contact with us. Appreciation creates a virtuous cycle of positivity; you sincerely appreciate others in your team or group. This makes them happy, positive and surcharged, and in turn they catch the contagious quality of catching others doing right. Overall this builds a positive environment where one can lead a meaningful life centred on spiritual principles and integrity. The world is filled with people catching others doing wrong, but a spiritual leader focuses on the ‘right’ things others do. He then fans the spark of goodness in others and sets it ablaze; people who are always encouraged and appreciated feel empowered to affect others’ lives positively.

A few years ago I attended a programme where friends and students of Radhanath Swami appreciated him for affecting their lives in a personal and positive way. However Radhanath Swami surprised all of us by speaking about each of the members present, recalling the minute details of their wonderful qualities. He vividly recalled incidents and exchanges that took place over twenty five years ago; he even mentioned which of these members of the community in Mumbai had cooked dosas and idlis (these are special Indian cuisine) for him. A few days later some of the monks met him at the aisle of our monastery and we expressed our amazement at his incredible ability to remember such minute details of the various services of these members. Radhanath Swami’s grave answer humbled and inspired us. “These special souls have done so many services over the years. And if I don’t remember their love, sacrifice and affection, my life is condemned.”

It is adherence to these simple but sacred principles that are the hallmark of a genuine spiritual leader. Radhanath Swami is one such exemplary leader who has assimilated the ingredients of spiritual positivity, and freely shares them with one and all.

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About the Author

About the Author: A senior monk and a leader at the Radhagopinath Ashram, a monastery in Mumbai guided by Radhanath Swami, Vrajabihari Das is a board member of the CSV, a Council that provides spiritual vision to the Ashram. Also a prolific writer, he is a regular contributor to Back To Godhead, an international magazine on spirituality. And on the web, he blogs on krishnayoga.info and radhanath-swami.net Venugopal topped Mumbai University in International Finance during his Masters. He then did his MBA. Though a flourishing career awaited him, he chose to become a monk, so as to dedicate his life for the welfare of society. And sure enough, Venugopal today serves as a lifestyle counselor for hundreds in India. His spiritual wisdom and genuine compassion flows freely, irrespective of whether he is counseling, discoursing or writing. .

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There Are 66 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Chandnani says:

    This indeed is a fantastic article. He explains the difference of the advise. Must thank him thoroughly.

  2. Aishwarya says:

    Very grateful to know the 4 ingredients of spiritual positivity.Especially liked the way each ingredient of positivity is expressed in a different light. For eg: Be optimistic- “We need to look for the possible positive and good outcome of an apparently tragic or negative event.”

  3. Rakesh Chandra says:

    Appreciation creates a virtuous cycle of positivity. wonderful points.

  4. Milind M Churi says:

    What a brilliant article!Author has covered almost all the situations which might have affected life of a sincere soul.I fully apreciate the points given by HH.Radhanath Swamiji about overcoming negativity in our life which occurs due to contradicting situations.Though difficult to follow with immediate affect, accepting truth in life,remaining optimistic,greatful and apreciating others are wonderful qualities described by Swamiji and one should try this under bonafied guidence.The example given by author about Radhanath Swamiji appreciating services render unto him by his desciples about twenty five years ago and his humble statement while asked about his incredible ability to remember such minute details of the various services of these members,is very much encouraging.I thank author for such a wonderful article.

  5. anand says:

    Thank you very much for this wonderful article on positivity. In my own personal life, I am learning to be positive among the many things happening around me. Reading your article gives me the tools to deal with real life situations. Thankyou.

    Face the truth, be optimistic, be grateful and above all very important is to appreciate others genuinely. Thank you

  6. sajeev says:

    Disturbances in this world is inevitable…….for everyone….what a solution to this !!! All the 4 combined can make this world a better place…..with less hatred, less violence, less envy, and more peace and happiness…Thank you Vraj Bihari Prabhu for sharing this wonderful insight you got from the Swami.

  7. Harshad says:

    Appreciating others is like throwing rose scented water all around….Everyone becomes joyous and the atmosphere completely changes. Thank You very much Maharaj..

  8. deepak bagla says:

    Gratitude and appreciation. These are two wonderful points.

    I had no shoes and complained till I met men with no feet is a statement which has got ingrained in my heart. What a way to look at life

    Amazing, thanks for sharing this

  9. Sunita Paleja says:

    wonderful article. deep and full of wisdom. will be very helpful in shading negative attitude from life.

  10. Preethi Dhiman says:

    I’m positively affected! I especially like the concept of creating a contagious cycle of catching others’ doing right. nice article. thanks for the gems!

  11. Usha Gaonkar says:

    Only a truly worthy leader like Radhanath Swami can exemplify the above qualities like gratitude, accepting the truth, being positive and appreciate and encourage others to follow in his footsteps without stating the same.

  12. vsk says:

    Very humbling, especially when Radhanath Swami says “These special souls have done so many services over the years. And if I don’t remember their love, sacrifice and affection, my life is condemned.”

  13. Shyam Mahtani says:

    This is such an opportune article at the right time in my life when I need to be positive. Thank you so so much Swamiji.

  14. SVK says:

    In todays world people under the name of being possitve they aretifically making themself happy and ultimately they didn’t they became fustrated. There for it very essential to learn there 4 principals of Be Possitive and one sholud try to bring the change within.

  15. Radhasangi Devi Dasi says:

    Very touching story. Radhanath Swami's love and care has changed the lives of many and continue to do so.

  16. Sumit Sharma says:

    Artificial happiness does not fill the heart with love and affection. It's the real love with Lord and His eternal children by which we can get real pleasure.

  17. Vijay Mathias says:

    Pearls of wisdom from HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj!! Wonderful Explanation.

  18. bipin says:

    A very elaborately articulated view of how one can deal with problems when in the thick of it. Since it has a spiritual basis it will not give you a temporary solution but and tool that can be used every time we feel mired in the morass of issues.

  19. mohit bhatt says:

    The strength to accept the bitter truths of life comes if we are anchored on the Absolute Truth, the Truth of God, and our sweet and loving relationship with Him. A culture of prayers and chanting of God’s Names gives us the strength to accept disturbing events and be peaceful and sober even during the emotionally painful periods of our lives

  20. himanshu bhatt says:

    However bad the situation is, there’s always a cloud of silver lining. We need to look for the possible positive and good outcome of an apparently tragic or negative event.

  21. Pandu Rangayya Shett says:

    Theory is easy to understand but practically realizing the truth is not that much easy. Radhantha Swami realized the truth and helps others positively. All glories to Radhantha Swami.

  22. mohit bhatt says:

    If we can simply thank God and other people for all the gifts that we are constantly getting, we’ll remain positive rather than get cynical. Cynicism drains out our vital energy; gratitude keeps our life simple, hearts purer and mind peaceful. As life treats us badly, we can focus on the things that life has given us, although we may be undeserving of them

  23. mohit bhatt says:

    Kind words of encouragement and sincere appreciation of others emits positive energy everywhere and especially to those who come in close contact with us. Appreciation creates a virtuous cycle of positivity; you sincerely appreciate others in your team or group

  24. Ganesh Gavali says:

    Amazing.Thank you so much for this article.

  25. Pravin says:

    It is adherence to these simple but sacred principles that are the hallmark of a genuine spiritual leader. Radhanath Swami is one such exemplary leader who has assimilated the ingredients of spiritual positivity, and freely shares them with one and all.

  26. vaishali kamat says:

    This is a wonderful and useful piece of information. Being negative to others is like holding burning coal in our hands and waiting to throw it at the person whom we dislike. Who will be more pained the person holding the coal for long or the person whom it is thrown at !!

  27. Kiran says:

    Mindblowing (PRACTICLE) Article. Most of us talk about practising positive outlook. But nnobody knows how. Thanks for sharing such a nice realization.

  28. Anup Shah says:

    Very much required and practical. Thankyou!

  29. Deepak says:

    What a superb solution Radhanath Swami gave on positive thinking

  30. bharat says:

    Humility and selfless service is the only way to win someone's heart. Thank you very much maharaj.

  31. Swapnil says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you very much for sharing.

  32. surekha says:

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for giving us ingradients of positive thinking which will help us progressing in spirtual life too.

  33. deepak bagla says:

    excellent article. the more I read, the more i get inspired by this

  34. Ganesh Gavali says:

    Amazing.Wonderful article.

  35. mahesh.kohale says:

    to suceed in life , we need +attitude

  36. Sunny says:

    Last time I read this it was casual…however couple of days ago I was talking to one of the devotees and seeing the difficult conditions & very intense decision making times – I recollected and read them a part of this article…it was great help to derive inspiration/strength from …MUST READ…

  37. navin poojary says:

    Wonderful way of understanding about positive thinking in proper perspective

  38. vvdd says:

    The ingredients are really useful for adding flavor to our spiritual life

  39. Vidya Patham says:

    Thank you very much for giving us this four-pronged approach to deal with negativity and setbacks in our life. As mentioned in your article, our deep rooted faith that the chanting of the holy names will one day remove all these influences is the only thing that will help us in situations beyond our control.

  40. Pooja, Singapore says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  41. V R Shetty says:

    Hari Bol,

    A Wonderful piece of information to nurture and nourish in one's life.

  42. umesh says:

    A nice analysis of how to be positive.

  43. PravinG says:

    another pearl from Radhanath swami maharaj …

    Dealing with negativity in a positive way is called tolerance.

  44. Pranjal Dixit says:

    These are very important ingredients if we want to live life happily as a devotee of Lord.

  45. bipin says:

    All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

    A very beautiful lesson in leadership. Should everyone follow this to the last bit the world shall have only great leaders without any flaws that can help the society.

    Hare Krishna.

  46. Sachin Boradia says:

    Guru Maharaja thank you very much ! This is what was needed the most.

  47. duruvan says:

    thanks for sharing the very nice post

  48. Narendra.rakibe says:

    Just by reading this article fills me with so much positive emotions and joy. HH Radhanath Swami maharaj himself is the embodiment of positive attitude in life.

    Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Hari Bol!!

  49. Anand says:

    I would profusely thank the author of this article & would also request that such articles be posted regularly.

    I am glad that now I know what it means to be positive (though it is just my theoretical understanding) & a beginning in this direction.

  50. Ganesh Gavali says:

    Really brilliant article.Please continue providing us similar articles.Thank you very much.

  51. omprakash says:

    very nice food for thought and practical implementation……hari bol

  52. Vinay K says:

    This statement deeply touched my heats..“I had no shoes and I complained until I met a man with no feet”

    Thank You for posting this beautiful article.

  53. Ganesh says:

    Amazing article.Thanks a lot for sharing this.Actually,this is what is needed in today`s world of Stress & Anxiety.

  54. Kalyani Ajrekar says:

    Being Positive has become a big business venture. Always felt how can something be solved by just being positive?? Obviously not. So whats the real power of being positive. Thanking you for sharing HH Radhanath Maharaj's perspective on being positive. It gave a completely new dimension. Accept the truth. Be optimistic. Gratitude. Appreciation. Four gems given by Maharaj. Really liked this statement – Our life is a constant flow of blessings. Thanks once again for the understanding of really being positive.

  55. Rajendra prasad says:

    Very good remedy provided by Maharaji. Disturbances are invitable since the designer of the world has labelled it as place of miseries. but how to handle distrunaces without being disturbed has been explained by Maharaj Ji.Thank you maharaj ji.

  56. tushar says:

    Thanks fo0r nice article!

    I will try to apply all these wonderful ingredients in my life!

  57. Mahendra says:

    very nice article…

  58. Sundar says:

    Nice article on being optimistic. Inspite of current total messness, if we have the right positive attitude, depending on the mercy of the Lord for a bright future, there is nothing to worry.

  59. Chandrika says:

    A beautifully written article.

  60. Chandrika says:

    Even if it is a struggle, when we strive to act positively, the experience is very rewarding.

  61. Citra Gopi DD says:

    The principles mentioned in this article is universal and can be applied by anyone and everyone, at any time.

  62. Sundar says:

    Our life is a constant flow of blessings – great way to look at life than from a conditioned experiences of material sense perception

  63. Sundar says:

    Little difference in attitude makes a big difference. Srila Prabhupada says that advancement in Krishna consciousness depends on the attitude of the follower

  64. Yogesh Dhuri says:

    I never thought about ‘accepting the truth’ as one of the pillars of positivity. Its a wonderful thought. Positivity has a whole new meaning for me now. Thanks for sharing your deep realizations, i am simply grateful! 🙂

  65. Jagannath Dham Das says:

    Radhanath Swami has so perfectly given the concept of Being Positive in these four steps so precisely ! Its the best answer I ever heard & for sure we will get results if we can apply them in our lives !
    Thanks for sharing it Vrajviahri Prabhu !
    Hare Krishna !

  66. gaurav gangwani says:

    quite different concept than what we hear outside about being positive. thanku for giving the spiritual insight into it

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