Gut feeling, sixth sense, inner voice, soul mumblings.....countless descriptions for a voice that has no pointable source, no known provocation and a frequency that no 21st century audio receptor device can receive or record. These little voicing’s happen to all of us and place us quite at par with the neighbourhood baba or at best with the baba’s parrot atleast, thus making us iFortune readers (nothing to do with apple though.) I mean what else would you call fortune readers who have future predictions only about their future, their wants, their wishes etc. (yes that is being very self centred but can’t really help.)
I am a proud iFortune reader with a specialization - my gut’s got special feelings for cricket! Actually there is this little mental game I play especially during cricket matches that Team India or Chennai Super Kings play (I guess my gut’s got exclusive feelings for captain cool – MS Dhoni.) Ok well the mental game is WwW.in – Watching Winner Win in (advance)! And there is always a ‘certain’ something associated with the prediction like - India will lose today’s match and my boss will be in a bad mood. So if one comes true then the other HAS to come true. And don’t you think that I just guess the winner, aivee. There is a whole ritual linked to it: Find a scheduled place - sit back (with a straight back ofcourse) – close eyes – isolate mind of all biased thoughts – seek answer. Tedious, but I always manage a clear answer. And to top it my gut has absolutely no idea about matches being tied or rain washed – there is always a clear winner. Being the cricket enthusiast that I am, I played this game religiously during World Cup 2011 and as the tournament neared its culmination my range extended to other teams matches as well.
2nd semi final match – Sri Lanka vs. England; after my tedious mental ritual the answer by baba gut was – England and my associated ‘certain’ prediction was India plays Finals at Wankhede and lifts the cup! But bingo, Sri Lanka won and spot-on my gut, without any mental exercises, pops up with a declaration – World Cup Gone. The stupid voice pops up whenever it wants to but when I need an answer it makes me toil with those mental regimes. Well irrespective of what happened at the Wankhede, that night when India rejoiced globally, if I have to analyze the whole thing philosophically then, I think my gut feeling had all gone wary (probably my gut developed a constipation that ideally should have happened to MSD’s) and if I analyze it rationally I may have really wanted England to win as India had already nearly beaten them in the group match, so my team had a chance; and don’t know about Sachin but I personally am very terrified of ‘Maggi Man’ Malinga’s Yorkers, so I was dead sure that my team had no chances against him.
After this happened I have wondered numerous times, all those inner voices which I have always believed to be my gut feelings – are they truly coming from an unexplainable self power, predicting and guiding me on into future or are they my insecurities voicing themselves in the face of my scare about anything that matters to me. Just before I take the stage for a presentation, before I enter the boardroom to meet my Manager’s boss, before I look at the notice board displaying my exam results or even before I answer the first phone call from a crush – there is a voice – a voice which tells me: ok you are screwed! This will all go wrong now and I brace myself for the worst imaginable in those milliseconds I have before the action. Infact IF I can, then I actually turn back from whatever I was about to do because of that one voice – it is suddenly god’s own voice for me – a hotline straight from heaven.
I am not saying that I do not have an ‘inner voice’ moment. It happens to the best and worst of us and as the name suggests it happens for a moment – a second or a millisecond – and the truth is, most of the times I fail to even notice it in the everyday chaos that we call life. So engrossed are we in our little career anxieties, performance nervousness, relationship stress and our continuous race against traffic and time that we are in no way, anywhere near to listening to anything except our insecurities, swaying confidence and the resultant pessimism banging loudly in our minds.
I wonder, we knowingly, unknowingly do so many things to keep a motivated mental equilibrium - read inspirational lines on Facebook and like them, re-tweet the same on Twitter, read quotes off our table quote book and wow about it, read ‘The speaking tree’ in The TOI with concentration enough to crack the window pane, go through books, blogs and what not. My understanding after going through all these things is – yes they do inspire us, motivate us and edge us forward in our journeys but momentarily while there is a calm, subtle voice around us – a voice which could prove to be our steady full time built-in motivation DVD because it is the sound of our true self – of not the physical mind laced with insecurities of the world that it has grown up in but of the inner mind which knows our truest potential but sadly we hardly even try to listen to it.
Those lines by someone else inspire us for a few moments or a maximum of an hour. All it takes is a scorn from a colleague or few disappointing words from the boss and the cloud of inspiration goes poof! And in that moment of low self esteem those lines which inspired us a while ago fail to inspire us yet again. But if we can hear that little voice from within then we will not need to go back to those lines at all because our inspiration, our truth is right in us, it is within and if befriended that voice is our best friend – a friend that is a true mirror – it will only show us that which is the truth, not what we seek.
To be constantly self inspired and positive we need to attain a state like what Shekhar Kapur, the oscar winning film maker recently tweeted, “Like a mother is alive to her child’s every breath, be alive to your inner voice.” And all being alive to that voice requires is an aware unattached mind. Right now most of us are like the proverbial musk deer who seeks the fragrance hidden in its musk glands all though its life; but what we need to evolve into is a germinating seed – one which knows that it is opening up a tender sapling from its own womb but still peels away from it with a self-belief that the sapling will determine and live its own destiny – so aware yet so unattached.
This journey from the possessive to the progressive will determine the decibel levels and our hearing capabilities of that inner voice and till that journey is undertaken, with an intention to succeed, the gut has no feelings, it is only the pessimist within.
Be Deaf to it, Break its Spirit!