Monthly Archives: December 2007

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Uma Gupta’s Upcoming Book on

Shift Your Perspective: Shift Your Life

Excerpt: We are not born with a self-help manual in our heads or hands. In fact, we tell ourselves that may be others need help, but we won’t, or we don’t. When life is good and our plans match with the events and happenings in our life, self-help is the furthest thing from our mind. We may even talk in hushed tones about a friend who is undergoing therapy or under psychiatric care. We don’t brag about being a member of "Alcohol Anonymous" or any other self-help group. Some of us may even bury our self-help book in a magazine in a public place so that others don’t read the title of the book. No explanations are needed when you are reading Stephen King, but when you are reading a book called, "Ask and it is Given!" – well, that could raise some eyebrows. Needing help is often equated with weakness in many cultures. After all, the American adventurer did not carry a self-help book on his horseback when marching into the wild, unknown Western frontier. Our environment teaches us and even actively encourages us to figure out everything life throws at us on our own. "Get over it!" or "Quit mopping!" or "That was a long time ago!" or "Move on!" are all messages meant to be encouraging and soothing or sometimes these are messages intended to give a much-needed kick in the behind!" Still, the subtle message is about taking the hard knocks, pulling oneself together, and to keep going. But if this were entirely true there would be no spiritual leaders, no psychiatrists or psychologists, no counselors, no focused groups, and no self-help books. Today, the reason why self-help is such a thriving industry is because the taboo is starting to wear off. It is okay to say, "I need help!" It is okay to say, "I feel stuck!" or "I am lonely!" or "God, I just need another perspective!" It is okay to be human, it is okay to be vulnerable, it is okay to ask for help, and it is okay to share your life’s perspectives with others if it can assist them in their life’s journey. It is all okay. In the process of asking for help we become better equipped to give help.

Excerpt from an upcoming book by Uma Gupta on Shift Your Perspective: Shift Your Life.

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Uma Gupta writes about living life

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Life is about lessons: some good, some bad. But it is always about lessons; obvious lessons and not-so-obvious lessons. We don’t set out on life’s journey with the purpose of life’s lessons. Most of us don’t. We believe that by the time we are adults we know all the important stuff, we have learned all the important lessons, and in fact, we genuinely believe we have mastered most of what we need to know in order to lead a good and happy life. And then life trips us and we realize we don’t know much. In fact, we know very little. And then the real quest begins.

The beginning of a journey, writes Uma Gupta

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So I did not set out to write a self-help book. Who am I to write a self-help book when I myself was soul searching? Who am I to reach out to others when I myself needed to reach deep into my soul? But in retrospect, the best time to write a book is when you are soul-searching. In our moments of great pause and deep reflection is when we are able to assist ourselves and hopefully share our findings with others. Why? Because it is the best time, the perfect opportunity, to ask the right questions. Not that you embark consciously on this journey with the intent of asking the right questions. You are simply in search of the right answers. When you are searching for answers, finding the right answer always starts with asking the right questions. And that wisdom will come only when the answers don’t make sense. And asking the right questions in one’s own quest for peace, understanding, happiness, and contentment is inevitably the most challenging and daunting of all tasks.

I started to write this book, or this journal, for my own self. For my soul. For my own sake. For my own sanity. For my own rejuvenation. I needed words to reaffirm my faith in myself and to once again believe in the goodness of people. I needed words, written words, so that I could see in black and white what I had intuitively known all my life: that the greatest triumphs in our lives almost always begins with a single, persistent, unwavering thought. And for me that thought has always been that I was put on this earth for a purpose far greater than my own good. I am a good human being capable of accomplishing of whatever I set to do. The key is to be confident, sure, and passionate about the purpose of my life that is far more expansive than my own good and what is it that I truly wish to accomplish. That belief was put to the test in an unexpected way and out of that pain came this book and this journey. They say that those who cause us the greatest pain are the greatest teachers. Indeed.

Author: Uma Gupta

Shift Your Perspective: The Power of Thoughts

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Different types of thoughts create different types of activity in the brain. This is a scientifically proven fact, writes Uma Gupta. This is widely discussed in the spiritual literature also that the thoughts of today sow the seeds for tomorrow. Yet, all of us, writes Uma Gupta, fall into the rut of "same thoughts" "same solutions" "same approaches." Driven by comfort derived from what we know, and what we think we know, we are rarely willing to challenge our thoughts. Yet, the only way to embark on new journeys is to challenge our own thinking. Believe in the impossible and eventually the brain will accept the impossible as possible, writes Uma Gupta.

Uma Gupta writes: Dont Stay Married

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Staying married to your partner. Love is a gift to be cherished and nurtured. But, writes Uma Gupta, Do not Stay Married to your ideas and assumptions.

Weddingrings That is deadly. Deadly for the birth of creativity and innovation. Try this exercise. Every time you jump into a certain problem-solving mode or you think you know the perfect solution to a problem ask yourself, "How many years have I used this approach? How old are my assumptions?" You will be startled. Many approaches and assumptions are as old as we are, writes Uma Gupta. Even just being aware of the age of your ideas will force you to revisit creativity.

PS: An excerpt from Uma Gupta’s upcoming book on Shift Your Perspectives. Uma Gupta can be contacted at guptaguma@gmail.com

Uma Gupta writes about She is ME

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George Sheehan said, "I have found my hero and he is me." Well, forgive George! "I have found my hero and she is me!" Ok. Humor apart, how often do we view ourselves as heroes? Many of us don’t even think of ourselves as normal, let alone as heroes, writes Uma Gupta. We don’t like the way we look. We don’t like the way our hair sits or does not sit on our heads! We don’t like our bodies. We don’t like this and we don’t like that. We think of ourselves as ordinary and so we behave in ordinary ways. Only ordinary things arrive in our gift packages because we expect only O. So we must move from O to H. Oh! See, simple as that. So what does it mean to be a hero? Next posting.

Uma Gupta shares her personal story

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When we go through a traumatic event, we are often forced to explore our perspectives, our assumptions, our core values, and our abilities to "press on." It is not a choice. It is a force that pushes you to rise from your fall, to persist, to stand tall. When someone experiences trauma, they don’t say, "Oh! let me now check my perspectives!" Instead, when we are swept off our feet by trauma, by a difficult event, by a divorce, a betrayal, an unjust act, slowly, but steadily, those strong at heart seek the T word – T for tenacity. We shift our perspectives from individual hurt to leaving the world a better place; to ensuring that what happened to us does not happen to another. Talent combined with tenacity is power.

Yes, this world is not always fair or just or sane or loving, but we as individuals have a choice to take the high road, to be tenacious in our belief that good will overcome well, not-so-good.

When I was the President at Alfred State College, I had to make a tough personnel decision about two employees. They started an anonymous blog filled with lies, slander, and libel. As a leader of an institution of higher learning I had a choice to make: write to the blog and address the lies (ump into the dirt) or take the high road. There were days when it was tempting to jump in, but friends reminded me that true power lies in refrain. Graciousness has unequaled elegance.

Tenacity – to keep going when the going gets tough. Tenacity is like the oak tree that sweeps with the winds, but keep its roots hidden so firm and so deep that those who wait for it to fall will have to wait for a long, long, time.

Tenacity – to believe in oneself. After all, it is easy to believe in oneself when it is smooth sailing;

tenacity is believing that truth will prevail; that this too shall pass; Tenacity – is to look back so that we learn about human frailties and follies, but then to focus on the future – to know that a great future is yours because you are well, you.

Be tenacious. Talent and tenacity is power – not the kind of power that you have when you are an anonymous blogger – but the kind of power you have when you are an oak tree with deep roots or when God is driving and you are in the passenger seat looking out the window!