Entrenched Thinking: Are you a Prisoner of Your Own Mind

I was in Kerala recently and saw a mighty elephant living life of a slave to a lean timid man. I started to wonder how mighty elephants are tamed by relatively tiny and powerless creatures, Human Beings. Why do elephants lead lives in slavery when they have all the strength to overpower their masters and break-free?

Similarly, ever wonder why as children we had bigger and wilder dreams while as adults we are more ‘practical’ and live in set patterns?  Have you ever given up on an ambition or idea because you thought you couldn’t do it?

For a moment, give it a thought, what drove you to that decision… your friends, your family or your own belief system.

If you answered yes, to any of the questions above, you are in for a story about how elephants are tamed.

An Elephant that is captured as a baby is tied to a tree with the help of a rope. The baby elephant instinctively tries with all his might to break the rope but unable to do so because it is not yet strong enough. Realizing his efforts are futile, it finally gives up trying. Upon trying and failing many times, it would stop trying. Later, when the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied to a small tree with a thin rope. It can then easily free itself by uprooting the tree or breaking the rope. But because its mind has been conditioned by its prior experiences, it doesn’t make any attempt to break free. The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities by the limitations of the past and by seeing the other elephants living similar lives.

Well, this is called entrenched thinking.

Sounds fancy, right?

In simple terms, entrenched thinking is when we are hard-wired into a particular limiting thought process due to our past experiences. Based on what has been taught to us by our parents, the insecurities that we have developed within ourselves and some past failures, we have trained our minds to think within a safe passage and aim for things that are within our reach. We have accepted our ‘limitations’ even at a sub-conscious level. We become prisoners of our minds and thus keep getting entangled in our patterns. This ‘entrenchment’ happens at a level that is so deep-rooted that it begins to play its role in all areas of our lives and curtails our ability to lead lives of abundant happiness.

Just like the elephant in the story above, we fail to realise our abilities. But, is there a way to reprogram these thoughts and challenge our already existing assumptions, not just to put in the pieces of one problem but also future experiments?

The good news is that there are some techniques to break those old patterns. Here they are:

Do you Audit yourself? – Take a moment to check your vision for your life. Verify your aspirations. If your vision and aspirations are not above ordinary, then it’s time to tell yourself that you are a prisoner of your own mind. It means you are busy ‘just surviving’. As organisms blessed with cognition and intelligence, ‘just surviving ‘is not fun. Go ahead, question your belief system and go for abundance, go for excitement.

Do you talk to yourself? – Most of us are good at finding fault in what others are saying. Now, we constantly talk to ourselves. Do we know well enough whether we are pushing us up or pulling ourselves down with our self-talk? It is important to be mindful of our internal dialogue and have an internal motivator and a critic whenever we are telling ourselves to settle for less in life.

When did you fail last? – When was the last time you failed while trying to do something big or new? If it was not very recent, realise that you are drenched in entrenched thinking. All of us are bound to fail sometimes when we try to punch above our weights or try something new. It is the excitement of trying, the emotional experiences those successes or failures generate that make our lives emotionally rich. Otherwise, life can be so bland.

We would agree to the fact that the mind is a complex network and the human brain never runs out of finding problems. There are numerous instances when our mind is unable to recognize our hidden potential and the opportunities around us if we do not train our minds with the above mentioned questions.

This lack of efforts to constantly break-free from self-imprisonment does not allow us to experience our life to the fullest, thus compelling us to live a life of mediocrity, by becoming blind to all the opportunities around us to create deep and lasting happiness. Hence, we need to reprogram the auto-response in our brain by building new pathways, and strengthening the ones we use most often. Scientists usually like to put it this way – “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

Mentioned above are some wonderful strategies that you can adopt to shed the old restrictive patterns and construct new liberating ones. From reducing your stress and anxiety levels to helping you rebuild your confidence, self-esteem and boost your happiness quotient; these techniques are worth giving a try.


Why a Happiest country is not lowest in Suicide rates?

This is remarkably Interesting to know.

Denmark is rated as the happiest country in the world.

But surprisingly it is not rated as lowest in Suicides rates.

Psychologists studied the reason behind it, why the happiest country is not the lowest in Suicide rates.

What came out is very surprising.

It is impossible to remain unhappy in otherwise Happy Environment.

That means if you create a Happy Environment in Organisation, the Non-Happy employees have only two options, either to quit or get engaged.

Now, Happy Environment does not mean creating Rangoli or Ethnic Competition.

Neither it means taking them to resort for partying.

Then What does Employee Happiness means?
How does it gets created? ?
What is the science behind Employee Happiness?

Please comment on your views. There is no right or wrong answer. I just wanted to listen to your experience.

What is it that makes employees happy at work?

Teamwork makes the dream work, but the million-dollar question is, how to make your teamwork in the most holistic and optimum way that not only benefits your company in sustained fashion but also manages to keep employees happy and satisfied. 

With so many employment opportunities available for people today, workers are continuously looking for better job opportunities. One of the major concerns of any company today is to keep a quality flock together which happens to be way more difficult than hiring new talent. 

Employees cite various reasons for leaving a company, however, the main reason why an employee would choose to opt for another one is that employees are not happy at their current workplace. The question then is, why are employees in a state of perpetual job-hopping, and what can be done to mitigate this phenomenon? One easy solution to this problem is – keeping the workforce happy at the workplace. Yes, it does sound a bit vague but it’s that simple, really. Now, let us look at some proven and effective methods of how to keep your employees happy.

  1.   Say ‘thank you’

Believe it or not but a thank you really goes a long way. Employees must regularly feel appreciated, no matter how small, every contribution to the success of the company must be acknowledged. The company should let its employees know that their effort might not always produce positive results and that is absolutely okay because their effort was not in vain. Employees associate warmth and comfort every time they hear these magical words from their superiors and eventually makes them happier and more likely to stick around. In fact, one of the main reasons cited by employees for changing their jobs is because of an ungrateful, unsupportive boss. 


  1.   Tell them to go home

‘Run-of-the-mill’ mentality will not work in 2020, PERIOD. It is no longer the responsibility of mere employees to balance their work and home life. Rather, successful companies have taken upon themselves to make sure their employees have a healthy and balanced personal and professional life. It is no mystery that a person who is happy at home is more likely to be happy at work as well. Similarly, people who are miserable at work are equally unhappy at home. It’s a vicious circle which most companies have started realizing, and the successful ones have already started working towards breaking this cycle.


  1.   Build a sense of belonging.

Since people spend a significant amount of time at their workspace, it becomes pertinent that employees have friendship and camaraderie with their co-workers. The company should give more time, space, and freedom so that employees can mingle with each other, thus developing a sense of belonging in the workplace. Google offices have a play arena, where employees can come take a break by engaging in a recreational activity with their co-workers. It boosts good hormones in the brain hence leading to more productivity and better employee retention rates. Lack of a sense of belonging works as a disincentive, it hampers workers’ productivity in the short run and the company’s future in the long run. 


  1.   Keep it light

Allow workers to freely express themselves. Let employees have fun and joke around the office. Employees should not be berated over smaller mistakes, it does no good to anyone least of all to the company. Take a break, take a nap. An afternoon nap can do wonders in enhancing productivity and creativity. Relaxed workers are happier workers. Celebrate the smaller milestones of the company as well as its employees.  


  1.   Know your employee.

Knowing your workers – their likes, dislikes, and backgrounds, etc. It builds mutual respect and trust in the company. Actively seek suggestions from employees, and if possible encourage them by implementing some of their ideas. People are full of hidden talents and surprises, and it should be the company’s duty to unearth such surprises. Understanding your employees especially about their interests and passions can be a great resource for a company.


As Spinoza said ‘happiness is a virtue and not its reward’ meaning that happiness must be desired for its own sake alone. Once this is understood the workspace will become more rewarding for everyone involved. Therefore, companies should not just look at their employee’s happiness in an excel sheet. The company should display empathy towards its employee’s overall mental and physical happiness. In any case, caring about the happiness of your employees will not put extra strain on your finances. It is no mystery that happy employees are more productive and creative, as such they do play a bigger role in the success of any company.