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Words to Live by

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far!
: By Swami Vivekananda

India has often been blessed with great visionaries, whose life and works have surpassed the boundaries of time and place and have left an indelible mark on the mind of millions of common men throughout the years. Premier among such extraordinary thinkers was Swami Vivekananda, the patriot saint of modern India, whose messages and speeches continue to hold tremendous relevance even in this Information Age. His work acts like a North Star guiding and giving us invaluable lessons about what it takes to be a true human being.

Among many such unforgettable quotes of Swami Vivekananda, this one in particular has singular significance as it deals with the positive aspects of the mind. The character of any man is but the aggregate of his predispositions, the sum total of the thinking output of his mind. Every work that we do, every movement of the body, every thought that we think leaves an impression on the mind, and even when such impressions are not obvious on the surface, they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface, subconsciously. As various thoughts pass through the mind, they leave upon it different pictures, and what we are every moment is determined by the sum total of these impressions.

What we speak does not have as much relevance as our thoughts have. This is because words die a natural death with the passage of time, but the thoughts we experience have a far-lasting impact on our souls and psyche. We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be as we have the power to make ourselves. It is thus extremely important that we exercise caution in our thinking process, as negative thoughts will only bring negativity in our life while positive thoughts will enlighten and enrich our lives. If we continue to think about evil, disaster or even death, our end will be hastened. But if we think optimistically and masterfully, with confidence and faith, life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.

It is probably why a person’s real character is determined by his most common actions and thoughts in every day life, because he when alone, is really great whose character is great always, the same wherever he be.