Updated: May 27, 2020
During my interaction with secondary and senior secondary school students, I used to make them play a game by making them stand on one leg as long as possible. I would ask those who would win the contest in the sense of standing for more than 5-6 minutes, what were you hearing in your heads? If you notice, there is always a voice speaking inside your head; that’s the inner voice.
Mind of a person is neither a tangible thing nor a single entity. It exists at many levels. For the current discussion, we can divide it into two levels that is, higher mind and lower mind. Higher mind is the one which tells us to prove one’s worth, to compete, to win, to have that inner confidence and strength to perform under adverse conditions etc. and the lower mind is the one which tells us why to compete at all, it’s all useless, I am not strong enough, what will happen even if I win, I’m too tired now, life is not fair to me etc. So I used to tell the students to recall the different voices they heard towards the end stage of the contest when they were too tired and their legs started to shake; and then to differentiate the higher mind voice with the lower mind voice. Always in life, we hear these two voices. The danger with the lower mind voice is that it makes us an escapist or choose a path which might give momentary happiness/success but detrimental in the long run or even harm others. But for being successful and happy in its true sense, one should listen to the voice of the higher mind. Once we start following this, we not only feel good about ourselves but also it also takes us a notch higher in our intellectual and spiritual journey as voice of the higher mind reconnects us with our heart/gut or core which is increasingly being forgotten in today’s head-centric times.