I open my mind book to understand all the books in the world

— Vasanthi Suresh

I was eight years old when I fell in love with books.

It was a chance occurrence. Manorama aunty was taking her daughter Radhika to the library, and since I was playing with Radhika at that time, she asked me if I would like to go along with them. I was not really sure what a library would have, but going out anywhere with friends was fun, so I got my mother’s permission and was soon at the library.

A strange feeling of excitement swept through me when my eyes fell on the rows upon rows of books.

“Fiction”, “Romance”, “Mysteries”, “Biographies”, ”Auto-biographies”, “Self-Help”… I did not know the meanings of all these words, but felt a thrill of anticipation and delight go down my spine.

Manorama Aunty led both of us to the children’s section, and asked us to pick up any book we liked. I picked a book by Enid Blyton and hugged it to myself as I walked back home. I read the book. I did not understand many of the words, but I understood the story. And I liked it. This was the beginning of my love affair with books.

So, it is not surprising that a topic with the word “Book” in it caught my attention today.

“I open my mind book…”, I pondered on this.

Dictionary says that the mind is “the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought”. So, if we were to relate the mind to a book, would it be something of an autobiography, recording the person’s experiences, thoughts and feelings ? Yes, partly. But it would also be a record of other people’s experiences, their perceptions, their words and how these are imbibed into our conscious and subconscious mind. The writing in the mind book would be based on how every individual interprets various factors, relates and responds to both internal and external stimuli and perceives the infinite opportunities and threats that come with daily life –the factors that are tangible and not so tangible.

“Come with an open mind”, “Approach this problem with an open mind”…what does “an open mind” mean ? It refers to a mind that is receptive to different opinions and ideas, even when they contradict with what we hitherto believed is right and true.

So, if the mind were a book , just imagine how it would look – like a journal, a combination of written and unwritten pages – and we, as the author of this journal, have infinite opportunities to go back to the written pages and learn from them, and use the promise of the unwritten pages to chart the course of our future.

But if the book remains resolutely closed, most of the time, not allowing new thoughts, ideas and experiences to flow in, would it not become stale and monotonous, drab and repetitive, boring and narrow-minded ?

When I read an interesting book, I lose myself in the pages. At the end of the book, consciously or unconsciously, I have experienced new places, situations, adventures, heroes, villains, mortals and immortals. To access the wealth of information and ideas that reside between the pages of a book, my mind needs to be open – otherwise, I am just going through the motions of reading without imbibing or understanding the message in the books that I read. And believe me, every book has something to say, a message to convey – may be good or bad, superficial or thought provoking, old or new.

Some of what I have read, shapes my thinking –it goes back to my mind book and corrects the already written pages, adjusts certain ideas, tweaks my perceptions. Sometimes, it just takes over a new page and fills it up. These thoughts that I glean from the books I read sink into my sub-conscious and mould my thoughts – and thoughts become words, words become deeds and deeds grow into habits that define the character. Of course, my mind book also filters out material that it considers spam or junk at that point of time – which is also right, since not all we read may be worthy of recording. The trick is to strike the right balance of sifting through the information on hand and recording only those that are positive and relevant.

So, go on – what are you waiting for ? Open up your mind book and tap into the rich reservoir of books in the world – then step outside yourself and observe how your horizons broaden, your perspectives change, your relationships thrive and you evolve into a greater human being.

Let me wind up by sharing a few of the books that have made a positive impact on my mind book.

“Power of Positive Thinking” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The Secret” – Rhonda Byrne

“The monk who sold his Ferrari” – Robin Sharma

Happy Reading, folks !

About the Author
Vasanthi Suresh has over 25 years of rich and diverse experience in the IT industry, spanning a variety of leadership roles in the areas related to Program and Project Management, Training and Leadership Development, and Workforce Management.

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