January 16, 2021   8:17am

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Cindy Talks: Passwords & Mantras. It may be useful to have both …

Our “What’s Next” advisor Cindy explains why a mantra may be even more important to your life than a password. Hmmm? I keep confusing my password with my mantra….

June is over. It was a whirlwind of a month. I celebrated one son’s graduation from high school; one son’s graduation from college. I laughed, cried, hugged, and marveled. I also worried that grandparents were comfortable, obsessed over whether I was giving my sons enough space to be with their friends, spent more time than was required organizing meals. I have fond memories, for sure. But I am also more drained than I need be. I could have been more in the moment. I kept confusing my password with my mantra….

Passwords. First, you have to remember them. Then, when you do, all they seem to do is provide access to the “have-to-do’s”- work, online purchases, banking transactions, unhelpful customer service reps…. To me, passwords represent the daily grind; the static of life; being reactive vs. proactive. Passwords make me cranky, like emptying the dish washer. Passwords make me feel out of control, like my environment is dictating my priorities.

Being neither a student nor practitioner of Eastern religions, my notion of a mantra is no doubt parochial. To me, a mantra is an inherent truth which has a better chance of being realized if you concentrate on it than if you don’t. It is an instrument of thought which helps focus one’s mind on a personal truth. A mantra suggests a deliberate state of being where one strives for balance and to be in the moment. It is the antithesis of a password.

Some time back, I came across a self-actualization exercise to create a personal mantra. I dismissed it at the time but the suggestion stuck and sometime later the following words came to me: “Purpose. Courage. Harmony.” They have served me well ever since.

Purpose reminds me to listen to myself; to be in touch with MY sense of purpose; to own my life. (I am getting better and better at this). Courage requires action. It means being brave enough to pursue my purpose; advocating for myself; navigating the obstacle course of passwords and the static of life. ( I’m not great at this but I’m working on it). Harmony is the feeling of balance – dare I call it happiness – which results when purpose and, then, courage happen.

“Purpose. Courage. Harmony.”

My mantra is my home base. It is helping me transition from my crazy month of June back to a more focused, deliberate, purposeful place. Repeating, remembering, internalizing these three words are what keeps me facing in the general direction of greater contentment. And this seems a worthy goal at this point in life.

“Purpose. Courage. Harmony.”

Said simply, when I know what I want and act to achieve it, I feel really good.

Do you think a mantra could help you? What might it be? Will you share your thinking with us?


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Janet Matts says: July 16th, 2008 at 12:14 pm


What a great way to think about our purposeful life (mantra) and the clutter that gets in the way of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ (passwords). I always laugh at myself when I ‘forget the password,’ thinking, I really don’t want to get into this account or screen…or if I can’t remember and have to click ‘forgot password’ it gets frustrating.

I was reminded of that ‘present place’ this weekend when I went to see the Dalai Lama whose presence was about ‘now’ and a mischievious laugh….a humble speaker with simple truths. It was a sense of mantra in his being, and his purpose as he described was clear. When asked, what profession would you have chosen if you weren’t the leader of Tibet? He answered, “an Engineer”…coincidence since he was at Lehigh University? or a password to the world he was currently present in?

My mantra “Intentional focus leads to present success and possibilities” To be ‘present’ is to be stress free for there is no stress in the present moment, only in the past and future. So, if we live a life of intentionality….we will be on purpose, have the courage to create possibilities and feel harmony in our lives.

Thanks for your thoughtful blog…..

Cindy says: July 17th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Dear Janet – Thank you for sharing, especially your notion of “being present.” There IS not stress in the present moment, only in the past and future. Good food for thought and practice…


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