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Our days buzz with computer clicks and electronic gadgets, our nights turn alive with bright lights and fancy entertainments. At their basics, however, these diverse inventions have one thing in common: an electrical connection.

But connections don’t move just technology. In our social life, good connections are often at the heart of moving forward or breaking new ground. Lobbyists influence with insider connections while publicists popularize their clients by knocking on the right doors.

This holiday season we also will connect with many friends, old and new, and some may open new horizons for us.

However, if the time and place doesn’t appear fruitful, don’t be disappointed. The most important connections are not with external acquaintances or accidental; instead they are with your own Self and can be cultivated.

All of us have brain cells called neurons. Standing alone, in isolation, they can do nothing. However, when they connect, the magic of thinking and action occurs.

It is these connections that help us reason, develop ideas and produce associations that create new insights and discoveries.

It is said that Archimedes was inspired by the displacement of water in his bathtub, and that Sir Isaac Newton was captivated by the falling apple.

Whatever the truth behind these stories may be, it is the connection between an inspired idea and its practical application that leads to useful inventions.

Even modern radiological miracles such as the CT scanner and the MRI were discovered by connections between theory and practice.

But how about connecting with your Self, the inner being for which you stand and struggle ceaselessly? Can it make a difference in your life?

Many of us drive to get to our destinations, whether to school, work or play. If you are interested in making it safely and successfully, wouldn’t you prefer a good engine with an intact body frame instead of an old sputtering engine and a bashed-up chassis?

Of course, you don’t have to go to school to learn the correct answer; because you knew yourself and your goals, you selected the safer and successful alternative.

Similarly, if you connect with your Self you will not only know your goals and aspirations but also choose the best route — a healthy mind and lifestyle —to reach them.

Recall the last time when you walked into a dark room at night to get something important, perhaps your car keys. What was your first action? Didn’t you turn on the light switch before you stepped any further? Didn’t this simple first step make all the difference between easily finding the keys versus stumbling in the dark and getting frustrated?

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Your life journey is a similar walk. Connect with your Self as the first step and you will not only see your goals clearly, but also prefer good thoughts and kind actions to achieve them. Since positive thoughts can actually lead to healthy actions, let me suggest a simple, private and practical exercise to improve on our happy thoughts this holiday season.

When you hear, see or read something that you like, notice whether you respond with words of admiration or react with curse words.

If your internal reaction is negative, replace it consciously with words of praise. In time, with practice, you will not only do it unconsciously for friendly encounters but also in difficult situations.

Mom and Dad may not have been experts at psychology but they knew that kind expressions encourage civil behavior. Why not start by being kind and civil to your own Self? This simple exercise will help you find repose in the midst of turmoil — a real stress reliever.

This holiday season, the Christmas trees will be decked with lights and with unopened gift boxes at their feet. But it will take the simple step of an electrical connection to turn them into a brilliant display.

You are more gifted than that Christmas tree, ornamented with many talents and surrounded by unexplored opportunities. Make a simple connection with your Self, flip that switch and you will be amazed by the good you can do for yourself and others.

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