02 January, 2010
My Unfailing Golden Rules for Living-The Secrets for Standing Tall and Smiling and not Fumbling...
It’s a new year and the apt time for new beginnings...
So let me share with you some living mantras that help me go through the hum drums and the stumbling blocks that life throws at us every other day! I often find myself at the giving end of advice...how fruitful or otherwise though, my friends can tell better. But their smiling faces after my ‘gyan’ session makes me a compulsive guru of sorts, always ready to open my ‘gyan ka pitaara’! So what makes me tick? It’s actually not me at all...just a few tricks that just about anyone can connive!
These are no eureka discoveries...we all know of them...but somewhere deep if we merge them in the fabric of our existence, they do help us bear the worst of storms with infinite optimism and boundless courage.
Do not take the credit or blame for whatever you are doing in life...attribute it to God!
(Before going into any sermons of any sorts...let me tell you I am not religious...I spend barely 5 minutes every day with God at an average and at my convenience.) You just have to remind yourself each time: If I gave a brilliant speech that received a standing ovation...it was not my doing or intelligence that got me there...it was God generating the ideas. I don’t have to be vain, for my intelligence or beauty or power can go whoosh within the batting of my eyelids. Then again, if I got stuck at the very crucial presentation and knew that I would be reproached and accused...it would do me good to take deep breaths and tell myself repeatedly that “I” did not falter...it was god’s will and doing.
If I take a decision for my child after deliberating over it for hours and hours and yet it backfires...I just can’t and shouldn’t blame myself for the rest of my life. I did the best that I could...the rest and the outcome is never in my hands. I have to let go of “me” to be at peace with whatever fruit I get of my 100% consistent efforts!
Whatever happens...happens for the good!
We may not see it then...we may not see it EVER...but some forces are at play, in the backdrop or under the surface that are making us stronger or pushing us more fiercely towards attainment of what seems to have eluded us at the last moment. If not that, the belief is helping me bear my loss with less cynicism.
You may question here, what sense does it make in saying that the loss of a loved one is happening for our good? But then again, maybe it’s God’s way of preparing us to be self dependent for greater trials in life. I have failed in a career choice that I wanted with all my heart...but then who knows ten years from now where I think I am being pushed unwillingly...is my true calling?
What good is there in a child been molested...nothing at all...but then...it’s happened and what good is there in venting endless anger over it? The key is acceptance and not struggle. For in accepting there is peace and in anger and grudge, there is conflict and clash. Even little kids know which of the either traits send a negative vibe and from where is bouncing positivity.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Most of the times, we are in a mind churn due to fear. Fear of the past resurfacing or fear of our future getting damaged. We fear because we cling to what we possess...what we think we have earned through merits of our birth (our parents, the armour of a family), our efforts (the degrees, the status, the job, the wealth) and our good luck (beauty, intelligence, a good spouse, fame). We are insecure within for we feel life is what we possess...So we keep adding strings of our attachments which in turn keep adding to our complications and woes. Also what keep accumulating very inconspicuously here are our fears. What if I lose it all someday?
Oh so terrible a thought...I must work harder to earn more and secure my future...I must put more limitations on my children to ensure they are less and less out of my sight and thereby as I assume, more out of harm! I must ensure I look pretty to keep up my market value...I must have children to secure my old age...and I must grind myself and do all that I can to keep these things around me.
Have you just stopped for say five minutes and asked yourself a few questions:
What if I have an accident and my face that I am proud of is gone?
What if I suffer a huge loss at work and all my hard earned money just frittered in the blink of an eye?
What if my children leave me and settle abroad for good?
What if the love of my life betrays or my spouse dies on me?
....Will my life stop after this?
....Will I be on the brink of death?
I would move on...not that I’d have much choice...but then I would manage to gather whatever would be left to start up again. It may not be grand...but it could still be good. That’s the phoenix...that’s in us all...to gather life from the ashes...It’s just that we don’t realize that we possess that potential and hence muster in fears. And what if the worst of worst happens...I die only...so what? There would be another life waiting for me to take the body of it...to be a child again...young...spirited...sheltered...free...
God’s with me!
I don’t need to sit in the temple or visit a holy place to reaffirm or proclaim my faith in God. I don’t need to tell on the rosary each day or close my eyes as though I’ve been transported to a different world when I croon the words of a ‘bhajan’. I will not become a greater follower of God by donating blankets or food to the less fortunate, if I do it with the motive that this would do “me” good.
It would be my way of offering my prayers if I do not hurt anyone as I tread on the path of my living...if I perform my duties...if I remain polite and smiling and spread cheer, where there lacks a smile...my aim is just to be a good human being at the end of the day!
If I do these...I can be sure that God is with me. He knows what I want better than me. He has a plan for me that is more fool proof than my own (obviously for HE is God for just that reason) or than that which has been imposed on me by my well wishers. I know God’s with me...very firmly do I know it and tell myself repeatedly...and nothing bad can happen to me.
So next time if I go for a crucial work...just as I leave home...let me tell Him... “Chalo ji, time to go for both of us... “I” am not going there by myself or by my will...you are taking me...so better be there and handle it all, ok?”
Strangely enough our mind is easy to convince...it would actually believe whatever we ourselves tell it again and again. It’s silly just like us...So it’s just the matter of what we tell it really!
Less is more!
The more we run after ‘more’ of things that buy us joy...the less we get more of things that bring us joy naturally and freely. An expanded business means less time with the family...more dieting and gyming means less heavenly pleasure derived out of chocolates and other delicacies. More money means less satisfaction derived of the joy of saving little by little for a long yearned purchase. Less is more...Don’t run after money and fame...it’s elusive and a never ending marathon...always luring you towards them with the bait of more...yet robbing you without being noticed of contentment. So we continue to be restless thinking of what we do not have, without realizing that at the very moment we are losing little by little what we do have...that is peace of mind!
I have to put myself into the other’s shoe before reacting!
I find my mother-in-law completely unreasonable...how can she talk like this or impose her will...I feel my boss is insane...he can be so humiliating...we all have pressures...he’s not the only one...I feel my father is being silly for not letting me go abroad for higher studies...it’s my life after all...
Why can’t they think like us?
...why can’t WE think like THEM for once?
Let’s put ourselves in their shoes...
If I was a mother-in-law (not like who I am, but like who she is) and I had a girl married to MY boy, who seems to be wanting to let her will prevail...I, who am used to authority all my life and living a regal existence where people bow down to my wishes...if I were such a person who’s seen elders only commanding and not considering...wouldn’t I also be unreasonable?
A sudden wave of revolt, as such, would shake my secure fort that I have built with care all my life...making me more defensive of myself and more offensive of others...
My boss is mean but he has targets to achieve and his job depends on it...he’s seen bosses like how he is now...he does not know how to get work done with politeness rather than with severity...he sees me as a threat and so naturally lashes out at me...
So there...before reacting with an explosion...
I need to realize that there’s the need for rethinking our strategy of dealing with such persons.
Coercion should give way to empathy...and some reminders would give us the motivation to hang in there:
1. If someone’s being bad to me...it’s his loss...it’s the nature of his fabric...it’s his upbringing...it’s his limitations...if I feel it is not my fault...I bloody well tell myself it isn’t. So pity the other and not curse him.
2. I have to keep on being nice...or just do my duties. I don’t want that when my life is about to close...finger should be raised at how I behaved...I may or may not get a chance then to defend myself or prove that I reacted in a certain way because I was provoked.
3. Silence is indeed golden! The more I try to justify, the more I get caught in a web that sinks me deeper in the mess. If I remain quiet I let the possible moment of provocation pass and can react when I and the other person is calmer. I also rob my opponent of giving him twenty statements more to pick them us as an issue to argue all over again at a later point.
4. Realize that some people achieve fulfilment by mocking or taunting others! They feel lighter when they vent out all their frustrations on a soft target, when they cannot explode at the source that deserves it. As such, if we just hear it out and not let it sink in...it does both party good...he’s said it and gone, feeling lighter and I have heard it and passed it out...feeling my job’s done!
5. If I am not getting something...it is for my own good and maybe when I would get it, I might not be able to handle it! Like I said earlier...what happens by my will is good...what happens by God’s will is better. I think I may deserve something but don’t realize that I possess the ability and systems to handle it if given. So till the time is not most conducive...I just have to wait or not think about it and go with the flow...
So Happy New Year friends!
Please keep telling yourself to count your blessings and not your tears! I asked my the helper at my gym today if he had a good new year’s eve...he said, “Haanji ma’m...chicken khaana ko mila...maza aa gaya”. So less is needed to make us happy...don’t broaden horizons of expectations. For every sad moment that may rattle your mind, displace it with happy ones that brought you serenity. Erase bad memories of persons who walked into your life and whenever you remember them, think only of the laughters that they left you with! Try to see good in others no matter what...and when we’ll try hard enough, we would actually see something there!
And lastly please tell yourself repeatedly “I am too blessed to be stressed!”
And may the forces transpire to make it come true!