Vocation As Vacation

Why do most of us find life boring, even depressing? The robotic pattern of waking up every morning, rushing to work and going through the motions at work can be mind numbing. What is lacking is inspiration. To be inspired you need to expand your mind. Think beyond yourself. Have a vision beyond your individual needs and aspirations and encompass global well being. This vision must translate into a goal that is pursued with relentless focus, deep devotion and hard work. Then you will be so fulfilled at work that you will no longer need a week end. The annual vacation will become redundant as you vocation becomes a source of joy and excitement.

When you do not have a higher ideal, your thoughts gravitate to just your well being. You become obsessed with yourself and fail to see anything beyond the next meal, the next movie to watch. Every other person becomes a competitor. You feel insecure. You imagine, everyone else is out to get you. All your energies get wasted trying to protect yourself from imaginary enemies. Cut off from reality, you sink into an abysss of self-pity, self-obsession and finally self-destruction.

On the other hand, the moment you think beyond yourself, you feel energised, enthusiastic, exhilarated. A higher ideal unlocks your potential, releases energy and gives happiness. All selfish people are unhappy. Selflessness is the key to happiness. The world needs highly skilled people. We need ordinary people with extra ordinary motivation. You can achieve exceptional results if you are inspired with a higher ideal. Replacing inspiration with information has lead to knowledge being viewed as drudgery, rather than as a pleasure.

The highest inspiration is the spiritual goal. How many of us wake up inspired, looking forward to a day of service? Life changes magically from boredom to excitement when you are inspired to serve. Inspiration gives ordinary people courage and hope to make life better for themselves and for future generations. Find inspiration and life will transform into an exciting adventure of self-discovery.

In A World of Challenges

The fact is that our world is full of problems. Philosophers call it the problem of evil. But it is a case of wrong nomenclature. It is to give a negative name to a positive phenomenon.  Problems are there, but problems are not evil; they are challenges. The only meaningful explanation of this phenomenon is to take problems as challenges.

This phenomenon can be explained by keeping in mind the creation plan of the Creator. There is a difference between the human and material world. According to the creation plan, the material world has no freedom of choice. The course of the material world is pre-determined while man is free to make his choices. It is this difference that creates problems that can be viewed positively.

The concept of self-development does not exist in the material world. Man, on the other hand, was born with great potential. And this potential can be realised in difficult circumstances. It is only in circumstances of pressure that man’s hidden potential can be turned into actuality. Terming these difficult circumstances as evil is a result of lack of understanding the Law of nature.

On planet earth, the gravitational pull exists in the right proportion. This pull is so important that without it civilisation could never have come into existence. But this blessing of the Creator remained unknown to man until the physicist Isaac Newton received shock treatment from nature. According to a well known story, he was hit on the head by an apple when he was sitting under the apple tree in his garden. Through this “hit” nature was, as if, saying in silent language, “O man, why don’t you think. If you think you will come to learn a great reality.”

In this respect, everyone is like Newton. Everyone is born with great treasure in his mind. But, every person needs a shock treatment. This is the course of nature and there is no exception in this regard. Without passing through this course, a person’s mind will not unfold and he will not be able to achieve great success.

If an “apple” hits your head, do not take it in the negative sense, but know that it has hit your head to make your mind a super mind. Take it as a wakeup call-that a new day is dawning upon you.

Neither Your Decision Nor Mine

In our day to day life we are constantly faced with formidable task of making choices. The choice we make is sometimes influenced by instant gratification, at other times by a sense of responsibility but quite often it is nothing more than mere adherence to a routine. Decision making is not made any easier by the mind that tends to vacillate even so often. In fact, could compound the problem. It conjures all sorts of brilliant rational, reasons and justifications for that moment’s indulgence.

There is a streak in us that un-forgivingly assaults the conscience with strictures that tends to dwarf your self-esteem. Life inevitably becomes a sea-saw that alternates between hedonism and virtue, pleasure and pain and between self castigation and achievement. Most of the decisions that we make are fraught with short term implications. And the stakes are not very high as well.

There are times when we are faced with crunch situations. And the decision we make could alter the course of not just our life but also impact the lives of others. As the stakes rise, so does the hesitation. The head and heart seem to wrestle each other for supremacy. The left brain keeps a strict debit and credit account of every alternative. The right brain pops up with very intuitive suggestions. The ego cautions one about what “the others” will say.

Amidst the jumble of voices the soul gets hushed and so remains unheard or unheeded. Repeated attempts to evoke audibility above all the din makes it barely discernible. The voice of the soul or the inner voice needs amplification. The voice within is the voice that helps you blend reality with dreams. It harmonises the internal and the external. It is holistic mix of practicality and possibility.

The feeling of being in total control while making a decision is an illusion because our decisions are based largely on circumstances. The circumstances are beyond our control however powerful one might be. A decision is a way out of a maze of circumstances. We certainly cannot design the maze as per our choice. The impact of the situational maze restricts our decision making to a very narrow bandwidth of exercising our choice.

Remedy for Peace

You are the cloud
You are the rain
You are the healer
You are the pain

Most physical pain and illness is self injected. Naturally the healing has to come from within, from one’s own self. We hurt and harm ourselves with negative thoughts and energy. The cure has to come from heart and mind. Like garbage at home, the mind too accumulates garbage of two kinds, stinking wet garbage and dead dry garbage. The wet garbage is hate, envy, prejudice and ill feelings. The dry garbage is regrets, hurt, pain and mistakes committed in the past.

The past is dust, for how long will you gather it. The pain may become sores and numb nerves and for how long you will nurse it. Somewhere you have to delink yourself from the past and come back to the present. This you have to do for two reasons. One reason is that you remain healthy physically. All disease comes from the mind. Whenever we are ill, we should check with ourselves who is it that we need to forgive. And the second reason is to get rid of internal garbage, to live in peace mentally. All these grudges, hurt and pain cause turbulence in the mind leading to anger and frustration. We have to be free from both in order to be in harmony with our surroundings

You may call this goal happiness. The easiest way to reach there is to dispose of your mental garbage. To get rid of the accumulated garbage is through practice of forgiveness. Disconnecting yourselves from the past purifies the mind, creating space for peace and harmony in the present while writing the script for the future. The other way is to sit in silence before a lit lamp and forgive those who have insulted, humiliated, harmed and hurt you.

There are three stages of forgiveness. The first is to forget verbally in a prayer. The second is to think positively about them. Thirdly you should do something that is good for them. Also you have to seek forgiveness of yourself. Forgiveness lifts the burden of the mind and creates space within. By forgiving one can destroy past evil Karmas and create a clean space to write one’s future destiny.

Better Life Vs Bitter Life

Are you among those who feel they are victims and that success is elusive? You have to learn not to be a victim, but a victor. You have become victim to you psychological patterns, your idiosyncrasies. These patterns, so often represent your failures, which do not allow you to celebrate outer success. Hence, in spite of success, you experience failures.

When you carry your hatred inside your mind and heart for long, your hatred will spoil your mind and heart. Learn to drop hatred as soon as possible. Your life, so often, is spoilt due to your differences with others. Differences with others need not end up as hatred. Differences are just differences, but the moment the mind gives them a name tag of hatred, mind and heart get polluted.

We are so often a product of society; human beings are social beings. We are impacted by social expectation. You have to be alert not to become a slave to society and at the same time respect society. You have to relate intelligently to society, lest you become a social slave. When you become a slave to society, you are afraid of society. Such fear will make your life ineffective.

With fear, you will not be able to discern facts of life. With fear, your perception will be distorted. Then instead of the actuality of life, only the illusion of life will be experienced. You have to drop fear. Then you will comprehend facts as facts, otherwise fear will distort facts to fit into its manipulations.

Also you tend to become victim to your inner conclusions, inner beliefs, and these could dominate your life. Your mind is not free from the victimisation by all the inner conclusions and beliefs and the external impact of society. If you are a victim of your conclusions, then your thinking is not free, it is bound. Such a bound mind can never think differently.

In management one talks of “out-of-the-box thinking”. So you can free yourself from conclusion and beliefs and operate from openness. All this needs psychological alertness, but most of us are psychologically lazy, We don’t want to change. It is easy to follow what has been decided. You need strength to think differently and not to allow fear to guide your life. You will do business better and live a better life rather than a bitter life.

The Beginning Has A Bearing On Your Future

There is an English proverb, “The end justifies the means”. Perhaps there is another more relevant principle which may be expressed thus: “The end justifies the beginning”. It is the end result that proves whether the beginning was right or wrong. Many people begin their lives with great enthusiasm. But the latter period of their life has proved that their beginning was not the right one. Their case was a case of miscalculation, rather than one of right calculation.

Certain individuals start out in life with high hopes, but fail to achieve their goal and then die in a state of frustration. In the beginning they were hopeful, but in the end they died in a state of utter hopelessness. “Right here, right now” is a formula of life that has gained popularity in the present age. Happiness in the present is not the criterion of success. The right criterion is whether a person is able to maintain his happiness and sense of satisfaction right to the end of his life.

The right formula of life is that which can give a person satisfaction till the end of life, and not just for a temporary period. The pattern of human life will be judged by what it turns out to be in its final days. Never make the mistake of planning for life by taking only immediate gain into consideration. You should always plan by keeping the future in mind. An individual should first discover his own self and then plan accordingly for his life. People generally set their goals out of zeal, but this is certainly not a mature way of making decisions.

The better way to decide one’s goal is to understand the realities of life, and then act in accordance with them. Failure to do so is the main reason for people dying in frustration after having set out full of enthusiasm: when they set themselves goals, it was under the influence of emotions, without due consideration. Such a plan does not work for long. It is like a sand castle which is destined in the long run to fall apart.