Life without a mission is Omission
Life is not a mystery to be solved, but a mystery to be lived. Yet life poses many problems and the right way to live is to tackle the problems when small. Postponement of a problem is actually the problem. We often postpone a problem to such an extent that it becomes larger than us. People do not trip on mountains, but on molehills. It helps to remember that in the winter, beneath the heavy snow, lies the seed, that with the coming of spring will become the Rose. Have a positive attitude. Nothing will last forever, not even your problems. So while you have them, bear them gracefully. Convert problems into your teachers. Problems are nothing but opportunities in disguise. It opens the eyes of a person to limitations. In life you sometimes have to take a step back to be able to gain the momentum to leap further. Michel Quoist has said, "Tomorrow God isn't going to ask, what did you dream?, what did you think?, what did you plan?, He's going to ask, what did you do?." Only action bears the fruit. Today we live in a moment where change is so fast that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing. In this context we often neglect and miss so many beautiful moments. Experience and enjoy life as it comes to you. The intoxication of alcohol is not to be had by repeating the word alcohol even a thousand times! Coming back to the problems we face in day to day life. Well, they will always be there. There could be many falls to begin with; no child has walked in the first attempt. You don't necessarily have to be great to solve problems, but you have to solve to be great. Ultimately what you get by solving your problem isn't nearly as important as what you become by solving them. We all make our own roads and whether we enjoy the journey or suffer is up to us. Life takes the direction of our thought process. Your inner world can change the outer world. All the knowledge in the world would no good to you until you put it in action. Life is too precious, a gift and it is made of, yes, time. Whoever squanders time, squanders Life. To recall a small anecdote can bring out the importance of time. Once a beggar approached Yudhishtir for alms. Yudhishtir, not a generous person, pondered for a while and said, "Come tomorrow." On hearing this, Bhima, the not so intelligent brother went laughing to the town, saying." My brother has conquered Time. He has promised a beggar, a Tomorrow. Then Yudhishtir realized his folly, for tomorrow never comes, either he may not be there or the beggar may not come again. Don't leave things pending to destiny. Those who believe in the stars are doomed to suffer their indifference. G. B. Shaw in one of his play has mentioned, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. The people who get on this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them. Or then one has to learn to adjust, for in life we cannot change the direction of the wind. But we can always adjust the direction of our sails. When a situation around is bad, think that it could have been worse. And if the situation is really bad, think that since it is already so bad, it can only get better. Sometimes even your best efforts can fail, then accept it, for it is nothing but the raw material for future success. The beautiful rainbow needs both the rain and the sunshine.
Finally to key down, the manner of your living will dictate the manner of your dying. How you die will show how you have lived. A bow too tensely strung breaks easily under pressure. It is same with humans. Be relaxed and flexible.
The Times of India
May 1, 2004
Learn to be Free, To be Joyous
Each day is a chance to invest in life; a chance to renew yourself. To shed yesterdays skin.
To unburden yourself. To get rid of yesterdays hurt. Be glad of life each day as it gives you a chance to work, love and play; to look at the sun. And then when the sun sets, don't cry - the tears will make you miss the beauty of the stars.
Life moves on and if you don't stop and look at the wonders already present in your life, you will miss life altogether.
Think of big thoughts but relish the small joys life offers you each day. Maybe it's as simple as smiling at someone. For that could be the last day of life - for you or for her.
A small genuine act from you will cost you nothing but it could mean everything to somebody that day. Life is a succession of moments. Live each moment. Life has no romance without risk. Any action carries some amount of risk, may be less or more, but the element of risk is always present.
If there is no wind, row. Make things happen rather than let things happen. One can give nothing whatsoever without giving oneself, risking oneself. The most important thing in life is not what you get but what you give.
Once a preacher called at the home of a very poor family. When he came out, he found one son admiring his new car, so the preacher explained that he had received it as a gift from his brother.
Most lads would say, 'I wish I had a brother like that.'? But this one said, 'Mister, I wish I could be a brother like that.'?
If you are not enjoying this journey, for sure you won't enjoy the destination. It will become a moment to dread, not a moment you can actually look forward to. It's not what happens that determines our future, but what you do about what happens that counts.
Make the most of life. Earn all that you can, save all that you can, and give all that you can. Although greed comes from the desire to obtain something, it is not satisfied by obtaining. The true antidote of greed is contentment. Take yourself less seriously.
Conquer the mind and - you conquer the world. Looking back strains your neck muscles. Similarly, living in the past strains your life. Don't dwell on the past, have faith in yourself and you will have faith in others. Fulfil your destiny. Remember, no one can make you unhappy without your consent.
The way you cope with life, is what makes the difference. Even peace of mind is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it. You have to reach out to other people. That will teach you to forgive people and also forgive yourself.
Forgiveness means letting go of the past. Compassion is about stepping outside yourself. A kind compassionate act is often it's own reward. Live your life without complaining, just like the tree.
We cannot stop suffering in the world. But we can stop it in our mind, provided you know your mind, which is the source of negative thoughts. Only you can doctor your mind.
Your happiness is dependent on consistency. When you experience inconsistency you experience disappointments, resentments and self-pity, guilt and grief.
Learn to be free, learn to be joyous. Learn to let go if someone passes away, learn to forgive yourself and others. Once you are free, the fear of death will trouble you no longer.
“Who looks outwards, sleeps. Who looks inwards, awakes”, –a paradox made popular by Carl Jung that invites you to introspect. Most of us do not find the contentment we seek in life or relationships. At such times consider how a child behaves when the sand castle he has so lovingly built is broken by the ocean waves. There is no fear and no regret. The child known this will happen and is not in the least surprised.
Even the ocean thinks nothing of it. In fact regret robs us of yesterday and fear of tomorrow, and in the process we lose our today. Both the ocean and child know to whom the sand belongs. We need to salute the process of life and go on with no regrets. So go ahead and built a relationship but with a child’s heart.
The Buddha observed that all problems are mindmade. The solution lies there too. Problems are caused by wants and desires. Perhaps the solution lies in being desireless. Desires make you poor and vulnerable and it is for this reason that Plato defined poverty as not the absence of goods but rather the overabundance of desire.
Gratitude helps flip our perspective. Gratitude can turn the little we have in to enough. Gratitude can convert denial in to acceptance, chaos to order and confusion to clarity. Gratitude can turn a house into a home and even a stranger into a friend. Gratitude make sense of our past, brings peace for the present and the vision for future. But gratitude must be genuine, for a half seed does not germinate.
There are three essentials in life. One, something to do, second, something to love, and the last, something to hope for. When all three in place then your life carries meaning. Yet, never hate the place you are in, wherever you are in life. Every place under your feet is under the sun. you learn from there. And while you are there, you are at the centre of the world-your world.
And what of your mission in life? I would say that one’s purpose is just about anything that touches one’s heart, that makes one feel good about oneself and ultimately makes the difference to one. If that difference to you can be achieved by making a difference to someone, then take that route. But see to it that you act from your heart-always and every time and in everything you do. The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. Unfortunately too many of us live from the mind.
One secret of life that needs to be closely looked at is self love and self value. The value of a diamond is not determined by what people use it for but by what it is made up of. Whatever the use it is put to, it will not affect its value. Like the diamond, anyone who knows how much he or she is valued, does not struggle to get people to value them and would also not allow situations and challenges to keep them down.
Finally, in life never seek to understand so that you may believe, but always believe so that you may understand. Believe in your inner voice, believe in your heart. The longest journey is the journey within.