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Saturday, April 30, 2011

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Back to the future was an interesting movie but it had to do more with the past. We all have our back to the future. Today, some how I started remembering my early years as a child and what influence it has had on my life and work. It is said that as you grow and over time, the memories of childhood get faded. I some how have very strong childhood memories and am able to recollect events and incidents back to my age of 4 to 5 years.

I was born in a small village of Pratapgarh district of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Life in the village as I remember, it was very exciting and full of learning. Today, I want to write about memories of my early school days, may be some one out there can benefit from it. I studied in the school village till class 4 and for all of us at the village; going to school was a fun activity. Now we are talking about the 1960-63 time-frame. I remember that my village area consisted of about 150 families and most of them worked on our farms as labor. About 90 percent of these families belonged to the Scheduled Caste category. All the children of the village attended the village school under a tree. Irrespective of the caste all of us were together playing and studying. I do not have any memories of discrimination among the children and we were free from it.

Every morning we would wait for Munshi ji (that is what I remember calling the teachers) to pass by my village on way to the school. All the children would follow him and talk to him till we all reached the school. The morning walk to the school was about 1-1.5 miles. We all had special affection and respect for Munshi ji and we all learnt immensely from him not just on the subject matter but about life in general. Munshi ji taught us to value life and to respect the creation of God, but he did it in a way that made a place in our minds and hearts. He had instructed us that every morning when we leave for school with him, we should carry with us a packet of broken wheat or rice. As we traveled the path to the school, he wanted us to keep feeding the ants on the way. We used to have a lot of fun in this exercise and we would track the movement of the ant colonies everyday. We had got so used to the changes in the pattern of the movements of the ants. Munshi ji used to stop by at times at one of the ant colonies and give us some lesson on life. Now I realize what he was saying at that time, probably it did not make sense at that time. But then that is what real education is all about.

He gave us lessons on the power of observation by helping us focus on the how the ant colonies function? He talked to us about the power of teamwork and how the ants were able to get together and move big pieces of food into their colonies. He taught us lessons to conserve and store for the rainy days as the ants do for themselves. Some times he would stop by at the ant colony and would say let me show you something. He would then take his walking stick and put it on the path of the ants. We would observe it for sometimes and see how the ants would, in a few minutes find a new path around the walking stick to reach their colony. Was he teaching us lessons on facing adversity and challenge? Was he trying to show us how we can find our path even when we are faced with obstacles in life?

He showed us the path to protect the nature and value the creation of God. I remember one of the days, we found a bird which had been attacked by an eagle and had been hurt in the process. We spent about half hour with Munshi ji in helping the bird find a safe place with food. We all nursed the bird for the next one week till it could fly back in its own world. Learning to us was not only about academics but it was about lessons of life and living through examples that we are unable to forget today. So as I reflect back on those early years of my village schooling, a though just runs through my mind. Where are those teachers like Munshi ji who could make such an impact on their students? I am sure that my Munshi ji will be tossing and turning in his grave at the state of education and the attitude of the teachers today.

These lessons are not taught even at Harvard, they are only available in our villages in the remotest possible places on the globe.

Lesson: you can make a difference as a teacher but you will have to think like Munshi Ji.



Thursday, April 28, 2011

FROM IMPERFECTIONS TO THE STATE OF PERFECTION

This blog is based on some random thought that come to my mind many a times, but I never got around to write about it.

We have all from time to time thought about our own state of imperfections as human beings. We are full of flaws. The fact that we as humans have emotions makes us very vulnerable to errors of judgment. The thought that comes to mind is that since we are imperfect and those imperfections are derived to a large extent by the degree of our emotions, it is possible for us to move towards a state of perfection if we can control our emotions. Let me take an example here: Let us say that there is some one very close to you son/daughter/spouse/father who has committed a crime and you are aware of the crime. Even though you know that the crime has been committed by the person close to you, how is it that we try and hide it or support the person? I guess we are emotional about our relation with the person. We know that this is wrong but we still do it. This is what I call as inbuilt system imperfection due to emotions within us.  So that leads me to an important question on a more philosophical level. If we as humans are imperfect due to our emotions, then it is the presence of emotions within us that makes us do right or wrong.

Many people have told me and I have read about it that God is perfect. Does it mean that God is free from emotions? If that be the case then God cannot be moved by what we do or not do as he is free from emotions and is a perfect being. Does that mean that it is possible for humans to move from the state of imperfection to a state of perfection and achieve the status of God? All indications are that this may be possible. Going back into history and looking at humans such as Gautama Buddha or Mahavir who have attained the status of God. Were they humans who reached the state of perfection. Probably they achieved a state that is not easy for humans to achieve. Will Mahatma Gandhi achieve such a status in about 200 years because he did things that are not easily done by ordinary people? The answer may be yes...

I do not claim that through the above examples I am trying to prove that they all reached the level of perfection that is required to achieve the status of God. I am just trying to understand if it is possible for ordinary humans to move towards a state of perfection in a given life time. One other area that comes to mind is that if emotions are the key hurdle in the path of perfection, then God cannot be emotional, God has to be fair to all his subjects (remember that everyone is equal in the eyes of God..I am sure you have heard of it). If that be the case then God has to be emotionless. He cannot be moved by your prayers or you cannot make him do things on the basis of your actions or inactions. He will probably let you rewrite you destiny by your actions.

Now let’s get back to us as human beings. I believe that we have the power to move towards a state of perfection, but most of us live in material world and reaching that level of perfection is not going to be easy. But we can all make efforts to try and travel that path to the extent that will result in fulfillment to each of us to some degree. Let us take example from our own life and work. We have all come across situations where we have supported the promotion of a person in the work place because it happens to be our friend. But within us (hear the inner voice) we may feel that the other person is more deserving. Are our emotions at play here again, I feel that it is. It is our inability to keep control over our emotions that makes us do things that may not be right. So the first lesson is to try and be fair with people irrespective of the emotional attachments. I cannot claim to be a saint and most people would not fit that bill either but we can try and make efforts to move towards perfection

I know that achieving perfection is not an easy task and it will require us to give up so many things that we treasure so much. So the effort should be just to move one step ahead in path to perfection.

Continue to discover the path to perfection….

Monday, April 25, 2011

WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD

As I said in my previous blog, I am not a very religious person but that does not mean that I do not believe in GOD. I feel the concept of God and religion are something very personal to me as an individual and I do not need to indulge in public debate on it. We all have our rights to believe or not believe in certain philosophies. The only thing that we need to make sure is that we do not make any value judgments on the basis of our own pre-conceived notions about God and Religion. First we need to learn to respect the beliefs of all whether we like it or not and even of those who ideals are in contradiction to our own beliefs.
Here I would like to address the issue of God, from my personal point of view. In doing so, I do not claim that I am right or that everyone should believe in what I am saying. It is just my way of looking at life in a larger context and how I draw strength from the unknown source of power. I don’t want to go into a discussion of existence of God itself as it would be self defeating and that is not the intent at this point of time. I believe that there is a power somewhere that controls everything. We may call it by any name that we chose to for our purpose. What is relevant for me at this time is to try and answer some of the questions raised in my previous blog “In the Name of God”.
I have visited many temples over the last so many years, but I have visited equal number of Churches, Mosques and other religious places of different faiths. I go to these places to find peace for myself, to find a place where I can focus on who I am and what am I doing. I do not go there to ask for anything because I don’t believe that God lives there or at the least that is not the only place where he lives. He is above all and is there everywhere. If we believe in the writings of the Holy book “The Geeta” then God is everywhere at all times. He is in you, in me in the trees and the animals, the air, the water etc. The concept of Dharma is critical to understanding the Hindu Religion. If we are created for a purpose, then it is our dharma to work to find the purpose of this life and work towards that achievement. If we devote all our energy to that very purpose, then that is the most sacred worship to the God. It is the devotion to our work and the honesty with which it is executed that is dharma and worship. Our scriptures clearly state that God himself says that if you do your duty in a rightful way then it would be the ideal form of devotion and worship to me. So do we need to go to temples and churches to worship? The answer is still the same that it depends on what you feel comfortable with. But at the same time don’t make any value judgments’ about those who don’t feel that it is important to go to temple to worship. They may find God inside themselves and let them continue with their devotion in their own way. It is also important that we delink rituals and religion so that we have a better perspective on the subject.
I find a lot of peace with God and have always believed that he wants me to do whatever I do in the utmost honest way with sincere effort. I have neither had any issues with those that find their own ways to reach out to God or even those that feel it is not important to them. Let us leave it to each individual to chart their own destiny and the path for him to reach or not reach God. Let religion be very personal to all of us and let us not judge anyone on this basis. I feel that the main purpose of Religion is to unite everyone, if we don’t achieve that, we have not understood it at all.
Let heavenly thoughts be with you

Sunday, April 24, 2011

RIGHT IN FRONT OF GOD....HAVE WE LOST IT.....???

Although I am not a very religious person, being in Mumbai, today I decided to go to the Siddhi Vinayak Temple. Despite it being a Sunday, the place was crowded and the lines were running to some distance. I decided to take my chances and collected the courage to forge ahead. I decided to take the flowers and other things that are required for the pooja to be performed. I headed to the entrance of the temple and was being accompanied by the man who sold me the flowers. As we came close to the entrance I saw a big line for entry tickets. The flower man told me that I had to buy an entry ticket for Rs. 50/. He also told me that if I wanted to enter as a VIP then the ticket would be Rs.1001/ or that he could arrange for me to enter as a VIP by paying him just Rs.500/. He would then call his contact who would take us inside the temple and I would not have to wait.

I started to get some interest in his bargain knowing that he will never get it from me; I would rather leave the temple, but would not enter by paying money. Well I was fortunate that my wife was with me. She is generally the more vocal among the two of us and she does not like to be taken for a ride. She just decided to walk up to a group of policemen who were standing at the entrance where the tickets were being sold and asked them of the details of the types of tickets. The policeman told us that there is only one ticket and that is for Rs. 50/, there are no VIP tickets for Rs. 1001/. He also told us that be careful these people at the flower shop are there to fool the visitors coming from outside Mumbai. Finally, knowing that we were visitors to the city the policeman asked us to get in to the temple and have the darshan. This was a new face of a policeman I could see. Under normal circumstances you would expect them to be hand-in-glove with the touts.

I started recollecting several of my previous visits to temples in various parts of India, such as Mathura, Vrindavan, Tirupati, etc. There is one common element that comes across in all such religious centers and that is the lack of fear of God. Right under the nose of God all types of corrupt and unethical practices to deceive people are being committed. The general feeling is as if, it is all acceptable to the Gods or maybe there is a feeling that at the end of the day they could ask for forgiveness for whatever sin has been committed during the whole day.

India is considered to be the cradle of civilization, a place where religion emerged and the greatest of epics were written. We are supposed to be very God fearing people..  so what has gone wrong with our society. Corruption has got into every aspect of our life and it has not left even the great temples and religious centers of the country. Right in front of God and in his name we are willing to lie and cheat innocent visitors. I am unable to digest that we as people have started to degenerate so fast and are heading towards a disintegration of moral values which are so essential for any society.

This is one of the main reasons that I do not go to Temples or religious places. I cannot accept such evil taking place right in front of God and no one cares anymore. I think we all need to introspect and look within us and see if we are all individually and collectively responsible for such things taking place in our society. Some where the Indian value system seems to be giving way to new thinking where making money is the only important thing irrespective of the means used for the same. Here I am not talking of politicians and people at positions of power, but of ordinary people. This is the worst form of corruption, where the ordinary man becomes corrupt and corruption is from the top to the bottom. In most societies we expect politicians and leaders to be corrupt, but in general the common man is honest and that is what makes life worth living for all. Unfortunately, we in India have got corruption rooted to the bottom of the core of society. It will take God to take birth again in our society as stated in our scriptures…

Happy waiting for God to be born…









CHASING MONEY

Its 6:30 in the morning sitting in my room at the Taj President Mumbai, I am gazing at the beauty of the vast ocean which seems endless. The ocean view is somewhat obstructed by the tall tower with a helipad that is the current house of the Ambani Brothers (that is what I have been told by my cab driver).  We have all heard the story of the rise of the Ambani’s and where they are today. But let us go back to the early years when Senior Ambani was still trying to make it in life. He probably never thought that one day he will create an empire so vast that generations can live on it and millions can benefit from it.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this subject and wanted to share with you my thoughts on work and wealth. Many of the things I am writing are from my own personal experiences as well as the experiences of people around me. We are all aware that money is an important factor that determines our standard of living and our ability to provide for our families. Many times we are in such a rush to attain that status of having everything so fast in life that we begin to cross the boundaries of ethical behavior. The concept of too much money too fast is what most of us try to push in life so as to enable us to enjoy the benefits from it for a longer time. I have never denied the important role that money plays in giving us the comforts of material life. In fact I would like to meet some people who feel money is not important but I have never had a chance to meet such people. But there is a difference in how I look at money vs how many people would think about it and probably that is what makes the difference between being happy and unhappy.

I have come across so many people who say that life has not been fair with them because they did not make it big by their definition. I have always felt that life is always fair but much depends on what is your comparison or benchmark. We have to remember that no matter where we are in life.. there are some people who are below us in the social strata that we create for our self. Life will always be unfair if your comparison is always at the top. Sometimes it is ok for all of us to begin to be happy with our stature but not be satisfied with it. The dissatisfaction with the current state can help us move our work life in a direction which can change the course of our life.

In the early years of my life when I was trying to raise a family with very small amount of income, times were tough. I however, never felt the urge to make it big too fast. I knew that I have to go through the rough grind that is necessary to achieve what I wanted in life. I did not want to chase money during those years. In one instance I made a decision to change a job where my income fell by over 70 percent. That decision changed my life for the better and I never looked back again. I was too heavily focused on the achievement of my objectives relating to work and the organizations I was associated. I never worked for anyone, I always felt that I was doing something for myself and probably that is what provided the platform for my growth. Somehow the money came to me as and when I needed it. I still get surprised with people who feel that they need so much money to take a job. The fact is all of us need that kind of money..but do we deserve it. If money comes without work, it will not last for too long and somewhere in life you will have to pay for it.

Money that comes to you as a result of your hard work and efforts is what stays with you and gives you and your family happiness. While you work and get paid at the end of the month, you should carry the feeling that I earned this money. I know of so many people who feel that one more month of salary without work and they keep moving from one job to another trying to fool the next employer. This does not take you anywhere in life. It is very important that every rupee that you bring home is hard earned money and it is a return for the efforts that we have made to make things happen for our organizations.
Don’t be in a rush to make money too fast, you are more likely to try and find the wrong ways of doing it. It is important that you enjoy every phase of growth in your life and create a success story for yourself and not compare it to anyone. We need to write our own story the way we want it. One of the important lessons that I have learnt in life is that money runs away if you are going to try and chase it all the time, but it begins to chase you when you begin to let go of it and focus on your work and dream.

Happy reading…

Monday, April 11, 2011

TODAY IS MY BEST BET IN LIFE

Whether we like it or not, when we wake up in the morning we have thoughts of yesterday, today and tomorrow and these keep us on the edge of our seat. At times our yesterday begins to haunt us, at other times it is our today that keeps us in a state of suspended animation and then at times we are so confused about our tomorrow. These three phases of life are so relevant for our existence as human beings. But how do we manage our self so as to be able to get the best from what life has in stock for us.
Let us try and take each of these in isolations so as to get a better perspective on it. First, think of your yesterday, good or bad it is already passed by and cannot be changed. It is important to learn from yesterday as that can help us decide our actions today. If we believe that life is a chain of sequences and each event has a domino effect, it is important to make an assessment of where we can change the course of our life for better. But spending too much time on thinking about the events of the past will only get us into deeper negative zones. If your yesterday bothers you too much find someone to talk with. Don’t keep it to yourself as it can lead to loss of faith in self.
If we think of the future and most of us are in this habit (especially students and the young). The concern is about the unknown. But if you think of it, if we knew and had answers to everything in this world, the existence of GOD would be a big question mark. I do not intend to hurt the religious feeling of anyone and this should be taken as a purely academic and intellectual discussion. For many people GOD appears when their physical and mental powers begin to decline. Probably they have stopped thinking of the future the way they thought of it when they were younger. Coming back to our discussion, I have always felt that we do not have much control over our past but we certainly have all control over our future. Future is so much interlinked to my today that if I only think of the future, I probably will not be able to be where I want to be in the future.
If what I do today, will to a large extent determine my tomorrow, then most of my efforts in life should be focused on that. So how should I live my life today? Well we all have our own way of thinking about it. I just want to share my thoughts with you and hope it works for you. First, do we know the path that we want to travel? This is not easy question and probably there are no readymade answers either. But one of the things that I have believed is that if there is GOD and he created every one of us then there must have been a purpose for that creation. In that event life is really an unending search for that purpose. This makes my living life very easy. I don’t know what that purpose is but then anything that I do every day could be part of that grand design of GOD. My effort then is to do the best I can in everything that I do whether at work, home, community etc. It is not the expectation of the reward or the return that makes me do it but it is the pursuance of the great design to shape the future events in my life.  So if I continue to do everything I do with conviction, integrity and utmost honesty as a service towards that grand design of the divine, it is but natural that all the pieces of the puzzle will begin to fall in place. Remember that we can run away from everything in life but we cannot run away from our self. So utmost honesty to self is more important than to anyone else and we are not here to prove this to anyone except our self.
It is important that we put in our best each day in everything that we do. May be one of those is what we are supposed to be doing. At the end of the day we should feel that we have made a difference to our life or that of some else and thus society as a whole is better off. If you live a life in this way, you fall asleep and have good night sleep. This may be our last sleep as we don’t know if we will wake up tomorrow morning. If you do get up in the morning, thank God that you have another bonus day and begin the change process all over again. If we continue to work and live life this way, I find that all doors begin to open for us everywhere in life and the future begins to be defined by what you do each day. By the way don’t worry about the money; it will come every time you are going to need it. One of the lessons I have learnt in my life is that the more you chase money, the further it goes away from you; the less you focus on it the more it begins to chase you in life.
Keep your focus on today and do the best you can do and always remember that your best is yet to come.
WEALTH WITHOUT WORK DOES NOT STAY WITH YOU
Happy reading

Saturday, April 9, 2011

RELATIVE UNHAPPINESS

To me happiness is a state of mind and much depends on the conditions in which we live on a daily basis. That does not mean that we can always in all circumstance control the full extent of our emotions, but the extent to which our emotions fluctuate can certainly be controlled. I do believe that at times we will be unhappy with things around us and with ourselves. I have found two sources of unhappiness that we are all confronted with each day in our life; it is for us to take charge and decide how we want to deal with them. The first source is not being to get things the way you may want or not being able to control an event that affects you directly. The second source is when your unhappiness is relative to the happiness or sorrow of others around you.

Here I am concerned about the second source which I term as “relative unhappiness”. Ideally we should all be able to enjoy the success of other people. I for one have always enjoyed when people around me have achieved success and moved on in their life. In my small way I try to push them to that target when possible, if they have the competency for it. But then I have also learnt that no one feels that they are not competent, and they feel they deserve the best in life.

Let us take a few examples that we can all relate with from our daily life. We all work for some organization or the other to keep our life and family going. Now we have a new employee who joins the organization. He has gone through all processes of recruitment. I ask him what it would take in terms of compensation to keep him/her happy and to take care of their family responsibility. I go ahead and give the person what they ask for and he/she joins the organization. A month after his/her joining he finds that another person in the organization gets more salary than him. All of a sudden the person becomes so unhappy about it. We also have situations that one individual in the organization gets promotion and the others become unhappy about it.   What is it that makes us so unhappy about it? What is the source of this relative unhappiness? I am sure you can come up with a lot of examples of such sources of unhappiness. We all need to understand that every individual is different and they will command a different compensation. No two individuals are the same and thus compensations can never be the same.

Let me give you another example from my life. Once I asked one of my employees to tell me what level of salary increase he was expecting this year. He gave me a figure and I asked him/her if this will make him happy and keep him motivated. He said yes and I decided to give him that increase. He was taken aback and was very pleased about it. The next day I found him to be engaged in deep though, I asked him, if everything was ok with him and that he looked very unhappy. He did not say anything. Later I was told that he was unhappy that another person in the same organization at the same level had also received the same salary increase. I was unable to understand the speed of shift from a state of happiness for what he had achieved to a state of unhappiness due to what someone else had achieved.
 These are just a few examples of relative unhappiness; they are not directly caused by our own actions or what is happening in our own life. I cannot say that in some instances a person may feel let down due to an element of bias in decision making and that can cause this unhappiness. But I have always felt that this is a very small percentage that we come across in our life.

I believe that this source of unhappiness is very painful and self defeating. It can hamper your growth as it is likely to lower your efficiency and performance. The ideal situation and course of action would be to try and reflect back and understand if what you have got in life is what you deserve and not be too concerned about what others age achieving (in a negative way). It is good to learn from them and to understand how they achieved it rather than to spend the whole time being unhappy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

We all see the world the way we like to see it and this is probably based on our own thinking. Winston Churchill once said that “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  

During the time that I have been working, I have had the opportunity to meet a large number of people. Some of these people happen to be some of the unhappy people I have met. These people find a problem in everything. In fact it is so difficult to find anything positive about them or what they think. Once I had the opportunity to have a co-worker Vishal Dogra (Name Changed) who reported directly to me. The unique characteristic of Vishal was his attitude towards work and work culture. Throughout the day all he did was to just crib about anything and everything around, from people, to the place. When I realized that things were going out of control, I invited him to have a cup of coffee with me which he gladly accepted.

During the course of our discussion I raised the issue of his negative vibrations at the work place. I asked him if there was anything wrong with the place of work and he said yes everything was wrong and there was no work culture here. He went on to say that he hates to be here, he hates the people and the work. I realized that this is a major problem and it needs a serious handling of the situation. I changed the topic and started discussing about his family and children. When I felt that he was fully involved in the discussion of his family, I asked him why you don’t leave this job if you hate the people and the place. He paused for a while.. gave a thought to my question and said Sir.. I need the money.

I asked him, so you feel the money helps you in taking care of your family responsibility and how difficult it would be if he did not have this money. He looked at me and said yes that is true. So tell me how can something that takes care of your family, provides the food on the dining table, ensures that your kids can attend a good school be so bad, I asked. He just looked at me as if something had hit him so hard. He looked at me and I could see traces of tears in his eyes.  I said look, you need to look at life in a more realistic way. Everything that looks bad is only because that is what you want to see. The day you begin to understand that you are not the center of the universe and you are just a small part of this large puzzle, you will begin to find so many things to be positive about in life every day.

I spent a lot of time discussing these issues with Vishal over a period of time. I kept stressing the need to change the way he looks at life. I felt that there was something in his early upbringing that had created the negativity in him.

The reality is that we in our daily life tend to forget the basics of living life in a positive way. We are blessed to be born to be what we are and it is important to first like yourself to like others. Those who are negative about themselves, they will always fail to see anything positive in others or the world at large. Always remember that there are so many “Vishals” that we will come across, give them a helping hand and things might change, if not ..at the least you tried your best.

There is so much power in positive thinking and the best part of it is that is not a science but an art and thus it can be acquired. Try to be positive everyday no matter what the odds are. You will see the world and its people in a different colour.


Monday, April 4, 2011

THE LOOKING GLASS

It is often said that we are a reflection of our own thinking. I am sure that we have all at one point or the other stood in front of the mirror to look at our self. How fascinated we get by out outer self, the part that is clearly visible to us. Think of the time when you tried to look at yourself in the mirror to see your inner self. Has it ever brought in you the thought of knowing who you really are and what makes you the way you are?

Well the problem is that we are so engrossed in our outer self that we forget that the real person in each of us get no time from our schedule. This leaves the real us living in a state of confusion and always in confrontation with the outer self. The point I am trying to drive is that we are all made of two different individuals, one that we recognize and the other that we choose not to recognize. These can also be termed as our physical self and the spiritual self. The physical self always looks at achieving the material pleasures of life and the spiritual self always looks to achieving the higher order or the divine. It is our ability to map the two into one frame of thinking so as to get the best out of us. This process of merging of the two different individuals keeps us on track and helps us move in the right direction.

I am sure we have all come across situations where there is a major confrontation between our outer self and the Inner self. In all such situations there is a conflict between the right and the wrong. It is important to hear to your inner voice during such situations and to remember that unless our two voices, of the outer and inner self are on the same plane, we may be heading in the wrong direction.

This brings us to a point where introspection of the self become one of the most critical elements in leading a life full of joy and happiness. To me introspection is nothing but the art of seeing yourself as an outsider, to analyze your actions and deeds as a third party. Once you begin to develop this skill you will find that many of life’s problems are open to solutions. You will begin to see the right path and discover the hidden secrets and strengths within yourself. Living in the fast lane has its pitfalls, we forget who we are and what we are made to be, we just become what situation demands us to become.

So how do we begin to achieve this higher order? Well one way to start is to begin to take just ten minutes every day to think about you. Get into the habit of concentration and try to focus your attention at the center of the top of your head and not on the forehead as you normally do during meditation. Slowly you will begin to see yourself surrounded by light. This is the best time to start reflecting on you. You will find great strength and see a change in how you lead your life.

Happy Reflections….

  



TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE


Over the last 25 years I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with students. The interactions I have had with them have left a lasting impact on my life and work. There have been great success stories and some failures as well. Despite all efforts from my end I could not turn around some of them and that is always going to be my biggest regret in life. But in this process of success and failures I learnt that there are so many things in life that are not in your control and there is not much you can do about them. However, there are so many things that are in our control and we fail to take advantage of them at the right time.

Why am I writing this note? Because just a few days back one of my students told me that I am becoming very philosophical these days.  Well there is nothing new in the way I have always thought, it is just that I feel now that I need to start sharing my thought more openly.

We are today, faced with a major transition in our social structure and when you begin to speak the truth it some how takes the shape of philosophy. This is more so because I dont think truth has much value to most people. It sounds like preaching but the fact is that there will be no change in what constitutes" TRUTH". It is for each of us to determine the degree of truth we can live with or without. Once a student asked me.. If you could relive your life what would it be like. My answer is still the same that I would not like to change it a bit.. because if I did change it..you would not be part of my life as a student and that I would not like to happen. I do find that sometimes many of my students have always felt that they are not responsible for any of their actions and that others are responsible for everything that goes wrong. This is what keeps them away from success stories that are written in books of history.

The more I think about what determines success, the more I begin to feel that dependence on destiny is the biggest barrier to growth and success. We are many a times too hung up on good luck and bad luck concepts. But we also know that even GOD helps only those who help themselves. It is possible and I cannot dispute this, as I cannot dispute the existence of GOD, that there may be a possibility that God did send us with some element of destiny but then left it to us to decide how we will shape our destiny in the future.

If we are true followers of God, then the only thing that we need to do is to devote our time in the service of God by doing what we are responsible for in our daily life. Taking care of family, work and society are some of those responsibilities. I dont expect everyone to agree with this view, but I have always benifited from this ideology. We should also learn to enjoy the success of other people around us and give up envy so as to make life better for all.

So moving from philosophy to reality, what determines success is the million dollar question from a students perspective. Well the fact is there is no set formula for it that can be packaged and sold in the market. But I have always felt that our ability to see the future and fine tune our perspective does help prepare us for success. The second important aspect is our ability to act on an opportunity that is before us and to take action that will result in growth. Many a times we are unable to make us of the opportunities because we are so stuck with our pre-conceived notions of growth and success and we become too short sighted. Let me give you an example, as a student you are so fixed on what you want, I want a job that gives me Rs. 10 lakhs, I want to be close to home, I dont need job that has travel..etc..etc. The problem is that this type of thinking does not lead to growth in life. The important thing is to enter the door when it is open.. always remeber you will never get anything before time and never something that you dont deserve. So sometimes it helps to reflect back on our owwn abilities and skill sets and begin to make changes where required so that you can catch up later in life.

The next important area to think is how many sacrifices you can make today for a better tomorrow. The choice is with us and we are the only one who are responsible for it. You can have a lot of fun today for a short time or you can have some amount of fun for a very long time. These are choices that we all have to make in life. We can run away from everything in life but cannot run away from ourself. So lead a balance life where everything you do has a purpose and is designed towards achieving that grand vision you have built for yourself. I am sure that we all will agree to this but it is very difficult for us to follow and probably that is what make the difference between people who can design their success and those that cannot.

Always remmeber, you are the one who has to write your success story, if you dont have passion for it then why should anyone else have an interest in it. So if you are looking to do well on your degree program..reflect back and see what have you done so far, if you are looking for a job..reflect back and see what attempts have you made for it on your own, if you are looking for a promotion.. reflect back and see if you have done enough to deserve it..

These are questions that will give you the answers to many of your frustrations and dislikes in life. Take charge of your life and change everything that you want to for a better life in the future.

Look out for my next posting in the next week. I will continuie to post one entry every week to help you take more responsibility for self and would be happy to answer your questions if any.