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Month: August 2020

What exactly is dharma? – Part 2 of 2

So we continue from yesterday’s post on dharma.

The ancients have given us exceptional guidance. “Desha, Kaala, Paristhithi”, which translates to Place, Time and Situation. No law or diktat can be applicable to everybody, every time and in every circumstance. Hence trying to apply one standardised definition (one size fits all) may not work.

Dharma may also arise from the passion that one shows for one’s work. If we are able to find our true calling, and work as if it were play, then our duty would be implemented dharmically. Hardly anyone truly finds their passion though. Therefore, to start with, we would have to fool our minds into enjoying our work. Soon passion and enjoyment will come automatically.

There are also some universally accepted principles and values that come under dharma. Such as non-violence, truthfulness, cleanliness etc. No matter the caste, creed, race, or gender, these principles apply across the board. Here, we can follow the simple dharmic principle, “do not do unto others, what you don’t want them to do to you”, i.e. practising compassion and empathy.

Further, dharma is also in intent. Is the intent selfish? Is it driven by “what is in it for me?”. Instead of thinking about us, we should be thinking about others. Dharma therefore take shape when there is maximum benefit to maximum people.

As per Vedanta, the dharma of a human being is to attain moksha or liberation. This is somewhat a destination than a journey. However, the journey must be undertaken, with a life lived in accordance to all the above dharmic dictums. The destination will reveal itself automatically.

Finally, even the greatest of yogis and rishis have faltered in upholding dharma. Do we even stand a chance? We certainly do, but for that, we must take refuge in a Guru.

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What exactly is dharma? – Part 1 of 2

This is probably one of the hardest questions to answer. Not because the answer is hard to find. But because there are so many answers and so many perspectives. We may have to assimilate all of them and apply to our lives if we truly wish to transform ourselves. Let us look at them.

The most common contemporary definition of dharma is ‘duty’. The question then becomes, what is my duty? If I hate my job, should I continue doing it, because that is my duty and that I have to provide for my family? Or is it my duty to then put all my efforts into finding myself a new job? How about my duty as a son, a father, a husband, a friend, an employee?

A more nuanced definition then is, whatever you are doing right now, that is your dharma. If I am driving, my dharma is to drive with full attention on the road, and not to listen to some meditative music that might put me into a trance. Ditto for any of the myriad roles we each assume everyday.

In Sanskrit, dharma is defined as dhaarayate iti dharma. Which means, “that which stabilises, is dharma”. We see this in the world around us – when one dictator becomes all too powerful and begins to oppress those around him, there is eventually a people’s revolt that brings him down. Or when the earth is too polluted, a cascading negative impact is felt on its citizens, leading to some cathartic upheaval (like Covid19 brought down pollution for a while).

Another way of looking at dharma, is from the viewpoint of decision making. While the Mahabharata was chock-a-block with the world’s greatest warriors, none of them were able to make the right decisions, as observed by Lord Krishna himself. He says, given the circumstances, grandpa Bheeshma should have broken his vow, while Pandava leader Dharmaraja should have never gambled with dice. So it is possible, the action itself (like killing the Kauravas) may not appear dharmic, but that the decision (to kill the Kauravas in order to uphold justice) behind them is dharmic.

More definitions, and how to apply these to our lives – coming up in part 2 tomorrow!

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Why we do not achieve?

You may have ‘heard’ this story before.

A group of frogs lived in a very tiny enclosure. The only way to escape, was to jump really high. One brave frog, was sick of his cramped environment. He tried a high jump, but slipped and broke his leg. This became ‘hot news’. “Don’t try to jump out, or else you too will break your leg”, the younger frogs were advised by the elders. Soon this morphed into a mantra and a diktat, “No one should ever try to jump out – it is impossible.”

The mantra was passed on from frog generation to frog generation, and many many years later, there were more frogs, no jumpers and hardly any room. Such was the level of fear. Except when one day, one fellow jumped up and over to the outside. Smooth and clean, like a high jump gold at the Olympics.

All the frogs were shocked. “How did he do it? Did he not hear about the brave one who had valiantly attempted many generations ago and failed?”

The successful frog’s mother spoke from the silence. “My son did not hear, because he was born deaf.”

You may have ‘heard’ this story before.
We have all heard many things before.
But that is precisely the problem.

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Imperfectshunned

Is there anything more beautiful than a smile? Of course there is. A smile with a dimple.

Jokes aside, apparently the dimple is not an epitome of perfection. Rather, it is a flaw, a genetic deformity that causes the irregular growth of a certain facial muscle as the embryo develops.

Wow, so that means we do know to admire imperfections in life! Or are we the type that believes our brother or sister or spouse or parent must go under the knife to ‘get’ a dimple? Apparently this is a big thing – cosmetic surgery and all – go figure!

The world is full of imperfections. But that is what gives each one of us a chance to survive. If everyone was amazingly and equally good at math and finance, I wouldn’t have my job. If everyone was equally talented and looked like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Scarlett Johannson, or directed like Steven Spielberg or Chris Nolan, we would be drowning in monotony.

We all know the adage beauty is only skin deep. But we are still attracted only by the beautiful. Everyone wants a beautiful wife, but not one scarred by an acid attack. Everyone wants a healthy and cute husky puppy – not one that can’t walk or see. What if we were on the receiving end of this partiality?

I remember an interesting company called Hungry Harvest that pitched on Shark Tank. Their premise was nifty. When we go to supermarkets to buy our veggies and fruits, we only pick the good looking ones. The deformed and ‘ugly’ produce never even see the daylight. But companies like these help make use of them. For instance, we drink carrot juice, but never care how the carrot looked. I don’t know anything about their business side of things. But if we all could see beauty in imperfections, the world could be a better place!

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Now, never, later

A mother was extremely worried about her child. She prayed to God for him. “Oh my poor baby, he’s been having it so hard these days. He deserves so much more. And he’s so good at heart too!”, she thought to herself. The lady had just celebrated her 90th birthday, and her ‘child’, at the age of 68, was on the verge of retirement.

Granted, that parents are perennially worried about their children, and mothers more so. But to what extent is this warranted, one would ask? Especially because on the spiritual path, we are told to keep curbs on our desires and attachments. When should one start enforcing some control?

The right answer will always be ‘now’. Why now? Simple. Because ‘later’ never comes!

We were perfectly happy with our own toy cars and dolls. Until one day the neighbour’s kid showed off her bigger toy. And then we wanted that bigger toy. Then we went to school and found others with so many things we didn’t have. We lived through all that, and then wanted a good education – “top college”, we thought. Getting in wasn’t enough – we had to live up to the competition. Including getting a top job from campus placement, with the best salary. But even that wasn’t adequate, because there were others who were better. And then we started working, and a few peers started getting married and then their kids came about. “How about my own marriage? Will it ever happen?” And you kept hearing all those talks about all the kids in all the parties. Oh isn’t that a different tangent altogether? Kids kindergarten, kids nanny, kids playtime, kids this kids that. Now one would have to desire for them too! All too soon, you’re 65 and about to retire. “I’ll give my desires up soon. I’m almost at the end only. Just one last major one – once I get to see my grandson start going to school, that’ll be it. And my grand daughter too!” The 90 year old lady was going to give up her desires soon as well.

This is an endless loop. Remember, the answer is ‘now’, not later.

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Why faith needn’t be about God

When someone is going through a tough time, we tell them “Have faith. All will be well.”

An atheist will consider this to be nonsensical. “There is no God, and therefore I have no faith in Him/Her.”

However, can we re-purpose this faith?

Deep inside us, there is a life force, a spark of consciousness. A spark that differentiates us, from the mere amalgamation of flesh, blood and bone that corpses are. This spark, according to the ancients, is the very essence of life and creation itself. To those who concur, it is also known as God.

If this spark aka Brahman, is the source of all creation, then surely this spark can also create any of the mundane things we run after – wealth, a promotion, a job, a family, a better life? This is also the crux of ‘creative visualisation’ programs.

Our mind currently thinks that everything we want can only be achieved by the body. But this is far from the truth. If this spark is within us, then all we need is to have faith in is in ourselves – the true us, not limited by our bodies.

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How to build your network?

Where is the center of the universe? Has the center been discovered? Is it possible to see the center through the Hubble telescope?

No, no, wrong center! The real center of the universe is we ourselves. Or rather, I, me, myself. We all live and function as though the universe and the whole world revolves around us. But we know this, right? What can we do about it, so that it benefits us?

The author of the book How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie (DC), has this to say. “People don’t care about me or you, but they care only about themselves.”

We are all looking to make friends, relationships, business partners, acquaintances, long lasting connections – you name it. But we struggle to build our networks. Why? Because we begin our efforts by focusing on ourselves. We want to let the world know who we are, what we like, what we dislike, what our talents are, what our hobbies are and in the process, we hope that the other person will recognise us for the great individuals we are, and allow us an entry into their league of awesome buddies.

All good, except that this is an effort that is being applied in reverse! As DC says, “You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming genuinely interested in other people, than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

If we want to make friends, we must do things for others – giving our energy, our time, our selflessness and our thoughtfulness. Here are a few things that can help!

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How to remain calm no matter what?

Here is a lovely story I heard recently from my very good childhood friend.

A factory owner once gave a surprise payout to all his employees. Each one of them came up to him, thanked him, praised him and left him with a big smile. Each one, except one. Just one employee, neither thanked him nor praised him. And this got onto the factory owner’s nerves. He just couldn’t understand why this person would not come to thank him.

This kept playing on the owner’s mind over and over. A few months down the line, he announced a cut in salary for this employee. A few days passed, and he was shocked that the employee still never came to him – crying, arguing, or at the very least, demanding an explanation.

Perplexed, the factory owner decided to confront the employee about his unsettling behaviour. The employee said, “Sir, on the day you announced the bonus, my wife gave birth to our son, and I took the bonus as a stroke of luck brought by my child. On the day when you cut my pay, my mother passed away, and I took the pay cut as if she took away what belonged to her. Therefore, I am unaffected by the pay rise or the pay reduction.”

It is said that one of the hardest feats a true yogi can achieve, is to remain equanimous in the face of duality. Especially in the face of life’s opposites – joy versus sorrow, pain versus pleasure etc. Life is full of such extremes – with today’s pain leading to tomorrow’s pleasure which then leads to further pain and the cycle continues forever.

Once we accept and realise that life is cyclical, we will be able to objectively evaluate each situation life places us in – and respond appropriately. Moderation is the key – and if the good doesn’t matter much, the bad won’t either.

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Can we stop accruing karma?

The law of karma is all encompassing. But since it is often difficult to come to terms with, we overthink, and this can be somewhat deleterious to us.

For instance, when we let extra water run while showering / brushing, couldn’t that water have been used by someone who has limited / no access to water, like maybe in a desert? Or when we devour an animal for food, wouldn’t we accrue bad karma for killing it? Same story for plants, as some non-vegetarians argue? How about when we land a job, get a degree, or secure an admission, sometimes through connections – aren’t these ‘victories’ of ours, depriving many others of what could have been theirs? And the times spent in a car for leisure travel so that one may de-stress, or a flight for a business meeting. Aren’t we polluting Mother Earth? And all those instances when we’ve competed with friends, relatives and others for who drives who where, who wins which sport, who plays what board game, who gets to keep what things, and all the slandering that happens thereafter? How about where we have an array of choices for what to eat, what to wear, what to speak etc. while so many people do not even have their basic rights and freedoms?

Does karma not accrue from all these things?

You can bet it does! The karma logbook is constantly updating itself – never to miss a thing.

The only way we can justify our actions then, is by devoting our actions for the greater good. Whatever we benefited from, it is our duty to give back to society, and this must always be our endeavour. And it always begins with gratitude.

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Is money important?

We are all scrambling mindlessly to make money. Or to make more money. Money is such an interesting invention.

For all the bad things in the world, the more the money, the worse it gets. If you are loaded, how does one say “No”, to all the friends that come to borrow and never repay. How does one keep away all the ‘eyes’ on your money. And the potential family feuds, and the rivalries, and even one’s own ego?

For all the good things however, there is quite nothing like money. It can buy time – a good amount of money means one doesn’t need to work as many hours in a typical job. It can also buy health to some extent, quality of life, maybe even a good life-partner! If one is inclined, it also helps in the service of others. Said differently, we cannot donate any money if we do not have any money in the first place.

There is nothing inherently wrong with money. But only as long as we treat it as the means, and not the end. Therefore money has to be a very personalised and calibrated metric. An exercise each one of us must embark on is to figure out for ourselves – how much is enough. This must be personalised, because it will depend on our own personal needs and expenses, without comparative inputs on the size of the neighbour’s car/house/yacht (because that will feature in their own calculation!). We can, however, consider those who live on 1/100th of what we have, but still lead happy lives. Our own ancestors for instance – would have had much lower take-homes, but they managed to raise significantly larger families!

Here is what we must always bear in mind. Money is very very very important. But it is not the most important thing.

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How can we handle criticism?

I recall a scene from when I was much younger, when our apartment was being renovated. Several labourers were involved in the painting, cementing, chipping, tiling, piping and other related activities. One chap in particular, would come late every single day. The supervisor who was overseeing this renovation project, took him to task once and asked him to be on time, as the rest of the work was being held up unnecessarily. I remember as the labourer merely smiled and listened patiently. Later the supervisor told me, all these workers are similar and smart – they just smile and stay silent. No frustration. No anger. No excuses.

Keep in mind, this worker was probably illiterate, and must have had all kinds of problems going on his personal life. Not that his professional life was much to speak of – as the daily wages in India can barely sustain hand to mouth existence. Even so, he had somehow learned to handle criticism beautifully. I’m thinking of the number of times I’ve been pulled up by my teachers or employers or even family members over the years – and can’t think of an instance when I managed to smile and listen patiently through criticism.

For most people, taking feedback or handling criticism is a very difficult process. This is especially true for the ones that are materially more successful, and that too early on in life. A daily wage earner is likely getting a verbal bashing every few hours (if not minutes) of each day – mostly from those barking orders at him. Those who have gone through tough childhoods and tough upbringings, are likely to be tough in their adulthood as well. They understand that life often does not work the way they want it to.

For those of us that have still not forgotten our boss’ or teachers’ or friends’ reprimands or criticisms, often from many years ago, we must toughen up, and let go. Surely those people have forgotten what they said. But these incidents remain imprinted in our memories, as if forever.

One way to let go, is to diversify. Have many activities, many friends, many mentors, many skills, many hobbies. It would be very difficult to annoy/destroy all of these at once. When the mind has many things to keep it busy, it will automatically stop dwelling on select instances from the past, and be less self-focused.

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How can I face life?

One of funniest and most heart warming TV shows in recent times is the 15-Emmy nominated Schitt’s Creek. If you haven’t heard of this show, then yes you read the name of the show right. The first time I heard it, I thought – what?! And it certainly wasn’t something I wanted to watch. But watch we did. And the lessons learned were pretty amazing.

The premise is simple yet unique. An opulent family of 4 – father, mother and two adult kids – loses all its wealth overnight. Everything, except the title to a tiny nondescript town in the middle of nowhere. They must move there at once and begin a new life. No maids, no butlers, no hors d’oeuvres in bed, no cars and certainly no money.

Suffice it to say, that the underlying messages packed through each of the episodes are pretty amazing. The family quickly finds that ‘friendship’ is redefined now that their bank balance is zero. The entitled and brattish nature of the young adults is quickly questioned, as all entitlements come with a price, to pay which, one needs money. There are also other beautiful lessons around family values, communication, love, compassion and many others.

Probably the most important one for me, was that everyone has their quirks, and the sooner we accept it, the better it is, for us. We can each be the family in Schitts Creek. Nobody knows what life will hit us with and when. This is not about being pessimistic, but being realistic. If you know today that there is a non-zero probability that disaster can strike in the future, what would you do differently today, with the benefit of hindsight?

One answer, according to me, is to live a life ‘mentally’ as though we’ve lost everything, without practically giving anything away. In this approach, we will find that we value even the smallest of things, make the most out of every opportunity, build robust relationships that go well beyond money, and never take anything for granted. Then success and happiness are guaranteed, irrespective of the actual circumstances – losing everything or not!

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What is the proof?

It has become a big deal to proclaim and trumpet the number of hours one spends on spiritual practises including attending satsangs, doing yoga asanas, meditating or reading scriptures. These activities quickly find their way into facebook, instagram and other social media. Nothing wrong in that.

One person spends her time attending seven Skype satsang sessions every day. Yet she herself admits to having all sorts of issues – desires, attachments, problems at home, problems at work – you name it.

Why this disconnect? Why do the hours in satsang or spirituality not translate into real life positive changes?

The answer is simple. Because there is no application. The change we seek must come from within. Reading a book or attending a discourse have little meaning if the learnings are not applied, consistently, day after day. To quote an oft-quoted example, we can all read 100s of books on the technique of swimming, but will never learn unless pushed into the water.

This does not mean we must reduce the hours one is spending on these good activities. But an hour spent less, instead of resulting in regret, should ideally culminate in real world implementation. Came across some lessons on anger management? Super, now see if you can control your tongue – no lashing out – especially in the company of your irritating but well-intentioned friend. Read something about the importance of being charitable? Great, now go out and see if you can donate 10% of your income this month to a charity of your choice.

In this case, the proof of the pudding, is in the doing.

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Do desires beget more desires?

Picture your favourite dessert. Thanks to the lockdowns everywhere, you have not been able to visit the restaurant that serves it. This is playing on your mind for a few weeks. Finally the restaurant opens up one day, and you order it on Uber Eats / Zomato / Swiggy / GrubHub. You polish off the delicacy in no time. Wow, wasn’t that long wait just so worth it?!

Given the relatively small serving size, you immediately feel like having another one. “Not today, but tomorrow surely”, you tell yourself. And then you proceed to keep thinking about the sweet dish sporadically during the rest of the day.

This is normal. We all have cravings, and the cravings may be satisfied – temporarily – but they certainly come back in the future. So desires do beget desires. But these desires only lead to unhappiness eventually (remember The Happiness Equation?). What can we do about this?

Ask anyone who’s had some Biryani to explain the dish to a vegetarian friend. “Biryani and vegetarian? Wait, does that combo even exist? How can you have biryani without chicken or meat balls?” But you ask the same thing to a pure vegetarian and they will tell you that there is nothing tastier than Paneer Biryani. And chicken biryani? “I’m a pure vegetarian, I’ve never eaten meat or fowl, and I can never think of harming another living being.”, pat comes the reply! What vegetarians lack in choice, enables their control on desire, at least for chicken biryani. But dessert may well be a weakness.

Out of sight, out of mind is a good way to keep a check. For instance, Domino’s Pizza stopped delivering to our place a year ago – as they can’t logistically honour their promise of ’30 minutes or free’. The family hasn’t had Domino’s since!

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In which language must we pray?

Sanskrit is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. There are some brilliant compositions, unlikely to be possible in any other language. For instance, in a poem called RamaKrishna Viloma Kavyam from the 14th century, when read from beginning to end, is about the Ramayana, while when read from back to front, is about the Mahabharata!

Sadly, Sanskrit is also a dead language. Hardly anyone speaks it today. And although there are some enthusiasts and some scholars, these are few and far between.

However, the language is also one of prayer. Most chants, mantras, shlokas etc. have all been composed in Sanskrit. Many people memorise these verses and chant them regularly. But given that the language itself is not understood, what then is the point of praying in such a language? Should one pray in their mother tongue instead? Is this a sensible argument? Surely translation from our language to His, is no challenge for a God?

Imagine we come across a beggar. He wears tattered clothes, his face and hands are dirty, he is frail and gaunt, and there is no doubt he has had little to eat in the last few days. Clutching at his stomach, he wails and cries and begs you repeatedly to give him some money. Now imagine another beggar, one dressed well, has a bit of a tummy, comes to you and says “Sir, give me some money.” Chances are, that you would help the first beggar, while doubting the intent, lack of emotion, and authenticity of the second.

Herein lies the key to prayer. Emotion is most essential. If we can figure out whether a person is faking it or not, wouldn’t God know if we are praying with sincerity or not? Without emotion, the most beautiful language cannot make a difference to the prayer. With emotion, even the absence of a language is no barrier.

The most beautiful combination however, would be both emotion and language. And that will take hard work, and intent.

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Factory reset

“Sir, please install anti-virus, restart your phone / laptop, and then your problem will be resolved.”, said the customer care executive to a worried customer caller. Not anywhere near the first time she said this, and certainly nowhere near the last.

This is not ground breaking advice. We’ve ourselves been at the receiving end of this many times haven’t we? If there’s a tech problem, please restart your device.

Post the restart or the factory reset, things indeed do function smoothly. All of the new apps, software, bloatware, ransomware, malware and whatnotwares that were clogging the device are now taken care of.

But where is the reset button for us human beings? How can we rid ourselves of all the anxiety, stress, burdens, toxic relationships and other problems?

The reset button is called Empathy. If we turn our focus outwards, if we work for others, work for the world, work for nature, then we will focus less on ourselves and our own little problems, and more on others. Unlike with phones and computers though, a reset will not erase both the good and the bad. Instead, our reset buttons retain the good, and eliminate the bad. What more could we want?

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Where is my happiness?

Here is the Happiness Equation from Swami Chinmayananda:

Happiness = Desires Fulfilled / Desires Entertained

It’s beauty lies in its alarming simplicity.

We are conditioned from childhood to think that the more our desires are fulfilled (i.e. bigger numerator), the closer we get to happiness. Our entire life is spent in pursuit of desire fulfilment – more money, more name, more fame and more everything else.

But this equation teaches us an infinitely simpler and sustainable way of being and staying happy. By reducing the denominator, happiness will come quickly, and the endless chain of desires begetting more desires will be broken. This is not to say we must immediately give everything up and start living like hermits. However, we can train our mind to be reasonable with its requests. This will come when we objectively evaluate for ourselves the validity of our desires. Such as – do I really need a 10 bedroom house? I can only sleep in one room at a time! Likewise for a garage of 10 antique cars.

The point must not be misunderstood. There is nothing wrong with lofty ambitions. However, the human mind is a complex beast, and it will soon compare with neighbours with 12 bedrooms and 12 cars, center the aim on loftier ambitions and eventually spiral out of control. This is the reason why seemingly rich people with everything that money can buy, can still be discontented, unhappy and depressed.

The ideal way then, is to be happy with what we already have (numerator increase), and begin to reduce our new desires (i.e. the denominator), and over time, we will ooze happiness, irrespective of the outside world.

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Overcoming indecisiveness

Should I choose this job or that? Should I work or study? Should I learn to play the violin or the guitar? Should I take 2 weeks off this quarter or next? Should I read this book or that? Should I buy a car or a bike, and if so which brand, make, color and model? Should I buy this dress for the wedding or that? Should I buy a house or rent one? Should I get married now or wait? Should I or shouldn’t I? Should I or shouldn’t I? Should I or shouldn’t I? and on and on and on it goes.

Indecisiveness is everywhere. And we waste enormous amounts of time being indecisive.

However, indecisiveness is not a problem. Indecisiveness is a luxury. This luxury stems from the fact that we even have a choice! Many downtrodden poverty stricken individuals have no choices whatsoever in life. Their next meal would depend on them continuing in their current job, not studying, not having the opportunity to holiday, no time to read, and definitely not buy any personal vehicles.

But luxury aside, we are also indecisive because we are wary of the results of our decisions. And not making a decision is definitely not an answer, because that too is a type of decision.

Each of our actions will have its own consequences. The best part is, that the actions themselves do not matter, much.

Whether I drank lemon tea for breakfast or chamomile is irrelevant. The relevant question to ask is, after gulping down my tea, what did I do the rest of my day? After making the choice of employer, car, college, violin, or marriage, what did I do thereafter? Did I step up and change the world? Did I improve my relationship with my spouse? Did I use my education and career to add value to the lives of those around me?

We are here to make a positive impact to those around us, and we must decide to keep that up. That is the only decision that matters.

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How to see?

The rains are so beautiful. Ah the petrichor. I love it.
Everything is so yucky and mucky. Eeks, so many insects. And the traffic jams.

My job is amazing. I’m contributing to nation building. The products I help build are improving lives.
My pay sucks, my working hours suck, my boss is terrible, my team is terrible.

This studio apartment is amazing. So compact, cosy and homely. And of course – easy to maintain.
What a hole-in-the-wall this is! No place to move around, host my parties or even make one addition to my wardrobe.

The 2 part-time jobs I’m lucky to have, helps me offset my student loan. This degree will enhance my credentials.
Tossing burgers, packing food, filling up fuel tanks. I hate this. Why can’t I be out partying instead?

Circumstance. Everything is awesome.
Same circumstance. Everything sucks.

The world is coloured by the lens through which we see it. We can choose the lens of despair and sorrow. Or we can choose the lens of sparkles and wonder.

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Last or First?

What was the difference between you on your last day in grade 5 and your first day in grade 6?
What was the difference between you on your last day of university and first day of employment?
What was the difference between you on your last day as a bachelor and your first day of marriage?
What was the difference between you on your last day at your employer and first day of your own company?
What was the difference between you on your last day as Manager and first day as CEO?
What was the difference between you on your last day moving out of one country and the first day in another?

Did ‘you‘ really change in that one instant between last and first?

We always believe that big landmark life-altering events change us. We think that we aren’t we anymore. That these external events have transformed us into someone else, someone better. Think about it. We will realise that it has been us only, all along – but growing steadily, step by step, experience by experience.

We are each capable of many things, without needing to be defined by specific external events. The leader, the achiever, the winner and the visionary within each one of us is already present here and now. We must just allow that person to be set free from the mental barricades we set for ourselves – including our title, wealth, past achievements, résumé etc. The potential thereafter is limitless.

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