During a recent conversation, it clicked my mind that most people take ‘living in the present moment’ wrong and not what spiritual teachers like Eckart Tolle are telling them. Most people think that ‘living in the present moment’ means to take care of what is at present they have. For example, someone has a job. He thinks taking care of present job to the utmost degree is what the masters are teaching.
Taking care of present job to the utmost degree is really of utmost importance. There cannot be an iota of doubt about it. Otherwise, he will constantly dread of losing his job and will do nothing. A source of livelihood must be cared for in the best manner.
Eckart Tolle and others are actually talking of bringing the mind to the present moment. Mind doesn’t come to the present moment without effort. It takes immense practice to train mind in this. Whenever one finds his mind wavering to the past or future, it should be brought back by constant nudging or may be effort. It doesn’t mean that mind should never be allowed to wander. There are some moments when allowing mind to wander brings relief. The problem is that minds of most people doesn’t come to the present even for a few moments.
There is a blessing for most of us that our mind at least concentrates on work when there is some at hand. Though there have been cases of people, who cannot concentrate their minds to work at hand to the slightest degree.
Immense gladness is available for the person who can stick his mind to the present moment. When mind is at the present moment, it can be brought under control. It doesn’t mean that the mind cannot be made to think of the future or about the past. Actually, this is the beauty of bringing mind to the present moment that now it can be made to think or plan about the future or learn from the past. This can be done consciously and under control.
Be happy and live life to the fullest.
I thought upon a rule. I call it the 75% rule.
This rule motivates me to change myself. This rule helps me to improve.
I will present it to you using an example. Let’s say one is a short-tempered person, and he is also surrounded by people who are themselves not known to control their anger. Now, if this person improves himself and becomes more cool-headed, he doesn’t get only 50% benefit, he gets 75% benefit or may be more than that. It’s because 50% of cases where he used to lose his temper will be sorted out. Furthermore, out of left 50% of cases where the culprit were other people to start with, on an average 25% of more cases will not create problems because he will not lose his temper in retaliation.
The 75% benefit is only the visible benefit. The invisible benefits and also the indirect benefits will be even more.
Hope you liked it. Please comment your responses.
Looking at this world, we realise incomplete knowledge works. People in ancient times didn’t know Newton’s Laws or Automobile Engineering. Nevertheless, they were able to develop oxcarts and hand-pulled carts using wheels. These constructs allowed people to move from one place to another and transport goods although they were very slow and cumbersome. We didn’t need complete knowledge of motion to create transportation mechanisms. Yes, the better knowledge we have, the better invention we are going to do. This is one of the beauty of our universe.
A nail can be driven into wall expertly using hammer and better still using a driller. But even a stone can be used to do it. Only the case will be that we will find it cumbersome and we will not find that finesse as a driller will provide.
Is there a passing percentage in science to do a job? Students need minimum 33% to pass an exam. Do we need a minimum passing knowledge in physics to do the thing to at least a workable condition? Can we mathematically derive such equations? Only time will tell when we will be able to answer such questions.
We constantly want to achieve new things to get happy. There is nothing wrong in it, per se. Achieving success does give happiness. Getting a new gadget make us go gaga. We constantly hanker after new possessions or a new achievement but we forget one thing. The real challenges of life remain as it is. A new job gives happiness but for a few days. Even the previous job was good enough. The new job becomes like previous job after few days and we then again want to switch to get happiness.
Achieving new things is a great thing and one must not shy of it. The point I want to discuss is whether we are doing anything for the real challenges. A new job definitely is not going to solve the problems of loneliness and isolation. It is not going to save one’s marriage. In most of the cases, there was never a real financial problem if one had a job before. A 25% raise is not going to solve the problem of living a meaningless life.
We shy of the real issues at hand because they are the real tough beasts. Getting a new gadget and a raise becomes a cover-up. At least, I am doing something, we think. Solving the real issues can provide lasting happiness and a feeling of worth and success. Later on, these victories help in career progression and a peaceful and serene life.
Life needs to be lived. Observing people daily begets a strange fact. Many people are not even living. May be they have lost that life in them due to constant struggles. Some of them haven’t lived at all from the onset. I am talking about awareness of being alive. Enough said, I do observe a sizeable portion of population alive and thriving. Yes, there are people who are relishing life even in one’s vicinity. The people who are depressed due to constant exigencies of life may not even be aware of them. Even when they come across these people, they assume other’s happiness to be only a facade. Most people have resigned in their quest for happiness.
One must start loving life. Also, one must be more aware. Awareness is a perfect starting point of real change. Everyone knows that he is a living being but is he also aware of it. Knowing and being aware are two different things. The founder of Transactional Analysis (TA), Eric Berne, considers “awareness” to be the real tool for change. All the religions teach us “awareness” if we try to delve into them. All the great philosophers and saints have talked about it. Buddha talked about it. So, did Mahavira. Old age adage “Know Thyself” is also a coercion in becoming more aware.
May we all try to be more aware of our thoughts, surroundings, our loved ones, people we deal with, our internal states, our proficiency and productivity. When awareness will seep into our life, we will find ourselves doing everything properly. We will be solving our problems with greater dexterity. And, when we start winning against our challenges, life becomes happy and blissful.
The honeymoon period of self-development doesn’t last much long and most of us get over dreams of seven rainbows very early. One basic fact here is that the most important ingredient of self-development is changing ourselves. This is the most frightening hoop that we have to jump through.
Human beings resist change. Changing oneself is the most difficult, tedious and procrastinated work in the world.
We are not able to get dividends out of self-development because change is hard. It is the hardest thing in the world. We must know and accept this. It is like sculpting oneself with chisels and hammers. The sculptor and sculpture are the same person here.
We all remember what our elders used to say. “Work hard now to enjoy your life later.” They used to say this with respect to career and making a living. Adding to it, I must say this advice can be applied to every area of our lives.
If we constantly dread taking the hard way of struggle, hard work, keeping our promises and become better at making right promises, then life is not going to smile on us later.
Whenever I gulp a fizzy drink, I remind me a warning. Whatever junk is going inside my stomach is going to show its fruits by bulging me at the seams. Whenever we eat or drink junk, once it reaches inside, it is going to do harm. Our wishful thinking is not going to save our health.
Similarly, in life if we don’t learn to listen others properly, not work hard on our studies, not take care of our health, not make judicious use of our time, we are not going to survive later the hard realities of life. Stephen R. Covey writes eloquently in his masterpiece – “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” – “When we pick one end of a stick, we pick its other end also.” Such a simple observation describes beautifully the truth of life.
Take hard choices now to make life beautiful and a pleasant experience later. Easy becomes easy when its hard and sharp edges had been filed up to give it a smooth experience.