Winning Against Our Challenges Gives Lasting Happiness

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, these victories help in career progression and a peaceful and serene life.

Becoming More Aware Can Become the Starting Point on the Road to Happiness

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.

Why does Self-development Doesn’t Deliver results for Most of Us

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.

Make Hard Choices Today To Make Life Easier Tomorrow

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.

Beware of What You Focus on

Life is a simple game. If we master this simple rule which we will discuss below, we can change our lives. Enough said, we know simple doesn’t translate to easy. Simple adages are most difficult to practice. “Work hard.” A simple adage but one of the most difficult to practice.

Nevertheless, the rule I am discussing here is different. The rule is – “Whatever we focus on, we will improve in our lives.”

If we see ourselves solving our financial problems, we will be able to solve it. If we consistently focus on the financial problems and how they have made our lives miserable, we will get more financial problems.

Say it “Law of Attraction” or whatever you may. May be it is just a logical thing as mind starts working on the command that it needs to solve the financial problem. When one focuses on problems, mind is not been made to work on the problem at hand. It is actually just told that one is in a mess.

Our brain and its abstract equivalent – mind, are strangely complex and powerful instruments given to us. They are much more powerful than supercomputers on this planet. All the billionaires and leaders have been inspired by this fact. They realised the power they have up there at the topmost floor of their body architecture.

This power is with us as it is with these movers and shakers of the globe. Only we have to give these instruments their due credit. It is as simple as that. With due practice, we will be able to realise the tremendous power we hold.

Just Start Doing it

We have to do a work. We have to shave our beard and our moustache with it. We want to call a friend and have some nice chitchat.

What do we so? We wait. We wait for some seconds, then some minutes, then a hour or two passes.

Our lives have become so stuck that even calling a lovely friend looks like a task that we don’t do instantaneously. We know talking with that friend is not a chore, it will actually be a fascinating thing for the day. What do we actually do? We procrastinate even in things that is surely going to bring happiness at both ends of the waves.

Actually, the panacea for this is to make a habit of starting the task at once. If there is nothing to be thought about or plan for that particular task, we must start doing it at once. These things should not wait just for the sake of waiting.

We will find that the call we were dilly-delaying on came out to be a wonderful experience. The blog post we were fearing to start, gave us immense satisfaction on its completion. The office work we started working without delay provided us a pat on our back, from ourselves every time and may be from our bosses.

This practice will build a real strength in our character. The starting few seconds are the crucial one. It is not as if we cannot start if we lose this early period but starting at once gives a sense of control. It nourishes the soul. Waiting for no reason actually feeds the ego.

It’s Really Important to Know One’s Strength.

Elephant has more strength than a lion. Nevertheless, lion is considered the king of jungle. Most people admire an elephant more than a lion. Lion is a beast, literally even, while elephant is a peaceful herbivore. Elephant also has more strength than a lion.

The thing I am talking about may be only figurative but still it brings home an important point.

Lion looks more aware of itself and its strength while elephant is more of a happy-go-lucky animal and unaware of its humongous strength. This self-knowledge gives a lion its assurance which is lacking in an elephant. This awareness about its strength make lion a more daring and intrepid animal and crowns it with the title of a king.

“Know thyself” – as they say. It should be added to this statement – “Know thy strengths first”.

Most people are grappling with their weaknesses. While it is important to know our weaknesses and remove them, it is more important to know our strengths. Knowing one’s strengths, a person becomes assured that he has something to fall back upon if things don’t work around. It also gives a sense of self-confidence and may also provide him with a livelihood where his strengths are the best-fit.

The World is changing for sure.

“The world is changing.”

I had this thought today.

There was a time when people who were immersed in self-help literature or blabbering the cliche – be positive, were considered stupid by most and downright lunatic by some.

Now, the situation has transformed. Since last few years, most people are themselves in some way or the other touched by motivational and inspirational gold nuggets. Now, people don’t disdain others if they find them reading a self-help book.

The cause of this tectonic shift has been the intrepidity of motivational speakers who despite huge discouragements from a cynical world kept on teaching the principles to others. The people who we know with the names of Robin Sharma, Eckhart Tolle, Jim Rohn, Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy and others are reaping victories now.

The change in atmosphere has been more pronounced in India as Western countries had these teachers since long decades back.

The first Indian motivational speaker I came across was Shiv Khera. His book – You can Win, created a flutter at that time. I, suffering a burden of IIT-JEE preparation wanted a hand on it. I could not read it though at that time. Nevertheless, it surely burned an effigy in my mind making me reach for self-help materials and teachings everywhere.

The most motivational and inspirational figure in my life has always been Swami Vivekananda. His quotations sometimes shiver me up. These shivers are not just inspirations, they are electric convulsions to the core of my being. Motivational and inspirational sayings and teachings we find in modern books also exploded out in Vivekananda’s speeches. His works are replete with strength building utterances and writings. Though whole work is rather very deep, dense, spiritual and displays signs of a humongous personality.

French Nobel laureate Romain Rolland writes about Vivekananda’s sayings -“I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through the pages of books at thirty years distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like electric shock. And what shocks, what transports must have been produced when in burning words they issued from the lips of the hero!”

Similarly, modern motivators are now not shy of delivering assertions that humongous success and happiness is within everyone’s reach. These things when verbalized few years ago carried a big risk of making a fool of oneself. Now, life changing shifts are being seen in many people. A sizeable percentage of humanity is evolving to an altogether new levels of consciousness. Having benefited from these principles and teachings, they are passing on the gifts to all who care to listen.

Adieu to Swordsman of Indian Batting

It has ended. Sword has been sheathed.

Different conceptions get created while watching different batsmen displaying their craft. Dravid manifested strokes using chiselled technique. Sachin delivered poise. Sourav’s was stroke playing at its best. Gayle doesn’t bat, he belittles bowlers while Gibbs disrespected bowlers to the fence. Dhawan mocks bowlers. Sehwag chewed them. Mahi finishes. Rohit slows time down. Preparedness forth comes in Virat’s batsmanship. Hardik funs while batting and Uthappa enticed.

Among these one player whose batsmanship mirrors swordsmanship is Yuvraj. He didn’t stroke instead brandished his bat like a sword while batting. His arrival on the international batting scene can be termed “Arrival” itself. Australia was a monster cricketing country those days. A warrior brings monsters down with his sword. He did this with bat against Australia in his batting debut.

He fetched home two World Cups – ICC T20 2007 and ODI 2011, being one of the top performers in both. His battle with cancer and eventual victory over it is also an inspiration for Indian youth. In a way he cut cancer again with his swording prowess. He describes his life in his autobiography – The Test of My Life.

Let’s wish Yuvraj for all his future endeavours as he announced his retirement from international cricket on 10 June 2019.

Jai Hind. Bleed Blue.

Every Situation in Life is a Present

Every situation in life is a present from God, Providence, Nature, Good Forces or whatever you believe in. Sometimes the gift is wrapped in a shiny glazed colourful cover, and we call this gift “good times”. Still, other times the gift is wrapped in an ugly and rough sheet. This we call bad times.

We must need to have courage, patience, trust and industry to peel off the cover and find the real gift inside.

Every problem and obstacle brings with it the opportunities of the same amount or to any degree higher than the challenge faced. The obstacles are actually the stepping stones which take us to real success. These are all there for us to learn from.

We must see all the problems, not as obstacles but as challenges. These challenges are not there to break us. They are there to reveal to us our real character and strengths. Let all the difficult challenges in our life come to know that we are difficult too. We are not here to back down but to deliver such a severe blow to shatter them to pieces.