Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Are u the Alexander? Or Are u the sage?

Here is a story familiar to many-

On the threshhold of his passage to india,Alexander the Great encountered a sage in a loin cloth meditating for hours in a secluded place. For the emperor, the sage looked like a lazy man ,a recluse who had dropped out of life’s race. “ don’t u have anything to do besides sitting & day dreaming?Tell me what yr goal in life is?” He asked the sage
The sage asked the emperor about his goal. He went on questioning the emperor- after conquest, after getting all gold, after getting all men as slaves and so on finally what will he do? The emperor said “i will sit on my throne, relax and enjoy myself” the sage smiled and replied- “ sir, that is precisely what i am doing now. Why r u bothering me? Leave me alone and go ahead with yr conquests”
Human mind is in constant oscillation between the two questions that ring in our consciousness-
Alexander thinks “ how much more i need to be happy?” The sage thinks “ how much less can i have and still be happy?”
The sage and Alexander live within all of us. They represent the two fundamental states of human consciousness.
There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. Both Alexander & the sage felt happy that they accomplished something. Their interpretation of the term happiness varies. Success is not the key to happiness. But happiness is the key to success. If u love what u r doing , u will be successful. Peace of mind is a mental condition in which u have accepted the worst. Let me repeat- life is not about how to survive in the storm but to dance in the rain..
Are u the Alexander? Or Are u the sage?
The level of consciousness varies between us. That diversity is making life/world interesting..


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Benchmarking: Comparing with Others

We ask questions like these-
“I compare myself with many of my batch mates. Some of them are placed ten times better than me, some of them at par with me and some of them worse-off. I get jealous when I look at those who are better placed than me. Are they ten times smarter than I? Their IQ levels were lower than mine. Why am I victimized? Should I stop comparing? Is comparison bad?”
Your concscience will answer-
“you are so special, your finger prints are unique and specific only to you. There is no one else like you. And mind you, I do not speak merely out of affection! Why are people unhappy and wanting to possess what someone else has? Fair people want to have a tanned skin and vice versa. We constantly compare ourselves with others. It is human nature to measure each one of them in comparison to others.

Comparisons are not bad. If you can compare, you can compete and if you compete, you can win. The competitor’s present status and performance invigorates you. Comparisons can be used to motivate or correct you. These comparisons become a problem when they are used for all the wrong reasons like branding or making oneself superior to others or when one compares thereby eliciting a wrong response like admitting a sense of defeat etc. It is only then, that the problem arises. In these cases, they destroy the souls. Then what do we do with comparison?’ A positive benchmarking leading to positive thoughts are fine, but do not get into negative benchmarking leading to nefarious thoughts. Here is a sample for you for negative benchmarking.
There was a hunter who bought an amazing bird dog. It could walk on water, and even hunt for ducks running on water. He showed the dog to his friend praising its efficiency in hunting on water. His friend did not compliment but found fault with the dog saying that this dog cannot swim, while his dog can swim. This is clearly negative benchmarking. See the positive side of such comparisons.
Here is a small poem for you –

“If you compare yourself with others,
You may become vain or bitter,
For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”
(Max Ehrmann in the 1920’s)
The creator, expects each one to do what one is capable of, at any point at any time. He does not expect an ant to haul logs of timber as the elephant in a forest. The ant should not compare itself with an elephant and start complaining. There is an ancient Indian story about a mouse that was constantly distressed because it was afraid of cats. A magician took pity on it and turned it into a cat. Immediately, it started fearing dogs. The magician, therefore, turned it into a dog. Now the dog began to fear the tiger. So the magician turned it into a tiger. Right away, it began to fear the hunter. Finally, the magician was so disgusted that he turned the tiger back into a mouse and said, “You’ve got the heart of a mouse. That’s what you are and therefore you shall remain just that.” Hence we need to know what to look at and what to overlook.
You cannot put your legs into another man’s shoes and walk. Live your life. There is an old proverb: ‘If you compare yourself with you, then you are living. If you constantly keep comparing yourself with others, then you are only existing and not living your life.’
The issue isn’t whether we’ll compare ourselves with others – we will! – But to whom we compare ourselves is what matters. We should only compare ourselves with ourselves.

If we do that, we can walk with joy and purpose through the mountains and valleys of life, without comparing ourselves to what others are doing, or how they’re doing it. Not only is that healthy, it is emotionally and spiritually liberating and energizing!

Let me end this section on benchmarking with this real life story. In the 1976 Olympics, a runner from Haiti, competing in the 10,000 meter race, was lapped three times by the rest of the competitors. While many of us would have been happy to give up, he kept going. In fact, he ran three complete laps alone, dodging the men who were setting up the track for the next race. And when he finally crossed the finish line, he’d set a new personal best and a Haitian national record.
We don’t need to concern ourselves as to where the others are. These are not our concerns. We only stop running when we have finished the race. Until then, we keep running the race set out before us. That way, when we cross the finish line, all encomiums will fall on us.
Think about it ....


Thursday, 15 November 2018

People with character not for sale


Many ancient sages have also said what James Allen said in his book ‘As a Man Thinketh’: A man’s mind is like a garden. If we don’t plant anything, something will grow and that will be weeds. This is nature’s law. Our thoughts are causes. You sow a thought, you reap an action. You sow an action, you reap a habit. You sow a habit, you reap a character. You sow a character, you reap a destiny. It all starts with a thought.

The credibility of a person gets communicated more eloquently through his deeds than his words. Therefore character is nothing but consistency in conduct. The essence of a person is his character – it makes you unique, unblemished and strong. Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.

Money cannot buy everything. People with character and integrity and the right values are not for sale.

Money will buy:
• Amusement, but not happiness.• A bed, but not sleep.
• A clock, but not more time• Books, but not wisdom.
• Finery, but not beauty.• Companions, but not friends.
• Medicine, but not health.• Food, but not appetite. • A house, but not a home.
• A ring, but not marriage.


An undisturbed mind is the key...

Upanishads describes the nature of our senses through the metaphor of horses pulling a chariot. 

It says-
“Know the body as the chariot itself,
 Know the reason is the charioteer,
 And the mind indeed is the reins,
 The horses they say are the senses,
 And their paths are the objects of senses..
It continues..
“He who has not the right understanding and whose mind is never steady is not the ruler of his life, like a bad     driver with wild horses.
 But he who has right understanding and whose mind is ever steady is the ruler of his life, like a good writer   with well-trained horses”

An undisturbed mind is the key...

The western concurrence to this( some of the left wing intellectuals always look for western confirmations)

Emerson said - “ Great men are those who see that thoughts rule the world”

Milton in Paradise lost wrote - “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell or hell of heaven”

Shakespeare wrote - “There is nothing either good or bad except that thinking makes it so”

Clarity emerges where the mind is undisturbed.
These are embedded into our conscience.

It is said -“The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it but is so clear it is impossible to mistake it”.
Conscience is the endowment that senses our congruence or disparity with correct principles and lifts us towards them- when it is in shape.