Most of us having gone through schools must have experienced this.
You submit your exam fee and then all of your classmates have received their exam admit cards but you. So you are worried. What if your fee was not accepted? Did something went wrong with the internal assessments? Did not the teacher forward your name or the school clerk missed to type your name in the list? Was your attendance percentage OK?
And you pray to receive that admit card which would allow you to take your exam. And you become thankful upon having received it.
How we react to tests in real life?
Ironically when we receive a summon for a real life test in our practical, out of the school real life, we frown and get frustrated. We often become angry and act as if we were not suppose to receive it.
How Growth Is Possible?
Growth is not possible without goingh through tests. This is the only way universe has set its path to develop a human being. As the famous quote goes “obstacle is the way”, this secret was well understood by wise men through ages.
And what happens when we accept something. We transcend it. We are no longer bothered by it.
What happens when you pass the exam? We are rewarded and taken to a next level. We get one step closer to our thought out career plan or professional destiny.
What does it mean when we are put to tests?
When we are put to a test or are thrown at a difficult situation, it is the greatest sign that we are yet on board, we are yet enrolled in the class. Not only enrolled but we are being considered to be taken to the next level subject to certain conditions, most important of which is to pass the given test.
Having quoted the above example, let me ask you this now. So how should we react to a problem or a difficult situation?
One of the greatest truths we need to understand and accept is that as long as we are alive we will be facing problems, challenges and difficulties. The question is what to do with them.
We have two choices.
First: To ignore all problems, difficulties and challenges and try to skip them.
We may act as if problems do not exist. We choose to delay taking actions to solve them. We procrastinate tackling problems. The worst we think that problems will disappear themselves if we ignore them for a certain enough period of time. We may act as we are an exception to them and those issues are not allowed to touch us which are haltering most of the other people around us or even in the world.
This first choice leads us to think “why me?” whenever we face a difficulty or a challenge. Opting for this choice also creates victim mentality as if we are the only ones who had to go through a crisis or a dilemma.
This first choice also makes us ungrateful and forces us to focus on the negative only of all what we receive from the universe.
This choice also leads us to stagnancy or staying at the same mental and spiritual level since we do not engage our whole selves in solving them.
Second: To welcome those problems, challenges and difficulties with an understanding that we will have to face them as long as we are alive.
It is the essence of life. The path of life is the path of growth through problems.
This choice also leads to some great insights humanity has experienced. We stop frowning and getting frustrated when face them. We develop an indepth understanding that it is only through facing problems that we grow. All scientific breakthroughs, all inventions, all solutions to which we owe our modern and luxurious lifestyles stems from this mentality of trying to solve problems as they come upon us and to use our intellect to solve them. In solving these problems we begin to create and devise technology solutions and inventions.
This choice also leads us to think that we infact are not victims of a situation but custodians of whatever available set of resources to use them for the greater benefit of ourselves and humanity.
This choice also leads us to thankfulness that we were not ignored but where chosen among others as problem-solvers.
The Most Important Question To Answer In Our Life:
The question is what will be our choice? To ignore and try to skip and sulk upon problems or try to face them squarely, working through them and in the process of solving them experience true growth.
More importantly what we will want to teach our children? To skip and runaway from their exams and difficulties ? Or we will teach them to take exams with grace, face challenges when they fall upon them and emerge as people of character, strength and love.
Think wisely and choose consciously.
We are a living miracle. We are made up of a spirit or soul and a body which are opposite in their properties to each other. The soul has no limits in time and space. Our bodies are limited. Similarly, inside of us there are two power hubs and sources of energy which are opposite in their properties as well.
The first one is our internal inertia. Recalling from our earlier education in Physics, inertia is the property of matter to remain at rest or in motion given no external force is applied to change its state of rest or of motion. Inertia is the resistance to a current state. If we could draw two arrows within our imaginary body space, one would be downward representing our inertia.
Our inertia has served us through history of man kind. It was designed and fabricated within us to avoid unnecessary risk or an unwanted adventure ensuring that we as human species were able to survive.
The other energy within us is our will to become better, to get up and do something, to start something new, to take on a new challenge, to grow. This energy source is called Love.
Every single morning there is one voice within us that tells us to sleep another ten minutes or it sometimes whispers to us there is no need to hit the gym, look at the weather outside. Another day it asks us to avoid that hard conversation with our business partner which was badly needed. Our inertia wants to save us from risk, but at the same time saves us from growth as well.
At the same time when this inertia is whispering into our ears to keep things as they are, there is another energy telling us to get up, its your meeting day with a new client. It also tells us to just have one more day at gym. It asks us to read a few more pages despite heavy eyes. This energy is Love.
Love demands us to act against inertia. It asks us to seek another challenge or to create a new one ourselves in terms of another goal. It keeps us awake in the middle of night and keeps us sticking to our commitments when we are down.
Love is a continuous will to improve, to grow and to become better. Love is taking action despite you do not like it.
Decide to love yourself.
And then actually start loving yourself by starting to take action on things that lift you up. That is true love.
The first act of love is a mental decision. You will, before taking any other action to grow, nurture and develop yourself, have to decide that you are not going to let yourself go wasted.
To not let yourself go wasted you will have to become certain that you are worthy.
To become certain you are worthy you will have to let this sink in your subconscious.
To let that sink in your subconscious you will have to hear the same message from at least three different sources:
i. from your immediate circle of people surrounding you, they may not tell you directly but through their actions that they care for you.
ii. from yourself: you will need to literally repeat assertive statements to yourself every morning before leaving bed and every night before throwing yourself to bed,
iii. and from words you read: by building references of stories of people who rose up against adversities several times after failures and achieved extra-ordinary results.
Without becoming certain of your Mental Decision that you are worthy, you will never be able to take a step that would take care of your physical, mental and financial growth. You will never be able to start exercise, you will never have the stamina to read good that expands your mind and will never develop the courage to start and work on a business. And even if you do, without considering yourself as worthy, you will drop your activity in the middle.
Without sense of self worth, we cannot love ourselves. Without considering ourselves of value, we are unable to take any action that preserves our value. We collect diamonds and luxury watches and paintings from legendary artists and not empty cans of soda, old card boxes and candy wrappers.
This will not also develop and grow you but almost always guarantee a permanent state of happiness and joy. This does not mean you will not face unhappy situations but you will face them with a deep inner calm and level of lingering happiness inside of you.
Better start loving yourself at your earliest. Now. Even if you are in your 80s.
Loving some one is considering him or her of value.
Any thing that we consider of value, we spend time with it.
Any thing that we spend time with, we start to know it more.
The more we know it more, the more we begin to accept it.
If you say I love my children, only ask how much time I do spend with them.
Do not let it drop to less than full 5 hours of quality time with your kids and that is for working fathers and mothers.
Others can spend more…..but do not forget to ignore the balance, coz balance is another act of love !
We have a capability so unique that it lets us stand apart from the rest of animal kingdom. We can imagine ourselves as separate from our thoughts.
Try doing this. Imagine, that you are watching yourself from the other corner of the room. Now further imagine that you are watching your imagined “” image”” from outside the window. You are watching yourself watching yourself.
We two went to Pir Sohawa. It was a climb up hill.
It was sunny and yet crisp. The early hours sun of the day was rising and air was starting to warm up.
We left the restaurants and the rush spots behind and kept on moving on the other side of the hill where silence resided.
On a lonely clearing on grass and a few stones around, we sat there. Tired. Exhausted. We smiled at each other and had water and then citrus from my shoulder bag since I was the one carrying it.
It started to breeze. Wind was picking up.
A little cold whiff of wind mixed with warmer patches. All the city down below was before our eyes.
Her hair locks rose and fell occasionally with every little stronger gush of wind.
We could hear the birds without any city noise in the background.
I wanted to say something. But I did not know what to say.
I said: I do not know what to say. She put her hand on mine: “Then say nothing”!
I realized that to enjoy old friendships, you dont have to say things.
is the study of anything that is intrigued and loved by wisdom !
There are nearly 6.98 billion people living on Earth as of now. To this date, how many people have been born and died can be another staggering number, perhaps several times more than that.
The question is why you were born as an another soul? Why did the invisible hand sent you to this blue planet? You can call it God, Jesus, Allah, Raam, Om or whatever who sent you here but the fact is you were sent here and you would leave this place at some point in time. The question is thus why your soul was created and you were sent here? And if now you are here, why are you here?
Just take out a few minutes of your time to seriously think on it?
1. There was a gap that only you could fulfill.
2. That gap would require some thing e.g. a talent, a skill, a creative process, a service, a contribution that only you were able to do or to make.
3. If there were other people who could exactly do the same, then there were no need to send you for doing the same job. As we all know its stupid to designate the same job to more than a person, would not the intelligence and divine wisdom spread across the universe know this fact.
Thinking and pondering on the above three points may lead you to a feeling of Eureka about the most important pheonomenon in your life: you.
Why is your purpose important? Every thing has a reason to be. It is in our built in nature to do things for a cause. This is shown from our every day experiences of handling things and spending routines to our life long aims. We hate wandering around for no reason. Leaving a room and being asked where are you going, if we do not know where and we answer the same, we shall be considered insane.
For most of us we do things for a cause in a hierarchy. We learn things to earn and enjoy a good life. We earn because we want to have more comfort for ourselves, our families and those whom we love. We want to have things and activities done in a hierarchy.
Understanding the hierarchy is important. We need oxygen to breathe. The second most important need is of water. Then comes food. Then comes the comfort or maintaining a suitable temperature for our bodies which includes the need for clothing and shelter. Then lies the need of being loved and being intimate i.e. of touching and being touched, of hugging and making love. Then is the need of contribution; to give back what we have received. At the final top is the need for spirituality.
This hierarchy has been addressed in different manners of arrangement by several authors.
Spending real time to find out the real purpose of our life is addressing the top most need first. Knowing it and then weaving your path towards it step by step. This principle is quite highlighted by Stephen R. Covey in his work The Seven Habits and he has termed it Begin with End in Mind. To decide the final outcome first and then gradually work towards it and on our way keep addressing the needs as they need to be met.
What happens to us that we are addressed in the intermediary needs of comforting our bodies and egos so much that we never make it to the top. Most of us are caught up in a frenzy of gadgets, digital toys, cell phones, laptops, cars, devices, jewelleries and wearing apparel, dining and cuisines that we in fact lose sight of the final goal: our mental and spiritual development.
Efforting to know and finding out our entire purpose of being does not let us go lost. We do not end up confused some where in the middle before reaching our goals.
Knowing our entire purpose of life makes us stand in the elite of the elites. This elite group is nobler than any other elite group formed cause of possessions or financial status, since this can never be taken away from us.
Shall you choose to be in the super elite?
Being able to truly love ourselves involves delaying gratification.
This can be best explained by the experiment conducted with children aged 4 to 6 at Stanford University in 1972. They were offered marshmallows on a condition. Those children who would eat it right now, would get only one. Those who would chose to eat 30 minutes later would get two. Those who would choose to eat after an hour would get three.
Majority of the children chose to eat now. A little less opted for half an hour wait and further less number of children opted to wait for a full hour.
Years later studying the careers of the children, was discovered that those who were able to delay or defer the gratification had achieved a significantly higher level of success in their career.
Delaying gratification would thus mean postponing instant relief and joy for a much higher cause.