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.
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 !
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.
Miracles are outcome of thought process transformed into belief in three stages.
Delaying gratification means to delay the pleasure for a higher reward or a higher destiny we believe in. For that we have to have a higher cause; a direction or a destiny which we want to achieve.
It is a fact that people with aimless lives are not able to exercise delaying gratifications and they can fall for any thing that brings instant joy to their five senses. We face countless situations in our daily life, where we have to delay our gratification. There always exists a deferred achievement and an instant gratification for every emotion we feel.
The gratification for anger for example is to take it out, immediately, instantly, with all the frustration on the person whom you think is responsible. Yet there is a higher achievement reward if we chose to delay our bursting out. It is a high mutual trust, respect and strengthened bond between us and the person involved. The gratification for a news paper reading is that no one disturbs us but if our 4 year old kid comes to us with a drawing book, we have to delay our gratification and attend to the child. For a higher reward of bond, love and value
A hand searches some thing in the mudded floor of a mine. A stone rolls itself towards the palm. The hand picks it up and takes off mud from it. Raises it to see in the sun light. A diamond is born.
It is uncut. Potentially a gem, but presently a stone.
It lets itself be cut and cut again. It lets itself be exposed to the several hundred cuts and hits by the gem cutter.
Its shine depends on its willingness to expose itself for the cuts.
Believe yourself to be a potential gem, but currently a stone. Be willing to offer yourself to be exposes to the tests and cuts of time. Do not be afraid or hesitant for that. Not for a single moment.
In works of theology I have seen saints and prophets thanking God in fact , whenever they were put to a test. They knew it was another cut by a super hand to transform them into a gem.
This understanding and willingness is an act of love!
The recent earth quake in Japan 14:46 Tokyo Time on March 11, 2011 shifted Earth’s axis by 10 inches. It took a huge jolt of 8.9 magnitude to do that.
In the late hours of the night, all I do listen is the click click of my key board. The past few years seem to be like a dream. I wonder if they ever existed in reality. I wonder if they ever were a part of real time.
I look back into the past in the silence of these hours and I feel I am no more what I used to be. I have gone through the pains, the woes, the joys, the pleasures, the winnings and the losses and they all have made me what I am.
I am changed and yet I find the most inner deep core has remain unchanged, unaltered by any of the event, harsh or smooth. That inner core is what I really am.
For some a jolt or an event of much less magnitude shifts their core. This shift is often not controlled but involuntary and thus often not very benevolent.
For some, rather a few, it takes only a huge event to shift their inner core.
For some more, who are much rare, nothing is able to shift their inner core. They are determined and have an attitude of no matter what.
Their act of not allowing their inner core to shift is a deliberate act, requiring wisdom, poise, self discipline and a commitment to stay what they are. This is an act of love!