Smart Working And Living In The `Now’

A wood cutter believed best day results are obtained by working hard; so he worked hard every . The first day he cut ten trees; the second day nine trees but the third day he could cut only eight trees.At the end of the week, he could cut hardly one tree despite the same six hours of hard work. Perplexed, he approached a wise man and asked him the reason.

The wise man replied, “More than hard work, what is crucial is smart working. Have you sharpened the saw?“ You have to learn to work smart, more than work hard. The brain, for ages, has been programmed wrongly; it has positioned the future to be your saviour. Hence, people think and believe, “If I get million dollars, I will become happy; if I get married, I will become happy .“

So your saviour seems to be in the future. This is the error the brain has done. The description of time is past, present and future. But the truth of time is present. Past was present, future will be present. Hence, the truth of time is present. If you do not know how to be happy now, you can never be happy. If the brain says, I will be happy in the future it is silently telling I am unhappy `now’. With such programming, when it gets the object of desire, it is experienced in the `present’ when the present has been programmed as `I am unhappy now’. So, despite getting what you want, you are unhappy .

You have to learn to be happy now in the present; and out of happiness, you have to get the object of desire and not `for happiness’. This is smart living. You have to bring in the power of `being’ and not get lost to the power of `becoming’. The power of `being’ is, I am happy `now’ and the power of `becoming’ is, I will become happy if I get this or that. How can there be growth, if there is no drive of `becoming’?

You have to look deeply into your life. The `becoming’ which appears to have brought a lot of growth in the form of development ­ has it given fulfilment? Despite achievements, there is no fulfilment. All growth is oriented towards fulfilment. When you position happiness in the future, there will be no fulfilment. So `becoming’ has not really given what is needed ­- fulfilment. Be happy now and out of joy, go about getting what you want. Get not for joy but out of joy.

Then, your work is going to be fun, your life is going to be a joy. For joy is in the `here and now’ and not in the future. The `will of wish’ makes you live for fantasy , but the `will of comprehension’ makes you see the fullness of the here and now.

Do understand that wishing to be happy in the future is different from `willing to comprehend the now’ what the `now’ is. Once this change happens, then life is always in the now. The future will happen, when it happens, it happens in the now. So the `will of comprehension’ transforms the mind. The brain, as one uses it, is creating a fantasy in the future but no fulfilment, but the moment you transform joy in the `here and now’, then the brain uses `the will of comprehension’. An appreciable revolution happens to the brain. This is smart living.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Secret of Happiness-4

A young man tells his mother he has fallen in love with a girl and wants to marry her.

“Just for fun, Mom,” he says, “I’ll bring over three girls and you’ll have to try and guess which one I’ll be marrying.”

And the next day, three beautiful women are sitting in front of his mother.

“Can you guess who will be my wife?” the son asks bubbling with excitement.

“The one on the right,” she replies in a blink.

“Oh my God! You’re amazing! How’d you know?”

“Cause…” she says nonchalantly, “I don’t like her.”

We don’t have to dislike something just because life is giving it to us. At times, playing a spectator, a nonjudgmental witness is all it takes to understand what direction we should take.

Our intrinsic nature propels us to discover our life’s meaning. When it comes to an inquisitive mind, discovery of meaning is the secret of happiness. You know, how there’s a release of energy and you laugh as soon as you understand a joke. So it is with life. You are set free the moment you get a grip on its meaning. Different things mean differently to different people. It’s a personal affair.

When you remain oblivious to the goodness, beauty and divinity in your life, or if you don’t selflessly devote a portion of your time to a cause, life is then forced to hand you the third perspective: suffering. It may come as acute boredom, deep sadness, severe depression or a wake-up call in the form of great personal loss. Whether you want to go with the first, second or third option, the choice is yours.

Himalayan lotuses don’t grow in fresh water ponds, they blossom in marshes. Emptiness or unhappiness is not a dysfunction of life. It’s not a malfunction of your mind. It simply means that life is telling you to reflect on yourself and your actions. It’s asking you that you no longer neglect your calling or that you find one. The seed of fragrance is the very basis of your existence. When stagnation arrives, the lotus of transformation is ready to bloom. All you have to do is not oppose it.

Go with the flow and see where life takes you. Let the seed sprout.

He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How…

Om Namah Shivay

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The Secret of Happiness-3

Service

The second way is to passionately give yourself to a cause. Devoting your body, mind and soul to serve a cause leads to a phenomenal expansion of individual consciousness. You will still have your down moments with everything else going around you, but you won’t feel your life is pointless. As soon as you take up a cause, you grow out of your limited and individual existence and step into a much larger play field. The baby bird has jumped out of the nest hoping to fly. It won’t fall flat on the ground. Precisely at the right moment, this bird will know how to flutter its wings. Nature will not let it die. Giving yourself to a cause forces you to reach the optimum level of your potential. Vedas call it rajas, mode of passion. You are full of energy when rajasic and can’t wait to get to work because your cause has given your life a meaning. Your cause breathes a new life into you awakening the spirit of service, transforming your negative emotions into a usable form of energy.

Suffering

By suffering I don’t mean that something terrible must happen in your life. Instead, anything that shakes us out of our illusions is suffering. Such incidents and experiences, while disconcerting, push us out of our comfort zone. They make us humble and more open to other perspectives. They impel us to reflect on our life, our choices and actions. You realize that what all you took for granted at one stage was actually a blessing. In this newfound wisdom and humility, you begin to look at life differently. The Vedic term is tamas, mode of ignorance. Ignorance leads to suffering. (Yes, it’s 100% true. For, suffering is not what happens to us but how we interpret it. An ignorant person can’t handle his or her loss in the same graceful manner an enlightened person would, for example.) In my view, ignorance is the chief cause of individual suffering and suffering is the seed of meaning. For Buddha too, it was the sight of suffering that melted him enough to quit royalty, don robes and embark on his journey.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Secret of Happiness-2

As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.

I think Dr. Frankl nailed it. We must have a reason to be happy. Our possessions and people are reasons to be happy, to be grateful, but they are not long lasting reasons because they don’t really give a meaning to our life beyond a certain degree. No doubt, they bring color, variety, pleasures, even moments of happiness and fulfillment. Yet, it doesn’t mean that we are leading a meaningful life. Otherwise, hundreds of millions of people, materially comfortable, wouldn’t be fighting the demons of loneliness, sadness and depression.

Friedrich Nietzsche contended, “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”

If you have a reason to get out of bed every morning, you will. If you’ve a reason to live, you will. If you’ve a reason to love, you will. If you’ve a reason to be happy, you’ll be happy. And reason boils down to one thing: meaning. If your life has meaning, if your relationships have meaning, you’ll be fulfilled naturally. Meaning is the only light that dispels the darkness of emptiness.

And there are three ways to find meaning in your life.

Goodness

Vedantic school has a famous phrase called Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Satyam is truth, Shivam divinity and Sundaram beauty. The moment you learn the art of seeing and appreciating the goodness in your life, you start to see the truth in its ways. You begin to see the divinity in everything life puts you through. You are inspired by the beauty of it all. The splendor, glory and miracle of every unfolding moment melts you from within, it gently forces you to see how goodness abounds your life. Blue sky, healthy body, a sound mind, green trees, vast oceans, everything is full of goodness. It’s a state of mind that can be consciously cultivated. Vedas call it sattva, mode of goodness. Goodness is synonymous to fulfillment. A sattvic mind (that is, mind full of goodness) is a tranquil mind. So, one way is to fill your mind with good thoughts. Or, make an effort to see the truth, divinity or beauty that exists in the present moment. Your life then takes on a whole new meaning.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Secret of Happiness-1

Dragging my feet from one day to the next, what am I really doing? This one question is unavoidable in the life of every reasonable person. Call it existential crisis, midlife crisis or whatever you like. If you have lived your life by the book, and did all that you could to help others and yourself, this phase is inevitable.

Every sane person, at some point in their life, is plagued by a persistent feeling of emptiness. Everything is there but nothing is, you feel. There is no real reason to be unhappy and yet happiness is nowhere to be found. I have wealth, family, freedom, status, I should be happy, you think but life still kind of feels pointless. As if the more we acquire the emptier we feel.

Not every rich man feels empty and not every poor man feels fulfilled though. Not all the time anyway. Happiness is a flirtatious partner. You can’t bet on its loyalty or stability. Often we think happiness exists in my dreamland, a place where everything (and everyone) will move according to me. And since, life will function the way I want, I won’t have to deal with feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, anger and so on. This is a lofty and an ignorant view.

A life devoid of challenges and conflicts is not necessarily a happy life, in fact, it is immensely boring and will eventually lead to intense sadness and a big void. Our struggles teach us, they shape us.

Quoting Dr. Victor Frankl, whose philosophy bears significant and direct influence on my views shared in this post:

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.

Om Namah Shivay

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Search for Happiness

Take life not as a struggle, but as a challenge. Take life not as a suffering, but a way to express the multitude of emotions. That is what I call wisdom.

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Q: Signs show that the children under the age of 2 years or so have the innate quality of empathy and compassion. What do you think happens to the children that they lose ‘compassion’ and ‘empathy’?

Guruji: Many things contribute for their behavioural patterns that change over the time. But the knowledge of ‘What one is’, ‘what the mind is’, ‘who we are’; like the memory, intellect, ego and the mind; this is missing. Nobody teaches us how to manage our emotions, how to manage our mind and this is where spiritual knowledge comes into play. Tells you how your body; breath and mind they are all related and the different moods of mind can be changed. So your whole perception and observation and expression in life can be affected by your own will rather than being a victim of your own perception. We are able to have a say over how we see. We gain a multi-dimensional approach in looking, absorbing, judging and understanding anything around.

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Search for Happiness

Just ask yourself this question, ‘Whatever you do in life, what is the purpose behind that? Why do you do what you do?’ It is to be happy, isn’t it so?

We do everything to be happy, but are we truly happy? If you ask young children whether they are happy now or not, they will answer, ‘Once I finish school and go to college, then I will be happy. Then my parents will not be behind me’.

When they join college, they feel that they will be happy once they get a good job. When they get a job, then they feel that they will be happy once they get married and settle down with a partner. Then after some time, they feel that once they have children then they will be happy. But then once they have their children, they worry about their education, and feel that once their children get admitted to a good school, they will be happy. Then after a few years, they feel that once their children finish their education and settle down, they will be happy. But by that time, their own life begins to come to an end.

We tirelessly run around our entire life in search of happiness, but we never find it. It is like preparing a bed to sleep on, but by the time we finish spreading the bed sheet and the pillows, it is morning already. We end up getting no time to sleep and rest. This is what we should not allow to happen.

Our life is very important. In this very life we can attain That through which everything in this creation has manifested and is in motion. It is important that we recognize that one supreme power which is making everything happen in this world. Once you realize that, then no one will be able to wipe away your smile, nor shake that deep love within you.

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When a small problem comes, or (whatever you think as) a big problem comes to you, you get stuck with it. Wake up and see, there are bigger problems that people are facing. They need you and you can be of use to them.

Om Namah Shivay

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7 Cs

What are the critical ingredients for experiencing genuine happiness? Here are seven elements of life that I believe are essential to the attainment of human happiness. Call them the “7 C’s in the pursuit of happiness.” One is not more important than any of the others.

1 -Compassion

In order to evolve into a state of happiness, you must develop your in-born ability to care about life, to value life in all its forms, to engage in loving, kind actions, to cultivate an attitude of what Nobel laureate, Dr. Albert Schweitzer called “reverence for life,” (including your own).

2 -Contentment

Inner calm. Peace of mind and heart does not mean acceptance of everything that happens. It does mean letting go of fear. When you live life fearlessly, you experience a kind of peace that permeates every cell of your body, every thought of your mind, every emotion of your heart, every element of your spirit.

3 -Connection

Without effectively connecting to other humans, you become less than human yourself. Connection means involving yourself in relationship to everyone around you, connecting to your own inner life, and becoming aware of the environment in which you live. Learn to create high-quality relationships, and your happiness is almost guaranteed.

4 -Communication

Communication is our primary method for connection. It increases your knowledge, your understanding, and your awareness. Language is precious. Words are the building blocks of all happiness.

5 -Commitment

Oprah Winfrey says that what motivates her to get up in the morning is “my commitment to my life and fulfilling my life purpose.” If one of your life’s purposes is to enhance your happiness, committing your life to the service of others brings more happiness than you can imagine. Happiness requires you commit yourself to something larger than yourself.

6 -Consciousness

Most spiritual teachers believe we are living in a sleep-like or dream state. In order to be happy, one must increase one’s awareness of life. And the single awareness that is most conducive to happiness is: the impermanence of everything. Life is in a constant state of flux, of change, of rhythm and of evolution.

7 -Creativity

Creating your life experience by consciously choosing your thoughts, your actions, your decisions and your attitudes will allow you to attain personal happiness regardless of external circumstances.

The pursuit of happiness is not something you search for or attain from outside your skin. Happiness develops from within. You were born to be happy. You were given life to experience happiness.

Pursuing it is your right. Sail the 7 C’s of happiness and the pursuit of it becomes obvious and being alive becomes the happiest of moments.

Om Namah Shivay

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