Thursday, January 27, 2011
We all want to live fully, to give 100% to our life, because we know that this is what gives meaning to our lives. We can achieve this only by learning to live consciously–in other words, by learning how to choose. We all can alter the course of events and increase our capacity for consciously changing the direction of our lives by learning how to choose.
In spite of the fact that there are things we cannot change, we still do have the possibility to choose consciously in many areas of our lives. This power to choose is what makes possible the progress of an individual and development of a society. Of course, there are some aspects of life that we cannot change, for example, the past. We can't even change our past and we cannot change any of its consequences. The best we can do with the past is to accept it and learn from it. But we have freedom to choose our future.
The only way of having some positive control over our future is through our wise decisions in the present. The most fundamental choice a person makes is what to do with his or her life. This choice is made not only with regard to how to earn a living. There is a deeper choice than the choice of a profession–one that affects all our decisions. It is the choice of the level on which to live. That level implies how we will live and what values we have. This decision touches every part of our lives and shapes the rest of our choices.
The world one chooses to live in depends on the meaning one gives to one's life. What does he want to do mainly in his life? What are his life goals? When one chooses the meaning of one's life, one is also choosing the meaning and the scope of one's struggles and achievements. Once a person's fundamental choice has been made, he enters another level of choice. He has to choose the steps he will take to fulfill his ideal.
Each choice has its consequences and is a limitation. The consequences of one's decisions are usually easy to foresee. The person who chooses a professional career knows beforehand that several years of his life will be committed to study or to specialized work. The artist doesn't choose just the road to fame; he knows very well the effort that choice of life will demand of him.
When someone chooses something, he also chooses everything that choice implies. If I decide to buy something expensive, I cannot complain that it costs too much. If I spend my money on luxuries, I cannot complain that I don't have enough to buy necessities. Yet not everyone accepts this obvious fact. Many people choose what they want, but reject what it implies.
Every time we choose, we limit ourselves. This is impossible to avoid. Sometimes we don't want to choose in order not to limit ourselves. But if we don't choose, we don't fulfill our goal. To be able to fulfill something, we need to concentrate our efforts. Even though we might be able to fulfill several objectives at the same time, we would never be able to fulfill all the possibilities we have.
We can never stop limiting ourselves because we cannot avoid deciding–even when we have not intended to make a decision. Not to choose is to decide to wait, to let time go by. This means that we are limiting ourselves by not channeling our efforts into something determined, something we would like to fulfill. Among our various options we make that choice not to choose. To limit ourselves is counterproductive when it reduces our capacity to understand and participate. But when we limit ourselves voluntarily, it makes us conscious of what we are doing, conscious of the responsibilities we assume and the meaning of our efforts and achievements.
Each choice we make determines our future possibilities. Each choice establishes a course of action, and within each course of action there are certain possibilities. It is important to know, each time we choose, what possibilities we have from then on, and which options we are giving up in order to fulfill our desires.
Every time a person completes a stage, he encounters new possibilities. While a student is in high school he appears to have many options, but in fact he has just two fundamental ones: to finish high school or not. While he is still in school he can think about all he will be able to do when he graduates, but it is only after he completes his studies that he has the real option of going to college. New possibilities appear after the conclusion of a stage.
If we make a habit of choosing consciously and are aware of the stage we are going through, we have greater strength to fulfill our objectives without wasting time. We know beforehand the path we will follow, the responsibilities we will assume, the work we will begin and the obstacles we will have to overcome. But when we don't choose consciously, we simply drift into danger. A person wandering on a mountain in the dark may come to the edge of the cliff without realizing it. The best he can hope for is to escape with his life and reach safe ground. That is, to get back safely to his starting point. Conscious choices help us to avoid not only wasting time but also suffering unnecessarily.
In addition to the choice of our ideal and the means to fulfill it, there are the countless decisions we make, every moment of each day. What mood will we be in today? How will we relate to others? What tasks will we do and how will we perform them? Though we may not be aware of it, the sum of the small decisions marks the path we will follow throughout the day, just as the wake behind the boat indicates in what direction it is headed.
Sometimes a person is surprised upon arriving at a particular place because it isn't the one he thought he had chosen. However, it really was the place he was choosing when he made all his little decisions, the ones that seemed unimportant and which he didn't associate with his ideal. Let's take the example of a father who almost never spends time with his son. Whenever he has the opportunity, he chooses something else, without seeing what he is doing: he goes out with his friends, watches television, or takes a well-deserved nap. As time goes by, the father-son relationship becomes increasingly distant. Finally the father realizes that his son is like a stranger to him. Although he had always wanted to have the best possible relationship with his son, the little decisions he made every day produced a very different and unexpected result.
Although one's ideal is chosen once and forever, it is fulfilled at every moment. When we understand this, we become more and more conscious of our choices we make and their consequences. To live consciously, then, is to choose intentionally the way we live all the time, both in the moments of great decisions and those of small, apparently insignificant ones. As we establish the habit of choosing consciously, we become better at handling our life successfully and we become masters of our lives.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Everyone likes success. Everyone seems to work for it. But do all get success? Inspite of their sincerity, why most of the people fail in their race race to success? What is missing in the people who fail? Shiv Khera answer the questions very clearly. Please read and remember...
Fire of Motivation
I believe in two premises:
(i) most people are good people, but can do better; and
(ii) most people already know what to do, so why aren't they doing it?
What is missing is the spark--motivation. Some self help books adopt the approach of teaching what to do; we take a different approach. We ask, "Why don't you do it?" If you ask people on the street what should be done, they will give you all the correct answers.
But ask them whether they are doing it and the answer will be no. What is lacking is motivation.
The greatest motivation comes from a person's belief system. That means he needs to believe in what he does and accept responsibility. That is where motivation
becomes important. When people accept responsibility for their behavior and actions, their attitude toward life becomes positive. They become more productive, personally and professionally. Their relationships improve both at home and at work. Life becomes more
meaningful and fulfilled.
After a person's basic physical needs are met, emotional needs become a bigger motivator. Every behavior comes out of the "pain or gain" principle. If the gain is greater than the pain, that is the motivator. If the pain is greater than the gain, then that is a deterrent.
Gains can be tangible, such as: monetary rewards, vacations, and gifts. They can be intangible, such as: recognition, appreciation, sense of achievement, promotion, growth, responsibility, sense of fulfillment, self worth, accomplishment, and belief.
Inspiration is changing thinking; motivation is changing action.
Motivation is like fire unless you keep adding fuel to it, it dies. Just like exercise and food don't last long, neither does motivation. However, if the source of motivation is belief in inner values, it becomes long--lasting.
- Shiv Khera
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Recently I came across a beautiful poem in net. It explains the necessity of letting go in some phases in our life. Here is the poem-
Letting go is one of the hardest lessons in life.
Yet over changing seasons and passing time,
You will have to learn to let go of certain
People, relationships, situations and things,
That fall way beyond your control.
… …. … ….. …. …
As life likes to dish out surprises and challenges,
Sometimes it is only through letting go,
When your heart cries in anguish,
That in the agonizing process that you realize,
What is truly worth holding onto.
Letting go does not signify weakness,
As it might take more courage to let go than holding on,
Like the big, inflexible tree that snaps in the storm,
While tiny blades of grasses yield and live on,
Revealing the strength of letting go.
- Fion Lim
As the poet says, sometimes letting go is not weakness. On the contrary it requires strength. When we find some past memories serve no purpose to our happiness and to our future it is wise to let go of the past. When we can no longer hold some persons in our life it is better to let them go from our life. Unwillingness to let go will only create more problems and more aches in our life.
Say goodbye to the past and welcome the present. Letting go of a life as you have known it, and accepting the changes that come with it, is difficult and can at times, be quite painful. Letting go and go on to a future will not be the same, but might even be better once you let go of all the pain and realize that you can make it through.
Find new friends, new things to do, look to the future, and accept the past as being just that - the past stored away as a memory and open a new page in the book of your life. Let go of the past, and you are free to think clearly and positively in the present. You are not your past. It is really insanity to conjure up your own reality based on the past and relate to it, rather than to relate to the present which is the only reality.
You can glimpse something higher than your own painful certainty over who you think you are. There is always something higher; a life beyond the limits of your present sight. To see what is farther you must be willing to lift your eyes from your present point of focus. Release always follows revelation and real revelation is always a glimpse of something that was only just out of sight.
So be strong and release yourself from your pain. Let go of your agony. Start now to accept your strength. See that the suffering we encounter is self created. Learn to let go and move forward in your life. As Ajahn Chah advises, “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.”