This is one of the many negative words that we use very regularly in our daily conversation.. "Problem in the workplace.. problem at home.. what a life..?"
What is a Problem..?
Look at this incident.. A young graduate was tired of hunting for job.. After many years, he got a job as a journalist.. He went to the office full of expectations and a subtle fear.. The chief editor called him and said, "Today is Independence day.. A navy vessel has docked in our harbor.. Navy personnel are celebrating Independence Day on the vessel.. Cover this as a news item for our magazine.."
First day, first assignment..!!
The young man ran excitedly towards the harbor.. In the evening, the other reporters who went to various places like the fort, collectorate, party office and so on gathered in main office to give finishing touches to their respective reports.. The new journalist was alone, sitting soulfully, without writing anything.. One of his colleague asked him gently, "Why aren’t you writing your report..?"
"It is all my luck..!! When I try to sell flour, a high wind blows and when I go to sell salt, it rains..!! The very first day, my assignment has got me into trouble.. The editor sent me to cover Independence Day celebration on the Navy vessel.. There were no celebrations on that vessel’ the young journalist expressed sardonically..
"Why..?" pursued the colleague.
"There was a big hole in that vessel.. People who had gathered there were busy in the preparation; hence no one noticed it.. Only when a lot of water had entered the vessel, did someone notice it.. And thereafter, they were busy repairing the vessel.. How on earth they celebrate Independence Day..?" asked new journalist sulkily..
His colleague was excited.. He exclaimed, "My God..!! That news should come on the first page..!!" and ran out to collect further information on that mishap..
The very information that made the new journalist wilt in sorrow because he viewed it as a "problem" was a golden opportunity for the other to prove his talent.. The new journalist had missed an opportunity which was spotted by another reporter..
Life is not something that happens according to a planned agenda.. It is a procession of unexpected opportunities..!! In fact, each problem is an opportunity for us..
Buddha was walking through a forest.. The woodcutters who were cutting wood nearby ran to him and said, "Stop, Please stop..!! There is a terrible demon in this forest.. He is a cannibal who eats human flesh..!! After eating a person, he cuts off the thumb and keeps it safe.. In that way, he has so far collected 999 thumbs.. He needs just one more to make it 1000.. His plan is, once the final thumb is collected, to string them all up and wear them around his neck..!! So, please do not go into the forest.. If you go, it would be a big problem for you..!!"
To that, Buddha replied, "I would get no better opportunity than this..!!" and enter deep into the forest..
As expected, the demon felled a huge branch of a banyan tree and appeared in front of Buddha in a cloud of dust.. But Buddha did not run away like others in fright.. He stood strong, firm and said, "If killing me gives you pleasure, you may please do so..!! I accept the fact that you are really strong.. But one thing.. .. though you have the strength to break a branch of a Banyan tree, you can never attach it back to that tree.. It is very easy to destroy.. But very difficult to join..!!"
"You know the art of destroying; I know the art of joining..!!" Buddha replied..
More than his words, the truth and compassion touched the demon deeply.. After that, he became a disciple of Buddha.. He was Anguli Mala..
Let us not get into the analysis of the story.. the truth of the tale is very simple.. The demon was not a "Problem" for Buddha; instead it was an opportunity to protect the villagers from further misery.. That is all..!!
For some, even small matter appear to be giant problem..
Opportunity is “Now here” or “No where”..!!
Ability is the Alertness to cash in on the Opportunity..
It is true that we may face a problem at times, in our lives.. During such moments, there are two possible ways out for us.. One, we catch the bull by the horn and directly confront a problem.. We may come over the problem or the problem could overcome us..!!
Let us see a simple comparison here.. .. Confronting a problem is similar to dating.. Oh, don’t get flustered that I am using a 'Bad term'; now, what is dating..?
It is simply an attempt by a young man or woman to find out about the taste, likes and dislikes of a person of the opposite sex.. .. is it not..?
View the problem like someone who is beautiful and try to ‘date..’ You will soon get to know the full dimensions of the problem, the ways and means to tackle it, and so on..!!
Do not consider the problem as a punishment.. You will definitely suffer.. Take it as a challenge, you will feel energized..!!
We major on minor things..
Learn to convert challenges into choices.. Failure in life is, who live but fails to love..
Shall I tell you about the various principles followed by people of prosperous countries in order to develop their nations further..?
The people of the West have a certain approach towards prosperity.. Once they set their goal to get a crop of two thousand apples per acre, they would toil relentlessly to reach that goal.. They would not worry about the fertility of the land, whether it can give such produce, and so on.. They would somehow manage to reach that crop level, even if they had to use chemical fertilizers.. This approach is known as Result-Oriented Management..!!
The approach of the Japanese people however, is slightly different.. They would not be as keen as to how many apples grew in one acre. instead, they would concentrate on the methodology of cultivating apples. "In what type of soil can an apple be cultivated .. .. .. how often should the plants be watered .. .. .." Their whole attention would be on such matters concerned with the cultivation of apples.. This approach is known as Process-Oriented Management..!!
The quantity of apples grown per acre by Japanese may at times even be less than that grown by the West. But the apples cultivated by them would be tastier..
This approach of Japanese is similar to the essence of sacred book in Hinduism, "Bhagavad-Gita".. 'Do your duty without worrying only on the result-the result is interwoven in the very act itself..'
The backbone of Japanese success is the principle known as Kaizen. Do you know the meaning of this term..? It means, 'continuous improvement.' That is to say, no matter how well a job is done; the next time it should be done even better than the previous time..
Just as we greet each other with a "Namaste..!!" or "Hello..!!" or "Good Day.." the Japanese say "Victory to the river of life..!!" For the Japanese, victory is not a goal.. .. they view each passing moment as a success.. For them, life itself is a victory..
When two people compete or fight, one person wins and other loses isn’t that so..? Can both win..?
They can..!! This is known as a "Win Win" approach.. Take the example of a company.. Two executives are discussing about a problem.. One expresses his opinion about the solution while the other’s opinion is exactly opposite.. Both of them are drawn into a heated argument.. In this argument, if one wins, the other should lose.. But, on the other hand, let us assume both of them view their opinions focusing on the solution to the problem without bothering who is right and who is wrong.. then they would reach a conclusion.. the focus should be let both win; in such a space a different energy opens up.. This very process will make them happy and satisfied.. In such a situation, both of them would feel as if they have won.. This is Win-Win approach.. This method is extensively used today by Indian corporates..
People generally operate from
'I am keen to succeed.. I have necessary skills & capabilities.. But my colleagues do not allow me to come up.. They suppress me and prevent me from succeeding..' is a common cribbing we hear often.. What I say may be difficult to digest. But please listen.
If a person is really keen to succeed, even if someone hinders, he would still come up, like a buried plant sprouting from the ground.. Even if a burning torch is held downwards, its flame is sure to rise up towards the sky..!!
One does not seek the opinion of tree to decide whether it is a good tree or bad tree.. It is known from the fruit that is borne by the tree.. Similarly, the world would not wait to find out whether you are a person borne to achieve great things in life after asking your opinion about that..!! It would be revealed by itself; by weighing your achievements..!!
Have an attitude of "I will better my best". Then an unknown power in you will arise.. Meet people with ‘win-win’ attitude and ‘no-lose’ approach.. You will find a mysterious power within..
While climbing the tree, grip the branches not the flowers..
Our goal should not be only success; but success and service..
God creates opportunities but expects us to search for them..
“Never compare your symptoms to others. Never compare your scars, never compare your stories, never compare your pain, never compare your weight and never ever feel like you haven’t done a good enough job at being sick. Your pain and your suffering is unique and it can not be measured or classified as worse or better than anyone else.”
— (via stay-ocean-minded)
While You Were Out
While You were out,
many things transpired..
A sky was born..
Love & Laughter married..
Ten Thousand suns were birthed..
I awoke a Butterfly,
my wings burst into song,
and I even changed my name..
While You were out..
Planets began to dance,
and all colors traded hues..
Stars turned themselves into ocean bottoms;
Grasshoppers into Gazelles,
and I left the earth
while You were out..
“Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don’t. Remember, too, that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. No-one said it would be easy. They only said it would be worth it - and it is!”
— Anonymous (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
Life is Mostly Quiet..
you don’t have to “know”..
Not so much that you render yourself helpless,
Helpless in the face of what Life brings next..
So make peace with knowing very little..
About how life “should” be..
Make amends with how things are..
Not knowing a thing,
walk with gentle knees,
ready to drop to them at any moment that Life dictates it..
Keep an empty hand so that it can be brought to your heart when a grief arrives..
Make up a bed that you can fall into,
as your own comforting arms..
We come to find that Life is mostly quiet..
It asks us to live by our knowledge,
while surrendering that very same thing..
It vibrates easily around us, candid & benevolent
You see, it’s only when we root
You see, it’s only when we root ourselves solid in some
Knowing again that Life seems to have to shout,
rises, lovingly from its whisper..
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
—-John Lennon—- Imagine
When we operate with an attitude of "I know everything," we fail to consider even those issues unknown to us. The simple reason is, we cannot, be open minded as we come from a structure "we-know-everything."
"Many of us remain blind and deaf despite having eyes and ears" Jesus said..
There was an excellent student. He had learnt many things from expert master. He wanted to learn about the river Ganga. So he went about meeting many scholars who knew a lot about the river.. He spent many days in gathering various details where the river originates, runs narrow, runs wide, where it gets flooded, where it mingles with tributaries..
After obtaining all possible details, he prepared an elaborate map featuring the river Ganga. Now he was quite sure that he knew everything that was to be known about the river. With that attitude, he got into a boat at Rishikesh. He wanted to reach the Bay of Bengal by boat, where river merges with the ocean. The map matched with the riparian flow - exactly; turning and twisting in all the right places.. Now the student was intoxicated with his own knowledge and felt extremely proud that he knew the whole history of the river. Suddenly, the river took a turn. According to his map, it should have turned to the right. The student was shocked. But he was unable to accept that the map could be wrong. He wanted the river to follow the map. He turned furious with the river. He broke his journey half the way through and returned home. Since he acted from the mentality that, "I know everything - attitude" he was not able to fully experience and enjoy the mysteries of the river.
We create maps of people & want people to fit in to our maps. We are too stuck with the map and hence miss the joy of being with the people..
Another bad habit we process is the inability to correct our errors easily. Though we know that the mistake is ours, we justify our actions. The bigger joke is in considering ourselves very clever for being able to justify our mistakes effectively..!! This mentality is called as being a ‘smart Alec’ or ‘smartie’..!!
A hawker was selling hand fans made of palm leaves. He proclaimed ‘This fan is long lasting, it will last for one hundred years. So the price is 5$. The king who saw this from his balcony was amused. He called the man into the palace and said, "Hey, are you joking..? How can this flimsy fan cast $5..? It should not cost even one cent..!! On top of it, you say it will last for 100 years. What a bluff..?"
The Hawker said, "Oh King, this is a very rare fan. It can last for one hundred years. that is why the price is so high..!!" The king refused to accept his explanation; but the hawker went on pursuing. Finally the King gave up. the King agreed to buy a fan on the condition that if it failed to last a hundred years, he would cut the hawker’s head off..!!
Later, as expected, the fan tore within a few hours..
The King’s men went looking for the hawker and brought him to the palace. The king ordered him to be killed. The hawker said, "Oh, King..!! I am not afraid to die. But I really wonder how this fan that should have lasted one hundred years, tore within such a short time in your hands, So, before killing me, would you be kind enough to explain to me how you used it..?"
The king relented to his last wish and showed him how he used that fan. At this, the hawker exclaimed with hurt look, "Oh, No..!! This is where the whole mistake is..!! this fan would surely last for one hundred years but this is not the way to use it. One should keep the fan in front and shake ones face to and fro and not the fan. Then the fan would last for 100 years.."
Ware experts in justifying our follies..
Now can you understand what being smart Alec means..?
Through the passageway of the Heart..
You, Me, In Here, Out There..
It has all become the same..
I would ask you to kiss my fresh tears,
but You might even be..
The One crying then..
Our bodies have become more like planets,
Heavy in their orbit and keeping us from meeting as closely as we desire..
Hurrying toward nothing..
the only thing worth answering is Love..
Happening into Loving,
the only thing worth being
What is it that you were given..?
I mean from the loss..
After, what was taken..
That very thing, you could never live without..
The person or place;
The secret, or circumstance..
Now that it is gone,
or has been found out,
& you can no longer call it foundation..
What is it that you were given..?
You know, and I know, this;
There is a hollowing out..
Something comes and opens you up
& from that moment on ,
You are no longer immune to this world..
You wake, you wander,
every familiar, now a foreign..
You walk as through water,
until you make it back to your bed..