Personal Growth - Living with passion
by Anil Bhatnagar
With passion, blood finds new joy in circulation, mind receives more oxygen, alertness level touches a new high, each cell of body displays happiness and gives rise to a more tolerant and caring
Genuine passion takes you out of the confines of your narrow personal achievements and inspires you to contribute more to the larger self. This kind of passion makes you feel that you are a humble
People who lack passion feel that if they could get this promotion, or get rid of that physical problem, they will be happy. But those whom they find extremely happy usually have similar problems, if
Between the two zeros of what you possess at your birth and death, you have only one thing with you: the adventure of playing the game of life with utmost passion and with a progressively bigger
Value of your own life comes not from your achievements, but from the quality of passion with which you are still making ceaseless efforts today to make it shine further
Paradoxically, whenever we wish to hold on to life we lose it and when we tend to give it away to others we live on. Whatever and whenever we give, we, in fact, give to no one else but to ourselves
There was a deafening silence… seemingly an endless one… till it finally broke, a few moments later... by the feeble words of Ujjwal’s father whose head was in his lap. “I had seen only others dying. It is very different on this side of the experience. In the midst of several funerals that I attended, life always appeared to be an endless stretch to me. Forty-seven is not an age to have one’s last breaths... to leave you all behind… it is indeed painful,” he tried to purse his lips in an attempt to suppress his cry, and then resumed: “What I regret is not this death… it had to come… it is inescapable. Initially I thought that my pain is because I am going a little earlier…but now I realise that, honestly, it would not have been much different, had I been dying at 97. My pain, in fact, is because of a guilt… yes, it is guilt!… I am getting crushed under the weight of this regret...”
He paused and then burst into an uncontrolled wail of cry. “I just allowed the life to pass by me like a train. I never boarded it… I never lived it… and if you don’t care to board it, you don’t board it… it is immaterial whether for 47 years, or for 97 ye…ee…ee.”
His head dropped dead abruptly in Ujjwal’s arms. It was all over!
Isn’t it ironical that how few among us remember to board the train! Most of us just allow life to pass us by, as if it was not meant for us… as if we have another one in the bank. Many among us merely exist, as if doing a favour to life—only to arrive in life tomorrow at a place that may closely fit, at least emotionally, the above description.
A few examples follow:
If his friend had not introduced him, seeing his demeanour I would have taken him to be anything but a police officer. Dhiren (not his real name) walked into my room listlessly with a stoop. As he settled down in the chair in front of me, his posture evoked sympathy and he reminded me of a robust machine gathering rust and dust for want of repairs, having gone bad in its early years (Dhiren was 32). It was really hard to believe that he was once full of life… madly in love with and passionate to the hilt for volleyball. Surrounded with kids from the neighbourhood whom he coached too, he spent his evenings playing volleyball.
Today, Dhiren finds nothing interesting or joyful. Every day brings a burden of having to carry on with activities that he is least interested in. The volleyball court at the back of his house wears a deserted look. When Dhiren recalled how he was expecting to be selected into the police team but could not make it, anyone could easily see the pain in his eyes. It was a setback hard to take for Dhiren, and he, indeed, never touched the ball after that day. The little kid in him still yearned to play. But his ego, the senior and stronger boy in him, having been denied the label it was hungry for, wanted to punish the little kid by confiscating his object of joy—the volleyball!
Bhakti Madira, 49, wife of a busy executive, had everything a woman of her age would dream of—a big bungalow, a chauffer-driven car, children settled in the US and everything only a wish away. Madira, however, felt nothing but a void in her life that was growing with every passing day. Earlier she managed to run away from this void by finding escapes in the kitty parties. But the very shallowness of the events had dried up all her willingness to attend them. She had probably arrived in life where she wanted to, only to discover its hollowness! She had visited almost every doctor she was referred to, but her depression was there to stay.
Aarti, 27, was intelligent, ethical and creative, and worked for a company that dealt in brassware exports and other gift items. When she first met me, she appeared to be full of joy, at least till her mask fell off. She confessed how her job and her unpleasant interactions with her boss were killing her slowly. Faxes, emails, files, notes, meetings, favouritism, backbiting and office politics—she was sick of it all now. Beneath the apparent neck-breaking speed of activities, things were actually moving at a pace that could be frustrating even to a snail. She felt that there was a lot that needed to be changed but despite suggestions, there was hardly anything substantial ever done. Aarti found life abysmally hollow and a practical joke that was too dirty to take.
Luckily for Dhiren, Madira and Aarti, I could give them much in advance a glimpse of the end like Ujjwal’s father’s that awaited them. Dhiren called me up only a week later to share with me that he had resumed playing volleyball… and though he would still continue to contest for a place in the police team... a rejection would only feel like a bad shot… nothing more. Passion and joy had returned in his life and so had the children.
Today, Madira, with the help of like-minded ladies, runs a free school for the children from slums in day-time and for the illiterate adults in the evening. Once a year, she visits her children in the US and sometimes even without her husband. She says she showers love on them as if there will never be a second time.
Aarti, a few months down the line, surprised her boss by walking out of the job. She began by selling her paintings, artefacts, ideas and guidance to several gift-item galleries and big brassware exporters. Today, she herself owns a rapidly growing export business.
She admits her courage came by meeting her cowardice head-on. Initial setbacks and failures did not frighten her… she had mentally prepared herself for them. “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do!” is the phrase that she often repeated to herself.
What has brought life back to these people? It is obviously passion! And it can bring life back to you too!
Index of life: Whether you are an ordinary person or a celebrity, you can do without passion only if you can do without life because it is passion alone that determines the extent to which you are alive.
People say every cigarette reduces your life span by an hour. That could indeed be true. But truer is the fact that an hour spent doing something unwillingly has already subtracted an hour from your life. Life is not a collection of days you manage to live through, but of ‘todays’ that you live passionately to the hilt.
People who lack passion feel that if they could get this promotion, or that kind of a bank balance or get rid of some health problem, they will be happy. But the fact is that those whom they find extremely happy usually have similar problems, if not more serious ones. We human beings, like any piece of iron, can propose to finish ourselves in two ways: we may rust ourselves out or we may simply wear ourselves out. Rust looks ugly; wearing out brings shine!
Value of life: How valuable would diamonds be, if they were as common as pebbles on the road? Their value is only because they are rare and need the ceaseless effort required to mine and cut them to shape. Value of your own life, in a similar way, comes not from your achievements, but from the quality of passion with which you are still making ceaseless efforts today to make it shine further. Musicians, painters, scientists, inventors, authors and others who are creatively living their lives are cut off from thoughts of any monetary concerns, like “how much will this fetch me?” or “is it worth the royalty I am going to eventually earn?” The mind is instead focused on enjoying the excitement of responding to the challenge at hand.
Under James Cameron’s original deal, he was to receive an $11.5 million fee for his role as writer, director and producer of the movie, Titanic. However, as costs for Titanic soared out of control to more than $200 million—twice its original budget, not ready to compromise with his passionate vision, he volunteered to forgo most of his fees and profit-participation except for his $1.5 million writer’s fee. Cameron also agreed to forgo half of his profit-participation on the next movie he would make for Fox.
Overjoyed with the success of the movie, the two studios—Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox that produced the film—later agreed to jointly restore Cameron’s original deal. He eventually ended up earning much more than his original deal!
Sudha Chandran, the Bharatanatyam dancer, who lost her right leg below the knee, and persevered with her passion for dancing through pain, blood, tears and doubts, stormed back to life as a well-known dancer and television actress.
In spite of nature denying him the use of his physical body, Stephen Hawking, the author of the seminal book, A Brief History of Time, is considered the most important theoretical physicist since Albert Einstein. So severely handicapped is his body that he takes eight to 15 minutes to compose his answers to audience’s questions by using a computer cursor with his crippled right hand, spelling out each word letter by letter.
The world is replete with examples of people who have kept the flame of passion alive against all odds.
Fuel for fulfillment: Anyone who finds circumstances unfavourable, has in fact only found what he has all along been looking for—even though only subconsciously. Those who find pursuing meaningful goals difficult, settle for the next best—they pursue nice and convincing excuses. And what you look for usually finds you before you can find it. If you focus on results, you achieve them; if you focus on having explanations for failures, that is precisely what you will find. However, people pursuing their goals rarely notice any ‘unfavourable circumstances’ on their way. The goals that burst forth from your soul, if noticed with intense feelings, pull you towards them the way a rubber band pulls a loose object towards the fixed end on being released.
Secret of physical and spiritual fitness: The word ‘inspiration’ means ‘to be one with the spirit’, and the word ‘enthusiasm’ composed of the two roots ‘en’ + ‘theos’, means ‘to be one with God’. Passion both stems from and causes spiritual fitness. Lack of passion therefore stems from spiritual poverty and can be overcome by placing everything you do in the wider context of meaning, values and ethics. And passion, in turn, helps you search for the deeper meaning in everything you do. It is a chain reaction that once triggered feeds on itself and goes on growing bigger and bigger progressively.
With passion, blood finds new joy in circulation, mind receives more oxygen, alertness level touches a new high, each cell of the body displays happiness and gives rise to a more tolerant and caring attitude. Sleep deepens, helping the body to repair its worn out cells, and diseases suddenly find themselves out of place in any part of the body. Passion is therefore the most precious and vital tonic that you alone can produce for your body, and that too free of cost!
Improves learning ability: ‘Learnacy’ is the initiative and ability to learn what is really required to be learnt, and consistency with which one applies the appropriate kind of knowledge to real life situations. Interestingly enough, it does not come with opportunities but with passion. People who have a big enough ‘why’ to achieve something, learn and do all that it takes to do so, anyhow. In contrast to this, all opportunities and facilities provided to someone who lacks passion shall go down the drain. As a corporate trainer, I always find that the resulting passion helps participants learn better when I help them connect to their own spiritual essence.
Deepens relationships: When one dares to lay oneself bare spiritually, giving away all that one has, and making oneself totally vulnerable, most of the relationships lack this passion.
With passion, a relationship moves deeper from dealing merely in clichés, facts, distortions and opinions to the sharing of needs and feelings. Most of the relationships fail to go beyond the first four levels and find it difficult to reach the deeper two levels wherein both sides can express, understand and fulfill each other’s feelings and needs with concern, respect, fearlessness and honesty.
Inculcates value for time: What would you do with your time if you were passionate about life? Fritter it away? Kill it somehow? No. Time would become extremely precious for you. It will make you ceaselessly aware of how you spend each moment of yours—clearing away the fog of absent-mindedness. Passion is a powerful tool to inculcate mindfulness. And mindfulness will make you proactive, more centred and less stressful.
Cues for developing passion
Focus on today from the window of tomorrow: You need to look back at all the facets of your ‘today’, from the window of that tomorrow when the changed scenario in the respective areas would have pleased you to the hilt. See this gap between what you will be in that tomorrow and what you are today. Also see the journey involved to bridge this gap. Lethargy, fear of failure, low self-esteem and lack of trust in your self in the name of spirituality and fake contentment shall dissuade you from it.
Own responsibility: Between your potential and performance flows a river of hesitation. You can’t cross the river merely by staring at the water. You either need an inferno at your end to escape from, or a glimpse of the treasure awaiting across the river, or both. In other words, we need pain to run away from, a pleasure to go towards, or both. Nature ceaselessly provides us both intermittently, so as to ensure our ceaseless movement towards growth. However, it also provides us with the freedom to turn our backs on them. We usually settle for the latter because we at first imagine a threat and then, as our response to it, want to play safe.
Don’t you think we take life and ourselves too cheaply? Don’t we deserve more love, respect, commitment and care towards our lives? If you don’t care for yourself, who else will? Be a responsible gardener to your life.
Timely action is the key: There are two ways to manage your life; to cope with its problems and consequent stresses, or to work towards overcoming them. None of the two is sufficient in itself. We need the first while we are in the process of the second. But for some, the first may sometimes be tempting enough to get stuck in, which may allow the stresses to increase till they go beyond one’s coping abilities. For example, it may often be tempting to get stuck in your religious rituals to run away from the desired actions to avert an unpleasant happening. Though this may distract you from the problems in life and help you in protecting your inner peace from stressful thoughts of impending threat, but in the absence of the desired action, you are losing the opportunity to put into practice the wisdom of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.
Review your dreams: There are only two emotions: pain and pleasure. And passion is an offspring stream that flows between the two. It feed-forwards into pleasure the lessons it learns from the pain. When we fail in either of these two constituent abilities—receiving and rightly interpreting the lessons from the pain, and persistently feeding them forward as an investment in intended pleasures—we fail to strike the fire of passion within. So being ceaselessly awake to the gap between one’s potential and intentions (the idea of a dream life complete in all its facets) and one’s performance and pains (the reality of one’s present life circumstances) is the key to strike passion. And striking passion is akin to striking gold. The only fundamental wealth we have is that of passion. You can create anything with it and also lose anything without it. However, an insecure man feels too secure with his present to allow himself to try any experiments with it.
Learn from sorrows: The real sorrow in life is not getting sick, old or having to die, for we often come across sick, old and dying people who are happy. The real sorrow of life is to lose the ability to feel the sorrows—and hence that of doing the needful. Pain is a message from Nature that you should pay attention to and address. If you put a frog in boiling water he will leap out immediately. However if you put him in water at room temperature but slowly heat it, he will get roasted in it and won’t come out. Most of humans do get roasted in their suffering, having lost their sensitivity to the pain they are going through. You need to develop awareness of the pain, track it down to the learning hidden in its roots and persevere to take appropriate action to leap out of it.
“Whenever you lose, at least do not lose the lesson involved,” says His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Sorrow and pain must be accepted with grace but not as a punishment meted out to us for our past deeds that we cannot even remember. It should be seen as a signal towards the necessity of looking within to discover and correct where we are continuing to flaunt any of the laws of nature. You and I, as a parent, would not like to keep an account of our children’s wrongs and punish them for mistakes that they have forgotten and corrected since. God is surely wiser than us and kinder too. So don’t believe if you ever hear: “Suffering is the nectar that washes away our sins”. The nectar is in learning, not in suffering.
You deserve it!: The universe has only one purpose—to plant desires in our mind and help us fulfill them. It helps us progressively recover our divinity in the process. Paula Horan, the well-known reiki master, says: “It is indeed not the ocean’s fault if we approach it with a teaspoon.” There is only one thing that you can do to be able to ask—redefine your goals in terms of giving and connect yourself to whatever kind of ‘giving’ inspires you. Convince yourself that you deserve to ‘give’ and be ‘given’ whatever you ask for. Have a role model in your life—a person who has already arrived in an area of your interest both in terms of contribution and achievement. And you will be surprised that he could reach where he has, on the strength of only those qualities that you possess or can develop even today. The secret of the existence of a gap that exists between your role model and you is that he ceaselessly believed even in times of adversity that he deserved and hence was highly willing to make efforts to hone his talents.
Heal your self-esteem: One reason why a common man has difficulty in believing that he deserves or can achieve what he wants to is that his self-esteem is usually damaged. The good news is that it can be revived.
The baby elephant is tied with a strong steel chain, which it ceaselessly attempts to break away from, but fails. The result? The elephant owner doesn’t need to use the metallic chain to tie it any longer when it grows into a powerful adult. Why? Because as a result of the thousands of unsuccessful attempts it made as an infant, the elephant developed an unshakeable conviction about its inability to break away from whatever it is tied with. Unfortunately, parents and teachers, though only unknowingly, let a similar process run through our own children as well. A person with low self-esteem cannot think beyond mere survival. His ability to dream has already been forfeited by the society. And since he cannot dream, he doesn’t feel challenged. In the absence of challenges, he cannot feel the need to mobilise his dormant inner resources.
In reply to a teacher’s advice, “Hard work never kills”, a student replied: “But why take a chance?” Jesus said: “Knock and it shall be opened unto you”. But we, like this student, ask ourselves: “Why try, when I am not sure that it will.”
Grow step by step: The tree is complete and perfect at every stage of its growth so that it can allow and enjoy its growth every moment. A baby tree may compare itself with another that is fully-grown and feel incomplete, not realising that it is already that if only it allows itself to grow as per the information programmed in its seed. So realise that your role model too was once a baby tree but he realised that Mount Everest can only be climbed step by step. It cannot be reached in one go just as you cannot eat the whole chapati in one go. Your role model systematically divided the whole journey into baby steps that he could take every day with 100 per cent attention and stayed alert towards the best possible use of the coming moments.
Examine your subconscious vision: There is no one among us without a vision; though consciously we may not be aware of it. You arrive in life where your vision takes you. And where you are now can help you discover the subconscious vision that you had been carrying all this while. And if this is true, you can easily determine where you would find yourself tomorrow, if you ruthlessly examine your hidden vision.
There are three kinds of vision. Examine which one is yours:
• V1 vision that stems from the fear of losing what one has acquired already, and hence is more concerned about maintaining a status quo.
• V2 vision, that stems from the fear of failure, and hence weighs up what is possible and what is not on the basis of past evidence.
• V3 vision, that stems from not fear but from love that seeks to fulfill one’s dreams about how the world should be. A person with V3 vision is committed to giving whatever it takes to fulfill his/her vision. It requires a quantum leap of faith, courage, and passion for one to shift to a V3 vision. But it is possible.
Balance ‘being’ and ‘doing’: ‘Being’ and ‘doing’ are inseparable parts of the whole we call Nature. We do not need to drop action in order to ‘just be’, for both ‘being’ and ‘doing’ constitute an inseparable whole just as mango and sweetness do. If you are truly in your ‘being’, you cannot live without ‘doing’. The more you are with your being, the more clarity you will have about what you are. And the more clarity you develop about who you are, the more conviction you will grow about ‘why’ you are here, and what you ought to be doing with your life.
Identify genuine passion: A sure sign of genuine passion is the fact that it takes you out of the confines of your narrow personal achievements and inspires you to contribute more to the larger self. This kind of passion fills you with a feeling that you are a humble servant but with a heroic mission. Your goals are in terms of ‘giving’, not ‘getting’, ‘grasping’ or ‘achieving’. Lord Mahavira said: “The end of all desires is the end of all sorrows.” Follow this great teaching when you arrive at it (with your emotional and spiritual maturity), not before (with your intellect alone), otherwise you will be trying to pluck the flower without reaching close enough to it. Desires indeed have no end—more so when we do not dare to acknowledge them honestly and do not seek their fulfillment.
Let inner peace prevail: There are three kinds of people. One, who are so deeply satisfied with themselves and sing glories of the virtue of contentment that they stop growing; two, who are so discontented that they see no point doing anything; and three, who are so obsessed with speedy results that their impatience consumes them. All these three kinds of people immobilise themselves and instead of growing, begin to decay. Contentment or frustration of the kind that makes us stagnate in life can hardly be spiritual.
You cannot focus on your work whole-heartedly unless there is peace in your mind and contentment in your heart. You cannot look at frustration and draw the necessary passion to dream and do what is possible if you allow yourself to become it, i.e., allow it to consume you or get consumed by it. Keep distance from it—the way you keep distance from fire—so that you use it without getting burnt.
Make a habit of returning to evaluate your day’s actions and performance and to refuel yourself every night with frustration and passion for the next day.
You should not only be contented but grateful too for what God has given you and where it has helped you arrive. However, you should have enough frustration to keep you from stagnating where you have arrived. And this frustration becomes even more powerful when its focus progressively shifts from narrow personal achievements to a purpose of contributing to a cause much bigger than yourself.
Be here and now: The solution of life does not lie in finding a permanent end to it, imaginary or real. It lies in learning to live it correctly, joyously and ceaselessly with passion. In order to be happy, you need to feel happiness. If you are living in a sea of happiness but don’t know how to feel what you are in touch with, I am sure there will be no happiness for you. Nirvana or moksha, like happiness, are no different. The road to moksha, nirvana or God, therefore, is an inward journey of progressively deeper awareness of what you already are. It is strewn with carrots of intentions planted within you by Nature, as milestones, in order to inspire and guide you further on the path. When you don’t trust your ability to learn how to live correctly or to live without creating progressively more and more problems, then with your wishful thinking you invent a distant moksha, or distant nirvana and such escapist stuff! Who knows nirvana or moksha is your today’s reality you may be turning your back on?
Flow with life mindfully: One of the greatest spiritual qualities is that of being aware of what and why one is doing what one is doing at any moment. Lack of goals or passion in achieving them is certainly what would not necessitate or help one develop this quality. Most of the people don’t realise that flowing with life is not the same as living irresponsibly, absentmindedly, passively and purposelessly. Life is an exciting journey if it traverses through the progressively meaningful goals that you set for yourself. Like Ujjwal’s father, the realisation that what we were going through so far was ‘life’ and what all we could have done with it dawns on us just a few minutes before death. How pathetic, painful, and regretful! I wonder, if only we could get to live those last five minutes of realisation somewhere towards the early or even the middle part of life, how much life it could inject in our lives. I also wonder what possibly would happen, if once introduced to them, you could live every five minutes of life like those last five minutes.
Aim high: The answer-sheets of the toppers when compared to those of the average or not so good students are not necessary long with extra pages attached. However, a typical topper’s answer sheets have more marks per inch of the page. It has almost no paragraph that is without compliments or rich marks. We can make our life like a topper’s answer-sheet. Each month, week, day and hour of our life is akin to the page, para and line of our answer-sheet. And each small or big piece of job or project that we undertake is like each answer on our answer-sheet. Our attempt should be to undertake only those jobs/projects that are high-scoring and highly meaningful from Nature’s point of view and attempt them in a way that each month, week or day spent carrying them out secures us rich compliments and marks from the universe.
Conserve passion: Some people are passionate while planning their life, if at all they ever do it, but the passion gets dissipated on its own very soon. It fails to percolate down from their filofax into their daily living. To have moment-to-moment passion in our lives we not only need to ignite passion but conserve it too. A great day does not begin in the morning; it begins the night before with the chalking out of a plan for it. It is pursued the next day as planned while maintaining the tempo by allowing yourself to contemplate on the desired ‘means’ and ‘ends’ pertaining to every new activity before starting it with your best of attention and intention.
Look for sustainable pleasure: Everything we do, we do for one of the two reasons; we are either running away from the pain or moving towards the pleasure. But life is not all that simple. Take the case of cigarette smoking. It is a combination of both—it gives instant pleasure to a smoker but there is a pain too lurking somewhere beneath.
Had we been loving ourselves we would instead of focusing on the taste of it (or the instant pleasure) or on the difficulty involved in having to give up the habit (or the instant pain), we would be focusing on the painful consequences if we don’t give up smoking (or the distant pain) and the joy of giving it up (or the distant pleasure). Present moment living does not mean living irresponsibly without taking consequences into consideration. Responsible present moment living means recognising the fact that the person going to suffer as a consequence of your present act(s) will be no one else but you.
The focus on distant set of ‘pain’ and ‘pleasure’ makes us realise the urgency of change and inspires us to grow in life. The focus on instant set of pain and pleasure reinforces our inertia and sucks us deeper into the quagmire of decay. So stop yourself from time to time and check which of the two sets of ‘pain’ and ‘pleasure’ your thinking is focused on at that point of time.
Live life king-size: There are two kinds of pain in life: The pain of hard work or of other sacrifices necessary to materialise your dreams and the pain of not being able to do so. The former kind is any day more desirable than the latter. Your subconscious mind and nature conspire to make you taste a life that you find most acceptable considering your present perception of the pain-pleasure equilibrium.
Between the two zeros of what you possess at your birth and death, you have only one thing with you—the adventure of playing the game of life with utmost passion and with a progressively bigger and still bigger heart till there is nothing left outside it. The heart cracks only when it resists becoming bigger.
Have worthwhile goals: Like physics that teaches us that the electric current flows in proportion to the potential difference, the metaphysics throws light on the secret of our own life current. It teaches us that life current flows in proportion to the intensity with which we feel the potential difference between where we are and where we can be, and between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing. Beware: achievements, success and money can give you a lot to live with, but nothing to live for that gives you hope, joy, meaning, happiness and purpose.
Take obstacles in right spirit: Apart from indicating that we are flouting certain laws of nature, or pursuing a path not meant for us, we may encounter obstacles for any or both of the following reasons as well:
• We are being made stronger and better prepared for the future. Obstacles on our way may come when God feels too happy with us and wants us to grow even stronger. A river looks beautiful when it flows serenely under a moonlit night. It, however, looks even more beautiful and mightier when it lashes out at the rock that she meets on her way. The only way to grow stronger is to believe that you are a river that no rock can stop from flowing.
• We lack clarity, conviction and consistency in what we are attempting. When the river meets a rock as an obstacle on its way, it recedes while evaluating with clarity the real effort required to climb and conquer the rock. It prepares itself with conviction and then charges again. It makes better progress this time but still fails to touch the peak before its fall. It goes backwards mentally measuring an even longer run-up this time and gathering itself together towards its goal. And this time, it surges ahead with full force and courage, telling herself that failure is not an option. And it indeed makes the rock look too short in its presence, this time. It climbs and dances on the head of the rock, as if celebrating its victory.
Notice your wishes: How do you pluck a flower? You notice it, you wish to have it, you walk towards it and then pluck it when it is in your hand’s reach. Similar is the case with achieving anything in life. If there is something that you are feeling pained about or a pleasure you want to move towards—notice your wish, begin to walk towards it, keep at it till you arrive at it, and pocket it when you arrive close enough to it.
However, we fail to take these simple steps.
• We often don’t notice our wishes. Often our attention is not on our dreams but on something else or on just getting by. If at all we notice what we want, we often simply don’t acknowledge and honour our wishes or dreams.
• If at all we acknowledge it as a wish, we don’t begin our journey towards it because we doubt whether it is worth doing so—we either secretly fear the hard work involved and/or doubt our ability and luck to be able to do so. What we find easier is to disown our responsibility, and instead expect what we want from others and/or criticise and blame others for not giving us what we want.
• We don’t keep at it even if we care to begin. And among those who do begin and manage to walk towards it, many don’t care to see whether their efforts will be enough to make them reach the goal.
• We stretch our hand to pluck the flower before arriving at it. Often people don’t show persistence and lose patience and abandon their efforts when they, in fact, may only be just a few steps away. Or they may become too complacent thinking that they have almost arrived and relax their efforts. We ignore the feedback we are getting from the universe in terms of thoughts and feelings from within, and the circumstances from without.
Accelerate growth: Growth comes from making yourself progressively more and more passionate and competent, and by stepping up your contribution to society. Life is indeed meant for ‘giving’ and enjoying that too. It has absolutely no other purpose because whatever we try to take from it will have to be given back some day. It will not stick to us. Everything is bound to be given back; but when we give it willingly we do not miss the joy of doing so. Paradoxically, whenever we wish to hold on to life we lose it and when we tend to give it away to others, we live on. Whatever and whenever we give, we, in fact, give to no one else but to ourselves only.
Discover and live your passion! This is the only thing you are here for.
Anil Bhatnagar, founder of Thrive! is a corporate trainer, motivational speaker, career and personal growth coach, author of five books, and a Reiki teacher. Besides Life Positive, he also writes for Personal Excellence and Executive Excellence—two magazines brought out by Stephen Covey’s Covey Leadership Centre, USA.
Subject: Living with passion. - 22 February 2012
Dear Sir, Very well written with practicality.It is really thought provoking. Thank u Tina
by: Tina Acharya
Subject: Passion - 8 December 2011
this has given a new meaning to me..
Subject: passion - 30 August 2011
wow so wonderful i must say.i am amused by reading this article and try to bring back my passion of living life with joy,thank you so much.
Subject: Trully inspiring - 23 August 2010
I was one of those guys had failed miserably in life this article hope brings new perspective and to fight battle of life with renewed vigour n spirit.
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