The value of hard work
Shivi Verma exhorts the readers to overcome Tamas inorder to lead a fulfilling and productive life
My mother’s life philosophy can be summed up in a single line: “This earth is a karmbhoomi, and we have come here to work.” I cannot agree more. As children, we do not have a lazy bone in our bodies, and it is difficult for elders to contain our physical activity, but no sooner does puberty hit us, than lethargy takes over.
The most logical explanation for this phenomenon is that as we grow, our minds become more active, and greater energy is spent in thinking and imagining rather than doing something. And since the body takes orders from the mind, a fearful, procrastinating, and lazy mind results in a lazy body.
The funny part is that our bodies readily comply when we want to do something entertaining, like going for a picnic, soirees, movies, dates, and tournaments. But anything good for our well-being and success, which requires patience, dedication, discipline, consistency, and learning is mostly procrastinated by us because the mind finds it weary. This is the very reason why very few succeed, even though all of us are talented and blessed with some gift or another.
Though our bodies and brains love comfort, they need to be exercised to stay sharp, young, productive, and agile. The pleasure provided by tamo guna, the lowest of the three gunas, influencing a human being, i.e., sleep, comfort, and lethargy, is undeniable, but if indulged in, can write the script of our shattered dreams and broken aspirations.
So how to break the barrier of inertia and inaction to leap towards our cherished goal?
Clear the mind: When the mind is hyperactive and enjoys daydreaming as a way to escape reality, working hard to achieve a goal becomes secondary. Make a list of your goals, your biggest dream, and keep it before your eyes to keep yourself motivated.
Correct your self-talk: Laziness is also a sign of self-doubt and not believing in yourself truly. Check your inner world to see if you are too self-critical and have more faith in your weaknesses than your strengths. This often leads to procrastination and postponement of your plans out of fear of failure.
Use positive affirmations: Tell yourself every day that you are energetic, determined, and capable of doing everything to achieve your goal. Write this 21 times every day for two weeks. This has the power to reprogramme your mind and shake the tamas out of it.
Set small goals: Start by setting small goals and go higher up as you succeed gradually. Lunging after big goals straight from the state of rest can give you a big setback, embroiling you in sadness and depression.
Create an exercise routine: Often the mind is willing but the flesh is weak, and we succumb to its demands. In such situations, keeping aside a workout routine helps you shake off inertia and fills you with the much-needed vigour and self-belief to move towards the realisation of your dreams.
Be self-aware: Self-awareness is a panacea for all the ills of life, including sloth. Develop the ability to foresee the consequences of your actions or inactions. This itself gives you the resolve to take necessary measures to overcome inertia. Self-awareness forces you to not press the snooze button, throw that quilt away, and wear those Keds to go for your morning walk.
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