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A spiritual book with philosophical content and practical advices written in very simple language.
I am grouping the notes according to my understanding and not the book chapters.
On Time and Decisions
Today is very first day of your remaining life. Make most out of it. Take care of today and your life will be taken care of.
Those who give time for building foundations and values take time to get there, but as time passes they stand strong there.
Your life at the birth is a plain paper. Your abilities are your colors and your decisions are your streaks. At the final moment of your life, this paper could be an acclaimed art or just another piece of paper. That would be the decisive day, which will decide how good a painter you had been.
The decisions we would not take, or the way we would not like to behave could be imposed on us by “hurry”. Hurry makes it look like you are not to be blamed but the circumstances. Hurry gives you justifications for taking uninformed decisions and running away from work. By “reaching there before 10 minutes” you will have peace of mind and will avoid unnecessary rush.
What is secret of your success ? : “Good Decisions”. How could you make good decisions? : “Experience in Life”. How did you get that experience? “Bad Decisions”. Every experience provides you something, either whatever you wanted or the the knowledge of “why” you did not get it.
When you have invested enough in a relationship, the expectations are mate properly. But when the relationship is ignored the expectations start destroying roots of the relationship. You can nurture the relationship by investing into it a quality time. Take out time for listening and understanding.
Lucky are those who understood that people are to be loved and things are to be used, not the other way around.
Every age and every stage of life demands a specific respect, and you should owe it to them all.
Remove these words from your relationship : husband and wife and decide to be lifelong friends. Respect individuality of your spouse, and connect to that individuality not her/his outer aspects or the body. Go slow in the relationship, do not hurry into it otherwise it will leave the relationship dry very soon. Every man or the woman deserves own life. Only when she feels free and enjoys her own life, can she come to “our” life happy and fresh. Same goes for him as well.
Avoid labeling yourself, be it a role in a job or in a relationship. Don’t involve your labels in conversations, it adds or hurts egos. Don’t suggest anything to your wife as her “husband” but as a person she knows you. With labels, comes arrogance and closed mind. You can not create fulfilling relationships based on labels. It would be useful to all if you and everybody around you get rid of labels. When you feel satisfied with yourself, as is, without any labels, you achieve true freedom.
When you are in disagreement with somebody, remember it is not important who is right or wrong; good or bad; modest or great; but what is important is understanding between you and the collective energy you hold together. When selecting new person for a job, relationship, friendship or anything; prefer compatibility over his/her personal traits.
I am looking for a relationship where
I am not explaining, not justifying myself all the times.
I have a freedom based on a trust.
My negative side or weaknesses are not exasperated.
My positive side is brought to the surface.
My today is not seen in the lights of my mistakes of yesterday.
My mistakes are not counted or audited.
I am not the always one who takes the leads.
I am not forced to change my likes and dislikes.
I am not expected to be somebody else.
To have such a relation, you should treat others the way you want them to treat you. People don’t realise your love based on how are you with them; but based on what can they be when they are with you.
What is the difference between to love and to pamper. Under the name of forbearance, the pamperness leaves your flaws untouched or even gives boast. Love takes risk of hurting your ego and provides you the real feedback even with shortcomings if any. With love you can become a better person.
It’s easier to keep alive the hatred, but you need help and efforts to keep love alive. So try to experience deep love, express it more openly, show it in you actions; and “forgive” to calm down the sorrow and hatred.
Earlier relationships used to be built on emotions, now they rely on information. Quality of relationships is not degraded, but expectations of communication and information have increased.
Relationships would be simpler if you understand : “Sin is not in the actions but in intentions”. Sometimes, even if actions of somebody you love were wrong, you need to understand their intentions were not. Even though you should consider other people’s intentions, you should not expect that attitude from the world and need to understand that the world will consider your actions first and not intentions, that is why you need to be careful about your intentions and actions as well.
There is no universal right or wrong. Who am I to attach somebody’s freedom and impose on them what I think is right?
Keep your work and life separate. Don’t be the boss you are at office when you are home; be the husband, parent that your family wants.
It’s good to be straight forward in communications but you also must be ready to be on receiving end. Sometimes direct, straightforward talks can hurt people and when that happens their ability to understand shrinks. You communicate successfully only when you take care of : What you say, how you say it, when you say it and when you stop.
Everybody has thoughts and emotions; those who keep these to themselves start accumulating and that might cause distance in relationships. You can ignore few things, but for how long? Sometime it is going to face you with even scarier form.
Aloofness can make you blind towards feelings of other people. That way it is not only crime but also punishment.
If you must do a thing someday, why don’t you do it today and avoid the stress? Behave like tomorrow is today. Stress and anxiety in life is nothing but a mental pressure being accumulated over the period of time. You get that mental pressure because of difference between the time a thing should have been done and the time when the thing was actually done.
You can choose to “just wait” or “wait for something”, it makes a difference between “peaceful development” or “stressful success”. Have you made the decisions that had to be made? Have you done what had to be done? Yes? Then just wait, not wait for this or that or anything. That will lead you to peaceful development.
Whenever you face unpleasant circumstances, you have two options keep calm or react with emotional drama. If you react with emotional drama; what after that? You got to do what you got to do. So why react with uncontrolled emotions and cause a drama.
Take rest, take vacations. They not only refresh you but also help you strengthen your relationships. After much needed vacation you would realise that the world is not that bad to you and it did not stop without you.
When things are going wrong, believe that you are being tested. You will come out of it with greatness and will lead a quality life.
On Peace and Happiness
If you are not happy with what you own, you will never be happy with more. How you feel can not be related to how much do you own. Your health, knowledge, spirituality do not depend on your economic well being. In days to come, you will not remember about money but about experiences. You will not remember how much did you spend on that operation, but you will remember that it saved your somebody loved one. Memory of experiences outlives all your good and bad days.
There is no path towards happiness, happiness is the path.
Nobody if better at everything than everybody, neither is nobody worse than everybody at everything. Everybody has some bad and good qualities. You become unsatisfied and then unhappy when you measure others according to your expectations. When you measure yourself with your expectations you become unsatisfied and then it leads to your own development. But you need to learn to live happily with being unsatisfied with yourself, well until you improve, because happiness is important than anything.
While facing your enemies sometimes you become like them. You should not let them have any influence on your nature. Let’s be good with even those who are not good with you.
It’s human nature to seek an attention. Good things you do feel good when they get enough attention, some bad things might feel good when those get the needed attention. Good things could feel empty if those don’t get enough attention. But you need to move ahead of such egoist human nature. Ego always needs to be fed, that’s why it always stays a beggar. Too much of ego leads to arrogance and too less of it leads to timidity, it needs to be balanced for peaceful mind. Arrogance from ego sometimes can cost you your precious relationships.
Thing or person that costs you your peace of mind, you should give it up. Give it up not only physically but also emotionally. Your peace of mind is important that anything else.
Everybody has justification for everything and they all want their word to be the last. For trivial things, I would them to have their word last, that would save me a lot of time and energy. I should refrain from habit of justifying everything.
Don’t believe in people those gossip a lot. Because those who gossip with you about somebody will gossip about you with somebody else. Such people can’t really be happy as they get used to caring a lot about what others would think. Don’t judge and you won’t be judged. Spend curiosity on important truths than gossips.
Great people discuss ideas, average people discuss incidents, and cheap people discuss about other people.
Your peace of mind depends on your faith. If you are looking at every co traveller as a thief, you are going to lose your peace of mind a lot of times. Instead if you have faith in the world, then your every journey becomes peaceful. If you are after peace of mind, then even if you were cheated yesterday, then also, today, you need to start with new faith in the world. Just be thankful that your did not cheat anybody.
How can people win when they are not ready to prepare for winning. Don’t ask yourself or others “whether you want to win?” but ask “whether are you ready to do whatever it takes to win?”.
Not your intelligence but direction of your intelligence decides speed of your progress; and your ability to ask right questions decides the direction. If you are facing same problems again and again, then probably you are not asking right questions. Even simplest of questions can change your life.
With necessary formal education/training you can become expert from mediocre at anything that you have been doing. Take out some time for training, get rid of some weakness and make use of that education for rest of your life.
Circumstances feel challenging when they are stronger/bigger that you; so persistent self-improvement is the way forward.
Life is more than mere existence. Every year do something new and see how interesting life gets. Stay curious and enthusiastic student; do what you have never done before. Ask yourself :
When was the last time when I did something for the first time?
Apply 80/20 rule to your daily life. Try to be master of few than jack of all.
Academic or bookish education is one of the aspects of personal development, but not the only one. We need the kind of education that develops your character, mind, increases your knowledge, and teaches you to stand on your feet. Time management is one of the important skills of life management, that one must learn.
You start losing things you don’t use, like your money, body and mind.
In life, you don’t get what you wish for but what you deserve. When “wish” gets consistent directed self motivated efforts it becomes eligibility. It’s my mistake to not to try harder than others.
Everybody needs a teacher, have one.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius
Look after resources in your life, see if any of those are being under-utilized or mismanaged. Find those and improve their management. Make most out of your resource. You are the most important resource that you have make sure not to leave it under-utilized.
In everything you do, there is invisible force which differentiates between good and great, normal and exceptional, trivial and worthwhile; this force is your devotion to whatever you were doing. With devotion comes concentration, happiness, fulfilment and love. Perfection and greatness are only possible through devotion. Tiredness and Devotion are inversely proportional.
You should keep your mind open. The moment you close it, it stops conceiving ideas. In everything, everywhere there is always a chance of improvement. Keep asking yourself “Can I do even better?”. Work towards development and quality. When your mind decides that something is impossible, then it starts to prove that it is impossible. On the other hand, when you believe something is doable, the mind starts helping you finding ways to achieve it.
Your worth is not decided by what you are but by what you have become.
People those who speak the language of “if-then” are the ones who look at the time in the past when they had the knowledge. When you have knowledge look ahead in future and not back in the past. You get knowledge when you need it.
Those who do things on their own wish, feel thankful towards life and they stay hungry for more from life. On the other hands those who feel like they have been forced what they do, the get tired of life quickly. If you are looking at necessary things in life as mere tasks and you feel relieved when you done with those, are you really enjoying life. Change your attitude from “I need to do this” to “I feel like doing this”.
Ideas have power to change your world.
In business, you got to value employees and customers but also you need to be careful to let go the negative employees or customers. Organisation which feels sad for non-performing employees soon will be felt sad for.
Greatness is self explanatory; where there is greatness there is no need for explanation. Where there is need of explanation, you will hardly find greatness there. Mind which learns to justify lack of greatness learns to live without it. You should feel bad for lack of the greatness.
People find presence of quality with difficulty, not the absence of it.
One of the problems in today’s society is that good people are satisfied and fulfilled with life, they don’t feel necessity of becoming rich. After some level success creates some extra money. Imagine that being with bad people and that being with good people. Bad people would use that extra monty for destruction but good people could use it for betterment of the world. We need more rich moral people.
Would you be happy if your children do or follow what you think is right? Is your behaviour/nature worth imitation? If you want others to think, talk or behave someway, then you first should think, talk and behave like that. You can not expect something from the world that is not expected from you. Behave as if everybody is looking after you.
People don’t follow those who follow others. Something that is possible for somebody is possible for everybody.
Close company of people is double edged sword, it has powers to build you or destroy you. People around you have influence on your thoughts, emotions, the way you look at yourself or the world, and your future. If you are not developing yourself at place you work, with people you work with, then you should of moving on to different place and people.
Don’t listen to those who say you can’t do it, believe you can and do it.
More the aspirations, more the obstacles. If you are living only for the sake of existence, you would face lesser questions; but if you choose to live upto your potential you should expect more questions and hurdles.
Don’t give up, when you have failed to achieve something that you had planned for. The world is changed by people who achieve something bigger and unplanned than those who have achieved their normal intentionally set goals. What world considers as a failure, consider it a turning point.
You should dream however bad are the days.
When common men accept challenges beyond their abilities, it demonstrates their uncommon-ness. My ability to put others before me in any work demonstrates my greater personality.
For every condition in life you should not react, but decide on response and then respond. External affairs should not influence you internal harmony. Mistake should not be answered by a mistake.
I don’t feel positive or negative because of “something” or “somebody”, but because of “acceptance” or “denial” of something or somebody. My reaction to the world and not the world itself decides how I feel. If I have ever been disturbed with a “negative” feelings, instead of finding because of whom or what, I would rather find what or whom I am not accepting. Management of feelings and well being should start by stopping the “blaming” something or somebody and responding with acceptance.
You can run away from the reality for some time but not forever. And you know that, then why do you still try to run away from it? The world is not going to be blind by you closing your eyes, you are going face something that you are bound to face, then why delay it? Only when you identify and accept the reality, can you do something about it. If you try to avoid it for now, it becomes more difficult with time and someday comes face to face with you.
Lying teach you a habit of running away.
Life does not work on all the right-and-wrong principles, it works on maturity. Any circumstances demand that differences are to be looked at as part of life, and a mature mind to handle those. Family problems arise not because of addition of new people but un-mature people. But still even if one mature mind is present, proper communication can be achieved.
When you don’t express your thoughts and emotions those get deformed. To keep up with those deformed emotions you start running away from reality. Emotional tension arises from unsaid thoughts and unexpressed emotions. If somebody has hurt you, it is better to let them know for your own emotional health. Otherwise these incomplete cycles keep disturbing your future good times as well.
It is not enough to view yesterday in today’s maturity, but also to view today in tommorows maturity. In any conditions, raise above normal view or right and wrong, you might see some different aspect.
When you read a newspaper or watch the news, you mostly see bad events happening; that does not mean good people don’t exist or good things don’t happen. These media have this tendency to focus on bad events and exasperate. What if, if not they but us, start focusing and talking good about people? We already have bad things getting too much attention. We should stop adding to this and start talking good about people to spread a word about goodness in people.
If you keep and eye on the change and for good enough time, it becomes culture. Change is not difficult, converting it to culture is. Any book, or lecture can make a change in you, but if you don’t look after that change, it would be short lived.