Getting from here to there in life

There are 3 essential qualities, if you wish to go from where you are to where you wish to be in life. The 3 qualities are

  1. Grit b) Knowing yourself c) Desire and plan

Grit: By far grit is the most important quality that one must possess to get anywhere in life. Grit is the ability to face problems in life head-on and not flinch from the chosen path. It is the quality where one is able to tide over troubles and move ahead in life regardless. In life there will be ups and downs. There are no exception to this rule. Everybody from the rich man to the pauper, from the saint to the sinner will have face changing fortunes. What sets them apart is how they handle their troubles. Do they break under stress or just bend? Does one become stronger in the face of troubles in life? Those who are resilient and possess the inner strength will be able to tide over any troubles and forge ahead in life. So grit is a critical ingredient for success in life.

Know yourself: To get ahead in life another quality that is essential is to ‘know oneself’.

Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Know yourself.
Do you know where you  stand in your personal, professional and social life? Know yourself.
Do you know where you are and where you would like to be in 10 years? Know yourself.
Do you know your wants, do you know your needs? Know yourself.

To know oneself, it is imperative that we spend long hours thinking through ourselves, exploring our inner selves. We need to know what it that we desire is and what is it that we really need.

Once we truly understand ourselves we can take active steps to move in the direction of achieving them.

Desire and plan: Unless one pulls the arrow backward, it will not fly towards its target. So to get anywhere we must have the desire to reach the goal at a minimum. Intense desire must be followed up with a concrete plan to achieve the same. A strong motive is necessary. We must sincerely want to achieve something in life. This is not be confused with greed or avarice. Desire and ambition are necessary for the growth of individual. Once we know our destination in life we must strategize properly to reach there. We must monitor our progress as we move along towards out target

Hence to get from here to wherever you desire in life you must fill your life with these 3 important ingredients of grit, knowing yourself and desire.

Making peace with Adversity

“Life is difficult”, thus begins the classic “The Road Less Travelled “by M Scott Peck in which the author shows that one’s life is a series of difficult choices, trials and tribulations. Life is never perfect and neither is our nature. We are bound to undergo pain, sickness, frustrations, disappointments and depressions as we move through life. While nobody in this world is exempt from difficulties the key thing is that neither should we feel defeated by our suffering nor be cowed down by it. We need to look at our problems squarely, understand and take appropriate steps to overcome them. This takes a lot of courage, insight into issues and will power. The Light of Asia, Buddha in his four noble truths expounds that life is suffering, that suffering is born of attachment, cessation of suffering is attainable and the path to cessation is based on taking the middle path given in his eight-fold path.

There are times when we feel totally helpless in the face of adversity. Adversity is God’s alchemy of the soul. We generally emerge stronger and tougher when we face life’s problems head-on. Those who look at suffering with courage coupled with clear headed thinking generally find it easier to tide over troubles as compared to those who indulge in wishful thinking or try to run away from their problems. There is a lesson for us to learn in all our suffering. Failure is better teacher than success. We have a choice to make in any situation we are faced with. In the words of, Shakespeare, it definitely is more important “to take arms against a sea of troubles, oppose and end it” than “suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Nothing is gained in wallowing or drowning oneself in one’s one misery.

The crux is that we need to make peace with adversity. We need to understand than we will encounter failures and disappointments in life. We should view the situation objectively and pursue the right course to action. In fact the moment we start putting into action our response to the situation the problem itself will generally disappear and we will be more in control of ourselves. When we run away from issues or try to evade them they assume a larger than life presence. In fact our imagination will run riot. Our mind will take control over ourselves and we will begin to imagine the worst outcome. So the quickest way of ending the misery is to grapple with the problem, take the wise counsel of friends and elders. We need to take the necessary counter action to mitigate the problem and pretty soon the issue will melt away.