Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life is like a Railway Station

What is life? What is the purpose of life? What are we here for? Why were we sent? I am sure that we have all asked this questionin our lives, around or within ourselves at some stage or phase of life or the other. This is an extremely deep quest that manypeople are in search of but seldom find.

Leaving aside the first few years of life when we have no clue orrecollection of what is happening or why it is happening, the moment one starts to realize starting from minor memories of Pre-school, then kindergarten to school to college to university, it has been one struggle after another. This includes parental & peer pressure, cultural pressure, educational excellence or otherwise, sports and competing in all areas with others. Then comes the search for a suitable job and it starts all over again, learning, competing and excelling in whatever you do or try to do, then marriage, kids, helping kids grow, look after their futures, save money at the same time for your own old age and hoping to leave some for the children and this struggle continue still we leave this world. In between we do get periods of relief, enjoyment and happiness at our achievements, our excellence and relaxation during vacations. This is of course coupled with periods of disappointment, loss and dejection. It seems that itis useless as it is a struggle all the way.

In order not to generalize, this is the pattern of most people around the world until and unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth but then these people have their own set of issues, difficulties and problems.

The main purpose of saying all this is the fact thatachievements, satisfaction, contentment, challenges, problems, disappointments and obstacles are all part of every human beings life. These have to occur at different stages no matter what. These are things that will happen even if we don't do anything to make them happen. It is all part of a normal life and that is how life goes on. What we need to understand is the fact that we need to make our lives different from these normal lives. We need todo something different in life and contribute to the world we live in. I am not saying that we should not do the above, but weshould add something even more valuable. Something that is different, worthwhile and beneficial in the long term, even afterdeath.

I have tried to think out of the box and keep religion out of the discourse, but this is not always possible as the main basis of life boils down to your belief in your GOD. We are created in God's image and bear a strong relationship with Him. Being in this relationship is the only thing that will satisfy our souls. We have done many noble deeds in our lives but did we do what we were designed for, what are we designed for.? Only God knows butsince we are created in His image we are designed to do good.

As the saying goes:

'True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness'. Albert Einstein.

What we need to do is that we identify a greater purpose in life then just living it like every other human being does. We need to live life consciously and act in a way that it benefits humanity and indulge in life purposes that prepare you for death and the life thereafter.

In the topic of this particular article I say that, 'Life is likea Railway station'. What do I mean by this? I mean to say that when we come to a stop at a railway station, we do not stop and start decorating our waiting rooms, but, we prepare for our final destination. Similarly, life is a waiting room and our final destination is yet to be reached, that is the life hereafter. We need to prepare ourselves for that and not have ALL ourconcentration on fulfilling our desires and wishes.

How we prepare for it depends on our personalities, qualities, talents, the opportunities and the resources that we have access to. We need to identify how we can best give back to this world given our strengths and limitations. We can do social service, help the poor and needy, preach, give charity, be a teacher and give knowledge to the future generations, write articles and books providing valuable life changing advice and food for thought, protecting our country, protecting our family, loving our family, living life in the way of God and what not. The list just goes on and on.

It is up to us to identify what we are capable of doing and howwe can bit by bit, contribute to the world and give back something valuable. We can only say that we have lived a life of purpose when you leave a mark and people remember you after you have left this world.

If we analyze, all this good can only be done through realization of goodness and righteousness and this comes only by being close to your God. Since God is perfect, we are supposed to be perfect and we have been created to implement that perfection, that is, a world without hunger, hatred, war, illness, ignorance and depression. A world full of nourishment, love, peace, health, knowledge and joy. A world, that, not only reflects God's goodness but His pureness, too. Have we done that? We have not, unfortunately and instead of creating and living by God's mandate we have lived and continue to live with our desires and do not try and mirror God's infiniteness but reflect our own limitation's.

So let's work together to make this home of ours, the Earth, a heaven by working towards making it a place reflective of God Almighty's goodness and make it our purpose in life instead getting bogged down in our own mundane day to day activity.

Let us contribute towards making this world a better place tolive for all of us by sharing, living conscientiously, courageously, to resonate with love and compassion, to awaken the great sprits within others and ourselves and to finally leave this world in peace and a better place for those who will follow, not only among our near and dear ones but spread God's goodness that is reflected in us to every corner and to everyone.

Let us reflect God's image as it should be by reaching to him andnot the one we have created for ourselves of war, hunger, illnesses and strife. This, to me, is our purpose in life other than our self-serving interests necessary to survive in this world.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What You Can Do to Improve Yourself

The importance of doing well in life cannot be denied. Everyone has been given a life and everyone exists but the main difference between the way you live your life and the way others do it is to live a fulfilling and content life. At the end of the day, when you look back at your life, you should be able to see it in a positive light and should be satisfied with the fact that you did whatever you could to make it worthwhile.

How can you make sure that your life was well lived? Well, to determine that, you do not need to wait for your life to pass by in front of your eyes and not realize what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. You need to slow down a bit and analyze all the happenings in your life. It is actually a SWOT analysis of your life. You remember how we studied the SWOT analysis in that case study we did in school. There we were analyzing our business. Why were we analyzing our business? So that we could identify our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and once we had done that, we knew where we stood and what needed to be done to improve the business.

Similarly, in order to improve ourselves, we need to identify the strengths that we possess, the weaknesses that hinder our progress, the opportunities that give you the hope to move forward towards contentment and the threats that we face in our lives. Once this is done, like our business we are also in a position to better understand our life and then we can plan accordingly as to what needs to be done to improve our life.

I attempted to do exactly the same thing with my life. I was going through a rough phase where things were not going right and negative thoughts and feelings were arising too often for my liking. Although this is all but natural, I decided that I need to take life into my own hands. As mentioned above, once I had conducted a SWOT analysis of my life, I had a much clearer view of where I stood. Identifying the positive part first, the strengths & opportunities, to my surprise it actually opened my eyes as to the innumerable number of strengths that I possessed personally and the several opportunities I was blessed with. This acted as a catalyst that boosted my self confidence to a higher level altogether.

Next, when I went through my weaknesses and the threats that I faced I discovered that these were things that actually had solutions. I mean, they were so minor as compared to my strengths and opportunities that I started thinking that it wasn't all that hard and these were just minor kinks in my armory that needed to be fixed in order to function to the maximum level.

Believe me, once you go through this brain storming process, you will feel a lot better when you discover the amount of positives GOD has blessed us with. My father always gives this example that like a piece of cloth we also have wrinkles in our personality and these wrinkles can always be ironed out. So it is not such a big deal. You are not actually as bad as you think you are and all you need to do is to iron these wrinkles and drive them out of your personality. Sure it takes persistence and perseverance to do the same but it happens, provided you have the desire and will. So, I set out to fix these kinks in my armory, the wrinkles in my personality, I stuck to the task and was well on my way and I still am.

Over a prolonged period of our life time we do certain things which are either right or wrong. When we keep on doing the same thing over and over again, it actually becomes a habit and a major part of our personalities.

Therefore, it is not all that easy to get rid of the negatives all at once and requires most importantly realization, a conscious effort and the desire and will to accomplish what you have set out for. If you do not fully believe in what you want you would not be able to do justice to yourself and therefore, we first need to believe ourselves that these things need to be corrected. Once that's done, you are ready to give it your 200% and will see that you succeed in it.

One of the major things that I wasn't all that happy about with myself was my spirituality. I was dissatisfied with the fact that I didn't pray regularly, I had lost my connection with GOD and as a result I figured that my faith was becoming weak. When you lose faith, you can't face life with all the force you should face it with. One of the important ways of improving ourselves is by getting rid of the bad habits and establishing new ones. I had attempted to break my bad habits several times before as well but I always ended up doing it for a few days and then I was back to square one. This time I finally figured that in the beginning self discipline was the key. Once you stick to a task through self discipline for some time, it eventually automatically becomes a habit. I identified why I wanted to establish the good habits and what benefit it would give me and then used my true desire and will power to tell myself that I had to stick to each task at any cost. I had the desire, belief and motivation and that helped me fight my inner self and the evil devil within me telling me to fall for my shallow wishes and desires. It was a bit daunting in the beginning but once I decided to be patient and persevere, I succeeded and it has been months ever since and I am proud to say that I have stuck to the task in hand and am succeeding beyond my expectations.

I kept a constant track of my progress. When I saw the positive results and the difference it made to my life, I just kept on getting more and more motivated and this constant motivation has helped me develop the new habits and they are fast becoming a part of my personality. Everyone sees the difference and are most appreciative and at the end of it all, you succeed at your goals, are happy and content with yourself and keep moving in a positive direction ensuring that we achieve even higher heights and this ultimately results in eternal confidence and satisfaction making the world look a lot more beautiful.

I have done it and now it is your turn to do it. Let your creative and positive juices flow and see how your sincere desire, belief and motivation makes you the King of your world.

Try it and let me know. Good Luck!