Updated: Jan 6
This is one of the books I would like to return to time and again in due course of life. Something I would always keep in my bookshelf.
Originally published: September 17, 2018
Author: Gaur Gopal Das
Genre: Self-help book
“We must press pause and stop to smell the roses."
This is one of the books I would like to return to time and again in due course of life. Something I would always keep in my bookshelf. It has lots of stimulating philosophical teachings to help us stay contented in life. The story seems made up, but I think it serves the purpose. I really liked that beside being a monk of a reputed statue he was not showing up that he is the ‘know-it-all’ guru. In fact, he was honest and confident enough to admit the wrong decisions he has taken out of immaturity in his early years of being monk. Books like this do have positive impact on our behaviour. So here we go. “Happiness does not come automatically. We have to choose to live happily, we have to choose to live with integrity and we have to choose to live with balance. It is this balance that will make our journey through life smooth and effective.” – How we live our life is entirely our choice. We make the decision either to be caught up in the grasp of sorrows or still keep smiling and cherishing irrespective of what life tosses at us. We might not change the act, but we surely can change our reaction. “Aldous Huxley said, ‘Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him.’” – We mostly are the authors of our own life stories. “As a society, it’s all too easy to focus on our external achievements and forget to assess whether we are happy with the state of our life.”- It is unavoidable to be fully focussed on something that makes us happy, our human nature is bound to be lured away with what’s going on around. But there is something we can do to survive this; we can practice meditation. I know more than anyone how hard it is to be consistence as it doesn’t bring changes overnight. It takes practice. Start with ‘me time’ as it is your right, regardless of the amount of work you have to finish. Everyday take time out where you can be without any gadget around you, doing nothing where you can be yourself and reflect on the day, your life, yourself. Trust me it is amazing and once you start enjoying it, it is the most beautiful time of the day. I spend at least half an hour each day after work, making myself a cuppa and enjoying silence without my phone or anyone around me. That’s my ‘me time’, my most favorite time of the day.
“Behind the smiles, everyone is going through personal struggles we know nothing about.” – Just keeping this in mind can make us more kind towards people we meet throughout the day. “We have mastered how to look successful, but not how to organize our lives so that we feel successful.” – That’s a harsh truth of our society. “What should I do are the four words any life coach hates, I thought. This is because any direct advice given by them turns into a ‘magic spell’ that if followed will provide ‘guaranteed results’ because Gaur Gopal Das said so. But that is not the case. Following blindly like sheep can lead us astray. Making choices in life is like buying something at a shopping mall. The sales assistant may show us all the products available, telling us the pros and cons of each of them, but we must make the choice in the end. The final decision is our responsibility.” – This is especially interesting, and I would like everyone to understand this and at least question their choices, specially people who blindly follow their gurus or any particular religion/belief without actually understanding it. “Michelle Obama said ‘We learned about gratitude and humility—that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean … and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.’” – Very insightful, what we are today is not just limited to our efforts or our parent’s sacrifices, the whole universe conspires to make us achieve what we have today. “We must press pause and stop to smell the roses.” – Once in a while, stop and be think about all the amazing things in your life and be thankful. “‘Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.’ — Leo Buscaglia” “When we have a problem beyond our control, we have to turn to our spiritual strength and ask, ‘Why Worry?’ Whether or not we can do something about it, our response should not be anxiety. Learning to detach ourselves from situations that are outside our control is an imperative skill to learn for personal growth. This is not to say I favour laziness —we should do everything in our power to try and rectify the situation, but after that, we have to take our attention away from the unpleasant circumstance.” – I know it’s easier said than done. But still it’s worth remembering time and again. “Take as much time as you need. Time heals, and with the right association and guidance, time brings clarity. Relationships are tested during difficult times. To accept someone when everything is going right is easy. But when things are falling apart around you and you stick together, that’s the test of a relationship. Love is when we have every reason to break up but we do not.”
“We should deal with each other sensitively; our attitude towards life affects how we act in our relationships.”- Try to understand that the other person is not you, specially when it comes to our partner. He/she doesn’t know what is in your head and he/she isn’t a magician either. Sometimes words don’t portrait true meaning to our intentions. So, the best way is to talk with sensitivity. World would be a better place. “A woman told her husband as she wished him, ‘I just dreamt that you gave me a beautiful diamond necklace. What do you think it means?’ she asked him. ‘You’ll know tonight,’ he said with a smile on his face. Her eyes lit up in anticipation. That evening the husband came home with a beautifully wrapped present and gave it to his wife. Could it be what I dreamt of? she thought to herself. Delighted, she opened it, only to find a book entitled The Meaning of Dreams!” – Oops! “I was thinking about how all of us could sleep peacefully at night only because the tough men and women of the Indian Armed Forces stand ready to face any challenges, even ready to sacrifice their lives, to protect the nation and its citizens. The least we can do to pay back our military is, as a nation and as citizens, to try to be worthy of the sacrifices they make for us.” “…By sir Richard Branson, ‘If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, and you are not sure you can do it, say YES, then learn how to do it later.’” – Should give it a try