Sep 28, 2009

Surrender to Succeed

Word surrender is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. But I feel it is also one of the most difficult of deeds. I am not talking about surrender of the military kind, but a kind of personal surrender in which you simply let go. Such surrender gives rise to an experience of beautiful serenity within, something that most of us have felt at some time or the other, but can’t seem to sustain it permanently.

If surrender brings so much peace, why is it so difficult? It’s because of our ‘ego’. This tiny, three-letter word has a significant impact on the quality of our lives. Our ego wants us to be in control of everything in and around us-our relationships, our health, our careers. The ego wants things its way and when that doesn’t happen, it reacts by evoking all kinds of unhealthy emotions. I wouldn’t be off the mark if I say that our ego is at the root of all our miseries. Fear, anxiety, guilt, frustration, greed, jealousy and all other emotions that don’t feel good, are always the result of the ego’s villainous insistence on being in control.

Because of our ego, we give excessive importance to winning. Our ego-driven society offers all the glory to winners, while losers are severely criticized. What’s worse is that those who fail to win actually believe that they’ve made a big blunder by losing. To the ego, a loss is evidence of lack of total control-and the ego hates it. So, many individuals simply don’t attempt anything because they fear losing. In the process, they live ordinary lives filled with little, if any, happiness in it.

The only antidote to problems that our ego creates is surrender. Your rogue ego cannot do much when you let go of your need to be right, to win, or to succeed at any cost. It may seem paradoxical, but when you live constantly in a mindset of surrender, you start functioning more efficiently because you now live minus the constant nagging of your nasty ego to live only to win-or else suffer.

But surrender cannot be achieved using the mind. Surrendering is an act of absolute trust. You trust existence and accept the unalterable truth that life is made up of ups and downs. When you trust God, a higher power, or existence, you will suddenly find yourself to be in complete control of your own life. You will live fully, totally in the moment without worrying about being ahead, being right, winning or succeeding. It will improve your chances of success and you will find that the quality of your life has enhanced.

Sep 10, 2009

Embrace Change

Years go by, unchanged. Then life changes, suddenly. What seemed unthinkable for years, happens. Without warning. This unpredictability is what gives our life its character. Things change. Situations change. Societies change. Even individuals change. Yet, human beings seem wired to resist change. We always seem to wish for status quo. This resistance to change gives rise to emotional conflicts within us and is at the heart of the emotional turmoil we experience.

Ironically, it is universally accepted that change is inevitable. Moreover, incremental change doesn’t affect us too much and is therefore easier to put up with. It’s those sudden, discontinuous, changes that are disruptive. To be sure, disruption is not always negative. It simply ensures that the way things were done or the way life was lived, doesn’t remain the same.

When we fall in love, most often it produces discontinuous change. Falling in love is involuntary, not a choice we make. But we still have a choice whether to follow those instincts. Of course, human beings are not always rational, least of all, in love. So love, even though it’s not, appears to be involuntary.

So change, incremental or discontinuous, is an indelible facet of life. The universe is in a continuous state of flux. Embracing change means bringing, and keeping, in our awareness its permanent nature. Once we embrace change instead of fighting it, we begin to live in the here and now-and that....