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If you are from India, there’s a great chance that you’d have heard of Gopal Das’s speeches on social media platforms. Naturally, I did too. So, when my friend Payas recommended this book, it piqued my interest.
“Life’s Amazing Secrets: How to Find Balance and Purpose in Your Life” – The tagline couldn’t have been better. In this short book of about 150 pages, Gopal Das talks about spirituality, gratitude, meditation, forgiveness, integrity, and more.
This book is a neat little package of understanding ourselves and serving others. It is presented with such poise and elegance that I would strongly recommend this to anyone with even a little interest in personality and/or spirituality.
So, here are the 4 things I learned from this book –
1. Know where you are on the ‘selfish – selfless’ scale
The ideology of an ice-cream is to enjoy before it melts; to savor every moment of your life through personal enjoyment. On the other hand, the ideology of a candle is to give light to others before it melts.
Both ice creams and candles melt, but their reason for doing so is totally different. So, on this selfish-selfless spectrum, where do you lie?
It is difficult to be completely selfish or selfless. We all lie somewhere in between. The purpose of our lives should be to share, give, and contribute to others; to move from ice cream to a candle.
But, be wary of compassion fatigue. Caring too much can be detrimental. Caregivers who do not focus on self-care can develop destructive behaviors over time.
2. Focusing on the positives doesn’t mean that we ignore negativity
We are all repeatedly told to neglect the negativity in our lives and see the good in people. But, neglecting the bad does not mean that we do not deal with it practically. It just means that we do not allow our minds to only brood over the bad.
Problems do exist. But when they consume the mind, we not only lose sight of beautiful things around us but also the ability to solve those problems.
So, we must learn and train our minds to focus on the positive and feel empowered to deal with the negative.
3. Learn how to cautiously correct people
Most of the problems in our relationships stem from miscommunication, whether it’s our body language, action, or words. We must choose our words carefully when we try to correct others, but before that, we must learn to invest appreciation in them.
Mistakes happen and tempers are lost. But, when we have strong investments in others, if we give them care, love, and appreciation they deserve, these little withdrawals would be forgiven and overcome easily.
Giving corrective feedback is an art. We may have the right intentions but inappropriate advice does more harm than good. So, before giving any advice, answer these 4 questions –
- Am I the right person to give corrective feedback?
- Do I have the right motive?
- Do I know the right way to give this feedback?
- Is it the right time?
“People are usually resilient. They can stand being wrong, but only when it is pointed out to them with love. Being blunt and abusive can be emotionally draining for both, and the person receiving the feedback switches off after some time.”
4. Learn to forgive
“Forgiveness warms the heart and cools the sting. It is a choice that each of us has to make for ourselves to save our relationships and achieve peace of mind.”
Remembering a few things would help us in practicing forgiveness:
1. Look beyond the situation – This helps you have an unbiased perspective towards a problem. Sometimes, our intellects are clouded by our emotions.
When someone hurts you, think from their perspective. How are they suffering? What made them act a certain way? This empathy is an essential component of forgiveness.
2. Separate the episode from the person – Only when you practice this will you be able to move from anger to forgiveness. Just because we failed once, we don’t term ourselves a failure.
Similarly, on a rare occasion, people may have failed us. But, we should learn to see that as a separate event. Instead of saying ‘it is my problem’ or ‘it is your problem’, we can start saying, ‘it is the problem.’ This empowers us to forgive the person and effectively deal with the problem.
3. Look at the higher purpose – In any situation where you have been wronged, you have two choices. You either want justice or choose to forgive the person.
We all have our own capacity for what is acceptable and what is not. Forgiveness means to take note of the higher purpose and act accordingly.
Your life is a car that runs on 4 wheels – personal life, relationships, work-life, and social contribution. Happiness does not come automatically; it is a choice that we make. I hope these profound lessons on how to live with purpose and balance helps you.
We hope you liked this post. What is your ONE takeaway?
– Kavi & Ninja
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