Archive | April 2015

Even God can’t what you ‘won’t’ for yourself!

What is prayer? Prayer is a positive affirmation – seeking positive energies from the universe around us. Sometimes, when we pray we ask for things, wishes to be fulfilled. What we may not realize, is most of the things that we pray for, are very much within our reach to make it happen. Every time we pray, do we ask ourselves, what can I do to make it happen?

For example: We can pray to God for good health. However, God can’t help us any more than we can help ourselves by staying physically active. If we neglect our health while it is good and pray to God to keep us healthy, it won’t work. We have to do our bit of eating healthy, sleeping healthy and thinking healthy in order to stay healthy. We sometimes wish for miracles to happen, without doing our bit.

There was a man who prayed everyday religiously, “God please grant me a hundred thousand rupees in a lottery ticket”. The god was so touched by his devotion. He said, “Your wish is granted”. The next day, the man was waiting for the good news. But nothing happened. Slightly disappointed, the man again asked God for the hundred thousand rupees. God assured him. Days passed. In spite of his prayers and God’s assurances, he did not get the money. He was so annoyed that he started quarrelling with God. God smiled and said, “For me to grant the wish, you have to buy the lottery ticket first’.

Likewise,

God can’t give you the job you haven’t applied for
God can’t bless you with the talent that you haven’t tried for
God can’t fulfil your dream that you haven’t worked for
God can’t give you a cure or an answer that you aren’t ready for
God can’t create a good-will for you that you haven’t earned
God can’t heal a relation that you don’t respect
God can’t make you happy unless you are grateful for all that you have already

You can visit all the holy places in the world and yet not find what you hoped for. Because what you have been looking for is right within you. Do all that you are ‘supposed to do’, and all that you ‘can do’ for yourself and those around you. And then turn to God. You’ll find God wherever you turn.

If we can’t be kind to a person in need, we are wasting an opportunity that He has given. If we can’t talk good about the people we meet, we are wasting time reciting His prayers. If we can’t see the goodness around us and appreciate it, we are wasting time decorating His idol that we created while not appreciating His creation.

It is incongruent to pray every day on one hand and talk bad and do bad on the other hand. Anything that we say or do is accounted for and prayer cannot take away the bad that we accumulate by thinking bad, talking bad or doing bad. The only hope of prayer is that it may motivate us to lead better lives at least moving forward. It may help divert some time and energy from gossip which creates negative energy to something more positive. It may help divert our mind from some unproductive thoughts, to something more soothing.

We don’t need to pray to God for something that is in our hands. Let’s do our bit and then pray. For all we know, our life itself may become a beautiful, inspiring prayer.

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Choice!

Choices – Don’t we love them? Choice of phones to suit our requirements, choice of data plan to suit our needs, choice of clothes to suit the situation, choice of food to suit the mood and the list goes on. While too many choices might be overwhelming at times, a life without choices is unthinkable.

Choices determine our life. By choosing our actions, we determine the results. By choosing our thoughts, we determine our emotions. By choosing whom or what we pay attention to, we determine the quality of our lives. By giving choices to others, we determine the quality of our relationships.

Choice means freedom. While one might know the importance of one’s own freedom, are we aware of how we are giving others the freedom to make their choices too? Are we aware of the choices in our language and thoughts while interacting with others?

Choice and advice don’t go together. Without being solicited for advice, do we do things like the following?
Tell someone what they should eat, when they should sleep, what they should wear, how they should be, what they should say, who should they talk to or what should they do?

Advice is usually well received when it is given respectfully and more so, only when the other person needs it. But if we are telling others all the time, and want them to learn through our experience, we may limit their ability to choose and determine their experiences. We may limit their freedom. We may limit their ability to learn from their mistakes and experience. Nothing can substitute experience.

Can we give choices in our language? Can we seek to understand or find out their point of view before we state our opinion?

Imagine asking a child – “would you want to study now or after an hour?” or “What would you like to do now?”
Imagine asking your spouse – “what would you like to do over the weekend?”
Imagine asking your team mate – “how would you like to go about this?”

Choices can be win-win. We were sent on this earth to make our choices in order to learn and grow. We can aid the process but not take the process on behalf of others. We can help others understand that choices have consequences and help them understand what could be the possible consequences of some choices that they make. Choices don’t mean just giving two options that we think are best for them. Choice is only when we make it a win-win. Can we think win-win? Win for the other and win for self too?

For example:
“Do you want to study Physics now or Chemistry” – may not be a win-win.

“Do you want to study now and play later or play now and study later” – here’s where we are truly thinking win-win.

Choices are empowering. Giving someone a choice also makes them feel responsible and accountable for their decisions. Choices are compelling. People can’t resist choices. They resist rules or authority. And sometimes, giving someone what they want is more helpful than giving someone what we think is right.

Giving choices is a choice – nothing is mandatory always. But giving them often helps strengthen the person and the relation too. Have a flexible day ahead!