Are you the Master or are you enslaved?

Is something possessing you? Or are you possessing something?
I saw a lead story in The Economic Times last week saying the iPhone 6S which launches in the US on September 25 will be available in the Indian grey market for Rs.1 Lakh – instantaneously. When I read the story, I could not help but reflect on the way some people look at Life. (Disclosure: I have never owned an iPhone. Ever since the iPhone launched I have been unable to afford one. My current phone is a basic Samsung smartphone that my friend has helped me acquire.) The fact that grey market entrepreneurs in India are seeing a business opportunity here is evidence that there are people who want to have that phone now. But I wonder why people can’t wait for an official India launch – after all isn’t India a big market for all ranges of phones? Perhaps, allowing logistical and regulatory delays, the iPhone 6S may well be available here by year-end. I am not even talking about the monetary price that people are willing to pay, I guess there is a spiritual perspective, a heavier price that people have to pay actually, to consider here – in reality, isn’t the iPhone 6S possessing these people while it only appears that they are rushing to possess the phone?
The iPhone 6S is but a metaphor. All of us are possessed, in fact enslaved, by our thoughts, by things we have bought and by opinions that we have cultivated. In our trying to build an identity for ourselves, what we have started to focus on is what we want to possess; in wanting more of such possessions we are missing the point that the possession has begun to possess us! And what possesses us goes beyond the material realm. I have a friend who believes that the world must go on appreciating his work – he is world-famous and a legend in his field. But he craves for validation and public appreciation – constantly. When he or his work doesn’t get noticed or talked about, he feels miserable. Now, who’s possessing whom – does my friend possess the attention he gets or does the attention that he doesn’t get possess him?
There’s nothing wrong in seeking attention if you can get it or buying what you want if you can afford it. But to become obsessed with what you want will leave you suffering when you don’t get what you want. It’s a simple truth that you miss – if you own something, you are its Master. If something owns you, it is the Master.

How many Masters do you have? Review your Life – from a ruinous habit to your car to an opinion to your thoughts to a parent to a spouse, anything or anyone can be controlling you. Even if you have one thing or person controlling you, you are living enslaved. To be free, you must stop wanting, stop obsessing. You must let go and simply learn to be happy with whatever you get and whatever there is.  

Stop seeking an easy Life, work towards a better Life

If you look beyond ‘earning a living’, you will realize that you have the opportunity in this lifetime to touch lives and make a difference.
When alive do something, whatever, in such a manner that it impacts a whole lot of humanity positively. Live an inspired Life such that you will be remembered as an inspiration much after you have passed on. This opportunity is available to each of us in this one lifetime that we have. To make productive use of this lifetime all we need to do is to dream the unthinkable, do the unimaginable and pave our own trails.
One man who exemplified this thinking in our lifetime, just like several others had before him, was Steve Jobs. He said this once, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
So, stop being cautious about Life. Stop being half-hearted. Be crazy. Stop working towards an easy Life. Work towards a better Life. Live like a King. Lead Life King-size. And when your time is up, you would have passed on the baton, by being an inspiration, the flame, the energy to someone who will continue to inspire, to touch lives, see things differently, and as Jobs would famously say, “make a dent in the Universe”!

Touch lives. There are so many waiting, wanting to be touched, to be led, to be inspired. They are waiting for you. What are you waiting for?

Stop postponing living

Time is relentlessly pursuing us. We are all, as a matter of fact, racing towards our deaths, albeit at different speeds! With this inevitable end in mind, and in sight, we must exercise our intelligence to LIVE this lifetime meaningfully, purposefully. 

Understand and appreciate the impermanence of money and material things. They are as transient as Life itself. Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs, even as he battled with cancer, memorably said,“Remembering that I would be dead soon is the most important tool I have encountered to help me make the right choices in Life.” 

So, stop postponing living. Do what you have always wanted to, NOW. Be it writing a book, starting a new career, launching a business, acting in a movie or just saying that you love someone___whatever will give you joy, needs to be done NOW. In the end, what will count is not how many corporations you were on the boards of, not how much money you have in your bank, not how many hours you slogged each week, but how many lives you touched.