Don’t let anything possess you – it’s simply not worth it!
A friend sent me a picture of a brand called ‘Bliss’ and suggested, totally in jest, that I should perhaps sue the company that owned the brand. The allusion was to a perceived infringement of copyright since I curate the popular Bliss Catchers Event Series at Odyssey bookstore each month. I replied asking, again in jest, “Sue them, and lose my bliss?”
Indeed. I have learnt from Life that there is really no original idea. Every idea is inspired by someone or something. Always. Yes, you must patent, you must trademark your work or idea to protect it from infringement. But just protect. Don’t get into the possessor mode. When you try to possess something and someone tries to take it away from you, you always become rabid – you lose your inner peace!
To be sure, I too used to want to control what others did to me and my work. My thinking then was that I am the owner of my Life, of my work. I wanted to be the # 1 player in my space and I wanted to leave behind a legacy that people worshipped for generations. I now realize that ambition per se is not a bad thing. Without ambition, there can be no progress. But to insist that everyone around you buys into your vision for yourself and to imagine that everything you plan will turn out exactly the same way as you want it to – well, that’s surely inviting misery into your Life. When everything Vaani and I had built painstakingly – our Firm, our business model, our modest material asset base, our name – was snatched from us and smashed to smithereens 9+ years ago (read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal ), we initially suffered a lot. Until we discovered that the key to non-suffering is detachment. It is only by remaining detached from all that you create, all that you own; it is only through being in a non-possession mode that you can be free from fear, insecurity, worry and anxiety.
Upon reflection I have realized that being perpetually inspired by Life and people is a great place to be in. Take whatever inspires you, build on it, and put it out into the world to make it a better place. As you do that, be fully aware that someone will soon come along who will be inspired by what you do and build on your idea and launch their version. And so it will go on and on and on. Such is Life. My popular Bliss Catcher Series, for instance, is inspired by Joseph Campbell’s liberating Follow Your Bliss philosophy. To imagine, even in jest, that I must control the usage of the term ‘bliss’ just because we have built the most recent body of work in that space is self-ruinous. Such possessiveness is sure to wreck our inner peace, our bliss!
The truth is also that when you possess something, eventually it starts to possess you. You need to ask yourself if such ownership serves any purpose; especially when you came with nothing and will go with nothing. Remember: You own nothing, you create nothing. Everything happens through you.
So, the simplest way to live is to be detached even as you do your bit, every single day, to leave the world a better place than you found it!
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