Patience is not a virtue, but a necessity!





Another Monday morning! Rush hour. After the lazy weekend, getting to work, finishing up at home, battling insane traffic and plunging into the everyday rough and tumble of a working week __ apart from the stress you feel, there’s a lot your body is taking. And that’s, seriously, not great news! What you need now is not a chill pill, but to learn to be patient__with yourself, with others and with Life!

But how can you be patient when the whole world is impatient around you? The boss is breathing down your neck. The guy behind you is honking. People rush into elevators instead of filing into them with order and decorum. Your colleague is pressurizing you to finish up your part of the work fast so that she can get done her job done faster. So, patience, really? It doesn’t work, I hear you protest. A friend of mine told me recently: “You live in an Utopian world AVIS. Here, in today’s world, if you are not moving at the speed of light, if you are not overtaking slow-coaches and laggards, someone else is going to overtake you and them. The one who is moving fast, has the advantage. Patience does not work anymore today!”

Yet, despite my friend’s well-reasoned pitch, today’s world requires patience more as a must-have quality, a necessity, than as a rare virtue which, when available and used, can create value! Because patience alone can lead you to a Life of peace, personal well-being and prosperity.

Patience comes from a deeper understanding of Life. We are impatient with people, events, circumstances, service, technology, and with Life, because fundamentally we want things to happen our way. But that’s just not going to happen. Life works in its own way, at its own pace. You can have your way only if you are patient with and in Life. Osho, the Master, often narrated these three lines to help people understand Life better. He would say:

1.     Everything comes in its own time

2.     Everything comes when you are ripe

3.     Everything comes when you deserve it

Now, review your own Life in the context of these three statements. You will find that anything you have got so far from Life, stuff you have welcomed and have wanted, has come ONLY per these three dimensions of Life. You may have wanted something and may have been frustrated. And it has never come. You know your story better than anyone else. So, think back, and ask if you got anything you wanted any earlier or any later than when you finally got it? Were you not in total receiver mode to have got it? And you only got something when you truly deserved it. Patience is about simply understanding these three dimensions and reminding yourself of them every time you mind grieves or frustration sets in.

I have learned patience the hard way. It first appeared as the twin truths of Life that Shirdi Sai Baba taught in his lifetime. Whenever I saw them __Faith and Patience__at his temples, I was drawn to them for their simplicity, but I also, initially, believed they were impractical to internalize and practice. Over the years, having faced Life and learned from it, I have painfully discovered that being patient is the only way. Because impatience can create chaos where only confusion prevailed. That impatience can vitiate and make knotty a simple problem situation. That impatience makes you miss the magic and beauty of Life. That impatience makes you imagine that a dark night will never end. Whereas, the truth is that the night is the darkest, just before dawn!

Patience is also about having faith in and in trusting Life. Trust that if you have been created, you will be looked after too. Have faith that none of our stories will have a gory end. That each test is Life’s way of reminding you that you are NOT in control. When you trust Life, and learn to be patient, your problems don’t worry you or bother you or haunt you anymore! You then begin to live fully, happily, despite your circumstances.


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Live a Magnificent Monday!


Live through each day gracefully, enjoying each moment, even if it is not the one that you ordered or wanted, but yet received. So receive your day, as it unfolds before you, with immense gratitude and live it fully!

If you are reading this on Monday, you must be wondering if this is just some armchair philosophy being dished out by someone who is both unaware of how Mondays are and who is just preaching without any practical insight.

Let me share my learnings that have brought me to this point in Life, thanks to which I can assure you that this is indeed the most intelligent way to live.

There was a time when I was globe-trotting. Breakfast in Singapore, lunch in LA and dinner in Rome. Traveling nine months in a year, living out of hotel rooms 21 days in a month. I loved that Life. I had heard of intelligent living then. And had assumed that it was all about applying your intellect in Life to make fame and fortune. So, I invested my every waking hour in working. Family was important but saw my role primarily as a provider who ‘scheduled’ to ensure presence at home to mark anniversaries and birthdays. I always felt being at my kids’ school annual days and Parent Teacher interactions as a waste of time. Those meetings didn’t add value to my Life. If I could pack in an additional meeting either with my clients or with my team, we would be better off as a Firm, was my irrefutable logic. And on the odd weekends I spent at home, I would pore over CEO reports, filed by each member of my 40-strong team. They would tell me what was wrong in the way we were running our Firm or delivering value to our clients. I would make copious notes and initiate steps and Programs each week to get our house and processes back in order.

I saw work as an investment for a future where I would be happy, as would my family, and our Firm would run on auto-pilot turning in dividends, enriching our lives.

I don’t think this line of logic is wrong per se. Except that it can neither be guaranteed that Life will happen the way you want it to nor that living can be postponed while you earn a living.

In the years that followed, despite my purposeful intent and my hands-on, paranoid leadership, my Firm went bust and the same team members, for whom I worked overtime, drifted away. Rightly so. Whoever wants to be on a sinking ship?  My children grew up. And suddenly, one fine day, although it was always on the cards, our son flew away to pursue an undergrad Program in Economics at the University of Chicago. The night he left for Chicago, we came back home to a half-empty nest. That sense of emptiness took months to get used to. I particularly felt I could have spent far more time with him in his growing up years. Initially, I grieved a lot. And even held myself responsible for missing out on such a never-before opportunity of living engaged with the growing up years of our son!

Life’s a hard teacher. She gives the test first and lesson later. And that’s how I failed the test and still learned the lessons!

I made amends with our daughter. I decided, and have been reasonably successful with it, to get involved with every aspect of her Life, alongside my wife. And what I couldn’t provide for our son on the ground, I made up with regular phone and Skype calls during his college years. I also forgave myself. And decided to not resist the manner in which my Life and business has slowed down. I decided to celebrate it. And so, now I see work as prayer, a form of expression of my inner Self, a joy. Result, we do take up only work that we love and prefer to rejoice each opportunity to live as one in which we can invoke soul, provoke thought and inspire action!

Now I can modestly claim I understand intelligent living better. I have learned that it only means living. The intelligent part is to choose living __ in the moment, mindfully, loving each moment __ over everything else. So, this Monday, what do you want to do? Maybe you can’t do everything that you want to either. But you can do one thing for sure __ appreciate the value of each moment and journey through the day gracefully, enjoying its beauty and celebrating its uniqueness, its “never-again-ness”. Do this knowing that maybe there’s a companion, a child, a parent, a sibling, a colleage __ someone who you are taking for granted, waiting for you to pause and engage with her or him. Know surely that it’s a blessing if you can indeed do it. And be eternally grateful for that opportunity!  

Live celebrating your Monday’s magnificence today!