Play the game of Life, to not win or lose, but to enjoy!


Winning in Life is not about how much you made or what you got, but, simply, is about how well and peacefully you played!

It is fantastic to win. To compete. To work hard. To want to get all that you want! To be on top of the world and to celebrate your conquest of hitherto uncharted waters. But it is also important you play. And just play. And play to enjoy the playing than wanting only the winning. This I say from a Life attitude point of view. Several of us have a ‘winning obsession’. Nothing wrong with it. Without wanting to win, there can be no discoveries, no conquests, no progress and no excellence.

Yet know also that Life may always not be fair. What if, despite your best effort and intent, your Life doesn’t fit into any logical framework? You have no idea of what’s happening to you and how you are going to handle it. How would you classify winning in such a scenario? When WHATEVER you try, how much ever you try, Life keeps plucking away from your hand?

In Life you can keep asking these questions, including others like ‘Why (only) Me?’ or ‘Why now?’. But there are no immediate answers. Your measure of success, financially, socially, physically, is always disproportionate to both your effort and intent. This is the harsh reality. Which is, the harder you work, the more ethical you work, the lesser you get rewarded in proportion! Yet you must play on. Remember, you DON’T have the option of quitting the game. Because quitting is easy. It is simply conceding defeat. It is in the playing, staying on, fighting every single day, getting better, not BITTER, with Life, that there is the winning, in this game of Life!

The world may define success as performance on parameters that are ‘visible’ and measurable __ the most easily available metric being money. You will be encouraged, actually coerced, to believe that success is only equated with how much you have in the bank, what is your credit-worthiness and what is the ‘method’ you employed to get rich?

But true wealth is your rich experience of having lived a full__irrespective of your circumstance__Life. Real success is not giving up and being positive and being present when Life is happening to you. 

I don’t know what you think. Or which side of Life you are on. But what I can tell you, and what you may want to tell your kids, is that Life will come at you, despite your best effort and intent, not to see you winning with riches and rewards, but to teach you how to win when all you have is a crown of thorns and a cross to bear! Winning then is just being present. Just being. When you are just being, you are  refusing to lose. And know that we cannot quit the game, because while giving in is an option (giving in = loving what IS!) in Life, giving up is not! We may depart some day, as all of us will, but it must not be because we quit the arena. But because we were called back by Life!     

Here’s an old Tao story on an archer’s obsession, his desire, to win! And there’s a great learning there for all of us too.

WHEN AN ARCHER IS SHOOTING FOR FUN
HE HAS ALL HIS SKILL.

IF HE SHOOTS FOR A BRASS BUCKLE
HE IS ALREADY NERVOUS.

IF HE SHOOTS FOR A PRIZE OF GOLD
HE GOES BLIND
OR SEES TWO TARGETS –
HE IS OUT OF HIS MIND.

HIS SKILL HAS NOT CHANGED,
BUT THE PRIZE DIVIDES HIM.

HE CARES.

HE THINKS MORE OF WINNING
THAN OF SHOOTING –
AND THE DESIRE TO WIN
DRAINS HIM OF POWER.

‘Ahimsa’ by you is the way forward for the world!



The way forward for the world is ahimsa. And it begins with you and me.

When something like the Connecticut killings happen, you stop for a brief while, shocked and numb. You mourn and then move on. Your own Life demands you attention and then the next big news story takes over. The candlelight vigils and the debates of gun control abate, while you return to the job of earning a living. It is not that you don’t relate to something that happened several thousand miles away, but you feel you are helpless.

This is precisely where you, me, all of us, must think differently. We are not helpless. We can do something. Beginning first with each of us.

That first step is understanding ‘ahimsa’. In his phenomenally insightful book, ‘Gandhi The Man’, published first in 1973, spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, invites us to consider ‘ahimsa’ in terms of our world family. He goes deep into Gandhi’s thinking and discovers that both Gandhi’s personal transformation, from man to Mahatma, and the key to his political strategy to oust the British from India were built on ‘ahimsa’. Easwaran writes: “’Ahimsa’ is not the crude thing it has been made to appear,” Gandhi tells us. “Not to hurt any living thing is no doubt a part of ‘ahimsa’. But it is its least expression. The principle of ‘ahimsa’ is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody. It is also violated by our holding on to what the world needs.” So beautiful. Understanding ‘ahimsa’, therefore means, knowing that we must expunge every violent thought and emotion when it rises within us.

To do this, take the second step. Of using ‘ahimsa’ to further the flowering of inner awareness of continuously being loving – a state that each of us is capable of being in. Osho, the Master, says we are unable to be in that state forever, though each of us at various times in our lives will attain that state for a brief while, because we are busy holding on, possessing__things, opinions, negative emotions and debilitating memories of past hurts! Says Osho, “The more you possess, the less you can love. And love is the door. Or, the less you can love, the more you start possessing.” So, the trick really is to let go of anything which is a violent thought. For instance, someone betrays you and you want to get even. Every living moment of your becomes violent because your thoughts are full of anger, revenge, hurt and suffering. ‘Ahimsa’ gives you the ability to forgive, to let go and to become love.

The third step is to take your love and share your love with everyone you connect with. Which goes beyond your immediate family, your immediate circle of friends, your immediate community. Be love and loving to everyone you see, meet, speak to __ at work, on the metro, in the line at the grocers. To everyone, everywhere. When each of us can be this way, be love and be loving, we will be able to change the world too. From possessing to letting go. From hatred to love. From anger to peace.

Enforcing gun control laws and hanging terrorists may only address the problem or perhaps just its symptoms. Only love, and a world that is loving, can address what causes people, and therefore the world, to go violent.  Speaking to students at Danbury, Connecticut, a few weeks ago, the venerable Dalai Lama delivered precisely the same message. “Prayer and meditation without action is not enough to bring peace to a hurting world. Happiness very much depends on inner peace. Inner peace very much depends on happiness. And change in the world begins with each person. “Who should start” to bring peace to the world? The “individual person” … not religious leaders, not the United Nations, but each of us,” he said. “Then, from one person to 10 persons, 100 persons, 1,000. So I think any sort of movement among humanity … must start from the individual.”

Simply, therefore, if the Connecticut killings shocked you too, then let’s go do something about it. Through understanding and practicing ‘ahimsa’, let’s nail every violent thought that may arise in us. Through doing that consistently, let us allow our true loving self to flower from within. And let that love bathe our world in a new light!

Why not make today delicious?




Today is worryless, stressfree and miraculous if you realize that Tomorrows come again and again. Today, however, comes only once and is happening to you just NOW! Knowing this, internalizing it and practicing it can make your Life beautiful.

Basically, focus on the present and all will be well with you. Think about it. We never worry about or fear the present moment. We don’t pine for the present. Our worries are ALWAYS about an unknown future and our pain comes from a past that is over and done with. When we don’t live in the now, the only real moment that we know of, have in our control and are going through now, we are not living at all. We are merely existing. All our problems__financial, emotional, spiritual__arise ONLY from not focusing on the present, on the now.

Living in the past, or longing for an unknown future, is making us stagnate, vegetate and, in fact, rot. Don’t hit that rewind button. Live every moment fully, mindfully. You have to live first to understand, appreciate and enjoy Life. You can’t achieve that by merely being alive. Our outer realities, our circumstances may not always be of our choice. But how we want to live in them, in the present moment, can be by choice. Choosing, therefore, to live in the now, is an intelligent decision.

While researching on the net for a presentation I am due to make, I stumbled upon the Core Purpose, Mission and Brand tagline for Amercian food major Kraft Foods. It said: “Make Today Delicious”. It is perhaps the most delectable corporate statement you may ever find. It almost instantaneously suggests we revisit how we are leading our lives. It inspires you to want to get to that level of ease where each of your todays can indeed be delicious.


Very simply, it’s your todays alone that count. Not your yesterdays or a tomorrow that is still to arrive. As Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) Author, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, says, “The past, the present and the future are really one: they are today.”

Think about it. And make your today memorable. Better still why not make today delicious!?

Expectations bring agony!


Expectations bring agony when they are not met. Agony leads to frustration. Frustration to anger. And anger sometimes culminates in rage__extreme agitation in the mind. And, far too often, as we see it in the world around us today, rage in the mind manifests itself as physical violence. 

But what causes expectations in the first place? The thinking that YOU are in control creates a desire, an expectation. Because you work hard and sincerely, you think you deserve a higher raise. So, you desire. Because you brought your child into this world, you think your child must ALWAYS live life the way you want her/him to. So, that’s an expectation. Because you have never done any wrong unto anyone and have had a healthy lifestyle, you believe you must never ail from a dreaded disease like cancer. Again, expectation. But how are you__and I__ever in control of anything? 

Look, the sun, the birds, the world, go on without us controlling them. We can’t as much as twiddle our toes of our own accord. We control NOTHING. We are but specks in this vast cosmic design, nobodies. When we are anchored in this humble truism, there will be no expectation, we will live in the moment and will live in peace. Only then will we experience bliss HERE and NOW. 

When we begin to see ourselves as controlling even a minuscule element in this cosmos, we will cause misery within us and then in our immediate circle of influence. 

To keep yourself grounded and free from expectations, desires, agony, frustration, anger, rage, and to find bliss, ALWAYS remember that ‘life goes on not because of you, but in spite of you’!