When the world closes its doors on you, keep the faith, be patient.
A young man, who we have been coaching (through our ‘Let’s Talk Happyness’ Program), called up yesterday. He was excited. His boss had awarded him a spot bonus. And had felicitated him at a town hall with the whole team. The young chap, an engineer in his late 20s, said, “I am amazed. Just four months ago nobody wanted to even look at my resume. For months on end interviewer after interviewer kept on rejecting me. They made me feel worthless. And now, suddenly, my talent is recognized and I am being celebrated. I don’t get this. Even when I was going through a trial by fire, through that spate of rejections, I was still talented. Then why does my talent get recognized only now. Why was it not valued then, when I so badly needed a break?”
Well, such is Life. Vaani and I have learnt from own experience (Read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal.) that we are put through a trying phase in Life only so that we evolve through it. Clearly, Life’s experiences do not erode our talent. Even when one department, one door, in Life shuts on us, another opens. Always. The truth also is that talent and trial are totally unrelated. Being talented does not guarantee you a Life free of challenges. Talent is what you are endowed with. And trial is what you have to face, what you must go through, per your Life’s inscrutable, and unique, design. It is important to remember that just because you are being rejected by the world, just because people don’t recognize your talent, it does not mean you are worthless. This is when you must keep the faith – in yourself, your abilities and what you have to offer the world – and be patient. This is when you must trust the process of Life. Life is very compassionate, very beautiful. Every experience you go through unfailingly enriches you from within – making you stronger, wiser and happy!
A friend asks me why, despite having talent, integrity and goodness, people have to face difficult times. I tell him that talent and integrity do not necessarily offer a smooth passage through Life. So, drop all analyses, I advise him. Just anchor in patience and flow with Life choosing to be non-frustrated and happy, despite the circumstances. This Vlog captures the perspective I shared with him.
View time: 4:31 minutes
Learn to be patient with Life. It happens at its own pace and in its own time.
A friend wrote to me after a long time and wondered if my “Life’s troubles were over”! I replied saying while we are still enduring the crisis, we are not troubled by it anymore. This doesn’t mean we are accustomed to or resigned to our “comfort zone”. To be sure, you can never be comfortable in pain. Yet you can avoid suffering if you are in a state of acceptance of your current reality and have learnt to be patient with Life.
All of us are products of the time that we go through. Initially, when I was much younger, less wiser, and more impatient, I pooh-poohed this theory. Now, when I look back, I realize that my academic education – which encouraged me to think logically, rationally – had made me arrogant. I wanted to be the master of my Life. I imagined then that I could make my own destiny. I seriously believed that success – fame and money – are all that mattered in Life. But then, when I started noticing, both through my own Life experience and through those of others around me, that having talent and integrity alone can’t make your plans work for you, I came to accept that you also need time on your side.
The time I refer to here does not mean the 24-hour construct. It means the phases of time that your lifespan goes through. I soon discovered that through the passage of time, what goes up comes down, to go back up again and to come down yet again! I recognized therefore that nothing is permanent – not even Life; that death is inevitable! So, I realized, the best way to live is to be available to, and accepting of, whatever’s happening to you, even if it is not something that you want or ordered into your Life. This way you will not suffer in Life; nothing can trouble you!
I have also understood that there is no concept of good time or bad time in Life. Time, like Life itself, is neutral. In fact, every event in your Life, happens for a reason. Even stuff that you classify as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ – events that you dislike – happen at the ‘right’ time! And whatever happens in your Life, is happening to make you humble, strong, peaceful and happy! This understanding has helped me immensely. I wake up to face each day with great enthusiasm. I put in my best efforts. And I take whatever comes my way – acceptance, rejection, compassion, hatred, praise, ridicule – without judging it and without resisting it. About 10 years ago, I was indeed troubled and unhappy with my Life. My material context and physical situation have not changed. But I have learnt now to be untroubled by what’s happening to me and to be happy despite the circumstances I am placed in!
Last night, as I caught Yash Chopra’s 1965-classic Waqt (Time) on TV, this iconic song played on aptly. The lead lyrics are aage bhi jaane na tu, pichhe bhi jaane na tu, jo bhi hai, bas yahi ek pal hai…meaning that you don’t know the future, you can’t do anything about the past, all you have is this moment, the now, to live in! So, peel off those labels. Don’t obsess over whether your choices are right or wrong. Just be happy you made one! Just be – live – in the moment. For there is no right or wrong, good or bad. Your Life, at the end the day, is all about choices you make in response to the events that happen to you!