Don’t compare. Just co-live.

Comparisons always ruin our inner peace. You look at someone and say, ‘How is she so successful? She’s not even as qualified or ethical as I am?’ You may not be jealous of this person, but you are pining for her success. You see someone with a nice car, a beautiful spouse, the latest smartphone and a lustful thought__a pining__crosses your mind. That’s comparison sowing the seed of jealousy in you. Slowly jealousy leads you to want to outdo that person. To live like that person. Your entire effort has shifted from living, being yourself to becoming like that person. And when you encounter difficulties on the path, which you surely will, frustration sets in. Eventually, you are consumed by this urge to become rather than just be.

An organization that we used to consult for was once faced with a peculiar situation. One of their best performers and a senior team member put in her papers. She had been recently feted by the company’s Board and had received a generous pay hike and a promotion. Her issue was that she felt that her colleague, who according to the Board was as capable and as senior as she is, must not be given the same remuneration that she was receiving. Obviously, when logic and counsel failed to make her see reason, the organization simply let her go. It was sad. This lady was one of the most efficient business leaders we had come across in our consulting career. But her ruinous urge to compare herself with another made her lose the plot. Completely. In a matter of a week this lady had sunk into an abyss of depression at a time when she really ought to have been celebrating.

This is not to say that you should not be ambitious or that you should not put in an extra effort in a competitive environment. This only means do it with the may-the-best-person-win attitude and not with the ‘wotsubusu‘ attitude. ‘Wotsubusu‘ is Japanese for ‘annihilate, crush or destroy’. When you live Life to collaborate, to enable, you will win. When you try to win at another’s expense, you will eventually lose (in) the game of Life.

Simply, co-live. Life has a big heart, a bigger canvas, for all us to paint our masterpieces.

“wotsubusu” craving, feel liberated!

No object of desire is the cause of any agony in itself. It is your craving for that object that makes you suffer.

Take for instance, a hot summer day. And you are thirsty. You see nice juicy watermelons on the street and want to stop your car. But you find the parking slots by the stall crowded and you see a policeman standing under a tree nearby. You believe the cop will object to your parking your car outside of the earmarked space. You are miffed and drive away cursing the crowds and the cop, ruing the missed opportunity to take some of those melons home. Even when you narrate this experience to your wife when you get home, you are complaining and are not merely reporting. There’s a sense of loss and evidence of frustration in your reportage. Now, did the humble melon on the street cause your agony or did your craving for it__and your eventual inability to buy it__cause it?

Think about it. All of us are victims of this cravings-brings-suffering trap. What we crave for is not the cause, it is the act of craving that causes misery. We crave for attention, adulation, understanding, respect, fame, rewards, recognition, wealth, opportunity, love and followership. And when we don’t get it, we are disappointed. Now, if you are disappointed and if your disappointment doesn’t affect your Life, it is fine. But when you are disappointed, you are mourning. Your energies are low. You start operating in a low energy__scarcity__spectrum. This naturally affects the way you live and experience Life. On the other hand, consider the situation when there is no craving, and so there’s no disappointment, so there’s no suffering. In such a scenario, you are operating in a high-energy__abundance__spectrum. Remember: Wherever your attention goes, your energy flows. In Buddhist teachings, they advocate the complete cessation of craving. Which means to eliminate all craving. In Japanese, the word wotsubusu means to annihilate. When you wotsubusucraving, you feel liberated. Such freedom opens up a whole new opportunity spectrum of playing to your strengths – to what you have. Than to worry about, lament over, what you don’t have.

Simplify Life: Give up the craving. And you will immediately stop suffering!