If the Desire is Strong then Goals don’t remain as Dreams : My Story

If you have a goal which has been lingering your mind for many years, something which you constantly think about at every point of life, then the forces of nature will work in a way that the dream will get fulfilled. For the pull of your goal is so strong that you do things to achieve your goal. For if you don’t anything about the goal you want to achieve, it remains a dream , a dream which you can fondly reminisce in your later years with regret and  a thought that If only I had something about it when the thought came into my mind, I would have been more happier and achieved a lot in my life.

The above thoughts replicate what I did to achieve my goal to be a trainer and teacher. I had this desire to be one, when I attended a training course delivered by Steve Crowe from 3M Consultants. The course was about selling skills and I enjoyed attending the course. It was for the first time that I was feeling enthusiastic attending a course and had a great learning experience. I loved the way he kept the training interesting from me. Lot of activities and lot of practical examples which helped me to understand the concepts.

So the seed to becoming a trainer was put in my mind after attending that training. I wanted to be a trainer who would not just flick power point slides and have a target number of slides to go through before ending the day. I wanted to be someone who would bring a change in the thinking of the participant who would be attending the training program. So with that thought in mind, I spoke to my wife about this burning fire inside me to be a trainer. My wife calmly told me” Let’s wait for few years as we need the money to survive and settle our lives”. I was getting angry as I wanted to quit the job immediately and be a trainer. But after my anger subsided, I understood what she meant. Sometimes when you are excited, you don’t thing clearly. So instead of jumping in the valley without thinking, it is important to give the DREAM sometime and see if the desire is still there in your heart after the initial incubation period.

So even though I had put a brake in my desire to be a trainer, I came to an agreement with my wife that by the time I reach 40 years I will revisit my dream. And if the desire is really strong then I will take my plunge into the exciting world of Training and Teaching. I was 37 years at the time when the desire to be trainer started in my mind. Instead of waiting for the 3 years to be completed, I started reading a lot about training. I started looking at organizations who were   training providers. I also started improving my network and added lot of trainers in my circle of contacts. I started reaching out to training providers and conveyed them about my experience and my interest to be a trainer. Slowly and steadily my network improved and I started getting an idea as to what it takes to be a good trainer.

One of the first requirements to be a trainer was to have an experience of speaking in public. And that’s something I dreaded.  My earlier experience with public speaking was not good and I was classified as loud. OS in order to gain some experience in speaking, I joined the toast masters club. It was a great way of meeting people and getting a chance to speak in front of a crowd. Toastmasters is an organization which teaches public speaking and organizational skills. It is a place where you are given a topic to speak and the audience will give you feedback on how the speech was. The speaking time is not much, but the atmosphere is just fantastic to hone your skills. You get to speak about a number of topics and sometimes, you have to speak on topics with no preparation. And I was a selfish speaker. Whenever I got the opportunity to speak, I spoke. I was in the forefront of speaking as my sole aim was to gain speaking time or floor time as it’s called.

During that time, I was looking at opportunities to train people. So I grabbed whatever I could get. I distinctly remember my first experience of a non-paid training job. It was on short notice and I was excited to do the job. Another experience which stays in my mind is the one where I had to do a demo with a training company. They asked me to prepare on my favorite topic. So my  favourite topic was Selling  and I spent my time preparing for the demo training. I arrived on time and that’s when the interviewer told me that the projector is not working. I said to myself this happens and maybe I should have checked before going. Its said when disaster strikes, it keeps on striking. So to add to my woes, the power went off and my laptops battery also gave me a high five. So here I am with no supporting materials, but was determined to do my training as my main objective was to do the training and get some feedback. Luckily for me there was white board with marker pens available. So I did a enthusiastic presentation with the tools I had in hand. The training went on well but I did not get the job. But I was super thrilled that I could engage a audience for 1 hour.

As the days passed by, I continued with research. I was determined to be a trainer. That’s why its said “ When the desire is strong, the forces of nature will work for you”. The day I turned 40, I put in my resignation with a dream in my mind but no concrete plans. But the future had different plans for me. Suddenly out of the blue I receive a call from a organization “ Hi,You had a put in a CV a year back. We are interested in speaking to you”. I could not believe my ears. A year after I sent my CV, someone is calling and that too when my dream was just a dream. So I went and met the organization who was on the look out for a trainer and they asked me to observe a session done by a senior trainer. I was a keen observer and I made lot of notes during the session. The senior trainer then asked me to do the training for the next session. That’s how my journey as a trainer started. With no experience , but just a spark inside me to follow my dreams.

So my first real training , I spent lot of time preparing. I was at my super enthusiastic best. The senior trainer was there as an observer who was making notes to give me feedback. So at the training program , I got a shock. The participants had pooled in money and bought a Pen for me. I was in a state of shock. These participants wert out of their way, contributed money to buy me a pen. The senior trainer who was a observer was also in a state of shock. He told me that during the time when he had done the training, he had his picture taken, but never was he given a gift by the participants. I took that as a good omen for my future. So as things would turn out, I did 12 sessions for the company before I got another shock. The company who had rejected me came back with a offer. That’s how my career as a trainer began. Its been 6 years since I did my first training and its journey I am enjoying. Lots of ups and downs, but my soul is still intact and my life is full with the joys of sharing knowledge.

I feel truly blessed that my dreams came true with my hunger and help from the forces of nature.

My lessons from corporate life

Having started working from early age bought in its way few learnings. More than 25 years has its own ups and downs. Sharing it with ya all helps me too.

Learning 1: Embrace the culture of the company rather than be yourself. It is important to be watchful of whats happening around you before you try to be yourself .

Learning 2: Dont be opinionated about your boss by listening to others. Lot of us form an opinion about our boss by listening to others. Whats important to know is that, their opinions are based on their experiences and sometimes their jealousy. Please note that your bosses behaviour towards you might be different and in many cases good. So form your own opinion based on your own experiences.

Learning 3 : When you change your job, change it for better responsibilities. Lot of times people change jobs for better salaries. It is important to understand that Salary will not help in growth of your career. Better responsibilities will help you as it gives you a chance to learn.

Learning 4: Sort things out over a cup of coffee. If you have a problem with someone it is better to speak with the person rather than sending them a email with copy to the world. Words written sounds harsher than words spoken. So dont try to make a mountain of a mole hill.

Learning 5: If your career is not going upwards then make a lateral move. A lateral move might help you to recharge yourself with new learnings and responsibilities. This move will help you to gain more experience which can help you in the future.

The 5 truths of my life.

As the day reaches its end I find myself contemplating if I should tell about the truths I learned in my 48 years of life in this planet. The truth might sound bitter, but it has to be revealed to all if its going to help everyone. I am an achiever– good son, good husband , good father, good friend and compassionate human being.So here are the truths of my life.

Truth 1: It does not matter how you are in school or college whether you are a good student or a bad student, whether you are rich or poor, by the time you reach 48, your life becomes balanced. You are not doing worse than your genius friend. Life has a great way of balancing everything. If you are not doing decently well, then you would have done something really bad with your life.

Truth 2: All successes are based on the principle of persistence. Assignments given in school and college helps you prepare for the hard work needed for later life. All the inspirational stories of some one dropping out of the education system does not mention the amount of hard work they have done to achieve their success.

Truth 3 : Sex is not the only thing needed to have a good successful relationship. It is based on lot of give , take and letting go. Just like a baby who do not keep things to heart despite being spoken harsh words by a parent, it is important to just let go and look at the positive to maintain a relationship . Copulation will happen when it has to. Same cannot be the only reason to have a relationship.

Truth 4: Do not torture your body in your quest to be fit. Most of the so called fit people suffer when they reach old age. You are fit after 48, if there are no aches and pain in your body , if your knees does not hurt, if you can still shop with your wife and play with your children after a hard days work. So to hell with all fitness programs. Exercise 30 minutes, build some muscle and eat good food. You will be for life. Do not abuse your body with too much exercise, too much food, too much alchohol and too much diet.

Truth 5: Do not judge the ability of your children based on their academic performance and social interactions. Take a step back and look at how you were during those times. You achieved everything when you were given the freedom to do your own thing. You need to give the same freedom to your children.

Negative and Positive emotions cannot co exist in our Mind

Dharmakīrti (ca. 7th century), was an Indian scholar and one of the Buddhist founders of Indian philosophical logic. He was one of the primary theorists of Buddhist atomism, according to which the only items considered to exist are momentary Buddhist atoms and states of consciousness . When it comes to the mind Dharmakriti said ” The nature of this mind is clear light. Defilements are Superficial”

What it means is that the mind is pure in its form. All other afflictive emotions like Lust, Greed, Anger, Hatred are just emotions which are formed based on our ignorance that our presence in this world is permanent. The mind in its pure form is referred by Dharmakriti as mind of clear light.. When we are born, we are enlightened by nature and equipped with the tools to reach the state of complete harmony of mind. We also have some level of compassion and the intelligence that distinguishes between favorable and unfavorable. If these elements of the mind can be developed then this can become the basis of transformation.

The problem with negative emotions is there is no external means of removing it, unlike a thorn which pierces you. To remove the negative motions , we must clearly see the mistaken beliefs on which is it based. Once we learn these negative emotions do not agree with our basic mental well being, then we can develop antidotes to remove them.

All the negative emotions like Lust, Greed, Hatred need conditions to exist. For e.g. When you sneeze right now, you cannot be angry. Once the condition does not exist, then there will be no negative emotions. The fact remains that negative attitudes or emotions can be separated from the main mind.

At times we might hold on to negative emotions like anger and attachment and other times our mind manifests into detachment and contentment. We cannot feel positive and negative emotions to an object or person at the same time. We have these feelings at different times and even in rapid succession but never at the same time. This clearly shows that positive and negative emotions cannot coexist. They oppose each other and when one increases in strength other decreases.

Value of Our Life

It is important to appreciate our life. We have the power to do something good and hence carry a great responsibility. As when we are alive can we do good things. SO being distracted or trying to pursue trivial materialistic things in our life is going to be a waste of our Precious Life. It is important to use our life for the benefit of others.

Below are few things which you can reflect upon when you are thinking about your life:

  1. It is certain that I will die one day and this cannot be avoided at any cost.
  2. The time and cause of my death is no known to me
  3. The balance of Life and Death is same for everyone. Hence I don have to waste time quarreling and fighting or wasting it by accumulating money and property
  4. It is important for me to appreciate life when alive
  5. In the long run it is this realization of m being alive which will help me the most.

Being aware of the fact that life is not permanent requires lot of discipline. Discipline does not mean prohibition or running away from our pleasures of life. It means that when you are looking at long term interests, you must sacrifice short term interests of accumulation and attachments. This helps you to tame your mind and not get swayed by short term pleasures. In turn this helps us in being more peaceful, relaxed and happy. Self realization of our causes of happiness helps us lead a happy and peaceful life.

We have the potential of doing good things, but we need the freedom to do this. So being individualistic means that you do not expect anything from anyone, you dont wait for orders, but you to do things on your own initiative. So it is the responsibility individual to create their own positive future. Both freedom and individualism requires self discipline and should not get affected by afflictive emotions. If it becomes affected by such emotions then it can lead to negative consequences.

Acceptance of Death is a Simple Cure for Attachments in Life

Life Attachment

If we understand and accept the fact that we are not a permanent fixture on mother earth then we will surely lean of temporary superficial goals in our life.Our goals goes from superficial to spiritual from early on. So its better to decide from the very begining that we will die and then think what will be worthwhile to do when we are alive. This helps us in valuing our time on earth. We will look more to develop our mind through spiritual practice rather then wasting our time on distractions like Endless talking, gossiping, sports , war etc.

If we think that we will not die then we are more prone to putting of spiritual practice and wasting our time on trivial pursuits rather than making good use of our time. Pursuit of physical happiness only might not be the best use of our time. Physical comfort is just temporary absence of problems like diseases or any body discomfort ( For e.g feeling cold)

Again going overboard might not do us any good when it comes to pursuit of physical comfort and happiness. So food is needed to sustain our body. But when we eat too much food we tend to bring in a hoard of other complications like Heart disease and Obesity. So its important to have a balance so that we can achieve Happiness of mind and heart and not just of our physical well being.

Contentment in the Materialistic World

Whatever materialistic things we have accumulated in our life or are in the process of accumulating, it is important to be content. Unfortunately we are the the opposite of being contented when it comes to our materialistic accumulation in this world. The moment we achieve slight amount of progress, we are looking for more and more. That should not be case and is a mistake which lot of people fail to understand. Just because we have money, it does not mean that we have to spend more on food, clothing etc. it is important to focus on spending money on helping people with their health and education. Being compassionate when you have money is important.

You are truly rich if you be contented with regards to materialistic things. Without that even though you might be the richest person in this world, you will still be unhappy. You might crave for more and more and become rich whereas you are becoming poor spiritually. The desire for contentment will never be fulfilled and you will always be unhappy.

There is story in Buddhist texts about a king who gained control over the world and he wanted to control the lands of the gods. In the end his good qualities of being a king was eventually lost as he was never happy despite having everything in this world.

Contentment is the key to happy life, so try to be happy with what you have. In marriage sex is important, but if your marriage is only based on sex then it can lead to disaster. There has to be a balance in everything and finding the balance is important for your happiness.

If you can accept the fact everything our life is impermanent . Being aware of that then it will bring in more energy in doing better things in our life rather than looking at accumulating more materialistic things. Being aware of impermanence in our life is similar to us being aware that one day we will get old. Acceptance of the eventuality in our life will only lead us not to fall prey to destructive emotions and eventually lead us to a happy life.

When we are high under the influence of accumulation then we get happy when we get more and more, but in reality that’s not the case. So try this when our desire to get something which we already have sets in–Try to look out for all the negative things about the object we desire so much. The reason we have to do this is because once attachment sets in, its difficult to suppress our desire to have that object.

When you have an outlook of permanence in our life, our tendency to attachment and accumulation becomes more and more and reduces our tendency to be compassionate and do good for the sake of others. When we accept that all things in our life are just pages in our chapter of life, you will be amazed at the changes you will see in the way you look at things in our life. It will reduce our tendency to hold on to anything in our life. We are like tourists visiting a place with a tendency to only look at the goodness in others and the place we visit. So when we consider ourselves as tourists then we stay away from creating problems for the people or places we visit. Instead we focus on creating good memories of us and the people we meet.

So accepting death and old age as part of our life will help us immensely. By not doing so we will develop destructive emotions like greediness. Not accepting the eventuality of death and old age will make insecure like the kings and emperors of the past. Always fearing for their life, their children’s life, their kingdom and their throne.This deception leads to pain for lot of people.

The reality of impermanence helps us to understand the nature of change. Things change, situations whether good or bad also changes. This helps us in going through difficult periods in our life, for we know that the difficult times will not last for long and will change. This brings us peace in our lives.