Re­lax, re­flect and re­joice

Business World - - Opinion - By Raju Mand­hyan Busi­nessWorld Pub­lish­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, 95 Balete Drive Ext., New Manila Que­zon City, Metro Manila, Philip­pines 1112 Ed­i­to­rial (+632) 535-9919 edi­[email protected]­don­ Ad­ver­tis­ing (+632) 535-9941 ad­ver­tis­[email protected]­don­ Cir­cu­la­tion tel.

WE are hit­ting week two since the year turned and the rig­ma­role of life catch­ing up. The wak­ing up to a yearn­ing of cof­fee, the shov­ing of self into some fit­ness reg­i­men, the pulling up of the socks to march into the day and the con­stant flick­ing through the beeps, the tweets and the pings from our soul and so­lace steal­ing smart­phones. Life be­gins to coil around us like Kaa from Mowgli and take us for a spin while we strive and strug­gle to keep the train of our lives on track.

A mo­ti­va­tional speaker friend of mine from Dubai, Ro­hit Bassi, put up a great mes­sage at the start of the year where he claimed that the whole world and es­pe­cially mo­ti­va­tional speak­ers like us will urge you into set­ting goals, mi­cro-mind­ing time, work­ing hard, work­ing smart; hus­tling and bustling to­wards your cho­sen dreams and pur­pose in life. That is all fine and dandy, claims Ro­hit Bassi, but at the same time we need to also set in in­ten­tions and time to re­lax, re­flect and re­joice. Re­lax­ing, re­flect­ing and re­joic­ing will give you in­ner peace and peace in­side will help your strengths and en­ergy flow and flour­ish in­stead of them be­ing all churned and twisted like a Kaa on an over­dose of nitro cof­fee.

How does one re­lax, re­flect and re­joice?

So there was this one time, I was at this mo­ti­va­tional sem­i­nar and the speaker was rant­ing away like “not only will you be­come the cap­tain of your own ship but the fu­ture will be yours to hold and be­hold; the world, ladies and gen­tle­men will be in your pocket. You will win and win again and again!” Just as he was about to pause from his huff­ing and puff­ing, an el­derly man raised his hand and halt­ingly asked, “And then how big a deal will it be should I re­ally and truly win this world?” The crowd in the room roared into laugh­ter and the speaker-man lit­er­ally shrunk into a kit­ten. The point was well made and the mes­sage to­day is that,

Our smart­phones have stolen our souls and our so­lace. No­tice how al­most ev­ery­one from a seven-year-old to a 70-year-old is stuck to some kind of an in­ter­ac­tive gad­get. Nowa­days, it takes a her­culean ef­fort to just sit down for a while and do noth­ing but gen­tly browse through our own thoughts and feel­ings.

yes, please chase all the dreams you would like to chase and set all the goals you want to set but do re­al­ize that big­ger men and women be­fore us have tried to con­quer and own the world and many of them like Alexan­der the Great, ru­mor has it, was buried with his hands out­side the ground ev­i­dence to the fact that we take noth­ing with us when we move onto the af­ter­life. All that we win and claim to own stays back and con­tin­ues be­long­ing to the world which we grab it from. To re­lax then is to keep aware­ness in the back of our minds that the life we live is just a game and the num­bers that we score are only good un­til the game lasts. Also, we do not have to al­ways win but we do, al­ways, have to play the game well.

Yes, our smart­phones have stolen our souls and our so­lace. It is a fact, look around us and no­tice how al­most ev­ery­one from a seven-year-old to a 70-year-old is stuck to some kind of an in­ter­ac­tive gad­get. Take that away from them and their eyes be­gin to roll, their lips curl and it seems like you are chok­ing their life sup­port sys­tem. Back in the day peo­ple used to go out for an af­ter-din­ner stroll, curl up un­der a tree with a book or just sit by the ocean and spend time re­flect­ing upon life, upon re­la­tion­ships and upon the finer things of liv­ing. Nowa­days, it takes a her­culean ef­fort to just sit down for a while and do noth­ing but gen­tly browse through our own thoughts and feel­ings. Au­thors Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kal­lick in their book, Habits of the Mind, claim re­flect­ing on work en­hances its mean­ing. Re­flect­ing on ex­pe­ri­ences en­cour­ages in­sight and fos­ters all around nur­tur­ing and growth of self and self in re­la­tion to oth­ers. Just as we set goals, let’s also set aside spa­ces of time which have no goals.

Ah, and the idea of just, plain re­joic­ing for the sake of re­joic­ing makes me smile!

My friend, mo­ti­va­tional hu­morist and in­ter­na­tional speaker Scott Fried­man, has spent a life­time teach­ing and preach­ing the idea of Cel­e­brate. In fact, he has writ­ten a whole book on the why, the how and the when of cel­e­brat­ing. In his book he shares scores of hard core, case stud­ies where in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions fo­cused on be­ing grate­ful and ap­pre­cia­tive as their core val­ues had im­proved en­gage­ment scores and im­proved pro­duc­tiv­ity. Once over drink and din­ner, he mused over the thought that per­haps the gift of life was a gift of free­dom for us hu­mans to just en­joy and play here on earth. That con­ver­sa­tion came back to me re­cently, when some­one jok­ingly said, “Hey Raju, What if when you meet up with Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, and he asks ‘how was Heaven?” Yeah, ever re­flected on that an­gle? It is some­thing to think about, huh? And if you do not wish to strain your mind so much, then just go play, cel­e­brate and, yes, most of all re­joice.

Down­load this into your souls, and have a great year and a life.


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