Hi, I am Arjuna. Aeons ago I faced a severe emotional crisis – what and whether, to do or not to do. Standing between two warring armies, in the battle between good and evil, I saw the task at hand: fighting my own kith and kin. “There is no way I can do this,” I told myself and I dropped my weapons, feeling totally disillusioned and despondent.
My friend, philosopher, guide and charioteer, Krishna, came to my rescue. He taught me the Karma Sutra – the secret of work. The mist cleared and I was enlightened. I picked up my weapons and the rest is history.
Time has passed. I am Arjuna of the twenty-first century. I live in an age where actions are more or less guided by Kama Sutra – the secret of fulfilment of desires – and Karma Sutra has taken a backseat.
Yet Krishna continues to guide in various ways. Sometimes he appears in flesh and blood, as a friend, a parent, a teacher or a simple well-wisher. Sometimes he is reflected in the paragraph of a book, through the innocence and wonder of a child, in a magnificent phenomenon of nature, or even as a life-changing experience.
Krishna always teaches by example.
TO ARJUNA THE STUDENT
Krishna: Arjuna, lethargy and procrastination are your main enemies here. So,
Tackle the difficult things first! Then you have all the time to enjoy the easy tasks or things that you like and want to do. For example,
– When food is served, eat first what you don’t like then enjoy your favorite items.
– During exams, tackle the toughest questions first.
– After returning from school, first finish your homework then involve yourself in recreation.
– This cool principle helps in resolving time-management issues, and you will feel less confused while making decisions regarding your priorities.
In your free time, pursue a creative hobby, giving the ‘idiot box’ and other gadgets a well-deserved rest. This also helps you pursue activities that are not so interesting, but which have to be done. You will feel less distracted and better able to focus.
A game of badminton, or any outdoor sport, or even just a walk in the community park will perk you up any time. A healthy mind rests in a healthy body. Feeling fit physically will boost your level of confidence in all other activities.
TO ARJUNA THE HOUSEHOLDER
Krishna: This can be the toughest phase of life! A lot of the stress comes out of our inability to meet the expectations of family, friends and relatives. It is not always easy to be yourself.
Know that you cannot make everyone happy all the time. Focus on what needs to be done rather than what others want from you.
The intention matters as much as the action itself, if not more. So do everything with a feeling of goodwill, without any intention of hurting anyone.
The key here is to accept rather than expect. Work on accepting the situation, other people and yourself, as you are.
TO ARJUNA AT WORK
Arjuna, be very vigilant about the green-eyed monster. Jealousy and competition are devils in disguise, which drain us by channeling our efforts in the wrong direction.
Competition is an essential motivator for achieving goals. But when you use someone else’s achievement as a benchmark for yourself, you not only give room to stress and frustration but also limit your own potential.
So take the chill-pill: compete with yourself.
– Your performance yesterday becomes the benchmark for improving your performance today. This enables you to realise your highest potential at work.
– It promotes the team’s interest over individual interest.
– When individual performances improve, the team’s productivity also increases. The boss is happy and so are you. This is one of the key secrets to dealing with stress at work.
TO ARJUNA WHEN FEELING DOWN
Krishna: Moods affect our work. But do you know that work also affects our mood? It has the capacity to dispel the clouds and revive us from any kind of depression. So whenever you feel low or depressed:
– Go for a long walk.
– Involve yourself in some mental or physical activity.
– Reach out to others, trying to participate in their joys and sorrows. This benefits you and others too. Try it, as the proof of the pudding is in the eating!
TO ARJUNA THE BORN WINNER
“Failure is the stepping stone to success,” although preaching this may not ring a bell if you have been facing failure after repeated attempts.
The secret, in this situation, is to live in the present. Living in the present automatically helps in detaching yourself from the result of work.
Practice mindfulness, which is nothing but the art of living in the present.
When faced with challenges, take to heart Nike’s slogan: “Just do it.”
WHERE TO BEGIN?
Krishna: All this is easier said than done, but it is important to begin somewhere, for well begun is half done. Find your heart and stay there. Computer-savvy people know the importance of the motherboard. Find your motherboard, your centre, and stay rooted in it. The rest will automatically follow. This is the ultimate Karma Sutra.
May 01, 2017
April 28, 2017