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You deserve bold new beginnings

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You deserve bold new beginnings

Most resolutions fail because they aren’t compelling enough. This year, choose goals that keep inspiring you. One treasure trove of inspiration is the Bhagavad Gita, so DAAJI will be sharing this timeless wisdom and offering us practical tools for new beginnings to move forward.


Life is a continuum of new beginnings strung together in time. The birth of a child, coming of age, and marriage are some examples of new beginnings that cultures across the world celebrate with joy. One new beginning that started during the time of the Romans and continues to be celebrated across the world is the New Year. The Romans celebrated the New Year by honoring Janus – he gives us the month’s name, January. Janus was the God of transitions. He represented the bridge between what was and what will be, the old and the new. For this reason, Janus is represented as the God with two faces, one facing the past and the other facing the future. While the traditions honoring Janus have ended, what endures is our enthusiasm for new beginnings.



Each year, come January, new memberships at the gym hit the roof. Losing weight, saving money, and quitting smoking are among the most popular resolutions. We hope the new year will give us the extra boost we need to become better. But by January 19, we hit what is called Quitter’s Day, the day when most people choose the face of Janus looking into the past. They quit.

This January let’s change that. A world healing from a pandemic needs more resolve and less quitting. Our victories, no matter how small, spread hope and positivity.

How can you ensure success this time?

When researchers studied why people struggle to keep their resolutions, they found that most people either forget their resolutions or simply lose track of them. Test this for yourself. What was your resolution last year? And the year before? The chances are you have forgotten. Usually, you will forget something because it isn’t important enough. It doesn’t warrant your interest. So, this year, make resolutions that interest you deeply.

Interest fuels resolve. Interest gives the impetus to act. When you are interested, you will set positive intentions and prioritize better. Take a moment to revisit your successes. You will find that interest ignites your efforts. And what happens when you lack interest? Do you try to make up for lost interest with willpower? Well, it doesn’t work. When there is no interest, the joy is gone, and self-improvement becomes a sandpapery affair. So, the key is to create interest.



Interest fuels resolve. Interest gives the impetus to act.
When you are interested, you will set positive intentions
and prioritize better. Take a moment to revisit your successes.
You will find that interest ignites your efforts.



Choose something compelling. Choose something that captures your imagination. To lose weight or to save money, don’t wait for the New Year. You can start here and now. Save the New Year for something momentous, something vital. This New Year, think big and bold. Choose eternal over ephemeral.

Often, I hear people chide themselves for being weak. They lack confidence and drown themselves in puddles of doubt. To them, I say, never forget that we are all powered from the same infinite Source. The life force that runs in our veins is the current of the Divine. We are all spiritual beings in biological garb. Interiorize this truth and shed your inhibitions. Take one step forward and see how the universe takes ten steps towards you.




“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it,
dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves,
every part of your body, be full of that idea,
and just leave every other idea alone.
This is the way to success.”
-Swami Vivekananda



To make a new beginning

Take inspiration from the charged words of Vivekananda: “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

For inspiration, look to the Gita

To succeed in new beginnings, visualize new goals for yourself. If you are looking for inspiration, one tried and tested source – rather a treasure trove of bold and thrilling goals – is the Bhagavad Gita, one of the world’s greatest spiritual texts. Gandhi, Emerson, Thoreau, Hermann Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Sri Aurobindo, and many others have found inspiration in the Gita. Written around five thousand years ago, its wisdom is no less relevant for us today than it was back then.

The Bhagavad Gita is a record of the conversation between Arjuna and Lord Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Arjuna is facing his enemies, including his grandfather, his guru, his relatives, and his associates. The Gita is a tale of the triumph of good over evil. It offers clarity in the face of dilemmas. It provides the wisdom needed to live a life of virtue.

My rendezvous with the Gita started during my childhood. I grew up in a village in Gujarat, India. This was in the ’50s, and back then we did not have electricity. My chore at home was to help my mother with the lamps and get them ready by sundown. I remember one monsoon when I was nine years old, we would get together with our neighbors in the evening. After dinner, everyone would assemble in our courtyard. There, under the glow of the lamps, I would read aloud chapters from the Ramayana. For a few weeks we did this, and after the Ramayana we started with the Mahabharata. It was during this time that I was first introduced to the Gita.

Since then, in school, college, and during adult life, the Gita has been present in my life as a source of meaning, inspiration, and clarity. I vividly remember striking gold when one of my associates recommended the talks of Vinoba Bhave on the Gita. I was moved by the profound depth, simplicity, and oozing devotion that his speeches carried. For anyone who wants to read the Gita, I recommend they start with Vinoba.



Just like a seedling, a young plant, and a grown-up tree
need the same water for nourishment, new beginnings
always start with the mind, no matter what your goal is.
The method for mastering the mind is meditation.




And for your new beginnings, here are some goals inspired by the Gita:

Develop a growth mindset

A few years ago, Carol Dweck wrote an excellent book called Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential. In short, a growth mindset is a belief that a person’s capacities and talents can be improved over time. Unlike a fixed mindset, which says you are born with a fixed capacity, the growth mindset says you can grow.

In this light, in the Gita I see Lord Krishna sharing with Arjuna, “Look to your efforts. Focus on your efforts. Don’t worry about the fruit.” Isn’t this the essence of having a growth mindset? Isn’t this an excellent way to keep on improving and becoming better? When you focus on your efforts, you will compete with yourself and become a better version of yourself.

Like this, there are many other bold goals in the Gita that you can take up as new beginnings. Some of them are contentment, humility, equanimity, and desire-free action. Each one of them is big enough and audacious enough to be worthy of a lifetime’s pursuit, and we will explore them during the year.



This New Year, think big and bold.
Choose eternal over ephemeral.



How to bring about change?

New beginnings start with the mind. Just like a seedling, a young plant, and a grown-up tree need the same water for nourishment, new beginnings always start with the mind, no matter what your goal is. The method for mastering the mind is meditation.

In meditation, you will find answers to “How to develop contentment?”, “How to grow in humility?” and so on. The Heartfulness way is a very effective “how to” way, offering everyone access to the highest levels of consciousness. Having such a method, no goal is out of sight, and no new beginning is out of reach.

There is no need to believe my words. Belief is the enemy of realization. Instead, inquire boldly and see the results of these simple practices for yourself. When Mother Nature is doling out diamonds, why settle for pennies? Why bring a teacup to drink the ocean? Be bold and humbly approach the Lord for what he has always said is your true inheritance, your rightful place in his heart.

Make this new beginning a journey of becoming.



A simple Heartfulness practice for new beginnings

Before and during conversations with others:

Relax, bring your attention to your heart, and center yourself there.

Stay connected with your center as you speak.

Observe the tone of your voice and let it flow evenly. Remove any rise and fall in pitch, sharpness, or roughness.

Attune your speech to the balanced condition of your heart.

See if you can feel a relationship establishing with the original current within you.

Over time, your speech will become soft and cultured, with a harmonious flow. It will naturally touch the hearts of others. If you practice this regularly, it will become a permanent habit.



Illustrations by JAMSEE MUDGAL



Daaji

Daaji

Kamlesh Patel is known to many as Daaji. He is the Heartfulness Guide in a tradition of Yoga meditation that is over 100 years old, overseeing 14,000 certified Heartfulness trainers and many volunteers in over 130 countries. He is an innovator and researcher, equally at home in the fields of spirituality and science, blending the... Read more

22 COMMENTS

  1. Very inspirational indeed. Uplifting, educational and motivating. Thank you Daaji and all the team members.

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