Day 42

Day #42:

Year-end holidays are around the corner. Soon many families will be packing their bags to visit their home-town, families, friends, or new places to visit. Travel is the biggest learning opportunity. We see new places, new people, new cultures, new food, new customs and new social systems.

My biggest learnings have come when I travelled or read about others’ experience when they travelled.  The most awe inspiring moment for me was over 11 years ago when I first visited the Himalayas. The roads up from the plains are basic and rugged with the constant threat of landslides. The sight of rocks tumbling just behind you where your vehicle just passed can send chills down your spine. But that was not as awe inspiring as when I got down from the vehicle for a break and got my first sight of the Himalayas.

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I got down, stretched myself and looked up at the mountain range and saw the mountain stretching up, and up and up. The top was not even visible it was above the clouds. I’ve never seen a sight like this. Till then I had only travelled and trekked in the Southern ranges and the highest point is just around 8000 and odd feet. The Himalayas looked old, craggy and everlasting. And apparently it is the youngest mountain range in the world. It is believed to be between 50 to 450 million years of age as against the earth’s age of 4.5 billion years. I am just a few decades old. I’m less than 6 feet as against the 28000 odd feet of the highest peak in these ranges. And I have a fat head and a big ego thinking that I’m carrying the world’s weight on my puny shoulders, which by the way till then I thought was very broad.

My concerns, troubles and problems were inconsequential to this range of mountains. They were there before me and will continue for a long time after I pass. Why was I breaking my head over these little matters that I had just magnified in my head. These issues will pass and life will go on. The earth does not depend on my solution to this problem to continue spinning around merrily for ages.

That is when I got my life into perspective. My fat head shrunk significantly. My ego became a deflated balloon. I started searching for a higher purpose. I started aligning my life with my higher purpose. I became less possessive and more contributing.

Life got a little bit lighter and more expansive. There were lesser limiting beliefs in my mind. Life became more peaceful and happy.

I’m grateful to all the travels that I have done and I intend to do.

You should too. It’s awesome.

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Day #35

Day #35:

Have you noticed that there are many trees fallen in Chennai after the cyclonic storm this week? There are thin trees and fat trees; tall trees and short trees; old trees and young trees. They have all been felled without any discrimination. When I go for a walk and I see these trees on their side, these trees that once stood tall and strong, I wonder why nature has to destroy itself like this. Is there some logic or valid reason for this indiscriminate destruction?

Today, it struck me that most of the trees that have fallen are the ones with very shallow roots. I thought that perhaps this was nature’s way of selection of the fittest. Pull out those that do not have a strong enough foundation and leave the remaining to get stronger and stronger. But then I also noticed that there were some really strong and old trees with deep roots which were also knocked down. And I thought, so much for my theory, it was disproved before even fully forming.

But on closer inspection, I noticed that for the strong trees with deep roots that have fallen, the connection between the trunk and the roots were diminishing and reducing so the weakness was already setting in and these trees had to go. So my theory was back and I was happy that I discovered the reason behind this mass destruction.

On further pondering, I also realised, that we human beings are also like these trees. The ones who survive great challenges and flourish are the ones with deep rooted values and beliefs that contribute to their growth. Those who are shallow do not possess the foundation of values and qualities that protect them from storms and are thus affected adversely the minute they face difficulties.

We all have the trunk and the branches. They are our physical structure, our mental structure, and our ego. If you notice some people are like these big trees. They show off their size and their stature and their intellect and intimidate others with it. They look solid and undefeatable. But when a large enough storm hits them, they crumble and fall. I believe that it doesn’t matter what size one’s ego or public avatar is, if they have built a foundation that is four times the size that they display, they should be good to stay strong. If their depth and foundation are less than that, they are liable to be knocked off at the first strong storm.

There are others who do not hoo and haw and show off their might, but when a massive storm hits them, they bounce back and thrive and help others and they grow and expand in stature without any conscious effort to show off. These are the mighty survivors that ensure the longevity and growth of the human race. Who do you know in life like that? Which type of person do you want to be?

In conclusion, I hypothesise that our ego and our public image should be less than 1/5th of what we possess within us. Only then can we be grounded enough to manage, survive and thrive in hostile environments and adverse conditions.

Our foundation must be deep and strong if we want to grow and expand. We need to dig deep and connect with our creator and our inner purpose. We need to build a value and belief system that can anchor us deeply with the universe and give us the strength and courage to face any adversities that life can throw at us.

I’m truly grateful to my Creator, my parents, my family, my teachers, my friends and all those who have walked this journey with me for having built into me these values and qualities that keep me anchored and grounded so that I can fly higher and further.