Zuckerberg’s T-Shirt

Zuckerberg TShirt

Mark Zuckerberg

During a routine question-and-answer session Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked, “Why do you wear the same T-shirt every day?” While many expected a playful response Zuckerber responded with a pretty serious answer: “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions about anything except how to best serve this community.”

The answer is revealing in many ways. It shows us two very important traits for success:

1. Focus
2. Selflessness

Successful people are able to put all their energies into what they are doing. They guard their energy jealously and are careful not to fritter it away. Even small decisions like “what should I wear?” are seen as unnecessary diversions. Zuckerberg instead has multiple copies of the same shirt so he does not have to spend time deciding what to wear. (Other successful people like Steve Jobs also had this strategy.)

By choosing to wear the same shirt everyday, Zuckerberg shows that he is capable of taking away focus from himself and instead focus on the task at hand. This quality of putting the self aside is a very important trait of success.

The two traits are related. The biggest diversion of energy is “emotional drama”. This usually comes about by putting oneself in the center of everything. Successful people avoid this by taking themselves out of the equation and instead focusing all their energy on their goal.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Yoga And Gunas

Yoga And Gunas

We are conscious beings. But the current of consciousness that flows through our mind-bodies is distorted by our ego.

If this distortion results in activity, passion, desire, movement, greed, and ambition then these tendencies are known as Rajas.

If on the other hand it leads to inertia, dullness, inactivity, negativity, heaviness, darkness, obstruction, and ignorance then the tendency is known as Tamas.

Between the tendency of Rajas and Tamas there is another tendency that is related to contentment, gratitude, balance, light, illumination, truth, and spiritual knowledge. This tendency is known as Sattva.

Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva are known as “Gunas”. But Gunas are not just tendencies that drive conscious beings. The entire world is woven together with the strand of these three threads. However it is only conscious beings who can try and alter the composition of their gunas in a more favorable direction.

So we have a choice. We can live our lives as captives of our inherent tendencies or we can change these. The question then arises: How can we change the three gunas and what does the movement look like?

The purpose of Yoga is to help us move away from our inherent tendencies by detaching our consciousness away from the ego. But yoga cannot magically lift us out of the ego overnight. Usually the process takes us out of Rajas and Tamas and moves us towards Sattva. So while we are still rooted in our ego, our consciousness is expressed in more balanced way. We feel more inclined towards spiritual truth and selfless activity. As we make progress in Sattva then we eventually reach a state where our consciousness is freed from all distortions of the ego. We now transcend Sattva, the final frontier, and become completely absorbed and established in the Self.

The great Yogi Sanyal Mahasaya said, “In Rajasic and Tamasic nature there is restlessness and distraction, but in Sattvic state there is concentration. Through concentration, the mind is peaceful and there is the perception of divinity in that state.”

How does the person who has gone beyond all the three states look like? This question came to Arjuna and he posed it to Krishna. The exchange is recorded in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna’s reply (14.24-26) is as follows (Inspired by the translation by Stephen Mitchell, Bhagavad Gita, A New Translation):

He who is equally self-contained-
in pain or pleasure,
in happiness or sorrow,
content with whatever happens.

Who sees dirt, rocks, and gold as equal,
unperturbed amid praise or blame of himself,
indifferent to honor and to disgrace.

Serene in success and failure,
impartial to friend and foe,
unattached to ego’s action.
That being has gone beyond the three gunas.

Who faithfully serves God
with the yoga of devotion,
going beyond the three gunas,
is ready to attain the Ultimate Freedom.

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Make A Plan To Make It Home

Make a plan to make it home. Your loved ones are counting on you. A moment of thoughtlessness can cause a lifetime of grief for people who care about you. Please don’t drink and drive.

You may also like: My Busy, Worrying, Planning Mind Actually Took A Break!

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The Twenty Dollar Bill

Twenty Dollar Bill

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up $20 bills. He picked out one in the room of 200 and asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.”

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

“Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling, and everything to do with how you treat yourself.”
- Kris Carr

You may also like: Never Too Old To Live Your Dream

Credit: Source unknown.

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The Three Legs Of Grief

Three Legs Of Grief

When a loved one departs there is grief. This grief sometimes challenges our faith and shakes us to our core: How can God allow such a thing to happen? Why do good people die early? Why do I have to suffer? Why me?

The following five stages of grief are well known:

1. Denial
The grieving person shuts out reality and refuses to accept it.

2. Anger
Moving past denial, the grieving person is confronted with the truth and is angry with himself or herself, or with others, or with God.

3. Bargaining
The grieving person tries to negotiate an alternative. The person struggles with questions like “If only I had done this, or that…”

4. Depression
The grieving person comes up with questions like: What is the point? Why bother?

5. Acceptance
The grieving person reaches a state where he or she is not consumed by grief. The person accepts the hole in the heart but is able to move on. Not everybody facing grief is fortunate to reach this state. The realization that our heart is a big place where both sorrow and joy can reside simultaneously is a tremendous gift.

How do we ensure that we reach “acceptance”, the final state of the grieving process? How do we make sure that we do not get stuck at some earlier state and consequently live our life incompletely? Remaining stuck in our grieving process denies us from enjoying what we have and what is possible.

Only those who have been through soul searing loss truly understand the full scope of the grieving process. This essay in no way tries to diminish or trivialize the pain or the difficulty of the process.

While the grieving process is well understood, the sources of grief are not well known. If we understand the legs on which our grief stands we are better positioned to deal with it. There are three legs on which grief stands:

1. Something bad has happened to the person who has passed away.
2. It is not fair. The person deserved to live. I deserve better.
3. I miss the person.

Bullets one and two above are “cosmological” questions that go to the root of our faith and our spirituality. If our spirituality is only intellectual then we struggle with these questions. But if our surrender has reached such a state that we have touched an inner level of peace then we have some recourse to go to. Sometimes the grieving process cracks open the shell and leads us to this peace, and becomes the source of our spiritual progress.

When we are able to acknowledge that nothing really bad has happened to the person who has passed away that is a big step forward. The understanding that our conscious experience transcends our mind and body is a giant leap. This leads to the acceptance that the conscious experience is a journey and there are many passengers along the way. Many passengers will repeatedly join us during this journey. Others will show up only once. This larger context gives our sense of fairness a new perspective. This understanding allows us to accept our loss without feeling wronged.

Yoga too can help us find acceptance of deep soul searing losses. This comes from the surrender to the deep inner peace that we experience from our practice of yoga.

“I miss the person” is then the only thing that we are left with. That hole in the heart shall remain forever. The acceptance process does not require us to either forget the person or bury the hole. Waves of grief may visit us years into the future. The beauty of our conscious experience is that these feelings of grief are perfectly able to coexist with feelings of gratitude and joy. Our heart is able to expand and accept everything that the conscious experience has to offer, and below the surface turmoil of emotions it is able to rely on the underlying layer of peace and bliss to sustain itself.

Related:
What Happens At The Time Of Death?
Your Pain Is Breaking Of The Shell

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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