At different times, we face different problems. At the individual level, they relate to health, emotions, relationships, marriage, children and career. At the national level, they pertain to poverty, unemployment, social unrest, education and corruption. These problems often bring us sorrow and pain. Yet, when honestly analysed, we find that their root cause is almost entirely a lack of proper thinking and acting.
Wrong thoughts lead to a defective world vision and a chaotic relationship with it. The result is false expectations and disappointments at every step. If only we improve our thinking, we can mend our homes and make the world a better place to live in. Alas, many choose to suffer rather than to think! Caught up in the mesh of wrong thinking, their mental states are often coloured by prejudices and narrow-mindedness.
The solution is to think big, act wisely and show results. The foremost need is for right thinking, leading to a clear vision of life. We should remove all barriers of pettiness and think big. Big things are achieved by first daring to mentally conceptualise them. Man dared to think that he could fly like a bird and the first flying machine was invented. He dared to think that he could reach the moon, and behold … he landed there! Nothing is impossible for the one who thinks positive. Our thoughts can either bind us and make us small, or free us. So why not think big?
This pertains not only to the individual but to the nation as well. Think about what is beneficial for the nation, what will bring forth national good. Swami Chinmayananda learnt the scriptures from his teacher. He turned his mind to how he could pass on this knowledge to people of the nation and the entire world. This is “Thinking Big”. Swami Vivekananda spent restless nights in America thinking of the welfare of India and the world.
After “Thinking Big” through proper vision, one should then strive hard to act wisely. Swami Chinmayananda said, “Plan out your work, and work out your plan.” To act wisely is to act with proper understanding and a good attitude. The famous Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr presents this beautifully: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Sri Rama knew which situations to accept and where to take action. Without complaint or mental agitation, he accepted his exile in the forest for 14 years as the call of Dharma. However, when his wife Sitaji, was kidnapped, he made a huge effort to get her back.
Keep your head calm and balanced and act efficiently to show results. Strive to become a better human being and let the results be seen in the transformation of your personality. Purity, efficiency and wisdom should steadily grow. The result of our work should reflect in our environment and lead to harmony, beauty, and prosperity in society.
Use all available opportunities to harness this inner potential, learn to break all barriers in thought. Use every opportunity to learn the secret of right action. Finally, get inspired and achieve greatness in the world within and without. We can. We must. We will.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Times of India. [Courtesy: ToI]