This mind is a subtle machine that is constantly generating thoughts. If we utilize this power in the proper direction, we can completely transform our lives and achieve success. Intuitively, we desist vices such as anger, greed, desire, hatred, and envy; these tendencies go against our soul nature. On the other hand, the desire to improve, uplift ourselves, transform our lives, and achieve the highest success possible is natural to our very being. Hence, we have the natural urge for life transformation. Let us understand this through an interesting story.
Upon reading some books of wisdom, one man developed the intense desire for self-improvement and inner growth. Now, with this new-found inspiration to engage in spiritual practice early in the morning, he set his alarm for 4 a.m. and went off to sleep. In the morning, when the alarm rang, he got up shut it off. Wondering, “Who is disturbing me?” he went off to sleep again.
The next time he woke up, it was 8 a.m. Feeling disappointed he exclaimed, “Hah! What is this! I have woken up so late; I had made a resolve that I will use the morning hours for spiritual practice. If I am so lazy, then how will I ever change my life?” The man felt a deep sense of regret and repented profusely. The consequence of those thoughts was that his heart got reasonably cleansed.
That night, he again set his alarm for 4 a.m. and went to sleep. In the morning when the alarm rang, he got up. But once again because of his old habit, he shut it off thinking, “What is this?”, and went to sleep again.
However, at 4:05 a.m., somebody was banging on his door — “Open, Open.” Now, there was no way he could shut that voice off. “All right, I am coming,” he said, and all groggy-eyed, he slowly moved to the door. Upon opening the door, he found an ugly, grotesque man wearing a black cap with red eyes and white horns, with a little tail on his back and a trident in his hand. That man said, “You had set your alarm for 4 a.m. It is 4:05 a.m. Wake up!”
Upon hearing the strange man’s advice, he responded, “Thank you. You are my well-wisher. But how did you come to know that I wanted to wake up at 4 a.m.? Who are you?”
The ugly man said, “I am paap-purush, sin-personified.”
Surprised, he asked, “Really? You look like that. But if you are sin-personified, why do you want me to wake up? Your goal should be that I should keep sleeping”.
Very concerned, the strange man said, “You know, yesterday when you didn’t wake up in time, you regretted it so much and you contemplated so deeply about it, that all my family members have died from within your heart. Now, I am worried that if you don’t wake up again in time today, then you will again start this link of contemplation, and I too will find no place in your heart!”
Thus, the story reveals the power of thoughts. When we harness that power and channel it in the proper direction, we can elevate our lives and lift it to great heights. Conversely, if the power of thoughts is mis-utilized and left uncontrolled, it has the potential to drag us into darkness and gloom.
In this series of 21 days, we are going to discuss 21 gems of wisdom and understand 21 tools for life transformation. If we utilize these tools well, they can completely change our lives; to enable us to be the best we can be, to do the best we can do and thereby, feel the best that we can feel.
As a call to action for the first day of this Life Transformation Challenge, start off a spiritual journal, or a spiritual diary — make our resolves there. In the morning when we wake up, let us read them, revise them in our mind, strive to practice them through the day, and at night when we go to sleep, let us again check and introspect to see to what extent we followed them.
This is a 21-day challenge. For today, I would like to suggest: Start by watching your thoughts and contemplating on the power of thoughts. Try to develop the aspiration to improve them for the attainment of divine happiness, perfect love, and great wisdom. We will continue with more tools as we progress along.
Day-1 Challenge: Start a Spiritual Diary. What resolves would you like to make and track?