Only conscious effort takes one to a meaningful end

Keeping one’s self on the right track needs tremendous conscious effort and awareness on one’s part. And for a human being, nothing is as important as awareness that lets one distinguish between the good and the bad. A person who is ‘aware’ gets to understand situations clearly and the consequences of any kind of thought or action come up before his mind.

Life is full of uncertainties even for the best of the conscious and the knowledgeable. The Panchatantra says it beautifully: In one’s life there are occasions when “the true seems often false, the false seems true; appearances deceive; so think it through.”

This “think it through” can be made possible only by one who is consciously aware of everything around him and knows where he stands.

However, this process can be made easier if one can make use of certain ways to guide the self. The foremost, of course, is to think straight, be positive and progressive.

Vasant Joshi, author of ‘If it Could Happen to the Buddha, Why Not You?’ suggests four steps to heal the self and keep it on the right track to awareness: Karuna, Maitri, Mudita and Upeksha. These are the four qualities one needs to acquire and develop to fulfill the purpose of life.

Karuana is deep involvement and compassion for others’ welfare by extending one’s self to others so that one feels one’s work done and achieved in working for others. It is to be kindhearted and caring for others so that one can lessen others’ pain and burden to one’s best ability. It means ‘giving is receiving’ and that is the celebration of life.

The act of extension of friendship to friendliness means Maitri, and it enables you to see others at the same level as yours. It differs from friendship in that the latter has so many complicated considerations and commitments.

Mudita is a state of mind in which one remains cheerful so as not to lose one’s way and the clarity of purpose. Only a composed and cheerful mind can be ready for any challenge in life.

And finally, we have Upeksha, which means “complete involvement without any expectation”. Give your heart, mind and soul in whatever work you are involved in but don’t bother at all about its result. The point is to make you immune to pain and setbacks of failure and rejections in life. Your duty is to do your best. Your success and thereby happiness should come from the awareness that you have done your best. And that is the best way to go.

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