> Willingness To Do What Life Requires, Overcoming Reluctances, Availing Opportunities
Accepting the Given, that Which Life Puts Before You
Life is constantly putting situations before us that we can accept, neglect, or reject. If we accept and take up these givens of life, sudden good fortune can come our way. For example, when a salesperson overcame his reluctance and accepted a request to work a second consecutive weekend shift on his job, he instantly attracted the biggest sales of his life. Likewise, when an executive overcame his reluctance to accept his role as head of the company, the firm suddenly blossomed thereafter. Action Plan: Consider which aspects of your life you've been reluctant or hesitant to embrace. Once you understand the cause, make the concerted effort to overcome your reluctance or hesitation. Watch life suddenly and abundantly respond thereafter!
Accepting All and Every Thing
Normally we are happy to pursue those things that please us, avoiding as much as possible those activities that we believe will bring less pleasure, or even pain. And yet the truth is that if at every moment we fully embrace what life puts before us -- pleasurable or otherwise -- life will instantly respond in our favor.
Over the years, I have experienced this phenomenon countless times, both at the macro and micro level. Here is a modest incident that demonstrates this principle in action.
After a successful day of instruction at a local college on the other side of the bay, I unfortunately left my computer power cord behind. Without it, my battery could supply only a few more hours of power, which meant I would soon be without a computer -- a potential disaster in my case. It also turns out that driving over and retrieving the cord would be very time-consuming, made doubly so by the fact that a renowned bridge linking the two areas was now out of service! I therefore contacted a staffer at the college and asked her to hunt down and mail the power cord to me ASAP. She agreed and indicated that it would likely arrive the next day. Since she was a busy person, and because of several other concerns I had, there were doubts in my mind that it would arrive so quickly. Still I hoped for the best.
The next day, as expected, my computer ceased functioning when the battery drained. As a result, I decided to head over to the local library to use one of their computers. This was a facility I have used on occasion for over two decades. However, when I called the offices beforehand, I learned that the library had permanently closed down! I then realized this was because the town was were about to open a huge, modern facility a few blocks away. Therefore, I decided to go head out to a nearby town to use their state-of-the-art library. Just before leaving, I asked my roommate to look out for the overnight package that contained my power cord.
I then walked out of my home and towards my car, but then suddenly shifted direction, realizing that the mail sometimes arrives early on the weekend, and I should retrieve that first. When I walked over to the box, I did not know if the mail had arrived; but when I opened the latch, there was the day's mail. I then brought it back to my home, notifying my friend that I was still on my way out to the library in the next town. But just as I was about to head out again, I saw a FedEx truck parked right in front of my home! I thought, "That must be the power cord delivery!" I then looked to my left and there was the delivery person looking for our entranceway. He then found the door and handed me the overnight package. I could now resume all of my critical computer functions. A not so small disaster was averted.
I immediately understood that I had evoked this response from life because I had taken care of every detail required in that situation. Rather than skirt one issue or another, I paid close attention to the flow of things, and fulfilled every demand of life, whether pleasurable or not; whether perceived as positive or negative.
When we embrace life and all of its demands, it tends to flow in our favor. When we fight it, or accept one part but not another, we separate ourselves from its underlying natural flow, making things difficult, if not downright impossible.
Embracing life is to accept that each and everything is necessary for the right outcome of events. It is to perceive the Marvel of existence; that each and every thing plays a role in the unfolding and progress of life. Embracing life also enables us to align with the very best of conditions, as luck swiftly moves in our direction. Or, in this case, literally to our doorstep!
Accepting All Things that Come Our Way
A person of high consciousness tends to embrace all things that come their way. The average person wants life to take form, unfold on a particular way, not another, but the more realized individual accepts all and everything that comes his way, perceived the deeper truth of all that is unfolding before him; of the necessity and utility of each and every thing.
E.g. one parent did not want to accept the child's interest in photography, expressing deep disappointment with that aim. But then she changed her attitude and accepted it, and the child grew up to become a successful cinematographer.
The more we open ourselves to all that is occurring around us, the more we will be in the right flow of life, the more life will be our friend, and the more we will understand the hidden clues life is offering us at every moment.
Embracing All and Every Thing
From an understanding of the nature of the Reality, Brahman, God, the Infinite -- as both the Unmanifest and the Manifest, the Creator and Creation, Spirit and Matter, and their integral relationship -- the following comes to mind about the way we view our existence:
-We need to ACCEPT everything in life, since all is Brahman. Not just 'this' at the expense of 'that', but all. The ego likes this but not that. But the Reality is beyond the ego. It embraces all and every thing; all planes and acts and forms in life. By embracing life this way, dualities, contradictions are overcome, as we move from the exclusive Part we are attached to to the Whole that is the Truth unfolding, engendering harmony and oneness.
-We also need to see the PURPOSE of all things in the scheme of things. We need to see each thing in its context; of its role in the unfolding, on its way to greater progress. (That way we see how even the trivial action of a person in the unfolding of an event serves an important purpose. That there are no such things as "interruptions" or "disturbances" or "side roads or issues" that take one off track.)
This leads to a profound RESPECT for all things, for all acts, for every person at any moment in time. It enables us to move from ego and selfishness to embracing the needs and concerns of others; i.e. self-givingness. It also engenders Non-reaction since nothing is outside us to disturb us (since we embrace and accept all in our purview).
Brahman is all and every thing (and even beyond to their integral relationship). And yet we can rise beyond exclusive mind to intuition and thereby perceive It, including the Dance of the All on its way to ever-greater progress. It is to have a glimpse of the Marvel of existence.
Accepts the Givens for Continuous Good Fortune
If you do what life puts before you, the work at hand, instead of complaining or wanting something else, good fortune will be your continuous companion.
Mr. Bennet's Surrender to the Situation that Attracted Overwhelmingly
Mr. Bennet [in Pride and Prejudice], faced with a great obligation to his brother-in-law of several thousand pounds decided like the Vedic Rishis to surrender to the situation with equality. Life accepted his surrender and paid his debt of honour on his behalf. [i.e. when the very wealthy Darcy married his daughter.] (MSS)
Higher Consciousness Attitude toward Work
The higher consciousness attitude toward work is to rise above likes and dislikes, relate to work, do not express your personality but express your duty, do it without expecting results, do it without any attachment to the work itself. (MSS, with modifications)
Take Care of the Current Work & Life Responds
When an individual takes care of his current work, does what needs to be done, and doesn't focus on what he wants, life will bring him what is aspired for on its own. (MSS)
Do One's Duty & Life Will Respond
When Man does his duty, Life does its duty of responding. (MSS)
Embracing Current Work; Applying Human Values Attracts and Energizes
A cardinal rule of life is to fully embrace the work you are given, not the work you would like to do. When you do that in your emotions, make the necessary effort, and consecrate it, Life takes over and you are sent to the stars.
One man was reluctant to work weekends in a retail concern. In fact he didn't like working there at all. He changed his attitude, and on his first weekend shift attracted the biggest sale of his life. He then went from the lowest to highest producing salesperson in the 4-store chain. That is the power of embracing the current conditions that Life has put before you. It is the very best situation for you to grow, and to Attract.
Also bringing higher human values to the work can make it a rich, enjoyable experience that also has power to attract the best of conditions, while energizing you to no end. Embracing tolerance, openness, freedom, creativity, etc in work can make it very stimulating, no matter the field.
Life Response Power of Embracing the Given Conditions of Life
"Mother says one can make a greater progress in yoga by doing the work in the right spirit than by meditating. By right spirit Mother means taking interest in the work that comes to us instead of seeking to do the work one likes." (Sri Karmayogi)
Once many years ago, I was working at a computer store for a big chain. I did not like working there because it was indoors and I preferred to be working outdoors in the California sunshine as I had been in the years before.
Then my boss asked me to work weekend. I now hated working there even more! I reluctantly did so. Naturally, he then asked me to work the next weekend, during Christmas. I was flummoxed beyond belief, and nearly at the point of exhaustion.
Finally, I gave in, and thought that I need to make this my life's work instead of fighting it.
That weekend I got the biggest sale of my life and in the following month rose from nearly the lowest salesperson in terms of sales produced to the very highest among the multi-store chain.
That is the power of embracing the givens of life, instead of fighting against it, or wanting to be working or being somewhere else. You are catapulted to the heights!
On How to Deal with Work One Does Not Enjoy
Sometimes you may not enjoy the work that life has put before you. However, you can change that perspective by changing your attitude, and life will respond beyond compare, which will energize you to no end.
Here is a true story. When asked to do so, a man did not want to work weekends at a retail store. He did not even like working there weekday! He remained among the lowest producing salespeople in the chain. He then changed his attitude and embraced the work and worked weekends when asked. The very first Saturday he appeared, he got a customer in the first 10 minutes that turned into the biggest sale of his career, enabling his greatest sale for any month that propelled him to the highest sales in the chain's history among its entire sales staff! (It is my own story.) That is the power of changing one's attitude toward the work at hand.
One now sees that the infinite can burst out of the finite with a changed emotional point of view. Once you get such Life Response results (it comes in all forms, such as given an unexpected promotion or a hot new project), you will be energized to no end. Your view of work will be radically changed. It can happen in the dullest of all things.
(By the way, consecrating your attempt to change that limiting attitude will certainly be helpful.)
Accepting Conditions of Life Attracts Response from Life
Moving from reluctance to acceptance, or even from indifference to accepting the conditions that life has put before you has a great tendency to attract sudden and abundant positive response from life.
Taking Up What You Were Reluctant To Do Exceeds It
It is repeatedly astonishing that when you take up what you were reluctant to do, that the original expectation is far exceeded. E.g. The work gets done in far less time, or there is far less to do, or it was much easier than you thoughts, etc. Our fear makes us completely ignorant of the future truth, which freezes us to inaction in the present. By giving up the fear or reluctance, when we shed the false view, there is created a new unfolding in time.
Living in the Present
Living in the present, you will tend to preoccupy yourself and fulfill the demands of the work required of the present, not be preoccupied by past influences of future desires. Taking such a tact tends to attract positive conditions from life.
Absorbed in Present is To Be in Tune with Flow of Life
To be absorbed in the current work is to be in tune with the flow of events, of the unfolding of life. Positive conditions will tend to issue from such an approach.
Being Absorbed in the Present Succeeds
One significant point any one of us can fully appreciate is when we are ABSORBED in the present - forgetting the past and never calculating the future - the work becomes a glorious success and gets done to perfection. (MSS)
The Power of Now in Work
Here are several thoughts on how to bring the Power of Now to our daily work.
-Focus on the work before you, not something else you want to do, or resorting to indolence. This the key starting point.
-Focus completely on the present, without thought of past or future.
-Patiently do that work, with no apprehension, tension, and demand.
-Do the current work as carefully and perfectly as possible. Fully absorb yourself in trying to reach that perfection. This is another key.
-Consecrate the work to bring life's conditions under control.
-Move to the depths and feel the silence and timelessness, and work from that poise. Meditation or concentration can support that effort.
-As a result of living in the depths over time, you will have intuitions of the past influence on the present, and intimations of where the present is going in the future. You will thus know at each point what to do in the present.
-Maintain fully positive attitudes at each point.
-Be cheerful throughout.
-The goal is to create the greatest Efficiency in the work -- i.e. the greatest results with the least effort in the shortest period of time.
-In the peace and demands of the Now, we can create ultimate perfection.
-It will be accompanied by breakouts of sudden good fortune -- i.e. Life Response.
Accepting the Given
If you accept and work with the reality and given at any moment, you enable positive response (of improvement over the given) in the next round.
The Road to Hana
In Hawaii there is a place that has captured the imagination of adventurers, tourists, and lovers alike. It is the mysterious island of Maui. While many come to vacation, snorkel, golf, and wander its endless palm-lined beaches, others come to have an experience in nature that will be moving -- perhaps even enlightening.
But where would one find such a place on this allegedly enchanted island? Probably not in the big, luxurious hotels lining the shoreline of Lahaina; nor the exceedingly wealthy gated communities on the gently sloping hills overlooking the spectacular beaches of Wailea. Rather one tends to look up to the two great volcanoes on the west and east sides of the island that soar majestically 10,000 feet above the sea -- often covered by a mysterious fog that lures one to the top where the cones and crags puncture an impossibly blue sky.
In my case, something else had that effect; or rather seemed to have that effect on others. It is an area on the northeast side of the island, hugging the shoreline, and just below the towering volcano of Haleakala. There resides a spectacular tropical forest of unfathomable beauty. It is not however the usual type of rainforest -- hidden in some deep valley; shrouded in mist, moisture, and mystery. Rather it is located astride the coastline -- on the hillside and mountains overlooking the stunning Maui shore. What makes it particularly interesting for the first time visitor is that you traverse this tropical wonderland via a one-lane byway known as ''The Road to Hana."
As you drive this mountain highway, you pass through 30 miles of what can only be described as the world's largest and most magnificent plant store. An astonishing array of tropical plants, flowers, and trees pass by as you traverse the steep, winding road on the slopes of an impossibly beautiful shoreline. As you make your way through the sun-dappled region, navigating the 50+ hairpin turns, on a road that is often a single lane shared with oncoming traffic (!), you feel as if you have arrived at Eden -- to a real, not a mythical paradise on earth.
And yet despite the 1 to 2000 cars that navigate the difficult-to-travel road on any given day, you are enthralled by the green landscapes, the endless cascading waterfalls -- not to mention a spectacular 1/4-mile arboretum with plants, flowers, and trees so beautiful, strange, and mystical-like that you want to cry.
The Road to Hana is a journey through the physical beauty of life -- a tour de force, magical place dreamed up by some God-like artisan. In addition to the enjoyment of the ride, there is the added promise that you will find something special when you arrive at the mysterious town the road is named after. You imagine a village of artists, poets, and seekers of the New; an ideal world, of happy, contented individuals, expressing themselves through their strange and beautiful art, or musing on the nature of life in the cosmos.
However, when you finally arrive at Hana after a grueling 2-3 hour drive, you see that there is hardly anything to be found. There are a few buildings, a few shops -- even a few places to lodge; but that is all. Sure, the hillsides are dotted with spectacular homes tucked away in coastal forests overlooking the ocean, but what you find in Hana is a little underwhelming, despite the promise of its namesake road. How odd, I thought at the time, that after this thrilling but arduous journey, so little was to be found.
And yet, there was no point in dwelling on misgivings, since there was still much to see. In particular, I was eager to drive on beyond Hana, and traverse the eastern side of the island below the great Haleakala volcano. My goal was to work my way all the way around the eastern side of the island to the southern town of Kihei where I was lodging. Though I began that effort with enthusiasm, after 10 miles I came to a sign indicating that that the road ahead was closed. Undeterred by the marker -- which I rationalized as likely being out of date -- I forged ahead. After all, I was certainly not ready to go back and navigate 50 hairpin turns, impossibly difficult one-way roads, potholes filled with rainwater, and gawking, camera-toting tourists looking for beautiful shots of road-hugging waterfalls. And so I plowed ahead, seeking my next adventure.
Unfortunately, after several more miles, I came upon yet another sign indicating the same thing: that the road ahead was blocked. Pursing my lips, and letting out a sigh, I now realized that my vision of driving around the deserted part of the island below the Great Volcano for 20 miles on a dirt road crossing virgin, untrammeled, hardly-navigated and inhabited spectacular scenery would have to wait for another day.
And so now I was forced to contemplate the journey back to Hana and then further on back to civilization. It was not the happiest of thoughts, considering my physical exhaustion and my frayed nerves. However, after grumbling about the situation for a minute, I gathered myself, took a deep breath, and accepted my fate. I then shifted my orientation inward, and psychologically prepared myself for the grueling 3-hour return drive. And so I got into my car and joined the foray of vehicles that were returning to the populated areas of the island.
Then something very unexpected happened. Instead of being in a slow procession of vehicles working their way along a difficult to navigate 1-lane road, I found myself in a small caravan of cars that was moving quite swiftly! ''What was this," I thought, as I sped along at the tail end of a 10-car procession that were moving at perhaps 4 or 5 time the speed I arrived at. How was this possible?
As I revisited the same winding road traversing gorgeous rainforests above spectacular seashores, I perceived several things going on. First, I saw that there were hardly any cars coming from the opposite direction. Second -- and this was particularly striking -- I did not have to concentrate intently while I was driving. All I had to do was watch the one car ahead of me, follow behind in tight formation, and I would be swiftly swept along with the pack!
I then realized that I would now make my way across the road in less than an hour, instead of the expected 2-3 hours. As I whizzed by familiar landscapes, I was utterly dumbfounded by this change in circumstance. However, soon after I understood what this was all about. It was simply life responding to my change in attitude. I.e., the moment I accepted in full that I would not be able to drive around the island, and would instead have to turn back, life cooperated from all quarters. When I shifted my attitude from reluctance to acceptance, and embraced the given that life had put before me, everything began to go well for me, as I was whisked across that landscape at the tail end of a swift-moving caravan!
In the end, the Road to Hana really was a profound experience for me -- even if it did not unfold as I expected. In fact, that lovely afternoon turned out to be not only an exhilarating outer experience, but an enlightening inner one as well. Outwardly, I was captured and enthralled by the physical beauty of a once in a lifetime locale. Inwardly, I was reminded once again of the vast power we have within ourselves to alter the conditions of life around us. In that way, The Road to Hana revealed several of its hidden mysteries to me -- providing another extraordinary moment on an unforgettable, once in a lifetime trip.
Beingness and Life Response
There are powerful behaviors that attract sudden good fortune. Among them are having an intense aspiration for something to come about, moving to a higher level of psychological strength, increasing one's personal level of cleanliness and orderliness, and eliminating negative attitudes toward life, work, and others. When you take to any of these in a higher order, positive conditions quickly present themselves.
Here I will focus on some of the more spiritual-oriented techniques that have equal if not greater power to attract the miraculous. In particular, I will target those psychological approaches that issue from Beingness: that state of stillness where we are silent observers of the world, not compelled to action or reaction.
Don't React -- From a cosmic perspective, Beingness is the Stability and Calm behind all things: the Stillness out of which Energy emerged to manifest a universe of forms. We too have access to Beingness in our own lives. One approach is to practice the technique of "non-reaction." I.e. when any form of intensity comes our way -- whether from another person or from the conditions of life -- we simply do not respond. That not only brings a level of peace to the atmosphere, but attracts positive conditions.
The approach is simple enough: when someone expresses a thought or emotion, particularly when it touches our sensibilities, appearing negative in thought or feeling, we should not react. The same for any other intensity or disturbance that comes our way. For example, if your spouse returns home irritated and directs those energies towards you, remain still, despite the onslaught. Do not react with emotion, which will only intensity and further disturb the atmosphere, (and elicit further negative response). Likewise, if your boss abuses you, a provocative news story appears on TV, or your children cloyingly demand your attention, do not react with commensurate intensity. Each time you take that higher tact, not only will the sense of balance be maintained, but sudden good fortune can follow. E.g., your spouse may suddenly surprise you with good news, a boss may withdraw all vitriol for weeks on end from that point forward, a negative news event will suddenly turn positive, and so forth. If you can also repress your reactive thoughts and feelings, then positive conditions are likely to follow.
Don't Assert, Initiate -- Beingness is the ability to look out on the world as "Silent Witness," observing all that occurs through calm detachment. You care about what is before you; you consider it mindfully; but you remain stationed within as silent witness to all. In that state, you do not initiate or assert, but wait for life to take the initiative. You can then respond as necessary. Practically speaking this method of non-assertion can be practiced from the mental to physical levels.
At the mental level, try to refrain from expressing a thought or opinion, allowing others to speak first. This will enable the flow of events to take their right course. Similarly, if you are in a discussion or communication, try to withhold what is on your mind. What may very well happen is that soon after the other person will express the very idea you wanted to convey. This is to practice a form of restraint known as "Silent Will."
We can also practice non-assertion and restraint at the physical plane -- i.e. at the level of action. For example, in the course of our day, we can take a moment to consider the utility of sending out an email, or making a call, or otherwise communicating with someone. When we do, we might find that much of it is trivial, or egotistic and self-serving, or a way to stimulate ourselves through social contact, or is simply unnecessary in the wider scheme of things. At least 50% of our actions are of this kind. For the spiritual individual, such initiatives tend to deplete one's energies, while producing little utilitarian result. Moreover, each time we restrain ourselves this way, positive conditions tend to present themselves.
Don't Complain -- Beingness also implies not taking to the negative. One is stationed within as witness to the world, avoiding wrong action. One example is to view a problem or challenge outside one's self and not complain about it. Complaining is a sign of a wanting attitude, psychological weakness, and wrong response. A spirit-oriented individual on the other hand gains power from right attitude, inner strength, and positive response, not complaint or grievance. Therefore, the next time you feel the urge to blame someone for something, restrain yourself. Not only will you create a more harmonious atmosphere, but powerful positive conditions will present themselves.
For example, one man stopped complaining about his spouse's lack of organization in dealing with her finances -- a problem that had persisted for years. Several days later, he was startled to learn that she suddenly found a financial institution to handle all of her financial arrangements, while substantially reducing her debt. It was a Godsend, ending years of disorganization and frustration.
Accept All -- Finally, the spirit-oriented individual expresses Beingness -- i.e. of the Being, or "Sat" in Sanskrit -- by accepting and embracing everything that comes his way. If a boss asks him to come in and work on a weekend in addition to the normal workweek, he simply accepts without challenge. In fact, one man did this very thing while working at a retail outlet, attracting the biggest sale of his life. At each point that we embrace the given conditions of life, we move to a higher plane and open to the infinite potentials of life.
There is a nice example of this in the film The Devil Wears Prada. There a young aspiring journalist accepts the fact that she has to work temporarily in a different field to sustain herself on the way to achieving her career goals. As a result, life responds and she secures a job as a secretary for a world famous fashion mogul. Moreover, at each point the young heroine embraces the demands of her powerful, often ruthless boss, she rises up further still. Even when the young woman's sensitivities are challenged -- e.g., she is asked to change her personal wardrobe and reduce her physical weight, a humiliating request indeed -- she embraces it, catapulting her to the very top of her profession. That is the power of embracing the all, reflecting the spiritual dimension of Beingness.
To accept all that comes is to embrace the universe of possibilities. It is to move from one's limited domain to a wider sphere where our hopes and dreams are realized. It is to shift from the turbulence of life to the stillness and stability within. It is to express the spiritual dimension of Being in our everyday lives, attracting extraordinary circumstance from the world around us.
Utility of the Past
Use the past as a spring-board to leap towards the future. (The Mother)
Moving Out of Time
By not thinking of the past or future, one comes out of Time. (MSS)
When a man does a wrong in a situation you are involved in, and you -- don't complain, work with what you have, and do what is required of that moment, -- the man will return with what is right.
Reluctance is indicative of a wanting attitude, rooted deep in our physical nature which does not want to change. It also has a mental component that does not want to embrace a new idea or possibility, even if it is true. In that way, our reluctance to do, act, or embrace keeps us in stasis -- often sending us reeling backwards. However, if we catch ourselves and overcome a recalcitrant attitude, embracing in full the matter or possibility at hand, life tends to quickly move in our favor.
Reluctance is the physical consciousness asserting itself; unwilling to shift from its fixidity and rigidity.
Mind and Vital Over Reluctance, and Life Response
When the mind perceives the physical consciousness of reluctance and its rigidity to take action, it can begin to shift to acceptance. When it receives the endorsement of the vital will, compelling the body to action, then the reluctance is overcome. Life usually responds positively to this transition, bringing about unexpected positive circumstances and results.
The Attitude of Reluctance and Life Response
Whenever you overcome a negative attitude life will respond with the onset of good fortune. One common type of wanting attitude is our reluctance to accept something. If we shift from that reluctance to fully embrace the thing, sudden good fortune will surely come our way.
Reluctance and Attitudes
A reluctance indicates a bad attitude.
From Reluctance to Acceptance to the Pinnacles of Success
Reluctance is indicative of a wanting attitude, rooted deep in our physical nature which does not want to change. It also has a mental component that does not want to embrace a new idea or possibility, even if it is true. In that way, our reluctance to do, act, or embrace keeps us in stasis -- often sending us reeling backwards. However, if we catch ourselves and overcome a recalcitrant attitude, embracing in full the matter or possibility at hand, life tends to quickly move in our favor, as the following episode demonstrates.
One day recently, I was preparing to do some work for a client of mine in the Sacramento area. The representative of the firm requested that I perform several functions in the upcoming class that were not part of the normal curriculum. I agreed to do them in principle, but when it came to prepare for the class, I was just a tad hesitant to take those extra prepatory steps. The main issue was that I wasn't sure if in the class itself I would have the time to do those extras and still cover the standards course topics.
Just after waking the next morning, I thought about the issue, and decided on two courses of action. First, I resolved that I wouldn't worry myself sick about the matter since it was not really a big deal. Second, I took a step into the light and concluded that I would simply do what the client asked for, no matter what the demands on my time were, taking it as a kind of ''adventure into the unknown." With that more enlightened attitude, I took up the day's activities.
When I got around to the prepatory work for the client, I simply did it, even enjoying it somewhat. Then after a few moments, at an unusual hour in the morning, I received a most unexpected call. It was from a potential new client overseas who was eager to pay for one of our online software applications, but was unable to do so through our standard payment procedures. I then made arrangements for a different method of payment for them. When I then hung up the phone, it dawned on me what really happened.
I realized the first ''demanding" client would pay me $1000 for a day's worth of work, which involved a considerable amount of time and energy in conducting the class, including the extra features requested. The second client, who contacted me by phone out of the blue after doing the preparation for the other, also would pay me $1000 -- only it required virtually no effort of my part, as all they needed was the URL address to our online service.
In other words, because I shifted from reluctance and embraced the details required for a more difficult, time-consuming physical work, I instantly evoked another client for the very same $1000 amount, but which required hardly any work at all! I was reminded once again that when we give up our truculent attitude and embrace the givens before us, no matter how difficult or challenging, life immediately returns the favor. The result comes from out of nowhere in the form of more money, better paying work, an unexpected large sale, a new opportunity, ease of effort, and so forth. Or, as in this case above, in various combinations of these.
If we were to step back and observe what goes on in the course of our day, we would discover several instances where we were reluctant to embrace the current needs and conditions of life. Sometimes our hesitancy is justified, but too often, it is simply the result of the resistance of our vital/emotional nature that does not want to change or embrace the demands of the Now. The interesting thing, however, is that if we make that extra effort and go beyond our restricted attitude, life will quickly bring us luck. Sometimes what comes can literally change the course of our lives -- such as a sudden boost in our career, a golden opportunity appearing out of nowhere, or even the beginnings of a life-long romance.
When we shift from hesitancy to acceptance, we open the portals of possibility -- quickly aligning with the most positive of conditions. Moreover, each time you make that attitudinal transition, you build up a new level of strength that compels you to practice it more often. As a result, your existence becomes a never-ending unfolding of the miraculous, as you continually attract the infinite potentials of life to the here and now.
Examples of Overcoming Reluctance
When you overcome your reluctance -- itself an
indicator of a reversal from a bad attitude -- life has an astonishing
way of quickly responding with sudden good fortune. Here are some
The effort by the trainer to do something he was reluctant to do helped trigger a life response that helped ease his situation.
-An individual was studying the cause of the phenomenon of life response. Reading fiction as a way to learn about the varieties of ways in which life response occurs is suggested. He says at one point that he doesn't usually read fiction, thus he is unconsciously shutting himself from the understandings of life response that could come from such works of fiction. So he reverses himself and shows interest in a work of fiction that can help him understand life response. He reads over one hundred pages of a suggested novel that could be useful for this topic. Along the way he notices that he hasn't the deeper insight to derive great understanding from the novel. The next day he receives unsolicited from an associate an email with a very detailed line by line(!) explanation of life response in the book.
He has understood that by making the effort to overcome a reluctance he miraculously received all the insight he sought o know on his own.
-"One of the nurses upstairs called for a chart. The computer showed that the chart was still upstairs. This meant that I had to go upstairs to look all over the place for the chart, which is something I don't usually do and get frustrated when I do it. Well, this time I resigned myself to going upstairs to search for this chart. As I was going out the door from my department, there was a cart there holding several charts. I turned the first one over and it was the chart I was just about to go find!!!"
She overcame a reluctance, a limiting attitude, and a limiting habit all in one stroke to enable this wonderful response from life.
Overcoming Reluctance Attracts
Overcoming any reluctance (such as an unwillingness to take up
a friend's practical suggestion) quickly attracts
miraculous-like good fortune back to our person.
Overcoming Reluctances Attracts Overwhelmingly
Overcoming one's reluctances attracts an explosion of Luck.
'Yes Man' and the Power of Attraction/Life Response
I have discovered what may be the first commercial film that very consciously and directly knows it is presenting something akin to the law of attraction; at least to a limited extent. It is the American comedy 'Yes Man.' It is a somewhat silly and exaggerated film, but it at least shows and advocates the power of attraction, i.e. how life instantly responds favorably to a change in attitude, in this case to a shift from rejection to acceptance, even as it finally mocks those who take to it in an extreme form. This is a start of a more conscious presentation of life!
'The Legend of Bagger Vance,' a far more profound and serious film, does the same, though it comes from a different angle. It is conscious of the power of our attitudes and being 'One with the Field that is life," and then consciously shows the great positive effect. 'Yes, Man' is less subtle, but states outright that you will instantly attract positive conditions by acting in a positive way.
Of course, such life response can be seen in virtually every film, in every good or great work of literature, as the authors subconsciously present what is true to life, even as they have little or no idea that this phenomenon has occurred.
The Other Side of Reluctance
On the other side of one's reluctance, the truth and answer can be found.
Power of Embracing the Moment's Needs
As soon as you embrace the specific needs
of the moment (instead of avoiding them), unexpected positive
conditions immediately present themselves.
Embracing that Attracts
When you embrace, rather than resist
the flow of things, you always attract the best outcome.
An Actor's Confession
A month or two ago, I watched the fine little American film 'The Visitor,' about a solemn, inhibited economics professor whose life opens up when his apartment is occupied by an immigrant couple while he is away. Richard Jenkins plays the professor with rare beauty and subtlety. Well, yesterday I turned on my car radio and I found myself listening to an NPR interview with the same actor.
At one point in the interview, Jenkins agreed with the host and admitted that he is also inhibited and restrained in real life. He then went on to reveal that whenever his wife asks him to go somewhere new or non-routine, he is reluctant. But then -- and this is what really caught my attention -- whenever he changes his mind and goes out, he invariably has a wonderful time! That every time he gives up his reluctance and takes up the invitation, circumstances unfold in ways he never would have imagined! This revelation from a public figure on a national radio hit me like a small thunderbolt, for I have frequently had this same experience.
When we give up what we are hesitant or reluctant to do, life responds positively to that inner psychological change. When we make this not too subtle shift, we shed wanting energies, and thereby move from the local to the universal plane, where we move into alignment with corresponding positive conditions. As a result, life that we feared or were otherwise unwilling to confront becomes the vehicle for intense joy and delight. It is one of the deepest secrets and yet one of simplest manifestations of the phenomenon of Life Response.
Doing What Was Reluctant to Do Encounters Unexpected Ease and Good Fortune
How often we have seen the phenomenon where a person was reluctant to do a large work, then he changed and took it up, and found somewhere at some point in the work that the remaining part of the work was suddenly and surprisingly easy to do, or nearly completed, or confronted similar good fortune. It makes one see that there is never a reason to fear what one fears doing.
Taking Up What You Were Reluctant To Do
It is repeatedly amazing that when you take up what you were reluctant to do, that the original expectation gets shattered. E.g. The work gets done in far less time, or there is far less to do, or it was much easier than you thoughts, etc. Our fear makes us completely ignorant of the future truth, which freezes us to inaction in the present. By giving up the fear or reluctance, when we shed the false view, there is created a new unfolding in time.
Life Response Multiplier Effect from Overcoming Reluctance
If you take up an area you were hesitant to address before, life will respond by giving you a benefit in a related area from seemingly out of nowhere. If you then take up this life response benefit, another response will come, likewise in areas related to the original area and its response, again from seemingly out of nowhere.
A Reluctance Overcome on the El Camino Real
We were driving along one of California's longest streets -- it goes on for many dozens of miles -- in search of an IHOP restaurant. We knew we would have to drive through one or more connected towns before we found one of the eateries. Besides, I had just purchased a new car and we were stretching our wings on this glorious near-70 degree with perfectly-clear-blue-skies January day.
And yet after several minutes we could not find what we were after. An endless procession of retail stores and offices passed us by, and still no IHOP. We went on this way for a good twenty minutes. Surely, there should have been one of these outlets along the ten or fifteen miles we traversed on this well-known commercial artery. There was also another problem; I was almost out of gas. On top of that, we were getting very hungry.
And so I thought I would push on for several more miles and see if luck would finally come our way. Meanwhile the gas gauge was moving towards absolute empty. Though we looked and looked, we still could not find an IHOP.
Then I thought to myself that I should focus my thoughts and emotions on getting the gas. And so I made an inner commitment to immediately find a filling station, and not concern myself with our lunch. Within ten seconds of making that decision, both my friend and I cried out at the top of our voice. "It's an IHOP!," as we both gestured in the direction of the restaurant that now was right in front of us!
Needless to say, we pulled in and had our dinner. Thereafter, I filled the car with gas. During our lunch, I commented that life had suddenly responded to my decision to purchase the gas. As soon as I overcame my reluctance to do so, the IHOP instantly appeared, as if from out of nowhere. It was but one more example that if you give up a wanting attitude -- in this case a reluctance to do what is necessary in the name of what could be pleasurable -- good fortune will suddenly come your way. It is one more principle of the miraculous phenomenon of "Life Response," a powerful and profound subject I have written an entire book on.
As we enjoyed our meal, we recalled how we had both called out "It's an IHOP!" at the very same instance, not unlike children in a Miyazaki cartoon.
All in all it turned out to be a great way to break in my new car on that glorious California afternoon.
Overcoming Resistance of Starting Attracts
Often overcoming the resistance of starting a work, effort, etc. attracts a far easier course than one might have imagined.
Overcoming One's Resistance that Attracts Wonderful Results
When you give in to that which you were resistant to, new vistas and opportunities suddenly arise.
Comment: How many times have I experienced this! E.g. with my students: as soon as I accept where they want to go, everything works out, and so many new unintended positive developments take place. And with a friend: They bring up an opposing view, or take a discussion is a different direction. As soon as I give up my inner resistance, the flow of events that follow become a marvel. That is why on an on-going basis Karmayogi says to Take Another's Point of View; i.e. put yourself in their shoes and see things from their side. That way resistance will tend not to be there in the first place.
The Missing Life Response Book
I am having a preliminary version of my book 'The Miraculous Phenomenon of Life Response' published through Lulu Press, an online system. The end user can obtain a copy of the book directly on demand at the Lulu web site. Recently, I uploaded two consecutive upgrades of the book, about five days apart. I also ordered a copy of the finished product that would be generated for each. Normally it takes around three weeks to get the book so that I can ascertain its quality. The first one however arrived surprisingly within a week. I then expected the second one to arrive similarly. However, after 2 or 3 weeks, there was no sign of the second version of the book. Concerned about it had been lost, I contacted Lulu's technical support, but alas, they told me that I should just be patient and it will come in the normally allotted 2-3 week period. However, a week later, I still hadn't received the package, and I was concerned. I had after all a number of plans in the works once the book arrived.
As it turns out, the other day I went into the back area of my home and noticed that the vertical drain was clogged with leaves and mud. Workers had been doing some construction around that area which blocked me from noticing the problem for a number of weeks. However, now that they were finished, I saw the clogging and I was now very concerned because rains were on their way. I was alarmed that if the drain remained stopped up, the water would back up on the roof and then seep through the ceiling of the work area of my home.
At first, I was reluctant to do anything about it, but then I went down to speak to the manager. Unfortunately, she was not going to be in for a while. However, when I went to my mailbox instead, I received a most unexpected check from the State of California for some unclaimed property that was now due to me. I thought that was a nice little response to overcoming my reluctance to deal with the drain.
An hour later, I went down again and this time my manager was there. I told her about my gutter situation, and she said she would put someone on it immediately. As I was about to leave her office, she most surprisingly mentioned that she had a package for me. I thought that was odd since I had not received a notice in my mailbox of the fact. She then pulled out my parcel from the pile, and I instantly knew it was the book I had been waiting for! I also realized that it might have been sitting in that stack with the other packages for weeks. In the end, because I overcame my reluctance to act on the drain and was persistent in trying to contact the manger, I not only received a most unusual and timely check from the State of California, but I found my missing book. As a result, I was now able to resume one of the most important marketing campaigns -- to find a publisher -- of my life.
PS: As a result of finding the book, I was very energized, and that intensity enabled me to nearly instantly attract a perfect list of literary agents, something I had struggled to find since last June. It just fit the pattern of all the other things that had happened in the last several hours. It was to be the final of four consecutive mini responses that were in my mind all inextricably connected.
Lack of Attention, Reluctance
What you are not giving proper attention to is your Achilles heal, and holds back the future. What you are reluctant to do tethers you tightly to the past.
On Not Accepting the Good Advise of Others
-Man does not listen to the good advise of others. He only absorbs the truth when he discovers it on his own, which means delay -- assuming he ever comes upon it in the first place.
-From a deeper consciousness one is always vigilant of the truth, especially if it comes from others, as one is in perpetual state of harmony with them.
-Obstruction or obliviousness to the helpful advice of others, is but another example of human ignorance. By moving to a deeper consciousness, one overcomes it -- creating an opening for right action and greater success in life.
Take Up Opportunities
Fully take up the practical opportunities that come your way. That response will clear the way for greater opportunities to rise and move in your direction.
Opportunities & Challenges
How one responds to opportunities and to challenges is a great determinant of our ability to accomplish in life.
Actualizing a Golden Opportunity that Has Arisen
A great opportunity suddenly arrived for an individual, and
he saw the inner keys and connection that released that
possibility for him. In discussing its actualization, I
responded as follows: "Everything is given for a purpose. An
opportunity arises. Do we then have the wherewithal to use
it; to sustain our deep awareness about it, keep it alive,
have it manifest in life. "
On Exhausting the Opportunities That Have Come To Us
"The key to everlasting success is to exhaust all the opportunities around you and you will find they are never-ending." (Sri Karmayogi )
Comment: Our limited attitudes block our ability to perceive the opportunities that life is constantly putting before us. Or to put it another way, followers of the Spirit are continually deflecting and pushing away the descending Grace due to negative attitudes, fixed habits, and false beliefs.
On Social, Psychological, and Spiritual Opportunities
One who avails of
all the opportunity will not cease to progress.
Failure to Avail Opportunities, Luck
Failure to avail of opportunities, i.e. Luck, is one of the perpetual human tragedies. When jobs were scarce to be had, one man refused a position he was offered because it was not in his hometown. Another leader wouldn't listen to the brilliant opportunity for the organization presented by a subordinate because he was a subordinate. There are endless examples; a number of which, if sincere, we can present from our own lives. Such reluctances, unwillingness to avail opportunities is pushing Luck away from us at the feast of life. (Paraphrase of MSS)
Subtle Perception of Opportunities
One cannot lose the opportunities that come our way. One needs to develop the greatest subtle sensitivity and positive reaction to incoming opportunities. The wrong sensitivity will cancel it. [As we move into a deeper consciousness within, away fro the surface, and also when we have a deeper grasp of the subtle workings of life, we develop the consistent subtle wherewithal and awareness to perceive the emerging possibilities. -- editor]
Thus eliminate all negative sensibilities and sensations to enable subtle awareness, to avail of the great opportunities that are around us.
When we recognize them, we must see them as a grace, and feels thanks, and offer our gratitude. (Paraphrase of MSS)
Capturing the Unique Moments that Come to Us
There are unique moments in life that pass like a dream. One must catch them on the wing, for they never return. (The Mother)
How we respond to the opportunities that life presents us is an important key to accomplishing in life. When presented with an opportunity one person may embrace it while another may ignore it or feel indifferent to it. Those who embrace it are put on the fast track to success while those who ignore it stay where they are or regress. Most individuals are somewhere in between, reacting to opportunity in a sluggish manner over a prolonged period of time. If we become more conscious in our lives, if we are open and our attitudes, opinions, and habits don't get in the way, we will be eager to embrace new opportunities when they come our way; opportunities that can make the difference between limited success and great achievement in life.
Opportunities that Bring Great Enjoyment are Shunned by Us
There are limitless possibilities for us, but we do not avail of them. We turn away from the higher opportunity which will bring us greater enjoyment to our current smaller enjoyment. Why do we turn away from such possibilities? It is because we are comfortable with our current lives of Ignorance, shunning the higher Knowledge. We enjoy our current existence, rooted in our Taste of Ignorance. And we live this way because we are centered in our lower physical and vital consciousness which pulls us down to our human Ignorance, instead of living in our mental rational consciousness, or our spiritual mental consciousness, where Knowledge is there that will sustain our involvement of the possibilities that bring higher enjoyment. For one, our physical possessiveness keeps us where we are; whereas being centered in our mental consciousness we do not have this vibration of possessiveness. If we grow in this way up the vertical scale of consciousness, we can avail of the emerging opportunities, leading to a vast enjoyment, which still requires at every stage a renewed aspiration. (Paraphrase of MSS)
Opportunities and Great Accomplishment
Those who respond positively to significant opportunities can catch the wave of great accomplishment in life. Those who are indifferent or ignore those opportunities are left behind. If an individual doesn't initially respond fully to the great opportunity, he may past through a number of stages of reaction until he embraces the opportunity. This process can be a difficult one, yet may be matched by a process of growth and personal evolution.
Nine Levels of Availing
In Pride and Prejudice Eliza aspires in her life to rise to a better position for herself and her family. In 18th century England that usually occurred through marriage for a woman. Eliza is invited to a dance where the master of the estate Pemberley, Darcy, notices her. He is a very wealthy man (who she will later marry, which will vastly change her life for the better). When he walks in the room she could care less. The result is that her first response to the approach of unprecedented opportunity is the typical response of people to what is far above their present level of accomplishment. She is completely unaware of the great opportunity.
Similarly in current times an instructor sees that other instructors are beginning to train on a few new programs. He barely notices. The opportunity to go to a much higher level barely registers in his consciousness.
At the next stage (stage 2 as indicated above) in Pride and Prejudice Darcy asks Eliza to dance and she is completely indifferent. Likewise in our modern story when a program manager asks the instructor if he is interested in attending a free train the trainer seminar on the new program, he is indifferent. At this stage when one becomes somewhat conscious of the opportunity, one reacts with indifference.
At the next stage (3) Eliza through a series of events expresses her hostility to Darcy in her conversations with others. Likewise the instructor becomes anger with the training company that he would have to train on that new program in an area far away where he would have to navigate through a lot of traffic every morning. At this stage there is a stirring in their emotions as it relates to the opportunity, and express their feelings about it or to related people or circumstance as hostility
At stage 4 Eliza speaks with other people and comes to realize that there actually may be real benefits to involvement with Darcy after all. Likewise the instructor relents in his anger and recognizes that teaching this new program may not be so bad after all after he sees other's enthusiastic about it and express that it may lead to other benefits which can help their career financially and interest-wise. He sees the same for himself. At this stage they both experience through life experiences the benefit of taking up the opportunity.
At stage 5, both Eliza in 18th century England and the instructor in 20th century America begin to see the real benefit of the opportunity and begin to have the first full positive response to the opportunity. (Their own positive response also attracts positive responses from life in this or related areas of accomplishment.)
Also, along the way there is also the beginnings of the recognition of their own limited beliefs and attitudes that prevented one from reacting positively to the opportunity in the first place. They recognized their own stupidity, arrogance, and misplaced passions and energy, among others. (This recognition is in fact an indication of their personal growth and evolution.)
At stage 6 one becomes impatient to undertake the opportunity; there is a lack of calm and perhaps even a sense of desperation. For Eliza it is an almost panic need to meet with Darcy. The instructor frantically tries calling the training manager (who is not in!) to attend a second train the trainer seminar on the software application.
At stage 7 each experience physically and emotionally the full joy that the opportunity presents. Elisa finally manages to visit Darcy's enormous estate, and experiences the full physical pleasure of her walk around the estate, recognizing that she could become its co inhabitant. She has the full sensation of the great opportunity that has come her way. Likewise, the instructor attends the train-the-trainer seminar and experiences first hand the joy of learning that particular new program.
At stage 8 there is a great recognition of one's past faults and limitations that prevented one from ceasing the opportunity in the first place. This is where the greatest personal growth comes in to play. For Eliza she realizes how foolish she has been in getting involved with another man Wickham, who was a scoundrel. She also realizes how foolish she has been in defending her family, including her very crude mother and her scandalous younger sister. She recognizes her own responsibility in losing Darcy, and her family's responsibility in her loss as well. She takes the attitude of fully acknowledging what she is. Likewise the instructor comes face to face with his attitudes that led to his negative response to opportunities. He even thinks back and recognizes other points in his life where he has had the same response, which also led to the devastation of other great possibilities.
At stage 9 one fully embraces the opportunity, though success at this point is not guaranteed in full or at all. In Eliza's case she releases her held back emotions and confesses to him her lack of gratitude to Darcy (who has actually helped her family in many other ways which she only recently came to understand). Because of many other extenuating positive extenuating circumstances, they come together and marry. The environment was supportive of their coming together despite all the twists and turns. On the other hand, in the case of the instructor his opportunity is only partially gained. He does some training in that area, but has lost the real thrust of the opportunity. (Fortunately other opportunities will come again.)
We should mention that often there is one other factor that may lurk in the background. Often when a great opportunity presents itself to someone suddenly a negative force appears on the scene that tries to deny the accomplishment. For example, in Eliza's case, though there is great opportunity for accomplishment through her marriage to Darcy, she is sidetracked by an infatuation with the scoundrel Wickham. It is Eliza's eventual ability to recognize her weakness and through off Wickham's influence that puts her back on the right path. The positive atmosphere around her also give support despite her foolish passions. Likewise in the life of the instructor a difficulty arose in the form of a noisy and bullyish neighbor who he had a confrontation with, causing the instructor to be physically incapacitated for months.
In summary then when presented by great opportunities in life one often does not respond in full, which may lead one to have to traverse some or all of these nine plus stages so that one can come to terms with oneself (and thereby grow and evolve as a person) or accomplish or both. Of course the more conscious we are in the first place the more we can react positively to the great opportunities that life presents. By elevating our capacities and character through the many techniques outlined at this site (improving our attitudes, skills, energy, effort, direction, etc.), we can become the person who is more readily able to respond to the opportunities that life presents, and accelerate accomplishment in life, rather than meandering through a maze of events and circumstance that causes us to grow through pain and eventually achieve.
Hypothetical Example of Non-Acceptance of an Opportunity
An individual is offered a big opportunity to be involved with a project, but he does not perceive it that way. Later on down the line, he realizes his earlier folly and goes after that which he had earlier rejected. While he may or may not gain the project he once rejected, he could invoke a positive life response elsewhere because of his change of heart.
Reversing an Unacceptance of an Opportunity Attracts
Often in life people are offered opportunities, possibilities that one rejects. If one reverses and overcomes these, life responds in kind. Putting that in a positive way, take what life presents to you; do the work that you are assigned happily, and with full effort. (This is an example of a more positive attitude.)
Man Takes Successes and Lost Opportunities for Granted
One truth about MAN is that when a man rises in life very fast, he takes it for granted. After some time he even forgets it. So also when a man loses a great opportunity - especially when it is invisible - he is not likely to know what he has lost. (MSS)
Availing Nature's Opportunities for Higher Consciousness
Nature, i.e. life presents opportunities to implement higher consciousness. Centered within, the opportunity can proceed without friction, smoothly, outside the bounds of space and time, which in essence moves us beyond Nature's usually difficult way.
Overwhelming Success that Presages Emergences in Society
We see how an individual's pioneering effort brings out an emerging element of the society that is subconscious to that society at the time. The vast success of Darwin's book Origin of the Species (sold out on the first day) lead the society out of parts of its folly, ignorance, and falsehood. Margaret Mitchell's enormous success with Gone with the Wind's in which the heroine is a difficult, though liberated woman presages the vast emergence of woman in 20th century. And Tom Peters enormous, unexpected success in In Search of Excellence helped accelerate the liberation and freedom of the individual in the workplace, an echo of the hippy phenomenon a few years earlier. Each was an overwhelming success, presaging the corresponding new emerging element in society.
If an individual can catch the wave of the emerging element in society -- there is always one or more -- he will have an overwhelming success in his work as these individuals did.
Maximizing an Opportunity Presented from the Spiritual Perspective
Moving in the Right Direction for Future Employment
According to Karmayogi, creating a new opportunity for yourself through entrepreneurial spirit is the method of the True Individual who will be emerging in the 20th century.
Those who are able to self-determine their lives in that that spirit will be rewarded greatly, as long as they are practical.
Taking up the initiative through constant consecration, one will be guided every step of the way.
Sometimes the Divine will give employment through others instead, because it is best for one's growth (and may also help related devotees and relations).
Having the subtle sense to see where Life/Divine is pointing is very helpful.
Also, speaking with others with an open mind is useful for determining one's direction.
Consecrating one's entire future life is infinitely helpful for garnering Her direction and guidance. I.e. it will become the subtle signs.
Prosperity is Measure of Obstacles Seen as Opportunities
Your prosperity is in the measure of your understanding the OBSTACLES as opportunities. (MSS)
Obstacles Turned into Growth and Opportunities
When we encounter an external obstacle in life, we can look within ourselves and discover an opportunity for inner growth. When we take the effort to make that growth, outer problems dissolve and new opportunities open up for us.
Turning a Problem into a Vast Opportunity
Last week I relearned an important lesson of life. If you approach a perceived negative situation in the right spirit, you can unleash a powerful positive opportunity. Here is the story:
After the recent Palestinian-Israeli flare up with Hamas, I was beginning to feel far less sympathy for the latter. Though no supporter of terrorism, I felt that Israel was once more expressing their insincerity by fighting rather than negotiating when they had the opportunity to do so in the quiet period before. Though I have seen the same pattern over the years, this time I was perhaps a little too troubled by the situation.
That day, my company received an inquiry about one of the primary services we offer. The party was interested in seeing a demo of our online training application. In response, we sent her a link so the organization could review it for three working days. Though she was pleased with my response, she asked that the term be extended several days because they do not work on Friday and Saturday in Israel. Understanding the issue, I agreed to the extension. I also now understood something else: the subtle connection between my previous inner emotional outburst about the Palestinian situation and the sudden arrival of an email message from this representative of an Israeli company. It struck me as the type of synchronicity and a confluence of events I had experienced a hundred times before, but this time with a somewhat negative edge to it.
Several days later, she sent another email with her verdict about the demo she went through. She indicated that though she admired its features, especially the depth and breadth of content, she had some serious reservations, especially the fact that the text was riddled with typos, and that many of the graphics were muddled and hard to read. As a result, now I really saw the connection between my earlier emotional outburst and this criticism from a potential customer in Israel! In fact, when I looked at her signature stamp, I realized that she was a technical writer for the company's IT department -- not the normal person who contacts us about purchasing our training. In essence, her comments were not only a direct punch in the gut, but came from someone who ordinarily spends her time examining such issues. In other words, I had attracted the perfect person to criticize our product!
The question then was what would be my reaction to this direct assault. Being human, my first inclination was to lash out at the criticism. I thought, well if she didn't like the product, she should have just rejected it, and avoided criticism. Fortunately, I gained control of my egotistic, self-justifying line of reasoning, and began to take a more rational approach. I then reasoned that since I had already seen the connection between the locale of this company and my earlier inner emotional outburst, I needed to reverse my attitude and open myself up to the truth of her words. Besides there was still an opportunity to sell her the product if we made the changes she suggested.
So I took a deep breath, pushed aside my earlier combative approach, and seriously considered the validity of her recommendations. After perusing our site in search of problems, and seeing the awful truth in her criticism, I immediately began to take up her suggestions. And so over the course of the next several days, I made considerable changes to the text of the site -- correcting grammar, punctuation, and typos, while inquiring into ways to deliver better on-screen graphics. In fact, I threw myself into the work, and after a short while, realized that I was enjoying the effort!
Before delivering the punch line, let me give you one more piece of information. The product I have been referring to is an online software training application that we have developed for Microsoft's project management system. For the last five years, my company has been focusing on it exclusively. Well, after I completed the above three-day effort, I received a solitary email in my Inbox. It was from an individual at a company offering its own online project management software. They were interested in having our firm do training and consulting on their online product throughout our region. At first, I balked at the idea, because the product appeared somewhat flimsy compared to the robust Microsoft offering. But then when I saw a demo, I was stunned how powerful, full-featured, integrated, and easy to use it was. It was using breakthrough technology that in many ways now surpassed Microsoft's offering!
Now suddenly my business was presented with the largest opportunity for new services in a decade. I clearly saw the potential now to double or triple my earnings. And it all came about because rather than react to a negative situation (her detailed analysis of all that was wrong with our current product), I held my feelings in check, and did all that she suggested. The result is that I attracted perhaps our best long-term opportunity in years.
When we shift our attitude in a negative situation to the positive, we harness an awesome power. In essence, we use the energy of the negative, reverse its polarity, and then align with and attract the very best of conditions. Or, as in this case, evoke the biggest business opening in years. Of course, you too can do the same in similar situations in your own life.
The Greater the Opposition, the Greater the Opportunity, Progress
Life has a character, just like we humans. It expresses through any number of laws -- whether overt or subtle. One particular principle is that progress in life occurs through our contradiction and conflict with others and circumstance. It is only through these adversarial relationships that each party can make a breakthrough in consciousness and thereby progress. In particular, when we find the higher harmony beyond the contradiction, then each side moves forward. Otherwise life remains in standstill or even goes backwards. If we look closely, we will see this dynamic everywhere -- in our own lives and in the world around us. It is Nature's secret method.
A closely related principles is that the greater the opposition we encounter in life, the greater the opportunity for us to rise and progress. We can observe this law in real life or in the world of literature and film.
For example, in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice there is a great scandal midway through the story when one of the Bennet sisters elopes with a scoundrel, threatening to ruin the family, both socially and financially. And yet the final outcome of that particular episode was that three of the five Bennet daughters find love, are married to attractive husbands, and come into enormous sums of money. Thus, a family once teetering on the edge of financial ruin comes into staggering good fortune. In essence, the intensity of the opposition that life brought through the elopement set in motion conditions that enabled the three marriages to occur. Because circumstance was so intensely negative, individuals reacted in such a way that caused them to come together in ways that would not have otherwise occurred.
A more recent and non-fictional version involves the case of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In the 1980's he was tossed out of the company he founded by the board of directors for going in a direction that the company foolishly thought was reckless. Though he went through dark moments in the years that followed, he rose to the challenge, took up a number of creative initiatives, including the founding of the companies Next and Pixar, and was eventually rehired back at Apple along with the many assets he had developed while in exile. As a result, Apple, which was on the verge of bankruptcy when Jobs returned, increased its revenues by an astounding 10 times in the decade and a half that followed (on its way to may times more), making it the most powerful corporate turnaround in US history, and catapulting Apple to become a four-time in a row Fortune magazine the most admired company in the world.
In other words, intense opposition and difficulty provided Jobs with the "initiative" to strike back and take things to a new level. Adversarial conditions gave him the strength, fortitude, and determination to push his way forward and create conditions for his former company that no one would ever have imagined. Not only that, but it resulted in products that had a profound impact on the nature of society -- including the IPod, IPhone, and IPad, etc., whose sales have boomed around the world.
If you examine your own life, you will likely see this same dynamic at work; that the greatest difficulty you encountered -- whether an outer opposition or an inner demon, was the force that enabled your greatest success. Or to put it another way, the greater the outer resistance, conflict, contradiction to our aspirations and goals, the greater the possibility for achievement and growth; i.e. the higher we can rise.
We can actually go a step further and philosophically say that the negatives we encounter are actually positives in disguise. Or better still that those negatives are simply more intense forms of the positive; providing the energy, force, and push that compels us to rise much higher.
Having said this, there is an alternate approach to progress. We can rise in consciousness and act in ways that tend to attract the positive and avoid opposition. In that way, we rise from peak to ever-higher peak of the positive. In order to do that, we will need to overcome our limitations, utilize the spiritual Force that is there to set right life's conditions, and live a life of increasingly conscious behavior. In that way, there is an intensity -- a positive intensity -- that compels us to move forward. It is not opposition, but energy and joy that drives us to the next level. This is no longer Nature's Way, but that of Spirit and Soul.
A man puts off fixing something that is broken for now, unconsciously figuring that no problem or accident will arise from it in the short run. He doesn't realize that the future, when the problem will occur, is really the present. i.e. the Ever-Present when one connects to the Highest Consciousness. He has in that neglectful moment in effect caused a serious accident to occur in the present, his present, the human present.
We can view all social
development issues, including impediments and anachronisms, from this
perspective. Looked at closely, we will see that life works like this
virtually 100% of the time.
A conscious man should respond first to people's responses to him.
When new situations arise which one wants to avoid, there is the opportunity to give in and embrace it fully. It then amazes how life instantly turns around for the better.
Rejecting the Achievement of What One Longed For
an individual long aspired for is finally granted, he rejects it.
(Paraphrase of MSS)
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