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Being patient

I am reading a very interesting book these days, ‘Zorba the Greek’. There is a part in the book where the narrator discovers a cocoon on a tree, just as the butterfly is trying to break out of it. He waits for some time to enjoy the phenomenon. But it is taking too long and he grows impatient.

So, to hasten the whole thing, he blows his warm breath over the cocoon. The heat helps the butterfly break out quickly. He witnesses the miracle as it unfolds before his eyes, faster than life.

But, to his dismay and horror, he finds that the insect has deformed and crumpled wings. The process of breaking out strengthens and develops the wings, it is supposed to be a gradual process under the warmth of the sun. His impatience robs the insect of this chance. The poor insect tries with all it’s might to open those wings, but all in vain. It dies after some time, in the palm of the narrator, before his guilty eyes.

According to the narrator – It is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.

Enjoy the journey. When I started this blog a year ago, I worked with the idea that it would pick up hundreds of readers in a few month. I expected it to be popular soon. This did not happen. There was a steady increase in the number of readers, but I felt it was too slow. At times, I would get frustrated.

The trouble, I realized, was that I was running after a very popular illusion, that there is happiness in achievement. That happiness comes in installments, when ever you achieve something tangible.

When I looked back at my life, I saw clearly that this has not been true for me. Achievement has always brought temporary elation.

Since then, whenever I am feeling frustrated, I remind myself to enjoy the journey and let go.

You can never have that one achievement after which you can be totally happy. It is an illusion. First we study, with the aim to be happy once we get a job. When we get that, we are happy for a while, but it doesn’t last long. We start working hard to get a promotion, and then another, and so on…

Life is going to be a series of efforts, failures and successes. Only the successes, when measured against the whole life, will be too short lived. So are we resigned to experiencing happiness only in these small moments? I don’t see why. Ask yourself does this really have to be so?

You can move out of this limiting idea, you can shift your focus from achievement to enjoying the journey. You can enjoy all your efforts.

This does not mean you leave your goals and live aimlessly. I still have my goals, only I am not solely focused on achieving them now. In fact, I have realized that letting go actually helps us reach our goals faster. This seems ironical, but such are the mysteries of life. You reach faster when you don’t try to.

About 2 months ago, the visits to my blog picked up in numbers. While I used to get about 1200 visits a month, I have suddenly started receiving about 2200 visits now. Compared to the 30 email subscribers I had then, I have 103 at the time of this writing.

Be patient with change. We have learned to hurry to get things, we want to experience it all quickly. We want to be there before everyone else. Are we to take life itself as a race and reach the end quickly too?

Experience slowly, not quickly, don’t work hard to ‘get there’, work with excitement and enthusiasm to ‘enjoy the present’. The goal will still be reached. There is a natural rhythm to the way the Universe works. If you push it too hard, the ultimate aim of all goals, happiness, will elude you. Get in sync with the natural rhythm, accept it.

This doesn’t mean you have be a slave to it, work with it as if it is a friend, a well wisher. There is a lot of joy in working with the Universe, than trying to establish the separate authority of your ego.

Be lenient with yourself. Your spirit has it’s own rate of growth. Don’t push this growth either, let it take it’s time. If you rush it, you might get some quick results, like the narrator in the book got, but they will be malformed and won’t give you lasting joy.

Love yourself. Love is the ultimate power. Appreciate yourself for what you are. Don’t beat yourself up too often for your weaknesses, encourage yourself to build on your strengths. Would you beat a child who is trying to stand up, but fails? You wouldn’t. You allow it to grow at it’s pace. You don’t doubt it will stand up, you know it will stand up. You don’t want to rush it’s childhood. It’s a thing to enjoy, to savor, both for the child and for you.

Treat yourself with the same love and wonder. Allow yourself to fall as many times as it takes before you stand. The speed is not important, trying is.

Love others too. We all have had those people whom we hate. Hatred is such a burden. It doesn’t affect the other person as much as it becomes a drag on ourselves.

Love people with all their follies. You are not so different from them yourself. It is only the types of follies we all have, that are different. And in this diversity of follies and strengths is the colourful and beautiful rainbow of life. In your heart, thank these people for the lessons you get from them. Thank them for the help they prove to be, consciously or unconsciously, in your growth.

We are all travellers to the same goal, happiness. Let us find connection and bonding in this similarity, rather than find separateness in the different paths we take. Love yourself, love all.

Love your problems. They encourage you to grow and get past them. They are not your enemies, they are those stern but helpful coaches who push you beyond where you want to go and show you the infinite potential you have, even when you are not ready to acknowledge it. When you are lazy, they prod you ceaselessly, when you are stagnating and getting comfortable, they trouble you so that you keep moving. For all their harshness, they are among your truest friends. They don’t try to just get into your good books, they don’t wince when you call them names. They help you grow, even at the expense of being called a problem.

*****

If everything was to come easy, what would there be in this world worth striving for?

Love and peace to you all.

Until next time…

Image credits: Keattikorn

8 Responses

  1. Naveen Kulkarni
    Naveen Kulkarni October 21, 2011 at 9:51 am | | Reply

    Awesome post Rahul,
    Patience is a virtue indeed.

    Most people focus on end result so much that they miss to enjoy the journey in the path of achievement. In fact the real fun lies in journey, rather than the success itself.
    If we ask someone who climbed Mount Everest, they will be so thrilled to talk about their journey rather than the moment of touching the peak. This shows that , in journey lies the real fun.
    Once we concentrate and fully involve in our journey of achievement, success becomes effortless.

    This actually reminds of a post I wrote sometime back on my own blog. Sorry for leaving a link, but it could interest your readers.

    http://www.planetnaveen.com/2011/08/the-amazing-power-of-patience/

    And, CONGRATS for crossing 100 readers :-)
    Naveen Kulkarni recently posted..You Are Not A Robot: Stop Living Like One

  2. kate
    kate October 23, 2011 at 12:41 am | | Reply

    wonderful..!!:-)

  3. Kuldeep
    Kuldeep October 24, 2011 at 11:32 am | | Reply

    good way , I was randomly got your site during net surfing .I am regularly reading your posts from past few days .
    After reading all your posts ,I feels to be more conscious.I got my concentration back and realized the importance of your own in this world. my future worries are off ,now.
    I started concentrating in my present life and gradual learning of new things.

    Keep up the Good Work,

    Thank you
    Kuldeep

    P.S. Your Posts touches to heart and mind instantaneously .

  4. Kiran
    Kiran November 11, 2011 at 7:37 am | | Reply

    Liked your post Rahul and thanks for bringing up your intriguing thoughts.In one of the talks from Dr. Deepak Chopra, I have came across the same thought that enjoying the journey is the best way to getting ahead in life.When we set some goal points in life(like getting this much salary or buying house)and think that we will be happy once we get that,we are completely focusing on that and ignore all the happiness and possibilities in life, till we get to that goal.Once we get to that point again we will not feel that happy as expected or that will last for few days.But if are open to all possibilities through the journey it will bring us happiness throughout the journey and we can see the also the bigger opportunities in the way.

    Regards,
    Kiran

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