By Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | Posted on 01.01.2019
Time and mind are connected
One more year has passed. 2018 is coming to an end. The year has left many different experiences. Some people feel it flew by so fast, while others felt it was dragging. What makes time lighter and what makes time heavier? What makes time longer and what makes it so short? It's the mind. When the mind is united in wisdom, time flies. When the mind is away from wisdom, time goes so slow. It’s good to be committed to wisdom at the beginning of the new year.
Life is a combination of challenges and comforts
Generally, craving in the mind is that everything should go smoothly. And the older you get you don’t want to have challenges. Challenges mean effort, so much effort that you want things to be smooth. Life is a combination of both—challenges and comfort. If you’re in your comfort zone all the time you will go into slumber, you will go into inertia. Your real potential won’t come out. On the other hand, if there are only challenges in life you get worn out and drained. But nature is made such that nobody’s life is only challenges or only comforts.
Resolve to accept challenges—make friends with those who are not so friendly!
Challenges beckon your talents to come out. So welcome them. It is easy to be friendly with someone who is friendly. The challenge is to make friends with those who are not so friendly. I would urge you to take on these challenges. Make friends with those who are not so friendly. Make this your resolution.
What happens when you expand your comfort zone
Inch by inch step out of your comfort zone and you will see your comfort zone is expanding. When you decide to come out of your comfort zone, it gets behind you. You will come to a place where nothing really bothers you, where nothing is uncomfortable.
It’s joyful to get out of your comfort zone; it shows there is life in you, youthfulness in you (to take the challenges). Generally, one takes challenges out of inevitability—when there is no other option and you have nowhere to go. When challenges are imposed on you, you call it a problem. But you can take the same situation as a challenge to manifest your skills, your potentials, your energy. Wisdom is to happily accept challenges and move forward in life.
If you are in a comfort zone, share that comfort with others and make others feel comfortable. Take others’ challenges and give them comfort. A kind person takes everyone’s challenges and gives them comfort. An ignorant person takes everyone’s comfort and gives others challenges.
It is a challenge to be around such people; they are there in your lives to simply pose challenges one after the other and take all your comforts. You need to learn the skills to manage them well.
In the coming new year, let there be many challenges that will bring out your skills. Let the new year give you many more comforts that you can share with others!
The older you get in age, the younger you become in spirit
I hope the past year has made you younger. A sign of youthfulness is to take on more challenges and be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm can be expressed in different flavors, but as long as enthusiasm is there you are moving forward. On this path (of spirituality) the older you get the younger you become!
Drop the past, be fresh and alive
Generally, people say, learn the lesson from the past. I say just drop everything. Learning from the past is still remaining in the past, keeping those impressions. I say just be hollow and empty, be spontaneous. What you have learned from the past is a limited purview of limited time. I say just drop it, then you can be fresh and alive. Don't think this is another lesson. Knowledge is said to be like soap, you put it on and wash it off. But you have to put the soap on to wash it off.
Taking responsibility brings authority
There are three types of people in the world.
1. There are some people who don't have any authority yet they take responsibility.
These are great people, enlightened people. There should be more and more people of this kind. No one tells them to bring peace to the world but they take that responsibility. Even though they don’t have any authority, they will take initiatives to bring peace because they care for the world.
2. There is another kind who take responsibility with authority. These are mediocre. They expect to be given authority to take responsibility.
3. Hopeless are they who have authority but don't take any responsibility. Even if you give them responsibility they grumble, they give excuses and keep blaming others.
In which category are you?
Enjoy the basket of assorted fruits
The world is not a goat farm or a cowshed. It's a zoo! All people are very different with different tendencies, different nature, yet intrinsically they are all good people. Though this is challenging, there is a lot of fun in the world. Like a basket of assorted fruits, the world is full of assorted people. Some are like grapes – you have to wash and eat. Some are like bananas – you have to peel and eat. Some are like oranges – you require a little more effort to eat. Yet others are like pineapple – you take it in your hand, it is thorny, you have to chop it and cut it and eat it. Others are like coconut – you have to break it to eat. But everyone has something good. All are edible but the method to eat them is different. So today, you figure out who you are. Are you grapes? Pineapple? Orange? Or coconut? Find out how you behave.
Fill your calendar: spread knowledge and love
This year, plan your calendar so that you can spend enough time in meditation, in acquiring knowledge and in serving society.
If you keep your gifts to yourself, life drags. If you share them, life flows smoothly. If you put your life at the service of others in the world, your life becomes very rich. If you keep it all to yourself, it starts rotting, it's a burden and buries you. The way to feel lost in time is to put your life out there. Then you see time is very fruitful and it flies, and you fly with it. Plan your calendar accordingly. But be flexible. Nature makes you flexible. Flexible does not mean losing your commitment.
Planning, commitment, and flexibility - these three ingredients coming together is very important.
I wish you a very Happy New Year!
Listen to this new year message with a guided meditation from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as we welcome 2019!