LIFE’S AMAZING SECRETS – How to find Balance and Purpose in Your Life
Sri Gaur Gopal Das’s philosophy out from his years of wisdom and thrusts it back where it belongs, in our daily lives, helping all of us approaching any problem with equanimity and poise. A kind of Spiritualistic manual for life, you will turn to it time and time again and learn to tear through any obstacle, resolve conflicts, forgive and value the relationships. An absolute must-read and I guarantee you that you’ll enjoy Gaur Gopal Das Ji’s sense of humour in every chapter as much as we cherish in his videos. There are four principles (wheels) that form the foundation of a happy life
1. PERSONAL LIFE
3. WORK LIFE
4. SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION
I’ve written below from the book for my reference and wanted to share with my readers who may find it useful and apply some of the key teachings of Sri Gaur Gopal Das. I recommend to buy the jovial book having wisdom of life. I’ve also written down the meanings of many words which I couldn’t understand without the help of the dictionary. Hope it helps!!
Happiness does not come automatically. We have to choose to live happily, we have to choose with integrity and we have to choose to live with balance. It is this balance that will make our journey through life smooth and effective.
“Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him” – Aldous Huxley
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, and you are not sure you can do it, say YES, then learn how to do it later” – Sir Richard Branson
Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul – Democritus
As you become successful, do not forget the keys to happiness
connoisseur – A connoisseur is a person who has a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts, cuisines, or an expert judge in matters of taste.
Food tastes better when you eat with your hands
Mother’s hair was always tightly tied with a bun but her arms are always open for a hug
Its all too easy to focus on external achievements and forget to assess whether we are happy with the state of our life
Behind the smiles, everyone is going through personal struggles we know nothing about
“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility” – Nelson Mandela
deafening – A silence or lack of response that reveals something significant, such as disapproval or a lack of enthusiasm.
palatable – Acceptable or agreeable to the mind or sensibilities.
Quiver – to shake with a slight but rapid motion; vibrate tremulously; tremble. See more.
When we comfort someone, it is easy to fall into their sorrowful energy, which can perpetuate their suffering. Its important that we bring positive, non-judgemental energy into these conversations
ludicrous – amusing or laughable through obvious absurdity, incongruity, exaggeration, or eccentricity.
shimmering – to shine with or reflect a subdued, tremulous light; gleam faintly.
sweltering – Suffering from oppressive heat. Sweltry; sultry; suffocating with heat.
How can love that started so pure evaporate so quickly
Our egos are such that admitting sorrows to someone else comes when we are incredibly humble or when we are in considerable pain
The paradox of our times is that those who have the most can often be the least satisfied. We have mastered how to look successful, but not how to organize our lives so that we feel successful.
Listening to understand is more important than listening to reply.
Having a friend to listen to your problems and discuss them with you is the beginning of finding a solution
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – Lao Tzu
Our silent presence can be more powerful than a million empty words
the answer to all problems related to the human condition seldom excludes a conscious, compassionate ear
What should I do are the four words any life coach hates
astray – Away from the correct path or direction.
We all have three things common: we are all stuck, we all have a journey to complete, and we all have a destination
There is a traffic jam within our minds, That traffic jam is stopping each one of us from reaching our true potential.
All of these cars around you have four wheels equally weighing down on the axle. The loss of air in any one of these wheels can slow you down in reaching your destination; the loss of one can be fatal. Therefore it is imperative that your wheels are regularly checked and maintained. Similarly, there are four principles that form the foundation of a happy life.
We must find positivity in the bleakest situations and live by the principle of gratitude
“We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect” – Michelle Obama
You cannot do charity from an empty bowl
The eyes are the window to the soul
sclera – The sclera, also known as the white of the eye, is the opaque, fibrous, protective, outer layer of the human eye containing mainly collagen and some elastic fiber.
The mind is what we use to perceive the world. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are
The sands of time slow for no man.
See the positive
When negativity consumes the mind, not only do we lose the vision to see the beautiful things around us, but also the ability to solve the problems that confront us.
When we think negatively of people, we should immediately counteract that energy by contemplating three positive qualities they have.
Focus on gratitude – GRatitude is not a feeling; it is a state of mind that can be developed, and it allows us to tap into a reservoir of unlimited positive energy.
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room – Jeff Bezos
I’m intensely praying for you and I am intensely praying for all of us too
We need to make time to practise gratitude
Stop and reflect on your life regularly. Pressing the pause button to practise gratitude is the way to make it a constant in your life.
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. It’s the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, Will pursue their principles unto death ~ Leonardo da Vinci
When we are thankful for what we have, we become poised to receive more
We must prioritize our gratitude. We must press pause and stop to smell the roses
When words fail, music speaks – Hans Christian Anderson
Joshua Bell Friday 12 Jan 2007 Washington Post experiment
Context manipulates our Perspective
Optimism is a choice.
Happiness is a choice.
Giving back is a choice.
Forgiveness is a choice.
Being honest is a choice.
Spoken words are choice.
Teaching others is a choice.
Showing gratitude is a choice.
Respecting others is a choice.
Living a recommendable life is a choice.”
When things are beyond your control and there is nothing you can do, why worry?
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy – Leo Buscaglia
Most things in life are beyond our control; we should not judge any situation by its face value
When we are desperate our senses, become heightened and we become more attentive
Sometimes when we get engrossed in a problem, we feel trapped in our own minds
regurgitate – repeat (information) without analysing or comprehending it.
A spiritual process gives us the ability to come out of this mental loop and help transform the greatest difficulties into opportunities
Spiritual practice is the foundation of our happiness. It guides us in times of turmoil and grounds us in times of joy
Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work – Thich Nhat Hanh
We are not human beings having spiritual experiences; We are spiritual beings having human experiences
It is our relationship with something higher than ourselves can give us love and allow us to give love to others
Bickering – argue about petty and trivial matters
Having fewer possessions frees one of anxiety, giving you more mind-space for the vital things in life
Everyone has a fascinating story that we know nothing about
Treat someone better than you would like to be treated. Ask yourself the question, Does my tone of voice, body language and behaviour reflect sensitivity?
Familiarity breeds contempt. When we are overly familiar with people, we forget how important they are to us and the correct way to behave with them.
When we treat inanimate objects or our possessions with disrespect or insensitivity, we will end up treating people the same
Insensitivity becomes part of our general attitude, and our Instinct does not discriminate between things and people
All aspects of our life are integrated
Everything has its utility and must be used in that particular way
The way we act in one area of life can have dire consequences in another
There are many ways to perceive others. We should start choosing the one which magnifies the positive and avoids the negative
Any one can find the dirt in someone. Be the one that finds the Gold – Proverbs 11:27
Sly – having or showing a cunning and deceitful nature.
Points in the favour of this employee
Whenever I am tempted to reprimand someone, I convince myself to sit down and write a list of all good qualities they have. This may not necessarily change my decision, but it helps me put things into perspective and control my anger
To focus on the good and deal with the bad is a principle that can save relationships and help us make the right decision
Neglecting the bad does not mean that we do not deal with it practically. It just means that we do not allow our mind to focus on and hover over the bad
Vehemently – in a forceful, passionate, or intense manner; with great feeling.
Correcting Cautiously- Corrective feedback can make or break our relationships
“It is strange that sword and words have the same letters. Even more strange is that they have the same effect if not handled properly” – Anonymous
Most of the time our frustration comes from improper dealings in our relationships
Our mutual funds and our relationships have one thing in common: we must invest in both before we can withdraw
Learning the art of appreciation is vital for building healthy relationships
When we see people we love feeling upset, we naturally feel upset
True forgiveness contributes to forming the strongest bonds between friends
Only when we invest in people can we correct them
Beyond any other need, the greatest longing of every individual is to give love and to be loved
To give corrective feedback; ask four questions
1. Am I the right person to give corrective feedback?
2. Do I have the right motive to give corrective feedback?
3. Do I know the right way to give corrective feedback?
4. Is it the right time?
It is said that we can control two things in our life, our desires and our motives. Our desires govern what we want and our motives tell us why we want it
Conscientious – wishing to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly.
We should be Conscientious that our motive is appropriate
It was not what you said, it’s how you said it. Our tone of voice, body language and facial expressions account for more than the words we use
Hot heads do not give good feedback— choose a better time
Having the knowledge of something is far from mastering it
Forgiveness is a complex concept. We must understand it thoroughly to be able to internalize it
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
We no longer bother with the subtle intricacies and niceties in our relationships— we think about people in terms of their purpose or utility, and hence, our interactions are driven by that intention. We think about products the same way
Subtle – capable of making fine distinctions.
intricacies – details, especially of an involved or perplexing subject.
Relationships follow the same principles as growing a plant: constant care is required so that one day, it blooms.
Forgiveness warms the heart and cools the sting
1. Look beyond the situation
2. Separate the Episode from the Person
3. Higher purpose
a moment of patience in a moment of anger can save a thousand moments of regret in the future
Equipoise – balance of forces or interests.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me
Words can leave invisible scars that can take years, or even lifetimes, to heal
Quivering- trembling or shaking with a slight rapid motion.
Forgiveness means to take note of the higher purpose
Relationships are tested during difficult times
Love is when we have every reason to breakup but we do not
The principle of forgiveness and the principle of social justice go hand-in-hand; it takes wisdom and introspection to know how they are to be used
The topic of relationships has spiritual roots. If we can understand how to create to people on a spiritual level, then we can transcend our dividing differences
Our relationships are stronger when they contain a spiritual component. There are three different ways to become good friends with someone
“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you, just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour” ~ Tom Hanks
The principle of relationship is an inherent universal one that guides our lives.
A man or a woman is known by the company they keep
Ablutions – an act of washing oneself.
Intimacy in our association begins with giving and receiving
There is a deep emotional bonding that happens when we break bread together
When someone pours out their heart to us, we are not only understanding their point of view but subconsciously also being influenced by their values and beliefs
Intimate association is about interactions that go beyond doing the needful; beginning with sharing things moving on to sharing food and finally sharing thoughts, values and beliefs
Watch your thoughts, they turn in to words. Watch your words, they turn into actions. Watch your actions, they turn into habits. Watch your habits, they turn into character. Watch your character, it turns into your destiny.
It all begins with a thought
At work we tend to compare and compete with others, instead of comparing and competing with ourselves
Being he richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me — Steve Jobs
When one harbours I’ll feelings towards others wanting to be like them or better than them but does not act on those feelings , it is called jealousy. Jealousy turns into envy. An envy is the root cause of being competitive with others in a way where one does not mind going to any extent to take their place.
People with a closed mindset want to grow by beating others in their field. Open minded people on the other hand grow by developing themselves. They know that nobody is their competition. They are their own competition.
Everyday they keep striving to become better versions of themselves, even if the growth is a tiny fragment. They feel uncomfortable if they remain the same as they were yesterday.
Matthew McConaughey 2014 Oscar Speech
We should imbibe the thought of self-competition, rather than feeling insecure about others going ahead.
Competing with others was a distraction from your own inner creativity. If we compare ourselves with others too much, we succumb to ordinariness.
If we have to compare ourselves with others, we should compare positive attitudes. That person’s attitude to tirelessly keep working or grinding at their skills is inspiring
Rather than being political, it is better to constantly work hard on self improvement to achieve excellence
To find your purpose in life, you must go on a journey of self-discovery
Sometimes the warrior feels as if he were living two lives at once… there is a bridge that links what I do with what I would like to do, he thinks. Slowly, his dreams take over his everyday life, and then he realises that he is ready for the thing he always wanted. Then all that is needed is a little daring, and his two lives become one
— Paulo Coelho
Every individual has something unique in them. God covers our talent, skills and potential only so that we have the chance to discover it.
Self-Discovery is not a onetime event but an ongoing evolution, and as life goes on we discover how much we are capable of achieving
If you do what you love, you will never have to work a day in your life
Purpose of life
What do you love?
What are you good at?
What does the world need?
What can you get paid for?
You have to act on two things, first is love what you have to do and second thing is make time in life for what you love to do.
Earn with integrity, spend with compassion — Radhanath Swami
Spirituality helps to declutter your mind. This clarity gives you the ability to understand your purpose at a deeper level. You don’t have to become a monk like me to practise spirituality
The service you do for other is the rent you pay for your room here on Mother Earth — Muhammad Ali
Opulence – great wealth or luxuriousness.
unscrupulous – having or showing no moral principles; not honest or fair.
Spiritualists should be happy with the bare minimum, when it comes to working hard with the aim of serving others , they should be not satisfied
Spirituality does not kill our ambition; it redirects it towards the service of others
The important asterisk after “living in splendour” is to access if we are giving back proportionately
We should not only increase the standard of living but also the standard of our giving
Humility or meekness does not mean you are a pushover, it means you understand how to behave properly in all scenarios.
Be straightforward in two things; business and eating
Good character is a shiny light to show us how to live our life
Spirituality helps develop good character. It is character that shines bright when words fail to do so.
Live your life in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God, Will come to know God because they know you – Anonymous
We feel inspired by those who live with the right conduct, character and integrity
Philosophy without a good character is of little or no value
You can be completely selfish, completely selfless or any of the combination in between. Life is a journey from being selfish to becoming selfless
Act without expectation — Lao Tzu
Painful situations are easier to deal with when you have friends by your side to support you.
Thoughts travel faster than words and they are not always in the right order
The ideology behind the ice cream is; enjoy your life before it melts. To savour every moment of your life through personal enjoyment.
On the other hand the candle is to give light before it melts. selfless nature of the candle is to burn to give light for other people to see. The journey of life is moving from being an ice cream to being a candle. This is the purpose of everyone’s life at the core: to share, give and contribute to others.
We can love others only if we know what it feels like to be loved. We can only bring hope to others if we feel hope for ourselves. To sum up, we can only give to others what we possess.
Compassion fatigue is a state of stress experienced by those who help others to the extent that they start suffering because of their preoccupation with the suffering of others.
The first step in selflessness is to practise with your family.
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them — Desmond Tutu
Relationships at home can work well only if all parties have low expectations of each other, but high expectations of themselves to help the other.
Selflessness starts with our family, but it should not just end there. To expand our circle of selflessness we should help those outside of our immediate care and affection too
We can increase our scope of selflessness beyond our family by serving our community, city or even nation.
You need an attitude of service. You’re not just serving yourself. You help others to grow up and you grow with them — David Green
It’s in the moment of deep grief that we understand what people mean to us
The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Mother Earth – Muhammad Ali
When we practice spirituality sincerely, we obtain a higher perspective of life.
Hedonistic- engaged in the pursuit of pleasure; sensually self-indulgent.
Love for God is composed of three things
- Right action- we must express our love through the correct action. We must behave and act in a way that is in line with spiritual principles
- Right intention- our intentions must be selfless.
- Right mood- we must serve in a way that is favourable for our growth
When we have deep love to the God, it becomes natural for us to want to share that with everyone
The highest commandment is to love thy God with all thy soul and all thy might and all thy heart.