LEARNING TO DROP THAT MONKEY ON OUR BACK





Almost eighty percent of stress in life can be reduced if you and I learn to concentrate on dealing with our own business. But, as typical human beings, we invite unnecessary stress in our lives by poking our noses in others’ business as well… Many of us act as if we are rescuers and saviors… We assume , that, we are sent on this earth to solve others' problems…

Are we sent here on that mission?

Solving others’ problems sounds to be an extremely a noble ideal. To some extent, it is… We are here not only for ourselves but for people around us, too. The problem of unnecessary stress comes in our life when we go overboard to fix others’ problems…

I have quoted Byron Katie many times before. In her book, ‘Loving What Is’, she reminds us, that, in life, we all tend to focus on three things: our own business, others’ business and God’s business. Hurricane, earthquakes, floods, droughts etc are God’s business. My worrying about it will not take me anywhere. If I spend too much of my energy thinking and trying to do something about it, it will only add more stress in my life. Wars, refugee issues, recession, taxes, farmers’ suicides, murder of journalists, terrorism, corruption, decay in education system, problems in friends’ and relatives’ houses… yes, all of these concern us. But, there is only so much we can do about them… The moment we go overboard, we invite additional stress into our lives.

The only area where we have a direct influence – and where we can fix something – is the area within our own reach. Stephen Covey calls it the ‘area of our influence (power)’. Byron Katie simply calls it – ‘Our own business’!

We all are endowed with some special talents, gifts and strengths. Through them, we have built our own expertise. We can certainly reach out to others by utilizing our special endowments.... But, that can be only within our own reach. I believe, that, to reach out to others, we need compassion… We need good intention, will and initiative. By simply possessing our special gifts, talents, skills and strengths, we do not necessarily go the extra-mile in life… There should be that calling of the heart…

But, even with the best of intentions and initiative, we first owe it to our ourselves… We cannot truly feel satisfied in life when we are reckless towards our own selves…

The monkey is there on our back, because we have invited him. He will be off our back, only if we decide to drop him!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Naresh Pai



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