7 Important Life Lessons to Never Forget
The following is a transcription of a spoken discourse. To maintain the style and authenticity of Sadhguru’s spoken words, we have retained the original language instead of conforming it to our standard style book.
Life Lesson 1: Kill the lies
Just spend a minute to identify at least one thing in your life that is not necessary and kill that today. When I say “kill,” don’t start thinking about your boss, mother-in-law or neighbor. You must kill something about you that is unnecessary. Something like “I will kill my anger” would be too general and this is not something that you can achieve by determination— that requires consciousness.
Identify something specific that you will be better off without, where you can take a concrete step today— it does not matter how small it is.Choose one specific little thing that you will not do anymore, no matter what. “I will not be angry” would be a lie, because this is not yet in your control, but it could be something like, “I will not speak angry words.” This is how to transform your life—by taking small steps.
But you should actually do it—it should not pop up again. If you kill something, it should be dead. If you want to move towards the truth of life, your investment in that which is not true has to be reduced. It may not all vanish immediately, but you must reduce it step-by-step.
Life Lesson 2: Break the status quo
Look at life in terms of what can be changed and do something about it. Crying about things that you cannot change is a sure strategy to remain at status quo. At least once a month, every full moon day, consciously look at this and identify one small thing about yourself that you want to change. Like, “Every time before I eat, I will spend 10 seconds in gratitude for this food which is going to become a part of me.” Or, “Every time I use anything that is an essential element of my life, like the soil, the water, the air, and everything else around me, I will save one percent of it.” Or, “I will see to it that I only put on my plate what I can eat.” These small things will change your life and set you apart.
Life Lesson 3: Remember you are mortal
A significant thing that every human being has to do is to structure their psychological and emotional framework around the most fundamental fact of their life—their mortality. Right now, it takes a lifetime for people to understand that they are mortal; they need a heart attack or the appearance of a malignant lump somewhere to remind them.
You are mortal and it is ticking away. So, there is no time for frustration, depression, anxiety, anger or for any unpleasantness in this life.
You need to celebrate and enjoy every moment of your life because life does not wait for you even for a moment. If you were immortal, you could enjoy a hundred years each of depression, anxiety, madness and misery; and then on the 500th anniversary, you could become joyful. But that is not the case.
In the ashram, I always tell people that no matter what work you are doing, every day you must stick your fingers into the earth at least for an hour. This will build a natural physical memory, a bodily memory in you that you are mortal.
Life Lesson 4: Choose to live intelligently
Is it more pleasant to be loving or to be angry, hateful and jealous? Which is a more intelligent way to exist? Loving, isn’t it? All I am saying is, please live intelligently. This is not for someone else’s sake. It is pleasant and beautiful for you. Creating a loving world is not a service that you do for someone else.
You can create a loving world in every single activity that you do in your life. Creating a loving world does not mean doing something more or something less. If you live your life constantly focused on what you want, it will unquestionably happen in your immediate surroundings, and it will also begin to happen in the larger surroundings.
Life Lesson 5: Determine the quality of your life
In many ways, most people’s happiness, peace and love are mortgaged to the external situation. So, if the stock market goes up, you are happy; if the stock market goes down, you are unhappy. But the quality of life is not about what is around you. Our ability to live joyfully here does not depend on the size of the house we live in or the car that we drive. These things make your life comfortable and convenient, but the essential quality of your life is how you are within yourself right now.
Living joyfully and peacefully is not new to you. You were like that as a child, isn’t it? So, I am not talking about taking you beyond, I am just talking about starting at the square one of your life.
Life Lesson 6: There is intelligence in humility
The difference between a fool and an intelligent person is that an intelligent person knows how foolish he is; a fool does not. Noticing the stupidity of who you are is great intelligence. Anything in this existence—a tree, a blade of grass, a grain of sand, one single atom— do you understand any of these things fully? No. When this is your level of intelligence and perception, how should you walk in the world? Gently, with a little humility, respect and love for everything around you. If not love, then at least with awe, because you don’t understand a damn thing in this world.
If you just learn to walk like this, you will not escape a spiritual process. This is why, in the eastern cultures, always, you bow down to whatever you see— whether it is a rock, an animal or a human being. Being in reverence towards the very earth that you walk upon, towards the air that you breathe, the water that you drink, the food that you eat, the people that you come in touch with and everything else that you use, including your body and mind, is a way of ensuring success in every endeavor that we partake in.
Life Lesson 7: There is no good and bad
Your inner world—if you want to call it that— should only be a reflection of what is around you. This may be diametrically opposite to some moral theories that say that the outer and the inner should not touch each other, otherwise you would immediately get corrupted by everything around you. That is not true. You get corrupted by what is around you only when you have opinions about everything.
Seeing everything just the way it is—that is the way to be within. If you see something other than what is there, it means you are contaminating the world with your opinions and prejudices.
You look at one thing as good, something else as bad. You get attached to what you consider as good. You desperately try to avoid what you consider as bad, and of course that will rule you from inside. This is not the way to be. Seeing everything just the way it is—that is the way to be within.
Creation is made so that you see it the way it is, not to make it the way you want to make it. This is an obscenity that humanity is committing upon the Creator’s creation. Such a magnificent creation. What is there for you to do? Absorb it if you can—nothing more—and even that is not simple because creation is phenomenally multi-tiered. So many phenomena are happening right here—one inside the other, all in one space, all in one time.
Everything that you think is past, everything that you think will be future is right here. If you see everything the way it is, if the whole creation reflects within you, if you can contain creation the way it is within you, you become the very source of creation. That is the way to be, inside and outside.
|Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)
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