21-day Sādhanā challenge – Day 9

Two snippets of thought caught my attention in the past couple of days. One, from Sridhar Vembu, tech billionaire and founder and CEO of Zoho, and the second from Kangana Ranaut, three time National Awards winning actor and arguably among the most talented artists in India. Two personalities from diverse backgrounds, but very similar in thought….

Billionaire founder of Zoho – lives in rural Southern India

Sridhar Vembu was contacted by Forbes recently, for their annual net worth list compilation. Here is the email that he sent back to them:

What a refreshing thought! This obsession with ‘creating a pecking order’ is the basis of stress, anxiety and disappointment. It starts early, in school, when grades create a barrier between children who may not have the same capacity to memorise, but have equal potential and talent, and minds that are curious and want to discover are now forced to conform to whatever helps them get ahead in the rat race. It continues throughout life, and spills into work, and even beyond.

Even success doesn’t guarantee an honourable exit – you are still part of the pecking order, only that the stakes (and the order) are seemingly higher.

Sridhar also highlights a very important point – about New York (the epicentre of capital in the world – Wall Street) facing its steepest test in decades – and failing to stem the hundreds of deaths…

What use is all the wealth in the world if it cannot wipe a tear from someone’s eyes?

Kangana also spoke about perspectives. We are tuned to keep running, in the constant race to make money, achieve more, fill our life with work and more work. It takes a virus to make us understand that life is not money, its not work nor social status…life is just meant to be lived well.

She goes on to add that there are times when we should step back, and reflect on our lives, spend some quality time with ourselves, and rediscover what it is to be us. That process is also sādhanā. We want instant results, and big results, without tapasya, or the discipline that comes from austerity.

And she concludes with a very profound thought…

Along with living life kingsize, we should also learn to be worthy of what we want..

This is a time of reflection, of spending time with oneself, and with the ones you love. We may never get this time back, a time when we can have all three meals a day, at home, with family, everyday for the next 2-3 weeks. Time when we don’t have a pressing schedule of meetings, when we don’t have to rush through the morning commute, nor make our way back home after a tiring day at office. Time when we can rediscover small things about our own family, things that we were too busy to notice or ask about…time that we can spend thinking about what we truly are, and what we want from our lives…

This time, let’s re-learn how to live life.

After all, what use is all the education in the world, those fancy degrees from premier universities, when we have to learn to wash our hands from a video on You Tube?