Please click on an article or scroll downwards to read this month’s Words of Wisdom column:
Make 2008 your best year ever
By Arvind Devalia
2008 is now here and it is time to start looking forward to the New Year. Just what do you want from the coming year? How sure are you to achieve your New Year resolutions?
Getting a fresh start with the New Year is an artificial custom - you can begin to get the life you love and live it at any time you choose. But let the first few days of January 2008 be the starting point for a new you. Envision yourself at the end of the year and describe at least 3 achievements you would like to have achieved to make you feel that 2008 had been a successful one.
Maybe this year you are going to find work that you love. Or you may want to excel even more at the job you love. How about getting a good balance between your work and leisure time? What about galvanizing your financial situation? How about finding and committing to a dream relationship?
Get motivated right now to make the most of 2008 and indeed the rest of your life. Believe in yourself. Know that you can do and have anything you want. Ooze with self belief and others too will believe in you. Go all out for it in 2008!
Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals and to make 2008 your best year ever.
1. Spend some quality time on your own and reflect on your goals in all areas of your life – short, medium and long term. Write these down – you increase your chances of materializing them, once written down. Be very specific, and as descriptive as you can.
2. Write down your three main goals in big bold letters and hang up next to your bedside, in the kitchen, by your pc etc. Having them visible like this keeps in the forefront of your mind exactly what you need to achieve by when, and what you must do to make it happen.
3. Identify quickly the key steps in the first three months of 2008 to move you towards your goals. Make the steps realistic for the time frame, but ones that stretch you at the same time. Track your progress on a regular basis, maybe on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
4. Create an action plan and take regular action. Start today and if possible, start right away. Take that first step – you will immediately generate a lot of enthusiasm and confidence in this and other areas of your life. Do not wait around to be inspired – just get on with doing things, even if it is a small step and that will lead to further steps.
5. Look at your life in a new way. For example, plan to make all the money you need in 2008 within the first six months. Develop a new theme for the year such as making it “debt free” or “most chilled out ever”. At the same time, ensure you give yourself enough nurturing time – book your holidays right now and plan to spend quality weekends with your loved ones.
6. Let go of things that drain you. Look at those situations, places, people or anything else that drain your energy, and eliminate them gradually.
7. Establish a support team around you. Make yourself accountable to someone who resonates with your goals and will support you in achieving them. Find like minded people - and develop powerful, supportive and energizing relationships. This may require you to upgrade your friends and build new relationships.
8. Learn from your role models. Emulate those who have already achieved what you are aspiring to. Apply their lessons and principles to yourself, and thereby fast track your achievements in 2008.
9. Spruce up your image. Look at everything about you such as your clothes, haircut and other things about your personal brand. Start giving the impression of being successful and you will be during the course of 2008.
10. Keep your cool and chill out. You may get overwhelmed at times and find that there is just not sufficient time for everything. Review your commitments and priorities and refocus on the most important steps.
11. Celebrate your successes. Acknowledge yourself and know that you are doing really well. Reward and pamper yourself. Choose to celebrate in the best way for you.
12. Find ways to excel and to improve yourself. There are numerous self help resources around you such as books, magazines, websites and so on. Make 2008 the year that you evolve, grow and fulfill your potential.
Most importantly remember at all times to be kind and gentle with yourself in 2008. Have patience and let your life unfold like a budding flower. Laugh a lot – after all life is meant to be fun. Develop a sense of humor and do not take life so seriously.
It is never too late or too early to have a great year. Start 2008 the way you want to carry on during the rest of the year.
I wish you all a fabulous New Year. Make 2008 your best year ever. Get the life you love and live it – you know you deserve it.
Here are my final words for you to inspire you in 2008 - and for the rest of your life:-
“Remember that your life counts – and make it count. You are unique. There is no one like you on this planet. Never has been and never will be.
Do not sell your self short. Do not sell the world short. This is your life – love it, live it. One life, one chance – grab it.
Get the life you love – and live it.”
Arvind Devalia is a Social Entrepreneur, CSR Consultant and Author of “Get the Life you Love and Live it”.
His main website is at www.arvinddevalia.com and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arvind’s book is available for purchase from AMAZON.COM.
Arvind is also pleased to announce the launch of his new service to help you achieve more in 2008 than you have in the last five years.
Please signup today at www.GetALife2008.com for your free 1 month trial offer. Make 2008 your best year ever!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the interviewee(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the editor/publisher.
SAHAJ MARG: A SIMPLE PATH BEYOND RELIGION
By Anil Bedi
In the land of my birth, there’s a saying that if you come across GOD and your spiritual teacher (the GURU) standing together, pay your obeisance to the GURU first, because he is the one who brought GOD into your life in the first place. Another saying simply implies that a life without a GURU is no life at all. Indian history and cultural traditions are full of anecdotes and stories of untold dedication by the Gurus of times gone by and unbelievable sacrifices made by disciples for their respective Gurus.
So, that is how important it is considered to have a Guru for your spiritual growth, somebody to take you on the path of devout enlightenment, resulting in the state of Moksha or Nirvana, if you will!
And, guess what? In a culture where the Guru is treated next to God and is a necessity rather than a luxury, they spring up in hundreds, if not thousands every year. You look for one and you will find many. Serious minded people looking to find spiritual solace and inner peace need to be just that while searching for the right Guru to take them on to that journey – serious minded!!
It is also said that finding the right Guru is a very difficult task and those who are successful in their endeavors, can actually hope to do something with their lives.
I grew up in a family where my grandparents on either side were deeply religious and would often teach the kids to be “God fearing”. My parents, however, never insisted on us following any strict religious edicts or even go to the temple on a regular basis. The emphasis was more on being “good” than being “religious”. We would attend religious ceremonies and pray on an “as needed basis”. I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek because examination time would see a huge influx of children of all ages thronging to various temples in the city, adults hoping for job related promotions or any other happiness of such nature fasting endlessly and older people spending practically all their time at the local temple in the company of like-minded folks.
In the above context, imagine growing up in a place which has been considered to be the epitome of religion and spiritual illumination, the birthplace of the Vedas, the greatest yogic traditions, and virtually the word “spirituality” and everything connected to it on the one hand and at the same time, associated with so many religious and pseudo-intellectual cults on the other!
Hey, who said life was easy!
I was introduced to the Sahaj Marg system of meditation after coming to America, about 11 years ago. Although it was born in India, I had barely heard about it while living there. Not surprisingly either, because you often tend to be a skeptic when you live in an “ocean” of so-called religious and spiritual organizations.
The method of Sahaj Marg meditation is offered by Shri Ram Chandra Mission, a non-profit organization that has its headquarters in Chennai, India.
As I have learned over the years, Sahaj Marg offers a simple system of spiritual growth as a way to meet life’s challenges through the pathway of self-discovery. Sahaj Marg means "natural or simple way", and is so called because it tries to integrate one’s physical and mental activities and spiritual needs simply and naturally, without employing any pressure or force. The life of an ordinary householder with its demands of family, relationships and work is considered to be the perfect environment for spiritual growth, according to Sahaj Marg teachings.
In addition to the practice available for an ordinary family-oriented person like myself, it is offered free of charge to anybody wishing to practice it. It just requires an open mind and the willingness to evolve, both spiritually and individually! Hence the name Sahaj Marg, which means that which is simple and natural.
Sahaj Marg as an organization was established by Shri Ram Chandra Ji of Shahjahanpur (near Lucknow – U.P., in India), quite endearingly referred by his loving disciples as “Babuji”. It is said that he was inspired by his own Guru who also happened to be his namesake (adoringly called “Lalaji”) and hailed from Fatehgarh, also in U.P., India. Lalaji transmitted the art of yogic transmission, called “pranahuti” to Babuji and instructed him to carry on the work.
Before Babuji passed away in 1983, he transmitted his essence to his disciple, Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari, who is my Guru, Guide, and Mentor, if you will. He is dotingly referred to as Master or Chariji by his disciples. I have been greatly influenced by his teachings and he emphasizes that the real master - the higher, or divine, Self - resides within our own hearts and that the function of the guide is to help us reconnect with this vital part of ourselves. He teaches humanity to love God and not fear Him, because love begets that which no other emotion can!
Chariji was born in southern part of India in 1927. A man of considerable intellect and learning, he speaks more than a dozen languages. His life exemplifies the balance between one’s material and spiritual responsibilities. On one hand, he has raised a family and reached senior executive levels in a large corporation before retiring. On the other hand, he became the most dedicated and capable disciple of his own Master, eventually becoming worthy of taking over as the president of Shri Ram Chandra Mission and Spiritual Guide to those practicing Sahaj Marg.
Chariji has devoted his life to the cause of spiritual upliftment of his fellow human beings, a service that he undertakes with unwavering faith in the divine support of his Guru. Even at his present of 80, he travels for several months of the year, meeting with practitioners, and teaching, encouraging and inspiring people in their pursuit of their spiritual goal.
Sahaj Marg has more than 1000 centers in India, and is present in 90 countries spread all over the world. The Mission, as it’s more popularly called, now has more than 200,000 abhyasis worldwide practicing the Sahaj Marg system of meditation. It is registered as a not-for-profit organization and has three “ashrams” or centers of learning in the US and its practitioners and instructors abound in all the 48 contiguous states.
The Ashram in the Atlanta region is located in the quaint, peaceful town of Molena, GA about 45 miles south of the airport.
The Molena, GA Ashram
People desirous of learning more about this system are encouraged to visit its website at: http://www.srcm.org Chariji is expected to visit the USA in April 2008 and will visit many places to deliver spiritual talks and lectures; a majority of his time will be spent at the Cleveland Ashram of the Mission.
(The views expressed herein above are solely of the author and are meant to provide the readers with general information about SRCM. Statistical and other information related to Sahaj Marg have been borrowed from the organization’s website.)
Anil Bedi is a Chartered Accountant and a Georgia CPA, working as the Senior Vice President – Audit Services with Opteum, Inc., a domestic residential mortgage banking and REIT operation based out of Vero Beach, FL.
Anil lives in Suwanee, a north-western suburb of Atlanta, GA with his wife and two kids aged 10 and 8.
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