Susan was a very short-tempered woman. In a split second, she would turn rude and throw tantrums. One day when she realised that she was hurting others, she decided to transform herself. Through relentless effort, self-awareness, and introspection she changed herself into a more composed and tolerant individual.
Yet, she continued to hear from people, who were still holding on to their former perception, “She would shout for everything.” It can be very frustrating when the world around you does not renew its perceptions towards the new you. Are there transformed Susans around you whom you are failing to recognise?
Not to change is to err; not to recognise the change is a blunder.
Everything flows and nothing stops. Remember, only the appearance remains the same. Otherwise, everything changes and flows. The Ganges in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening appears to be the same Ganges, but it is not. It is constantly flowing. If it is so with a river, what to say of people?
“You cannot step into the same river twice,” said Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher in 500 B.C. As much as a constantly flowing river is never the same, rich with the experience of having stepped into the river, you are also not the same person anymore.
Each moment is so unique and incomparable. It has never been before, and it will never be again. Life never repeats. Life is a never-ending constant renewal and so should be your perception of it. Like the flow of the river your perceptions too need to be constantly renewed.
They cannot be as rigid as rocks. Life is a flowing rhythm. So, let the perceptions of it too flow forward.
Your face remains the same in the morning and in the evening and so the world thinks you are the same person. When you started reading this ‘Destiny Designing’ you were a different person and right now the one who is reading these lines is a different person.
I have already entered you with my words. How can you be the same anymore? The flower you smelt, the breeze you felt, the sunrise you saw, the thoughts you thought, the feelings you felt, the people you met, the news you heard… everything creates a change in you as it does to the world around you. Without renewed perceptions, I will miss the world. Without renewed perceptions, the world will miss me.
You cannot live your today with the perceptions that were formed yesterday. What you perceive of the world, about people, and about your own self, have all become obsolete with the moment that has just passed by. This moment is a new reality and it calls for a renewed perception. Life has to be a series of renewed perceptions.
The seed has sprouted but you are still looking for the seed. The seed has renewed itself, but you haven’t renewed your perception of it. The bud has already bloomed but you are still thinking of it as a bud. Then you miss the flower.
The caterpillar has transformed into a butterfly, but you are still searching for the caterpillar. Your child has grown into a man, but you are still advising the same old child. The team player has matured into a team leader but not your perception of him. The thief has evolved into a Valmiki but my old perceptions of him blind me from seeing it.
Life is a continuous rebirth. To keep pace with this ever-changing reality, our perceptions too need a continuous rebirth. Liberated living comes from liberating oneself from past perceptions.
Today is a new sunrise… yesterday was over yesterday. Now is just now…
Perceive everything in life as if you are encountering it for the first time. When you meet your friend the next time, do not see him as if you already knew him; but experience him like you are meeting him for the first time.
When the child returns from school, recognise the fact that she has grown through the day. The spouse who went to work and the spouse who has returned from it are not the same. When the disciple returns to the Master, the disciple has implemented the realisations and he has returned with experiential wisdom.
Even if the disciple were not the same, then ask yourself, would the Master still be the same? For the good or the worse, something about us changes with every experience.
Life ends everything that has begun and begins everything to eventually end it. We have met before and are now meeting again but neither of us are the same. We came together to part and we will part to come together once again. In this gap, life waves its wand and performs a miracle. It renews both you and me. If we can also renew our perception of who you are and who I am, we would have a renewed and growing relationship. Else, we will miss each other.
Even materialistically, most first entrepreneurs and family held business houses commit the same blunder of not renewing their perceptions of the volatile and fluctuating market potential. Either there is a lot more market for your product or service right now than when you founded your business, or it has diminished. Without renewing your perception, either you will continue to underproduce or overproduce – either way, it is not commercial prudence.
It is because of you, your organisation has reached where it has reached. And it is because of you, your organisation is not becoming what it can become. You were its strength and now you are its weakness. In the long journey of growth, like every other aspect, your strengths too should mature and adapt to changing situations; else your very strength becomes your weakness.
Experience will keep you where you are. You need expertise to produce any further. What worked in building an organisation from 0 to 10 crores will not work if the organisation has to be taken from 10 to 50 crores. From 500 to 1000 crores is a very different story.
Your very strength in ‘Test’ cricket will be your weakness in ‘T20’. What you are, has led you up to this point. From here on, unless you change, your future will not change. You have walked to this point. Now, you will have to trek to the top. Unless you renew your perceptions about your strengths and your weaknesses in the context of the new future you envisage, you will not change. And without you changing, nothing will change.
Even spiritually, we have missed Vyasa, Christ, Prophet, Mahavira, Nanak and many more of the divine incarnates when they were around because our perceptions could not catch up with them. It has taken us centuries to even grasp what we have missed.
We seem to always miss all the living masters and prophets when they are around and then spend lifetimes catching up after they are gone. Let us learn to continuously renew our perceptions and let us no more miss an opportunity to experience them when they are still around.
If you refuse to see the Buddha in Buddha, because you have your own hard formed perceptions that you have known him as Siddhartha, the loss is going to be purely yours. Even a stone, over time, gathers vibrations and becomes a symbol of divinity.
If that is to a stone, then what to say about an evolving consciousness called man?
George Bernard Shaw said, “The most intelligent person I have ever met is my tailor. He takes fresh measurements of me every time I go to him.”
In a constantly changing world one wants to cling on to his perceptions permanently and that is the most certain way to create one’s own hell. Living life by continuously renewing your perceptions is to design one’s own heaven.