The search for truth by humankind is a uniquely human experience. Animals don’t search for truths. They are instead happy to live in the moment, go with the flow, and just survive. Humans look at the stars, ponder upon their movement, compositions, how far they are, and the role they play in the cosmic dance of māyā.
Today, I want to share some universal truths, that I believe, underpin our very existence as homosapiens. Of course, they may apply differently depending upon your socio-economic class, where you live, and different factors, but they apply nonetheless.
These truths are shared in some way or form in my book The Keshav Way, available on all major online retailers, including Amazon. I believe we must reflect on these truths from time to time, to realign ourselves with our values, purpose, and true identity as the ātmā.
1. Health is Everything
If the global COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that looking after our health – both mentally and physically – should be one of our top priorities.
We tend to underestimate our health until it’s too late. It is so easy to just laze around at home, especially when there is a virus bouncing around. Try to get enough exercise, fresh air, and good sleep.
When we are healthy and in good shape, so much can be done. Either make your health a priority or it becomes a priority.
2. We Control Responses Alone
The majority of what is observed and occurs in this world is outside of our control. There is very little that we actually control. I can’t control what Boris Johnson says or does, or what my own family and friends say or do, but I can control my response. That is always in my control.
Many problems that we suffer throughout our life arise from this perverse desire to control everything. Instead of striving to control everything, we should embrace the fact that we have control over very little. When you begin to realise that there is little that you can control, you will start to become happier. You will feel less weighed down and burned out as a result.
It is my choice whether I choose to stress myself, or if I channel my concern in a more meaningful and appropriate manner. The quality of life will greatly improve when we adopt this philosophy.
3. Success Has No Defintion
What is success for you? Is it a big house, a fancy car, or a beautiful partner? Who do we hold as successful? Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or Michelle Obama?
Many hold the accumulation of wealth, material goods, and renowned fame as the definition of success, but which is correct? Being successful comes in many different forms. It means something different for each and every one of us. Never let the definition of success that someone else has to be your definition too. Work out what it means for you, and work towards that. Do not chase success, but work towards it instead. Life is a competition, but not with other people, it is with yourself. Realise yourself to be distinct from the rat race.
4. Happiness is a Journey, Not a Destination
I don’t think I need to even detail this truth. If we develop hobbies, endeavours, and goals that we enjoy or aspire for, we will find ourselves to be more joyful in our day-to-day lives.
Chasing happiness directly will only lead to frustration, anxiety, and unhappiness. It is foolish to think that when we reach a fixed point in time, we will be happy. Happiness is a process, it is a state of mind that is developed and maintained.
Stop chasing happiness, let it come to you by default.
5. We Are Ants
This truth is to humble us. Unless you are famous, the majority of people on this planet today, as well as those that come in the future, don’t know you exist or existed. We will pass away in the next fifty to seventy years, and within the next hundred, there will be no mark left of us on this planet.
This may sound morbid, it doesn’t hide the truth. It is here to ground us and humble us. We are not the centre of attention, we are not at the centre of the universe.
If fame comes to you, that’s fine, but don’t let it take over your life. A level of self-importance and identification with the ātmā will serve more purposeful. One day you and I will be forgotten, as our memory fades out of view. We are but a small speck in this creation – do not get disillusioned.