How to Live the Best Life Possible

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On this Spot, Sadhguru cautions that setting goals means depriving yourself of greater possibilities. If you want to lead a truly successful life, there is a better way to approach it, he points out, and offers a simple method towards this objective. He also explains why the mentality of “doing less, getting more” not only means deceiving others, but above all, yourself.

If you become conscious, you will do your best.

There are two ways to address your life. One way is to set goals and go for them. What kind of goals will you set? Something that you are impressed with in the world, something that you have not yet done, something that is yet to be in your life. You are trying to be like someone else or do something that someone else is doing. Whatever goals you arrive at, they are all in some way within the limitations of what you already know, or maybe a little exaggerated versions thereof. Is it not tragic to spend a whole year trying to achieve what you already know? My intention is things that you do not know should happen to you. Things that you have never imagined should enter your life. Only then will your life be truly enriched. What is the point of only doing things that you already know?

When it comes to financial or physical things that you want to achieve, maybe if it matters to you, you can set up such goals. Personally, I think even that is a waste of life. Suppose you have a million dollars and your goal is to have a billion dollars by the end of the year. If it doesn’t happen, it’s a good thing because you have lived in that hope. But if it happens, let’s say in January itself, then what will you do? You will want to make it ten billion dollars. There was a time when you could be happy with one dollar. Now for the same happiness, you need a million dollars. That’s called inflation. That’s not enhancement of life.

All that you do with life is create inflation. Inflation is neither good for the economy nor for your life. In physics, inflation means filling up something, like you inflate the tires of a car with air. But in economics, inflation means certain parameters go out of control. Now you are consciously causing inflation in your life – that is not an intelligent way to go about it. By setting time-bound goals, you may achieve a few things, but it will be of no consequence to the life that you are.

Instead of setting goals for the whole year, just set this one thing: By the end of the day, you must be a little more joyful, a little more enhanced, a little better. This will not work as a goal – it is better to look at it in retrospect. Tomorrow evening, just check, “Am I a little better than yesterday?” Just look at these twenty-four hours – it will make you more conscious. This is not about you being joyful or peaceful. This is about you being conscious of as many aspects of your life as possible.

By the end of the day, you must be a little more joyful, a little more enhanced, a little better.

You will do your best about whatever you are conscious of. Most of the nonsense happens because you are unconscious about so many things. All we need to do is to become conscious about everything – about our own nature, our mental states, our emotional states, our life, our physical situations, our financial situations, our ecological situations. If you become conscious, you will do your best. That’s all you need to do in life. But right now, you believe that unless you create a tension, you will not achieve anything. To get from where you are to where your goal is, you create a tension – it is like a rubber band effect. You try to keep moving from one place to another. From one level of social status to another. From one financial status to another. From one educational status to another. This is no different from how the caveman was, how hunters and gatherers were – “gather as much as you can.”

In those days, they piled up bones, feathers, and the like. Now maybe you are thinking of stocks, shares, and property. Maybe you are thinking of conquering another nation. On a material level, it looks different, but fundamentally, it is the same rudimentary thought of accumulating things. All this accumulation would make sense, had you organized transport to take all these things with you when you die. Having your own furniture in Heaven or especially in Hell would be great. Otherwise, who knows – maybe they will give you this chair with a straight back that you don’t like, so taking your own sofa with you would be great.

Anything that you gather, whether it is your knowledge, your wealth, your relationships, or whatever else, is only of value for the current transactions. If you keep it active, it will facilitate a few things for you. It has social consequence, but it has no life consequence. Instead of setting goals, it is best you find ways to nourish this life that you are. If you are nourishing this life, you only have to measure the growth. Suppose you plant a mango tree. If you set the goal that by the end of 2018, it must bear a thousand fruits, otherwise you will cut it down, all that will happen is you will cut the tree. The way to do it is to see how to nurture this tree in the best possible way, and to do that. Don’t worry about getting a thousand fruits. Whatever best can come out will come out of it. If you nourish it in a certain way, it may be more than you can imagine.

…life works best when you throw yourself into it, without bothering about what comes back.

It is not good to set goals in any sphere of life, because you will only be doing something that you already know. Nothing completely new will happen in your life. I think that’s a tragedy. Your dreams coming true is no good. If what you could not even dare to dream of becomes a reality – that’s a fantastic life. Results will happen depending on how well you handle the process of life, as well as on the times and on where you are. Today you may put in a certain amount of effort, and you will earn a million dollars. A thousand years ago, someone ten times smarter than you put in a lot of effort, but still he only earned a small amount. But this comparison is not the point. The important thing is that for the times he lived in, he yielded the best he could. For the times you live in, are you yielding the best you can? That is the question.

I know every management school is talking about setting goals. But goals are not set for themselves – they are set to drive other people. There are a lot of people who will never do their best – they are always under par. They are not conscious enough to understand that as a human being, you must do the best you can in your life. Otherwise, life will be wasted. For such people, you have to set goals. If you are a donkey, the less you do, the smarter you are, because there are no other possibilities for you beyond eating, reproducing, sleeping, hanging around, and dying one day. Because there are no possibilities, the less you do, the better. Too many people have adopted this donkey philosophy. They think if they do less and get more, they are doing well. In reality, they are just stupid. They are missing the whole possibility of life.

Human life really happens if you throw yourself into everything. If you hold back, you will miss life. If you do not give yourself totally to what you are doing, you don’t deceive someone else –you only deceive yourself of life. Once, bad times came upon Shankaran Pillai. He was a construction laborer, doing menial work to earn a living. He had to carry twenty-five bricks on a board, take them up three floors, put them there, come back down again, and so on. But after some time, once the foreman was gone, Shankaran Pillai started carrying the same set of bricks up and down. People who were working with him watched this and said, “Hey, why are you bringing back the bricks?” “Well, the foreman is not looking, right?” “But now you are carrying the bricks both ways, you idiot! Otherwise, at least coming down, you would not have had to carry the load.”

It is not good to set goals in any sphere of life, because you will only be doing something that you already know.

This is what happens if you try to do less – simple things will become burdensome in your life. People are having so much trouble just going to the office and doing nine-to-five work. They are not managing the company. They are not managing the government. It’s just a chunk of work that someone has given them, just for a living – how complicated they are making that! From that, they are getting high blood pressure and their heart is breaking. You must see the scenes that happen in families. Just two people living together – how complicated! Little children – how much suffering they cause! Only once in a way, they are a joy – the rest of the time, people suffer them immensely.

Their work, their children, their spouses, their homes, their jobs, their driving – people suffer just about everything. This happens because they are not conscious enough to understand that life works best when you throw yourself into it, without bothering about what comes back. Life happens because of your involvement, not because of what you get. What are you going to do with what you get? The only sick pleasure you could have is if you compare yourself with someone else who has less than you. If you want to know and enjoy life, if you want to explore the full potential of this life, the only way is through absolute involvement. Let us see what will come out of it. If it is winter, nothing comes out of the earth. In springtime, with a little effort, a lot comes out. The same goes with life.

The biggest mistake people make is to be goal-oriented. If you set yourself the goal to get enlightened by 2018, you will be totally messed up by the end of the year. If you just do what you have to do, life will naturally flower.

May the coming year bring the Best to you.

Blessings,

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7 Important Life Lessons You Should Never Forget

By Sadhguru

Great-Quotes-by-Sadhguru

Life Lesson #1: Kill the Lies

Sadhguru: 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 for your life. Something like “I will kill my anger” would be too general and this is not something that you can achieve by determination – this 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.”

Decide on something that you can do and that you will do. 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.

Decide on something that you can do and that you will do. This is how to transform your life – by taking small steps.

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 1% 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 every human being has to do is 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 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. 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.

In the ashram I always tell people, 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.

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.

Life Lesson #4: Choose to Live Intelligently

Within yourself, 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. It is an intelligent way to exist.

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 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. You don’t need any teaching. It will happen to you anyway. 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 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.

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. If you see something other than what is there, it means you are contaminating the world with your opinions and prejudices.

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.

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.