Quest for a meaningful life
Many of us grapple with the thought of how impossible it is often to remain positive in all aspects of life. Though it sounds to be very appealing, many of us have miserably failed to remain so. We also agree that it is indeed very important to be positive in life to be successful and lead a meaningful life.
This is nothing new but the age-old lesson, which has been diligently, transferred successfully generation to generation. But isn’t it something which none of them sincerely confided that many of them were not able to do so often in life?
Be choosers of thought
What makes our thoughts so powerful that makes us fall prey to its simple tricks? Don’t we have the power to select them and allow only those thoughts to influence our deeds and moods? Are we mere creators of thoughts and not choosers of thoughts?
As the old saying is “Never think bad, never do bad”! So what is it that one can do, not to think badly? Is it to resist the thought’s flow into one’s mind? Or is it to use a big hammer to suppress/ strike hard on the thoughts whenever it springs up from nowhere?
But if we resist or suppress our unwanted thoughts how do we select the good amongst the bad? How do we opt for the best when there are no options to choose? It seems we need to rewrite the age-old maxim into “Think everything but act only on the best”!
Rendezvous with Tukaram
Why do we need to think everything and select only the best? I shall leave this question unanswered till I share what I learnt from my experience with ‘Chaiwala (Tea maker) Tukaram’.
The dusty road and the way-side small tea stall where people used to gather to have a sip of flavored tea in the earthen cup had been a favorite spot for me to mingle with the villagers. What often caught my attention was Tukaram’s skill of making the tea. He would deftly put his cupped palm into the rusted tins filled with sugar and tealeaves and throw them into the boiling teapot. Simultaneously he would pickup some crushed green leafy herbs and ginger and repeat the act. He did this act even without looking at the pot and never even once missed the pot. The boiling tea in the pot would reach the brim many times and Tukaram would skillfully save the tea from spilling over by timely picking it up from the “chulha” (earthen stove burnt with charcoal and dry sticks). He would then pour tea into the earthen cups through a sieve and offer them to his customers. I still remember Tukaram’s smile when he saw his customers sip the tea noisily and always made a point to ask them “Chai achi hai na?” (Hope the tea is Good?) Content with his preparation and the customer’s admiration for him he would happily empty the sieve’s contents into a broken earthen pot kept nearby.
Discard the sieved waste
What is so peculiar about Tukaram’s tea making? It is not Tukaram or his making of the tea but his approach of making the tea is of interest. On being asked what makes his tea so tasty he said, “Arre bhaiyya, ye jo mai fektha hun na, yehi isse atcha bannatha hi”! (“Brother, what I throw away (the sieve’s waste contents) is what makes it so tasty!”) “Ye swaad in sab ka nichod ka natheeja hi” (“The taste is the essence of what I have used to make the tea”).
Let me revert to the question left unanswered; why do we need to think everything and select only the best?
Think everything so that you can have the choice to select the best through the process of sieving the thoughts. It is the combination of the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, the dark and the bright thoughts that make what we think today. The role of all these shades of thoughts are equally important because without them Tukaram (our Mind) would not feel the importance of holding the sieve, pouring the thoughts that come naturally into our mind, and throwing away the sieved contents that make the best thoughts.
It is not always positive but the best
Let us not forget that it is not necessary that all the sieved thoughts would be positive. It could be the best but not always positive. The sieved thoughts can be a sad thought amidst your failures but has the strength to hold you close and say “yes, comrade face it, learn from it, grow from it, and improve upon it”. The sieved thoughts can also be a happy feeling amidst your many victories but also has the conviction to say close to your ear that “comrade be grounded this is just the beginning so be focused don’t get wavered for this may tend to be your last achievement”. That is why I would like to call the sieved thoughts the best thoughts!
So it is not what we think is important but what we select out of what we think is important. The mantra to be successful in both personal and in our professional front is to pick the pot timely often when the mind is full of thoughts so that it does not spill over into action without being sieved and extinguish the fire itself as well as create trouble to the recipients. Sieving is in other words nothing but customizing our thoughts in order to excel in this competitive, and fast paced market. Finally, sieved thoughts are the best positive thoughts to attain ever-higher levels of performance both in personal and professional life for every individual in this world.