Unlocking Hope

26 May 2017

I recently attended a talk by Prem Rawat, an inspirational speaker and an advocate for global peace, the topic of which was Unlocking Hope. I would to share with some of the points he touched on during his address because they cover things we all struggle with on a daily basis and hold us back in life.


Life

According to Rawat, life is like walking into a supermarket. You can make use of anything inside the supermarket but you cannot carry anything with you when you leave, nor can you re-enter. You may decide you want ice-cream. You buy the milk, the eggs, the flavouring etc., needed to make ice-cream. What you get in return is immeasurable and cannot be bought: the enjoyment you experience, and the pleasure you feel, from eating the ice-cream. And you haven’t even touched what’s on the other shelves yet! How you experience your time in the supermarket, whether happy or miserable, is your choice. Choose wisely.

Worrying

What is the point of worrying? How is worrying going to take away your problem? Action will only help solve your problem. You must be proactive in finding a solution to your problems and if you don’t know how to solve it, find someone who does.

Today

Remove yesterday and tomorrow, and all you are left with is TODAY. Worrying about tomorrow and thinking about the wrongs of yesterday will make you feel miserable. Life is just a long today. When the clock says 11:59:59 pm and it turns 12, does it become tomorrow? No, it’s still today. So focus on the present, it is all there ever is and all there ever will be.

Hope

Remove wishful thinking from hoping. Wishful thinking and hoping are not the same thing.

“Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence, rationality, or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire.”

Hope, as Rawat describes it, is you in the middle of a room, surrounded by fire. Everywhere you look, all you see is FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! There seems to be nowhere to go and the fire is growing in intensity. But then you see a small gap in the ring of fire through which you can escape. That’s hope.

4 points on how to live a fulfilling life:

  1. Know thyself. By knowing yourself you will find peace.
  2. Have gratitude.
  3. Don’t care about what other people think, they’re not thinking about you, they’re thinking about what other people think of them.
  4. Don’t accept failure. Seize the opportunities that come your way. Once you leave the supermarket, you cannot come back. Work smart, not hard.

Rawat, responding to a question at the end of his discourse on the anger felt by members of the public in response to the rise of serious crimes (rape, murder, violence against women and children, state capture etc.) being committed in the country, and the want to take justice in your own hands, gave the following advice: Fear is borne from uncertainty, which projects itself as anger and aggression. We are all waiting for other people to change. They are not going to change and you cannot make them, but you can change yourself. If you want to change something, first start with yourself.