“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Monday, August 1, 2011


Often in life, we wonder if we are getting what we deserve. So much of what happens to us, seems to be out of our control and more often than not, we call life unfair. However, if we can find some time to think over the matter, we can understand that things happen for a reason and the universal pattern of deeds and their consequences weave our destiny. Thus, each one of us has an active role in shaping our fate.

Great people like Lincoln and Gandhi had to face insurmountable difficulties but that did not deter them from listening to the voice of conscience within them. True, both were assassinated (and who does not die, finally?) but their names and dates associated with them have found permanent places in the annals of history. Lincoln did not let his humble birth stop him from becoming the President of the U.S.A.; neither did racism and being thrown out of a train make a coward of Gandhi or stop him from leading India’s freedom movement.

Florence Nightingale, ‘the lady with the lamp’, had to deal with many obstacles like hostile male-dominated social norms, legal hassles as well as parental disapproval. This was only because she had firmly decided to look after the wounded soldiers, during the Crimean War. With her determined effort, she managed to do so and in the process, established nursing as a recognized profession for women.
Any success of lasting-value is possible for a person only if he is willing to listen to his conscience and if he has faith in himself. Along with this, he needs to be a die-hard optimist and believe that good things do happen in life. The third most important quality of success is gratitude. A person who is grateful to his benefactors and to those who have been there for him, often receives even more helping hands. Hard work or consistent effort is yet another factor affecting our destiny. No successful business-person is automatically destined to be so; his hard-work brings him wealth. For success in any field, courage, in the face of opposition, is often vital.

Perhaps, the most important factor determining our destiny is having or lacking compassion in our hearts. If we reach out to our fellow-creatures when they need our love and support, we can expect to be paid in kind when we need it. What we call ‘personal-miracles’, are often very subtle-additions of consequences of deeds done, seen or unseen by the world.True, we are all not born with equal socio-economic gifts or handicaps. Not all have equally loving parents and spouses or even true friends. However, what we make of these advantages and disadvantages, determines our destiny.

The artist may not always be able to buy a grand-sized canvas-board, but he can always choose to paint his small board in the most beautiful of colours. The result, in that case, is infinitely rewarding for him as well as for those who see his painting. You are the artist of your life and the picture you choose to paint, is your destiny.

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