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Designing a Purposefull Life

My name is Shakti and I stand for oneness and harmony for myself and others. As an adolescent an uncle of mine asked me “What is the objective of your life?” I was a few months short of touching 18 and I was stumped by his question. I found his question to be cruel for was it not obvious that my whole purpose of life was to generate as much excitement as possible?

Now, some four decades later, on looking back, I realise everything has fallen in place rather neatly. Forced fruits are never sweet so I have allowed my life to follow a natural course. I started getting answers from the time I decided to travel abroad. Waiting at the U.S. consulate for my visa application, I was touched by a slogan on the wall which read “The biggest failure in life is the failure to try.” This was at a time when getting a U.S. visa was a big deal but the message went beyond seeking a visa. My maiden trip to Europe and N. America shook me out of my acutely narrow thinking and opened the doors of my consciousness to a global reality. That was my first and biggest wake-up call and I had now transformed into a citizen diplomat.

From the time I completed my MBA, I knew the limitations of a formal education. The MBA provided me with managerial acumen but what good was this without an understanding of humanities and liberal arts? Since, I couldn’t afford a liberal arts education, I  read voraciously to help fill the void. Through the course of this immense journey called Life, my biggest learning has been to play with the hand that has been dealt to you. Getting into regret mode or wishful thinking is always a setback.

As an adolescent my priorities were shaped by having-doing-being, in that order. Today, I find this order reversed and it’s now being-doing-having. I was always moved by universal values but today this features prominently in my life.  Universal values means no one is left behind. Empathy, compassion, fairness, besides oneness and harmony, are all universal values which I acquired from a vast and diverse set of wonderful souls who among them were poets, sages, medical doctors, economists, scientists and yogis or just plain and simple beautiful human beings.

My wish is to leave the planet a better place than what I inherited. This is a tall order but my efforts are in this direction. I am driven by a need for balance and equanimity and am aware that creating cultural and systems shifts are immensely difficult without inner capacity building and well-being. Inner capacity building includes deep listening and responsible speaking capabilities and well-being invokes inner stillness for which there are no better tools than meditation, contemplation and yoga. During times of ill-health, I have realised the immense value of ‘prevention’ and the distinction between ‘healing’ and ‘curing’

I have struggled with religion and I see it as being a divisive force but I am deeply spiritual as a person. I find all religions are pure at the core but equally false at the surface. In spirituality the core of all religions is manifested and this is a unifying force. I focus my energies on building the temple of the soul and in doing so it doesn’t matter  whether you are Agnostic or Gnostic; Hindu, Christian or Muslim.

Through much of my life, I have gone out of my way to shun subscribing to any ideology be it social, economic or political. Wars that are fought on account of ideologies are the most treacherous of all. I am neither right-wing nor left wing; not radical nor conservative and nor am I a fence sitter. I look for what is agreeable in every body and am moved by the ability to search for goodness in all. Last but not the least, Life is incomplete without a sense of humour. If we can make our lives light-hearted and if we can instill love and laughter in our being and in everything we do, then we have a recipe for making this journey fun and rewarding.

So, welcome to a new Humanity and let us celebrate!

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