The Tao of Understanding

The Tao of Understanding

When you understand kindness as kindness, mercilessness arises
When you understand love as love, hatred arises

Thus Happiness and Unhappiness produce each other
Right and Wrong bring about each other
Light and Dark reveal each other
Health and Illness reflect each other

The words have limitations
The written things have limitations
The said things have limitations
The understanding has limitations

Therefore the key
is not to “understand” such things

But to “experience” them …

Understanding goes away; experiences do not.

The Tao of Understanding is
not to try to understand the things,
but to experience them.

Concept Inspiration: Lao Tzu

How to Live a Meaningful Life

Do you know what is a critical element for you being unhappy?

Your relationships.

Yes. Your happiness comes down to the quality of your relationships.

As a human being, you are part of an ecosystem where everyone is related to everyone else.

If your important relationships go wrong, you feel unhappy.

If your important relationships stay right, you feel happy.

If you form any new, meaningful relationships with interesting people, you feel happier and look forward to the vibrant side of life.

Meaningful relationships = Meaningful life.

A meaningful life is the life full of meaningful relationships

“A meaningful life is the life full of meaningful relationships. Create yours.” Click To Tweet

To live a meaningful life, you must have a meaningful relationship with at least the following: your own self, people who matter to you, causes you care about, your career or your business and things that matter to you.

Good thing? Meaning is subjective, and it can be defined. Means you can attach a specific meaning to your life when you decide to.

In his famous fable The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma wrote,

“The purpose of life is the life of purpose.”

A powerful statement. It states that you can choose the purpose of your life. Same is the case with meanings.

So, here’s a big idea: consciously participate in meaningful relationships and you’ll have a meaningful life.

Some people recommend that you should “invest” in relationships – I disagree.

When you invest in something, you expect a profit or a material result out of that investment. If you do the same with your relationships, sooner or later, they will go sour. And you, unhappy.

But when you participate in something, you don’t expect any outcome out of your participation. True participation means pure life, lived in that moment … without any expectation or a desire of a material result, whatsoever.

To observe a true participation in action, observe the behavior of a 3-year-old child. She’d not “invest” her time into any activity. She’d just participate. May it be playing with her friends. May it be interacting with her parents in her wordless way… take any activity and observe her true participation.

Learn from her. And you’ll be happier… like the 3-year-old!

To live a meaningful life, it is very important to understand the distinction between investing in relationships vs. participating in relationships.

And you got that distinction now.

And guess what, this distinction will fundamentally change how you treat other people.

Understanding this distinction will be very useful to you if:

  1. You are a parent and you think you are investing in your child because your child will take care of you when you will become older
  2. You spend your time with your friend because you think your friend will become an influential man (or woman) and you’ll leverage his influence one day to your benefit
  3. You spend your time with your team members because you think your team members will indirectly give you more benefits by contributing more work

I can go on and on. But you got the idea.

If you decide to be in a relationship to gain something out of it, sooner or later, you will meet sorrows, grief, and unmet expectations. All of these are good pillars to create an empire of unhappiness for you.

Human beings have a basic need – they want to be treated as a human being, not as a thing. They want others to treat them as others want to be treated.

Treat others like you want to be treated - sketchtoon

Never miss an opportunity to enable the other person to realize and operate from her peak potential.

When you do that, you form a different kind of relationship with that person. A relationship that you’re going to celebrate for the rest of your life.

Not because you expected anything from the relationship but because you chose to be an aware human and you chose to participate and elevate the other person.


Happiness and a Small Town Tea Stall Owner – a Short Story

A Tea Stall Owner from a small town was absolutely satisfied and happy in his life.
small town tea owner on happiness
One day he got to know a bit more about his regular customer: a Car Driver of a well-known business tycoon.

The Car Driver used to stop at his stall every morning and every evening with different expensive and luxurious cars.

“This Car Driver gets to drive different, expensive cars every day. He must be the happiest person in the world,” he thought.

The Car Driver

the car driver on happiness

“Well,” said the car driver, “I felt I was very fortunate to drive different and cool luxury cars every day until I met Mona, my boss’s personal secretary.”

“She is well educated, good looking and career oriented woman. She also gets to drive almost all the cars that I drive, but she is treated more respectfully and attentively than me. Maybe with more affection too ;)”

The Tea Stall Owner then approached Mona.

The Personal Secretary

personal secretary on happiness
Mona explained, “I lived a happy life until my boss got married to Kate, the popular film actress.”

“I only get to be with my boss for a few hours a day, I get his attention, I learn a few things from him and if he is in a good mood, I can get little cozy with him. You know what I mean. I also get to drive most of his expensive cars, but my boss’s wife, Kate, being a very popular actress and more beautiful than me, enjoys an abundance of his attention and wealth. Kate is a big name in the film industry, earns millions, and also enjoys attention and love from our country’s most handsome man, my boss!  I was really happy before my boss’s marriage with Kate but not anymore. I feel jealous of Kate …”

The Film Actress

kate on happiness
The Tea Stall Owner then approached Kate, “Hey Kate, you’re so beautiful, rich and famous. Every day thousands of people come to see and greet you. People come to me for having a tea. I do not get any attention from them. They just care about their tea. Sometimes they even don’t care about the quality of tea I make. They come to my place, talk about everything on the earth with other people and leave. I don’t get enough love, richness and wealth though essentially God has created both of us as human beings. I think you must be the happiest person in the world and I’m not …”

Kate replied, “I always thought that I was the most loved and happy person on the planet.”

“But because of my popularity, I feel trapped. I cannot live the life I want to. I have to wear the mask of the “brand” I have become.  Sure, I have an abundance of money, fame, and a loving husband, but I am not free.  I ‘have to’ behave specifically so I can maintain my brand image.”

“But you know what, for last several years, I have been consciously seeing you selling the tea at this corner. I am seeing that you are really enjoying your work as a tea maker. Often, you’re singing a song or you’re having fun along with those college students who come to your stall to take some tea on credit. Whenever I see you, I think perhaps you’re the happiest person on the earth because you’re free and you can do whatever you want!”

“For past few days, I have been thinking if I were a Tea Stall Owner like you, I could really do all that I want to, without wearing any masks!!!”


hort Story on Happiness

That’s our problem too.

We look for happiness everywhere else but not from within.

We make a comparison with others and create an abundance of unhappiness in our lives.

We don’t value the present moment that God has showered us with.

We plunge ourselves in the vicious cycle of unhappiness: I am unhappy than him. I am less beautiful than her. My cousin has 2 bungalows while I am staying on rent.

How our life would become if we value our present state?

How our life would become if we choose not to compare ourselves with others, for better or worse?

How our life would become if we just live the present moment?

How instead of writing that above is “easier said than done,” we start making it easy – for our own self – and others too?

Happiness has no relationship with the profession you are in. It emerges from within.

If you look forward to the next moment of your life with equal or better enthusiasm, then your present moment is well spent. If not, then … you need to make some changes.

What changes you will make will depend upon the type of expectations you have from your life, but ask yourself this: a life full of accomplishments is worth at the cost of happiness – or a life full of happiness is worth at the cost of accomplishments?

There is no right generalized answer to this question but I am sure there is an answer that is right for you. That answer will determine the course of your next life. Choose it consciously so you don’t have any deathbed regrets.