What do you define your life through? What are some of the things that you place extreme importance on for living?
Do you focus on “Earnings, Possessions, Appearances, Celebrity/Fame” – if so you are suffering from “Affluenza Virus” as defined by Oliver James in his book titled the same.
Accordingly, exclusive focus on those four things results in :
- Upward social comparisons
- ‘Having’ as opposed to ‘Being’.
Is your lifestyle solely based on ‘Having’? If you
- suffer from Emptiness & Loneliness
- are consumption driven
- feel inadequate due to constant comparisons
- try to fill an internal lack through external means
- replace ‘needs’ by ‘wants’
then YES, you are living a lifestyle solely based on ‘Having’. The results of this lifestyle are well researched and documented. They are
- Continuous low key dissatisfaction & unhappiness
- Extreme competitiveness,
- Short life span
- Mental Illness
Result – compromises are made in meeting the four fundamental human needs of
This is what Oliver James’s book “Affluenza ” states.
If defining who you are through ‘earnings, possessions, lifestyle, celebrity, fame” etc., is making you depressed, how do you, rather how should you define yourself? When can you be happy and fulfilled? This is the fundamental question that drives us all – does it not?
Martin Seligman evolved his Authentic Happiness theory to “Well Being Theory” and termed it “Flourish” – which measures
- Positive Emotions
P E R M A
He said that increase in PERMA increases Flourishing.
How can we bring PERMA into our lives?
Sai Baba says – “Happiness lies in liking what you do, not in doing what you like.”
What does He mean by that? What happens to you when you LIKE what you HAVE to do?
- There is NO resentment
- You finish what you undertake despite obstacles
- You have NO ill feelings towards work – of any nature.
- You develop a ‘Spirit of Sacrifice’
What does Sacrifice mean – what are you giving up?
But people who regularly contribute to charities also give up all the above. People who go out of their way and help physically during times of natural disasters are sacrificing their time, expertise, resources etc., They give to Charity or do Charitable acts. Is it the same as Sacrifice? Is giving to Charity a sustainable long term and transformational process?
Charity generally is short lived. Once the crisis is passed and things are back to normal, you revert back to your lifestyle based on ‘Want’ and ‘Have’. Well most do…..
So why is Charity short lived? Is there a difference between Charity and Sacrifice?
- Is driven by the urge to meet needs of others who are in distress
- Is giving of money, time or energy for a good cause
- Is generally short lived
- Feels good but no real transformation is possible
- Stems from ‘Sympathy’ not ‘Empathy’
- Can create feelings of superiority
- No equality in charity
- has a ‘giver’ and a ‘receiver’ and can breed dependency.
Sacrifice as Sai Baba puts it is giving up of one’s bad traits and weaknesses. He says –
“If sacrifice means just the giving up of hearth and home, many people will do it very easily. Sacrifice means something more than giving up wealth, gold, and material objects; evil qualities like hatred, jealousy, wrath and malice, which have become ingrained in us over many lifetimes, must be discarded as well.” (Sathya Sai Vahini, Ch 21: The Inner Inquiry)
So what are some of the qualifications for Sacrifice – what state of mind allows you to sacrifice without resentment?
By giving up your negative qualities of hatred, jeaolusy, wrath and malice, you are reoriented on a spiritual trajectory of personal development and selfless service.
Through selfless service you can gain
A Pure Heart that is Positive
Creates Loving Relationships
Through Charitable Engagements
with Attitudes that are Meaningful
and achieve Selfless Accomplishments
Positive Relationship is required first and foremost with one self and with others in order to create Engagements that are Meaningful. If the Relationship with Yourself is NOT Positive, you cannot Engage Meaningfully that can be sustainable. Burnouts happen far too quickly as a result, hence Charity is often short lived and people revert back.
A minor rearrangement of Martin Seligman’s PERMA to PREMA (LOVE) means eliminating negative qualities as a Spirit of Sacrifice and undertaking Selfless Service. Result is Self-Transformation.
Your Self Transformation helps create a new social reality steeped in PREMA (Love) where the ‘Spirit of Brotherhood of Man and Fatherhood of God’ is constantly demonstrated.
When you “Bear all and do nothing; Hear all and say nothing’; give all and take nothing; Serve all and Be nothing” you are living in Love. (Sai Baba)
Then as Vedas declare – You go from
(Vyakthi) to (Samasthi) to (Parameshthi)
i to WE to I
Selfishness to Self-Sacrifice to Self-Realisation
If giving up negativity creates room to give with a spirit of sacrifice and gain a new social reality based on Love, wouldn’t you want to join in that?
What are the barriers between your declared values and your actual behaviour?
What are you going to Give UP to Gain a Society that is steeped in Love?
I have Given up Judgments and Upward Comparisons, I am actively in the process of Giving UP Self-Criticisms….
What would you like to Give Up?
Would love to hear….Leave comments either here or on Face Book
Until next week
With Love and Respect