Rajat Gupta, Ex CEO of Mckinsey who was in US prison for two years in his recent interview said.” Prison is a time for reflection. You have a great deal of time for reflection…. In a way, it was an interesting experience. I am going to improve my self physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I walked 10 miles a day, did exercises, I made friends, I started a book club,…..But by and large, it was interesting. I learned a lot, I met interesting people, and I did interesting things.” (He has shared his life and jail experiences in his book Mind Without Fear)
In the bestselling book The Monk Who sold his Ferrari, the first chapter Wakeup Call the famous hard-driving lawyer Julian suffered a massive heart attack in the courtroom. This triggered his reflection about life and he sold of all his material possession and headed to India on his spiritual journey.
Imprisonment or heart attack or others’ death, these are the triggers for awakening. Awakening about our hectic aimless lifestyles, our reckless food habits, our purpose in life. Unless we get a jolt, we are on autopilot mode about life.
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Some people want to keep working for earning until death. Our insanity for more money, more power, and more popularity are incurable. It’s a silent and invisible disease.
While I am writing this Post, I got the news of the death of someone known to me. He died around the age of 75. A very active person. He was attending the business till the last week.
Why does Rajat Gupta has to go to Jail and Julian has to get a heart attack to reflect about the life?
They had all the money to sustain a good lifestyle. Our endless desire for money and busyness for money are the culprit. People want to work for money even if they have enough.
The need to earn money was originated to earn enough to fulfill our basic need and reasonable wants. But in the process people have assumed earning is necessary until our body works. In jobs people retire at 60 and in business people retires when the body retires.
Our obsession to earn till death could because of the two reasons.
- We haven’t realised the real purpose of human life
- We are afraid to think life beyond money
We don’t want to think. Because thinking brings responsibility, thinking brings change, thinking brings doubt, thinking brings revelations.
We want to escape from all these and so we don’t think much about the purpose of life beyond money. Most of us are living as if accumulating money/possessions is the sole purpose of life.
The reality is all your money, fame and power will evaporate the day you die. The purpose for which you are spending precious years of human life will be short-lived.
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There is some serious rethinking is required about the humungous time we spend earning money in life.
Our age-old belief Time is Money is all wrong. Time is life.
Ask two questions:
What will I do if the money I want to earn is given to me today?
When will I fulfill my childhood/adulthood dreams?
Of course, after death, it is not possible but even after a certain age, it will not be possible.
We all think we have time but the reality is time is running out quicker than one can realise. Suddenly we will find ourselves in our 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Our Wrong Belief – Time is Money makes us think about Money all the time.
Our Right Realisation – Time is life will make us think about life all the time.
What would you do in life if you are freed from earning money?
As a Human Being;
You can explore a various facet of life like;
As a Soul:
You can pursue attaining Moksha i.e. liberation.
India is a land of Mahavira and Buddha. Both have propagated different path but their ultimate objective as a Soul was Salvation / Liberation/ Moksha.
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Even in Indian Hindu thinking in ancient scriptures like Upanishads and Vedas, there is a defined purpose of human life i.e. Moksha.
“He who is rich in the knowledge of the Self does not covet external power or possession.” Paramananda, The Upanishads
More Money, earning till death, earning till body becomes incapacitated, certainly is not the purpose of human life.
You may choose to go to Jail like Rajat Gupta or wait till heart attack to reflects about life. But whatever triggers your thinking do it now, time is quickly running out.