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December 29, 2005

Happy New Year!

New Year is the time of reflection on new beginnings. Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza all represent the opportunity to reflect and invite the new year. From Dec. 21st, the shortest day, progressively we will have more light or the period of en-lightenment begins.

Many people look at New Year as the opportunity to reaffirm, re-vow and resolve what they want to get done during the year. It rarely works. How many of us remember 2005 resolutions? To me, the focus is on where I am coming from and what I am truly committed to. The attitude and perspective that I bring to the year (whether I am aware of it or not) determine how much I will end up accomplishing and how much I will be satisfied with it. I usually discover more about my attitude and commitment when I take one compelling question and dig deeply into it throughout the year and make that inquiry the foundation for self discovery and action.

The question I have chosen to engage with is, “"How big a role am I willing to commit to in 2006?"

How big a role do I want to play in my family? My work –- do I want to play a role like I have a job to do or like I am the CEO of my life? Do I want to do my job as an obligation and as a means to earn a living or as a self expression of my commitment? What role do I want to play in my community –- friends' circle, religious/spiritual community and neighborhood? What is the role I am willing to stand for and commit to?

The arena I want to play a bigger role in could be my family, work, community or self development. I have to pick one where I feel the greatest pull.

In my experience, I notice the pull only when I am aware of my noble aspiration or quiet desperation. As long as I am operating out of my autopilot mode, I rarely become aware of anything outside of my selfish interest. When I become aware of and pay attention to my aspiration or desperation, I am willing to take on a much bigger role voluntarily and get outside my comfort zone. That is when I truly take committed actions that produce meaningful results.

Four patterns have stopped me in the past from keeping my commitments and produce meaningful results. They are: my fears, my stinginess (scarcity mentality), my doubts and my laziness or inertia. It does not matter what I am committed to or how big a goal I set, if I don't deal with these four patterns, success is prevented. How do I get over these four patterns?

One is courage. Am I courageous in my own mind or do I succumb to fears easily? What is the boldness with which I approach my life? Am I bold enough to take on what is on my plate or do I whimper, postpone, give up and complain? Am I courageous enough to stand up to my responsibilities and commitments and say –- "This is the time, I am the person and today is the day?" To me, boldness has got a beauty, freshness and an invitation. Am I willing to be bold in taking on a bigger role instead of coming up with justifications and explanations for why I couldn't?

The second one is generosity. My stinginess with respect to time, money, appreciations and
acknowledgments prevents me from experiencing a sense of gratitude. Generosity on the other hand is about contribution, giving even if I do not have much. What I receive will only stay with me for a short time. On the other hand, what I give remains with me forever. What is given multiplies in the universe without losing energy.

Wanting comes from a scarcity mentality, whereas generosity comes from a abundance mentality. Am I willing to be generous even when I feel poor? It is the attitude of gratitude that allows one to focus on generosity instead of poverty. Where am I stingy right now? Am I willing to be generous in my relationships, actions and contributions?

Once I begin with boldness of my actions and continue with the generosity of spirit, what sustains the transformation (that has already occurred by my willingness to take on a bigger role) is a sense of trust.

Trust is not about the other person -- it is about myself. Am I willing to come from a trusting place when I interact with others? Many of us look at trust like "show me you are trustworthy and then I will trust you." A different way of looking at trust would be to trust the other person unless that person proves repeatedly that he or she is not trustworthy. Trust is a point of view. I am not talking about trusting blindly. Larger universal system operates on different set of principles that are interconnected and provide means outside the cause and effect equation. For example, I did not have to get hungry and cry before milk showed up in my mother's breasts. As soon as I was conceived, her body began to change to support my needs. Trust is the state in which I take appropriate risks without worrying about my potential success in the end. Can I do what is bold and generous in the moment and trust that the universe will do whatever is appropriate? Where am I in constant doubts? Where is my action impeded by lack of trust -- either in myself or others?

The fourth one is invention. Invention is more than just coming up with ideas. It is either about applying my creativity to manifest a new process, product or service or re-inventing myself. Many times, when I am lazy or complacent, I go for small changes, or a minor set of innovations that do not challenge me to be bold, generous or trusting. I found that looking at every step I take as an opportunity for reinventing myself - is a way to break out of my inertia. When self invention is consciously taken on, I found that I can truly discover the genius within myself. Self discovery allows me to go beyond my self-imposed limitations and self-limiting beliefs and take on a bigger role in my life and work.

The boldness with which I begin, the generosity with which I share and contribute, and the trust with which I interact with others, and finally, the self discovery that I ignite in myself –- these I believe are keys to my transformation in the coming year.

How do I begin the process of clarifying how big a role I want to play in my life?
I will begin by asking myself the following questions:

- Where am I being afraid and could be bold and courageous in my life? What steps would I take if I were to act boldly and courageously?

- Where am I being stingy and could be more generous and giving?

- Where do I habitually mistrust or doubts stop me from taking the right action at the right time? Where or with whom should I bring more trust?

- Where am I wedded to my old habits and unable to bring invention? Where can I reinvent myself?

So, what is the bigger role you want to play in 2006?

I look forward to your reflections, stories and questions. You are welcome to write to me or comment on here.

I wish you a very happy new year and hope that 2006 will bring transformation in not only your life but also in the lives of the people around you.

Best Wishes!

Prasad Kaipa

Posted by Ragu at December 29, 2005 03:23 PM

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