Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
In society, in day to day events, there are so many chances to get frustrated, and when such things happen, there is nothing you can do. Something or the other keeps coming up to get frustrated about. Do you see what I am saying?
You want perfection and perfection is not available, and so you get frustrated. You want someone to do things on time and if they don't do it, then you get frustrated. You want things to be done in the way you want, and if it does not happen, you get frustrated; isn't this the case?
You want perfection, and when perfection is not avaibale you get frustrated. Isn't this the case?
Just turn back and look into your own life; how many incidents have occurred in your life where you were frustrated? Can you even count them? How many of you feel that you cannot even count them? (Many in the audience raise their hands)
Sometimes you feel that it is not even in your hands, or it is not even in your capacity. This is the case from the small things to the big things.
For example: the biggest problem in the world today is the ISIS. The other day I was discussing with the Prime Minister of India, and he was saying, 'What to do with the ISIS? It is such a huge problem in the world. They are killing so many people every day'.
All the big governments are frustrated, they are not able to do anything. America is frustrated, Europe is frustrated, India is frustrated. Many countries are frustrated. People in Iraq, people in Iran, and many other countries are frustrated. This is a big problem, you can't do anything about it.
Okay, now that is all happening very far away, but what about the problems right here on Kanakapura road. We have given the Panchayat here two garbage collecting vans to collect the garbage and keep the place clean. But every day when you drive by, you will see garbage spread on both sides of the road. Our volunteers have gone there, they have collected the garbage and put in the garbage dump, and they have educated the people not to dump garbage on the road, but even then there is garbage. It will be fine for two days, on the third day it is the same thing. When we ask them, they say, 'We did not do it. Someone from the city came and did it'.
From the autorickshaw they just throw the garbage, and then the cows go and eat it, and when you see the cows eating it, you feel so frustrated.
You want everything to be perfect, and in the pursuit for perfection you forget to see your own imperfection, and how you can improve.
Now coming to an even more local problem. You teach Sadhana to people, you teach them meditation and still they don't do it. And then they say that they are depressed.
Someone says, 'I have pain'. You give them medicine but they don't take it. Doctors all over the world have this problem. Patients come and are given medicines, but they don't take it; they put it under their pillow or somewhere, and then they say that nothing happened. It is not that the medicine did not work, they never took the medicine. So you can imagine how frustrated the doctors get.
Like this, in life, you will have 101 reason to get frustrated.
We have some very talented people but they have some minus points. Now if you look at the minus points then the talents are gone. So, you don't see a very perfect person but your intention is to see everyone as perfect. When you are looking for perfection everywhere around, I tell you, you forget to see the imperfection inside of you. You want everything to be perfect, but are you perfect? You have to look for that.
When you are perfect, you will stop pointing out imperfections and you will stop getting frustrated about the imperfections of others, and instead contribute to their growth; to them becoming perfect.
This is our dilemma, we want others to be perfect; we want organizations to be perfect, nations to be perfect, people to be perfect, and in this pursuit we forget to see our own imperfections, and how we can improve on them.
When we start looking within, a whole new dimension opens in front of us. It is then that we are able to educate people without getting frustrated. And this is when we can become a good teacher, and a good leader.
When you start looking within, a whole new dimension opens infront of you. It is then that you are able to educate people without getting frustrated.
If leaders are frustrated then what will happen to the people they are leading. Just recently I met this gentleman who told me, 'Oh, I am so frustrated, nobody is following my lead, nobody is following my instructions, nobody is listening, and nobody helps me'.
I said, 'Come on, you are the leader. You have to correct them. Whatever resources you have gotten, you have to manage with that. Whatever talents are available in your team, you have to build on them'.
See, everyone has flaws, and everyone has some very good points as well. But if you only see the flaws, then you will miss out on their plus points. Overnight nobody can become perfect, gradually people become perfect, and we need to encourage them to become perfect. So this is a management science: how to manage your mind, your environment, and how to ensure that frustration doesn't seep inside of you. For some or the other reason, frustration is just waiting around the corner to seep into you. And once it takes charge of you, I tell you, you become really useless.
Many times when people are complaining, you will see that there is so much frustration in them, and they don't do anything about it. People who complain don't do any work, and people who work hard, they have nothing to complain about because they are busy working. They know that things are this way. How many of you have noticed this?
Those who do not do any work, they keep finding fault in other people. They find fault in small small things. They are not able to see the good in other people. So we must ensure that we do not let frustration seep into us.
Many people get so frustrated with the world that they say, 'Let me just go and stay in an ashram', and so they become an ashramite. After becoming an ashramite, after two or three years, they feel, 'I have done so much sadhana, not let me relax a little', and in this way they get caught up in conflicts with others around them feeling 'This person did this to me', 'That person did like this to me'.
Like this, they get caught up in conflicts and keep lashing out at others. When this happens, know that you have lost your center.
Everyone has some flaws and some good points. But if you only see the flaws then you will miss out on their plus points.
'See, he got to sit in the front, and I am all the way at the back', thoughts like these keep running in the mind.
'He is driving with Gurudev every day, but I don't get to drive with Gurudev'. All these kind of inconsequential things bother our mind, and hurt us like a thorn somewhere inside. Now why does this happen? This is because we expect a lot from others and we forget about ourselves. We need to keep our attention on ourselves: What is my contribution to this world. What have I done for others. How useful have I been to the people around me?
If our thoughts are moving in this direction, then we will not blame others or hurt others. Otherwise, we are always finding fault in others and lashing out of them.
Many times people will come to me and say, 'Do something about this person. He is not right'. They advise me on what I need to do.
I say, 'First you become alright. Take a look inside your own self'.