Every day of your life you get up and "go to work." For many of
us, this means going to a job at a specific place and time where we may deal
with pressure, ideas, worries, habits, ambition, laziness, money, lack of money
and many other things. Instead of getting caught by all these things, the mind
needs to use them in an intelligent way. Instead of creating a routine that
deadens the mind, an intelligent approach can revitalize your work and help
you recognize your target, so that at the end of your life you know that you
have lived your purpose.
When you start to look at work in the larger context – that your work
has to do with becoming your real self – things start falling into
place. You can see that each day offers opportunities to do the work of becoming
the person you want to be, whether you are in a stressful office environment
or in a relaxation class at a retreat centre. Understanding why you choose to
be doing what you do can help bring meaning to your life. You may start to wonder:
Why am I here? What is my real work? What am I preparing for?
In the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred teaching text that metaphorically explains
action and life's work, Arjuna, the spiritual seeker, is posed in a battle against
his family, friends and teachers. Arjuna is an archer, skilled in the art of
hitting the target – the target of life. When he prepares to enter
the battle he becomes despondent and throws down his bow. Krishna, his Divine
charioteer and advisor, tells him to stand up, to act as a warrior, to do what
he has to do. The message is for all of us: we have to do what we are here to
do. This means facing the battlefield of daily life with the courage to do what
is before us.
The bow is a very precise tool. Practice and strength are required
to be skillful with a bow and arrow. Clear sight is needed to
see the target without being distracted by emotions or by what
surrounds the target. In a battle, your life could depend on your
ability to use your bow. In daily life, your spiritual purpose
depends on your ability to use your intelligence.
As humans, we have been given the gift of intelligence. In order to understand
the situations we are engaged in, we must pick up this precise tool of intelligence
and use it.
What is the symbolic message in your work? What is being offered that can help
you understand what you need to work through in this life?
The hidden messages of your work start to be revealed when you
look at your actions, your intentions and your ideals. The meaning
of your life reveals itself very precisely and uniquely in everyday
situations. When you begin to reflect on these situations and
develop a symbolic language, you will start to realize the different
roles that you play and the different personalities that you possess.
Once you become an active participant in your own life, you have
to confront all the personality aspects that helped you survive
in the past. When you see your life as something you have created,
you must accept responsibility for it. You will start to recognize
that you have exactly what you need. Just as Arjuna has the bow
and the skill to use it in battle, we each have our intelligence
and the power of reflection to meet our challenges. All the essential
ingredients are present in this mixture we call life. When we
face the challenges, we are led to a connection with our higher
purpose. A sense of gratitude begins to enter the mix when we
recognize that the challenges are blessings in disguise.
Ask yourself: What is it I want my life to be? What atmosphere
do I want to create around myself and my work? Life offers more
if we have an awareness of others, and if we act with care, quality,
commitment and responsibility. Intelligence can help us make changes
in our attitude. Life invites challenge; for many people, the
challenging situations are the ones that force them to turn to
the Divine. Intelligence invites change, and it is the intelligence
within you that will also help you face the next change in your
Many people, when overwhelmed by the challenges and changes
of life, revert back to old ways of coping. Like Arjuna, they
become despondent, throw down what they know and ask: What am
I to do?
You must use your intelligence to face the difficult situations.
The ability to reflect on daily events and activities will allow
you to gain an understanding of how the rest of your life can
be lived with purpose and a commitment to the highest intelligence.