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Those were very tough days for a young guy in his first job like me.  Bosses in India are not always taught in the best of schools or told how to behave around men.  They have been treated as animals and they think its fine.

Bosses teach you in two ways – one type teaches you how to be a boss; while the other type will teach you how NOT to be a boss.  For some reason, in India all my bosses for some reason fell in the second category.

So, I was learning but faltering and the boss was busy admonishing me everywhere.  Low on confidence, bad economy and threat of job going away.  All combined to form a formidable nightmare.  At those weak times, I would go to an astrologer.

Astrologers can only tell you two things about your future – that something you wish can happen… or it cannot.  When I was told the former, it would be easy to handle a tough time that I was going through.  After all, if the good time is around the corner, then why fret the hard time?

And if he told me the latter – that what I wish won’t happen – I would quickly recall what I had read about the scripture that provides knowledge on astrology in India: “Astrology (Jyotish) does not say what will happen.  It can only say what is most likely to happen.”

So, there is room for my effort.  My effort, if done with enough stubbornness can beat the heavy odds stacked against me, I would reckon and work harder.  More than once I have been down that road.

But this astrologer was different.  And his advise was different as well.  He looked at my chart, looked up and then looked me in the eye and said:

“When the storm comes, the trees that try to stand erect – fall.  Those which bend with the wind, live on.” he said and paused.  Then he remarked “I would advise the latter for your now”.

This was the first time, I came to the conclusion that gritting your teeth and preparing to weather the storm is also a lesson to be learnt in life.  As I faced the wind of the storm.. as my hair flew hard, as the shirt would fly and I would fall.. I kept steady focused on just ONE thing.. and ONE thing alone: weathering the storm.

After the initial gust of the storm, as you have become accustomed to the rash speed and handled it once, you suddenly realize that the very act of facing the wind in your face with eyes open has brought an amazing equanimity to your being.  You are suddenly calm.  Indeed almost blissful.  It is as if under the stormy exterior is a depth unfathomed.  My face, my eyes, my gaze, my smile, and my voice would change.  I was digging in.  I wasn’t going to run from the storm, but face it headon… while bending a little and letting the storm feel important.

Violence hass the power to hit.  That is its nature.  When you are aggressive in your passion to withstand instead of opposing, suddenly.. and strangely inside you, a door opens.  You become bigger in size and calm in mind.  It almost feels as if you can sense each moment as it comes and tip toes away.  Your observation is complete and steadfast.

That was how it all felt.  A feeling amidst a battle that has remained with me – and has been touched many more times since then.  Blessed are the times when you fail or falter, for those are times when you will pave the foundation for achievement.  If every moment was without challenge, then we would have never known the feeling of “achievement”.

Failure and lack make achievement possible.  So, when you ask – whoever you ask/pray to – next time ask for a bit of challenge in your future.  That’s the only way that you will enjoy and know what achievement is.

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