A few years ago, I went through a serious crisis. I’d been hearing bad rumours about someone I respected and was disturbed by the news. Moreover, my relationships with people I knew closely had soured. I was distressed and began to feel strong negative emotions engulfing my consciousness. I had a chance to meet my spiritual master, Radhanath Swami, during this time and I told him about my situation. He heard me out patiently and offered a simple solution, ‘Just be positive and you’ll be empowered beyond your ability.’

I contemplated this for a few days and wondered what it meant to be ‘positive’; the whole world talks about being positive and is Radhanath Swami’s formula the same or is it any different? I’d also been disappointed with the positivity formulas that are abundantly available in this world. I hoped as a spiritual leader he’d offer more insights into this. Besides, my services in leadership and management demanded dealing with abounding negativities. I wasn’t satisfied and sought more explanations.

A couple of days later, I had the chance to meet him again and humbly requested him to shed more light on being positive. His answer has changed my life.

He said being positive has four ingredients and if we can constantly work towards centring these principles, our lives will change for the better.

Principle 1: Accept the truth

When certain situations take a turn for the worse, we may artificially psyche ourselves up with false assurances that things are just as fine as ever. This is an immature and foolish response to the inevitable downturns of this world. When things or people change, denial makes the pain acute. We may offer a cosmetic smile and a gung-ho ‘all’s well’ pep talk to ourselves, but the seething pain will corrode us from within. 

Accepting the unfortunate turn of events as an inevitable outcome beyond our puny control takes the steam off the potentially stressful situation.

However simple it sounds, this is the most challenging of the four steps. The strength to accept the bitter truths of life comes if we are anchored on the Absolute Truth, the Truth of God, and our sweet and loving relationship with Him.

A culture of prayers and chanting of God’s names gives us the strength to accept disturbing events and be peaceful and sober even during the emotionally painful periods of our lives.

To be continued…

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