Have you ever been at a crossroads, confused about which direction to take... wondered if you needed to quit or continue, leave or stay, do or not do, act or just wait till things tide over?
Being in doubt is a common phenomenon, more often than not, it's an everyday experience. We're constantly questioning ourselves even in small simple acts... we're playing out these mini wars in our mind, thinking of the worst-case scenario... What if I don't attend her party, she may get offended and not talk to me again... what if I speak up and say the truth in an office meeting, will it go against me in my appraisals... what if I try telling my child what to do, he may just rebel and do something even worse.
Several hundreds of years ago, in a sacred text called Mahabharata, the Pandava warrior Arjuna was in a similar dilemma. But his issues were much graver. He was at war with his cousins and uncles, the Kauravas... he was on the battlefield in Kurukshetra. And just before the war began, Arjuna was paralysed into inaction. Arjuna questioned the futility of killing his own relatives... he wondered what good was victory if half his people would be dead at the end of it.
And that's when Lord Krishna, his friend and philosopher, intervened and gave to him wisdom that steered him to action. Lord Krishna's teachings to Arjuna highlighted that all wars first exist in the mind. And thus winning in the mind is the first step to winning on the battlefield and in real life.
* Think with a calm mind
Lord Krishna says: Undoubtedly, O Arjuna, the mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by any constant vigorous spiritual practice -- such as meditation -- with perseverance, and by detachment, O Arjuna.
* Give up on results
These are the most oft-repeated words of the Bhagavad Gita and often referred to as nishkam karma, doing action without expecting reward: You have control over doing your respective duty only, but no control or claim over the results. The fruits of work should not be your motive, and you should never be inactive.
* Treat everyone equally
A person is considered superior who is impartial towards companions, friends, enemies, neutrals, arbiters, haters, relatives, saints, and sinners.
* Don't give in to stress
In a world full of busyness and activity, with people snapping at each other, with road rage and intolerance, these words by Lord Krishna ring truer than ever: The one by whom others are not agitated and who is not agitated by others, who is free from joy, envy, fear, and anxiety, is also dear to Me.
* Set high standards
Because whatever noble persons do, others follow. Whatever standard they set up, the world follows.