I see life in two dimensions, one being the ‘Default Life’ and other being the ‘Altered Life’. Default life means the life as it is occurring in the present status-quo. The altered life is the one with the paradigm shift that occurs due to changes or events either forced on us or created from within.
We all go through turbulent times in our life. When these turbulence settle down, there is the period of calmness and everything apparently runs smoothly, be it Job, relations or family. The period of rest that we get after coming out of the turbulence not only relaxes but also perplexes to establish the new status-quo of the quality of life. It creates the ‘altered life’, which after a point of time becomes the new ‘default life’, as we adjust and create a comfort zone of routines inside it.
Most of the times the alterations in our life are unpleasant as either they break our comfort zones or we are not prepared to change or take Risks. Hence they are forced on us.
One of my office friend told me a beautiful story that changes the way you may see change and Risk. This is how it goes….
The Strange Story –
There was a village in the southern part of India that was on the hills of the western ghats (the western hills). There, lived a Milkman named Sohum. He had a family of five, including himself, wife, 2 kids and a Cow. One day a Saint and his disciple halted in this village while on the way to their destination. Since the day was setting and it was getting darker, they decided to stay for a night in this village. In their attempt to find a place they met Sohum, who was sitting outside his HUT. The saint introduced himself and his disciple and requested for some water and food. Looking at Sohum’s condition they figured out that he may not have much to offer. Still somehow Sohum managed to offer some food and milk. After having the offerings, the Saint started a conversation with Sohum about his life that went like ….
Saint – What do you do for your livelihood?
Sohum – I’m milkman and the ONLY COW I have feed my entire family.
Saint (with a strange look) – I see good amount of Land in front of your hut, why don’t you do anything with this?
Sohum – The money that I earn after selling the milk is sufficient to feed my family and the left out milk is also consumed by us, hence I don’t see any need to do anything with the Land I have.
The conversation ended and all went to sleep
Early morning as the Saint and his disciple woke up they decided to leave home quietly without informing anyone. Saint asked his disciple to take the COW along with them and on the way Saint asked his disciple to Push the cow down the hill! The disciple was very confused and in strong dis-agreement to the Saint’s decision. But he being a student didn’t challenge him.
Almost 10 years passed to this incident. The disciple now was an independent rich man, but over these years he was living with the guilt of what they did to the poor Milkman Sohum. So he decided to go to that village and help the poor guy with the money to support his family.
When he reached the village he couldn’t find the hut, but instead he saw a well-built strong house. He tried to enquire with the owner about the milkman who would have sold this land to this new owner. The owner offered him food and milk and then revealed that he is the same milkman Sohum. The disciple stood still with the surprise! Sohum looked so transformed and confident. He asked him that how did this transformation happened?
Sohum told the entire story that, after the Saint and you departed somehow his COW also disappeared and he thought that his life was finished and had nothing to do, so to feed his family he started cutting wood and selling them. With the money that he got he thought of growing some vegetables for his own consumption in the Land that was in front of his HUT. The agricultural growth was so tremendous that he had the surplus amount to sell in the market. With the passing time and good agricultural seasons, he soon became the leading vegetable and fruit supplier in the village. So today he enjoys all the comforts and has not one but 5 COWS.
Story Ends –
Imagine if the cow was not taken by the Saint, then Sohum would have continued to life in his default life of being a milkman where he didn’t even had realized the resources he had in hand in terms of Land and would have never taken the risk to do something different with it. It was only after he reached in the altered life that he explored the resource and had no option but to take that risk that paid him well to make him the leading vendor in the village.
Take a moment and reflect the story in your life. Are we waiting for our COWS (Jobs, relations etc) to disappear or are we willing to Alter our life at will and take RISK to create new possibilities with resources that we have but not realized?
Where there is Risk there is scope for New Possibilities. All we need is to declare it to ourselves and choose it.
Sending Love, laughter and Joy …… Parth