Every moment is a life-changing moment. In every moment, your life is changing. One small change leads to infinite changes – small or big. Eventually, every small change causes a huge change.
A plane taking off from an airport would reach a very different destination if its trajectory is shifted by just 1 degree.
This is commonly known as compound effect. The term is often used to explain the benefit of long term saving. If you save a small amount every month (and earn compound interest on it), after 20 years, you accumulate a huge amount.
Recently I was going through a sort of existential crisis. I seemed to have hit a dead end. I felt lost.
Totally. Utterly. Completely.
After facing so many failures, here was another one. And it seemed so big, final and impassable that there seemed no hope. For more than a month there were intense sensations, feelings of anxiety and depression. I couldn’t imagine my future. That’s when it got really scary.
I prayed for an end to the suffering.
The call was heard. A solution presented itself. A small hole was seen in the big wall of dead-end-ness. As I looked through the hole, I saw light. I kept looking, the hole kept growing. Till the wall collapsed. Dead-end-ness was an illusion.
Ego needed to die. To be reborn. Its way of looking at things wouldn’t work anymore. From the old point of view, there was only darkness – no hope. The moment it died, things could be looked at differently.
This brings us back to the topic. How can one moment change one’s entire life? Because in one moment, a small shift can occur. And that’s often all we need. A small shift in perspective can cause a huge shift in life.
Keep trying to move the Universe by 1 degree, you will spend lifetimes in failure. Shift your own self by 1 degree, and you see how effortless it can be.
But what brings about a shift in perspective? Conversations. Listening.
By conversations and listening, I don’t mean just verbal communication. You could be reading a book or listening to a podcast. The point is, if you seek different perspectives with an open mind, you open yourself up to different possibilities. On the other hand, you can choose to be rigid, close minded, holding your view points tightly. That’s being in the grip of the ego.
That’s where I was.
For the first time in my life, I started seeking different perspectives. I talked to many people. Read a lot of books. Consumed a lot of content. I gained so many different perspectives.
One thing lead to another.
More than anything else, I want to point out how all this was linked to something that happened 10 years ago.
I sought guidance from someone I met through an online course I did some years back. That conversation gave me a number of insights and eventually a direction I could finally see some hope in.
Going back, how did I end up in that online course? It was facilitated by a spiritual teacher that I admired and followed for around 4-5 years.
Going back again, I came across this teacher and only started following him because a mentor of mine had liked his facebook page. I respected this mentor a lot and if there was someone whom she followed, I couldn’t resist following him too. Had I come across this teacher on my own, I doubt I would have stuck around for long.
Again going back, how did I meet this mentor of mine? It was because I once picked up a book, liked it a lot and decided to get deeper into the topic. The decision eventually lead to finding a course at a nearby institute where I found this mentor.
Going back further, why did I decide to pick up that book? Because many years back, in 2011, I was going through my first and favourite existential crisis; that made me ask questions, seek answers.
Ten years ago I went through a painful experience and started seeking answers. I picked up a book. It was a small shift.
Who knew where that one moment would take me? I never could have imagined.
And here’s the thing. Every moment, something is happening – at least a small shift. And that small shift will take us to very different places 10-20-30 years down the line.
Guru is someone who takes us from darkness to light. In that respect, everything can serve as a Guru. Because everything has a potential to shift our life trajectories by a small degree. And in that small shift, a huge shift is caused.
Happy Guru Poornima!