Slowing Down – Living life (a poem by Ranjan)

A photos taken at the Udawattakele rain forest in Kandy Sri Lanka – reminding us to let the sunshine through the clutter of life.

Frenzy of activity when the world went into pandemic mode,

Figuring out ways to be safe, sustain income, reduce cost, and stay afloat.

New ways of working from home, office or hybrid mode,

Going online to communicate, learn, teach, shop, work and stay aboard 

Months flew through birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals and more,

Spiritual celebrations, special days and public holidays galore.

Learning a new way to be, sharing home space and more,

Balancing time between family and work, finding ways to be.

Governments, hospitals, law enforcement and all,

Had their plates full trying to keep us safe and well. 

Quarantine, testing, tracing, lockdowns enforced,

Masks, glows, sanitizers were used when forced.

While lockdowns and vaccines were invented for avoiding death,

We realised the need to choose life instead of avoiding death. 

As the new way of being became endemic,

As we learnt to live with the pandemic.

Back to work, travel, and celebrate cautiously,

Urgency and the frenzy slowing down progressively.

Pandemic had a purpose to help us live,

Life is for living so let’s happily live.

(an original poem by Ranjan De Silva)

If you want God to laugh, tell her your plans.

This years Christmas present from my eldest daughter – a symbol of abundance & purpose

My new year’s message last year was ‘I wish you a new year and new decade overflowing with abundance & purposefulness’. Having gone through perhaps the most ‘interesting’ year of our life, I wonder if this wish had an impact or not. I suppose it depends on how we look at 2020. While many of us had challenges in our jobs, businesses, finances, relationships and health, it is important to reflect on and find the hidden gifts. 

Continue reading “If you want God to laugh, tell her your plans.”

Taking a Break – Is it Purposeful Behaviour?

Image Credits: Humanperformancepsychology.com

I decided to take a break from social media, blogging, tweeting and newsletter writing during October. This is partly to allow my mind to settle down and rest after the extensive online work done in the past 6 months from April to September. It is also due to my calendar getting filled with corporate sessions for clients in UAE, Africa, Solomon Islands. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  

On the personal side, it was my second daughter’s wedding which gave us a lot of joy and I needed to release myself from work for this important life event.  We also had two other wedding anniversaries and four birthdays in the family during the month. It looks like October (my birth month) is becoming a month of family celebrations and this perhaps would be the month I take time off from work in the years to come. 

Continue reading “Taking a Break – Is it Purposeful Behaviour?”

Rays of Enlightenment

A photo taken at a rain forest in Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka.

This is a photo taken during a nature walk with my team. I remember sitting down on this bench to take in the energy of the beautiful rain forest. As I reflected I felt the paradox of the place; the sounds of nature and the voices of people, the trees and the cement bench, the forest and the road, the cool wind and the warm sun rays. One of my colleagues had taken this photo at that time and I was fascinated with the rays of sunlight coming towards me, as if the universe was sending me rays of enlightenment.

How Is The Pandemic Serving Us?

Image Credits: Wired.com

In the one before the last blog post (two Wednesdays ago) in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I started attempting to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had regarding the first two questions related to goals, in last Wednesdays blog post. Let me attempt to respond to the third questions;

What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?

Continue reading “How Is The Pandemic Serving Us?”

Goals! What Goals?

Image Credits: Saba.com

In the last blog post in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I will attempt to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had, in the next few blog posts. So let’s begin with the first two questions. Both of them are related to goals;

My goals have become irrelevant due to the pandemic? What do I do now?

Why do I need to have goals when they can become irrelevant due to uncontrollable situation?

I always felt goals were irrelevant without a bigger purpose. A goal becomes meaningful when it is connected with a higher, noble purpose. Therefore if someone feels the goal they had was irrelevant due to the pandemic, perhaps it was not attached to a purpose. If a goal without a purpose is difficult to achieve, we may use unethical, illegal, unhealthy methods to achieve them and we will get stress if we don’t achieve them. Goals attached to a purpose are easy to adjust and we do not get stressed if such goal.

For example I was in the process of starting to write my thesis to complete my Phd when the pandemic hit. Due to the pandemic, I had to focus on other priorities as I have written widely in this blog. This requires me to delay the completion of the Phd or even even not to pursue it anymore. I was comfortable with both these option as the purpose of doing the Phd was to inquire about the notion of ‘purposefulness’ and present to the world new knowledge that can help people become purposeful and thereby find success, happiness and peace of mind, while contributing to a better world. I was able to make this contribution to the world over the past six months through webinars, webshops, blogs, social media and other interactions. I also realise I already have a book to write on the topic, which will also help people live a purposeful life. I may or may not complete the Phd and that goals seems irrelevant when I think about the bigger purpose behind it.

The answer to the second question is that we could still have purposeful goals that we are willing to change, adjust or let go when the universe sends us a strong message, as in the case of the pandemic, calling us to be of service to this world in a different way.

I hope this is food for thought. I will be delighted to hear from you the answers that you came up with and engage in dialog, purposefully..

I wish you purposeful living.

Questions about Purpose

Image Credits: thamarathorpe.com

The last six month opened up amazing opportunities for me to reflect on the notion of purpose. These opportunities arose during conversations with family, team and clients in trying to make sense of the pandemic. These opportunities arose during webinars conducted to help people with their concerns, anxieties, stress and other psychological challenges. These opportunities arose from the 150 plus participants from 15 countries taking part in the four ‘Mastery of Self’ through NLP, online certificate courses over the past few months.

In this blog post I will attempt to list down the questions that came up. Some of these questions were already asked earlier, some of these are modifications to the old questions and some of these are new questions.

My goals have become irrelevant due to the pandemic? What do I do now?

Why do I need to have goals when they can become irrelevant due to uncontrollable situation?

What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?

Is our purpose changed due to changing realities?

I am struggling more due to the pandemic. Is it helping me to find purpose?

Am I struggling more during the pandemic because I try to live purposefully?

Do our values change with situations? Arn’t they supposed to be fixed?

Isn’t values an important component of our purpose?

My purpose is clashing with the purpose of some of my family. It is prominent now because I spend a lot of time with them. How do it deal with them?

Are religious people more purposeful than non-religious people?

Does spirituality become more important than religion for purposeful people?

Does the notion of Purposeful living taken a new meaning with the pandemic?

Are world leaders being purposeful in the way they are handling the pandemic?

I will reframe from answering these questions to provide you the opportunity to reflect and answer these questions. I am not sure what that process will do. I will be delighted to hear from you the answers that came up and how these questions and answers served you.

I wish you purposeful living.

Where Great Men Are Made

The place which developed thousands of boys to be men of stature for over 165 year, the place I had the good fortune of being nurtured, St Anthony’s Collage in Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka. The picture speaks of the nurturing location on the banks of the Mahaweli river, the space provided for sports signifying the importance of the development of the body in addition to the mind. To write about the great men produced by St Anthony’s will take a few books. All I have is gratitude for my alma mater.

The Pandemic and Temporal Aspect of Purposefulness

Image Credit: Nationalpost.com

In the last 8 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted eight important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial, environmental and societal. Let’s explore the ninth pillar, the ‘temporal’ aspect in this blog post. As in the past eight blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

The word ‘Temporal’ has two broad applications; relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs (secular) and relating to time. I use the word in relation to the use of time. The temporal aspect of purposeful relates to the use of limited time. The purposeful person attempts to utilise most of the time for purposeful activity, which requires letting go of non-purposeful activity.

The last eight weekly blog posts in the ‘purposeful quest’ series illustrated how my time was allocated to purposeful activity in spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial, ecological and temporal areas. These activities took most of my waking time and there was rarely any time remaining for non-purposeful activity during the approximately 16 hours of waking time.

The sense I make from this reflection is that the pandemic gave me so much opportunities to be purposeful, that it left me with almost no time for non-purposeful activities. This way of life has kept me occupied in meaningful and energising activity, giving me inner success, happiness and peace. My purpose is to inspire others to live a purposeful life and I hope this series of blog posts will inspire you too to live a purposeful life and find Success happiness and peace.

The Pandemic and Societal Aspect of Purposefulness

Image Credits: shethe people.tv

In the last 7 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted six important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial and environmental. Let’s explore the eight pillar, the societal aspect in this blog post. As in the past seven blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

With lockdowns being imposed, offices closed, and people starting to work from home, my clients either took the assigned transformational work online or postponed them. This gave me the illusion that there will be a lot of free time. Since I was in Dhaka, while engaging with the foreign ministry and the high commission to arrange repatriation flights, I joined my friend I was staying with to distribute dry rations to people who were financially affected due to lockdowns. In addition I arranged some help for some relatives and friends who were looking for financial assistance and guidance.

To help with the psychological challenges faced by many, my team in Dhaka helped me to produce some videos with mental tips to deal with challenges and anxiety releasing meditation. While using social media to get these to people who needed it we started conducting free webinars to help people deal with the present and gear up for the future. After returning to Sri Lanka I had the opportunity to join my team to conduct psychological first aid for the medical staff of the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), the command center fighting the pandemic in Sri Lanka.

I believe most of the above opportunities were provided to me to help be purposeful during the pandemic. My purpose to inspire others to live a purposeful life and these opportunities helped me share the idea of ‘purposefulness’ and show how it can help to make sense of the pandemic, deal with anxiety & stress and adjust their way of life to respond positively. While all these were related to giving, my time without any financial benefit, I enjoyed the happiness of giving, learning & building relationships in the process. I feel purposeful.