11 Key Lessons from Gandhi for Leading a Powerful Life of Commitment

Gandhi the ultimate minimalist

This week was the 145th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest human beings who ever lived.

If you have never heard of Gandhi, where have you been!?

As Einstein said:-

Generations to come, it may well be, will scarcely believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” – Einstein

As regular readers will know, Gandhi is one of my all-time heroes and I have written a number of key articles about his life and his message.

Indeed, this post about lessons in life from a 140 year old man is one of the most popular posts on my blog.

Do also check out the following 3 posts:

1. Gandhi the Ultimate Minimalist

2. Let Your Life your Be your Message

3. Lessons in Peace from Sammy, also known as Gandhi

Being a keen and ardent student of people, I have always being intrigued by what makes a “Gandhi” a Gandhi?

What made him so committed to his cause that he changed the lives of millions of people and his legacy still lives on in the world today?

And what makes it so that the majority of us can’t even get committed to our own well-being?

What is Commitment?

Firstly, let’s get clear what we mean by commitment.

The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity etc” – Oxford Dictionary

Please understand that what I mean by commitment in this context is not just another word you throw around loosely – but a way of being and something you take on being for the rest of your life. Just like Gandhi did.

Commitment is an act, not a word.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

Commitment is about declaring your word to something bigger than you.

For this life-changing article, the real question is really not about what Gandhi and others like him have achieved in their life – but what made him and them stand out from the rest of us?

So this is really an inquiry about what allows you and me to be totally committed to what we say we are committed to.

And as a backdrop, I’ll use Gandhi’s life as an illustration of what he was committed to – and how he changed the world as a result.

I learnt a lot about the power of commitment when I recently came across The Deuce Story – all about how an American Footballer transformed overnight after declaring his commitment to be the #1 player in his position.

Deuce’s story partly prompted me to write this post – he literally became an overnight sensation. All after just one powerful, chance conversation with Steve Hardison, the Ultimate Coach.

Yes, that’s the power of thinking big coaching. :-).

Ironically, Deuce’s story is also an illustration of how one’s commitment has to be renewed daily. He flopped just as quickly as his star had risen.

You see not even the ultimate coach can empower you, if you don’t take action to renew your commitment on a daily basis.

To use this analogy in my own life, I too have had many false starts. By way of writing this first blog post after a few weeks break, I am renewing my commitment to serve you through my words and by sharing my insights about life.

I am committing today to henceforth write at least one post a week.

In the words of Steve Hardison, I am here to:-

“Be Me, Be Love and Be in Service”.

BeYouBeLoveBeOfService

 

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Friends & Friend’s Friends Picnic 2014 (Year 13!)

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Have you noticed there’s so much strife and unease all around us in the world today?

People in so many parts of the world seem intent on killing each other and wiping out civilisations which have taken centuries to grow and develop.

And locally too, there seems to be an ongoing unrest with pockets of violence and in-fighting.

As much as we would like to change what’s happening globally, to me there seems to be a general sense of despondency and hopelessness. Rather than taking a stand, it’s seems so much easier to vent our fury and our prejudices on social media sites!

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Whilst most of us cannot do much about global affairs, or even have the desire to do anything beyond fulfilling our own daily challenges of survival, we can certainly make a difference in our local communities.

What I strongly believe is that more than ever before today, we all need to take a stand in our own communities and see how we can be united and bring people together.

And this brings me nicely to the theme of my post today:-).

Time for My Annual Picnic in Regents Park!

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Lessons in Life, Love and Peace from a Holocaust Survivor

Eva Schloss at dinner party at Arvind's home

Just what’s going on in the world today?

What’s with all this strife, conflict and war around the globe?

For a while now, I have been avoiding watching the news but I can hardly turn a blind eye to what’s happening right now in places like Gaza and the Ukraine.

It breaks my heart to see all this anguish and sorrow happening around us. When will we ever learn!?

There must be people who remember World War II and the Holocaust who can help us get out of this rut” – Martin Scorsese.

I feel that the world quickly needs to remember and apply the lessons taught by the likes of Gandhi and Mother Teresa:-

1. 6 Key Lessons in Life from a 140 year old man.

2. Mother Teresa on Loneliness, Love and Peace.

Then recently, with almost divine intervention, amidst all my anguish and hopelessness I met Eva Schloss.

I had the real privilege and honour to meet Eva Schloss recently at a book reading event in Waterstones bookstore in Hampstead Village. It was a life-changing event and got me reconnected to what’s really important to me and also what truly matters in life.

It was a surreal evening as I then discovered that Eva and I are neighbours, and we literally live around the corner from each other!

A couple of weeks ago, I invited Eva to my home for tea – and also to share her wisdom and views on peace and life for my blog readers.

Eva Schloss has an incredible story. She was arrested in Amsterdam by the Nazis on her 15th birthday and sent to Auschwitz. Thanks to incredible luck, her own determination and the love and protection of her mother Fritzi, Eva somehow survived Auschwitz.

After the war, Eva and her mother returned home to Amsterdam – alas only to learn that both her father and brother had been killed during the war.

Before the war, Eva had been friends with Anne Frank, who went on to change the world through the legacy of her diary. Though their fates were very different, Eva’s life became entwined with her friend’s for ever more, after her mother Fritzi married Otto Frank, Anne’s father.

Eva subsequently kept quiet for many decades about her holocaust experience, but in recent years she is on mission to spread her message of peace and reconciliation.

She has published a number of books and her most recent book is “After Auschwitz” (Amazon UK / Amazon USA) , which is a searingly honest account of how an ordinary person survived the Holocaust. It is also a heart-breaking, exploration of what happened next and Eva’s struggle to live with herself after the war.

When the power of love overtakes the love of power, peace will reign”Jimi Hendrix (click to tweet)

war is organised murder

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The #1 Secret to Living Big that Successful People Don’t Want to Tell You!

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What secrets do successful people hold under their hats that you’d love to know?

How do they progress from zero to where they are today?

How can you do the same?

Let’s see how it all starts:

I turned to look at her one last time before I left.

She refused to return my gaze. Her pain was visible.

As I’d made the decision to leave my home in the North of England for the dizzy heights of London, I had no intention of hurting her. But she was hurt all the same.

She was hurt because I hadn’t listened to her advice to stay in the city I was raised in.

She was hurt because she felt betrayed by her own child. How would she explain to the neighbours that her unwed daughter was now living alone?

But most of all, she was hurt because she was afraid for my safety. She wouldn’t be there to protect me.

She was my mother, after all. This reaction was as much chemical as it was emotional.

It took me some time to realise that her hurt was in her control. It wasn’t caused by me, brought on by me, and neither could it be controlled by me.

She created it. She would make it go away.

But this post is not about forgiveness, difficult relationships, or coming to terms with your decisions.

This post is about a subtle shift in mindset.

A mindset that moves you away from simply dreaming, and starting to truly live.

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21 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Never Complain Again

Arvind at the finish line of the London Marathon 2014Do you go through life complaining about things?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stop complaining and start living again?

I have had some amazing insights recently into this topic of complaining – and it all began during my preparations for the London Marathon in April.

As some of you know, I recently took part in the London Marathon to help little children like baby India and in aid of my chosen charity WellChild.

Thanks again to all of you who sponsored me for this cause – I am basking in sheer gratitude for your generosity and support.

Please know that I felt your support and well wishes every step of the way:-).

I walked the whole way in 7 hours and 28 mins – and it was a memorable and life-changing day – I live my life for days like this!

You can see my pictures on Facebook – The Ecstasy and Joy of London Marathon 2014

I say to all my friends and I am going to also tell you all – do whatever it takes to take part in the London Marathon at least once in our lifetime.

It’ll be one of the best days of your life!

These are my 2 key articles after the previous 2 times I have taken part in the London Marathon:-

1. 10 Life Lessons from Running the London Marathon

2. How to Change the World in Less Than 8 Hours and 27 Miles

So what made it such a powerful experience for me?

Well for starters, I felt like I was part of something much bigger than me.

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Help Me Help Baby India

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Have you had ever had a life-changing experience around children?

An experience which changed you and your life for ever?

Today I am going to share a key experience from my life – and also the incredible and moving story of baby India. You will then understand and appreciate exactly why I am taking part in the London Marathon this coming Sunday.

I have had 2 life-changing experiences around children – one of them was when I experienced unconditional love for the first time in South India whilst visiting Nirvana School.

A few years before this, I went through an experience which affected me deeply – and it was only recently that I had a sense of completion.

We are talking about a time over 20 years ago. My eldest brother’s wife was expecting twins and there was much excitement in the family – my parents especially looked forward to their first grandchildren.

One evening I got the call that the twins, both baby boys, had arrived prematurely and I rushed off in total excitement to see my newly born nephews. But it was only at the hospital that I found out how just premature they were – and how seriously ill. They had been put into intensive care straight away.

Even worse news was being told that one of the babies was really weak, under-developed and unlikely to survive for more than a few days. But the prognosis was very promising for his twin brother.

As you can imagine, we were all in shock – the good news followed by such devastating news.  I still remember to this day how what sustained and encouraged us was the incredible kindness and support from all the hospital staff. Such tender kindness was so welcome during those torrid days.

Four days after the birth of the twins, the doctors told us that they were losing the battle to save the weaker twin and it was only a matter of a couple of hours.

So they gave us the space to be alone so we could say some final prayers and be with the baby.

There we were, the entire family in a private room and we were handed a tiny bundle. We then said some prayers around my little nephew, smaller than a 2 lb bag of sugar- and even lighter.

Having seen the little guy previously just through his incubator, it felt so good to actually hold him – incredibly tender and fragile looking and yet so much personality and presence already after his first 4 days of life.

It was an incredibly poignant and sad moment in my life to feel this little guy, his heart pumping away and his tiny nostrils fighting to take in some last gasps of oxygen.

I can’t even being to imagine what his mother and father were going through. As for my own parents, they were trying to keep a strong facade but I could tell just how hard it was for them too.

And then it happened – the baby was in my arms and I could feel the heart beating ever so slightly – and then no more. A life had been extinguished even before it had much of a chance.

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The #1 Secret to Get Ultimate Happiness in Your Life

ArvindHoli1

Happy International Happiness Day everyone!

So just how happy are you in your life?

And just how much happiness is there around you?

Today is the day decreed by the UN for universal happiness and this is the second year of this day happening.

So to start with, here are my 17 tips to become happy right now.

And no matter where you are at in your life, always look on the bright side of life!

But just what is happiness – and how can you sustain these feelings of happiness?

Is happiness what you feel when your favourite football team wins? Only for you to get really upset when they get thrashed the following week?

Or is happiness the feelings you get after a night out with your friends and drinking beer and feasting on your favourite dishes?

Or is happiness being with your loved ones and seeing your little child at play?

I believe that happiness is all of the above – and is much more. The challenge comes when we see happiness as transient and dependent on external factors as in the above examples.

So how can you sustain happiness and how can you generate it from within you, no matter what’s going on in your external world?

Let me explain a bit more by sharing what’s going on for me right now.

It was my birthday yesterday and what an amazing day it was!

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Why It’s Crazy and Dumb to Only Celebrate Your Love on Valentine’s Day!

be special to find the special one!

So how was Valentine’s Day and week for you?

Did you spend some quality time with your loved one – or was it just another day for you?

It always amuses me to see people spending a small fortune on just one day every year to show their love for someone!

What happens during the remaining 364 days of the year!?

Why not make it a fun Valentine’s Day every day?

As for me, I did have a friend over for lunch on Valentine’s Day – and yes I too made a special effort by preparing some love based dishes.  It was a fun day but to be honest, no more than usual:-).

Check out my pictures from Valentine week on Facebook:-)

My point is this – you CAN create love every day of the year – and it’s simply crazy and dumb to specially do so on just one day of the year!

valentines day lunch

Today I would like to share a couple of stories about love which till touch and move you.

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101 Ways to Help You Make It Happen!

How is 2014 going for you?

Is it just me or has time speeded up in 2014!?

As is traditional at this time of the year,  if you are also looking to set some goals, please download this article from YogaLife magazine, featuring my goalsetting tips.

A lot has happened in the world since I last wrote a blog post. For a start, the world lost Madiba – and how amazing to watch the world coming together not only to mourn Mr Nelson Mandela’s death but also to celebrate his life – a life that transformed our world forever.

I have worked hard enough, so I can now rest in eternity” – Nelson Mandela

Mr Mandela has left quite a legacy and do check out some of his lessons in leadership.

Around the time Mr Mandela passed away, there was a huge wave of nostalgia as we all basked in the glory of his life and his legacy. But now I feel that we have already forgotten his teachings and his message of universal brotherhood.

As you look around the world today and all the challenges we face in 2014, this is the time when the world needs all of us to be a “Nelson Mandela” too. Yes, quite a challenge, but why not?

We all have to start somewhere. We just never know what a tiny act of kindness can lead to. I remember how my own life changed after I experienced unconditional life for the first time.

So where do you even begin to follow in Mr Mandela’s footsteps? You start by first making your own life the best you can – a life based on high moral and ethical values. At the same time, you do your best for the world around you and you create our legacy.

To help you get started for my first blog post for 2014, I have created a treasure collection of some of the best life-changing articles I have written. This is an eternal anthology to help you get more out of all areas of your life.

Before you dive into my treasure trove, also remember the 7 things to finally stop doing this year.

I looked through all the almost 600 blog posts I have written over 7 years and I have picked out what I consider the best 101 articles.

It was quite a challenge to pick these out and organise them into one post but this has been a labour of love for me this week – and I sincerely hope you get a lot from the 101 articles below.

I have put them under some relevant categories but there’s clearly a lot of crossover. I suggest you read a few articles at a time and bookmark the ones that resonate with you – and of course, do share them as you wish.

I wish you all the best for 2014 and beyond. Thanks for sharing this journey with me – we have much work to do to fulfil Mr Mandela’s legacy.

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Why You Should Never Ever Underestimate the Impact of Your Kindness

miracle of nature

Happy Thanksgiving Week everyone!

This week, as is the tradition in the USA and other countries around the world, people are celebrating with their families and loved ones. And here in London, over the last few years, thanksgiving is being celebrated more and more. I feel it’s a truly wonderful way of getting reconnected to what really matters in our lives.

Thanksgiving Week is a reminder for us all to live with an Attitude of Gratitude

As we look back this week at our lives and be thankful for all the goodness around us, we can also remember all the little kindnesses that make our lives so wonderful and worthwhile.

At the same time, we should also look at the kindnesses we have carried out for others, whose impact though not immediately obvious can be far reaching and hugely significant.

There are so many ways to randomly make a difference to people – check out my 31 ways to carry out random acts of kindness every day.

So many times in our life, people show us great kindness and yet are not even aware of the impact they have had on us and others as a result of their kind deed.

This week I have been looking back on my own life and reflecting on all the little kindnesses that people have shown me over the years. There are a couple of life changing experiences of kindness which I’ll never forget and which continue to drive me to share more of such kindness and spread the goodness,

To start with there was the kind Mr Roy – this diminutive  Indian man was instrumental in starting my real life journey and who completely changed my life and that of others 16 years ago.

He showed me how to be kind to others and get to your own Nirvana.

Please do check out the story of how in just a few hours he transformed my life and ultimately that of thousands of Nirvana School children.

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8 Ways to Bring More Love into the World – Before it’s too Late

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Have you ever wondered what it is that every human being ultimately wants in their life?

Well, wonder no more – I can tell you what we all ultimately want to do:-

We all want to make a profound difference in the lives of others.

Deep down you already know this – but you may have not been willing to acknowledge it. Or maybe in your world, it’s not considered cool to openly declare your desire to help others.

As I look around the world today, I am so encouraged to see so many more people stepping up and wanting to create their legacy and to live a life of contribution.

You may argue that maybe that’s just the circle of people I move in. Well, that could be true but then again I seem to attract people who want to make a big difference in the world!

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Right now, the world is shocked and moved by the plight of the millions of people affected in the Philippines after the most powerful typhoon recorded in human history. And this could just be the beginning of many more such massive natural catastrophes to come in the years to come.

What has been so heartening and moving is how so many people around the world have stepped up in their efforts to help the millions of people affected in the Philippines.

What is it about the human heart that so moves us in making such superhuman efforts?

Maybe it’s because the path to Nirvana lies in kindness to others

My Update from the Last Few Months

As some of you will have noticed, I have not been blogging much over the last few months. It seems a long time ago since I wrote 100 blog posts in a month and wrote 28 relationship articles in the month of February 2011!

I have been on quite a journey over the last few months – and like for so many of us, it has been a time of deep soul searching and retrenchment.

This year began for me with a wonderful Yoga experience with Sadhguru in February which really reconnected me to my true core and made me realise what’s important to me.

A World full of love, light and laughter. It’s time has come. Let’s make it happen!”- Sadhguru

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