I am very fond of a daily soap on TV, Chakravartin Samrat Ashok. Let me recall a small anecdote from this show. Samrat Bindusar ruled a huge kingdom of Magadh around 200 BC, which was full of different types of people, who were not only different in their roles but also very different in their nature and personalities. The Samrat sometimes wondered that he is not able to satisfy so many different people because everyone has different expectations from him. At the same time, his different expectations from the people of his kingdom were immense and at times it became difficult for him to experience peace and inner stability while handling their concerns and demands.
Acharya Chanakya gave him a suggestion, “Samrat, instead of trying to focus on everyone’s desires and what they want, you be your good self and focus on playing your role in the best possible way and leave the rest to happen as it happens”.
Living a life full of many different types of relationships sometimes brings with it different types of challenges and relationships can become a test of our mental strength when what we expect from others is not what we receive.
Expectations from others can sometimes burden us so much that at times we can find people extremely difficult to deal with and also we may lose interest in our lives to an extent, difficult to imagine.
Many a times, it’s not about making the effort to change others but it’s changing yourself which brings positive results because it is your change which inspires others to change. Remember everyone will not act or behave as we want and sometimes it can be difficult to cope with this but if we remain determined in our positive behaviour and change, they will, after seeing our change, over a period of time, begin to realize their mistakes and become the way you expect them to be.
Handling people with different nature requires a lot of spiritual strength and can be the most difficult thing to achieve for some. While being involved in action, feel the presence of God or the Higher Power in your life at each and every step without which we cannot succeed in our actions, especially in our relationships and interactions, where powers from both the soul and God are required.
So, satisfying others with your behaviour and through the energy that you share with them would be possible when you first carry positive energy inside yourself.
Case Study 1: Corporate Culture
Say for e.g. if you are preparing for a meeting in your office with many different office colleagues, then you will take different steps on a physical level, like seeing what is on the company’s agenda to discuss, what are the different complaints of the different people in your group, where is the company lacking and things like how best my outer personality should be so that everyone is satisfied with me. But do we ever think of how is my inner personality, am I good natured, am I able to fulfil everyone’s inner desires with my love and good wishes and have I spiritually empowered myself so much so that I can tolerate each and every one even if their behaviour and way of working is different from mine.
Otherwise when we see different personalities of people and different intentions as well as aims and objectives which everyone possesses, it disturbs us and that unfocused state of mind does not let us act in a positive way and our decisions can become incorrect. Of course, we cannot always think that people will be easy to deal with and also our efforts to please them can be unsuccessful at times. But, to bring harmony in relationships, we also need to have spiritual skills like good judgement power, discrimination power, the ability to mould, power to accept and the ability to give respect to each one’s opinion, which will make it easy to succeed.
Case Study 2: Family Fable
Say for e.g. a person in your family constantly has a habit of disobeying you and going against your requests and he or she does not believe in being on good terms with you and will always find a reason to differ with you in opinions. You have tried for many months to come to good terms with this person, but you have not succeeded. Now, you make yourself a sweeter and more tolerant person and work on making yourself more humble. Suddenly, what you could not achieve in such a long time becomes very easy and gets done in a few days because seeing your practical change, the other person gets inspired to change him or herself much faster than by just persuading the other person constantly, to change.
You can try and do everything possible to make people’s ideas similar to yours and make them work the way you want them to, but a single action of yours which is full of goodness can achieve that much faster than you can if you tried through other methods.
Chanakya continues, “Remember Samrat, when we change, others will change and until we do not do that, changing others will remain the most difficult thing to achieve and in fact it will be impossible. So, change yourself and set an example for others to follow.”