There is a story about a great saint who was never known to be sad.
He was nearing ninety years of age but he was always happy, always cheerful, always bubbling with joy, like a small child overflowing with joy.
People gathered; they were celebrating his ninetieth birthday, and maybe this was going to be the last so all the disciples had come from faraway places.
They asked him, “We have only one question — and soon you may leave us, your body is getting older and older. Before you leave, please satisfy our inquiry: What is the secret of your joy? Nobody has ever seen you sad.”
The old man laughed and he said, “There is not much of a secret in it. Early in my life, I discovered that it is up to me to be in hell or to be in heaven, so every morning when I wake up, the first thing I ask myself is: ‘What do you want today? — heaven or hell?’ And I always decide for heaven! That is my simple secret.”
Being a UPSC aspirant, we have a big to-do list. Our daily schedule is tightly packed compared to our friends. Also, our unfinished targets, poor scores in Mocks, uncertain nature of this exam, previous failures in prelims and mains makes us sad. We have to concentrate hard on the tasks at hand. We have to be Serious in approach. We think ‘Suffering and wearing a long and tight face is the nature of this process’.
We are missing one important point here. Clearing of this exam requires Sincerity, not Seriousness. Sincerity is completing the scheduled targets with full attention, attending classes with flight-mode ON mobile, giving tests on time, meeting with the mentors regularly, and striving continuously for Excellence in the Process.
But Seriousness is holding ourselves too tightly about the end results and building negative emotions inside. We do prepare for this exam by keeping all the past baggage with us. It pulls our energy down, makes less efficient, and results in a vicious cycle of frustration.
It is REALLY possible to be Joyous and Happy while doing our Sincere efforts. Alexander won the then world. He wanted to live happily forever. But he couldn’t able to meet his mother while dying. He pleads all his Doctors to keep him alive for just one more day. Because his mother was travelling towards his place and just one day of travelling distance between him and his mother. But he died empty-handed. Though he was the most successful person, he died as the most failed person.
You may become IAS or IFS officer tomorrow. You may represent the nation in various platforms. That is all just an external success. Rather try every single day to live happily inside. Live like a CEO of your own life every moment. Because Life is Nowhere. Life is Now-Here.
By the way, What do you want today? — heaven or hell?. Decide and Live accordingly.