By Dya Singh | OPINION |
Each of us should work on an ongoing 5-year plan for personal progress and growth.
If you do not plan for success, then you are already planning for failure. And, if you are not already doing this exercise every five years, 2020 is a most auspicious start point!
This is an exercise briefly touched upon by the well known ‘self-improvement gurus’ like Stephen Covey, Dr Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle. I am suggesting a Sikhi based 5-year plan.
I have of late conducted numerous workshops based on my first book ‘Sikhing Success & Happiness‘ sponsored by Sikh Youth Australia (SYA). My most recent was at the Punjabi School Auditorium within the Guru Nanak Shah Alam Gurdwara Sahib complex in Malaysia as part of their 550th Baba Nanak Birthday Celebrations on 24 November 2019.
At this workshop, there was a brief mention of such a personal plan but I was not able to elaborate and some attendees suggested that I write about it to share with more readers.
First of all, such an ongoing exercise brings about a great sense of optimism, positivity and anticipatory excitement – well, Chardhi Kala, into your environment.
Secondly, watch as your aspirations fall into place as time goes by!
I have carried out such an exercise for over 20 years and am amazed with the results.
Well, I have successfully moved away from my money-earning profession of accountancy, by choice, to pursue my real passion. I have over 30 kirtan and Gurbani albums to my name and now, my first book! With that, I have travelled the globe numerous times on gursangeet tours. I have reached out to Sikh youth and non-Sikhs spreading greater awareness about Sikhs, Sikhism, and Sikhi as a tool for self-improvement.
Back to you. What are your aspirations for the next five years? Let me at the start inform you that if your aspirations are of a selfish, ‘maya‘ orientated nature, this exercise is bound for failure. For example, if all you want, for example, is to have $3 million dollars in your bank account, a healthy stocks and shares portfolio, a fully paid up huge palatial house with a swimming pool and a Bentley and a couple of Mercedes Benze’s in the garage, then this will not work. Go rob a bank!
But, if your aspirations are to follow your passions and in the process being of service to others, then there is a chance of success.
You want to pass your exams so that you can better equip yourself to be of some form of service; you want to stay fit and healthy so that you can better serve humanity; you want a good partner and healthy children so that you can better serve humanity with a good lifelong partner and raise healthy, loyal and useful citizens; you wish for the tools to be better equipped to serve humanity… you get the drift.
A Sikh is a useful citizen of his/her country contributing to the betterment and welfare of others. This leads to a successful, vibrant and useful Sikh Community. A role model for others. You want to be a part of that.
So, keeping all the above in mind, now start writing where you want to be in 2025. What do you look like? Are you married by then? And how many children? What kind of a partner do you have in mind besides being just pretty, sexy or handsome – all skin-deep attributes. What studies have you achieved to better yourself? What service are you providing to your own community and/or the wider mainstream community? How are you contributing to the well-being of the environment, the ecosystem? Are you helping to fight pollution and cutting back on wastage?
What other service are you providing? Are you useful to those around you? Are you a credit to your parents, your community? Are you taking up your responsibilities towards your parents, your children, your brothers and sisters? Remember, the word ‘dharam ‘ simply means your duty towards those around you.
Each of us has a unique personal growth path. You work on such a 5-year plan. Spend the rest of December or even longer formulating it and do not be afraid to keep rereading, adjusting and fine-tuning it.
Come 1 January 2020, give it a final read, fold it and stick it in your wallet. That is ‘your’ personal 5-year plan.
When you do your Nitnem in the morning or whatever prayer you do at the start of the day, bring up your plan in your mind and visualise it slowly but surely falling into place. Do the same at dusk during Rehras and again when ]reciting Sohila as you fall asleep. You do not pull it out and read it. You bring it up in your mind.
These next five years is not going to be smooth sailing. You can take that from me! But, progress shall be made. Watch in amazement as things fall in place and success comes your way. Maybe not the way you will expect, but the end result will amaze you, if you keep this a daily practice and visualise your success.
Even after you have finalised your plan, you can still make minor adjustments as you learn more about yourself and become a wiser person.
Occasionally pull out your plan and read it again, refresh your memory and confirm your progress path, to ensure that you know it subconsciously and also you might need to make minor adjustments or fine-tune it further.
All the best, for the next five years.
The above exercise is further elaborated in chapter nine of the ‘Sikhing Success & Happiness.
Malaysian-born Dya Singh, who now resides in Australia, is an accomplished musician and a roving Sikh preacher. The Dya Singh World Music Group performs full-scale concerts on ‘music for the soul’ based on North Indian classical and semi-classical styles of music with hymns from mainly the Sikh, Hindu and Sufi ‘faiths’. He is also the author of SIKH-ING: Success and Happiness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
550th: A global phenomena! (Asia Samachar, 1 Nov 2019)