The past is gone and cannot be changed. It is advisable not to stay stuck in the past, as it wastes precious energy, especially as we will learn to remove the impressions of the past to erase the blueprint it has left. The future is determined by the present by how we live now. It is what we do today that matters. Every day is a golden opportunity to design the destiny of our future trajectory in every present moment.
The second principle of destiny is that we create it for ourselves by our everyday thoughts — our wishes, what attracts us and repels us, our likes and dislikes. Have you noticed that some things attract us, while others repel us, and still others do not affect us at all, as they are neutral. When we like certain things, we attract them to our energy field. When we dislike certain things, we think that we repel them from us, but in reality, they affect us just as strongly as our likes; we just bind them in a negative way instead of in a positive way. For example, hatred can lead to thinking about a person just as strongly as love. I once had to mediate conflict among a group of people who were very upset about their group leader — she was behaving oppressively and people were very hurt. They came to me complaining about her, and I could see that they were spending all their time thinking about her. They were meditating on her weaknesses and faults! Once they realised that is what they were doing, they changed their whole approach and things started to in a much better direction.
Most of the time our thoughts are busy in this activity of likes and dislikes, even though we are not aware of it: ‘I like that house, I want it!’, ‘I don’t want to work with her — she is too arrogant,’ ‘I wish I was like him — he is so capable,’ ‘These people look so dangerous, it’s best to stay away from them,’ ‘She is so beautiful, I want to look like her,’ and so on. We constantly form impressions in our minds by letting ourselves react at the moment with our likes and dislikes.
Unfortunately, most of us have not trained ourselves to escape this wandering, reactive mode. Like autumn leaves falling from a tree, blown by the wind every which way, we are going wherever we are taken, without any direction or higher focus. When the mind is like that, everyday events determine our destiny with no active planning or forethought on our part.
So what can we do? Start by training the instrument that is going to design our destiny.
But first let’s imagine an analogy: You have a beautiful new Ferrari and you are so happy driving it everywhere, across wide highways, through magnificent countryside, on long road trips, exactly to your heart’s desire. But you are so busy driving that you have no time to service it. So after some time, the car’s engine starts to lost performance and eventually breaks down. So, the car is no longer roadworthy.
But why am I discussing a Ferrari? What is the engine’s equivalent that we need to keep in good condition to design our destiny? We call it the mind, or the heart-mind, or the subtle body. It is only once we ‘service’ or ‘train’ our mind that we will have an instrument capable of designing our destiny. This means regulating our thoughts to find inner stillness and clarity, clearing the clutter of constant emotions arising from the subconscious, and learning to access a deeper part of our human potential within the heart that guides us like a radar. And for this, we need a meditative practice.
You may say, ‘I am perfectly happy as I am. Why should I change? What is wrong with my current destiny?’ Of course, it is your choice, and if you are happy, you may not want to change anything. But are you perfectly happy? Think about it. If you look around you and deep within yourself, you will discover that we generally base our happiness on external objects or circumstances, so when situations change and sadness strikes, we are left without any inner tools to cope, like the Ferrari driver left stranded by the roadside with a broken-down car. It is smart to train yourself to be happy no matter what is going on. Think of it in another way: Is it a good idea to ignore the needs of your body until you have a chronic or terminal disease? Similarly, why wait until your mind is falling apart before looking after it? Why not keep it in excellent condition, like the Ferrari?
- Reprinted with permission by Kamlesh D Patel from Designing Destiny, 2019