Universal Sense: The Blueprint for Success by Balasa Brasad M.D. - HTML preview
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Introduction What is Universal Sense?What is success? Is it making a billion dollars in a lifetime, attaining a powerful position as head of a company or country, or earning a Nobel Prize? I posed this question to a group of colleagues and employees at my work place, expecting a straightforward answer. A few people equated success with wealth—earning lots of money, owning a nice home and a fancy car, and taking exotic vacations. Others believed that the manner in which one accumulates wealth is more important than wealth itself. They cited Bill Gates as an example of success, unlike drug kingpin Pablo Escobar of Colombia. Fewer people took a philosophical view, stating that success is having peace of mind and good health. In the end, while the question was simple, the answers were not. If power, prestige, and privilege are not true indicators of success, then what is? While I pondered the question, I remembered a conversation I had had with my mother long ago. I was a brash young man who had just graduated from medical school, and I boldly presented my ambitious plans to my mother. I told her that I would seek out the best surgical training and open up my own center. I would author brilliant research papers, conduct seminars, and in short make lots of money. Maybe the world would recognize my accomplishments and a Nobel Prize would be in the offing! My mother listened patiently to my rambling ideas. Then she gave a small smile and commented, “Son, listen to me carefully. If you want to be successful in life, don’t chase after fame and fortune.” I was taken aback by her remark, but I cared for, respected, and admired her too deeply to ignore her advice. After recover ing from my initial shock, I asked her, “If I’m not supposed to chase after these things, what should I do? After all, aren’t fame and fortune the measure of true success?” She replied with an emphatic “No.” She said, “If you chase after fame, fortune, power, and privilege in life, you will remain a slave to them. Instead, behave in a no ble fashion by utilizing your god-given talents and opportunities to make this world a little better, while at the same time protecting your self-interest. Then fame, fortune, power and privilege will chase after you and beg you to own them.” She saw that I was even more confused and further explained, “Son, true success is a state of mind that is reflected in your outlook and attitude, not in the trinkets, prizes, and wealth that you amass. Strive to heal the illnesses of your patients because you care for them and are sympathetic to their pain and suffering. Only after you have thought of them should you think about your bank account.” She continued, “Son, you are a bright boy and a hard worker, and I am already proud of you! You do not have to win medals or build mansions to im press me or anyone else.” That conversation left an everlasting impression on me. Over the years, the combination of my mother’s advice and my own knowledge and experience has culminated in the following insight into the true meaning of success:Success is the elation and excitement triggered by a sense of accomplishment. “Accomplishment,” however, is a relative term. Individuals feel a sense of accomplishment based on their own priorities and expectations. For example, a recreational golfer who enjoys the game and the social camaraderie that goes along with it is less likely to be disappointed about his performance compared to a professional golfer whose livelihood depends on the caliber of his game. With my mother’s advice still fresh in my mind, at the ripe age of twenty-three, I left India with my eigh teen-year-old wife in pursuit of a successful career and a bright future in England. But I was off to a shaky start, disheartened when I failed to obtain a residency in medicine or any surgical specialty. After months of hard work, I was offered a temporary assignment in a psychiatric residency program. Psychiatry was my last choice for a residency. Thus I experienced my first taste of patience and humility, which are the two most integral com ponents of Universal Sense. My options were to either accept the assignment or return to India. After due consideration, I chose to stay and accept the residency for several reasons. First, if I returned home to the security my parents provided, I would be acting as a dependent child rather than a grown man. Instead, I wanted to bear the responsibility of providing for my own family. Second, the world was unlikely to ever bend over backward to accommodate my whims and fancies; I would have to work hard for what I wanted. Third, I would have to make the best of the opportunity presented to me while waiting patiently for the opportunity of my choice. Fourth, in the face of ad versity I could not afford to get upset and give up on my goals. Finally, looking down on the residency I had been offered—or anything or anyone, for that matter—was a mistake. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was this training in psychiatry that would enable me to have clear insight into the human mind. In fact, this book is the culmination of my experience and the knowledge I have gained by helping thousands of patients to combat stress and conquer addictions, fears, and phobias over the past twenty-eight years. It was my patience and perseverance that enabled me to complete a psychiatric residency and a subse quent medical residency to become a general practitioner in one of London’s prestigious family practice centers. A few years later, I completed an anesthesia residency program in New York and shortly thereafter became the chairman of the anesthesia department in a community hospital. I am proud of my accomplishments in all as pects of my life. I firmly believe that if I can succeed, anyone with pride, patience, and perseverance can be suc cessful in his or her life. I owe my success to Universal Sense. Universal Sense is an English translation of the Sanskrit phrasevishwa jnanam. Vishwa means “all pervasive,” and jnanam means “knowledge.” Universal Sense reflects the laws of Nature, the awareness of which can empower an individual to lead a secure, productive, and gratifying life. Once a person becomes truly aware, he or she can then choose the correct path toward success. According to the principles of Universal Sense, when one is fully aware, success comes naturally, which is why Universal Sense is “the blueprint for success.” We have no say about our arrival or our span of time on this planet. However, we have absolute control over how we lead our lives until we exit this world. Like it or not, here we are at the behest of our Maker, and we must make the most of what we have been given. To complete this assignment successfully, we must first com prehend the three dimensions that influence our lives on this earth: Self, Nature, and the World. Imagine your passage on this earth as a sphere, which I call the Sphere of Life, suspended in the center of an inverted triangle with little wiggle room. (Diagram 1) Diagram 1Nature The World
Of LifeSelf Your task is to master the art of balancing this sphere forever within the tight space, standing alone at the bot tom of the triangle. The other two corners are occupied by Nature and the World, which exert considerable im pact on the Sphere of Life. Be savvy and smart and take advantage of input from Nature and the World to better balance the Sphere of Life. If you approach the task as a chore, you will be disenchanted, disillusioned and discouraged. Eventually, you will end up drifting aimlessly—from one job to the next, one relationship to the next, one place to the next. Your search for easy answers might even cause you to seek out relief in the form of prescription medications or addictive drugs. But if you consider the balancing act a worthy challenge, you will forever maintain your spirit and stamina. Take the simple example of learning to ride a bicycle. Balancing on a bike is difficult if you’ve never ridden one. But if you give up without succeeding, not only will you never enjoy a bike ride, you will also never experience the pride and confidence that results from completing a challenging task. If you perceive bal ancing the Sphere of Life as a challenge rather than a burden, and if you persevere until you master the skill, the possibilities of what you might accomplish are infinite. As we work to balance Self, Nature, and the World, our minds need an irrefutable, sensible system to guide them in their interactions with the universe, just as the body needs a strong backbone and a pair of legs upon which to stand. Universal Sense is such a system. It provides insight into the realities of life, enabling anyone who uses it to develop the necessary patience, foresight, and fortitude to reach his or her full potential. Universal Sense reaches beyond religious differences, beyond ethnic distinctions and beyond geographi cal boundaries. Through Universal Sense, you can acquire, among many other things:1. The skills to reach your full potential as a parent, athlete, or professional.2. The wisdom you need to weigh the risks and rewards associated with crucial decisions.3. The understanding you need to overcome obstacles on the road to success.4. The discipline to combat adverse situations—including addictions, such as overeating, smoking, al cohol, cocaine, and gambling.5. The strength to conquer fears, phobias, and insecurities. Universal Sense can be achieved in four steps:Step 1: Acknowledge Nature (Our Maker)Step 2: Understand Nature’s MandateStep 3: Know YourselfStep 4: Find Your Place in the World [Life’s every moment is a precise calculation]