self care isn t selfish signage

 By Mitadru Dey

You need to learn how to perfect your action.

Rob goes to God asking for success. Rob: “Almighty, please grant me the $10-million prize in Super Lotto, which will end all the sorrows in my family.” God says: “I will. Please relax and go home.” One week passes, and anxious Rob again asks God the same question. Like last time, God assures him He would do something. Nothing happens. Another week passes, and still no luck for Rob. Visibly frustrated, he pleads: “I have been asking You so many times to grant me the prize, but You are not listening to me.” God replies with a smile:” I am there for you, but please buy a ticket first.”

Everyone wants to know how to be successful. A Google search for success will produce millions of results. Is there anyone who does not want to be a successful professional, mother, father, son, or daughter? The recipe for success lies in understanding how it works.

Success is an effect, and logically any effect is preceded by a cause or causes. If success is an effect, what could be the cause? The cause is perfect action. That answer is derived from a 5000-year-old Indian epic, Bhagavad Gita, which teaches us lessons on life management. The third chapter of this epic is Karma Yoga (The Yoga of Action), which introduces the right action technique. In the 30th verse of this chapter, Krishna, the master, taught his friend and disciple, Arjuna, what a blueprint of a perfect action is. It essentially talks about how we can increase our energy and stop losing existing energy. The following factors will help you understand the concept:


Your body allows you to act 24*7, including sleeping. Your body needs the right proportion of food and exercise. That proportion is critical as either people care too much about their body or do not care. My friend Joseph always looks at every food item’s nutritional contents before it goes inside his mouth. On a lighter note, I told him if he continues with this obsession, he will consume anti-anxiety medicines, not food.

When I was in my 20’s, I used to loathe exercising. My standard response to joining a gym was: “Why pay money and sweat profusely for 30 minutes?” My perception changed when one of my young colleagues in his 40s had a heart attack on the office floor and expired.


Why do you work? The answers could be money, job profile, promotion, boss, team, industry, etc. If you approach the task selfishly, i.e., what is in it for you, it will cause you stress; thus, you will not perform at your optimum. You do not have any control over external factors and if those factors become the source of your motivation, you will suffer at some point.

The world will be what it is, not what you want it to be. Instead, if you have an attitude of service toward your spouse, children, boss, or communities, your energy will increase manifold. Think about all the healthcare workers who are protecting us from this pandemic. They are inspired with a higher purpose to serve the country and are less concerned about their health and well-being.

Shirley Chisholm, an African American politician and author beautifully said, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”

The above two factors, taking care of your body and having a higher purpose, will help you increase your energy to act. Let’s talk about how we can prevent losing existing energy.


Why do we lose existing energy? It’s because of past worries and anxiety for the future. Picture this. You are having a meeting with your team. However, you may think you sent the wrong email or forgot to order flowers for your wife. You can also think about what there is for dinner and how your wife will welcome you at home when she finds out you have not ordered the flowers.

Do you know who performs perfect action? A child. That’s unbelievable! Is it not? An adult feels tired and fatigued at the end of a workday. On the contrary, a child is always bursting with energy. It is almost impossible to keep them sitting in one place without a toy or other modern-day distractors. A child just focuses on the present without worrying about what happened in the past or what will happen in the future. How do we achieve that?

You need to develop an intellect, which is your capacity to think. A.Parthasarahy’s “The Fall of the Human Intellect” is a great book to make us understand what intellect is — how we suffer if we don’t have one and how to gain it.

Perfect your action, and success will follow you. I won’t wish you all the success; instead, let me wish you to always perform perfect actions.

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