Monday, May 25, 2009

What are your intentions?

Books by mySAPL

"If you learn one thing, one small takeaway from every book you read, your life will be enriched with wisdom."

I can't recall exactly when I heard these words. I do not recall who exactly told them to me, but it is must have been important if they have stayed with me for so long. In many ways, it explains the underlying motivation behind my vicarious appetite for the reading - a desire to develop , a hunger for kaizen, my insatiable curiosity of different realities and worlds. Reading is the pulsating heartbeat that keeps me alive. The brain does not know the difference between reality and literature. Thereby, if you surround yourself in good books, in search of lessons, they will inevitably appear. No doubt about it.

My latest lesson came from Jonny Bealby's 'Silk Dreams, Troubled Road' - the story of travel writer, Jonny, and his companion, Sarah, as they journey along the Silk Road from Kashgar to the Caspian Sea. Anything Central Asia related, I gravitate towards immediately. On my next travel Pilgrimage (hopefully later this year or beginning next year), Central Asia will be it. The nomad archetype attracts me. The myth of it all. A bit idealistic I know, but hey.
I digress.
In many ways, 'Silk Dreams, Troubled World' was fairly standard in the realm of travel books. Unless you have an interest in the actual land, many travel stories fail to generate any merits on their own terms. Big call, I know, but without context or genuine interest, it is hard to truly understand with the beauty and hardship which Beably describes. Like, if you are not a scientist, you are not going to get a science book. Or if you are not into political and economic history, Naomi Klein will bore you to tears. Same with travel writing, I suppose. But, I won't divulge into the literary analysis any longer- this is not the book review
Digression. Number Two. Back to the lessons.
In the final chapters of the book, as the pair get closer to their final destination, they run into a french couple who have been riding along the same road . The four begin conversing, sharing stories, and then head off in their separate directions. In his introspection insights afterwards, Beably talks about intentions. Even though the french couple and Sarah and himself were on the same road, their intentions were different. The french: a long-planned pilgrimage of self-discovery. Sarah and Jonny: a television funded documentary trip where Sarah auditioned for the role to be Jonny's companion. Johnny describes how the french couple's trip remained trouble-free; theirs, on the other hand, was plagued with dramas, mishaps and arguments. He is not impling that filming travel stories are wrong, rather emphasising that his intentions were a lot different from his other trips. When are you travel, what are your intentions? What is your purpose? And how do intentions affect your travel experience?
Bringing me to my bigger, philosophical question - What is your intentions in life? When you are doing something - a job, a trip, dealing with hardship - ,what is your intention behind it? Is it pure? Are you doing it for the right reasons? Intentions will inevitably affect the outcome. Intention generates coincidences, energy and people. Without the right intentions, the things that come your way will not be line with what ultimately want. Buddhism talks a lot about having the right intentions - it probably why I saw this lesson as significant in the first place. So I ask of thee, stand back. Breathe. If you are a goal-oriented person like me, step back and try to figure what your intentions are behind something. Are you doing it for 'career experience'? If you face hardship, do you have the right attitude? Are you doing it for yourself, for your ego, or something bigger?
Right intentions is like a energy beam. It surrounds you. Like attracts like. Purity attracts purity. Good attracts good.When your energy is sync with your goals, good things will come your way. Simple.
Next book please?

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