What do you do for a Living?

One of the most stupid questions in modern social life is to hear or ask the the question, “What do you do?”. Seriously? Why should we assume a human does only one thing in life? What cannot a person pick new things to do – say every year?

Probably Oriah Mountain Dreamer felt the same torture! In the spring of 1994, she, went to a party-an ordinary party, and out of the “trauma”, the famous Invitation” was born:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.


It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.


It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.


I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.


It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.


I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.


I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”


It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.


It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.


It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Unbelievably beautiful, isn’t it?

Message from Oriah Mountain Dreamer: While I am pleased that this piece, “The Invitation”, has spoken to many others and happy that it is being shared, I would ask that you honour the original by sharing it as it was written.


The Art of Manifestation -1

In the post “The Free Response -2”, the discussion moved from freedom to manifestation. According to me, the first step (and probably the “almost” last step as well) is to have clear intentions expressed in minutest detail.

Check your mind. Check your reality. Your mind is like a pendulum ever swinging in different directions. Your reality is a hotchpotch because you mind is almost always in a hotchpotch state.

Like in the post “The Free Response -2”, the entrepreneur had intentions but actually his mind was filled with doubts and negative possibilities:

Me: What exactly is your intention?

He: To close these sales.

Me: Not clear and detailed enough. Technically “closure” is a correct term in Sales, but for the mind, the “closure” could even be read as closure of lead without conversion.

He: Is it?

Me: Maybe. Maybe not, but why take the risk? Why not specifically intend that you will get the Purchase Order of a specific amount?

He: Sounds interesting!

To be continued!

The Free Response -2

In part 1 of this post series, I had shared a discussion with an entrepreneur where his passion for Stand-up Comedy was revealed. We have begun manifesting that “part of his life” to reality. In the meantime, the discussion on regular business continued:

Me: Let us get back to your poor Sales Closure. Any current leads in processing?

Entrepreneur: Yes, I have two leads that I would love to close ASAP.

Me: You said you are anxious. What exactly are your thoughts?

He:  I feel they might fizzle out.

Me: Then most likely they will fizzle out.

He: Why?

Me: There is power in using the principle, “What I think, happens”. If you consistently think that you will win those orders then there is a better chance that you will think, communicate and act constructively to achieve your goals.

We delved a bit more on this. He agreed to try this out. Let us see what happens to those leads.

Maybe the elusive “magic” to creating “manifestation” in our lives is simply consistent focused thinking. It may not be easy though because the mind will almost always trip you every other second.




Art of Serendipity -1

I first came across the word Serendipity about 3 decades ago in the Chambers Dictionary and fell in love with the word after reading its etymology – here is an excerpt from Oxford dictionary blog:

It was invented by the writer and politician Horace Walpole in 1754 as an allusion to Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. Walpole was a prolific letter writer, and he explained to one of his main correspondents that he had based the word on the title of a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of ’.

Incidentally, the original Persian name for Sri Lanka (and in earlier times Ceylon) was Sarandib, a corruption of the Sanskrit Sinhaladvipa which literally meant ‘the island where lions dwell’. Sinhalese, or Sinhala, is still the name of one of Sri Lanka’s national languages, the other being Tamil.

Yesterday, I was having yet another discussion with a friend on why Serendipity is a “critical factor” in our lives. Serendipity is important because there are treasures hidden in unexplored places, unknown people and unread books. If you are used to taking regular “well traveled” routes then you are almost surely missing out on “happy accidents”. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Black Swan, calls them  “free lotteries” and advises “maximizing serendipity” in our lives by being open to new experiences.

I suggest a step ahead – let us be proactive and aggressive in inviting Serendipity in our lives – by learning how to flow freely in life – more about it in the next post on this topic.


The Free Response -1

Entrepreneur: I am struggling to close sales.

Me: How many months you have been into business?

Entrepreneur: Three months.

Me: So you gotta give more time to this.

We discuss the product, the market, the product-market fit, sales process et al.

Soon the discussion is back to worries.

Entrepreneur: I am getting worried.

Me: Why are you doing this business?

He: To make money.

Me: I dont think you are excited about it.

He: Why do you say so?

Me: Let us say you already have all the money you need. Then what would you do?

He: Spend it.

Me: After you have done all the spending then what would you do?

He: Charity.

Me: Let us say the world’s problems are over and no charity is needed.  Then what would you do?

He: Never thought about it.

Me: So let us think now!

We chit chat a bit then he suddenly exclaims, “Some time back in my spare time, I used write comedy scripts and wondered about being a Standup Comedian”.

Me: Thank You. We have arrived at the Free Response. Lets get you on stage!

Conversation continued in part 2!


The First Response!

Me: What is our first response to life?

Adi: In what way?

Me: OK, let us change the question. What is the first way to respond to life?

Adi: I do not know.

Me: Brilliant! You have hit the nail on the head!

Adi: Hmmmmn. How?

Me: As soon as you say, “I know”, you have lost the opportunity to explore or learn anything. But, when you say, “I do not know”, the whole world opens up!

Adi: Interesting, but I have my doubts.

Me: Another beauty. Being in “doubt” is another opportunity to dig deeper into things.

Adi: I am loosing interest. Look the vast sky – hey! what is that bird? Vulture or Eagle?

Me: So, we finally arrive at the answer.

Adi: And, the answer is?

Me: The most natural response to life is to wonder! As long as you do not know anything and you do not apply any label like “vulture” or “eagle” to anything, you will continue to explore, learn and dig deeper. As soon as you think – actually, as soon as you get into the illusion that you “have” the answer, you will stop wondering and loose interest.

Adi: So, one should never arrive at the answer?

Me: Bang on! I always knew you were a genius.

The Center of All Things!

Muse: I enjoy being at a high when things work for me but then I am miserable when things do not work for me!

Me: Why not live a life from centeredness?

Muse: What does living a life from centeredness mean?

Me: It means – Doing whatever you do from a totally relaxed state of mind!