There may be those on earth who dress better or eat better, but those who enjoy the peace of God sleep better. L. Thomas Holdcroft
There are very many people who complain about not having a good night’s sleep and they blame it on anything from stress to noise pollution to TV addiction and poor health. While some of these reasons may have an element of truth the larger reason is conveniently ignored or not recognized viz. not having peace of mind. There are various reasons why one does not have peace of mind. The two predominant factors are fear and avariciousness’.
Fear stems from lack of confidence to guilt and could also include factors like low self esteem, lack of temperament or being risk averse. Many of us are guilty of minor misdeeds be it telling lies, shirking work, being sarcastic, responding rudely etc. and having committed the misdeed we fear getting hauled up and punished. We are equally fearful of the slur it casts on our character and reputation. A few people are fearful because they have crossed the limits and could have indulged in serious matters bordering on criminal intent be it accepting bribes, fudging accounts, stealing etc. There are others who fear the consequences of their own inability to meet up to the expected performance levels or those who feel inadequate to shoulder responsibility. Lack of confidence could also because of lack of support, excessive criticism or the inability to stand up to competition. In any case whether it is lack of confidence or guilt, the fear that grows within us constantly nags us and makes us lose our peace of mind and sleep too.
Avariciousness is nothing but greed and the insatiable desire for more. With monetary wealth and the vulgar display of wealth being the yardstick to measure success, there is a growing urge in people to covet more and more. Avarice people are not confined to the middle class or the poor but they cut across the social order. There are plenty of rich and famous people who will move heaven and earth to ensure that they posses whatever they set their eyes on. In this blind chase for elusive happiness that they seek in wealth and the riches that money can buy they ignore the reality that they are not really enjoying happiness. They constantly lose sleep for they are forever scheming and plotting to accumulate more and more whilst enjoying less and less of blissful sleep.
Is there a solution? The earlier one realizes that we need to overcome both our fear and our greed in order to enjoy the bliss of sound sleep, the better it will be for us. To overcome fear one needs to develop self confidence, work on improving ones self esteem and focus on ones strengths and leverage that. E.g A short person cannot realistically expect to excel in basketball but if he focuses on being exceptional in passing/ being a play maker and in shooting 3 pointers he has a decent chance of making it big in basketball. Overcoming greed poses a bigger challenge because we are pressurized by family, society and our social circle to live up to our status. Further it is only human to want more, crave for more and attempt to acquire more. Bigger houses, fancier cars, latest gadgets, up to date style trends etc. are symptomatic of the pressures of the materialistic world. It takes more than just a firm reality check to shake of the temptation of living it up. Yet there are many who are able to draw the line and accept the reality that they will rather enjoy what they posses than chase what they can covet but never really enjoy. These are the people who are dead to the world when they go to sleep and awaken refreshed and raring to meet the challenges of the new day.
Remember: A clear conscience is the best pillow.
- Make a list of 5 things that you desperately want to own or attain. Make a detailed note on why you want to have these 5 things? Are there cheaper alternatives? Will it make a difference if you do not have these 5 things?
- Make a list of things you will do if you win a lottery of a crore of rupees. Will you stop working or change your job if you win this lottery? If in business will you discontinue or change your line of business? How much will you donate and for what will you donate?
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