A few years ago, the movie ‘The Secret’ took the world by storm. Everyone watched with fascination as the supposed secrets to getting what you want were revealed. Many started doing what they had learnt in the hopes of getting materialist stuff that they desired. Everyone had a plan.
But if we pause to look at it from a Vedanta standpoint, we know that Ishvara, the gunas and our vasanas are causing the thoughts to arise in us, and we are behaving accordingly. Which implies that we are ‘being thought’ ie we have little conrol or influence in this process.
Upon inquiry though we realise that while the thoughts arise spontaneously in our minds, we do have the ability to choose what happens next – do we act on the thought, or do we negate it?
If we choose to act on the thought we strengthen it. If we choose to negate it we diminish it’s power. This is where the burning desire comes in – what we desire we will act on, and if we have a burning desire for freedom we will have the will to not act.
When talking to our children about this we can explain this to them, and point out that while they come with certain talents and interests, what they do with them is up to them. With my twins, one child is a linguist, excellent at languages, reading and writing. The other twin is not so great at that, but can easily fix a light, change a plug and generally find a solution to worldly things. I explained to my twins that they should just acknowledge that each one has their own thing that they are good at, and it’s silly to compare and compete with each other on those abilities. BUT if the one twin really wants to compete with the other, he’d better be prepared to work a lot harder and for a lot longer to be better than his twin.
It’s possible to overcome your natural abilities – but there’d better be a burning desire to do the work.