Updated: Oct 5
We usually realise the value of something, only after we have lost it. In a perverse experience, until I lost my reputation and my wealth, I never realised what a burden it was or what freedom really was.
Invaluable means something of no value or something of such great value that it cannot be measured. So how valuable is wealth and reputation? Invaluable.
It happened to me as it occurs with some entrepreneurs. We stake everything we own in our business to fulfil a vision. With sheer persistence, intelligence and hard work this breed of people adopt a 'do or die' approach and often succeed.
In pursuit of individual and organisational greatness, my family and I lost all my money and reputation and in a sense almost did die.
Associates, disassociated themselves. I and my family found ourselves tossed about and savaged by a ceaseless raging storm and for good measure accused of everything bad and stupid.
'Nothing succeeds like success and nothing fails like failure'.
We humans are normally wonderful people until there there arises an opportunity for material or social gain. Many associates maintained a distance and a neutral stance but some turned cannibalistic trying to devour me for profit.
Some of the effected were enraged others saw opportunity and they pursued me relentlessly until I arrived at the edge of a great abyss. At this stage, I faced two choices.
Either jump and permanently solve a temporary problem, or fight my way from the edge of the precipice.
Sometimes our minds and bodies do become temporarily polluted by our thoughts and deeds. The beauty of the human spirit if it is allowed to prevail remains pure and innocent. I was broke but not poor, so I chose to claw my way back to survival and redemption.
I tried everything possible to save myself and the ship whose Captain I was. For my immediate family, employees and many associates still trusted and depended on me to come through. Alas, all efforts were to no avail. Realising nothing more was humanly possible I was becoming demoralised and growing weary.
My efforts were like a drowning person struggling to stay afloat but all in vain. The more I struggled draining my strength and meagre resources, I feared I was going to go under, permanently.
That is when I and my ego, surrendered to something infinitely greater than myself. Most people call that power 'God', 'Waheguru', 'Paramatman' etc. Just like an exhausted child snuggles into the arms and embrace of a loving parent, I felt carefree and unconcerned about current and future situations.
Then something miraculous happened, my mind began to be unburdened and my energy levels began to rise. I was able to think more clearly. Instead of reacting, I began to respond, and that too positively.
The nature of the real world while being bountiful can also be cold and unforgiving. If you do not offer opportunities for money, power and fame, people stop hounding you.
While retaining my convictions and sanity, I just abandoned the struggle. Did it mean, the problems went away? No, I just learned to cope.
Gradually sinking, when I hit rock bottom I realised that the only way is up. Left for dead or finished, I discovered I had begun to float.
Today, materially I am just a fraction of my former self, but emotionally and spiritually I have blossomed. The reason is not difficult to see, I awoke to the Guru's message 'All has to be first lost, before we are found'.
Written and posted : October 2023: Gurvinder Singh