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Never Give Up

  This is Santosh. He has been coming to the gym for a few years and has lost a considerable amount of fat, gained strength and is functionally fit.  He comes to the gym as he understands the importance of possessing a strong body and mind.   What inspires me about him is his never give up attitude in his studies.

  You might ask me, “Why are you speaking about his studies?”  Since we believe in a holistic approach, we can be inspired by anything.  Santosh’s inspirational story surely branches out beyond the four walls of a gym. He comes from a town called Kolar which is located in the outskirts of Bangalore.  He came to Bangalore a few years ago to study for and take the Chartered Accountant exam.  It is an annual nationwide conducted exam.  The pass percentage of the exam is very low—single digits, and is considered as one of the toughest exams in the world. When Santosh told me about his dream, I assumed he was daydreaming, and that his motivation to achieve the dream would gradually wither away.

   However, I observed that Santosh was hell bent on passing the exam. Ironically, I have stumbled upon several enthusiastic students who have dreamed about passing competitive exams, but the majority continue to succumb after a few attempts.  I believe a strong character and an attitude of come-what-may plays a crucial role in passing competitive exams.  Although Santosh flunked on three attempts, I sensed his undying spirit.

  On a similar note, I can relate to Santosh and others like him.  I don’t give up easily.  For example, during my initial bodybuilding days, I dreamed of competing in bodybuilding after a few years of working out in the gym.  Bodybuilding competitions had given me goose bumps. (Contrarily, I abhor them now and don’t even encourage my gym clients to compete in them.  The rampant use of performance enhancing drugs has left a bad taste in my mouth.) 

  Unfortunately, injuries ruined my chances of competing for two consecutive years.  However, I didn’t want to give up on my dream on my third attempt.  Sadly, in the year 2005, which was my third attempt, I again grievously injured my left shoulder.  I avoided going to the doctor for I didn’t want him to say that I had to abandon my training.  Nonetheless, I finally visited him, as I feared that the injury was indeed serious– it had reduced my strength, flexibility and mobility.  The orthopaedician said that the visit was timely and that any further delay would have been troublesome—I would have been totally immobilised for a while. However, as it turned out it was not necessary totally to immobilise my shoulder. It was however necessary to modify my training.  I continued to train and designed a routine which didn’t hurt the inflamed shoulder, but included active resting it. (I had also read several scientific studies that concluded that blood flow to an injured area can actually promote faster tissue recovery.)

Sadly, in the month of September, right before the competition, I lost my best friend—my father. He had fought a long battle with kidney and heart ailments and finally succumbed to them. Hopelessly, I was thrown into the throngs of a deep depression.  However, I had promised myself that I would compete this time, no matter what.  Breaking my own promise would be painful, and denying it would lead to cheating.  Also, strangely, I had controlled my emotions, but right after the competition I could not hold back my tears, as his absence was unbearable.   I felt destroyed and wasn’t able to control the deep pain and anguish for several months.  Nevertheless, I did compete and also managed to secure the second spot in my category. I was perhaps the most ripped of all the competitors.  That was a solace.

  Returning to Santosh, I saw myself in him—the never give up attitude.  Nonetheless, when he failed on his third attempt, he had exhausted his energy.  He wanted to give up.  I knew that a few encouraging words would help him to try hard and get over the rut.  He graciously accepted that he was at fault, and it had been wrong of him to put the blame on circumstances.  He very well understood that he still had to push his mental skills to change his destiny.  Remarkably, he held on to his nerve and brought his heartfulness practice to practical use.  Unsurprisingly, the meditation practice helped him to stay calm when it was needed the most.  For instance, the anxiety during the final day would have normally forced him to study right before the exams.  However, this time he made a pact with himself and declared that the last hours of preparation were actually futile, and only led to chaos.  Listen to his own testimonial on the benefits of meditation practice.

” My gym coach, Vishwanthar, has known me for a few years as I have been attending his gym regularly.  He knew that I was preparing for a competitive exam.   After three failed attempts he suggested that I practice meditation as that would help me crack the exam.  I happily practiced it, and experienced various benefits:  a calm and composed mind, improved efficiency in studying, excellent concentration, better sleep cycle, etc.  I was confident that I would pass the exam on my fourth attempt, as I witnessed a new version of myself.” 

   “Also, Manjunath, my meditation teacher, immensely helped me.   He practically guided me regarding my approach to the exam.  He spoke about the potency of a great tool which is taught in Heartfulness meditation—relaxation.  I applied the method at the need of the hour and was extremely confident.  I can now proudly boast that I am a chartered accountant.   All the adversities don’t look like enemies now.  Maybe they had a purpose—to bring out the best in me.”  

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