Discourse on Ambition
“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.” – Rumi
Seeker: One should not have ambition ?
Maladkar: There is the amusing story of a man riding a horse. He lost control and was desperately hanging onto the horse by its neck. Another horseman, passing by, asked him, “Where are you going?” He replied, “Ask the horse!” We often lose control on ourselves so badly that we forget what our ambitions were to begin with. We start with one ambition and then keep on piling ambitions one after another so that our position becomes like the man on the horse. We no longer control our wants. Our wants start controlling us. We feel we are in control, but that is just an illusion. We are seduced by the wants to such an extent that we no longer even enjoy the fulfilled ambition and the successes achieved so far. You leave those fulfilled ambitions so far behind that you forget why and where you started your journey. The secret of fulfillment as per Rumi is just to be. Rumi is advising us to use the secret power of Universe to get what you want by being patient and attracting the wants to yourself instead of running after them. Of course, he doesn’t advise laziness nor does he say do not do efforts, but instead he wants us to have patience. The Universe says, “You’re not here to learn how to make your thoughts become the things and events of your life. You’re here to learn that they already do.” And then trust the Universe to give what you want. If it is meant for you it will be with you and nobody can snatch it away. If it is not meant for you, then even if you get it, you will not be able to enjoy it or soon enough you will lose it. A true story of Jan Koum will clarify the concept of having patience with perseverance.
Jan is the founder of the WhatsApp which he eventually sold to Facebook for over $19 billion. Jan’s story is a gritty tale of perseverance and belief in self. Jan is a son of Ukrainian immigrants. He moved to California, US at the age of 16 with his mother and grandmother. The family had limited resources and were dependent on social welfare for their housing and food. After moving to US, Jan’s mother initially worked as a baby sitter and Jan started working as a janitor. It is hard to believe but the successful creator’s first job was to clean the floor. Despite all the troubles, Jan kept his focus on learning computer programming and soon joined a reputed company as a security tester. He worked hard and was selected for Yahoo. There he met his friend and co-founder Brian Acton on job. Both Brian and Jan continued to work for Yahoo for over nine years.
Jan’s moment of clarity or epiphany came when he first bought an iPhone and saw the app store. He realized the potential of apps. He decided to create a messaging app and named it WhatsApp. The app was initially not so popular but with focus, dedication and a little bit of luck, their fortunes turned and lady luck smiled on them. The app became hugely popular and later Facebook bought WhatsApp.
Jan’s story is much more than a rags to riches. It is a testimony to the fact that it does not matter where or how you start. What matters is your ability to keep persevering and keep moving forward. Eventually he was able to create what he wanted. Due to his patience, his wants flowed down to him. Remember Rumi said “What you seek is seeking you.” Let the Universe give what you want. It will, provided you create the appropriate circumstances around you, have belief in the Higher power as well as have the patience. Then you can be sure of grace been bestowed on you.