Just one moment
One moment can change the day.
One day can change your life.
One life can change the world.
There’s a story about a mountaineer I love. Let’s call him Hans; Hans had just climbed the Kilimanjaro and he, with his team, was headed back when they found themselves caught in a violent storm. When the storm finally stopped raging, the entire team was scattered and Hans found himself all alone. It was late at night, it was pitch dark, and when Hans rose from his unconscious state he found himself hanging from his harness at the edge of a precipice. He was tired, hungry, broken, and as he hung from his ropes he toyed with the idea of putting an end to his life. After all, how long could he hang there; the rope would eventually break with his weight and he would fall to his death into the valley. He imagined all sorts of horrible things. But a voice inside him told him to hang on, to not give up. He was tempted to end it all, but he summoned as much courage and energy from his tired aching body and he hung on to hope; maybe something would happen to turn things around, maybe someone would rescue him. And so Hans hung on. At dawn, when it became possible to see, he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw. There was no valley below; in fact the broad ledge over which he had hung all night was just four feet away from his feet. He had been unable to see it in the dark. Swiftly, he cut his ropes dropped four feet and walked to his freedom.
A moment in which he took the decision to hang on, a commitment to do the right thing saved him.
Your thoughts define your personality, your character, your energy, your upbringing. It’s important to be aware of your thoughts, because hidden there somewhere in your thoughts flying around in your head at high speed is that one moment that can change everything. Once you grab that moment, hold it tight, and then just take a few steps everyday and keep moving ahead.
Before my mum passed away, she had been seriously ill for over five years, but her situation deteriorated quite a bit in the last few months. She was in a bad state and I had no idea how to cope with this situation. But I had caught on to that one thought in that one moment—it came to me in a flash–and that kept me moving; the one single thought in my mind was that this is the time to give my 100 percent to my mum.
Generally, after we have lost a dear one, most of us find ourselves thinking `Oh, I wish I had done this or that,’ `I wish I had taken her out for the movies she wanted to see…’, `I wish I had taken her out for lunch to her favourite restaurant…’ `I wish I had watched some of her boring TV shows with her just to give her company…’ But it’s too late. That time is gone for over and all we are left with is empty regret. But I grabbed that one thought like a leech and went for it.
I wanted to make sure my mum got the best care, I wanted to ease her suffering, and I was not going to settle for half-measures. That would be like admitting defeat. I consulted a lot of doctors about my mum’s condition, I asked them tough questions, I refused to accept the weak, half-hearted responses I got from some who were too busy, I just got into their hair, I did a lot of research myself, I was all out. My family kept asking me, `How can you do this?’ I had the answer to this, and my answer was `I have no answer.’ I myself had no idea, but I kept forging ahead, I wanted to give my mother better than just good. I had forgotten myself. That changed my life, my mother’s life, and it also touched the lives of those around me. My daughter once asked me, `How can you do this without a tear in your eye?’ If I broke, my mum would break too and so I put up a brave front and kept at it. It reminded me of the time I had asked my mum, `Do you feel angry with God for giving you all this suffering?’ We accept all the good things He has given us, she said, we should also accept the suffering. My mum’s strength gave me strength.
I also started spending a lot of time with my mum, I would make sure she never went to bed without a smile on her face. That one moment when I took that decision to go all out for my mum changed everything. It inspired me to do more, it gave me greater clarity, more energy, it made me feel wiser, stronger, fearless. That sort of clarity of purpose keeps pushing you forward, you find your way.
When you make up your mind to do something, then every single moment, every single day counts. You make it count because now you are driven by a new strength, a new energy. By focusing on your goal you create a blueprint in your mind.
Let me illustrate this. Imagine this…if a child dear to us is caught in a fire and you decide you want to rescue that child. You don’t know how….but that one thought in your mind that you will save that child is enough; you will do it. You will go all out….and that’s your strength and your power and your moment. So keep that moment in your mind and let it inspire you always.
Your mind is very powerful. You have to be careful of what you think. Your mind is listening to whatever you say to yourself, and it’s making a blueprint. So make sure you are not negative towards yourself; be gentle, and if you have to be critical try to be constructive, try to lift yourself to do better.
I was clear I did not want to be in a situation that I would regret later. And today I can say I have no regrets. My mum’s last days were as comfortable as they could possibly be and I’m sure she’s up there somewhere blessing me, smiling that wonderful smile that all mothers who are loved and cared for do.