Saturday, August 27, 2016

Motivational Pep Talk – Are You Stepping on the Wrong Road...?



Inspirational Pep Talk for My Young Friends

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

So  make sure that your first step is not on the wrong road

Your first step must be on the right road  which takes you towards your Goal


When I was a small boy – in the 1960– around 50 years ago – my grandfather used to tell me a saying in Marathi  which roughly translated meant:

If you don’t want to go a certain town  then don’t take the road going towards that town

Well  obviously  the word “town” is a metaphor  and – “town” can refer to anything undesirable.

This “town” can be a habit, a person, a place, a career, a value system  yes  the word “town” can mean anything you consider undesirable, detrimental, harmful or damaging to you.

For example:

If you want to enjoy good health  why smoke that first cigarette...?

Your first cigarette will lead to the next  and then  the next cigarette will lead to one more  and cigarette will follow cigarette  and gradually  smoking will become a habit – and soon  you will get addicted to smoking tobacco.

After you become a smoker  addicted to tobacco and nicotine  one day  you will realize that smoking is adversely affecting your health.

Then  it will become difficult for you to quit smoking and retrace your steps  and “rewind” back to where you started from before you had your first smoke.

 if your goal is good health  avoid the temptation for smoking that first cigarette – don’t take the first step on the road to bad health.

Instead  take the first step to good health by beginning to exercise

There is no point in getting addicted to health-destroying activities like smoking.

It is the same with alcohol and other addictions. 

By the time you realize that alcohol is adversely affecting your health – you may have already become alcohol dependent  and  it will become difficult for you to quit drinking.

If you do not want to become an alcoholic  why have that first drink of alcohol...?

However  if your chief objective in life is to become a drunkard and an alcoholic  then it is a different story altogether – please go ahead and have that first drink  and have many more drinks  and embark on your life’s journey towards achieving your long term life goal of becoming an alcoholic...

Why experiment with drugs when you don’t want to become a drug addict...?

Many young persons fall victim to “peer pressure”

I have seen so many youngsters taking that first step in the wrong direction under peer pressure.

That is why you must select your friends carefully.

Why make friends with individuals whose behaviour and life-goals are not in congruence with your own goals, aims and purpose in life...?

It is the same with gambling too.

If you don’t want to become a gambler  then why go to the race-course or casino or play card games with stakes like flush, rummy or teen-patti...?

Some will argue that you must try out all these “vices” for curiosity sake  but then remember the saying  “curiosity killed the cat”.

Sometimes your “first step” experimenting dangerously can go awry  and ruin your entire life.

The risk is just not worth it. 

My friends who are reading this will say that I am preaching what I did not practice.

They are right.

It is easy to pontificate and give moral lectures to others  but let me tell you from my own first-hand experience that I too started drinking and smoking after I joined the Navy in 1977.

I started drinking and smoking mainly due to peer pressure and the “conducive” social environment – and it took me more than 25 years to give up these “minor vices”  and permanently quit smoking and drinking. 

I never fancied playing cards or gambling  and though I did enjoy going to the races occasionally  it was primarily because I enjoyed the sport rather than the betting and punting

It is difficult to resist peer pressure and temptation when you are young  and maybe  I could not do it and succumbed to peer pressure/temptation.

But – you must not succumb to peer pressure or temptation.

You must beware of your first step”. 


This metaphor:

“Why take the “first step” in the direction of the “town” where you don’t want to go...?”

This metaphorical saying is relevant in other important aspects of life as well.

If you want to remain honest  why pay or accept a bribe in the first instance...?

Why associate with corrupt and dishonest persons...?

If you are an ethical and morally upright person  why take up a job or business which requires you to be morally pliable...? 

Why join an organisation where there is so much corruption that an honest person cannot survive...?

If you want to achieve spiritual goals in life  why make friends with “sharaabis and shabaabis” (drunk and debauched persons)...?

If you are spiritually inclined  is it not much better for you to spend time with like-minded spiritually inclined people...?

If Godliness is your goal  then is it not better to attend satsangs – and religious discourses  rather than indulge in wild rave parties or freak out in drunken orgies...?

If you desire a life of tranquility and inner peace  why take up a career or job which is fast-paced, hectic, stressful and “noisy”...?

Isn’t it better to look for comparatively hassle-free vocation which is in harmony with your values and goals in life...?

Why start a “work-hard party-hard” social lifestyle which is not in harmony with your long term life-goal of a peaceful, tranquil and healthy life...?

Well  if your life’s ambition is to be a “Page 3” celebrity  then it is a different matter altogether  and  you must choose your “first step” accordingly in that direction. 

The choice is yours. 

You have to decide what you want. 

Everyone has different goals and no one can be judgmental about another person’s goals.

You have to decide what you want (the destination “town” you want to reach) – and then – move in that direction.

But please don’t take the road which leads towards the wrong “town” – where you don’t want to go.

Why go in the direction of a place you don’t want to reach...?

Why travel towards a wrong destination...?

Remember – once you embark upon a “journey” – it will be difficult and wasteful to retrace your steps.

If you are going in the wrong direction one day you will realize that you are on the wrong road of life  and you will want to turn back to where you began your “journey”  and then  reorient yourself and start “walking” on the “right” road towards your actual goal.

Time and tide wait for none  so – it is not possible to “rewind” your “clock”.

Now just imagine the amount of time and resources you have wasted in travelling on the “wrong” road  just because of that one small “first step” you took in the “wrong” direction.

That is why  when you are at any crossroad of life  the first step you take in a certain direction is important – because once you begin your journey in that direction  it is difficult to stop, turn around, retrace your steps and come back to the starting point.

Then after coming back to the crossroad point  from where you had started your journey  you may now decide to start “walking” in the direction of the “town” where you actually wanted to go. 

But it may be too late.

I am not being judgmental.

It is your life.

You have to decide what you want from life and where you want to go.

And once you have decided the destination “town” you want to reach  then  take that first bold step in that direction – and bash on regardless on the road that leads to your chosen “destination”.

It may be apt to quote the words of the Chinese Taoist Philosopher Lao Tzu once again:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”



Your first step must be on the right road which takes you towards your Goal (the “town” you want to reach)

Remember what my grandfather told me: 

If you don’t want to go a certain town  then don’t take the road going towards that town

Beware of your first step. 

Do not succumb to Peer Pressure and start doing things which are not consonant and congruent with your aims, goals and objectives in life.

Decide your goal  and then  take your first step in that direction  and then march on with full gusto till your goal is reached.

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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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