Page 16 : Celebrate Life

Become Internally Driven

may9One day, if someone gets up on the right side of the bed and calls me and says, “You are the greatest person on earth. You are doing a great job and I want you to know I am honoured to call you a friend,” I know he is sincere. How does it make me feel? Great. But the next day, he gets up on the wrong side of the bed, picks up the phone and says, “You rascal, you cheat, you crook! You are the biggest fraud in town.” How does it make me feel? Terrible.
So the first day when he says “You are the greatest guy,” I feel great and the next day when he says “You rascal,” I feel terrible. Who is controlling my life? Obviously, he is. Is that the way I want to go through life? Not at all. That is being externally driven. I want to be internally driven. When he calls me and says I am the greatest guy, it is good to hear those words. But even if he doesn’t say those words, in my own estimation, I am still a good human being. And the next day when he rips me apart, he can’t really, because in my own estimation, I am still a good human being. When people make statements like, “You make me angry,” the focus of control is external. But if I say I am angry or I choose to be angry, the focus of control is internal.
There is a story about an ancient Indian s age who was called ugly names by a passerby. The sage listened unperturbed till the man ran out of words. He asked the man, “If an offering is not accepted, who does it belong to?” The man replied, “It belongs to the person who offered it.” The sage said, “I refuse to accept your offering,” and walked away, leaving the man dazed. The sage was internally driven.

— Shiv Khera