NOTE: This is an edited version of the transcript of an interview that Dr. Sekar Jaganathan (HH SwamiGuru) gave to THE NATION, BERNAMA TV on 29 November 2019. You can view the actual interview in three easily digestible parts on YouTube.
This book is a self-help book and it’s written based on my experience of helping people for the last 10 years. People from different walks of life have come to the meditation centre that I founded called 7C Life RealiZation Centre. We do a lot of life coaching and counselling there as well.
This book consolidates all those different experiences and the different types of people and the problems that they have in life. And putting practical guides for them to overcome their problems. We also have some Guiding Points for them to follow and become a better person.
READ AGAIN AND AGAIN
I didn’t want it to be just any book. I wanted it to be a book that people go back and read again and again and again. And I wanted it to be a book for them rather than a book by me for them. So, it will be their personal guide.
This book speaks about everybody’s life. It has different aspects of people’s life written into it. One of the good things about this book is every person in this world has a problem. With their relationship, career, work, personal, personality…
Each chapter of the book identifies a problem that people have. When they read it, the book relates to them. So, a lot of effort has been put in in the last three years to ensure that the book connects with the people because it is for the person.
One of the biggest problems that people have is the foundation of fear. Human beings are drawn into fear more than positive vibrations. They get attracted towards negativity. This fear of the unknown, fear of the future creates a lot of anxiety. This is nothing. It doesn’t need to be because the whole idea of living is about living in the moment, living today and experiencing what you have today. If you fear the future, you are going to continuously fear the future, when do you actually start living?
Fear exists in people because they have this sense of lack of security. So, if you know somebody who has this fear and anxiety, the first thing you need to do is to give them that sense of security. A simple hug and embrace go a long way. Because they don’t feel lonely and they know that they are secure. They feel that they are protected.
Everyone goes through a cycle of life. In 2009, I took a sabbatical for 30 months. Sort of a calling for me to go into meditation. The whole idea is that meditation helped me to have the clarity of mind. And that clarity of mind created the possibility of reaching the impossibilities in life. That was such a great empowerment. Throughout the last 11 years, I taught this to people. I wanted people to understand that they can be empowered from within.
One of the similarities I saw in people is that everybody has the same kind of problem. But the sad part of it is that they don’t know about it. They don’t know that their problem is common. So, they feel lonely, they feel secluded and they keep it to themselves. And they don’t know how to express it.
The inspiration to write the book was to tell people that the first step is that they are not alone. That gives them the ability to open up and ask for help. And it also gives them the hope that it is alright. And then it empowers positive energies within them. And they can become a better person. Everybody is born to be successful.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
When you look at the World Health Organisation statistics, suicidal death is one of the biggest number of deaths. The thing is suicidal death at a global rate is a death every 40 seconds. It will be surprising to know that in Malaysia, there are 5 suicidal deaths a day. That’s 1,760 deaths a year. That’s alarming.
This is why this book is needed because it’s not going to stop suicidal totally. But it’s going to help people to come out and talk about their problem. One of the biggest challenges is that they feel lonely and that nobody understands them. But when they read the book, what happens is that they will know that there are a lot of people and it’s common. That will get them to get up and speak to somebody. That’s the first step. The second step is for them to know that everybody has overcome their problems. That will give them hope that they also can see a light at the end of the tunnel. The third part is that they will now have more positive vibrations within themselves and they choose the right path of life.
To be frank, a lot of people live not for themselves, but they live to fit into the society’s requirement of what is needed. One of the starting factors with depression is people always speak negative about the future. They are not motivated to start something new because it will always end up in failure.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“I am not sure I’m doing the right thing at work.”
“I’m not sure I’m saying the right thing to my partner.”
“I’m not sure what the partner is thinking about it.”
All this uncertainty and fear is the first step that’s pushing them into depression. And when this fear compounds on a daily basis, it’s the beginning of depression. So, if you see those kinds of signs in people, the first thing is to give them a hug. Calm them down.
Malaysia has done better. We have Befrienders, Clinical Psychologists and Student Counsellors. There are a lot of people who go to the hospitals for that. The rest of society are not trained to be good listeners. We are very bad listeners. When we have a conversation, we are also on the phone. So, listen first. In Malaysia, there is a still a lot of demand for Psychologist and clinical support. But I think we should stop the supply from growing as well.
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A SOLUTIONS CREATOR
The foundation of the book also talks about having clarity of mind. The mind is contaminated with a lot of things. You have what is your reality. You have what is other people’s perception of reality put into your mind as well. So, society has become very demanding for people to cope. Once you understand the book, you will see that meditation is the art of focusing the mind, giving clarity to the mind. Once you have clarity of the mind, whatever you thought was impossible becomes a possibility because you become a solutions creator.
And in today’s world of IR4.0 and Digital Economy, it creates your ability to become more innovative and creative. You become a thought leader. You become an innovator. Gone are the days where you have to become a problem solver. You now have to become a solutions expert. That will really help you when you have clarity of mind.
One of things my experience of mindfulness has helped me do is that I’m able to do more with the same 24 hours that we have. And also still have time to do more things. I am one of the architects of the first virtual stockbroker in Malaysia. It’s been running for two years and now I am now a digital strategist to look at new digital ideas. I do speak at conferences to give an insight into how businesses should evolve especially in the financial sector as well.
The whole world today is all about emotions and you have to understand the customer’s emotions on any product that you’re onboarding. The customer must feel good and feel right. The customer experience is the new KPI for businesses moving forward. All businesses should understand this and that is what I am trying to implement into the new businesses.
FEEL GOOD, FEEL RIGHT AND EMPOWER YOURSELF
7C Life RealiZation Centre is located off Jalan Gasing, PJ. I started this in 2009. It’ll be 11 years next year. And its run all by volunteers. We conduct daily meditation sessions in the evening. The Centre is open throughout the day, except for Sundays. We do that for free. And at the end of every session, we have a sharing session and life coaching. We don’t create followers. We just want people to come there, feel good, feel right, empower themselves and do what is right for themselves. We also run retreat programmes to sometimes remove deep-rooted traumas. We have had successful retreats, here and overseas.
Those days, in the corporate world, you go work, you do work. And you go back and once you’re at home and that’s it. Now it’s very much demanding because work follows you home. And there’s a lot of need for you to create work-life balance. One of the things I did was to create mindfulness on a Friday evening in the corporate world. So that people are actually detached from work. On the weekends when they’re at home, they actually know that they are at home.
A lot of organisations don’t do this and create flexi hours and on Monday when these people come back, they don’t actually realise that they have rested over the weekend because their mind is still pre-occupied with work. And that creates frustration at work. With this mindfulness that I do on Friday evening, they actually enjoy their weekend with family and they come back more refreshed and their productivity is better.
A lot of corporate organisations have started mindfulness at work like Google and GE. Personal productivity actually increases by 48 per cent. Everybody should have, at least once a week, a ‘Me Only’ time. Pamper yourself. Either watch TV or eat or go for a movie. Only you. Forget the family. Forget everybody.
[The book] doesn’t tell people how to manage the corporate world. It tells them how to manage themselves in the corporate world. What it does is that it takes away the fear of the future job loss or insecurity and actually motivates them to go and learn or reskill or upskill themselves and they become more thought leaders. The book is all about the self. All about you. For you. It’s your book.
One of the biggest challenges was how do I go about writing the people’s story. The names are fictitious, but the stories are real. These are real counselling experiences there. And real success stories. The other part is that I wanted it to be a timeless book. So, that’s why it went through a few reiterations of the manuscript until I could be very satisfied that it can be a timeless book. That it can empower you again and again. Once you peeled one layer of anxiety, one layer of fear, you read the book again, it creates a new layer of positive energy and it continues to empower you. So, if you’re lost, open one chapter, read it, you’ll feel empowered. Because at the end of each chapter, there are Guiding Points that you can practice in your life regardless of what you’re learning.
One of the bankers, a CEO, actually has bought 30 copies of the book to give to his senior management to empower them. The book is available at 7C Life RealiZation Centre, all major bookstores and online.
This book is the guide for you. Through the ideas and techniques in this book, you will create a unique path that sees you leading a life that is filled with grace and dignity.
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