Living the SWAN way…

Swan… The Elegant… The Pious… The Charming Bird…

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Swan finds a unique place in various cultures across the world.  In India, swan is considered pious.

Apart from the pure white and pleasing features, it is considered special due to two of its unique characteristics…

1) Clarity – It knows clearly what it needs and needs not… It can separate milk from water… This characteristic of discrimination is called as Viveka by the learned.

Viveka or intelligence is one’s ability to differentiate good from the bad, right from the wrong, appropriate from the inappropriate, strength from weakness, like a swan differentiates milk from water. Once we have the above ability, half the goal is achieved.

Swan feeds on the milky sap present in the lotus stem.  The moment it punctures the stem, the sap flows out and gets mixed up in the water.  Swan is able to differentiate what it needs (milky sap) and take that leaving away what it does not need (water).

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Likewise, we need to know our aspirations and the needs to fulfill those aspirations.  Once we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses as also our aspirations, we can easily identify the needs to fulfill those aspirations. One should also be able to differentiate between a need and a want. This is called as SWAN approach.

S – Strength – It is what we are good at and is different from what we like

W – Weakness – It is what we are not good at and need to cultivate. It is not what we don’t like

A – Aspiration – It is what we need to aspire for in life

N – Needs – It is what we need… to fulfill our aspirations and of course it is different from what we want in life.

2) Letting Go – The other unique feature of Swan is to Let Go… It stays in water but never gets wet, much like the lotus plant, on whose sap it feeds on. This ability to let go of the water without becoming wet is called as detachment or more specifically detached attachment or vairagya.

…  As we move forward in the journey to accomplish our aspirations by fulfilling the needs, we are bound to be faced with various obstacles.  Sometimes we may even have to make an amendment to our ideas or even drop them.  This is possible only when we are not strongly attached to our ideas / aspirations / needs.

Like a swan living in water and not getting wet, we should be in the midst of our work doing it enthusiastically, at the same time be able to drop it the moment we find it does not fit into our scheme of things.

This kind of detached attachment is required not only to the work we are involved in, but also to other obstacles we come across.

If we get ourselves engaged with the obstacles, our energy and attention is dissipated and we lose focus on our goal. We need to give just enough importance to the obstacle, so that we are able to handle it efficiently and grow in the process, nothing more and nothing less.

This is better demonstrated through the “Game of Football” Story shared earlier…

Similar should be the approach towards our likes and positive happenings in life. If we get too much obsessed and attached with the positiveness in our life, we again tend to get stuck and the journey comes to a halt.

However great company we may have in our train journey, we need to bid goodbye and get going when our station to depart arrives….

Let go… Grow… Elegantly and Happily like a swan

Let Go... Grow... Happily

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