“Tattoo inside your eyelids this reminder: ‘you are the messenger, not the message. You are just like everyone else.’”

This was the advice given by a charismatic Zen teacher to a class of Zen  teachers-in-training.

“What do you mean?” they asked her.

I’ll begin with a story about a besieged town that was surrounded by enemies who would slaughter all the inhabitants if help didn’t arrive. Just when things looked hopeless, a messenger slipped through enemy lines with the message that the army of the Shogun would attack in the morning and drive off the invaders.

The townspeople were so enraptured with this news that they treated the messenger like a hero. And after the Shogun’s army left, they elected the messenger mayor. Though a pleasant fellow, the messenger turned out to be a thoroughly inept leader and was soon sent away in disgrace.

The lesson here is never confuse the message-which is the precious gift of Buddha-with the messenger. You are only a messenger.

When you stun an audience with the wisdom of a lecture, when your students cede to you the molding of their minds, when you are treated as someone special, focus on the message inside your eyelids: You are the messenger, not the message. You are just like everyone else.

Change Your Focus

Who have realized after reading the story that after every victory or success in our life we get identified with success. Once we are identified with the success our focus will change from giving to receiving.

When you are identified with anything you will feel that you are separate from others. This is Ego. We are not separate from anything we all are equal, with our uniqueness.

What Buddha means when he says that message which is precious gift of Buddha it only means that we need to be self alert in how we respond to any circumstances with our uniqueness. As soon as we get some recognition we forget that what we need to deliver and respond in the present moment, in the process we are failure.

Look into your own life before judging your failure how much you were after the recognition then what you need to act in that moment.

Our failure is only indication that we got identified with the message and we forget that we are just messenger. We need to only responds to the present moment. We need only one thing to learn is to respond.

Our identification is not response but expectations. Not giving but receiving. To respond in any circumstances means focus on giving rather than what you receive. As soon as your focus is giving you will find that you have become separate from your body, mind and emotions. You are totally align with the Universal Will what Buddha calls gift of Buddha – Universal Will. You will be align your act with Universal Will and whole gestalt will change. There is no desire from your side. If there is no desire then you are Empty. Your body will become Universal Vehicle.

Again read the story when the messenger slipped through the enemy lines he had no desire for any rewards. His action was fully focus on how to deliver the message and save his town people. But once he was elected as a mayor immediately all his desire and how he can serve the people to get recognition was his motto. So he was turned out to be a thoroughly inept leader and was soon sent away in disgrace.

Whenever you find that you are struggling, remember that your focus is not on giving but on receiving. When your focus is on receiving you will find that you will not be able to achieve your goal. Become self-alert and change your focus from what you receive instead of what more you can give from your action and to your surprise you will turn your struggle into success, fulfillment, calmness. It will make you ordinary, humble.

Learning from the story You Are Messenger: Change Your Focus

Experience Learning

Focus Is the Gateway:

Focus involves the ability to pay attention to things that will help and avoid distractions that will hurt your work efforts.

You Can’t Think without Focus

Focus is so important because it is the gateway to all thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Without good focus, all aspects of your ability to think will suffer. Without focus, you won’t be as effective in your work because if you’re not concentrating on the right things or are distracted, you won’t be capable of getting your work done.

You also won’t be maximally efficient without good focus because, every time your mind wanders away from your work, you are wasting time. Finally, you won’t be as productive as you can because your work output will not be of the highest quality and it will take you longer to do it.

Here’s a simple reality: if you can’t focus effectively, you can’t think effectively. And if you can’t think effectively, you definitely can’t produce the quality of work necessary to be successful. From this perspective, it’s not difficult to see why focus is such an essential tool in our life.

Focus Progression

Here’s a way you can think of focus in your work, the ‘focus progression.’ If you focus on your work intently without distraction for the time that is needed, you will do the work that is necessary. If you do the necessary work in a focused way, you will complete the work and a produce a quality product in the shortest amount of time.

How to Focus Better?

The key question then is: How can you ensure that you have ideal focus on your action that will result in productive and efficient outputs?

De-clutter your mind. One thing I’m sure you would agree with is that a cluttered mind can’t focus. If your mind is filled with stuff, such as all of the things you need to do today, you won’t be able to focus well. So, go through your tasks and prioritize them. If you’re like most business people, there are items on your calendar that you can either put off to another day, delegate, or not do at all. Also, clear your mind of anything that doesn’t relate to your work such as family stuff (of course, easier said than done). The less clutter you have in your mind, the better you will be able to focus.

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