Lesson to learn from the life of Mahatma Gandhi

Indian spiritual and political leader Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is extraordinary in the annals of history because he successfully used the noble method of non-violence to fight for India’s independence from the British. He inspired millions of Indians to follow his example and succeeded in making his country free after decades of struggle. There is plenty that one can learn and apply from this peaceful revolutionary’s courageous convictions and actions.

Try to Lead a Simple and Productive Life
Gandhi relinquished all luxuries and survived with only bare essentials. One can learn the art of simplicity from his example. A simple and frugal lifestyle can help you devote more time and resources to self-improvement. You can then focus more on spiritual advancement and less on material gains.

We become what we think
Gandhi said that we are the expression of our own thoughts. If we think we will fail and will not reach our goal then our own definition of success can never be realised. Positive and negative thoughts together bombard our minds, but we should try to eliminate the negative ones and retain the positives. Our thoughts shape our nature and, therefore, we become what we think.

Try to Be Selfless
Gandhi relinquished a successful career as a barrister to devote his time to help the people of his nation. This makes one get over the narrow tunnel vision of personal achievement, and realizes that one lives in a wide and diverse world. If inclined, we can all make the effort to participate in social causes and help the less privileged.

Never give up and be consistent
Mahatma Gandhi never gave up; he was imprisoned several times but he fought consistently fought for freedom. In the same way we should persistently pursue whatever goals we have set for ourselves until we reach our intended destination and achieve our dreams. It is befitting to have a great plan so that we can see the success through it. And consistency always helps us in realizing our dreams.

Be Yourself
Gandhi had the moral courage to visit Buckingham Palace in London clad in his usual simple attire. He casually joked that the king was wearing enough clothes for both of them. This can inspire you to stick to your moral convictions at any cost. Believe in yourself and fight the odds bravely in tough times.

Action speaks the priority
If the goal in our life is very important and we are not taking any step to complete or fulfil that goal then we need to reassess our priorities. This depicts that we are not serious in completing our goal and we have not evaluated our objective closely. If this is the reason then we must run through the priorities and take the necessary action to reach those goals.

Lead by Example
Gandhi said that to change the world, one should start by first changing oneself. So take a good look at the man or woman in the mirror, and make the necessary improvements to become a better person. You cannot hope to inspire others if you do not lead an exemplary life yourself.

Route to goal is as divine as goal itself
Mahatma Gandhi was a man of strong character. He didn’t employ any method to achieve independence that was against his conscience. He upheld non-violence as the most potent weapon for India’s independence. Gandhi always kept his inner conscience above everything. We, too, should follow a moral path to meet our dreams and reach our destination. And not that way which can bring any ingloriousness.

The Mind is Stronger than the Body
One needs to have a very strong mind to suffer blows without flinching or retaliating. Gandhi and his non-violent followers proved the superiority of mind over matter by suffering immense physical pain stoically. This shows that one can hold one’s thoughts and mind in a positive manner to develop the physical and mental courage to act with conviction.

An honest ‘No’ is better than a dishonest ‘Yes’
People often say ‘Yes’ instead of ‘No’ out of compulsion or simply to appease the other. They often confabulate or take part in activities and dealings without a personal interest. Gandhi said that saying yes when you actually do not mean it can lead you nowhere. On the other hand it creates a drift, indignation and umbrage amongst the people whom you have been closed once. So, a yes must always be expressed with a strong conviction.

Peace is within and not affected by outside circumstances
Do we really seek peace within ourselves? The answer will, most probably, be ‘No’ because we have defined peace by external and delusive factors. We meet someone for the first time and his opinion matters to us so much that our confidence pulverizes. Instead we should try to do introspection and listen to our inner voice and find peace within unaffected by outside forces.

Forgiveness Needs Strength
One needs to be mentally strong and magnanimous to forgive and forget sins against oneself. You do not have to retaliate blindly when someone offends you. Try to solve the issue in a peaceful manner without feeling animosity. Look at the positive aspects of other people instead of dwelling your mind on their negative traits.

You are in Control
Though fate determines what occurs to you, you are still in control as you decide how to react to people and events. So do not take things to heart, and find solace in the thought that God ensures that everything happens for the best. Put your best effort in crisis situations, and react with intelligence and equanimity when the going gets tough.

Happiness is anything done with harmony
Happiness and harmony in today’s world is very unimaginable and superlative. Living in harmony is something that we can achieve and it is something that is composed with our values. If our own values have difference then we will not be able to reach the level of harmony. Mahatma Gandhi concluded that only when our thoughts, actions and words are balanced and connected to each other, can we achieve true harmony.

Improve Yourself Continuously
Learning and self-improvement are a continual process, and one should ideally try to become a better person with each passing day. Do not get stuck in the rut of routine and boredom, but keep your mind open and active by trying to learn something new continuously. This can help you maintain interest and enthusiasm in your daily life.

Forgiveness is the component of the strong and not of weak
To forgive the person who has hurt you once is not easy. It takes great courage to exonerate and move ahead in life. But he who is able to do so is truly a man of great and strong values. If we don’t forgive then we make a fence of disapprobation around us and it is difficult to continue in life. We should forgive and forget other people’s mistake to lead an uncomplicated life.

Mental strength is more important than physical
Strength can be in various forms. In life it is more important to have a strong mind – also called will power – than a super strong body. A man with a strong will can literally move mountains even if he may not be a Hercules. Strength is choosing what is right despite the choice being difficult. Gandhi was not a physically strong man but it was his sheer will power that forced the British on their knees.

The Means is More Important than the End
Gandhi believed that one’s journey to the goal is more important than the goal itself. That is why he followed the noble method of non-violent protest to fight the British. Gandhi showed that however important one’s goal may be, it is virtuous to adopt honest and upright means to reach it.

Change yourself before you wish to see the change
Gandhi said that before we expect to see our desired qualities in others, we should assimilate them in ourselves. We all are wonderful and extremely beautiful from the inside and the more we will see the same thing in others, we shall get the same in return. We should be loving and kind towards everyone and we will be able to see the amazing world outside.

Persevere Stoically like Ghandi did
Gandhi’s noble struggle did not meet with instant success. The British stuck on to India for decades after Gandhi launched his non-violent movement. But the gracious leader persevered with great courage and conviction, and did not rest till his nation’s dreams were fulfilled.