Recipe vs The Food

I am into personality development to some extent, and have been to a few seminars. I do not go to them frequently as I believe in applying the lessons learned before learning new ones. Sometimes this would mean months and sometimes even years in between seminars.

I was always surprised at the number of people showing up for these events. Very soon, I realized that most of them were seminar junkies. Seminar junkies are people who keep attending one seminar after another without applying any knowledge gained.

It is like someone who fell in love with just the recipe of making the dish itself. They would never try to make an actual dish, but would love to hear the recipe again and again. There can be various excuses for not trying to cook according to a recipe, however. The obvious one is fear of failure. What if it turns out to be bad? Another one is fear of success. What if it turns out to be good? A third excuse can be pure laziness. Last but not the least, listening to a recipe and dreaming about the dish make people feel good.

What people do in personality development seminars in America, they do with Godman and their seminars in India.

This logic can be extended to anything in life: exercise, sales, academics–you name it. In our school there used to be a lot of emphasis on making a “dincharya,” i.e., a daily routine or timetable. I remember it would always create a good feeling to make it. Wake up at five a.m., do pooja, study for an hour, get ready and then go to school. Next, come home, do homework, play for one hour, some pooja again, study again, sleep till eight p.m., etc. Throw in meal periods, listening to parents and touching their feet, etc. all to garnish the recipe. It was always a good feeling to make this timetable.

What was wrong with this? For there is nothing wrong in planning, and the problem is somewhere else. For the problem is pleasure now, at the cost of pain later. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. But the approach should be completely opposite: you take pain now for gain later. It’s delayed gratification which brings value. Not instant gratification.