Angels and Demons

This article is not about “Angels & Demons”, the mystery-thriller by Dan Brown or the 2009 movie of the same title directed by Ron Howard.

It is about the Angels and Demons within us – that take us towards or away from peace, success and joy. It is an attempt to add a little poetry to our prose-like lives.

Outside influence is important – the company we keep, the books we read, the environment we live in; but there is also a great influence of the forces within us.

Viktor Frankl author of Man’s Search for Meaning emerged stronger after the experience of the Nazi concentration camps whereas numerous others died daily because of inhuman conditions.

He remained alive because he was able to connect with the angels within.

He wrote in part one of Man’s Search for Meaning;

… We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor’s arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.”

That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife’s image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory….”

Love, dreams, hopes, ideas, plans and action all are angels. Demons are lethargy, inaction, giving up in the face of adversity.

Angels and Demons are within us all the time. It is up to a man who he listens to while making a choice.

This article is no spiritual discourse but an alert that power to grow and go stale is all within us. In times when we are so fixed on external stimuli for success this is important.

An entrepreneur’s perspective

A demon within an entrepreneur or a marketer will ask him to play easy and go by the book. Now you see, book has been written in the past and action is needed in present. It is good to get the basics from the book but also to apply your own mind to what is right in 2010.

Books written in 1995 did not talk about Google. Web resources in 2005 could not discuss Foursquare, Gowalla or Groupon because none of these existed then.

Angels within will suggest you to learn more about the space you operate in and what’s coming. Entrepreneurs need to take a note of how market is evolving. This will help the enterprise stay in lead and remain competitive. An entrepreneur needs to be open to new realities of the market.

Individual perspective

Personal development or self growth is a field that is mostly driven by the basics laid down decades and centuries earlier. Sure somebody interested in growth need to know what Machiavelli or Seneca said or wrote.

But this is your own life; you are going to live it. So you need to find out what works for you and what not. Let not the demon within – let you take it easy and go by the book always. You need to take a call on what to listen to.

Somebody in a job also need to keep ears and eyes open and understand – how to use LinkedIn and harness the power of social media and technology to create a strong personal brand.

Same thing can work for your benefit or against you depending on the time. Internet while searching for information is an angel; once you have done the necessary online research it can become a demon as a distraction.

What looks positive may be negative also. You need to look for the signs. Hard work is good but no point working to the extent of getting a nervous breakdown. In such a situation let common sense be your guide.

Angels within suggest investing in relationships; demons tell you to live in a shell.

Angels will suggest you to think and act; demons will pull you towards mindless action.

Angles within a writer tell her to write every day; Demons suggest that it is ok to slack for a while.

Angels wills suggest regular exercise, demon will say why take pain.

Angels will suggest you to live in present, demon will tell you to worry and think about future all the time.

Angels will suggest you to think about your blessings; demons will suggest that you crib about what you don’t have.

Angels will push you to keep the momentum going; demon will suggest that you run away and hide.

Angels will push you to save money; demon will pull you to spend more than you actually have (thanks to credit card).

Angels and Demons are ready to suggest. We are the ones who have to listen and make a choice.

How do you make a choice when faced with options?

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