The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is by far the biggest of its kind in the world. The average daily trading reaches $170 billion, while the total capitalisation of listed companies on the NYSE is well over $14 trillion. As you can imagine, daily events there can often reach fever-pitch. In the late 60’s, a few artful “yippies” conspired to create a publicity stunt at the Wall Street establishment. While swarms of brokers were cutting deals worth millions of dollars, these individuals quietly climbed to a vantage point overlooking the manic trading floor. They attracted everyone’s attention with a loud call, and proceeded to shower down fistfuls of fake dollar bills! As the individuals on the trading floor saw this astonishing sight, a frantic scramble ensued, as they shrugged each other off to grab the cash, while leaving all their lucrative deals hanging! It was incredulous – there was practically no financial benefit in their petty scramble, yet the mere sight of physical cash completely captivated them. For those few moments, their better intelligence lost them. As they realized the trick they quickly retreated back to their business in a desperate attempt to recoup their losses!
The world is full of temptations, allurements and a variety of attractive enticements. A cool-headed analysis of them confirms their ultimate uselessness and striking inability to bring us what we really desire. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, such temptations are practically irresistable. The opportunity for instant gratification captures our mind. The urge within seems too intense to tolerate. We know it would be a mistake, but we dont have the inner strength to say ‘no’. Nevertheless, the comical Wall Street episode teaches us an age-old lesson. The net result of giving-in to empty, insubstantial temptations is that we feel frustrated, angry, cheated, and disappointed with ourselves. Furthermore, we simultaneously neglect and damage our progressive path in life which is more valuable, fulfilling and long-lasting. The necessity of forgoing immediate pleasure to attain something far greater holds true in every sphere of life – material or spiritual. The Bhagavad-gita offers a variety of solutions for those looking to embrace long-term wellbeing. Learning that art will COST you:
Conviction – be convinced of the great thing you are trying to achieve, and why it requires a certain discipline and self-restraint.
Openness – regardless of success or failure, be open with a friend and seek their advice, support, guidance and feedback.
Safety – be conscious to avoid provoking situations, people and mindsets which may compromise your principles.
Taste – work hard to experience the ‘better life’, and solidify your resolve by feeling the benefits of your restraint.