While they lived on Kailasa and had Shiva and Parvati as their parents, the brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya were very similar to today’s children in many ways, both of them wanted the same things and enjoyed sparring over them!
One day Narada Muni brought a very special mango as an offering to Lord Shiva, claiming that the one who ate it would be conferred with immense wisdom. Naturally, both the boys wanted the mango, leaving Lord Shiva in a predicament!
Lord Shiva came up with a plan and told them about a little competition, where the first to circumnavigate the world would get the special mango as a prize. No sooner than Karthikeya heard this, he dashed off on his trusty peacock, jetting around the cosmos, arrogantly confident that he had obviously already won the contest.
Ganesha, meanwhile appeared to stand still, but the cogs in his mighty brain were moving faster than Karthikeya’s mach speed 100 peacock! Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati looked worried, and urged him not to lose heart, and at least try. Ganesha smiled a knowing smile, and then completed 3 revolutions around his parents, explaining that being his creators, his parents, they were his universe. And in that moment they knew their brilliant little son had won, wondering how they would console Karthikeya when he arrived!
Now how had Ganesha managed to turn an apparently lost situation into a comfortable win and what can we learn from this little parable?
Think outside the box: Most of us, in our feverishness to win skip this stage completely, and if we do think, we do so in the shadow of the problem, feeling overwhelmed. Ganesha stepped out of the problem mindset into a solution mindset and carved out a path to a successful outcome.
Play to your strengths: Now Ganesha knew that his bodily form and his trusty little mouse were no match for Karthikeya’s dexterity or his speedy peacock. But he chose to engage his buddhi, which was supreme, to battle his brother’s physical prowess, rather than feel dejected by his lack of speed.
Execute your plan: Once you’ve worked out a plan, execute it with conviction, don’t procrastinate, over-analyse or doubt yourself.
So the next time you’re faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, pause, remember Ganesha, think, plan and then execute that plan with full conviction. Ganpati Bappa Morya!