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Applying Buddhism Philosophy to the Start Up Mentality

By Pavan Katepalli

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Who should read this post: Entrepreneurs that are constantly having to stand strong while disappointments arise

What you will learn: You’ll learn how to move on quickly from things that suck so you can concentrate on what matters.

My favorite class in college was Buddhism. It was my favorite, because it made me think about life in a completely different way. It was only class I took at Rutgers that did that for me.

I remember my Buddhism Professor said Buddhism’s purpose is to end suffering. I thought it was farfetched when I first heard it.

My professor told us that it wasn’t pain that Buddhism freed us from, but from ignorance. Ignorance he said is the greatest evil in the world. Ignorance is the reason for genocide, war, racism, sexism and everything else that's evil. But it doesn’t end there. Usually whenever you’re upset – it’s because you’re being ignorant about something.

Moreover, the class had an open discussion about things in the universe that are permanent, and what we discovered was that there was nothing permanent in this universe. Nothing. Everything eventually ends. I will one day be gone. My parents, the house I live in, all of my friends will all be gone one day. Facebook will be gone one day, Google will be gone one day, the earth, the sun, the galaxy, the universe will all end eventually. Everything I own, everything I do in my life, everything I know that is real will eventually end and be forever forgotten and gone.

Then we played a thought experiment. What if everything was permanent? At first we all thought it would be awesome. I would forever be 21. I wouldn’t go bald, I could do whatever I want and won't die, everything I know of would be forever.

But if we're all permanent, then reproduction wouldn’t exist – because we're all permanent, and there wouldn't be a purpose to it. Since everything's permanent then what would the point of doing things be? Time wouldn't exist because it's relative and the earth wouldn't spin.

So the class realized that the only way for things to be permanent is for things to never change. To be forever boring, stagnant and the same.

The point my professor made was that life exists because things are impermanent. Life exists because it eventually has to end. Life is short term, but that's what makes it life. Life is awesome and interesting because life has a beginning and an end. Things don't last forever, because if they did then they wouldn't exist.

After hearing that and understanding, realizing and accepting it, I’m not scared of death anymore – I understand it. I’m no longer ignorant to the ideology that life ending is a terrifying and terrible thing.

Free yourself from your fears, by realizing, understanding and accepting what you're being ignorant to. For example, if you find yourself dwelling on mistakes that you made, then you're being ignorant to the fact that mistakes will be made when you start a Company for the first time. Realizing, understanding and accepting that will free yourself from the suffering that those thoughts cause you. By freeing yourself, you will be able to devote your mentality and thoughts towards your Company’s goals.

When you're angry, sad or disappointed with your company or freelancing business, ask yourself what you're being ignorant about, understand it, realize it, accept it and end your suffering, because you have no time to waste when your goal is to change the world.


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Recent Comments

  • Hey Sayanaël I’m glad the post helped you out! I switched from windows to mac and then mac to ubuntu, so I forget how to refresh wamp. Do you pull up the wamp menu and click on refresh?

    Pavan in Cake PHP 2.2.1 Installation Errors
  • Thanks for this solution ! After hours browsing internet, your solution work just fine ! P.S: You don’t have to restart wamp, just refresh it.

    Sayanaël in Cake PHP 2.2.1 Installation Errors
  • Great article Pavan! Hopefully I can use a lot of these tips to further my own coding experience.

    Joe in How I Learned to Code For My Start Up

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