Vishnu of Vishnu’s Virtues was living the American dream as a successful lawyer. Yet, he decided to start a new life built around his passion for teaching and writing. Earlier this year, he launched his best book so far, “Seven Sacred Promises.” The book is the result of his life experiences and choices. Its content is valuable for self-published authors because promises such as self-love, art, letting go, courage apply to our books, as well. We need to make time for our art, pluck up the courage to publish a manuscript, let go of the fear of failure and love our book.
Why did you use the concept of promise?
Here is what I noticed: society gives us a lot of promises in life. It promises that, if you do this, you’ll get that. If you go to school, you’ll get a job. If you get married, you’ll be happy. We here all these lies society tells us and call them promises. Society does this for two reasons. Firstly, there are so many industries based on us doing what society wants us to do, such as education or housing. Secondly, society doesn’t want us to follow what’s internal and within us. So I come up with seven internal promises.
You were a happily married successful lawyer living the American dream. Yet, at some point you said stop.
I am not sure I said stop. I think life sort of said stop. I come from an Indian culture, which is society based. I followed through all those things society wanted me to do: I went to a good school, studied hard, practiced law, had a good salary, bought a nice house, I got married. I had this perfect life for several years. Of course, I was tired, I was stressed out. When things started falling apart, I felt I had been tricked: why do I have all these things, but I am not very happy? I was able to find this out in my thirties while other people may never find this out. If you buy into these societal promises and things go well in your life, you can continue your whole life with these promises, think this is what you are supposed to be doing, and find at the very end of your life it was all a lie. Society wants you to have a very planned life. From birth till death, it tells you what you are supposed to be doing. I wrote this book to say we should not be following society’s rules and laws. There is a different set of laws and it comes from within.
It may be a bit difficult in the beginning but your courage will pay off.
Indeed. Courage is one of the seven promises. It says: when you keep your promise to courage, life will guide you to your true calling. My marriage ending felt like a complete and utter loss. My life was over. I needed to start all over again. Courage is a practice, a habit. You need to take small steps, calculated risks and plan ahead. Courage is also about surrendering. You don’t know what the next step is but, still, you move forward.
To be courageous, you need to know the truth about yourself.
Yes, this is the first promise. Knowing who you are. Stop listening to other people, society, comparisons. The little voice we have inside and ignore it most of the time is so powerful. We need to listen to it more because it will guide us to our purpose, fulfillment, and calling.
I believe that each of is born with a gift or calling. You refer to it as art.
You have an art within you and know what it is. People told me my entire life that I am a good writer. But for a long time, I didn’t think that was my art. Talking to people is an art. Being compassionate is an art. It’s not about discovering it, it’s about accepting it. Sometimes, because of self-worth or self-confidence issues, we don’t accept that we have this art and that we can pursue it.
Or we don’t put enough time into it. We chase Pokemons on the Huntington Beach Pier like we saw the other day.
You know well that we make the time for what’s important to us. The secret to time management and being effective comes down to habits. Formalizing your time and doing something on a regular basis allows you to get something done every day and that is the whole key to habits. Doing something very small, every day, consistently. For example, if you are a writer, decide you will write a certain number of words every day. If you can keep that up for 30 days, you will go a lot further than having the goal of writing a book in two weeks, which you will never do.
I believe that our art is strongly related to who we are, to our essence, which is another promise in your book.
What I talk in this book is how do you get to your true self. Oftentimes people don’t think-society certainly doesn’t, that we have a spiritual nature. But we do. The promise to your essence is about getting within yourself, getting quiet, discovering who you are. Using religion or spirituality to challenge your beliefs, get to the core of who you are. You have a spiritual nature; you have forgotten about it.
To get to your essence, you need to let go of several things…
We have to let go of society’s promises, of the conditioning that we have had, of the hurt that we’ve been carring, of the ego, of the past. There are 20 or 25 items on the list. We need to let go of all of these to get to our true nature. The first thing is to acknowledge the things we want to let go. If you don’t know that you are living a lie, you are never gonna do anything about it.
The promise that I love the most, of course, is the promise to love.
If you keep your promise to love, life will reward you with connection and joy. Romantic love is one of the society’s biggest lies. Why is society trying to tell you that this is the ultimate type of love? And the most fulfilling one? One of the types of love I’m talking about is self-love. You are not going to find complete happiness and fulfillment in another person. You are going to find it in yourself. Therefore spend time cultivating love within. Also, how about being a loving person? How about showing up in the world as love? How about sharing generosity, compassion, kindness? Being a loving person to the world around you.
Any instructions for reading this book?
You have been conditioned for so long. You are not going to simply read this one book and everything make sense over night. So, give it some time, think about it and be open to the idea that there is a different way of living. You don’t have to go to extremes but that are small steps you can take in your everyday life.