The Art of Moving On: Lessons from the Silver Screen, Ancient Wisdom, and Karma Yoga5 min read

image generated by author using DALL.E GPT

“Scoop: Word is they’re going to repeal prohibition. What’ll you do then?”
“Ness: [jokingly] I think I’ll have a drink.”

This exchange from the movie ‘The Untouchables’ perfectly encapsulates the essence of moving on. (Also quoted in my book ‘Directing Business’.)

Eliot Ness, the main character, works hard to put Al Capone in jail for breaking the law during Prohibition. When he hears that Prohibition might be repealed, he doesn’t get upset. Instead, he jokes about having a drink and gets ready for his next challenge. This scene is a great example of how important it is to move on, no matter what happens.

Life is a journey filled with ups and downs, triumphs and failures, joys and sorrows. It’s a roller coaster ride that takes us through different phases and experiences. But amidst all these, there’s one thing that remains constant – change. And with change comes the need to move on.

The Power of Letting Go

Imagine holding onto a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else. Who gets burned first? You do. This analogy, often attributed to Buddha, perfectly illustrates the harm we inflict on ourselves when we refuse to let go and move on.

Holding onto past hurts, failures, or disappointments is like carrying a heavy burden that weighs us down. It hinders our progress and prevents us from reaching our full potential. By letting go, we free ourselves from this burden and open up space for new experiences and opportunities.

The Lessons in Failure

Failure is often seen as something negative, something to be avoided at all costs. But in reality, failure is one of our greatest teachers. It provides valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t, and it helps us grow and improve.

When we fail, it’s important to take a step back, assess what went wrong, learn from it, and then move on. Dwelling on failure or wallowing in self-pity won’t change what happened. But learning from it and moving forward can change what happens next.

This is beautifully illustrated in the story of a farmer from an Amar Chitra Katha comic book. The farmer lost his bag of gold coins three times, but each time, he found them again. Instead of dwelling on his loss, he learned from his mistakes and moved on, eventually regaining what he had lost.

The Promise of New Beginnings

Every ending is a new beginning. When one door closes, another one opens. But we often spend so much time mourning the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.

Moving on allows us to see these new opportunities. It gives us the chance to start fresh, to try something new, to meet new people, and to explore new paths. It’s the promise of new beginnings that makes moving on so exciting and rewarding.

The Art of Adaptation

Life is unpredictable. Things don’t always go as planned. We face unexpected challenges and setbacks. In such situations, the ability to adapt and move on is crucial.

Adapting to change requires us to be flexible and resilient. It requires us to let go of our expectations and preconceived notions, to accept the new reality, and to move forward with courage and optimism. It’s this ability to adapt and move on that helps us survive and thrive in the face of adversity.

Raanidi Raadu Dr.BMK

The philosophy of the Thyagaraja Kriti – Raanidi Raadu – Raga Manirangu, a song that provides profound insight into the nature of destiny and karma, aligns closely with this concept. The song suggests that if we are meant to earn certain wealth, we will definitely get it. On the other hand, if we aren’t destined to have it, we won’t get it no matter how hard we try. So, the best thing we can do is to keep doing our work or duties without worrying about the outcome. This is because we never really know what we are destined to receive.

This philosophy is also echoed in the teachings of Karma Yoga, a path of selfless action. Karma Yoga, as explained in the Bhagavad Gita, encourages us to perform our duties without attachment to the outcome. This concept, known as Nishkama Karma, teaches us to accept both success and failure with equanimity. It’s about doing what needs to be done, without worrying about the results. This is an essential aspect of moving on, as it allows us to focus on the task at hand, rather than getting caught up in what might or might not happen in the future.

In conclusion, moving on is not just an act but an art. It’s an art that requires courage, resilience, and a positive mindset. It’s an art that teaches us valuable lessons, opens up new opportunities, and helps us grow as individuals. So, no matter what life throws at us, let’s master the art of moving on. Because in the end, it’s not what happens to us that defines us, but how we respond to it.

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