Wants and Needs – Financial Sucess??

Tonight I went to a friends house (Dharma Kaur) for some kirtan/meditation/dinner/party in celebration of her 30th Birthday. She is one of my old friends and classmates from school in India. After eating I started to talk with some of my friends; catching up with what they are doing these days. I don’t see some of them that often so there are always the “catchup” conversations about work, family, life, etc.

Many of my friends have started business of their own and are becoming very successful. I am really happy for them, but it always seems to strike some nerve with me when we talk about the successes (especially financially). I have always been very entrepreneurial. I remember the things that I did even as far back as 7 years old to make money. I have always had some type of business idea or way to make some money.

I guess on one hand I have a been very successful at being a part of building a website/community (SikhNet.com), but on the other hand there is always that part of me which is the free ranger, self employed businessman. So, when I have conversations with some of my friends it sometimes leaves a feeling of “lacking” financially, and wanting to go into business to become “wealthy”. We all want to live a comfortable life and be able to provide what we need for our family. Who doesn’t want to be financially well off? I just can’t see stopping work at SikhNet to do something like that since this (SikhNet) is too important.

All of us who work at SikhNet live off a modest salary. No one is getting rich off of SikhNet. We are not here because of the money. We work here because we love it, and the reward is in the service. The normal tendency might be to get the best paying job and make a lot of money. I sometimes wonder what I would do if I was not working at SikhNet. I can’t really imagine it…unless there were more energetic/motivated young people who took on the reigns of SikhNet.

I guess I don’t really have a point/solution here…but am just thinking out loud since this feeling has come up a few times. It is actually good to live in a small town like Espanola away from the daily barrage of “Maya”. I drive 3 minutes to the office and stay pretty busy with work at SikhNet. There are not that many stores here and things to entice “wants”. When I go to places like Los Angeles or New York…or just to a big city in general…all the stores selling their things and advertisements in your face can sometimes make me feel lacking financially, because you want them (nice clothes, nice car, tech toys, etc). It makes you WANT things, though you may not need them.

This reminds me of something with Narayan (my son). When he does certain chores without fuss he earns a “sticker”, which he sticks on the fridge. After earning a certain number of stickers he can pick out a toy from the store as a reward. This motivates him to do the things because he WANTS a toy. The thing I have noticed though is that it is all about the anticipation and the want. When we go to the store, he picks out a toy, is really excited; then within a day or so the “thrill is gone”. I think as adults there is a certain aspect of this that we also experience. It is more about the want, than having. I know some people really do have a lot of financial hardship, but many of us have the basics and can live happily without more. I guess I am learning about dealing these feelings and balancing the needs and wants. I have to ask myself, do I really need this? Ultimately one can live a very simple life and be more happy than someone with billions…since it is not the money that brings happiness, it’s the state of mind.

Overall I know that everything I need is ALWAYS taken care of. I feel blessed to be able to serve the sangat through SikhNet. It is very rewarding.

If you have sometime to share, I would love to hear any stories or experiences relating to this topic. Thanks for listening, I guess I just needed to vent my thoughts. (I don’t have a pensive, like Dumbledore from Harry Potter)

24 Responses to “Wants and Needs – Financial Sucess??”

  1. Vicky Singh says:


    Veerjee, I exactly understand your point. My story is bit of different but it might gives you some idea. I am still univ. going student (should have been graduate this year) Working on other community projects all the time cost me additional one year of study.. Phew… It took me whole year to understand that first i need to give 100% of my effort toward my education and then later on go on with community sewa (after im well off). It’s bit of selfish because of thinking of myself first but i guess it’s important not for me but for my family. This past summer, I quit 90% of my time managing websites (sikhsangat.com, sikhpride.com and others) and had other volunteers doing the website sewa. I also stop helping in local youth camps and gurdwara and they understand the reason behind it and supports me well. It took me 5 months to get over with it and my fear is gone. The fear was.. “Can they manage it without me etc..” Today, im all concentrated into my few months of education. I am glad that i had few changes in my life and sometime i think we do need to try the changes and take the risk. Support from friends and most importantly family helped me A LOT. Anyway.. a bit of different/weird reply but i saw the similarity between me and you on this topic :)

    Always stay in chardi kala

  2. Singh says:

    We have to realize even if we arent here, the sewa will continue to be done, imagine if you were to fall of the face of the earth,sikhnet wouldnt go down with you… there are many ppl to step into your place. it is all in the hands of the supreme. this is all a game, we have to realize we are doing what we are do to hukam, wat has been achieved is not because of ourselves it is because of hukam and kirpa

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jagwinder Singh:
    Sat Sri Akal,
    I would love to become a member like I used to be but I am waiting for something. I know my membership is not much but I am sure it is a good boost for morale.
    I am close to becoming a paid member.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. harry says:

    Sat Sri Akal Ji,

    This is my first post on this site but I make sure I visit your site every day.

    Your comments on financial issues are so correct. Being human beings how much ever we try to make ourselfs understand that money might not be everything in life but the fact is that money does matter a lot. As a matter of coincedence, I just returned from a lunch time walk on the bridge near Big Ben and I was standing on the Bridge and wondering that how abnormal I am i.e. God has given me a lot .. a lovely family, great parents, gave me a sikhi religion, saved me from Death 3 times and I am by Waheguru ji’s grace ok money wise..but not a happy man..yes my dreams are very high..I am not very rich.. just a job in London which is enough to save some quids at end of the month but not good enough to make me a rich man..After these thoughts I was quite sad..Read your mail after coming back to office..All I can say is you are doing a great job and leading such a rich life i.e. so much of Path, seva etc..be happy because there are people who are poor than you in other terms like me :-)

    Keep up the excellent work and trust me you are one of the richest people on earth..

    Harry Singh

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sat Shri Akal,

    I can understand the need at times. When you are young those thoughts do come to mind. After you have been through a few phases of life and dealt with a few situations (I will not go into them as they are private). I have come to realise that I will always want stuff but , I am also content with what I have as I have been blessed to have three wonderfull sons and a new grand child.
    We are human and do go through these phases, don’t dwell too much on this aspect as it too will pass.
    Keep a good thought. All is in the hands of Waheguru..
    Gurmeet Kaur

  6. SikhsRus says:

    I just read about Bill Gates visit to India and how he was showered by praises and nationwide TV interview. One of things he siad that when he was in 20’s his love was making money and now he just wants to give. I also heard about 10-12 years back that the happiest people on earth lived in Tibet. And I thought it was Disneyland (being sarcastic of course).

  7. Guruka Singh says:

    When my son, Gurushabd Singh, was about 8 years old (he’s 15 now) we were hanging out together one evening and he casually said to me, “Papaji, are we rich?” I said “Yes, we are. What do you think that means?” He replied, “That we have lots and lots of money.” I laughed and asked, “How much is ‘lots and lots’?” He said, “I don’t know.” I said, “My dear son, we are very, very rich. Rich is when you are always happy and you allow the Guru to take care of you and never feel that you have to do it yourself. Then everything you need is right at hand at the moment that you need it, and there is always enough to share with others. That is what it means to be rich. That every moment, you let your Guru take care of you and provide whatever you need. So in your life, just work hard, love everyone, always shere whatever you have and let Guru Ji take care of your every need.” He said, “Wow! We are really, really rich!” I laughed and hugged him, and he never asked that question again. Wahe Guru!


  8. Anonymous says:

    The only wisdom I can give you is that there does become a time when you are too old to do anything much different than the path you have chosen. You have more energy now and believe it or not, less responsibility now then you ever will have.

    Later, you may have more chldren who need more things, college educations to pay for, etc. If you end up in debt, that will last for many years.

    Make sure you are putting away for retirement, because it will come sooner than you think.

    Really, the question is not only are you making enough money, but are you making the most of the energy, strength and intelligence and education that God has given you in your youth?

    If you see a problem, is good to explore it rather than to just shove it away and give it no creedance.

  9. bhupinder singh says:

    i’ve been through such situations often. Like a while back i had urge to get this high end graphic card cause it runs few particular games better and few other 3d modelling softwares. But even without it i’m doing pretty ‘okay’. Somehow i held my temptation to throw $ at the store to pick that card and after 12months or so i think that urge has almost disappeared. More so such things are common to realize in computer world cause every 6month better technology replaces old one. Bottomline is do you really need it or its just the feeling of unnecessary wanting of possession for some gratification. In latter case we usually end up getting bored with the thing or never use it often.

    bhupinder singh

  10. Sat Dharm says:

    I totally feel you. Just some weeks ago i was going trough the same stuff. Throughout this year i have been involved in some translation and editing work for the hispanic KY community. It has cost me full days and many nights of non-stop working, since this is something the community needs as soon as possible. Just recently i had to take a rest because the pressure was humongous, let alone what you go through on a daily basis. For this work, i haven’t been paid yet (but very soon i will)and since January, i have got by just my yoga classes, which are not that many cause the editing takes a lot of time. And here in Mexico, yoga classes are not as fancy as in America or Canada, i get $8 per hour. So that would be i had been living by $24 per week. No kidding.
    Fortunately, this has been enough to eat, have a shelter and keep walking. But there has been many times when i think: “Ouch, what if i were spending this time to work in something else and earn a better income?” Cause i could. But, thankfully, when i meditate and analize the whole picture, i realize this work has given me greater rewards that no big money could ever give me. The inner lessons have been extraordinary and very fulfilling. I’ve been giving my time in service to the Infinite and when i look around this is what i see: my family who has been always there, a beautiful small sangat that supports me and have offered me their help, whether it’s for food or just some sharing time. And my Guru, who has comforted me in the most desperated times.
    I just realize in a recent meeting that i was very fortunate, that no academic degree or fancy job would ever give me the happiness and satisfaction that i get from all these other moneyless things. And that’s what i’m going to take with me from here to Infinity.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Page 1090

    Shalok, First Mehl:
    hukam rujaaee saakhuthee dhurugeh such kubool
    Submit to the Will of the Lord Commander; in His Court, only Truth is accepted.
    saahib laekhaa mungusee dhuneeaa dhaekh n bhool
    Your Lord and Master shall call you to account; do not go astray on beholding the world.
    dhil dhuruvaanee jo kurae dhuruvaesee dhil raas
    One who keeps watch over his heart, and keeps his heart pure, is a dervish, a saintly devotee.
    eisuk muhubath naanukaa laekhaa kuruthae paas
    Love and affection, O Nanak, are in the accounts placed before the Creator. ||1||

  12. Hari Singh says:

    Do you want to be rich on earth or rich in heaven?
    If you require dollars to satisfy your desires, then let Bani quench this fire.

    The currency of earth has no value in the kingdom of God. So just have enough for your limited stay on earth but make sure you have earned enough to see you thro in your real country otherwise you will have to beg!

    Ask for just enough for your worldly needs to be satisfied and no more – because the more you have the more you will desire. Isn’t that the definition of greed? If you have 50, you want 100; when you have 100, you want 500, and so on. It never ends! You can get caught in an ever-speeding downward spiral. Just snap out of it.

    Live a life of truth, purity, humbleness, sincerity, contentment and satisfaction then the Guru will take you under his wings and you will become truly rich instead of just temporarily rich.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Veerji, I understand what you are trying to say very well. I have been through that situation time and again in my life. And always I reached just one conclusion in the end that nothing gives you more peace and contentment than Gurbani. No amount of money can give you more happiness than one PATH of NIT-NAEM or Sukhmani Sahib or any other PATH for that matter. As explained in Gurbani “Ete bhaye to kya bhaye bhupat, anth ko naange hi paye padhare” meaning Even if you are an Emperor here, when you die you’ll go barefeet (Pls forgive me if I’ve quoted Gurbani wrong or given a wrong translation. This is what I understood after reading this verse). The work you are doing is simply great. You are blessed that Waheguru chose you to do this sewa. So, never feel disheartened and Waheguru will take care of all your needs and even “wants”. I started doing PATH recently and since then Waheguru has taken very good care of all my needs and wants. There was a time when all my wishes were granted within minutes or hours of my asking for it. I was new on the path of spiritualism and was so scared of what was happening that I stopped doing PATH for few days. At that time I actually felt that there is someone standing right next to me who is listening to what I am asking for and brings that to me in a jiffy. No matter how difficult or costly my demand was. Believe me it was really happening. Then I realised that I have to control my thoughts and today whenever I ask for something in my prayers (I still ask for so many worldly things :-)), I always add in the end “Waheguru if its not the right thing for me, pls don’t give it to me. You r the best judge and I’ll be happy in what u give me” and within few days I forget about the thing I was asking for.
    Gurumustuk veerji, I am same age as you and feel the same when I look at my peer. But somewhere inside my heart I know I am more happy, content and rich than many others.

    This is my first posting on this site. I am sorry if I got carried away and has written too much.


  14. Anonymous says:

    We all are on this earth playing our role in this world of MAYA. Living in a small or big city doesnt make a difference to gurmukhs who have perfected simran so that the NAAM has blended into their life. Also, you said very rightly that all the needs (not wants) are being met as HE knows what his sewak needs. Moreover, he never gives more that one can handle.

    Teg Deg Fateh

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sat Shri Akal!

    Dear Gurumustuk Ji,

    Did you read today’s hukamnama from Darbar Sahib?
    Yes, the answer is there, espcially for you (and so many others (like me) who have to conquer this question sometimes).
    I am quite sure deep down you knew.
    God bless you!


  16. Anonymous says:

    whatever i need is given to me.
    whatever needs to happen is happening.
    things are just the way they should be.
    i yearn to feel the vibration and flow with naam.
    i yearn to experience truth and know contentment.

  17. kiran says:

    hey GM, how do?

    What I think is that….God put us on earth for a reason and for a limited time…per life…..

    If you feel that working on Sikhnet all the time is using your time, your intelligence, your manual skill and strength effectively then by all means snap out of that feeling and remind your self of what you have!!!!

    If you dont know then…here are few things to get you started…..1)you have a great family…wife and child…..Some people arent as lucky….2)you have a solid roof over your head…..least your not livig out there on the streets out in the cold….3)you are blessed fiancially…..if you wernt then you wouldnt have a house, electricity, gas, clothes and most of all your wouldnt have computer to do your work on…..so dont be too down!!!! Some people dont have these things…..

    Be thankful that you have becos with out these things you are unable to inspire, imform and serve the sangat!!!!

    However if you still feel that little bit empty then go out with an idea….make that extra bit of dollor and use it for the greater good!!!

    what im tying to get at is that…use your time and intelligence effectively….make time for other commitments such as family and other business ideas….these ideas could help you make alot more money….you could then use this extra capital and drum it back in to Sikhnet…..expanding it more and more…..leading to more inspirational teaching to others about Sikhism and serva…..I dunno just an idea…..the rest is up to you if u wish to follow it up…..

    Being a Sikh is about LEARNING…..how are you supposed to that if you dont go out there and try other things???

    you could cut down your time at Siknet and think of other ways in which to make some dollor and think more on how you could serve and inspire the sangat…. at the same time always have God in your heart and mind and being there for your family…becos if your able to that then your able to be there for everyone else(the sangat)…..

    Okay so i dont have more to say….well i do but i just dont wanna bore ya anymore…..

    Do Take Care and dont dwell too much cos you’ll get a headache bigtime!!!!

    lots of Pyar Kiran

    ps it was 7* in London today….really cold…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dear GMS,
    I won’t give long lectures, because you and i are almost the same age. I’ll make jut one point, what makes you think you JUST have enough? The respect and love of the Sikh Sangat you have, i’ve yet to meet someone who can match that. You’re lot richer than you think.
    Take care.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Wealth is all relative. No matter how much you have there is always more.

    Even among billionaires, someone has a bigger yacht, a bigger house, a nicer plane, a better car, more, more, more…

    Better to seek contentment than wealth just for the sake of wealth. Wealth is just a means. People who obsess about it are bound and blinded by it (whether they have it or not.)

    In the end, what was your life? What was your contribution? How did you serve others? Have you seen through the Maya to the real Truth and truly experienced what is spoken in Gurus Bani?

    Next to that wealth is of no consequence whatsoever.

  20. satvinder says:

    Gurka Singh Ji,

    I loved your story. My mother used to say exactly the same sorts of things to me. Work hard, care for all and share with all.
    Thank you for sharing. You brought back some childhood memories.


  21. satvinder says:

    ps. She also used to say then Waheguru will take care of you.

  22. This post has been removed by the author.

  23. GuruKaram: this wasn’t meant to be a discriminatory comment……I just thought that mostly younger people will have more flexibility and energy for this type of thing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The best things in life are free.