I stood in my balcony after a long day at work. Thoughts crowded my head like flies around a fruit. Prodding, provoking, irritating.
’10 tasks to complete tomorrow!’ one said while the other rushed in reminding me of the 40 unread emails lying in my inbox.
‘Anxiety’ and it’s best friend ‘fear’ crept in filling the imagination with nightmare-ish situations about my future.
‘Arrrghhh’, I felt like shouting when the tiny voice of wisdom in me said,
‘Calm down. Breathe!’
As I began to be aware of my surroundings, it hit me all of a sudden that it had just begun to rain. I smiled at myself as I breathed in that intoxicating smell of rain and dirt…
Life is a gift given to all of us.
Yet, why do we forget this simple truth so often? Most of us are so easily bored because we find everything mundane and uninteresting. Life which appears dull, routine and monotonous saps the little energy which is left after a tiring job and ever-increasing commitments.
Everyone seems to be asking ‘Is this all there is to it?‘
What I have come to realize in the fleeting moments of clarity is that we are all running like mad. Running towards that high mountain, that elusive designation, that ideal life where we are never unhappy or bored. We have all slowly and unknowingly built walls which insulate us from that vital and pulsating force called life.
So what can you do to break those walls? What can you do to reclaim that living energy which is inside all of us? It’s quite simple really.
Living The Small Moments
Instead of constantly worrying about the future, focus on the Now. From my own experience, I know that it might not be possible to live in the moment all the time. But remind yourself of the present moment whenever you can. Slow down and look around. Take up that one thing which needs to be done at this moment. Tomorrow and next week can wait.
Then do the task with all your mind, body and soul. Watch yourself flow and experience the joy as you live through it. This in some meditation practices is called ‘Mindfulness’. It’s both powerful and liberating. Give it a try.
Enough with the Donkey Work
I am surprised when people come to me and say ‘I slogged my a** off and I still get no recognition’.’ I stay up late in office everyday but I see no chance of my promotion!‘
Pure hard work is not enough. What separates the ones who enjoy life while working from the ones who slog it out all day is attitude and focus.
Ask yourself, how productive are you in those 8-9 hours you spend at office? We are living in the era where someone who stays up late is not seen as hardworking. Rather he/ she is seen as unproductive and inefficient. Don’t let the demon of hard work take your precious moments away from you.
Don’t be the donkey anymore. Whenever you feel fatigue and stress wearing you out, learn to say ‘No’.
What Happened to the Celebrations?
As kids, most of us looked forward to celebrate the smallest of our victories. Getting that extra grade or winning a game of cricket against the neighboring street kids was celebrated with so much joy and vigour.
But as we grow up, the celebrations become a thing to avoid. The reason for this is an unexplained guilt which society imposes on us. We desperately try making every occasion meaningful and thus end up taking away the spontaneity from life.
Celebrate the small victories and laugh along.This is perhaps the easiest thing to do in order to make life less monotonous.
Because the truth is you don’t really need permission from anyone else to be happy.
What Do You Want to Be Known For?
Life gives us a role to play. But just as a well-written character in a good story can transform the direction of the book by his/her will-power, all of us have the power to define a purpose and work towards it in our lives.
The real question is when you leave this role behind, what do you want to be known for? This was a question asked by the great soul Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam in his speeches. He was a phenomenal leader who lived his words and stood by them. This sense of purpose always kept him young at heart and energetic in any work that he did.
As the philosopher Kierkegaard said, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced” , let us all embrace that reality more and start living life than trying to perpetually solve it’s problems.
PS: The next post will be the third edition of Wisdom weekly. I will alternate between regular posts and the infographic format. Do write to me in case of feedback, suggestions/views!