Live through each day gracefully, enjoying each moment, even if it is not the one that you ordered or wanted, but yet received. So receive your day, as it unfolds before you, with immense gratitude and live it fully!
If you are reading this on Monday, you must be wondering if this is just some armchair philosophy being dished out by someone who is both unaware of how Mondays are and who is just preaching without any practical insight.
Let me share my learnings that have brought me to this point in Life, thanks to which I can assure you that this is indeed the most intelligent way to live.
There was a time when I was globe-trotting. Breakfast in Singapore, lunch in LA and dinner in Rome. Traveling nine months in a year, living out of hotel rooms 21 days in a month. I loved that Life. I had heard of intelligent living then. And had assumed that it was all about applying your intellect in Life to make fame and fortune. So, I invested my every waking hour in working. Family was important but saw my role primarily as a provider who ‘scheduled’ to ensure presence at home to mark anniversaries and birthdays. I always felt being at my kids’ school annual days and Parent Teacher interactions as a waste of time. Those meetings didn’t add value to my Life. If I could pack in an additional meeting either with my clients or with my team, we would be better off as a Firm, was my irrefutable logic. And on the odd weekends I spent at home, I would pore over CEO reports, filed by each member of my 40-strong team. They would tell me what was wrong in the way we were running our Firm or delivering value to our clients. I would make copious notes and initiate steps and Programs each week to get our house and processes back in order.
I saw work as an investment for a future where I would be happy, as would my family, and our Firm would run on auto-pilot turning in dividends, enriching our lives.
I don’t think this line of logic is wrong per se. Except that it can neither be guaranteed that Life will happen the way you want it to nor that living can be postponed while you earn a living.
In the years that followed, despite my purposeful intent and my hands-on, paranoid leadership, my Firm went bust and the same team members, for whom I worked overtime, drifted away. Rightly so. Whoever wants to be on a sinking ship? My children grew up. And suddenly, one fine day, although it was always on the cards, our son flew away to pursue an undergrad Program in Economics at the University of Chicago. The night he left for Chicago, we came back home to a half-empty nest. That sense of emptiness took months to get used to. I particularly felt I could have spent far more time with him in his growing up years. Initially, I grieved a lot. And even held myself responsible for missing out on such a never-before opportunity of living engaged with the growing up years of our son!
Life’s a hard teacher. She gives the test first and lesson later. And that’s how I failed the test and still learned the lessons!
I made amends with our daughter. I decided, and have been reasonably successful with it, to get involved with every aspect of her Life, alongside my wife. And what I couldn’t provide for our son on the ground, I made up with regular phone and Skype calls during his college years. I also forgave myself. And decided to not resist the manner in which my Life and business has slowed down. I decided to celebrate it. And so, now I see work as prayer, a form of expression of my inner Self, a joy. Result, we do take up only work that we love and prefer to rejoice each opportunity to live as one in which we can invoke soul, provoke thought and inspire action!
Now I can modestly claim I understand intelligent living better. I have learned that it only means living. The intelligent part is to choose living __ in the moment, mindfully, loving each moment __ over everything else. So, this Monday, what do you want to do? Maybe you can’t do everything that you want to either. But you can do one thing for sure __ appreciate the value of each moment and journey through the day gracefully, enjoying its beauty and celebrating its uniqueness, its “never-again-ness”. Do this knowing that maybe there’s a companion, a child, a parent, a sibling, a colleage __ someone who you are taking for granted, waiting for you to pause and engage with her or him. Know surely that it’s a blessing if you can indeed do it. And be eternally grateful for that opportunity!
Live celebrating your Monday’s magnificence today!