Live with complete awareness of the true nature of Life – and you will be happy, no matter what you are dealing with.
Understand that one day this lifetime will come to an end. And yet you must live – and not just exist – until that end comes! This awareness is critical for you to live fully, blissfully, in continuous celebration of each moment. Celebration? When each day is a challenge to survive, how can you celebrate each moment? People, events, circumstances, financial issues, health problems, relationships, the traffic, the garbage, the theatre of the absurd – the upcoming Assembly elections (in Tamil Nadu)….do we think with so much chaos around us, we can actually celebrate? How can you even talk of a celebration, you may wonder. Indeed. Yet, it is the imponderables that make Life interesting.
We don’t see Life as interesting because we haven’t been taught to appreciate the unpredictability and inscrutability of Life. That appreciation would make living Life so much easier. Instead we are told that Life is about studying, working hard, earning money and living happily ever after. Had we been told that such a linear progression through Life would be interspersed with a zillion different challenges and that we must embrace them, live through them, learn from them, while being happy, wouldn’t we have been better off? This is the awareness that I have come to experience, understand and believe in.
This awareness is the key to happiness. According to ancient Chinese folklore, a traveler through the mountains came upon an elderly gentleman who was busy planting a tiny almond tree. Knowing that almond trees take many years to mature, he commented to the man “It seems odd that a man of your advanced age would plant such a slow-growing tree!” The man replied “I like to live my life based on two principles. One is that I will live forever. The other is that this is my last day.” The old man’s perspective is so, so beautiful. Look around you. What are the things you would like to complete if you were told today’s your last day here? What are the things you would like to set in motion if you knew you will live forever? Make a shortlist combining actions that are common to these two lists and get started. That’s how you really stop complaining, feeling lost and helpless in the humdrum of everyday Life, and get on with the business of living – fully and happily!