Life is a journey into the unknown in every moment. If you seek predictability, you will suffer. If you embrace the unpredictability, and go with the flow, you will find the way to be happy despite your circumstances.
We are all creatures of routine. And Life is never routine. It is full of adventure. So when it disrupts, you don’t like the change. So you ask, Why? Then, Why Me? Then, Why Now? With each of these questions, for which you are unlikely to get answers, you are losing time, are feeling miserable and are suffering. Think of your routine. You like to wake up, go to work, have a drink in the evening, lounge in front of the TV, read a book, sleep. Then, wake up, do the same stuff again. And you believe you have a happy Life – a good spouse, wonderful children. That’s a nice routine. That’s when Life stirs your pot a bit. A heart attack. A job loss. Or a loss in business. A child having a troubled teenage. Death of a child. Or a parent. Or a sibling. Any of these happenings can plunge you into grief. You argue that you have been good, ethical, faithful. Then why do horrible things have to happen to you? While all your grief is understandable, no one can stop things from happening to you. The truth is that things simply have to happen. And because it’s your turn now, they are happening to you. Plain and simple. Don’t imagine Life to be wicked, sinister and scheming. Whatever happens in Life, just happens. There’s no conspiracy. Just an inscrutable cosmic design. It is the same Life that gave you your most memorable moments. Your first school successes, your first romance, your first international trip, your first raise, your first profits, your first child. And then, as in most cases, everything happened a second time too. So, the Life that makes you smile, gush with joy, also stirs things up a bit, mischievously. The way to deal with such an unpredictable Life is to retain your spirit of joy and fullness – always, no matter what comes your way.
Life is this continuous journey into the unknown. If you want predictability, you can never be happy. Because when everything is predictable, like in a routine, you don’t live. You simply exist. You are alive. But you are as good as dead. Someone asked Mark Twain (1835~1910), the American author and humourist, once, “What do you think are the three best things in Life?” In jest, but also with deep sarcasm, Twain replied: “The first best thing is never to be born. The second best thing is to die immediately after birth. And the third best thing is to die as soon as possible.” This may sound like Twain’s trademark humor. But there’s a great truth in his humor. If you want to live, and live happily, you have to be prepared to face the unknown, you have to approach Life with the spirit of adventure. If you are scared of the unknown and seek predictability and security, you are better off dead!
In Chennai, we have a cinema multiplex called Sathyam. Every Thursday evening they have a screening called “Blind Date”. The concept is that you get to watch any of the movies releasing the next day, Friday, that Sathyam chooses to screen. True to the show’s name, you don’t get to know which film is being screened until the movie begins. If you choose to go for the “Blind Date” show, you wait with everyone else in the audience, with expectation and apprehension, not knowing which movie is going to play. Chances are it may be a movie that you like or it may be something that you dislike. But whatever it is, you take it as it comes.
The best way to live Life is to treat it as a blind date. Just take it as it comes!