We all live our days hurrying through life, and going after tasks and deadlines. In this mad rush called life, it is very easy to miss all those little pleasures which each day has to offer. In the rush to live, we sometimes forget to pause and actuallylive the present moment. If you are not clear on what I am trying to convey, think when was the last time you ate lunch without thinking about that call in the afternoon or the deadline you have to complete by the end of day. When was the last time you really cherished the meal you ate, and tasted every flavor it had to offer, or thought about how it was made?
We should never forget this quote
Taking a pause in doing our so called mundane and day to day tasks and savoring each moment of our days can be truly magical. And we can savor not just food, but anything else too. It is wonderful, and it changes everything. Below are some simple ways we can make our days truly wonderful, and to fully enjoy the gift each moment has to offer –
1. Food – So the next time we eat, let us savor each bite before we move on to take the next bite. Let us slow the eating process down, and give some space to the activity of eating. Let us eat to cherish the beautiful activity eating is, and not for just fueling up for the next task at work. 2. Exercise – Whenever you walk, jog, or do some other form of exercise, enjoy it fully. Do not let exercise become a chore to do just for keeping healthy, or some task we have to get over with. Go for a quiet run (remove the earphones) amid nature and listen to the birds chirping, and the sounds of twigs and leaves as you run past them. Notice your breathing, notice how you get tired, notice when you slow down. Feel the feet as it touches the ground, and feel the wind as it blows past you. Doing this will make exercising more enjoyable, and you will get more out of it. 3. Daily Commute – We all spend a lot of time commuting to and from work daily. Normally we just wait for the traffic to clear so that we reach our destination as soon as possible. But for a change next time, sit quietly and observe the surroundings on your way. Observe the different people in their cars and bikes, observe the street hawkers and shopkeepers by the road side, observe the kids playing near the traffic junction, or just watch the traffic cops do their job. Cherish the road the way it is – full of potholes or an expressway, cherish the trees and buildings you pass by. By doing that, we are not wasting our time in commuting, but we are enriching our experience of those few hours you spend daily to and from work. 4. Weather – Normally our experience of weather is to pass judgement – “it is too cold”, or “this humidity will kill me”, or “why did it had to rain today” and so on… Weather is not something in our control, so obviously we will be surprised by some sudden weather change. But instead of cursing it if it gets in our day to day lives, we can try to slow down and enjoy what it has to offer. If it is humid, let get drenched in sweat and take a shower when we get back home. If it is raining, let’s feel the rain drops on our body as a child does. If it is cold, let’s enjoy the chill while it lasts. The same goes for spring, summer and fall. Let us enjoy the beauty each season has to offer, rather than trying to suit the weather to our comfort.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast-you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” –Eddie Cantor
5. Writing – As with any other task, even writing gets enjoyable if we slow down and be with it fully. If we focus on our fingers as type (or write) words and sentences, and on the thoughts we are writing about, it becomes enjoyable. Notice how our thoughts turn into words and how lucky we are to be able to do so. Isn’t that realization enjoyable, and the experience something to be cherished!!
Stopping and enjoying every moment just the way it is, as I described above, is not easy and takes practice. You can do it right now – where ever you are and irrespective of what you are doing. When we slow down, we notice a lot of things we miss otherwise. These things are all very small and trivial, but enjoying them is what makes life worthwhile. Nothing can be as enjoyable as cherishing each moment as it comes, and whatever it brings with it.
Jab We Met is a break from the normal movies we get year after year. It is a refreshing take on love and how to live life powered by sparkling performances by Shahid and Kareena. I think this is the best role Kareena has ever portrayed, and that has breathed life into the movie. Jab We Met is not only entertaining, it also has deep lessons about how to live our lives and has close resemblance to many of the problems we face in our daily lives and how we react to them. It is cute yet sensible, stupid yet enjoyable, and silly yet leaves a impression on you.
It is a break from vulgarity, senseless comedies and rona-dhona type movies that we are being fed these days, and some scenes and dialogues are just superb. This movie appealed to movie goers of all age groups and left a deep impression on many of them. Many of my friends (and I myself) have watched it multiple times. Like I have done with Peaceful Warrior and GroundHog Day, I am listing 5 big takeaways from Jab We Met…
Choose your decisions
Many times it happens that some decisions are forced upon us, or we are obliged to take them either to look good, or just to follow some norms or patterns. What this movie shows is how important it is to ‘choose‘ and accept these decisions at ours and devote ourselves and our energy fully into it. There is no point in doing something half heartedly only because that ‘you were pushed into it‘. Give yourself fully to what you are doing, or don’t do it at all. Period
Every decision has a consequence, accept that
Every decision you take (or choose not to take) will have its consequences. They could be good in case of success or bad (unexpected) in case of failures or unforeseen circumstances. We should always take full responsibility of our actions, whether positive or negative, and never run away from them. Running away is never a solution, like our adorable couple finds out in the movie. And accepting negative results doesn’t mean feeling sorry or guilty about that, it means learning our lessons and moving on with living life. Every moment spent repenting a past mistake is another mistake. So take full responsibility of your actions, and continue moving ahead and doing what you do best.
Enjoy every moment
I see life as one short journey on this earth, which has a start and an end. And we don’t know when the end will happen. So there is no point dying before the end (as Shahid Kapoor was shown living in the beginning of the movie). We all have only limited moments, and life is too short to waste even one moment on any kind of negative emotion like hate, guilt or anger. Kareena’s role in the first half of the movie is the best example of ‘Enjoying Every Moment‘ philosophy. She does what she likes to do, and in her own way. It might make her look stupid (being a complete chatterbox) sometimes, but who cares, as she is enjoying every moment and having real fun in life. I remember one dialogue – “Main Apni Favorite Hoo” (I am my favorite) which is the perfect example of loving yourself.
Don't PASS through life, LIVE it
Enjoy Loving Someone
When you love someone, it is not always necessary that they love you back. But if you turn off your love because of it, then I guess it was not even love in the first place. You can still enjoy loving the other person and doing / giving your best. Shahid Kapoor’s role in the movie is ample demonstration of that. After all, what could be better than seeing the one you love happy. They might not love you back, but that’s okay, as everyone is not so lucky. But that is no reason to stop loving someone and being deprived of that wonderful feeling. If you feel that it is not easy, then you just have to get bigger than your fears, insecurities and selfishness.
Don’t just PASS through life, LIVE it
Life will pass by even if we don’t do anything. We can either PASS through a smooth plane ride, or we can go out, take risks, breathe fully, maybe get some injuries in the process, and have one hell of a ride. Do what you LOVE, or don’t do it at all. Don’t say YES when you mean NO. Don’t do something and dream something else. I call this self-torture. Don’t put yourself to living this life of torture. I will summarize this point and end by this quote –
” Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride! “
Recently I wrote about why is it very important to love ourselves and five ways to do so. While reflecting on the same topic today, I felt that there can’t be just five ways to love ourselves, there could be a million small ways to do so. Big or small, if you are really enjoying and “living” life, you can love and treat yourself in many different ways. Loving yourself is more than an activity or a series of steps, it is a way of living. Below are a few more ways to love yourself –
6. Enjoy the beauty in every moment
Every moment has some beauty which we often miss. Just look around, you might see two dogs playing on the street, and try to remember when was the last time you played that freely. Watch a mother holding her son’s hand in the mall, and remember to give your parents a hug every now and then. See your life as a gift to this world, use it to enrich the lives of people around you. Be worthwhile. Spread smiles. Spread cheers..
7. Give advice you give to others to yourself
Many times we give others advice about being healthy, staying motivated, having confidence in themselves but most often we miss giving that advice to ourselves when we need it. Never beat yourself up for what could have been a great relationship, or a business opportunity which did not materialize. Instead be grateful for what you have, and believe that there is something better waiting for you. Speak to yourself in the way you speak and advice other people in your life.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” - Oscar Wilde
8. Ask for what people like about you
Ask people what they like about you. What are your strong points and good qualities? Don’t focus on improving your talents and skills too much. For a break, focus on and appreciate what you already have. Asking others for good in ourselves and listening to praise could be one of the toughest tasks (if you don’t believe me, try it). But it is also very important to acknowledge and appreciate yourself for the good you are continuously doing in life. And go watch the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” to fully grasp what I mean by this point.
9. Don’t let negative thoughts overcome you
Every time a negative thought comes in your mind, it is OK. Don’t try to fight it by saying, “This should not have happened”, “He should not have done this”, and so on. Neither should you beat yourself up by saying, “I should not be thinking this way”. Relax. Everything which is happening is ok. What you are thinking (positive or negative) is also ok. Don’t fight your negative thoughts. Instead, recognize them as part of your being, and then you will get over them. Try this to realize its power. Don’t resist things, let it be. And only then you can get over them and reach the next level.
10. Have some time alone
Try keeping some time just for you. I love to sit silent sometimes doing nothing, and if nothing else, I love going on long walks. It helps me reflect on the way my life has been going. Sometimes we just need to shut off all the noise of the world, all the comparisons, doubts, tensions about anything and experience the joy of being alive. You owe yourself that, and having some silent time only to yourself does just that.
Living life with passion is in itself a way to love oneself. Doing what you love and enjoy will fill your days with energy and excitement. So the next time you go out, treat yourself with an ice-cream or a treat you always cherished. Get drenched in the rain and feel the smell of the rain touching the earth. Forget about your TODO list and just BE happy. Talk to some old friends, listen to your favorite music, or just pick up a painting book and start painting.
When was the last time you did all that? It had been a long time, isn’t it? So go out, and be a superhero. Make magic. Be your own best friend.
We, as a nation, stand today in a moment of reckoning. We are at a fortunate junction where our actions will decide the course our nation and 1.2 billion people will take in the coming decades and centuries. If India’s history were to be written 200 years later, what we do in the next few years will certainly play a very important role. We have broken from the shackles of the license raj and taken the flight of globalization and economic growth. We are expected to be third largest economy soon. But at the same time, we are plagued by many social evils like poverty, illiteracy, corruption, etc. Whether and how we act in this moment of reckoning will decide whether we rise like a phoenix in the 21st century or again loose the opportunity to reclaim the title of “Sone ki Chidiya“.
We have a feel good mentality about our future now. Incomes are rising, jobs are plenty, multinationals have set up shops in different cities and amenities are galore if you want to go out for eating, recreation or just fun. We are one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and our companies like Reliance, TCS, Infosys are going multinational. Our engineers are behind many technological innovations in developed countries, and we are being seen as a knowledge powerhouse. American President Barack Obama has publicly asked American kids to study hard or they risk loosing their jobs to Indians (and Chinese). We have made our mark in the filed of telecom, space technology, medicine, defense, and have also started to make an international impact in arts and sports.
However, having said that, we are grappling with many problems which are deep rooted in our system because of our colonial roots and the closed economy system from 1950-1990. Our economic growth has still left a large part of the population untouched. We have got problems of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, rising prices, social inequality and terrorism. We are one of the poorest countries in the world, where more people have access to mobile phones than a toilet. The middle and higher classes use drinking water for flushing toilets too, and the lowest segments of society don’t even have access to clean drinking water. The condition of women is still poor. More than 50% are illiterate, and there are still social ills like dowry, child marriage, female infanticide prevalent in society. Our public services are breaking under the strain of bureaucracy and inefficiency.
Can we keep the optimism alive?
With majority of our population being young, and the kind of confidence they see for their future, I believe we have everything to change the situation around. The youth have to see this as a moment of reckoning, where the actions we take today will decide the future course our nation takes. We can feel the optimism an average Indian has in the way he goes about his daily routine, with aspirations in his mind and hope in his vision. The Indian today wants to grab a piece of this growth, a piece of future, and provide a better future for himself and his family, and indirectly, for the nation too.
So when our history is written 200 years down the lane, what our generation did with this opportunity will decide the course India takes. We have missed opportunities in the past, and we might miss this one too if we let our skepticism and cynicism about the current state of affairs overcome the very basic human ability, to strive despite of problems and shortcomings. History might say India had a golden opportunity to shine and lead a new world but instead it dig its own grave and continued to grapple with its problems. Or history might witness the rise of India, again, after the period of colonization and slow growth for 60 years, into a prosperous society and economy which will lead the world order in matters of importance. We have already shown leadership to the world in the area of trade reforms and environment concerns, and there is no doubt why we can’t give this world the direction it is looking so badly for.