There are certain points in our lives when we evaluate, if we are lucky to have that opportunity, what we want it to be. I am at one such point. A lot of choices need to be made. What do I want my future to look like? Or rather, how do I want my past to look like in future? Of course, most things are not in our hands and that’s the beauty and alchemy of life. But some are, and to the extent that we think we can shape a bit of our daily lives, our choices matter. Not only to us, but to the broader society we are a part of. There is no point in lying on your death bed wishing you could have done this or that. You are never younger than you are now, I read somewhere. Do I want to live in certain cities? Do I want to travel alone? You might not like everything, but figuring out your likes and dislikes is part of the fun. You don’t want to be ambivalent on your death bed or say “I always wanted to try that!”! I mean, when else can you figure out if you like custard apple cutlets, if not now?
I think ultimately we are on our own. And it is after all our only life. Even if you are religious and presumably believe in reincarnation (I am not and I don’t), you clearly don’t remember your past birth, so it’s not like you will care about what happened to you this year in your next birth! SO, the point is that we need to make choices now and occasionally do some soul-searching about where we are headed.
Based on my experiences, I have learnt a few things. Of course, it doesn’t mean I don’t forget them often. So this is in a way a reminder for self, and hopefully for my friends and readers who are going through similar stuff.
1. Don’t worry about what others think of you or the choices you’ve made. More often than not, they don’t have a clue about who you are and where you come from and what you’ve been through. You are your best judge. No one else can come close. Not your family, not your friends, and most importantly, never your boss or advisor or the rest of the world. In ten years, would you even bother about the opinion of people you think matter right now? Would they even remember your middle name? Be nice and honest to yourself.
2. Think about what you enjoy and like. And in the process you will go through things that you don’t enjoy and dislike. But that’s okay. That’s how it works, no? Otherwise, everyone would be only doing things they enjoy and like! If you are in a lucky position to choose what course your life takes, take every care to make sure that you utilize that opportunity.
3. When you are feeling bad about anything, think about people who are worse off. I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t mourn your sorrows or ever feel bad. By all means take your time to heal and go through hurt and pain. But after a point, do sit and put things in perspective. Are you really in such a shit-hole that no one else has ever been in? Are there no other people who are in worse shit-holes than you are in? I think it helps.
4. Try not to take others for granted. It’s easy (to take others for granted). And easiest with the people who matter most to us. I am not sure why we do that, but we do it. Of course, it also means that the same will be done to us, since we also might matter most to some people! But on the whole, I think, it’s better to keep this tendency in check, as much as possible.
5. Smile. If you are in a dumpy mood, just go to the nearest mirror, or if you have a mac, open your photo booth, and consciously and deliberately and forcefully, SMILE! It is unbelievable what it can do for you. Really, try it!
I probably have more things to add here, but I am sleepy and I need to meet someone for lunch tomorrow! So, I’ll stop here :-).
Have a happy weekend, everyone! Sunday Scrapbook coming up tomorrow!