In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.~ Lao Tzu
We spend most of our natural lives planning. Planning the day, the evening, the working week, the weekend. After two months most of us plan a vacation. We are so busy doing the things we should be doing that we often forget to do the things we want to do.
For instance, all my life was planned well before I had a chance to pretty much learn what I wanted. School, then college, a master degree- till here I did exactly as I had planned. Next, I wanted to work before I went on to do my Ph.D. Half of that plan did come to life. I worked for seven years, sometimes even holding four jobs at a time. Because I thought yes that is a way to be ‘successful’.
However, during all those years I put off the things I really wanted to do. Like, I always wanted to read theology and philosophy. I always wanted to paint, not just doodle on bristol paper but actually paint on a fine canvas. I wanted to spend time with my family- quality time.
And not just limit my conversation with them to only saying ‘morning’ and ‘goodnight’. I wanted to be there for my friends when they needed me, and not just give a short call spending 80% of the time explaining how important my work was, and the remaining 20% apologizing why I wasn’t there for them on their big day.
Do What Makes You Happy Before You Are Too Old
So till about a year ago, I planned my life like this: work, hang out with friends, concentrate on my diet, sometimes workout, and then go home to sleep. I don’t want to brag but yes I was successfully able to balance all the spheres of my life. But that didn’t make me happy, time management to the core, yet there was neither ‘peace’ nor anything called remotely ‘happiness’.
I thought or in fact, I had ‘planned’ that when I’ll be done and over with my life, meaning when I had done all that I was expected to do, as many of are conditioned to do so, I will do the things I really like before I die. Things like blogging, writing my book, painting, studying philosophy and mysticism, and including spending quality time with those I love. According to my calculations, this list of things to do fell approximately well after the age 60 years.
Last year, you can say I had an epiphany. And instead of running forward of the human race who wants to do be better and become better all within a tight circle of ‘success’, I started running in the opposite direction.
Why do I have to wait until I am old to do the things I want to do? Running back home felt good. The important things surfaced that I had forgotten about. The cultural conditioning started to thin away too. Mankind was never asked to run a marathon so that they could get a shiny medal around their neck. We were and are required to just ‘be’.
So in my new life, I do what I love to do now, at age 29, not waiting to be toothless and blind and then after doing the things I enjoy most. My time is now. When is yours? Share your insights by commenting below 🙂