Life is an undiscovered mystery.
This supercharged magnetic life is like the curiosity bubble where we remain uncertain about varied events walking our way. Despite life’s unpredictability, the law of the universe doesn’t hold us apart from fundamental human rights to learning, speculating about events, and harnessing our intellectual skills.
According to Emily Dickinson, “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” That’s true, given how overbearing it is for us to address the challenges sequenced unsequentially by the rhythmic patterns of daily life.
On life’s parallel spectrum, there also exists another truth.
It is that all can predict, calculate and analyze their life events accordingly as per their will. However, the adventure carried by uncertainty always remains a shocking discovery.
And possibly, that might be the reason associated with the best way of living our life. But, to clear the fogginess and arrive at the conclusions transparently my optimistic Grandfather has some of his timeless teachings stored.
Lets, dive in deep to explore.
“Why don’t you come along for a walk?” my loving Grandfather requested me in a slow-moving yet high-spirited enthusiastic voice. On physical fronts, he is this tall, youthful octagenarian with gleaming eyes carrying a shade of an evergreen heroic personality.
The demeanor of my dear Grandfather doesn’t end here. Besides his physical poise, he remains blessed with higher cognitive intelligence that leaves him ambitious and engaged with life until today.
During his service period, he served as a government official and later retired as the “Chief Ticket Collecting Officer" dedicating his adolescent years to the service of the country’s prestigious organization, Indian Railways.
Fortunately, the father of mine is also a public servant dedicating his life to the same government organization.
Personally, at times, I feel that being a public servant has become a tradition followed by my family since the past.
“Grandfather, You always make me feel super proud!” I uttered those words in an admiring spirit and with feelings of rejoice that remained unchanged each time. My appreciation perennially and seamlessly flowed. Why? It’s because landing a government job at the time of British rule, or famously called the “Crown Rule,” was an extraordinary thing. A great thing. And beyond the majority’s imagination as well.
In an extremely rare happening, my Grandfather passed the interview held by the British panels. Retrospecting on the past, if I could exactly remember, the time frame was around the 1930s.
India, at that pre-independent period, was witnessing historical movements, revolutionary activities, various social protests, and many Gandhian voices who rose in power and were fighting in great patriotic fervor to win over as an independent state from British rule.
Having said that, the colonization and decolonization of the foreign land and various territories always remained as the defining feature of classical times.
Like the pre-independent India, every other nation on a global scale spanned over different periods was fighting its own battle for independence and to free its territories from the clutches of foreign invasion, whether that be the Texas Revolution, Malagasy Uprising, or Indian War of Independence itself.
Or, ironically, somewhere, deep down almost all nations walked with a quest to become the super-power itself.
The Indian nation had set their bull’s eye vision of being free in spirit and in establishing democracy as a sovereign voice. Amidst all these past historical battles and conflicts, I now realize that history went too long. Perhaps, I hope, it wasn’t dull either. Let’s press pause to history and retort once again to my Grandfather’s insightful lessons.
Well, I missed a noteworthy point that would make me turn the history sheets again. The heroic Grandfather of mine remained an active participant in the national freedom movement.
On recalling his past days by brushing off his fading memories, slow by slow, his thoughts poured out and started to appear crystally distinctive. He further remarked that his age-old days were a golden part of his life and also imbibed in as — the best way of living life.
In amazement, my eyes coincided with my adorable Grandfather’s gleaming eyes. Helmed with a sense of curiosity, my conscious mind splattered at him a series of never-ending questions:
- “What made your life strive at its best when some other super-power ruled the nation,” I asked Grandpa in high spirits.
- “Weren’t you scared working under foreign dictate?” I questioned him in unflickering doubts.
- “What made your life sense ease amidst historical conflicts?” my questions went on unending.
In my frame of reference, I resemble those typical granddaughters lending ears to their Grandfather’s immortal life stories. And, what more significant than making the best of life by diving into the ocean of experiences, lessons, and insightful teachings of our elderly grandparents.
Okay, I slightly pondered in and got overwhelmed by my emotions.
Rewinding to my inquisitive questions: Grandfather! I asked, What is the best way of living life? In all honesty, how did you manage to survive in the dark- piercing times? What really made your life appear merry? And I questioned on, and on, and on.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning,” said Albert Einstein. According to him, “Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” I march along with this saying of Einstein whenever someone questions me about questioning too much.
Advancing further, the Grandfather of mine with an innocent look, tried to answer my unresolved queries. At this time as well, he addressed the answers with a slow-moving, and enthusiastic voice. Putting on his black-bordered spectacles, he leaned forward towards me, hinting me with a thought — of something huge, gigantic, and severe way of decoding life.
A bit scared, I made a point to remain disciplined and carefully listen to his answers with my ears opened, eyes engaged followed by pin-drop silence.
At a thoughtful level, I wondered if his answer would resonate like “The Big Bang Theory.” My Grandfather surely has these Sherlock Holmes skills, that moment confirmed.
As our conversations continued, the speculative theories of mine dropped their hat with my Grandfather’s clear- cut explanation. The answers to living the life best were simplistic, authentic, and bound by interconnections.
The universal law of adaptability
From the wisdom of my Grandfather, the best way to live Life is by adapting to change.
Be that your dispiriting circumstances, challenging situations, times of highs and lows, your adaptation to change will determine your life course. Just like the river coursing its flow through mountainous rocks, the tinier pebbles, and granules of sand. Adaptability is the critical component of our survival, and our welcoming of it makes way for Life to evolve naturally.
My Grandfather adapted to his best in the pre-independent era, analyzed the disturbing circumstances lively, and always tried to explore the favorable possible opportunities.
The principle of focussing on moments
Well, Life’s short. Mysterious. And we are bound by finite time on this planet to look after our needs, meet personal aspirations and contribute collectively.
According to my Grandfather, paying attention to moments is the solution key to mending all our problems. Our attentiveness to the escaping moments will help us in keeping procrastination and overthinking at arm’s length.
On personal fronts, procrastination to me was a laborious exercise to get rid of. But by studying those pesky hours through reading light helped me set free from the procrastination jails.
Rather than stressing about the days, months, and years, we can live freely if we concentrate on the 'now’ moments. We can schedule and utilize our time in the best possible ways by becoming momentous, and agreeing to live life healthily — in mind, body, and spirit.
Remember to focus your mind on the present. Keep worries at bay.
The subtle art of being grounded
Taking a sip from his hot cup of ginger flavored tea, the Grandfather of mine rejoicingly continued to answer ahead. Well, conversations of him also follow a break, short but tenderly warm.
My Grandfather laid emphasis on “the importance of being grounded.”
Planting this trait in the globalization era is the need of the hour.
In the technological decade, most of us view success as something that relates to inheriting wealth, acquiring fame, gulping a sense of being omnipotently powerful, gaining superiority over the fellow beings, climbing the high-status hierarchy, and surprisingly, trying to look down on others on the pretext of feeling all-supreme.
To live with these feelings and notion of success is like staying in deception.
In my Grandfather’s sophic words, the more we seek external validations for our inner success or depend on outer judgments to examine our lives, the higher will be our complexities.
Keep Life Simple. Be affectionately grounded!
The idea of eating to live, not live to eat
“The interview conducted by the British panel was a tuff nut to crack,” remarked Grandpa after taking a bite from one of his favorite good-day biscuits.
Grandfather usually avoids consuming oily foods giving higher weightage to a healthy living. However, he binges on his favorite cookies at times.
Around that instant, the question and discussion hours continued, much like Indian parliamentary sessions. Amidst mine and Grandfather’s roundtable conference, your intelligence might have decoded the next possible best way of living Life. And it’s none other than: Eat to Live and not Live to Eat.
According to Grandfather, our health is our greatest asset. We all know how important and crucial our health is for our overall well-being yet somewhere we neglect it due to ample reasons.
Regardless of anything, keeping health at its best will help us balance growth, well-being, and productivity in every sphere of our Life. I strongly believe in healthy living and have cultivated my individual efforts to make it live in the harmonious spirits
The unforgettable trait of persistence
Look not for a perfect life; instead, strive with persistence.
My Grandfather highlighted Gandhiji’s ideologies of continuous persistence, non-violence, and striving with vigor during our examining pursuits of Life. To Gandhiji, his relentless pursuit was witnessing free India. To Grandfather, it was looking after his family both at an individual level and at a collective front.
The majority of us remain lost because we continuously strive to taste success, seek for external praises and applauds, and wire our inner selves with a strong desire to secure our life too early, very soon. To think like that may be slightly fair, considering everyone rests with their own choices to define their lives; however, the root problem arises when we become fixated upon the perfection that eventually can turn deceptive.
In Grandfather’s hearty words, there is nothing called as a perfect life nor are there any exceptional tools governing Life. We must embrace imperfections. Be persistent. Always keep improving.
That’s the real secret.
“Why don’t you come along with me?” As I mentioned before, my Grandfather’s voice once again asked me in subtility, gentleness, that remained tuned with the breeze.
Giving the moment a pause, I stated that “The winds are blowing at a concurrent speed. How can we treasure trove our long walk in the mountainous alleys?” in doubt, I questioned Grandfather.
His quick response followed, “Losing hope without even trying acts as thieves that robs the treasure much prior to our setting towards an adventurous journey called life.”
To my discovery, I found, the best way indeed of living life is “To keep going.”