I was pondering over something I read recently in one of the posts by Maria Popova in her newsletter “The Marginilian”. 

“What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?” Living in fear. “Fearlessness is what love seeks. Such fearlessness exists only in the complete calm that can no longer be shaken by events expected of the future… Hence the only valid tense is the present, the Now.”

I don’t completely agree that love seeks fearlessness. I think love in itself is complete. But I do agree that only in the present moment can we experience love or whatever higher ideal of life we seek or aspire towards. 

On living with fear being the lowest depth of misery, it’s definitely got some truth to it. It’s also one of the most unproductive and futile uses of our energy because almost 95 – 99% of the time, the fear doesn’t come to be or is not true at all! Just take for example one of the most common fear – what will others think of me? Most of us know that we are primarily occupied with our own daily routines, challenges of life and our own goals, desires and aspirations. Most people spend very little time thinking about others. But when we are often in pursuit of something worthwhile, the thing that holds us back is the idea of what others will think – how ironic and funny 🙂

The truth is that others are not going to come and pay our bills, not going to help us in any manner and hence won’t really make much of a positive difference in our life. How useless to spend the days of our life thinking about what others will think about us? 

Coming back to the main point, living a life dominated with fear is sad and unfortunate. The present moment is what allows us that freedom to experience the beauty and truth that this life has to offer. All my life I have heard sports legends like Sachin Tendulkar to Rafael Nadal talk about focusing on each ball, focusing on each point at a time. Interviewers probably look for some kind of an extravagant answer on the secret to their success but these greats always talk about breaking it down to the simple things. Maybe it’s their version of being in the present moment. Much of mastery is an internal battle, of course the skill part is huge but after a certain point it’s the internal training that makes all the difference. 

There is definitely an art to living well. The door to it probably begins with present moment awareness. Maybe that’s how we can truly understand and give meaning to our emotions, our beliefs and perspectives. Maybe that’s how we actually Live, Love, Laugh and Give.