Don’t we all want to be at peace? Yet we often find ourselves entangled in choices, decisions, should do’s and must haves. I have learnt quite a few lessons over the past couple of months and because ‘lessons’ sounds quite boring, I’ll call them life hacks. Of course, by the end of the post, you’ll understand who my inspiration is (if you don’t already). So, without any further ado, let me share them. And as it is with life, feel free to shuffle them around, there is no particular order as such. But unlike life, which doesn’t leave anyone with a choice, here you can take it or leave it. Cool, huh?
Five life hacks for peace
1. Dare to do what you love!
Life’s way too short and precious for hatin’ what we do.
I’ve realised that if we hate something, it’s better to not drag it and pursue it for the sake of it or just because it provides comfort. Yes there is the aspect of resistance which Swami wrote about here (And you may have resisted reading it). Resistance however, isn’t about doing things you hate for no reason. It is about attempting things you’d love the outcome of, but are avoiding due to fear or laziness. There should be some love, or desire in it. E.g. Resistance is when we resist going to the gym, despite dreaming of a healthy body. But I don’t feel resistance applies to doing things we have no interest in, wouldn’t be interested in the outcome and have no desire to pursue further, e.g. becoming a doctor when we really just want to run a business. Then we are just acting like clueless minions, I feel.
So, it’s really important to do things we love, unless we are equanimous and just fine with whatever we have to do, despite having no passion for it. In that case, my obeisances to you, please carry on:)
2. Be willing to lose it!
No, not your mind, but losing something in order to pursue what we love. I feel and realised that, we must be willing to part with certain things in order to get what we want. Whether that’s security, comfort, capital, time, outside approval or freedom, we must get ready to take the jump and go for it. Only a trip into the unknown can lead us to a new known, which was unknown to us.
A lot of us want to keep everything we have and acquire more, without losing anything. Unfortunately, I feel that it is the source of our misery too, the inability to decide and jump right into what matters the most to us. And we’ll only have the courage to jump in if we’re sure we’ll regret it later in life. Which leads me to …
3. Ask yourself: When I’m 80 years old, will I regret not having attempted this endeavour?
Truth be told, I have been throwing this advice at people over the past few weeks. Spreading wisdom from Swami’s post, as if it was candy:) They either looked at me strangely, or they really contemplate on it. A girl asked me yesterday whether she should study 7-10 more years to become a specialist doctor, despite already being on a slightly different career path. And guess what my answer was? Of course, I told her the following:
“Contemplate for 5 minutes. Imagine you are 80 years old and ask yourself if you will regret not having pursued Medicine.”
She then shared that her dad didn’t pursue Medicine and now has the same regret. So, I feel there is nothing more powerful than this question when it comes to pursuing certain things in life and following our heart. Which leads me to the next point …
4. Your heart has a voice! Listen to it.
Although I understand that life is more complex than this, and we can get stuck sometimes, but if we have the luxury of flexibility, then we ought to listen to our heart. “How?” You may ask.
Well it’s simple. The natural human tendency is to seek outside approval and advice, and it’s great to hear other point of views, of course. But ultimately, when we have a question, we are never really seeking information, we are seeking confirmation instead. And Swami said this here. So, when an advice gives us a little spark of happiness within, that is really what our heart wants (of course unless it’s only an ego boost). When we listen to advice against the voice of the heart, we will eventually be unhappy and easily blame those around us.
And ultimately, we know ourselves and our priorities the best, so taking advice with a pinch of salt and taking the voice of the heart with a dollop of honey, is the best thing to do, I feel.
(You can take advice in this post with a spoonful of sugar too, though. It’s no less than cake. Just kidding.)
5. What’s your priority?
When we go through life, we will find ourselves at crossroads several times and this is where Swami’s advice about doing a Stocktake of our lives, on 19th March, comes into the picture. It’s an absolute essential task for anyone who is serious about life. I mean not serious about life. I mean, whatever:)
When we are clear about our priorities and what means the most to us, then we can make decisions and conclusions with much more ease. And if you are not sure what I’m talking about, feel free to read Kaivalya’s (@Kai) succinct post and use the template he shared. I can promise you, you’ll be clear about your life and what you ought to do.
Now, I do have a few more hacks, but for now I will just sit back and relax, as I’ve already contemplated on the above. Now, your turn!
What do you love? Whose advice can you blame your life on? What will you hate when you are toothless at 95 years old and why am I asking you so many questions?