Flicking through my old journal, I came across Dr Daniel Amen’s 18/40/60 rule, written in my hand several years ago, “When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.”
This stark truth made me smile. Sometimes a quote captures a truth so well that you wonder why the world doesn’t just accept it and learn their lessons early in life? But, no matter how much ‘gyan’ (Hindi word, used here for “free advice”) is showered on us by more experienced well-wishers, we ultimately learn our lessons only through our own experiences.
Living through our own experience – absorbing the world and people around us as we participate in activities is the best way to learn and assimilate learnings. What cements this is reflection. The more we reflect on what experience teaches us, the better we learn. When we fail to do that, we do not absorb new learnings, and hence repeat mistakes. On the other hand, those who deliberate on experiences, are the ones who add confidence and intent to every step of their lives, continuously upgrading their existence.
This is where taking time off helps. What helps me reflect and assimilate life’s experiences is rumination. I am often found lost in thought, as I allow my mind to cruise at will. Call it meditation or ‘doing nothing,’ but these are some precious moments when my spirit absorbs, ponders, assimilates, and realigns itself. Keeping a journal to note innermost reflections and jot down ideas is a huge help too. I have also found it good practice to note down quotes that I relate to, so that I can reflect upon them later.
Of course, we would all benefit if we just accepted lessons passed down to us, but where is the fun in eating unless you have seen, felt, smelt and tasted the food? And yet, it would be beneficial to get a jumpstart by accepting at least some givens. These to me are –
Allow happiness to lead your choices – Be it work or relationships, choose what makes you happy. That is the best way to find and align with your true purpose.
Do not believe all you see and hear. Delve beyond perception to understand the truth. You will be surprised at what you discover.
If you set your mind and heart to it, you can achieve anything! Nothing is impossible so long as you are determined to work and strategise to achieve it.
All good things come with intention and hard work. Be it relationships, or a state of peace and happiness, nothing falls into your lap unless you work at it with dedication, sincerity and strategy.
This too shall pass – Good or bad, everything changes and life is more often than not an alternating cycle of the good and bad. Just believe and maintain a balance.
The critical point is to live your experiences with alertness and practice regular reflection. Life evolves and upgrades as you realign your being to new learnings along the journey.
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