As I sit here on the bustling railway station in Mumbai, I wonder, why is everybody in such a rush, they are even willing to risk their lives. Everyone is moving forward like a machine. No one pauses, even for a second. This race has become their automated routine. With no time to think, ‘why am I doing it?’. We have succumbed to this toxic lifestyle. But even after all this stress, exhaustion, irritation and frustration, what helps us move forward? Is there any source of happiness in this busy life for the ones in this race?
Family, money and success, are these motivations enough? What about peace and satisfaction? why do we care the least about happiness? Our priorities are different.
I needed answers to these questions. I asked, and I observed. The more I observed, the more haunting the idea seemed. What kept motivating everybody to move forward in this race was a hope for a better future. This might sound very positive but I’ll tell you why this is toxic. For example, I bought myself a box of my favourite sweets and I decided not to have it today and instead, save two for tomorrow. All night I slept thinking I’ll have that delicious sweet tomorrow. As I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think of is the sweets. Now when it’s time to eat I go into the kitchen and find my sweets spilt on the floor. Now the thought that I should have eaten it yesterday itself bothers me more than I can’t have it today. This regret, I should have done or I shouldn’t have missed the chance, is something that haunts me. This is what happens when we are busy planning the future so much that we forget about the day we have.
But then if that is what that keeps us going then how can we not plan the future. A student studies today to score well tomorrow. A man/woman works harder today so that they can have a secure future. Everybody is working towards something that is going to happen in the future. It is difficult to think of a student who studies even if he is said he’ll not have to give any exams. A patient who will die in 3 months will not spend his time earning money for the future but he’ll spend time, living his life to the fullest. What I’m saying is if we know our future we’ll not move in the direction, where we are heading now. But because it is uncertain we are moving towards, what we think our future is going to be. Ask yourself, ” Would I be doing the same thing as I’m doing right now if I were to die in the next five minutes? ”
So what keeps us going is the future but yes it is also toxic. It is the poison we need. Then what do we do to be happy?
The answer is simple. We need to find a balance. Between the present and the future. As long as planning the future doesn’t affect our present, it can coexist. Living in the moment does not mean being careless about the future. What is actually means is living in the present with all your energy, putting all the input ‘today’ so that you will never have to bother about the future. Whatever you do, give it all you have, that will create a true sense of happiness.
“The present is a ‘present’ given by life to all of us. The key lies with us. Let’s open the box of happiness together.”