Wow, I will be turning 25 this year. It is really difficult for me to believe this, standing here in my mid twenties that I have managed to come this far in my life.
While I have come this far, one question is now bothering me is where do I go from here? What would be my guiding principles? What more can I learn from my life?
There are so many things I have learnt from my life till now. I have connected so many awesome people from whom I learnt so much – to serve the society, to care for the people whom you value, to be resilient in the face of trouble, to give up on unnecessary material needs, to find that crucial balance between your family, work, society and your own future. I myself have learnt that I find peace in reading books, writing, traveling, and teaching kids. I am so much willing to continue this process of learning and finding peace in things that interest me.
Finding the key to happiness – Finding my three R’s
Back during our elementary education days, the three R’s of literacy were stressed a lot – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. They served to help one focus on the essential skills that one should master as they entered real world, full of challenges.Well, the three R’s served their purpose well and here I stand as a capable man proficient in all the three skills. But were these three R’s enough in themselves? Are these the only skills I need in this increasing complex world?
We are at a point where people are failing to deal with their emotions, they hide from themselves, they lose track of their goals, life becomes a misery. Just like learning to read and write, we also need to learn to live.
At the age of 25, when I have some deeper questions to answer, when I need to rediscover myself, when I need to learn to hold myself together, when I need to learn to stay motivated the three R’s alone won’t serve the purpose. I am determined to find my way out of this pool of uncertainty and fear.
I have found my own powerful three R’s that I am sure will be my lighthouse in the years to come – they are Reboot. Re-calibrate and Redeem. The three R’s will form the key to happiness.
Rebooting myself – getting ready to make a new start
When you are completely worn out after a day long tiring work – what do you do? You go to sleep, you recharge yourself and start fresh the next day. Rebooting is not very different, only that I am not talking about a day. I am stressing on the importance of restarting yourself after several years of monotonic routine has weathered you out.
If you have come to a point where you have lost interest in waking up and welcoming the new day with open arms, my dear friend it is time to reboot. It will give you the much needed boost, a refreshing change.
What do you do to reboot? For me the options look plenty. You can go make a call to an old friend of yours with whom you have lost touch; learn to drive; learn to swim; play an instrument; donate to charity; spend time with your grandparents, they will tell you funny stories; clean up you room; write a poem; just do it. Don’t wait. If not anything else, do visit the church and thank God for all things beautiful. I have always felt myself to be God’s favorite child. The entire purpose of this exercise is to serve as the starting point for your mental reboot, when you have pledged to make a change. So here is your first step for key to happiness.
Personally, I rely on reading some powerful quotes to get me going. Some time ago, I created some wallpapers with a quote on each. You can have a look at them here: Wallpaper quotes to inspire me.
Re-calibrate – Fixing your compass
I have found it very useful to keep an internal compass for all the things that I do and aim for. A moral compass to ensure I never do something that goes against my principles, a compass to ensure that I am always moving in the direction to do something for the poor, a compass to make me care for the people whom I love and respect.
But I am a human and I am not infallible, I make my own share of mistakes. Occasionally, I need to evaluate if my compasses have been taking me in the right direction in my actions toward society, family, service to poor, and my future goals.
If that is not happening, if I feel I have wandered off my path – that I am not fulfilling my duties in caring for my family, or meeting my friends and trying to help with their troubles, or not working hard to build myself, or not devoting enough time to activities at our NGO Sankalp, then it is time to re-calibrate. It is time to set things right before things spiral out of control. Families break up, friendships are lost, the future looks bad, all because we failed to take the corrective steps when there was time. This second step is for me the most important of three when it comes to being my key to happiness.
To put it simply, it is not the mistake that is punished, but the failure to make amends for the mistake. Re-calibrating is about correcting the missteps.
Redeem – finding the respect for yourself
It is very natural for each of us to come to point in life where we seem to be losing confidence in ourselves, when we fail at everything that we try to do, when every careless step leads to self mocking. I do this to myself many a times. But do I really deserve this? Because I have always tried, though not always with success.
What I have learnt is that I should not respect myself for my wins but for the pain and discipline that I have endured – not only during times when I win, but even when I lose.
This is such an important idea, one that we often fail to realize but it forms the core of self respect. If you do this, you will never lose faith in yourself, no matter you won or you lost. Because you know that you have that ability to endure the pain and discipline and give yourself another chance. I try to tell this even to people around me. Don’t respect me for my wins, the success will come and go. Respect me, love me for my pain and discipline. That is what I need, that is what we all need. More on learning to respect can be found in this blog post of mine.
I hope this post taught you something of meaning and value. Three simple key to happiness that will stay with you all your life. Every single time you feel down, when you need to take a decisive step all you need to do is Reboot. Re-calibrate. Redeem.
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