Art of living – the name sounds very interesting and inviting. The name in itself carries a lot of weight but I don’t know how many of us really understand the true meaning behind it. We all live in a very competitive, digital centric world and in this world, even how much we want to disconnect ourselves from outside, there will always be some sort of distraction (a poke, a comment, or a tweet) to keep us occupied. I see so many people do not have a ‘work life balance’, what they have is only work, right from morning till evening. I have heard that in some societies, it is considered to be ‘cool’ if an individual comes home late. This would mean that he or she is important, has higher role to play and so he has to give all his time at work. A wife would consider her husband to be really busy, if he comes home only after 10pm. If anyone turns up early, that means either the person doesn’t have a responsible job, or is taking life too easily.
But is this all true? It is important for all of us to take a step back and think of what we are doing in life, and what we are missing. Are we missing something? Did we enjoy the sunrise, did we focus on things specifically, or were we just doing things in their routine way, without paying any attention to any of the activity and missing the essence of it. Did we enjoy the change of season, did we cherish the rain drops on our forehead? Did we?
The Art of Living – this is not supposed to be a week or 2 week long course, where we join and we are done. But this is all about how we live, how we enjoy this beautiful life that we have, which we only live once, and each moment that we lose will never come back.
Learning the wisdom of slowing down in life, is truly living. It turns out that the art of slowing down doesn’t happen quickly, it is itself a journey. But it is a recommended prescription for better living. A study in the Northwestern University in US, found that adults exhibiting time urgency, and impatience, had a higher risk of developing hypertension. We all, as humans are obsessed with time. It is our personal deficit crisis. We always think we’re saving time and yet we feel like we never have enough of it. In order to manage time, or what we delude ourselves in managing time, we rigidly schedule ourselves, rushing from one place to another, from one life event to another. We download apps that are meant to make us more productive, we read books and eagerly click on articles on saving time. We try and shave of time to schedule another events, meetings that we think can potentially further help us climb the ladder of success. We always fear that if we are not extremely busy and don’t cram our day as much as possible, we might miss on something fabulous, important or career advancing. But let’s not forget that there are no ‘rollover’ minutes in life. We don’t get to keep all the time that we ‘save’. Remember the word ‘deadline’ has its origin in American civil war – there was imaginary deadline that prisoners were not allowed to cross!
So what we can do to fight ‘hurry sicknesses’? As I said above, learn to walk, don’t run. Enjoy the slow movement…Gaining a sense of time affluence can help lead us to both greater well-being and deeper wisdom. Do a major ‘life audit’. Look at your day to day schedule, look at things that you need to do, and look at things that you do because of peer pressure, or due to some other reason. Stop doing some of those things in your life and de-prioritize. Once you do this, you will realize how much time you will have at hand. That will help you achieve the true essence of ‘Art of Living’ in all its glory.
Contributed By – Sandeep Mathur
I am Sandeep Mathur…living in Seattle USA. If you don’t know about Seattle, it is a very serene, natural place, with lots of lakes and surrounded by hills. Living in such environment definitely helps in today’s fast pace world. I work for a large Consultancy firm for a big client here in the west coast. My passion is reading management, leadership and self-help books. I am a technical geek, started as a computer programmer few years back and now am into Management consulting. It has been an amazing journey when I look back – had good growth in my career, traveled quite a bit that has helped me meet a lot of people from different cultures and to grow and transform into a better individual.
So, what steps are you going to take and exhibit the art of living in your life? 🙂