What is life? It’s from ‘B’ to ‘D’ i.e. from Birth to Death. But what’s between ‘B’ and ‘D’ – its a ‘C’ that’s Coffee! Are you Confused? ok it’s Choice. Your choices in whole life.
I’ve often thought about what it is that makes people happy and what one has to do in order to achieve happiness. Recently I read a beautiful note from eminent novelist Khushwant Singh. Here is the compilation from the article. It walks you through everything you need to live & die peacefully.
All you need to Live & Die peacefully
First and foremost is good health. If you do not enjoy good health, you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct something from your happiness.
A healthy bank balance. It need not run into billions, but it should be enough to provide for comforts, and there should be something to spare for recreation—eating out, going to the movies, travel and holidays in the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be demoralising. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in one’s own eyes.
Your own home is an ultimate place. Rented places can never give you the comfort or security of a home that is yours for keeps. If it has garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, and cultivate a sense of kinship with them.
An understanding companion, be it your spouse or a friend. If you have too many misunderstandings, it robs you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to be quarrelling all the time.
It is a free time spent away from business, work, domestic chores and education. It also excludes time spent on necessary activities such as eating and sleeping. Do not allow people to descend on you for gossip. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip mongering. You do not need any part time people in your life!
Cultivate a hobby or two that will fulfil you like gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks, or to meet celebrities, is a criminal waste of time. It’s important to concentrate on something that keeps you occupied meaningfully.
Every morning and evening devote 15 minutes to introspection. In the mornings, 10 minutes should be spent in keeping the mind absolutely still, and five listing the things you have to do that day. In the evenings, five minutes should be set aside to keep the mind still and 10 to go over the tasks you had intended to do.
Stay calm and do not lose your temper. Try not to be short-tempered, or vengeful. Even when a friend has been rude, just move on.
Stop envying those who have done better than you in life—risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others. Above all, when the time comes to go, one should go like a person without any regret or grievance against anyone.
There is a a popular story where a group of friends visited their old university professor. Here they simply had some casual chit chat which soon turned to complaints about their ‘Stresses’ & ‘Tensions’ in Life.
Professor offered them Coffee & returned from kitchen with Coffee in different kinds of cups. Glass Cups, Crystal Cups, Shining Ones, Some Plain Looking, Some Ordinary & Some expensive Ones. When all of them had a Cup in Hand, the professor said “If you noticed all the Nice Looking & Expensive Cups are taken up, leaving behind the ordinary ones!
Everyone of you wanted the best cups, & that is the source of your ‘Stresses’ & ‘Tensions’. What you really wanted was “Coffee”, not the “Cup” ! But you still went for the Best Cup. If Life is Coffee ; Then Jobs, Money, Status & Love etc. are the Cups! They are just TOOLS to hold and contain Life.
So please don’t let the cups drive you, enjoy your coffee! Our life is a matter of choices, live well and it will never go wrong.