Unlearning And Learning

The unpredictability of life is no longer a shock or surprise. If you’re in the same boat, say aye!

Part of adulting is navigating through the surprises that life throws at you. I mean, we eventually do acclimatize.

Or do we?

If we observe within our circle of interaction and experience, we find some are more resilient to life’s challenges, some crumble swift, some remain nonchalant, and some are blessed by dint of their previous and present karma that helps them stay afloat.

But, yes, the package of challenges knocks on each door.

In my previous blog, I wrote about finding shelter amidst life’s challenges. You may wish to read it as a precursor to this piece. However, that is not a necessity.

The Bliss of Ignorance

Have you ever found yourself thinking why didn’t anyone teach me about life’s challenges and unpredictability?

I certainly have.

Formal education sorely lacks emphasis on making you a mentally robust human.

Majority of the parents, unfortunately themselves, weren’t raised to look after their spiritual and mental health. Our nation is still slowly crawling out of the ‘occupational hazard’ of Turks and Brits. For our previous generations, the emphasis was to find a decent-paying job and settle down. In effect, those are the values that they have passed down to us.

We tend to live so blissfully unaware of life’s variables that it is astonishing!

Here’s an example:

Death.

“What is the most surprising thing in the world?” asked the Yaksha.

“The fact that we see people die all around us and yet think of ourselves as immortal,” replied Yuddhisthira.

(On the same note, Srimad Bhagavatam says a parent should start contemplating the mortal nature of life upon the birth of a child, and the child should contemplate its mortality when it witnesses the death of a parent.)

Death, like birth, is a constant in the world. While I humbly feel that nothing can prepare one for the eventual demise of a person they dearly love, it is disappointing that even opening up a conversation about death is avoided. Perhaps some superstition is that talking about death will signal it to arrive sooner. Just like the funny (and also sad) idea that keeping Mahabharata at home will lead to fights!

Another topic is dealing with failures— say at work, relationships, studies or just about any endeavour in life.

No one, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, gets it right all the time. Be it any athlete, business tycoon, movie actor, politician etc. A lifetime spanning many decades will always find errors, crashes, ups and downs.

And, yet. And yet 🙂

I’ll hold my hand up and say that even as I write this, I know how difficult it gets for me to handle even something as innocuous as the failure of my favourite sports team (more on that in a blog in the future). And hey, I may rant about it on social media, but there are some ‘wise ones’ that end up destroying their television sets, burning effigies of their sports icons or even issue threats of violence on social media if their favourite team loses. And through this silly comparison, I find an excuse to continue ranting about my sports team. (Although their fortunes have witnessed an upturn recently. Praise the lord!)

But, in all seriousness, there is so much void that modern education and, often, our upbringing creates.

So, where does that leave us?

Should we continue to suffer just because we weren’t given a memo, or do we strive?

Rather than choosing to blame The Queen, Shri Nehru, our parents or anything else, let me share some important reminders that may help us in ‘raising ourselves’ once again 🙂

Timeless Reminders For Life

The itch to share is acutely potent amongst human beings. We are fiercely social. No person, unless they have had unfortunately harrowing experiences with beings of their species and have decided to make a generalisation based upon the experience, can be okay without sharing and having company.

I have often thought I would certainly pass on my learnings and experiences if and when I have a child. Considering that idea itself is a variable and subject to many conditions, I felt like sharing it with my kind audience, who end up lapping some of my ideas and encouraging me: something that I cannot guarantee, the future child of mine will.

So here is a list of some of the most important points, I feel will help me navigate life’s challenges as I continue to stay alive and live this incredible gift of life.

  • People around you, your loved ones will die. Grim, yes. They will leave a void nothing and no one else can fill. Yet, they will. Prepare your mind and consciousness. If one truly can grasp this idea of death, it is my absolute belief that we will start living better and also act more kindly towards people in our life. My tip: find an authentic teacher of the Bhagavad Gita.
  • Death is one way of someone going away. What if life takes someone away? People can be walk out of your life when you least expect or want. It can be excruciatingly painful if you are attached. And as a human being, there is a 99.99% chance that you will get attached. Give your best, cry when they leave but know the only constant in life is your soul, your connection to the infinity we call God.
  • Parents bring us into the world. They pass on the best and the worst that they got from the generations before. Unless they have been outrightly abusive or toxic, never ever forget to offer your gratitude and respect. More so as both you and them age. And while we are at it, remind yourself of lesson number one again. Loving, toxic, healthy, ill, detached, attached- whatever type of parents we have, they will depart one day before you if the law of natural progression plies.
  • Invest in your health. Start small, start with your body. In time one habit of regular workout will save you from a lot of anxieties in future. Remember, movement keeps us moving in life.
  • As you begin moving the body on a consistent basis, you can get the impetus to learn more about your mind. While moving the body is the first step in the right direction, there are various other significant steps to a robust mind:
  1. Company of genuinely kind and loving people. You find them by being one 🙂
  2. Keeping up with commitments to yourself inspires self confidence unlike anything else.
  3. Investing in learning yogic practices of asana and pranayama can be highly effective in aiding a healthy mind.
  4. The next step of hatha yoga has to be meditation. Once you start practicing pranayama, meditation becomes much easier. Essentially, we need to carve out sometime to just be with ourselves.
  • Learn to forgive yourself even if you cannot or do not want to forgive another being for something that they did. Self forgiveness is extremely important. Not only does it save you of debilitating guilt but also makes you more aware of your actions. If we stop judgement towards our own actions and rather view them with an open mind, we allow the universe to help us learn our lessons harmoniously. It is a constant vigilant work. You got to keep up always. Because you will continue to make mistakes. However, with consistent self work, you can ensure you make new mistakes rather than repeating old ones. Also, if we succeed at the above, we have a high probability of forgiving others as well.
  • A no brainer but incredible how often we miss this and take it for granted: Invest in humans– especially those who invest in you. Running after those people or things that are elusive brings nothing more than misery and pain. While we choose to cultivate and invest in relationships that have been brought into our life ORGANICALLY by God, we feel a sense of safety, warmth and joy. An idea that I realise I have understood a little later than I would have ideally liked is that fulfilling relationships are more valuable than any other human possession.
  • Drop entitlement. The universe is not meant to please and cater to your needs.
  • Read. God, just keep reading. If you are fortunate, you would find a treasure amidst books that will enrich your life in ways you would have never imagined. My tip: Look for the genuinely happy and holistically successful people around you or at least those who project that in their public life. Ask and try and learn what do they read. Start from there.
  • Holistic success means growth on all fronts: health, wealth, relationships and spirit. 🙂
  • Never hesitate to share uplifting, kind and generous ideas. Resist sharing that which brings down your personal energy and projects hate in any way.
  • Look your best. Only rare few should anyway have access to your heart and hence, present your best to the world. Your outer personality matters a lot unless you are a monk or a yogi living away from human civilization. Heck, even monks need to look clean and presentable!

I will conclude this particular piece here, dear reader. This time, I ask you a question:

Would you like a part two of this post?

If yes, I certainly have many other bite sized learnings to share that I am working to adapt in my life.

If no, I would like to thank you for your time and request you share any feedback that you think can help me present my ideas better.

Endeavouring constant growth,

Kushagra

P.S. Regardless of your affirmation to my question posed, I think I will present part two. Ha ha.

2 thoughts on “Unlearning And Learning

  1. mukesh

    Truly Impressed. What you have shared- is actually very true in our life and if we can adopt these small tips in life- we can be truly happy and share that with others as well.
    Waiting for part 2 and also….

    Like

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