For the last few days, I have been thinking a lot about priorities and what’s really important. The reasons are all around: a close friend is going through a sudden health scare, innocent people were bombed in the Boston marathon, an earthquake shook us up this afternoon. Life is unpredictable, and it is important to live every moment the best way that we can.
I truly believe that the essence of life is to create and spread happiness. It’s easy to do, if we focus on some of these things:
- Choose the right people to be with: Are there people in your life who sap your energy, make you feel guilty or try to control you? And are you stuck with them simply because they’re there and you have no time or energy to deal with them? Break the cycle and consider ways to minimize or cut off contact with them—they are robbing you of happiness. Come closer to those who make you laugh, understand you, bring out the best in you!
- Become the kind of person others want to be with: I read somewhere that ‘we judge others by their behavior and ourselves by our intentions.’ Isn’t it true? We like to believe that we are justified in saying and doing the things we say and do. But are we? Why not take time to ask yourself if you are being a nag or overbearing or unreasonable? Are people uncomfortable around you or trying to move away from you? A little introspection always helps in self-correction, making things sunnier for you and for those around you.
- Do the things you really want to do: Does your day fly by in a haze of chores? Most of us long to find time for the things we truly love—playing the piano, writing poetry or spending more time with the kids. But our crammed minds tell us we ‘don’t have the time.’ Think again! Steal a few minutes of genuine joy from your packed day—it is not only possible, but highly pleasurable. The relaxation you get is sure to make you a better person.
- Sleep well: How long ago did you pay attention to your nightly sanctuary—the bedroom? Get rid of any sagging pillows, creaky floorboards and irksome electronics. Jot down a list of things and ideas that will create a calm, clean and comfortable space; then go ahead and bring them together. Sleep is Nature’s way of restoring and rejuvenating you. Give it the respect it deserves.
- Do good: Do you tend to postpone replying to a friend’s emails or inquiring after an unwell neighbor? In these breathless times, those are the easiest things to put on the backburner, but they shouldn’t be! How about scheduling one good deed a day into your routine just like you schedule other ‘more important’ things such as meetings and appointments? Each time I find myself getting too busy to be kind, I remind myself of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s powerful words: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”