Most Important Lessons I have learned so far during the pandemic

Picture credits: Roffey Park Institute

Every event in our lives teaches us something. If you believe it doesn’t then I’d suggest you take a look at any event of your life again: this time more carefully. I am pretty sure you’re going to see it yourself that you had some learning. It’s impossible to believe that the pandemic is not teaching us anything. There is so much learning each day and remembering and not forgetting those lessons ever may help shape our lives for the better.

Personally, I have learned a lot of things in the past one year. While I was grateful of my life during this time, nonetheless it wasn’t an easy year. Actually it wasn’t easy for anyone. In spite of everything I have had a few realisations and I’d like to share some of them with you.

You’re always hanging by a thread

What I am about to say is going to sound cliche but it’s the harsh reality of a human life: life is very short. You can put your 100% energy into predicting the future still you will fail. You will fail badly. Everybody is hanging by a fine thread. If the thread breaks up it simply means that you are alive no more. What may sound scary is that you can never know when your own thread is going to break. One day you’re like ‘life is a bed of roses’ and another day your worst nightmares have come true. I don’t mean to make you feel depressed. My purpose is to bring it to your attention that don’t disrespect life. Don’t treat it like garbage. Value it. Bad things do happen. Sometimes the worst possible things but such events are supposed to make you stronger and not ridicule at life itself.

Never stop fighting for your/loved ones life

When we are at a very dark place it is natural to start losing hope. Giving up seems like the only option. I am not perfect. Even I tend to start losing hope sometimes when nothing is in my favour. In those moments only our resilience and bravery is tested. If we try our best to maintain our demeanour we can think clearly. When we think clearly we stop focusing on what has happened to us and start focusing on what we can do now. Options, which we thought earlier we had none, become very much visible. I believe it is about intention. A good intention make things possible while no intention does nothing good to us. No matter what you’re going through in your life never stop fighting for your life and the life of your loved ones.

Your focus must be on what you control

There are two kinds of things in this world: the things we control and the things we don’t control. Humans want to control everything. They often believe that they have a control over everything and that’s why their lives become miserable. Some people have a good sense of what they control and what they don’t. Such people have a much better life than those who focus way too much on the things beyond their control. I know it sounds easier than done because while I understand the fact intellectually it is hard for me sometimes to act upon it. Nevertheless, it is never too late. The next time you are in an adverse situation ask yourself one simple question, “What I can change and what I cannot?” I am sure you’ll be having enough clarity to make a better decision.

Each day is a gift

We have a tendency towards believing that life is short but not too short. We have a lot of time. There’s no need of hurry. Indeed, that’s the reason we fail to celebrate each day. The pandemic has shown me very clearly that in no time you can lose anyone. One day you’re talking and laughing with someone and the next day that person is gone forever. It can give you the chills if you think about it deep enough. Therefore, be grateful every single day. Try to look at each day as if it were your last. By saying this I don’t mean you start living in a fantasy world where nothing is broken. You shouldn’t stop feeling all the negative emotions. But every day remind yourself: how would you want to live your life today if this was your last day?

Impermanence is a reality

Everything is transitory. I am sure you have heard it many times. Accept it. Accept the fact that your life, the life of your closed ones, your possessions and your achievements are all temporary. None of them is going to stay with you till eternity. Focus your attention, time and energy into the things that matter: a purposeful life, good deeds and spreading love all around.

The 4 Don’ts in Your Relationships

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Relationship is one of the pillars of our lives without which we cannot sustain. Sabotaging our good relationships for lesser important things is not a wise move. We know this truth but often times we forget our own learned lessons and do the exact thing we try hard to refrain ourselves from doing. Then comes the toxic relationships. In such relationships we are more of a slave to another person and loses our individuality in trying to conform to their ideas and beliefs. Sometimes we become so accustomed to such relationships that we forget there can be a liberation from such people. 

In this modern age we seem to have forgotten the importance of spending quality time with quality people. We are sacrificing them for another promotion, another job and another business project. We are depriving them of our full attention for another post on social media. And finally we are valuing our material possessions over them. Isn’t this all messed up? Yes. It is all messed up. But we can always fix things in our lives. We just need an intention and awareness. We can definitely start with these 4 don’ts if we want to start valuing people in our lives. 

1. The First Don’t/: Don’t text if you can call or meet in person.

Texting is the new normal. Is it New Year? Let’s text. Is it Christmas? Let’s text. Has someone got a promotion? Let’s congratulate through a text. Someone going through some hard time we are aware of? Let’s ask them how they are through a text message. Or even better- lets WhatsApp because it’s the perfect way to communicate. Personally I don’t like receiving text messages especially on occasions or when I am not feeling very good and people choosing texting to know about my well-being. I also do not like sending someone a text message on special occasions or when we haven’t been in touch for some time. I prefer calling at least. If possible meeting them. It is understandable when someone is far away from us and distance is a big issue because of which we can’t meet in person. It is also understandable that calling or meeting people is not possible all the time. In such cases texting is fine. Even during times like these when we have to abide by physical distancing. Unfortunately we have adopted texting so religiously that we don’t realise if that’s even the right thing to do. If you want to nurture your relationships you have to put in the efforts and time. You don’t have to call your loved ones every single day. You don’t even have to meet them every weekend. But whenever you plan to call them or meet them make sure you do that. And don’t let text messages come in between. 

2. The Second Don’t: Don’t let too much time come in between you and your loved ones.

There is this idea that prevails a lot and when I hear people talking about it I say to myself, “But, it’s ridiculous”. People think it is completely okay if they haven’t been in touch with their closed friends and family members for like 3 months or 6 months or even an year. They tell themselves that when there is love deep down their hearts then not being in touch is not an issue. Well, it is true. But only to an extent. We are living in a fast paced world and losing touch with people is very common. It happens with everyone. And letting ‘busyness’ come in between is just an excuse. While it is not possible and appropriate to call people everyday we should definitely make time. If you and your friend have very demanding jobs and family commitments schedule a call or meeting that works for both of you. However you do it just do not let too much time come in between. Sometimes it ruins a lot of relationships and we should know how to keep good people in our lives. 

3. The Third Don’t: Don’t make everything about yourself.

I am sure you have met many people who make everything about themselves. When you message or call them or even meet them they will eventually divert the whole conversation towards themselves. I have met such people and I do not prefer this quality in them. It’s not that they are bad people it’s just that they are not mature enough to understand a good and healthy conversation happens when everyone participates equally. If only one person is talking and the other person is listening then it’s not a conversation. Often times it happens that our friend is going through some hardships and in such situations it is our responsibility to become better listeners than talkers. Maybe the moment demands us to just listen mindfully and let our friend talk. This is a completely different scenario and it is completely apt to let our friend makes things about himself/herself. But a lot of times things are not so vulnerable and delicate and if we are arrogant we are definitely going to gather all the attention towards ourselves. There is so much that the other person might have to say and he/she will fail to do so if we are not going to give them a chance. So the next time you are having a conversation either with your loved ones or people in general make sure you take a step back and tell yourself that not everything is about you.

4. The Fourth Don’t: Don’t take people for granted.

We should not take good people in our lives for granted. I know it is easier said than done. But it’s worth the idea. It’s quite easy these days to form new relationships because of all this constant connectivity we have with everyone. Thanks to technology! At the same time, it is very hard to maintain and nurture them. It’s like watering a plant regularly and making sure it gets enough sunlight. The moment we stop doing all the necessary things the plant is going to die. The same thing happens in human relationships. If both the parties are not going to put in the necessary time and efforts in their relationship and take the other person for granted then the relationship is going to die soon. If you expect your friends or family to call you every time and give forth an excuse that you have been busy then you are just fooling yourself. Why? Firstly, busy is a decision. People always have time for what’s important in their lives. The fact you don’t call them simply means it is not a priority for you right now. And secondly, you are taking them for granted and they know you are. You believe if you are not calling them then they will because they do it every time and you don’t bother picking up the phone. Stop taking people for granted. Nobody is here till eternity.