Recently I read a post by a young blogger where she wrote, “… we waste much of our lives not living the present moment. Why can’t we feel that ‘Friday-Feeling’ every day? Why can’t we learn to find wellness in every day? Why can’t every day be special?”

Her question is valid: why can’t we humans live in the moment? I feel the reason lies in the fact that since our childhood we are taught to strive for happiness in the future and not waste away our time enjoying the present. Remember the Ant and the Grasshopper story? The story teaches us to spend our spring working to enjoy the cold wintry days holed up all inside. We are a future-oriented species and planning for the future is good. But did the ants ever realize what fun it was to loiter in the grass and bask in the sun? We are always told to work hard today so that tomorrow is happier and enjoyable but no one tells us to enjoy our today. Even the good deeds that we do today are expected to bring us rewards tomorrow, in the form of salvation or a place in heaven. Why can’t an act of selflessness or charity be done for the pleasures it brings at that moment? Has anyone ever felt sad by helping another person? We can seek to do good to feel good, it need not be done to reap rewards tomorrow or after death.

Now, I happened to come across a video of Sushant Singh Rajput addressing the students at IIT Bombay. In the video, he speaks about the struggles he went through while preparing for his engineering entrance and at the initial stage of his acting career. He said that every time he achieved his goal or reached his target, the seemingly big things did not appear as big once he got them and he says in the same breath, “The future me was much happier and much more successful than the present me.” This is very relatable and we all have experienced it at some point that the future is always rosy while we toil through the present. He says that he used to feel that something was missing after having achieved his goals because he used to swing between obsessing over the future and taking responsibility for his past. And his life changed the day he realized, “the thing that was missing was Now.”

We get so immersed in setting things right, achieving our goals, and focussing on making our lives beautiful that we just don’t realize what we are missing. I remember having read about a mountaineer who had scaled the highest peaks in every continent. Once someone asked him which was the most scenic trail of all the climbs and he realized that he didn’t know. He had never paid attention to his surroundings in his quest to reach the peak. And once he had fulfilled his ambition all he was left with was, emptiness and no memories. This is what most people do, they forget that the journey is as important as the destination because it is the journey that transforms them by the time they reach the destination.

We all grow up thinking that happiness is what we can enjoy tomorrow provided we give our today and that tomorrow to enjoy never comes. Living and enjoying the little moments that come every day is what makes life more fulfilling and worthwhile. So, stop for a while, take a deep breath, enjoy the moment at hand, and do not wait to live it tomorrow. The only thing that I don’t have on losing Abhay is regret because we lived wholesomely for twenty years. Yes, I would have wanted us to grow old together and do many more things but that was to happen in the future. I am glad that we didn’t waste our past planning a worthy future and enjoyed all that came our way. So, say Carpe Diem and seize the day because it is all that we have.

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