If you are not living you are dead

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This was second time in the last ten days Parimal woke up in the middle of night. The burning sensation that was accompanying slight pain in his chest was making it very uncomfortable for him to even lie down peacefully. Antacid pills and syrup that he was abusing for more than a year couldn’t bring any semblance of relief to him.

For the last couple of months, Neeta his wife was pushing him to get himself thoroughly tested. But as usual Parimal was unable to take some time out of his busy schedule. Meanwhile Neeta got disturbed and woke up to see Parimal pacing through drawing room.

“I know…as per your diagnosis it must be all due to indigestion, isn’t it?” asked Neeta. “Now listen carefully you are going to Mitra uncle’s clinic first thing in the morning and if you wish, you can inform your boss right now” instructed Neeta. “Meanwhile you can have this homemade remedy, hopefully it should work fine.” she said.

After a long battery of tests Parimal was diagnosed with an acute condition of acidity. Being a family doctor, Mitra uncle advised him to make some serious and visible changes in his lifestyle choices for long term health. To drive home his point Dr. Mitra shared a beautiful short story with Parimal.

There was this philosophy professor who stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, managed to roll into the open spaces between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

Now the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand seeped into the remaining open spaces of the jar.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to understand that this jar represents your life.

The rocks are the most important things – your family, your wife or husband, your health, your children, your Dreams and Goals– things that matter the most. If everything else were to lost and only they were to remain with you, your life would still be meaning-full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car and your other toys & trophies.

The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is absolutely no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Therefore, pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Make some sincere effort in making your life-partner happy. There will always be time to go to work, attend all those useless meetings, clean the house, attend those dinner party, or mindless television viewing.”

“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

“I know you are bright enough to not only appreciate the story but to practically implement it in your own life,” said Dr. Mitra. “And once you start practicing it, the life will once again be the joy that it is supposed to be,”said the wise Dr.


Life lessons:

You need to be aware of what you spend your time on

When you have “spare” time, what are you doing with it? Video games? Social networking sites? Mindless internet surfing? Television viewing? In order to optimise yourself, it is important to prioritise your activities. Be aware of the time you’re spending in pursuits which aren’t moving you any closer toward your goals. Self-awareness and time management are aspects of virtue you need to pay close attention to. Don’t ever forget that wasting time represents a serious deficit in self-mastery.

Your phone is just a tool

Let’s face it, we all spend way too much time on our phones. People can’t seem to tear themselves away from their smart phones, as if their life depended on checking out the latest app and the latest feed every ten minutes. A recent study says that we touch our smartphones 2,617 times a day on average and the heaviest smartphone users are clicking, tapping or swiping on their devices 5,427 times a day. http://www.hindustantimes.com/tech/we-touch-smartphones-at-least-2-617-times-a-day-study/story-XMpDmdHd0MOwSyxIGrgHMJ.html

So the recommendation is please put your phone away for a while. Don’t let it distract you while you’re working or having dinner with your family, or spending time with friends. People are more precious than machines. Machines are meant to be used. People are meant to be loved. And not the other way round. You don’t need to be an enlightened soul to figure this one out.

You need to recognise what you can’t control

Some things are beyond our ability to control. Don’t be anxious about these things. Don’t worry about them. Why? Because they are beyond your control. Period. If creating and reaching a profound level of inner peace and happiness is your ultimate goal then to achieve this, you need to keep a firm leash on your emotions when dealing with the unexpected and unwanted. Your happiness does not depend on external sources, it’s all within yourself. Accept those things that you can’t change, the things that lie outside your sphere of influence.

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