“We never really grow up, We only learn how to act in public!” Bryan White
So a few days back I happened to see an inspiring video of a 106 year old man called Fauja Singh who started running at the age of 89! And went on to become the first 100 year old to complete a marathon! Would you believe me if I told you he started walking at the age of 5? And that he was teased as a kid because of his extremely weak and thin legs? He decided one day that he wanted to run in a marathon and run he did!!
Have you ever wondered what is it that makes us truly happy? I’m not talking about things which give us a temporary high like say watching a movie or shopping online.
As we grow up and start being adults, we forget about what it was to just do something for pure pleasure. We become so busy in our life earning money, buying a house, buying a car, finding best school for our kids, shopping for clothes endlessly throughout the year not to forget the most important thing in our life staring at our phone!!
Question is not whether Money is important or not. Money is important! That’s a fact of life. And we need it to keep life going. Question is.. how are we spending it??
Take a break. Stop and think for a moment… Will it make much of a difference if you drive a Toyota instead of a BMW? If your kids go to say a public school rather than a fancy private school charging say Rs 15000 just for the admission form? Or if your house is say a little far away from the city than you’d hoped?
Fauja Singh found out that he liked running at 89… well he got to be 89! We don’t know how long we are going to live. If we die tomorrow, we may never find out. I realize this is sounding like a dialogue from ‘Zindagi na milegi dobara’! But I’m not talking about travelling to exotic locations and splurging away to glory. I’m talking about simple things which can be squeezed into our daily routine… say once a week or over a weekend.
When we were kids, we had to practically beg our parents to enroll us for a hobby course whether it was karate, painting, tabla, skating or tennis. Half the time the course wasn’t available or was too expensive to afford so it never really was pursued.
One advantage of adulthood is the independence that comes with it! So why should adulthood mean that we give up on all that we were passionate about when we were kids.
My mother was interested in learning dance when she was a kid. She never got an opportunity as she came from a tiny village in Goa. So she enrolled me in Bharatanatyam (which I didn’t really enjoy, but did it anyway). I was always interested in Martial arts but didn’t get to pursue it because we barely had any coaching centres then, so I have enrolled my son for a martial arts class (luckily he enjoys it very much).
You see what happens when we don’t get to do what we wanted as children. We end up making our kids live our own childhood!
Why not be children again and learn what we didn’t get to as kids? Age is finally just a number, right? I strongly believe you can learn anything at any age. Over the last 3 years I enrolled myself in a sketching class where I go into a trance for a good 2 hours, A virtual classroom for learning Sanskrit language, A cross-fitness class, Zumba and Tennis. Learning new things at every stage of life keeps the spark alive. You start feeling like you can do much more than just earn a livelihood. You feel young and energetic again!
Agreed. Quitting my job and starting a business means I have a lot more time at my hands than what I would have had otherwise. But for those who have a full time job, what are weekends for?
What is it that many urban families do over weekends? Go to the Malls, go ‘Pub-hopping’ (whatever that means!) or go drinking with friends or binge-watch some series on Netflix… Think about it, does it add anything to your life? Sure it’s fun you’ve had a few drinks and shared a few laughs with colleagues or companions! You’re done watching the latest season of ‘Orange is the new black’ and the weekend is over! 48 hours of your finite life… gone! Poof! But does it give you lasting happiness? There’ll be another cocktail in town in the latest pub in the city, and the newest seasons of Narcos and GOT will be released. And you’ll have had that drink and watched those seasons too…and then what?
Now fast forward 20 years of your life and imagine yourself in your life then… Assuming you are 35 now, you’ll be a 55 year old person who has worked his ass off for your bosses at a job, made a lot of money, invested in the right stocks and mutual funds. But how much did you invest in yourself?
With the current health scenario in India, and with all that junk food, alcohol and couch time in your youth – chances are you’ll probably be a 55 year old with some lifestyle disease in 20 years.
I agree sometimes you do feel like it’s too late in the day – like say learning classical music. You may feel that you are the only adult in a class of 5 year olds! It’s a real issue. But believe it or not, nobody cares! The only person who cares is YOU! And you are here to learn! You are adding a skill to your life.You are enriching your life…and in a few months you will know something more (a skill, a sport or an art) than you do now! So, If anything YOU should be proud!!
When I went for the sketching class, I had told my teacher that I needed to learn from scratch! She even taught me how to hold the pencil! And although I know my sketches are mediocre, I’m still better than I was yesterday! The first step towards learning something new is saying that “I don’t know it but I will”!!
Find out who you are underneath…
So whatever age you are at now, NOW is the time to start whatever it is you left unfinished..