Monday, October 3, 2011

Life is like a coin


Life is like a coin.  You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.
For many, life is like a coin that we can toss and then tell ourselves Heads you win, Tails I lose. With an attitude like that, whatever the outcome thereafter, life will be a burden for one has reconciled to a fate of misery. Pause for a moment and see each day as a gift of a coin given by fate with no strings attached and we are free to use it any which way we want; suddenly life becomes more meaningful and delightful. Just as we can use the coin to buy an ice-cream, put it in a mite box, get a gift for a friend or family member or simply save it, life too offers us ample choices and it for us to make the best use of it.
For the average person, the 24 hours that we are gifted each day, can be broadly utilized in 3 different ways, each of approximately 8 hours each; sleep, work, personal time. It is not just we utilize the time that matters but also how and why we chose to utilize our time that has  major bearing on making that ONE precious coin we have called LIFE,  count. Just to explain further, at this point I have a choice to enjoy a favorite TV show or choose to write this blog. While I have chosen to write the blog, I am sure I would have no regrets about watching my favorite TV show, but then my blog would not get updated and that is something I may regret.

Managing our life has always posed a problem for 3 reasons. We do not know what we want from it, we are not prepared to pay a price for the things we sometimes know we want and there are too many distractions that compel us to abandon our well planned intentions. Obviously if we can try and come to grips with these 3 problems, there is a very high probability that we would find life exciting and exhilarating.
The bigger problem still remains, that of reconciling to paying a price for whatever we want from life. It is essential to remember that barring some really blessed people, the overwhelming majority of people have to always choose between two equally pleasurable alternatives or equally damning alternatives and the moment they choose they have paid a price of wondering if they have let go of the better alternative. Many a student can identify with this when an exciting live match clashes with the study time for an important exam. There is a simple rule to decide on what is the price one pays and that is choose the alternative that in the long run you will never regret. Failing an exam for example, could set you back by a year and that is something that you may regret lifelong but missing o ut on the match of a century would be a regret that you can overcome partly by seeing replays and partly by the realization that the price you paid was worth it when you do well in the exams. Remember that was the rule that I applied when writing this blog and each of the blogs during 2010 when I wrote almost every day. Yes I sacrificed a lot of my time that I could have enjoyed but then I would not have had so many posts uploaded.

If you re-read the first line of the first para, you would notice that there is a also a significant factor that influences how we lead our life and that is our attitude. If we can simply rewrite the first line to read ‘For many, life is like a coin that we can toss and then tell ourselves Heads I win, Tails I don't  lose’ every day will be a series of small and big victories, victories nevertheless.
Try this:

Remember: I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.  
  1. Make a list of the 5 things you have done that you regret the most. If you can, also analyze why you regret those actions and how you would have handled the situation differently.
  2. Outline 2 social service causes that you are very interested in. How have you got involved in it? What more can you do to contribute to that cause? Do you think you are giving enough of your time and talent to the cause?
  3. How would you decide on and what alternative would you choose, in the following situations.
  • You have not prepared too well for your exam. However you are confident of getting reasonable marks in the exam. On attempting the paper you realize that there is a very real possibility of failing unless you can answer at least one of the mathematical questions correctly. The person sitting near you is a good friend and a class topper and there is a good chance of copying from his paper. What will you do?
  • You are invited by your best friend for his bachelor’s party. You realize that on the same date and time, you have to attend your boss’s sons wedding in another city. What will you do?

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