My father in law was simple straight forward honest man, full of life, happy and content. Always enthusiastic and he was the one who knew how to live life to the fullest. For him living life to the fullest was not about partying or drinking all night rather it meant enjoying doing things what he loved and finding little things that gave him joy. Even if it was just watching television with the family or taking a walk in a park with his friends for two hours every day. Unfortunately, due to sudden heart attack he left for his heavenly abode earlier this month, leaving all of us in a state of shock and grief.
Since the time I attended his funeral, I have been thinking about his life, and how he lived a life of significance. I learned how by doing random acts of kindness every single day he made big impact into lives of others. He was a forward looking person with very strong values. His positive outlook, simplicity and no whining nature taught me invaluable life lessons and challenged me to think, how to live a life of significance, helping others and what is that I must do to attain contentment and happiness. I recall him saying that you cannot be happy if you do not appreciate the things the way they are. He was always grateful and content with what he had. No regrets whatsoever. However, that does not mean that he was not ambitious, he had a fulfilling career at Nestle in India. He took good care of his family, provided rock solid foundation, values and best possible education to his children, made sure that his own parents were well attended to in their old age.
So the question is what is it like to be someone who lives life to the fullest? Here are the five lessons that I learned from his life:-
Money can’t buy you happiness
You need to live a life with meaning, and you do not need money in order to bring that meaning. Life is truly beautiful, if you just keep money aside for one moment and focus on giving more that acquiring in your life.
Find joy in everything you do
When you are able to appreciate minor things, you can achieve greater levels of happiness and satisfaction. It is never too difficult to be thankful for a little smile, small gift, or minor compliment. Being grateful instills positive thoughts and you can have an entirely different perspective of your life only if you learn to count your blessings, notice minute joys, and acknowledge everything that you have.
Find Good in All Circumstances:
Circumstances are neither bad nor good, it is your response to those circumstances. If you have a positive approach, you can manage to obtain some benefit even from the most terrible situations.
Train your mind that all is well
Learn to develop the right mindset, you can be happy now, without changing anything else. You don’t need to wait until you’ve changed everything and made your life perfect before you’re happy. Do not waste your time and energy complaining or criticizing other. It will lead to unwanted stress that affects your health, allow others to live their life, leave them alone. Don’t try to please everyone. Instead of criticizing person, ask yourself, what is good about this person?
Empathy is good, action is better
Having an empathic nature, and to act upon, allows you to cultivate better relationships around us, and in the process enjoy life a bit more. Since it is a selfless act, it also has the power to transform your life as well as the life of other people around you. This simple act can change the way you think and behave, and will encourage you to step outside of your own thoughts and feelings to be able to have a larger perspective on life.
Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com)