Driven by prohibitive demands of the modern day, the youth has a cavalcade of hardships following them like a plague; just to name a few – loneliness, desire to be popular, peer pressure, crushing demands of being in perfect shape, living up to lofty definitions of ‘achievement’, relationship woes and the never ending race to the finish line. The repercussions of these impetrations is anybody’s guess; depression, disease, disharmony.
From the time children are enrolled in school to the day they are ready to face the world, they are flogged by expectations that may not necessarily be their area of competence or predisposition. Some coalesce with the drudgery out of no choice and some just fall by the wayside, exhausted. It’s common knowledge that every hour a student commits suicide in India. Adding to this melancholy is the statistic by WHO – 4.5% of the Indian population is clinically depressed and 36% are likely to be depressed at least once in their life. The figures are staggering. So what is the future of our youth today? How do they handle these unrealistic demands?
What should be upheld in the highest esteem – value based living, joyful existence, optimism, contentment, love or should it be marks, salary, possession, popularity and pressured living? Or is there any scope of having good mix of both? And how do you decide what is a good mix? These broad based dictum, if followed in earnest, may help you attain the much desired balance in your life.
- Moderation: Avoiding extremes and embracing moderation can bring equanimity and balance in ones life. Extremities harm YOU first, the world comes later – this is one of the highways to acquiring diseases like hyper tension and BP later in life. Save yourself from the ghosts of extremism and you will see that things work better in a tranquil composure. Be like deep waters; calm and non-threatening and yet people are wary of its strength.
- Introspect: Every change begins from you. All you have to do is find the seed within you that makes unhappiness germinate. This does not mean that other people around you don’t need a change, but that’s not your responsibility or concern. The choice is theirs – do they indirectly summon a regretful unhappy life with unfulfilled expectations or is their life brimming with positivity. Everyone deserves a good life but to see it happen, it is imperative to learn the art of looking inward. You’ll be surprised at the endowment of intuition and wisdom that comes as innate qualities in every human being; all you have to do is learn to trust your system completely. When you know what is right for you, don’t chose the option that screams convenience.
- Listen to your gentle inner voice: Just like your body talks to you, so does your internal system. A small example of experiencing internal commands is – when you look at a fruit or a vegetable; right from its colour, smell to the texture is assessed inside your system and an output is given about the feasibility of its consumption. Our ancestors in their times as wanderers or anyone, even today, who may have got lost in the woods would tell you that going by their instincts was the wisest thing they did in order to ensure their survival – from which food or leaves to consume to finding their way out of there was driven by these instincts. These instincts are nothing but your internal system guiding you. One hears it loud and clear in situations like these because there are no comfort encumbrances. Comfort is not an encumbrance as far as daily living is concerned, but in situations when one feels the need to connect with oneself, it could act as an encumbrance. It can restrict you from listening to your internal guide – learn to detach the mind from it. In a room where there is loud music playing, it is difficult to hear each other, similarly, when there is so much happening in one’s regular and much too familiar life; one fails to hear the internal commands. Tune into that voice, it’s your messiah.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: No action is right or wrong until you see the outcome of it, and it’s far reaching repercussions. Each one of us has to experiment with our experiences and arrive at our conclusions. Let the mind do a thorough analysis of situations and you will realise that, indeed, there are definitive, positive and negative dimensions which you may knowingly or unknowingly gravitate towards. Once you learn to identify what is unprincipled (negative) and what is righteous (positive), you start putting in the correctives; and soon you come into the precincts of wisdom.
- Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly: There is a precondition to experimentation; make sure that the choices you make, firstly are guided by your internal system, as mentioned above and secondly determine to give it your best shot. ‘I tried but, it just didn’t happen’, ‘I am plain unlucky’, ‘I never get what my heart desires’, ‘it’s impossible’, ‘I don’t think I can ever succeed at this’ are rationalizations that we use as shields for our lack of effort. You have the sole right to choose but only after putting in adequate efforts in the desired direction.
- Human body – the infallible machine: There is a lot to learn from the human body – the adroitness with which the body ingests what is fed to it, it’s proficiency of soaking in only the nutrients and ultimately, the effective disposal off the unwanted, are virtues par excellence. Let the mind emulate this incredible mechanism of ingesting, absorbing and disposing.
- Use your own counsel: Our relatives or friends have an opinion about things based on their experiences, but we don’t necessarily have to subscribe to it. It’s important that we experience people or situations ourselves before arriving at conclusions. We often lose out on great opportunities or great friendships because of what people have had to say. Use your own judgement based on your experiences, hear everyone but pick out what you think is valuable information.
- Choose your friends wisely: It’s tempting to be popular and be seen with as many number of people as possible, but take a step back because being popular comes with a copious amounts of baggage, you land up being what you are not. It’s Ok to have 4 good friends than have 400 mediocre ones. Quality is definitely important than quantity in this case.
- Avoid Peer pressure: The compulsions of contemporary living force the youth to emulate their peers, primarily out of the fear of being made a mockery of. It is the biggest driving factor for the youth today. But always remember, people who have undesirable habits are not necessarily bad people, it’s their habits that are bad. Why replicate the habits, then; replicate the qualities that they bring with them as humans. Moreover make them desire your company because YOU lead them to a better place.
- Exercise: There are no shortcuts to exercising your body. The mind and body are uniquely connected, one facilitates the others efficacy. Affix the sensation of ‘pleasure’ to exercise instead of annexing pain to it, think of the high after the workout, think of the clothing that you will fit into, think of the sense of power that you will experience after placating your desire to exercise.