I am the past, you are the future…

One of the best lessons I have learnt in life is that the more your share, the more you learn. It starts from our childhood. As a elder sibling in the family, we have to learn to share with our younger siblings and be willing to learn from them. Then you grow into an adult and have a lot to share with younger ones around you. You get into a job and work in a team to share and learn.

As you get married, you learn from each other all the time. Then as you have kids, it is time to give back again. This is the time I realised that the best attitude to share and give back to the next generation is to believe that ” I am the past, you are the future..”. If we live our life with this attitude, we will always be willing to share more, learn more and give back more. We have to realise that we create the future of our choice.

I have to believe what happened in my life is history. I may have succeeded or made mistakes. But the future is with the next generation. Hence, if I believe that I am the past and the next generation is the future, I will happily share my knowledge and skills without expecting anything in return. Many of us conserve our knowledge, skills or experience thinking that if you share you erode your value.

I would argue that it is the other way around. The more you share, the more you learn and grow. I have respected all the people who have shared with me in life and career. I have seen them grow and become more knowledgable and respected in society. On the other hand, people who have conserved knowledge or experience are neither respected nor do they blossom in life.

There is a reason for me to believe that our attitude to life and living should be – ” I am the past, you are the future..”. If we believe, we have experiences of the past, we have a responsibility to share with the next generation as they are the future. If we share our failures and successes, the chances are they will not have to go through the same issues in their lives. If we do not believe in this, the next generation will do the same mistakes we did in our life and their learning curve will be longer than ours.

In corporate life, we always believe that the lessons we learn from our failures are much more valuable even than our successes. Life is no different. We should have the courage not only to accept our failures but the willingness to share what we learnt from them so that the future generations benefit from it. If all of us conserve our knowledge, skills and experiences and take them to our graves, we neither benefit from it nor does the future generations.

This is true in every aspect of life. We need to share and learn in a continual way. We need to believe that the more we share, the more we learn in life. We need to believe that we are the past and the next generation is the future. We are responsible for the past but we also have a responsibility to create a brighter future for the next generation.

We have a responsibility of developing the future generation as in the photo above.

Let us live life king size. Let us learn to give back to others more than we have got in life. I can share that this could be a wonderful way to be happy and grateful in life. We have neither inherited knowledge nor can we take it to heaven. It is this realisation, which will make us give back in abundance. Let us learn every day of our life and let go all that we have learnt to others so that they benefit as much as we did.

The day to start is today and the time is now.

S Ramesh Shankar

Being in the moment…

In life most of the time, we either worry about the past or brood about the future.  We hardly live and enjoy the present.   Why do we fail to be in the present and enjoy every moment ?  This appears a very simple question but most of us have experienced this in our lives and have no answers. If you ask someone when they would be content and happy, they look at something which they hope to happen in the future.  

We can experience this in every stage of our lives.  A student will say that she is looking forward to complete her education and get into employment.  A young professional who has started his career will say he wants to double his income in three years and that may make him happy.  Someone else may say marriage will bring happiness.  For the married, a child is expected to bring joy in their lives.  If you have kids, their education and success in life is expected to give you contentment.   As your children get married, you await the arrival of your grand kids to bring happiness in life.  This is the cycle of the unending quest for happiness in life.

I have always wondered as to why we fail to enjoy today.  We glorify the past or our petrified about the future.  The past is history and we all know that.  We cannot re write history.  The future is mystery and even the astrologers or futurologist cannot predict it accurately.  Then why not live in the present.  One possible hypothesis is that happiness is always relative.  We compare ourselves to the past or to the future and hence this state of flux.

The other theory to explain this could be our belief of fate.  We believe we are destined to be happy or unhappy in life.  If we succeed in life, we say its luck and if we fail we claim it is fate.  Even if we have worked hard and given our best we refuse to enjoy the present.  This fatalistic attitude to life in infused in us.  In my view, while luck and fate may exist, it is we who can make a difference to live happily in life.

I have come across people who are always happy.  The single most factor which makes them happy is that they live in the present.  They are aware of the past and forget it.  They are not clear about the future but do not lose their sleep over it.  They do their best, work hard and enjoy each day as if tomorrow does not exist.  Imagine accumulating wealth all through your life and hoping that you will enjoy it later in your life.  That tomorrow may never come and you may not live to enjoy it and regret not doing so.  So, why not enjoy it today.

I am not saying that we should not learn from the mistakes of the past and be proactive not to repeat them in the future.  I am only saying that we need to learn to live each day as it comes and enjoy every moment in front of us as we experience it.  No two human beings are similar and no two experiences repeat themselves.  We have to give our best at all times and deal with life as it comes.  Like in the photo above, the beauty of nature is there all around us to enjoy every moment of our life every day.

Let us learn to live life each day as it comes.  Let us look at all the positives around us and enjoy today and believe that yesterday is over and tomorrow is yet to come.

S Ramesh Shankar

The Past, Present & Future

It is said the past is history and the future is mystery.  We do not know what the present holds for us.  In the cycle of life, the future becomes present even before we realise it and the past whizzes behind us and becomes the present.  If we look at ourselves and reflect on our own life we realise that the past, present and future is a journey.

We look at the past and rejoice on the perfect moments and look at the future with hope and anticipation.  The present is ephemeral.  We live it many a time without realising how it slips betweeen our hands.  The past can be recollected but the future cannot be predicted.  The present is journey to be lived to be realised.  Historians can comment on the past and the Futurolosist can anticipate the future but the present is reclusive of any predictions.

If we reflect in our own life, we realise that we cherish the past and anticipate the future.  Many a time we recall our childhood and re live the moments of happiness.  We plan for the future but realise it is unpredictable.  We live in the present many a time by celebrating the past or worrying about the future.  Why do we not celebrate the present as we pass through it every day ?

The future becomes the present even before we know it.  While we spend a lot of a time in looking back at the past and rejoicing it, we do not plan enough for the future.  This results in the future rushing into the present for us.  Ideally, we could enjoy the past but if we are able to anticipate and prepare for the future, the present becomes fun.

Lets look at our own past, present and future.  We share stories of our past with kids.  We share successes and enviable stories of accomplishments in academics, sports and cultural activities.  We tend to be oblivious of the future and many a time take it for granted till some challenge beseeches us.  Thus the present becomes insurmountable and we do not enjoy it.

It may be easy to celebrate the past but difficult to anticipate the future.  Some religious leaders tell us that the past and the future is fateful.  In my view, everything is in our hands.  If we live life, the way we want to and put in our best foot forward, the past evolves into the present and paves the way for the future.  Neither, the past is unpredictable nor the future is unimaginable.

My life mantra has to been to never regret the past nor worry about the future.  We need to learn to live in the present.  We cannot re write the past nor fully predict the future.  But the present is in our grip.  We tend to live the present by looking at the past or worrying about the future.  This drains our energy and thus we are not able to celebrate our every day life.

Like in the photo above, we need to live in the present and learn from the children around us.

Let us celebrate the past, live the present and plan for the future.

S Ramesh Shankar