The other option

Written by Suraj Shah. Inspired by greatness.

In life there are difficult choices to make, but they need never bring rise to stress. In the face of difficulty, there’s always the option to choose the path of least resistance.

Most days we run on autopilot. There are many small decisions to be made throughout the day, but rarely anything too hard. It’s not as if we’re a president of a country or anything. My decisions most days are around:

  • breakfast: choco hoops or porridge oats?
  • drive to work: listen to the radio or a CD?
  • at the office: archive the email or delete?
  • in bed: read first or go to sleep?

You’ll agree, these are mostly tiny mundane choices – not really worth spending any real time deliberating over.

Then there are the other days when an event knocks me for six. At that moment, I really do have to make an important decision, the result of which will impact my future and the lives of those around me.

There are some situations where it might even feel like “I’ve got no option but to….”, where it feels like my right to choose has been taken away from me and I must go down a certain path, or else.

What troubles us is not the activity that we need to carry out. What troubles us is how we think we’ll behave when we perform that task. We forsee having to do it grudgingly and feeling horrible inside.

It needn’t be that way.

In those times, it’s important to do the work that needs to be done – we have a duty to perform our role and fulfil that task.

So how about this for an approach. Do it. Just for fun. Do it anyway. Enjoy it. Be enthused in it. Start it and see what happens.

The other option is not choosing another task. The other option is choosing that particular task, having some fun and getting it done.

Shifting the moody life

Written by Suraj Shah. Inspired by greatness.

This life is a rare opportunity to make the most of the great.

Have you been through difficult times that make you question whether this life is really worth it? Let me tell you, it is. Trust me, this life is worth it.

Some days, the alarm clock goes off and I just don’t want to get out of bed. I am weighed down by all the work that I still have to get done, all the demands that are pressing on my shoulders and all the hopes and dreams I am burdening myself with.

But then I am reminded of all the greatness that I am surrounded by. The wonderful people who light up my life. The fun work that I am able to do. The energising sunlight I can enjoy and the refreshing air I can breathe.

When I am reminded of all that, suddenly the troubles of life seem to no longer weigh heavily on my shoulders. Suddenly I feel ok about getting out of bed. Suddenly I look forward to starting my day.

Spirit of youth

Written by Suraj Shah.

Feeling lethargic, run down and bored in life? Spend time with someone younger, someone with a youthful spirit, someone with a sparkle in their eyes — it’ll shift your mood.

With my wife out of town, I wasn’t looking forward to coming to an empty home after work today. I had plenty to do, but was missing her company. Feeling tired and bored, I had a little post-work nap and then headed out to take my cousin brother for a birthday dinner and dessert treat, still feeling a little drowsy.

Spending a few hours with my just-turned 19 year old cousin, I felt something shift within me. The lethargy flew away, while curiosity and energy filled me.

For a 19 year old, Arjun is doing really well. He has met all his goals — attending a world-class university, recording for a band in a professional studio, recording an orchestra and sound engineering live Jazz performances. He is currently living with no goals.

He is totally debt-free, self-sustaining and doesn’t need to borrow money from his parents. He refuses to take a student loan regardless of the investment potential, so he is not weighed down by the loan.

Arjun works hard and keeps doing the work he loves. He is my inspiration. Spending just a few hours with him made me feel great and woke me up to my own inner youth.

If you are feeling a little lazy or bored, here are some tips for shifting the funk and immersing in life’s jazz:

  • Spend a few hours with someone younger than you.
  • Learn about their life right now — what they are working on, how they behave and what drives them.
  • Seek out the youthful spirit in those around you — in your local community, at the office, at the bus stop.
  • Look out for people who walk with a spring in their step, stop them and find out what they love about life.
  • Glance at people’s eyes and look out for that sparkle. Smile at them and let their smile back illuminate your whole self.