Published: 09th May 2020
Canteen Fundas: Stay in the present to receive greater opportunities and see things clearly
Pro Tip: Instead of regretting your past or worrying about the future, stay in the present. Only then you’ll see things clearly and act precisely and get greater opportunities
I’m confused,’ said Rahul. ‘What’ll happen to my career?’
‘Yes,’ said Rinku. ‘Have I worked hard for nothing?’
‘Even I’m worried,’ said Rakesh. ‘But Prof Vivek shared an interesting perspective. Let’s call him.’
Professor Vivek joined their video call.
‘Sir, we’re worried,’ said Rahul.
‘We made so many plans,’ said Rinku. ‘All wasted,’
‘Nothing goes to waste,’ said Prof Vivek. ‘Everything is learning. It will all come handy later. I know you’re worried about your future. But what if I tell you that you could find more possibilities and better futures than you had imagined, if you stop worrying?’
‘But things are looking very uncertain, sir,’ said Rahul.
‘By being present,’ said Prof Vivek with a twinkle in his eye. ‘By staying in the ‘here and now.’
‘How, sir?’ asked Rinku.
‘Remember the movie Kung Fu Panda?’ asked Prof Vivek. ‘When Po is confused, Grandmaster Oogway tells him he’s ‘too concerned about what was and what will be. That yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery and today is a gift — and that’s why it’s called the present.’ When we’re in the present, our worries disappear. Regret comes from the past and worry about our future. When we’re present, there’s peace and clarity.’
‘But how can we prepare for our future if we simply sit with our present doing nothing?’ asked Rahul.
‘Good question,’ smiled Prof Vivek. ‘You see, the future unfolds one moment at a time. If we’re not fully present to the moment, those doors close. When we worry, all we see are walls and hazy obstacles. But when we’re present, we can clearly see what’s happening, and act decisively on opportunities as they appear.’
‘But won’t that slow us down, sir?’ asked Rinku. ‘Compared to those who are doing something and moving ahead?’
‘Actually, no,’ said Prof Vivek. ‘When you’re present, you’re at your highest awareness. You see clearly and act deliberately. You don’t react and mess things up like you do when you’re worried. For example, while you worry about your future, you could be missing opportunities right now — online classes, new career options. If you’re present, you can benefit even from this situation.’
‘Hmm,’ said Rinku. ‘I’ll practise being in the present — to this conversation, to whatever I do — and be open to newer and better possibilities. No more useless trips to the past and future.’
‘Like I’m enjoying my chai right now,’ said Rakesh. ‘Instead of worrying about my next chai. Aah. Here and now.’