Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life

Enjoying life

by Jayaram V

You do not have to have riches to enjoy life. If you have riches, you may have better options to enjoy life. However, if you are smart you can enjoy life without being rich. I am not suggesting that you should choose poverty. If you are forced by circumstances, you can use your ingenuity to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, by cultivating the right mental attitude and devising suitable methods.

Undoubtedly, you can enjoy life more and feel good about yourself and your accomplishments if you are rich and live in luxury. Living a luxurious and comfortable life is the sweet reward of success. However, it is a fallacy to believe that only rich people have a right to enjoy life. It is important to remember to enjoy life attitude is equally, if not more, important.

Luxuries may make people happy if they do not have the right mental attitude. As in case with all the material things in life, beyond a point the luxuries of life may not excite a person at all. Those who are accustomed to luxuries for a long time may not find any special joy in having them or using them.

Enjoyment arises mostly from attitude and the way you interpret your life and experiences. It is difficult to argue whether the CEO of a business organization who is entitled to a Jet of his own and play golf in world's best golf clubs enjoys life better than a monk who lives in a cave in the Himalayas and eats only once in a day. In both cases, it is the attitude which determines their ability to enjoy life and interpret their experiences. You can enjoy life even with simple means. If this not true, the world would be a depressing place to live because more that 95% of world population do not count as world's richest and do not have adequate means to spend money on luxuries.

You can enjoy your life within your means. If you cannot afford to spend on expensive vacations and cruise trips, you can use your creativity and devise other methods to experience the joys of life. To enjoy life in all circumstances and increase your potential for the joys of life even amidst difficulties, two conditions are important.

1. An open mind free from prejudice and preconceived notions.

2. Present moment awareness or the ability to live in the present.

It is a fallacy to think that you have to enjoy life only when you are free from problems and responsibilities, when your children go up, when you get a promotion or pay rise or when you retire and become free from your family obligations.

You do not have to postpone you enjoyment to sometime in future when you meet with some obligations or reach some goals. You can enjoy life here and now, wherever you are and in whatever circumstances you may live.

Your enjoyment does not arise from absence of problems but from your mental attitude and your perceptions. Whether you are rich or poor, you can enjoy life by cultivating the right attitude and taking advantage of the numerous opportunities life offers to you to experience the simple pleasures of life.

Here are a few ways to accomplish this objective:

1. Break the monotony of life occasionally by breaking the routine and doing things differently.

2. Spend some quality time with your friends and family members.

3. Listen to music or watch a movie at home.

4. Express your creativity by learning a new hobby, skill or art.

5. Read or listen to audio tapes.

6. Call an old friend and speak to her.

7. Go for a walk.

8. Visit a nearby museum, park, historic or scenic place.

9. Go for a drive in the country side and eat lunch or dinner in an unknown restaurant.

10. Join a voluntary organization and help others.

11. Mentor a child or a teen.

12. Practice yoga or meditation at home.

13. Join a prayer group or a laugher club.

14. Watch a sunset or sunrise or stars in night sky.

15. Go on a trip to a place you live in the past.

16. Go to a nearby lake, river, canal, stream, or beach and spend time watching the waterfront and the waves.

17. Help your child learn a new skill.

18. Spend some time doing nothing

19. Cook some exotic food and invite your friends to join you.

20. Clean your house and cupboards.

21. Visit a local garage sale or give away something to a local charity.

Hinduism states that the ultimate purpose of human life is enjoyment and nothing else. The soul is here to enjoy life. The Self or the soul is the witness, the observer, and the enjoyer. You are not here to suffer, but to observe and experience life, without becoming involved with it and without being caught in preferences, commitments and prejudices. You are an eternal soul, a traveler in the journey of life with an inherent capacity to enjoyment. You have therefore a right to enjoy life here and now, cultivating the right attitude and an open mindset.

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