[P.S. - Watch the movie, which goes by the same title. It's really good. But watch at your own risk. Might draw out a tear or two from those tired tear glands :') ]
"Live today as if it was the last day of your life".
We pass this statement on to the person who stands off to the side, feeling uneasy and unwelcome, at a lively house-party, like a baton passed on from one proud bearer to the newcomer. Without ever analysing the full depth of the sentence. The number of times we have quoted this ancient, anonymous proverb in our lifetimes, is a proof. How, you say? Well, here's how.
I would love to say that I chanced upon this book, and this chance meeting changed my life forever. But that would be untrue. So, for you, here's the truth - I was hunting for a self-help book that didn't somehow resemble one, and one that I could successfully finish reading and submit a review about for my English class. It did not necessarily change my life, this book. Not in those words exactly. It has revolutionised the way I see things now.
This book is called "The Power of Now" and its written by Eckhart Tolle. The title pretty much sums up the contents of the book. (If you have already read this book, please don't abandon this article just yet. I assure you, this article is not the review that I submitted for the class.)
The author talks of many fundamental things before getting to The Now. He talks of the Mind and the Ego, our own brainchilds, which evolve to take up more than a healthy proportion of our CPU RAMs. Why this requires special attention is mostly credited to the nature of attachment that we slowly happen to develop with these two. We gradually get so wrapped up in our own little world with our ever-talkative, ever-judging Mind and our all-consuming, all-belittling Ego, that we fail to realise the beauty of life as it passes by at its leisurely rate. We condemn everything that doesn't conform to our thinking and unknowingly do away with everything that could've given us the kind of happiness that our souls need, not the kind that we believe would suit the status that is reflected from the money that we've earned by draining ourselves spiritually. We end up hiking up the trail to our own destructions by spiralling deeper into the chaos of the material world.
Cue the entry of the Now. Decked up like the regal knight in the armour that it is, our main protagonist comes into the picture with promises of miracles. All you've got to do is, take a deep breath, and feel. That's all.
See, without comprehension. Hear, without listening. Smell, without identifying. Taste, without recalling. Touch, but only to feel. You may end up creating this bubble in the early hours of the day, with a cup of chamomile tea and the tender morning notes of a wakeful bird to warm your soul, or in the middle of a mind-numbing bus ride to an equally mind-numbing office. But wherever you create this bubble, you will feel as if you are having an out-of-body experience. You shall stop thinking, You shall stop overanalysing. You shall stop judging. You shall only feel the moment, the Now. And if time permits, maybe Time itself will slip in a little of the vast knowledge that comes with the Power of Now, into this tiny moment-bubble, and leave you completely mushy yet alive in ways which only thousand-fold the funny tingling of nerve ends can compare to. I shall tell you what this is. This is Happiness, with a capital 'H'.
Most of what I say here will not make much sense when read and interpreted superficially. To fully comprehend this in its entirety, you will have to reach a zone called mid-life crisis (if you are luckily unlucky enough, then probably not) where you may fall prey to hideous, blurry future-scapes and uncertainties that begin to seem larger than life. But at the point where there's enough pain and enough numbness for your brain and your body to begin comprehending that things are not going quite the way in which you envisioned them to, your senses will start awakening to the beauty of the present like never before. You will feel the cool water on your skin when you wash it in the morning, the taste packed in each of your boring lunch's morsel, the wind as it whips your hair wildly around your head, with a new-found fullness. Hold onto that feeling. That indescribable sensation may someday as well become your saving grace.
The number of times we thoughtlessly pass on this very deep and very meaningful sentence is a proof of how less we have fully unleashed its potential. The more deeply one comprehends the very essence of Now, the harder it becomes to hold on to the past or to constantly fret about the future. There's a certain beauty to the present that can only be disclosed to a person sitting in quiet rapture, drinking in the relaxing elixir that the present offers to him.
So, the next time you toss a "YOLO" casually, do hold onto the string attached to it, and let it take you the wonderful places. Let it unravel all inhibitions that you may have used up to create impenetrable fort walls.
The Now Is Powerful. Wield It Wisely.