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TOP 10: Things you must do RIGHT AWAY!

Last updated on: September 03, 2013 13:50 IST

TOP 10: Things you must do RIGHT AWAY!

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Get fit, express your love, take a walk, go for a drive… there's a lot you can do to make your day more meaningful. AND it doesn't cost a lot of time.

Have you ever lived your day like it may have been your last? We spend our lives living for tomorrow. Saving for a rainy day, planning our retirement and changing our priorities thinking that it is only for a short time till one can afford better. But while life rushes by, sometimes it's good to pause a while.

Take a look around, take stock and be grateful for the today that we have. No one's tombstone ever said that they were a great manager or that they were very successful. Last wishes and regrets always are about people we love and cherish.

Everyone will have their own personal list, and it is a good idea to sit down and make your own. But here is an indicative one to get you started. A list of 10 things that you must do right now to appreciate your today, so that you never have any regrets.

1. Express your love

There is an old Japanese proverb that roughly translates into "In the end, everyone just wants to be loved". At the core of it, all we want is to be cherished and wanted. And yet, we often take the ones who matter most for granted. We miss birthdays and forget to express our feelings, assuming that it is understood.

Pick up the phone, call the one you love and tell them what they mean to you. Tell them how they make your world special, how you can't imagine living a single day without them. And thank them for all that they do for you. Just saying these words out loud will bring you two closer than even before.


Photographs: Sharayah Sherry, USA/Wikimedia Commons
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2. Get fit

It is so easy to let yourself go as you grow old. That little paunch, flabby arms, it all sneaks up on you. Instead of buying the next size of jeans, buy a gym membership. Or enrol yourself for workout classes like zumba or aerobics. Swim an hour everyday or go for a jog. Do it regularly and do it with the purpose of fitting into your favourite pair dress or pants. Do it for yourself. Do it to feel good, to look good. To make heads turn when you walk. When you're fit, you feel happier, you even are more focussed.


Photographs: Courtesy Karuna Swami
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3. Take your parents/sibling out

As we grow up, we often get so involved in our lives that we forget to make time for people who made us who we are. Take time out for your parents. Be spontaneous and take them out for a treat. It doesn't have to be extravagant. A simple coffee date or a plate of sev puri on Juhu beach will do perfectly. The best thing about parents is that it doesn't matter to them how much money you spend, rather the fact that you chose to spend your time with them.

And let us not forget our siblings. The brother or sister that you grew up bickering with but without whom your life would be incomplete. Call them once in a while and just ask them about their day. Show interest in their lives. That is the best gift in itself.


Photographs: Abhishek Mande/Rediff.com
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4. Take a walk in a park

When was the last time you stopped thinking and just let yourself feel. Put on your keds, go to the nearest park and take a walk. It's as simple as that. But don't take your ipod or phone with you. As you walk, look around, notice the grass so perfectly mowed. Appreciate the flower beds blooming with a variety of colourful buds. Take a deep breath and smell the air. Can you smell the flowers or the wet mud from the last rains?

Hear the birds chirping above. And if you time it right, look up in wonderment at the sky as the sun sets. The hues of pink and purple in the sky are nothing short of a painter's masterpiece.


Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
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5. Go for a long drive

Driving is such a chore. With the rush hour traffic jams and the ever present potholes, it is not a fun activity anymore. But the joy of going for a long drive remains unparalleled. Every person is different and thus, your idea of the perfect drive may vary. You may want to put on your favourite music and go alone, singing along. Or you may prefer to pick up a few friends and enjoy the banter. A drive can be romantic or relaxing, a party or just de-stressing, depending on what defines you. If taking a vacation is a long standing dream, don't wait, pick up your keys and head out.


Photographs: Dilli2040/Wikimedia Creative Commons
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6. Let your friends know they matter

We don't choose the family we are born in. Friends however are the families that we choose for ourselves. Friends know our little secrets and love us despite them. Some people have a huge social circle and some open up to a select few. Whoever your friends are, whether you just met or you know them from when you were in kindergarten, work on your relationships and don't let them fade away.

Make impromptu plans if you stay in the same city. If you don't, all it takes is a sms to say hi. Or better still, figure out your dates and plan a reunion when you can get together soon. It is very important for us to spend time with friends, to talk our minds and to share our fears. Good friends don't judge each other. They only remind you of how special you are.


Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
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7. Indulge yourself

The most important relationship in your life is that with your own self. Yet, in this madness, you barely get time to pamper yourself. It's fun once in a while to spend a little just to indulge your own self. A massage is ideal but if that is too much indulgence for you, just get a pedicure. Is there a particular desert you have been craving? Go and eat it just by yourself. Whatever gives you happiness, lets you relax and enjoy yourself for a well deserved moment, do it.


Photographs: Sucheta Das/Reuters
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8. Start a hobby

Is your list of hobbies only good for your CV? Do you indulge in them? Did you buy that squash racquet and yet never found the time to play a game? Or always wanted to paint but never really got around to it? Whatever your interest is, don't wait for life to get simpler to follow it. Life won't. Make time today. An hour a week, a few here and there, whatever you can manage.

If you like to read and you are a jetsetter, buy a book from the airport every time you fly and you have something to do on the flight besides work on your laptop! If you like to write, start a blog. If you like to cook, make one night a week a special night when you try something new. It doesn't take much, just a little readjusting and you will feel so much nicer.


Photographs: Miguel Vidal/Reuters
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9. Relook at your job

If you had all the money in the world and yet still had to do a job, would you be doing what you are doing now? If not, what would you choose to do? Would you teach? Or write? Or become an art curator? The answer to this question will help you identify what it is that you should spend the rest of your career pursuing.

If your current profession is not what you would ideally be doing, then look for ways to make money while doing what is. Life is short. And it is the one chance you get to do things your way. So do them. Don't wait for 40 or 50. Don't be scared. It takes a lot of courage to change course. But if you do, the rest of the journey will be a breeze.


Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
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10. Take control

The thought behind each of these points above is that you need to take control. You are in the driving seat and are in charge of your own happiness. No one else can get you peace of mind or inner happiness. You need to do that for yourself. You need to count your blessings and find something to look forward to in each day. For it is not in your hand how many days you live, but how much you live in each of those days is something that you control.

Harnoor Channi-Tiwary is the founder of Journey My Way (journeymyway.com), a personalised travel advisory firm.


Photographs: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters
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