Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Living the life

Its a pity that I haven't blogged about things in a long while. Isolation doesn't seem to help, with anything.

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In recent years, I have read few biographies. I enjoyed Steve Jobs' biography by Walter Isaacson and the auto-biographies of Stephen Hawkins and Vinod Mehta.

Few weeks back, I started reading Abraham Lincoln's biography by Ronald C White. There are quite a number of authors who have written biographies of Lincoln. I chose this one based on a recommendation. But I'm not finding this version very interesting.

A chronicle of events in Lincoln's life is not as interesting as knowing more about Lincoln, the person. I wish he had a written his autobiography. The contemplative, storing telling Lincoln portrayed in Spielberg's movie was the one I was looking for.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Or so Lincoln apparently said. Power perhaps could be replaced with Responsibility for the common folk. Having been in a position to withstand adversity and bear responsibility, in the past year or so, I didn't find the former any easier. Lincoln himself withstood quite a few adversity. But not sure, if there is direct account from him, on how he managed to do that.

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I don't have much to say on withstanding adversity or bearing responsibility myself. I don't think I managed either well. But if I have to offer a strategy, it'll be to trust one's instincts. Its possible that when under siege (not stress) our perspective is reduced to the most important things and hence our instincts more useful. Even otherwise, following one's instinct helps deal with regrets later.

Another useful strategy, surprisingly, I remember from a movie by Kamal Hassan. In Virumaandi, the character played by him will say something to the effect.
We don't seem to realize happiness, when we actually live it.
This is ofcourse looking back, when things have turned worse. It might be a good strategy to do more, say splurge, during moments of happiness and make it more memorable. Because, such moments may not come back and in hindsight, we may regret not enjoying those moments to the full.

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Not sure, if I'll complete this biography of Lincoln. I hope to read more though and perhaps write more here too.

3 comments:

Arun said...

Yeah, it's hard to appreciate the value of something until we lose it. In tamil we say "setha dhaan theriyum chettiyar arumai"
Living the moment not worrying about past or future, should be the strategy.
If you get a chance read this book : "Power of Now"

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

Hey Arun, whats up?! Will look up this book, you have suggested.

Any plans to visit here? More on mail.

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