Sometimes, significant insights are discovered from the what seems to be the insignificant mundane of everyday-living. What some identify as inspiration, I recognize as revelation.
On this day (20180630), I observed a scene unfolded in front of my eyes.
Here is the context – I happened to be savouring my full-sized ice-cream waffle in a café, taking a break from studying. In came a middle-aged man with two girls about five to seven years old each. I assumed the man is their dad. They followed by selecting their order of ice-cream.
Every one of them ended with a cone of ice-cream in hand.
One of the girls initiated a game, “The one who finishes the ice-cream first loses!”
While the other girl did not say anything, the dad replied, “I don’t mind losing.” In my heart, I concurred with him.
Now, that got me thinking…
From the perspective of the girl who initiated the game, the desire to win a competition may outweigh the pleasure of finishing the ice-cream possibly-faster.
From the perspective of the dad, the desire to enjoy consuming the ice-cream apparently outweighed the desire to win the invented competition. It seemed to me, he did not care if he got to win the game. It did not matter to him if he ate faster or slower. He just ate.
Isn’t it interesting that both the adult and the children shared a similar duration, living in an overlapping season of life, but their focus in the moment were different?
One valued victory over enjoyment; the other valued enjoyment over victory.
Victory > Enjoy
Enjoy > Victory
One is a child in her world; one is a dad who stood by his priority. What is more important? What do you want? And then, this sentence arose inside my mind:
All the ice-cream in your hand will melt.
That’s the key to a sobering reminder of a life lesson that is timeless and precious to me – enjoy the moment.
Don’t ask me why and how my fatigued mind still managed to considered such complex imaginations at that point in time. Now consider this – if you are in their shoes…
All these ice-creams are paid. You now hold an ice-cream in your hand.
Will you engage in the proposed competition / comparison for a temporal euphoria from the process of getting to the outcome of either winning or losing? Or will you simply enjoy the moment regardless you win or lose?
Of course, life is not an oversimplified two-dimensional matrix (See Figure 1.). What I am saying is, personally, if I happen to win the game while I am leisurely enjoying the ice-cream, perfect. Since I place more value in enjoyment than victory, even if I lose, it’s okay. I rather that than rushing to eat, but not enjoying the ice-cream. Or worse, I felt rushed to compete and decreased my enjoyment only to lose the competition.
For some folks, perhaps their table would look like Figure 2. such that they place more value over winning than enjoyment. They might rather win with less enjoyment than to lose with more enjoyment of the ice-cream.
I have heard of a saying that goes – how you do anything is how you do everything. I take that as a principle of the attitude and style of work / life ethics. So…
If I enjoy my moments regardless of the seasons handed me, knowing all of my life is fully paid for, what does it matter if I am the best or the worst, fastest or slowest, winning or losing? If I happen to win, good; but if I lose, so what?
Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to live a fulfilling life, a happy life, a life abundant? I shall consume my ice-cream, otherwise, it will melt anyway.
Sometimes, your flavor is different from the one beside you. Maybe you happened to be given a bigger ice-cream, maybe you were born into a more well-to-do family. Maybe you happened to be given a smaller ice-cream, maybe not as well-to-do in comparison. But who is to say whether the flavor is good or bad, as long as you like it?
There are circumstances you cannot control, but there are always choices you can make. You can position yourself to make the most of what you have. And the most important choices are always decided from inside you.
Life won’t wait for you; your ice-cream will melt.
I rather while it is melting, before it drips to the floor and be wasted, be consumed for my enjoyment. Wouldn’t you prefer so as well?
As a caveat, by no means is this post a solution to solve anyone’s problem of a hectic busyness. My hope for you when I decided to publish this post is for you to glean from my experience and benefit from my meditation. If this story and sharing is useful to you in being aware of savoring your moment with your loved ones, I am glad.
Quoting from “Life Wisdom – Quotes from John Maxwell – Insights on Leadership”,
“Young people live in the FUTURE.
Old people live in the PAST.
Wise people live in the PRESENT.”
Okay, now that you have read my experience and thoughts, what do you think? Did you have a similar situation that triggered you to meditate about a similar subject such as this post? Leave a comment below and let me know!