‘Surprises Are The Spice Of Life’

Nitin NAVARATHNA responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire.

Your view on beauty?

Each of us has their own personalised taste and preference vis-à-vis beauty. This is, of course, based on culture, upbringing, and the people we surround ourselves with, aside from their innate personalities. To top it all, one should also factor as to how rebellious each of us is, not to speak of our own ‘tailored’ idiosyncrasies. This bids fair to a large part of what we may admire, or not appreciate, as compared with another. This also explains why beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. While I have ever so subtly avoided the question, beauty, for me, resides in surprise. The surprise element could be anything as simple as an unexpected note in a song, or as remarkable as the committed backbencher reaching the highest echelons in a top corporate. Well, put simply, the greatest surprises lie in simplicity. When things are getting ever so complex in our world today, the simplest of solutions to the most complex of problems, often draws our breath away — more so, when a previously undiscovered barrier is surmounted. My Gen Z understanding propels me to think that all surprises arrive with one dainty tag, “Ah, what a beauty” — a spin-off, or product, also outcome of immense hard work and passion, juxtaposed by focused diligence, or perseverance.

Your ‘take’ on fitness?

Fitness is one of my top ‘serotonin-boosting’ topics. My brother initiated me into the world of fitness when I was sixteen. He enrolled me at a gym and my parents — my mom, especially — were completely against me lifting weights, because they thought it would apparently stall my growth. I was 5ft 4in at the time. I’m 6 feet tall now. It took some convincing, but eventually I was given the go ahead. I was diving deep, right from the word go, into the rabbit hole, but I experienced something surprising again. The sheer simplicity of being ‘more fit’ than 90 per cent of the world’s population was astonishing. I was hooked instantly, and the pace at which I was progressing was primarily self-motivated. My most memorable moment came when a trainer at my gym asked me if I was training for a competition — this was just six months after I had gotten into my fitness programme, nay obsession. The sheer joy of my progress, being validated by a pro, was what the fitness doctor ordered. I was on cloud nine.

Fitness, or sports, or just being active, is something that always came naturally to me. I never find myself too worried about what I’m eating, or how active I am, because it has always been the norm. The older generation always talks about how they used to do so much as children, and they were always fit. Well, I’d like to say — just do what they did as kids, and you’ll probably be happy with your fitness.

Your view of health and wellness?

One of my favourite discoveries during the pandemic was Naval Ravikant, the Indian-American entrepreneur and investor, who went viral over a Twitter thread: How to Get Rich [Without Getting Lucky].He was the first I listened to speak on the three goals of every human being — health, happiness, and wealth. Well, the irony is: how most folks follow the exact opposite order. I found this perceptively insightful and thought how one could bring about a refreshing change in this ‘dog-eat-dog’ world. The key, in my view, is moderation. Or, as Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet and playwright, said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” The question also is: why do we have to achieve the goals — one at a time? Or, why not pursue them all at once? I have not arrived at a better answer, more so because when we categorise wealth and happiness, as wellness, we have a magic formula. The moderation puddle seamlessly takes us to a holistic wellspring too, where Spock [Leonard Nimoy] of the popular TV series, Star Trek, preaches, “Live Long and Prosper.”

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?

I am too young, inexperienced and, perhaps, ‘stumpy’ on Maslow’s hierarchy to have the slightest idea about what it all means. But, I believe that all of this and more takes more prominence as you grow older. The ‘aura’ of responsibilities has just started to creep into my life, albeit work-life balance seems not too important for me, right now. However, all things considered, I think the journey towards self-actualisation — where you get to answer questions — ought to happen in time. It is not something my generation should jump into too soon. Besides, the information overload, or glut, we experience, on a daily basis, makes it far too easy to lose track of where we stand.

Your mantra to beat stress?

There are a few things that I follow, or practice. I’d often ask myself, early on: what’s the worst that could happen? This was aimed at getting the wobbly feeling out of the way, following which I’d find myself more composed. I also try to be as prepared as possible so as not to push the panic-button over something trivial. Once I am stressed, I do nothing — except internalise, rationalise and wait for the stressor to ease, or wane. I do listen to Rock music/Air drum, till I work up a sweat, or find something interesting on Twitter. Well, more often than not, all it takes to beat stress is a goodnight’s sleep. Sleep is my mantra to beating stress. This is not a magic potion that I’ve formulated, or experimented with. Sleep is a good, age-old ‘medicine.’ It helps me when I’m stressed, or not stressed — no more, no less.

NITIN NAVARATHNA, BCom, is a twenty-two-year-old CA student. He thinks of himself as an ambitious optimist who is always [re]discovering and honing his tools, or skills, to achieving his own ‘tagged’ goals. He believes that he has an undulating tendency to innately struggle while focusing on one thing. This, he feels, makes him a tad eclectic in his thoughts, or disposition. His interests, apart from finance, are Web3, cryptocurrency, cars, technology and music. He would love to, in the next decade, learn one wind, one percussion and one string instrument, be a reasonably good coder, and build some DApps and embark on a trip to Tokyo, Japan. He lives in Bengaluru, India.

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