‘Up Your Zen Quotient’

Mukesh SHARMA responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire. 

Your view on beauty?

Beauty may be defined as external and internal; in other words, it relates to what the eyes perceive externally and/or what the heart feels internally. The first impression, to use a cliché, is the best impression, although the whole context is loaded, or celebrated, with what meets the eye, as it were, as also beauty pageants, aside from the fashion and cosmetic industry. The big point is they all thrive on external beauty. Yet, all of this, and more, in my view, is transitory. What lasts long is what you’re made of from deep inside, what touches you, and also others’ hearts and stays there permanently. Agreed that beauty certainly matters — but, it should ideally connote our character and personality rather than just looks.

Your ‘take’ on fitness?

Fitness has been too far stretched and twisted to mean a lean, well-chiselled body that gyms advertise so aggressively. I personally think that the gym is actually a place where you get stressed out, because of comparisons with someone younger and fitter than you are. For me, fitness is not defined by the number of steps I’ve recorded on my smart watch, or the cardio session I’ve completed. Fitness connotes sound sleep, a healthy appetite, vibrant metabolism and, most importantly, waking up in the morning, fresh and contented. In simple terms, fitness is having a healthy lifestyle, and walking when you can, in conjunction with emotional and mental balance, or tranquillity.

Your view of health and wellness?

I’d like to extend my ‘take’ on fitness in the context — health and wellness, I reckon, should be physical and mental. It’s avoiding taking disagreements to bed, while keeping an open mind to what is beyond one’s control, or expectations. The right balance of the two embraces my definition of health and wellness.

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?

Well, you know it, just as much as I do — that perfect work-life balance is a chimera. It is easier said than done. It is obvious too that, at times, work may take precedence over personal life, or time, and vice versa. It is a given, no less, that with each day, or hour, the equation changes. What makes you happy is, of course, work achievement, as well as having a strong personal family life — they are needed in equal measure. They require attention and time; but, yet again, for each day, or hour, it’s either work that pulls you over, or you just ‘switch off’ and give all your time to your family, or personal space. The best thing to do, as I’ve always advocated, is to follow the middle path — or, the Zen approach — to making the best of both the worlds.

Your mantra to beat stress?

The best way to beating stress, I believe, is not having to prove yourself ‘right’ to everyone in every situation. I think leaving the argument, or situation to others, at the right time, may also go a long way in keeping you happy and peaceful. Unwinding is just as important. So also doing simple, pleasurable things of life — viz., going for a bike ride on your own, enjoying the fresh native air, the smell of grass, stopping at tiny places, eating local food, meeting different people with an open heart, sharing happy smiles and appreciating what the locals have. They cumulatively contribute to your happiness quotient and also provide a good morale boost and the inspiration too to be happy with whatever you have in any given situation, or context. Remember one thing, if you’d like to. Not everything needs precision and planning — letting go, once in a while, is, I believe, the biggest stress buster of all. Try it now, and you’ll sure be happy with, and for, it.

MUKESH SHARMA, a specialist leather technologist, pioneer and innovator, has been working in the footwear/fashion industry for over four decades. He’s a travel enthusiast, who’s just as spiritually inclined. His mantra for life: ‘Living simply with minimal baggage.’ He lives in New Delhi, India.

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