The ‘little’ lessons of life

Latha Vydianathan

Yet another email popped into my inbox. I was about to brush it aside and continue my work, when suddenly two words caught my attention, BOOK- JUDGE. It was an invitation to judge a TALK A BOOK competition for little children. I was excited. I waited eagerly for the D-Day. Books have had a huge influence on me. They have taught me so much about life. I judged the competition with a lot of thrill and thought. Now I want to take some time to reflect on the participants and what they taught me. These are my takeaways.

1. Design your journey every step of the way.

As each child was expressing themselves, I learnt an important lesson–that the road to happiness and success isn’t paved by doing what everyone else does, or accepting what someone else tells you is your path. It is paved by discovering your talents and building on them.

2. Develop the ability to handle discomfort.

The smile on the faces of the participants who did not win taught me that just because something didn’t go your way doesn’t mean that life is terrible or that you have failed. It just means that you have one more experience under your belt. So, take a breath, keep your mind open and look around you–if things aren’t going the way you planned, maybe there’s another way for those things to play out and maybe it will be better than you thought.

3. Life is only as difficult and complicated as you make it.

The kids had to make their presence virtually. They were not bothered about their surroundings, of the sibling crying, the whistle of the cooker in the kitchen or daddy’s loud voice. They were all focused  on what they had to do. We often find ourselves making our lives complicated. It all starts with the many ifs and buts we often think of instead of being focused. The participants taught me to be focused on the moment because it is all there is–and that is enough.

Sometimes the very best lessons come wrapped in your daily tasks. We need to find them, handle them with care and enjoy!!

The author is an educator and has deep interest in the integration of lifeskills with literature for a purposeful and peaceful life. She can be reached at

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