Our hope at AHAM is that you have an amazing year filled with peaceful and happy moments, extraordinary adventures and enlightening reflections.
We hope you focus on your journey and the power that your hold. We hope you reflect on what makes you and everyday you live your life’s purpose to the fullest knowing that you are a living miracle and have the capability and capacity to attain whatever you wish for and desire. We hope you create an opportunity to share your wisdom and experiences with the world as your story and experiences are unique to you.
Our hope is you understand your happy and enough space and make efforts to be in the space more often and draw strength and power from that space. You reflect on and think about your take on the big questions of life – What makes you alive? What is the purpose of your life? What is your message to the world? What you want to accomplish? What should people learn from you? What is your greatest contribution? The answers do not have to be perfect but they will be your answers. This will be a part of your legacy and your mission.
Have you ever thought about that?
As we celebrate this New Year I want to celebrate with you the life of my dad Shri Yogesh Taneja whom I lost in January of 1990. Instead of crying and lamenting his loss, I choose to celebrate the fact that I HAD SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY DAD. I was all of 23 years of age when I lost this great man. But whenever I think of my dad a smile comes to my face and a deep sense of gratitude to the universe for giving me the gift of a wonderful father. He was a family man and liked to spend most of his time with his family. Hanging out with him I learnt some of my greatest life lessons.
- Let no one tell you who you are – I am the oldest of three daughters and my father always told me that I was a unique person. Everything about me was as unique as my fingerprints. He would say each one of us is carefully planned and sent to earth for a special purpose. Our job is to discover that purpose and do our life’s work. He never ever compared me to anyone else and constantly encouraged all three of us to identify our core strengths and skills.
- I have no regrets – As he lay in the hospital bed he called me by his bedside and said I am ready to go and I have no regrets. How many people can say that at the age of 54? He said our time here is limited and we need to lead life the way we want to. Do the right thing by our heart and not follow the world like a herd of sheep.
- Help others – Spend sometime helping those who are less fortunate than you. I recall the amount of volunteering my father used to do. He was from the medical profession and he would organize free medical camps for the people. Growing up handing over medicines to my father at a rural camp is a memory I hold dear to my heart. He always said in helping others you are not serving them but yourself as it will bring you tremendous joy and happiness. Go beyond yourself and serve society your country in whatever way you can. When you feel ego taking over or feel restless take action in the direction of helping those who need help.
- Smile and be happy – He did not like swollen faces and he made no bones about it. He used to say you are chosen to be born a human being, and that is a great blessing and a responsibility. Embrace that and enjoy every moment of this amazing gift. Be happy, surround yourself with positive people and become a magnet of positivity. You owe yourself to be happy and be with people who can see the real value of who you are.
- Read – It will help you discover and learn new things. My father was a prolific reader. We had a huge library with books on every subject you can possibly think of. He told me once knowledge is power and books are a great source of knowledge. I learnt to keep a book log and he would encourage me to ask questions about the books I read. Many times if he did not have an answer he would readily admit his lack of knowledge and in doing that he taught me the power of humility and grace. He often said books help us discover new worlds and become our friends in this journey of life.
- Appreciate yourself – Once I remember I had cooked his favorite meal and he did not say anything after eating it. I asked him if the meal was fine. He called me to his side and said, “It was fine and I enjoyed it thoroughly but do not always look for others to appreciate you.” He lifted my left hand and said, “This hand goes to your right shoulder. Appreciate yourself.” Most of the times we are looking for outside sources to appreciate us and acknowledge us. Why wait for anyone else keep a check on yourself and when you do a good job give yourself a pat on your back.
- Follow your dreams – As most young children I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. One day I told him I wanted to stay in a village and become a teacher. He was delighted by that idea. He said, “You can do it but make sure you work hard.” He often said it is within our capacity to create our dream life. We need to have faith in ourselves and patience to keep working on our dreams. He often said, “In life there are going to be so many challenges but keep going. Nobody gains anything by just sitting. Real winners struggle, fall down all the time but get up every time they fall and work again.” We at Aham hope this year you also follow your dreams. Give them respect and do what it takes to fulfill your dreams.
As I write this, I remember so many great moments together and amazing experiences I had with him. The most important thing he gave me was his unconditional love. It was not based on how well I did at school or how I performed at the annual function. It was the love of a father for his daughter untainted by personal expectations and desires. I recall when my third sister was born and an elderly relative was lamenting the birth of the third girl in the house, my father quietly opened the door and asked her to leave. He said he was grateful that a healthy baby was born and both mother and child are doing fine. I was only seven year’s old but that incident left an indelible mark in my memory and till date reminds me of the power of love and justice.
In this year we hope you find in you the capacity to love yourself and know that you are a living miracle. You find your way to your dreams and your purpose and become the best version of yourself.