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Biryani for the Soul (4): Yesterday’s Biryani Is Not the Same as Today’s

A day old biryani. Need I say more? Even if you refrigerated it, it will never taste the same. Microwave it, heat it, do whatever you want with it. The freshness, the aroma, the soft bite of the basmati rice is gone forever. To me, if you have leftover biryani, you have committed blasphemy.

As yesterday’s biryani will remains in the past, today’s biryani will always be fresh. Such is life. Yesterday, has gone away, irrevocably. It will never come back. But today is still fresh. You can chart what will happen today.

You might have heard, frequently or not, the saying “be better than yesterday”. Now, this is a principle that we should follow and definitely worthwhile to discuss.

The simplicity of that saying underplays the importance of the message. Being better than yesterday implies many things. One of which is that if you successfully robbed a sundry shop yesterday, you should do better today by robbing a bank. Though, technically, it is an improvement, but the message is saying for the betterment of everyone – you, your family, society and environment.

So, the correct interpretation would be thus. If you successfully robbed a sundry shop yesterday, you should do better today by regretting the action and solemnly declare never to rob again. The saying is meant to inch you towards improvement.

So, what is improvement? How do we measure it?

I won’t go into the Oxford definition of improvement. But I will share with you my thoughts.

Improvement, to me, is essentially to advance yourself every day to be a better human being. And we become better human beings when we shed our negativity, enhance our relationships and contribute to the society. It has to be wholesome.

But how do we measure improvement? Who do we compare to?

Compare yourself to no one. You measure improvement on yourself. You compare your performance yesterday with your performance today. Let me illustrate.

I go to the gym every day. I want to be healthy and build muscles. Instead of comparing my bench press weights to Arnold Schwarzenegger bench press weights, I simply measure my progress.

I started my gym with a weak 15kg bench press weight at 3 sets of 8 reps. Then, I pushed the next day with the same weight, but at 3 sets of 12 reps. Then, I increased my bench press weight to 20kg. And the cycle continued for four months, when I was at 90kg bench press weight.

The entire process was a competition between me of yesterday with me of today. I charted my “today” to do better than I did yesterday. Today’s biryani is always fresh.

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