There is an interesting story about Naranath Branthan, part of folklore in Kerala. Branthan means lunatic in malayalam; a case of an intellectual being perceived as a mad man.
He lived like a beggar. He used to prepare his food at any place where fire and water were available, using alms from begging, and sleep at the same place. He happened to be preparing food at cemetry at night and goddess of cemetery called ‘Chudala Bhdra Kali’ and her companions appeared. She commanded him vacate the place immediately, as it is customary for her to dance there at night. Commands had no effect on him, nor any threats of any kind. She realized this was not an average person
Pleased with him, she offered him a boon of his choice. He said he does not need any. She insisted however; having appeared before a human, she is compelled to give, as it customary for God.
Being forced to demand, Naranath Branthan asked her to extend his life by a day. She was trapped, and had to refuse as it is not within her power. Then, he asked her to reduce his life by a day. She had to refuse again, as even that is not within her power. Then, he asked her to shift a handicap from left leg to right leg, and that was granted!
What is the message for daily life? Life is to be lived, and enjoyed; no shortcuts, no miracles… happiness is a state of mind, and within you; not something anyone else can bestow on you; not something that you get additionally on some attainment