My friend wrote this fantastic post, which she calls a “Darpana Moment”. The topic: life.
It begins like this:
How many times do we forget that the life we live is the life we choose to live. Many people feel that some of the decisions that they have to make are based on family obligations, and perhaps some are, but sometimes to achieve the great we have to break out of the norm. There is a saying that goes along the lines of being scared of our endless possibilities. How true can that be? How can one be scared of the endless possibilities? Are we scared to dream big because we do not want to disappoint ourselves or others? Why are we so scared to dream big? To achieve greatness? What holds us back?
The first sentence highlights an important point. Namely the life we live is the life we CHOOSE to live. As humans beings we are placed at the top of the animal kingdom because we have intellect. We have the ability to make decisions based on reason and understanding, we have the ability to CHOOSE. The sad part is that the world or so-called society does not create an environment that promotes choice. After all, order is needed for so many billions of people to co-exist.
But what does that mean for the individual?
What is life?
If we have the ability to choose the way we live, why are the majority of people unhappy? Why do they feel like something is missing?
Pick up any self-help book, listen to motivational talks, hear inspiring stories and you’ll find a common theme through them all. The people who succeed, the people who set themselves apart and can say that they are happy, realized that they had the ability to CHOOSE and CHOSE to make their lives according to their own wishes. Though they may have failed (many many times for that matter), they held on to their vision of the life they WANTED to live and did everything to make that life a reality.
The conversion from a dream to reality doesn’t happen on its own. It takes conviction, it takes determination, its takes the ability to continue on despite all the obstacles.
It’s ironic when you look at it. Society (now this is a vast generalization I know) idolizes those who achieve great heights, but does not provide the support or encouragement for someone to reach those heights. God, the universe, whatever you want to call it, has given each soul a talent, a gift, a capability. But as that soul moves along with the normal practices of life, if it does not tune itself to its abilities or if there is not someone around who can help one recognize these capabilities, the soul continues in the circle of average life, while feeling that something is missing, having a dullness over their general being.
The system is not meant for those who want to be more than average. Understandably, it would be scary every person was trying to realize their potential and continually living with uncertainty about whether or not success will be achieved.
It is the UNCERTAINTY that makes people afraid.
Why marriage? Legal security. But does legal security guarantee mental security?
Why a “respectable” steady job such as that of a doctor, engineer or lawyer? Job/ financial security, but does financial security guarantee happiness or job satisfaction?
We get degrees, etc to qualify ourselves for certain positions, but what piece of paper tells the world of your passion and determination, which turn out to be two of the biggest qualifications for success?
The first challenge of life is to find that passion, find that god given gift. The second is to follow through on it. It is not only the responsibility of the individual to find one’s own passion, but also to support others in the pursuit of their own.
In his last lecture, a young professor in the last stages of cancer asked the audience to do one thing for him – allow their children to decorate their rooms however they want – let them scribble on the walls, do whatever they feel. Allow their inner creativity to come out.
The talent exists. The creativity is there, but often the outlets for its expression are blocked. We are too busy trying to make people like ourselves to allow them to be themselves.
Khalil Gibran has a beautiful quote on children, which can be applied in general.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself….
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts…..
You may house their bodies but not their souls…
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
So it is a challenge to me, you and everyone else.
Instead of trying to mold someone into our personal model of ideal life, which often is that of the life we wished to have, but don’t have; let us support each other in one’s personal journey to realize one’s own life purpose, to uncover one’s talents and gifts and make them in a way that they become the life we live. Success may not be guaranteed, but one will be better than the average.