Thursday, May 26, 2005

Self Create Your Purpose, Plan Your Destination in Life. Now!!

What is our purpose in life? Is it to live life the way it comes and then lament about its emptiness? Is it to live in search of the unknown and live in the darkness? Or believe in the omnipotent and further believe that you are not supposed to question his omnipotence? Or to create one for ourselves, so that we reach somewhere, even if that somewhere holds no value with the so called spiritualists? I feel that as long as we are not aware of any divine purpose, we must self create a purpose for our existence in this world. I would say that a person without ambition is a mere vegetable. And in order to exist, he becomes a parasite. When one talks about ambition, is it only accumulation of wealth or becoming more powerful or reaching a certain status in life, as the lexicographers has chosen to describe? To me it sounds perfectly sane when one says that it is his ambition to become a good person or a great father!

Talking about a self created purpose in life, It is undoubtedly a matter of personal choice, forced only by our conscience. One must not decide to choose a purpose, just because the things are the way they are today. This is a dynamic world. The conditions keep changing every second. The trick is not to lose your way and if indeed you lose, then not to regret about it. When I say that, I mean not to regret about it from the bottom of our heart, when we strip ourselves in naked honesty. For example, say, my family needs financial support badly today. So I decide to follow the rut and end up doing things which will suit my immediate needs and not things which I would like to do, had these conditions not existed. And in due course of time, I earn so much that my family is no longer in the kind of need that it was then, my sisters are married off and all the troubles seems to be over, then the sole need that has been motivating me all these days will suddenly cease to exist and I will have to invent reasons to convince myself that I infact made the right choice then. That is a difficult proposition. Let me illustrate my thoughts with a small metaphor.

Imagine life to be a great tour. Logically, before you start the tour, you must know where you want to go, your Final Destination. Once you are clear with the final destination, then you may start thinking about the modes of transport, shortest routes and things like that. That is what I mean by self created purpose, the final destination. Because, without knowing whether you want to go to Delhi or Dubai, it is illogical to reason out why going by air is a better option. On the other hand if your final destination is crystal clear, then even if you choose a longer route, you will be doing it consciously. There are two profound implications of this. Firstly, in the sub conscious mind, you are still clear as to your final destination, which acts as a light house to guide you in darkness. Secondly, you shall have no regrets, because you chose to choose a longer route or a different destination. So the first step is to decide where we want to go in life!

One must understand that every human being has different needs at different points of time. At 20, it feels nice to be surrounded by girls, but at 30, you start craving for a family, and then for a child. These needs are genuine and do not invalidate a diametrically opposite need that existed in some other point of time in our life. So our destination and purpose must transcend all these need cycles and must be something that should be able to guide us through this maze of confusions and contradictions.

So the best way is to begin with an end in mind. What do you want to see yourself as, 40yrs from now? And Where do you want to see yourself as, 40yrs from now? Both of these questions seem to be the same, but a deeper look will tell you that it is not. The first question, talks about the imponderables like ethics, morality, integrity, honesty, on being a good husband, a loving father and the like. The second question talks about the materialistic achievement like money, power, status and other visible signs of success that others can see, that you want it to be seen. A happy mix of Character and Reputation.

Say, you have decided that you want to be and known as a good person. Materialistically, you set your goals to become a millionaire. Now once your self created purpose, the final destination is clear, then you will chalk out the route. Then, being honest and trusty worthy to your friends, a loving father to your children and a good husband to your wife etc becomes your stopover and refueling points, enroute to your final destination of becoming and be known as a good person. Likewise, the aspects like a great and secure job in a good company, going on adventure holidays to relieve your stress to further your career, acquisition of a great deal of wealth, all become your intermediate stations to your final destination of becoming a millionaire. The beauty of this journey is that these intermediate stations are dictated by the dynamics of life and one’s needs at that point of time. They may vary, but everything is perfect as long as they are congruent to your overall itinerary.

And more importantly, once you reach your intermediate destination, as demanded by your needs of life at that point of time, you tend to feel exhausted, many a times you may be blinded of your final destination, as that particular intermediate destination satiates your immediate needs and would make you feel as if you have arrived. But, not for too long. Its here many give become tired of the journey and give up. They convince themselves of things they would never be convinced of in the first place. They enjoy the temporary coziness that life offers, for too long, only to discover to their horror that they have missed the life train which has already left the station. That’s why its said “Time and Tide waits for None”.
After all these ordeals, when you arrive at your final destination, you look back at the route you have tread and feel satisfied that you have not only become a millionaire, with a great career, with toppings of adventure holidays and all that you craved for, but also, you have been a loving father, a good husband and a true friend, and all other imponderables.

So if you look at what I have said in totality, it is manifest, that the final destination must be clearly spelt out and earlier one does it in life, the better. Because, it becomes extremely difficult to change course once you travel long. It requires great courage and determination to retrace your journey and start all over again. And if you choose a destination, that falls into your present route, but its not anywhere near where you would have loved to go, then it’s a compromise.

Now, the mother of all questions is that, “Is your final destination flexible?”
Yes and No. Yes, because one has to be prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that the game of life throws up in front of us and has to grab them to give mid course corrections and reset our targets to better, bigger and more lucrative destinations. And No, because flexibility should not serve as a refuge for reaching the penultimate destination.
Last but not the least, one must remember that at every stage of this journey, whether one gives up or changes course, we do it by our own choice. No amount of external reasons and practicality can explain a phenomenon of lack of choice. If one tries to reason out that, he could not go in pursuit of his dream because of an ailing mother or a demanding family or a overbearing boss, and it was beyond his control, there can be nothing farther from truth. Because, you always had a choice of leaving your ailing mother or your demanding family or to overbearing boss to pursue your dreams. But you chose not to exercise it, because you feared the consequences more than what you thought you would relish your success otherwise. So, don’t regret. It was after all your choice.
And look, we have come a full circle.

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