We try to find happiness from external sources. But most of us forget that happiness is more of an internal thing. It resides within us but very few of us find it. The main problem is the tendency to associate happiness with the false idea of "being settled". Most of us have no idea what being settled actually means. All we know the illusion associated with it and that "illusion" has so overwhelmingly overpowered us that we fail to see the unhappiness which it has brought with it. We have set before ourselves, "unreal expectations". Wrong career paths, improper choice of role models, blind imitation of the popular job culture are some of the digressions that are slowly poisoning our very being.
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What's more surprising is that at the age of 25-26, where we are expected to know ourselves better than anything else, we are confused. We still possess the wrong idea of the destination we want to reach in the next five years. All that we have achieved so far is an absolute vague knowledge about ourselves without even realising that a quarter of our life has already passed. In trying to be like someone else, we have killed our own uniqueness, peace of mind, creativity, happiness and most importantly health. We compromise on healthy food habits, develop irregular sleep timings just to achieve "the so-called happiness". In such a rush we forget that happiness is and has always been within us but our materialistic self, has failed to see that. Those who realise their uniqueness are the ones who really excel in their lives. They are the ones who are truly and satisfied with their life.
A friend of mine from school is a successful software engineer. Last time when I talked to her she was unsure about her career as a software engineer. It came out as a surprise to me that why despite being so good at writing, she chose to become a software engineer. No doubt she has a sense of financial security owns a car and works in a reputed firm yet she admitted that she still yearns for a career as a writer. This is the reason she has everything yet has no peace within.
Now that I have been living away from home for quite a long time, my cousins come to me regarding career counselling. I find them in the same place as I was once or still is. Yet without giving a biased judgement or "trying to be mature" as they expect me to be, I ask them to listen to their heart. I tell them that there is no such concept of a good or a bad job. It all depends on our skills and the way we want to pursue it once we are sure about our career choices. Looking at their confused faces, deep down in my heart, I wished I too had someone to counsel me. I always had a passion for writing and an admiration for paintings. But I had no idea how to go about with it. I had no idea that there can be strong careers for people who have their hearts with painting and writing.
These problems happen with many of us thanks to the "aim high" lessons we have been getting since childhood. Of course aiming high isn't a bad idea. Every individual should aim high for their growth. But aiming high and your passion for that aim should gel up well. Gandhi perhaps rightly said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony."
When I first came to Delhi, I met a girl from the same college. We bonded quickly because we shared some mutual interests. Three years henceforth, she quit her studies without completing her graduation. We were friends but not that close enough so that I could ask her the reason. I knew everything was going well with her still, I couldn't reach a satisfactory conclusion that why someone so bright as her would drop out of a college that is one of the best colleges in India. Students are heartbroken if they fail to get admission in it as if it was the end of the world for them. Somehow I gathered courage and asked her the reason. She took a deep breath and with a serene look on her face replied, "I want to explore myself ." Obviously, several other questions popped inside my mind on hearing the answer but I chose to remain quiet. Today six years have passed, and after all these years I have understood her decision truly. Even though she dropped out of her graduation yet she is successful today. I think we all know the reason behind this. It's simply because she chose to listen to herself than the rest of the world.
We live in a world which is growing so fast, a time that is changing so rapidly yet we fail to change ourselves with the same pace. We fail to accept ourselves as we really are. In this way, we have rendered ourselves into darkness. Our soul is unhappy and we do not have the slightest idea about it. We want to live but we do not know the definition of life. We want to work but we don't know our own potential. We want to earn but we do not have the skills. In such conditions we are bound to be unhappy, we are bound to further push ourselves in the dark with no hope of light. Only we can bring hope to our lives. Only we can enlighten our lives and the first stepping stone towards it is to "know ourselves."