There will be..

Post by Saurabh Suresh Bhamare:

There will be..

There will be..

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The New Journey

So I know I should be posting more often but things have been busy lately. My conversation with a new friend recently inspired me to post (thanks Ram!).

But I’ve been on this journey the last ten years or so, discovering a different side of life, a different perspective that wasn’t available to me.

I tindexhink the journey started with “What the Bleep Do We Know” and slowly I started to explore things related. Some I have rejected like most of The Secret. But others like not taking things so damn seriously, The Peaceful Warrior had a big impact.

So here I am, trying to love myself and ignore those who reject me. I know I am weird but not psychopath weird, just mostly silly weird. And I am OK with that. Not everyone’s cup of tea but that’s OK.

I never knew what “living in the moment” was about until recently. Slow down, stop operating on auto pilot- the routine that tells you what you need to be doing at what time of day. I once had a friend who was dying of cancer and she wanted to record every moment on her camera. I felt very sorry for her because she was experiencing her last moments on earth through the lens instead of actually experiencing them in real life. There is a difference.

Mindfulness. index2

My new obsession is Quora. I have met many interesting people there. I find it interesting that a large percentage of the users are Indian. Here we are in the United States, newly adopting Yoga and meditation, things from the East that are so positive and good. And many of them seem to be embracing Westernism. And, I fear, some of the not so nice stuff.

In some ways, I am proud we are evolving and in other ways, I am embarrassed of our junk food and excess.

index3Here’s to evolving!

Failing at What You Don’t Want: The Art of Embracing Uncertainty

A dilemma in anyone’s career is the choice to follow the money or follow your passion. danceNaturally we may have different ideas of what it means to be successful, but most of us can agree some comfortable amount of money is usually involved. However, meaningful work and a comfortable living aren’t mutually exclusive. But it does muster the debate as to whether one should purposely pursue a career commonly believed to bring in large amounts of money for its own sake or to take the chance in doing something you find gratifying and fulfilling, regardless of the income.

From tiger parents to stage moms, there seems to be increasing pressures from family and community on children to excel at all costs; think Tiger Woods hitting golf balls on TV at age two. Whereas once, our pedigree may have determined if we needed to save face through prestigious incomes, now anyone and everyone from all walks of life pressure their children to surpass their peers.

tigerIf we don’t get these pressures early on like prodigies seem to, many of us experience them by high school. Teenagers seem to be expected to have a clear path toward their prospective schools and intended careers by their junior year. Their senior year is spent just finalizing the plans. Be the quarterback, be the valedictorian, go to college, graduate with honors, become a doctor, meet your lifemate, raise 2.5 kids and start the cycle over again.

Without getting too existential, I ask “to what end?”

I was recently struck by a commencement speech Jim Carrey gave this year. If you haven’t heard it, you may be in for a profound surprise. He shared a very personal glance into his life growing up:jim

“My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive.

I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Some people discover a passion early on but others either don’t find it or don’t pursue it until later in life. As Jim Carrey’s father did, some of us suppress the urge to take that chance on what we love. Why? The starving artist narrative is a running joke throughout our culture. The occupation we love is atypical and cutthroat. We’ve convinced ourselves we’ll be eating rice and beans for the rest of our lives if we pursue it. But if ever there was a fear of perpetual ramen noodle ingestion, the recent recession has shaken us to our cores.

Many talented peopleburgers in the last six years or so have been laid off. They may have had to make the difficult decision to get any job just to have some form of income to support the family and pay the bills. Although I believe this is an extreme example of an era where an unusually large percent of the population has had to make this decision, it still illustrates a circumstance where someone would be challenged with the for-love-or-money debate.

Aside from economic anomalies, I believe in having a passion for one’s vocation. Naturally, that passion and the strategies mapped out for them don’t always go according to plan. We hit recessions, we have family tragedies, health problems, financial challenges etc… that change our perspective and direction. But in general, the endeavor for meaningful work and the pursuit of an occupation for the sake of fulfillment is endorsed considerably over the choice to work out of fear.

To choose a career largely out of fear can lead to a lifetime of dissatisfaction. For one thing, being dworkissatisfied with the daily work is an obvious symptom but this can also lead to an astonishing amount of low self-esteem. This tends to affect other aspects of our lives and a general dissatisfaction with our relationships, our leisure time activities and our responsibilities.

It’s hard to hide a lack of confidence. If you do have this symptom stemming from unsatisfying work, people notice. Whether you realize it or not, you wear it. Either in how you act or talk or both, your lack of confidence can be a repellant. Ironically, the people who need the biggest ego boost from a friend or loved one tend to be avoided. Consciously or subconsciously, people evade those who are downer.

The opposite tends to be true too. When you are doing meaningful work during your 40+ hours you put in each week, it helps keep you happy. Some of us actually enjoy Monday mornings! The work week is not so much drudgery. And if we have found something meaningful to us, we get good at it. Our self-confidence rises and believing in ourselves becomes apexpervasive throughout other aspects of our lives.

Although sailing on a private yacht once a month or jetting off to Paris whenever you want sounds exciting, interpersonal relationships, in my opinion, are what it’s all about. On one extreme, there is no point in having the yacht and the jet if you don’t have someone special and genuine to share it with. Not to mention, there is also the potential to take these things for granted once they’re available at a moment’s notice. Those activities deemed exciting by the general public become mundane and routine for the super wealthy. And, that being the case, what is next to enrich the soul?

Among the common regrets of the dying is not being one’s self.1 Being one’s self can mean many things but among them are pursuing a life’s work that is meaningful, passionate and the source of satisfaction without worrying about what mom, dad and the Jonses think.

1http://www.hospicepatients.org/five-regrets-of-the-dying-bronnie-ware.html