Saturday, June 17, 2006

Only one life to love!

A job that I took up - a mere act of chance - demanded indirectly that I get involved in career counselling. Actually, it was a role that I got myself into as I counselled myself and felt basically distraught at the side of humanity that revealed itself to me during the many interviews I took and trainings I gave.

In two words: sad people.

I decided to travel a little back up the value chain and educate. There, too, I met sad people. Which was a bit shocking since I thought disillusionment only comes with job searches or unhappy careers.

There is a solution. It's very simple, yet cunningly elusive. It's called, "Do what you love."

Problem is, in the process of growing up, many of us have forgotten precisely that: what do we love?

I taught Entrepreneurship in a class last year. In one of the session where I brought up the subject of love - myself trying to understand my own love those days - I had an astounding experience. The students didn't remember what they loved as a child. A few gave a very forced out opinion. They loved music and friends. But mostly, they were all quiet. It was shocking. Why, at least, one must know what one loves?

My habit is to always examine myself in the light of advice that I (have to) give others. It's actually a rather painful experience sometimes when someone asks me a question, and I realize, before giving them an advice, that I myeslf am in need of that advice. Now I do generally give the advice and lately, I have picked up the habit of maintaining silence at the question for as long as I don't find a personal answer. That can stretch for months, and perhaps will explain to some the "absences." Back I come to the topic...

I finally got some advice for myself in the last one year. I can't yet say I can truly define myself in terms of what I love or who I am (the endless exploration!) - but I know what really dawned on me is something that misses the most practical and open-eyed of us. The following quote is from - which has a fairly neat battery of career-related (and love-related!) tests. It sums up one critical idea that can drive us to find meaning and love in life.

Are you delaying reality?
Many people take temporary or unsatisfying jobs to make money before pursuing their dream job. This is a reasonable strategy. But have you ever met people who are in the same job five or ten years down the road, even though it isn't what they really want to do? The challenge is that pursuing your dreams may require a sacrifice in lifestyle, time, or money. Unfortunately, too many people get used to a certain lifestyle and aren't willing to make the necessary changes. As a result it can be difficult to give up what a person is accustomed to, even if it's not ultimately fulfilling. It can also be tempting to some people to hold on to a dream and not pursue it in order to avoid failing. Remind yourself: There are no dress rehearsals in life. Everyday you don't work towards pursuing your goals is another day you're delaying the fulfillment of your dreams. Go for what you really want today; you don't want to look back on your life with regret.



Talha Masood said...

You sound like Steve jobs!

Ramla A. said...

I love him.

Biker said...


Talha Masood said...

Pakistan - 166th happy nation

umar said...

people are involved in so many things that they dont realize what they really want to do... hence the frustration and unhappiness. simplicity is the key to happiness.