Are the Choices We Make, Really Ours? has been edited by Rushi Bhimani.
Hey there, reader. How about we make this one, sort of an introspective article? What were you doing before clicking on the link to this article? Why were you doing it? Have you ever just settled down and thought about the reason for doing the stuff you are currently doing in your life? Is it your choice to do it? Or is it a compulsion for you?
Ask yourself that question! From the tiniest of things like posting something on a friend’s wall to that important business decision you took, ask yourself. Why do you do what you do?
What is your motive behind it? What is it that drives you to do it and not give it up? Let me try and sum it up for you, in a few words.
One of the reasons for you to do what you do could be a compulsion. You do it because you should; perhaps because you got to; probably because you ought to do it. Maybe you are going into the liquor business because it is on an uprise, not because you want to or love it. You might be marrying a particular person because you were asked to, not because you wanted to or fancied them. It might not be your choice. Your parents asked you to do so, or maybe the society did, or maybe the government of your country did.
You see the point I am trying to put forward here?
We are the generation that is addicted to social media. While the world wide web is truly a bliss, it affects our daily lives gravely. It makes us do and believe things which we are not intended to. It creates a mental image of a person, a community or even the world. How many of us had chosen to hate Justin Bieber because back then it was cool to hate him? Suddenly, everyone thinks Bora Bora is the coolest vacation spot. Do you see where am I going with this? The collective motto seems to be “The internet says so, I must abide!”
The oldest source of influence—good or bad is up for a debate—has to be peer pressure. Why did I do a particular thing? Because my friends are doing it. Well, because it is trending. Maybe because I don’t want to be hit by FOMO i.e fear of missing out. Count using slangs as one major influence as well.
“Oh, all of my friends love Harry Potter, I must also love it.” “Oh, all of my classmates are into smoking, I should give it a try as well!”
I realised we can do a million things, which we probably would have never done if were not influenced by an external element.
The conventional thoughts and traditions are yet another element that has contributed in the process of inflicting pain. The terrifyingly huge number of engineers in India should tell you that. “I did it because that is the convention, it was not my choice.”
Lastly, and the most importantly, the driving force for the things you do, should be passion, compassion, and commitment. You do it because you actually love it! You derive happiness out of it. For example, I write because I love writing. I read books because I love reading. I am passionate about politics, that is why I take so much of interest in it. I chose to be a pharmacist because I love the job.
Did you notice the difference in the terms that have been used in the last paragraph and the ones before it? Which one do you think will make you happy? You “ought to/should” or you “want to/love”? It does not take a genius to figure that out, right? So go on, ask yourself. Why are you doing what you are doing? Quickly focus on prioritising and set things straight with yourself. You don’t have to suffocate yourself.
No, life is not a rehearsal. It’s the play and you have to improvise. So pick your choices wisely.
In the words of the great Steve Jobs, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”
If you are doing something that you don’t love, you are simply wasting time. And time is not a commodity you can afford wasting.
To read more by the author of Are the Choices We Make, Really Ours?, click here