All of us need to truly love something to exist meaningfully; it doesn’t have to be one thing. It can be a combination of things, people or situations.. just about anything that we identify with unthinkingly, something that feels like our own, a natural extension of who we are, in its most elementary form. There are many ways to want ..not so many to know. The story of human evolution has been written in letters of adaptation and with the ink of patience, there has never been a shorter method to mutate naturally into a higher race, from fish to monkey to monkeys staring at blue screens all day, using both opposing thumbs to press mostly and not so much to grip, has happened in millions of years. Some advance laboratories today are creating working models of human heart and in some capacity also the brain – these aren’t dwarf achievements, these could potentially change how we conceive our world. But even in its most profound state it is not evolution but an attempt to emulate, another proof that we are monkeys for the most part of our being. Monkey see .. Monkey do.. until we find what we love. That realization alters that course of being for better, does little to speed though.
Through centuries of recorded history, we have been educated about the need to progress and prosper, heroic stories of accomplishment has presented to us with the sole purpose of igniting inspiration in us. We pick up our idols and start emulating the qualities that made them who they become. It is a good thing to do .. we have to create something out of limited existence, we must leave behind things for people to remember us by. Nature is a great leveler.. it allows successful as well as failures to leave the same things behind – stories. Tales of who were we and how did we deal with our lives, in our times. And what can be better than creating a story about something we love. How we come to love a few things more than others is a topic in itself, the neural science, making it work is interesting .. we will surely touch upon them some day. Today, however, it is about identifying which is that thing, or if we have actually found it.
Would you believe me if I told you that everything that we do unambiguously has the potential of becoming things that we truly love and desire? But hold on, isn’t being competitive and coming out as the winner a thing? It most certainly is, but what we are talking about today are things which exist at the level much deeper than the sense of accomplishment in our thought center, in the most pristine parts of our brain. These things define who we are in far more meaningful ways than how much money we make, what our net worth is, what job title we have .. how big our homes, our cars, and offices are. Let me put this straight, I’m not trying to make a saintly argument here. Nor am I trying to hike to a moral high ground from which wealth seems as waste and material belongings are another representation of limiting chains. While you are at it .. make the money you want .. create the home that you’ve always wanted, be on the cover of every magazine that you liked reading in your growing years. Possibly be so awesome that every poster is in the town dreams to have you in it. Material matters are important ..it is the unit by which society measures success and you have to score. Go be the person you must become.
My argument is simply this .. to get better at being that person that owns stuff, good stuff, you will first have to be the person who loves, and this is only the romantic love, that SRK has fooled our generation to fall for. This love is admiration that Gandhi had for truth, respect that Nelson Mandela had for equality, and importance that human/civil rights had in Martin Luther King’s world — you see what I’m saying? This love is not Manmohan’s silence or Modi’s chatter .. this love is the time that Dr. Tharoor takes out to keep writing books and publishing them at a stage in his life when he can simply reap the benefits of who he has been in the first 40 years of his life. This love is feeling that got AJP Abdul Kalam to take up teaching .. after leaving the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan. This love is also in some ways called “purpose”, life’s mission, identify or just a hobby. Pick the word that you think describes it the best, as long as the definitions are aligned expression isn’t a problem.
For all we know life is not a lazy Sunday afternoon or a busy Monday morning .. it isn’t a laid-back Friday evening or an exhilarating Saturday – life is a concoction of all these and more. It is the routine of Tuesday, weight of Wednesday, throbbing of Thursday .. all if it mixed into one. Have you ever wondered why you find it difficult to concentrate in your silent bedroom but find it easy to read your book, in a crowded café that you like? Have you mulled, why discourteous staff bothers more when the food is not particularly tasty? The same traffic jam feels ok when you are on your way to meet a person you know as a horrible being? Why do we procrastinate a few things on the same day as on which we absolutely can’t sleep to encounter an important event, the following day? Mind is a mess for some and mystery for others but is always is the key to the world that we like to build for ourselves. Product of our mind is thought and these thought are the only things that we really have .. everything else is just an illusion. Coming back to the definition that I attempted creating, I based it around being unambitious, I say so because in things we love .. we do not compete and this fact that we are not in a race promotes the kind of peace that is needed to create unison & tranquility, in other words concentration or happiness or simply put pleasure. Let me give you a few examples, if you like reading and Ruskin Bond happens to be your writer of choice, when you read his finest creations you do not bother about reading too fast or too slow .. you just enjoy being there. So much so that you often re-read, revisit the plots even without the book, think about what your writer said before sleeping amidst the emptiness of night. Now, think of a contract that you read at your work .. what things come to your mind? You’ve to read comprehensively, objectively, quickly .. make notes, be ready etc.. these are important things but at a cognitive level, to read that contact masterfully, you will need to have a Ruskin bond in your life .. if you do not have it .. you can’t do an awesome job at reading and comprehending that contact.
Neither me nor your best friend .. will ever be able to tell you what should you love and why? Your mother can .. mothers know everything .. and they are always right. Whenever I have been defeated in life .. I have always run towards my mother .. her company gives me the strength to fight back. Maybe she is the one who inspires me the most and from her, I find things to love and be the person that I wish to be. I’m not sure .. if this method will work for you. On finding what you love .. you are truly on your own. I can tell you when you find the thing that you love .. you will experience one or all of the three things & thus .. you’ll know you’ve found it. When you do, keep it close to your heart, keep growing into its stronger, bigger and better shape – that alone, will give you the story that you’ll leave behind.
The three things are:
1) You’ll be willing to reconsider, restart and even resume ..
2) It will make you forget .. everything else that you otherwise consider important. ( This forgetfulness is not a mental disability but the general phenomenon of being substantially more aware of something and giving other things lesser importance, momentarily)
3) It will be addictive, you will effortlessly want to do it more and more ( so is smoking, drinking and drugs – but those aren’t things that you love .. those are things you simply get trapped in for lack of education and dare I say, lack of awareness)
I will end this with a hope that you find what you truly love and create a wonderful story with it, one worthy of leaving behind.