Copyright 2006 Gobala Krishnan
To quote Albert Schweitzer- “The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives”. I think he hit this one right on the spot, right where it hurts.
How many people really live life to the fullest? How many people really achieve the best they can, and fulfill their purpose? For each who does, there’s a thousand who never will. If killing your own dreams and god-given talents were a crime, the streets would be empty.
My personal goal in life is not to achieve perfection, but to be the best that I can be. My personal goal in life is not to chase impossible dreams, but to have one that I can live for. The sad part is that in my first three years of working as an employee, chasing the promotion that would never come, and the facade of importance and significance that consumed my better judgement, I let a part of me suffocate almost to the point of death.
To the benefit of the reader – you – all I can offer is my personal testimonial, looking back at the empty years to see all that I did wrong, and all that I did right. What I hope is that it will touch you in some way, and that you too will stop murdering who you really are inside.
If you want to fulfill your ultimate purpose in life, here is my suggestion:
1) Always Follow Your Heart
You heart knows the truth. Yet, we are thought since we were kids never to follow our heart because it leads us astray. We are thought that our heart is feeble, and that all decisions should be made with proper thinking.
I would say that concept couldn’t be more wrong. How many times have you done something you regretted, simply because other people said that it was the right thing to do? How many jobs imprisoned you? How many relationships turned sour?
2) Work For Yourself, Not For Others
I don’t mean quitting your job to start your own business. What I mean is that you need to have a vision of what you want to be, and only work towards that image. Don’t just get a job because it’s convenient and pays a lot. Those are just traps that your “smart” brain will lead you to. You will end up doing a job you hate, and hating yourself for choosing to do it. Deep down inside you knew it would happen before you put ink to paper, and signed that contract.
If you want to be a radio DJ what good will working as an accounts clerk do? Will it buy you more time to work towards your dream? Will it make you “all-rounded” and increase your future job prospects? Those are just fallacies that society imposes on us to make sure we “conform” to the system.
You have a talent, even if you don’t know it yourself. I want you to believe that you’re better at doing something than almost everyone else in the world. If you spend time trying to make yourself better at something you’re not and don’t care for, you’ll just end up being “ok” at it. But if you spend time trying to improve at something you’re naturally good at, you will be the best. And the world will love you for being so.
How do you know what to work on, what to improve, and what to master? Just follow your heart. It will show you the way.
3) You Will Never Be Where You Are Now
You’re either moving forward or you’re falling behind. There’s simply no such thing as “staying where you are” or “taking it easy”. It’s just a fallacy. Learn new things, grow, improve yourself, and strive to be the best that you can be. If you don’t you might get up one day to realize that the world doesn’t need someone like you anymore.
When you start your journey to self-mastery, never look back and never return to where you started. The right way; the ONLY way, is to take the next road. Don’t stop to watch the traffic or to make a detour. The map of your journey will only be revealed at the end of it, so don’t feel afraid to try out a new path. If you follow your instincts you will never be permanently lost.
How do you know when you’ve achieved your best? I don’t know. I have a feeling, though, that while taking your last breath you’ll feel like you’ve really lived life to the fullest. At that point all the dots will form a straight line and the map of your life will be revealed.
The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives. Remember that.