Like all of us he was born free. However, unlike most of us he chose not to fall into the trap of environmentally imposed captivity. He shied away from taking competitive examinations, defied his parents and elders in not choosing the career they thought would make him rich and successful and landed himself a job which made him stay with the IT industry for 18 years.
All along he kept his dream alive and despite all the professional pressures kept escaping into pursuits that would bring him closer to his dream each day. And today, having chosen to step out of the illusory comfort of the corporate, seven years back, he lives a life of fulfillment and joy, still flowing and un-carving, refusing to succumb to the temptations of getting type-casted by the world as an expert or authority in applied human behavior and related subjects.
There are broadly three factors which are responsible in hardening and carving of the soft pulp of possibility that we are born with:
- Parents and elders’ expectations which though imposed with the right intent often leads to an emotionally and spiritually hollow future.
- The academic pursuit which freezes one with the guilt that if the education acquired is not utilized in one’s profession, it will be a waste (as if it is not a waste any which way).
- The work experience which tends to make one believe that he or she is an industry, domain or functional specialist and therefore doing anything different would dilute the specialty.
Life a gift
Besides these three factors there is this overarching illusion of pursuing happiness through success as a fundamental right, not realizing that life and everything that comes with life is a gift and cannot be pursued as a matter of right. In fact, like sleep, more we work towards acquiring it, the more we get away from it.
The current economic context demands un-carving. Un-carving and re-carving from a developer to a back-end process executive, a business analyst to an insurance agent or an investment banker to software architect.
For those who are affected with the sudden need to un-carve and re-carve, more than the pain of rejection and worthlessness what could be bothering them is the perceived loss of professional relevance.
The reality of relevance is however very different. The roles we take on in our lives – either stereotypically or archetypically – are ‘outside-in’ reactions. The prevalent socio-economic script tends to show up certain opportunities, to address which, there is a whole lot of investment in terms of strategy, time and effort for career planning.
Never for once we stop to look inside and try to figure out
- Who am I?
- Where am I going?
- What am I doing here?
Never for once do we try to explore what could be the purpose of one’s existence, the innate preferences one is rooted and the innate potentials one is meant to grow towards. Yes, every growth in nature is heliotropic – growing towards the sun. And the sun – the ‘tat savitu’ – that we as human beings grow towards is our innate purpose, preferences and potentials – The Power Within.
Maybe the disruptive climate that is here today and that which has been confronting us every now and then, is to awaken our consciousness of this power within and push us to embark on a journey of discovering the same.
Discover one self
Once we have discovered this power the true inner relevance of an individual comes to light as one brings to life one’s dream, rooted in the generative power of the individual. The road block to such discovery is our own smallness, powerlessness and worthlessness acquired as conditionings over millions of years across several generations.
To able to move forward in this journey the first step therefore is to bring these conditionings to our conscious awareness. The second step is to accept these conditionings, which are lurking somewhere in our unconsciousness as an integral part of the unique ‘in-divi-duality’. The third step is exploring in the heights, through the power of affirmative and generative thoughts and words.
There are two beliefs which forms the cornerstones of this process of discovery –
- In the world of perceptual reality all existence is dyadic – the day and the night, the birth and the death and the substance and the shadow. At no point in time can we, through this reality, view even a speck of sand in its entirety. The absolute reality however is non-dyadic which transcends the dimensions of time and space.
- All creations embody the true likeness and image of the creator just like the drop and the ocean – ‘tat twam asi’. Only when grounded in this belief one can be prepared to explore and discover higher than realized levels of participation and performance in human lives.
This article of mine was published in Deccan Herald on December 24, 2008. The original article may be downloaded from here.