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Monday, July 14, 2014

Don’t sacrifice your happiness on the altar of fear

To be happy in Life, you must first tame a beast called fear.

Everyone wants to pursue what they love doing most. But they remain trapped in unhappy, monotonous work and Life situations because they fear going away from the beaten path.

Yesterday, I met a very successful journalist who complimented me on my first book which is coming out next month. He then quickly added: “I have been wanting to write a book, but somehow I am unable to get myself to take a sabbatical from my role as an editor to be able to invest time in doing what I want to do. I guess I have become a slave – of the job I keep and the salary that it pays me.”

I appreciate the candor that my journalist friend displays. At least he knows what’s keeping him away from pursuing his dream – although, in my humble opinion, he’s closer, as a journalist, to writing a book, compared to so many others who are in other vocations.

Actually, doing what you love doing and want to do, is so simple if you invest a little time understanding it. Think of the situation like this: You want to be an artist. But you are a banker, in a high-paying job. So, while being a banker, if you focused your attention on the experience of being one, your Life would be different; you would be happy. But all along your mind is rueing the fact that you don’t have time for art. So, how do you expect to find happiness while being a banker? The only choice is to change your career. But you are scared. You fear what will your family, or even society will, say. You fear failure__what if you quit your job and your efforts to become an artist come a cropper! What if you don't earn a steady income being an artist? You fear financial insecurity__what will happen of your family, your children and their needs/priorities and such? So you sacrifice yourself on the altar of fear and choose to bury your joy, your bliss. And then comes a point when society has gone its way, others who followed their bliss have found success and happiness, and your family doesn't need you to be provider anymore. So, fear has now made way to a bitter aftertaste of the Life you have led. You have the yearning for following your bliss, but either the opportunities are not the same or your energy levels have waned with age or both.

Often there isn't a wrong road or a right road to doing what you love__there is only the one on which you feel joy. Often also, being on the road that gives you joy has only three destinations: Success (getting to where you wanted to go), Quitting and Delayed Success (meeting with delays, frustrations, challenges but staying the course and tenure). Success and Delayed Success lead to the same destination. And Quitting sets you off on a new journey, possibly to where you once started from but you are enriched and wiser from the experience!

So, why fear? In reality you don't lose anything, in fact, you gain__because you are happy doing what you want to. And that's what you want in Life, don't you?

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