23 May 2014

What is the Purpose of Your Life?


Sisyphus had betrayed Zeus. As a result, he was cursed by the God of Lightning to push a rock up a hill all day only to see it roll down at night. This, Sisyphus was to do till the end of eternity.

While this may be a fable in Greek’s mythological books, it is quite similar to the lives most of us are living today. Get up at the same time, catch the same transport, do the same work, come home and sleep. Eating lunch at the same time with the same people, watching the same TV shows, using the same Whatsapp all day… how are our lives any different from Sisyphus? Well, for one, we won’t live till the end of eternity. Thank God for that!

Which gets me to the question – why do we do this? Follow the same routine till even monotony starts feeling monotonous? It’s probably because this is our only understanding of life now. We’re searching for a purpose, a reassurance. We’re chasing money today so that we can secure our future tomorrow. Thing is though, the money we have is never enough to own the things we want. So what should we do?

Dalai Lama provides an enlightening insight – The main purpose of life is to seek happiness. Yes, we need food, clothing and shelter. But you don’t need more money, more fame or more success. Money will be enough when we learn to control our wants and desires. Easier said than done, eh? Well, here are some things you can try. Let me know if they work.

First understand the law of causality. This law states that your state of mind is dependent upon the actions you take. Your mindset is bad when you do things which you dislike and good when you do things you like. So you must do more of what you like and less of what you don’t. Don’t stagnate in that job if you don’t wake up in the morning looking forward to it. Switch to something which lets you do what you’re good at. Mind you, you are creative; let nobody tell you otherwise. And until you get the job you want, cultivate a hobby. Read books, learn musical instruments and languages, write, play sports, attend musical concerts… let go of the god damn TV and mobile phone. Try it and see the difference in your mindset in 21 days.

Yet another thing is revising your perception. Stop looking at things as either very good or very bad. Remember that incidents today are a result of what occurred in the past. And it is not necessary that things will stay bad. If things are bad today, they will get better tomorrow. Also, look at people less fortunate than you instead of the wealthier ones. Someone I know regularly distributes drinking water bottles to traffic policemen. And he says, “They politely decline if I offer 2 bottles to 3 of them, saying 1 will suffice. And each time I've offered a bottle, they offer me water from it despite standing in the searing heat for hours. Their attitude of sharing is touching.” So you see. Interacting with people who less fortunate than you will make you feel grateful for your life and improve your Happiness Quotient (HQ?).

Remember, happiness doesn't lie in the TV set, social media, lavish parties or lunches. It lies within you. To be happy, you must tap into your inner good and be compassionate toward others. As Audrey Hepburn said, “For beautiful eyes, see the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

There are many ways to achieve inner happiness. I have listed just 2. Looking forward to your additions in the comments section J

image Courtesy: Google Images

12 comments :

  1. Lovely post, if only more people realized that true happiness is not reliant on how much money you make or how big you are in social standing, then the world would truly be on its way to becoming a happier place to live in.

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  2. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

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    1. Another feather in the cap, Vishal !

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  3. The huge bombardment of information and the extent of our connectivity has left us with no room to contemplate about things that really matter. Wonderful post. :-)

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  4. Nice Post Vishal! Before going out to buy anything if we start asking ourselves "Do I really need this?" probably we will end up not buying 70% of those things. Where a pen will suffice, do you really need a gold plated pen?

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  5. Thanks Kanthu & Abhinav... Great additions by each of you...

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  6. Great post. Giving ourselves the freedom of doing what we wish to do, shall make each one of us happy. Break the routine, make way for the unpredictable :)

    I can see that you on of the very few who are living this life already, Vishal. :)

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    1. I'm not Purvesh... I am trying, but come up woefully short. It's the pressure of society which sometimes takes its toll.

      Hopefully I will walk the talk soon :)

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  7. Excellent brother :) Beyond your fear is freedom .... Fear of what I have done, fear of what will happen, fear of not being succeeding in making money, fear of future, fear of death .... People know they need happiness but they try to look for temporary solution like you said always with TV or any gadget .... Look at the small kids they need your presense and love they will find happiness in small things because the component of FEAR is absent in their mind

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  8. Living on a shoe-string budget has let me see how much money we waste on unnecessary things. Even though there are times when I see something I really want to buy and can't, I shrug off the disappointed feeling by counting my blessings - materialism won't keep you happy for long, true feelings and relationships do. As long as you're happy with yourself, well, what more do you need? :)

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    1. Great points Vanessa. You should write a post about your experience of living on a shoe string budget. Would love to read it...

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