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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Top 13 Symptoms of leading a Desultory Life


I sometimes wonder how come most of us go through this journey called "life" without having any concrete plan for it. We have a clear plan for almost everything that we do at our workplace or in our personal lives, but we just seem to ignore our own life completely on this aspect. On deeper thinking, i realized 3 primary reasons for the same:

1) May be, we do not want to believe the fact that life has a clear beginning and also a definite end. While we celebrate birth, we mourn death. These are the 2 milestones in between which you must cherish every moment and make your life worth living.
2) We fear death to an extent that we do not want to talk or even think about it. It is like closing your eyes to avoid an upcoming storm. Doesn't help. Rather, get ready for the inevitable and plan for it. Plan and execute this span of life so well that you have no regrets as you lie on your death bed. Do not repent for it in the end. Life is a beautiful gift from god.
3) Worst, we have the inherent feeling that although death is inevitable, it will probably not occur to you. You may be seeing others falling around, but how can you believe that the same can happen to you. Trust me, it will happen :)
4) We just fail to see the bigger picture of life. We are so engrossed in our day to day life that we simply fail to halt, take a step back and look at the bigger picture before we proceed with the next step.

I do not know what is your reason. It could also be a mix of all the above reasons. Whatever be your reason, it is always going to be more meaningful to come down to the reality of life and the facts surrounding it. If that is the case, then let me ask you a hard hitting but a very important question. Do not ignore it. Try to answer is in a simple Yes or No.
Do you have a written plan for your life?

If you were honest, I know that most of you answered it as a "No". Some of you even tried not to answer it because you still have the feeling that you need not answer it. Life is going on anyways. Some of you also thought that though you have not written your plan, but you surely do have a plan.

But let us face it. Unless you have clearly defined (and documented) the three critical aspects of your life ie your life's Mission, Goal(s) and Strategy, you can be sufficiently assured of the fact that your life is being lead. It is being lead, not by you, but by situations, circumstances, people and everything else except you.

Well, it is so no rocket science why i say that. If you do not even know why you are existing on this planet and what is the purpose of your life, then all the actions you are doing on a day to day basis are driven by the environment and circumstances around you. Let us take a very rudimentary example. Let us say that you are on a beautiful highway driving the best car that you can think of possessing, but unfortunately you are not aware where you are headed. If that is the case, and you reach a crossroad, then how do you decide which path to take. In such cases, you would probably tend to take the path of least traffic or best road condition or anything else that attracts you. Your decision is driven by the circumstances on the road and not by the destination. This situation is exactly similar in our lives. Our life is a beautiful highway road, you are that dream car. If you do not know where you are headed, you take actions in your life depending on what you see around you rather than what you truly want to do.

Are you among those who have forgotten to define and document your life's mission and goals. You may not be sure. So let me try and help you with this.

Having seen most of the people around me in a similar state of life, i tried to figure out how their day to day behavior was different from those people who had clear goals and mission in life. I accumulated all those symptoms together and tried to list down the top few symptoms which i could commonly see across most of such unfortunate souls.

Below is a list of the symptoms that you can check for yourself. These symptoms will tell you whether you are driving your life or you are being driven by circumstances and situations. If you happen to relate to a few of these symptoms, it is high time you take some action and try to define the mission of your life. Your day to day actions would ultimately be driven by the mission in your life. Another word of caution before you scan through this list. There is nothing wrong if you happen to be displaying these symptoms. This is just to make you more aware of the reality of life so that you can take appropriate actions to correct the course before it is too late. So, here you go.
  • Though you are doing well in your career, you often reach at crossroads where it is becoming more and more difficult for you to take a decision whether to aggressively go for the next step in your career option or to slow down and take care of your family, your health and your forgotten passions of life.
  • You believe that the childhood time was the best time and student life was anytime better than today's. Not only you believe in this, you also express this more often than not, in your casual conversations with your friends and family members.
  •  It is often difficult for you to chose the kind of role you should be performing at your workplace. You often seek advise from your "well wishers". Unfortunately, most of these "well wishers" and "free advisers" are also lost and themselves in need of direction. So, all the best with the advise that you get.
  • You are earning good money. You do not know whether to spend this money lavishly and live the life "in the moment" or save money for your and your family's future needs. You tend to toggle between these two extremes periodically.
  • You frequently start various personal initiatives and hobbies like joining a guitar class, exercising, cycling, walking, jogging, gym etc. only to leave them in between. Not only that, you have a very "valid" reason to leave every initiative every time - your work priorities, your kids, your spouse etc..
  • You do not know how much money you want to earn in life. How much of it would be enough? How much do you need which would ultimately prove sufficient to lead a financially secure and a peaceful life.
  • You occasionally want to leave the hustle bustle and din of city life and lead a peaceful, relaxed life in a relatively smaller town or village. But you do not know what will you do post retirement from job. Life is likely to be aimless after retirement.
  • You are earning well but are still not truly "happy". You seem to be unable to defend your inherent happiness, which gets stolen by adverse circumstances, situations and people around you. This "loss of happiness" happens to be quite frequent.
  • You do not feel that the colleagues at your workplace follow the right path in life. The irony is that you also follow the same path, as you do not see any alternatives.
  • You get frustrated that age is catching up.
  • You feel hollow sometimes of the so called "achievements" till date in life.
  • You seem to be working extremely hard, whether it is holidays, weekends or late night. You are always overloaded with work because you are good performer. In the meanwhile, you seem to be missing on smaller beauties of life like having occasional healthy discussions with your kid on a school subject, sitting and chatting with your spouse across the breakfast table with no specific agenda, spending time with your parents, playing Ludo or Snakes and Ladders with your kids, chatting with your neighbor etc.
  • You hate Mondays and you love Fridays.
Did you relate to any of these ?

If yes, then wake up and start thinking about what is that single purpose that you want to serve while you are on this planet? What makes you happy & fills you with bliss? Read good books to explore more. Establishing a mission for yourself will take time. It may take weeks, months and sometimes even years. But trust me, all time that you have in hand is futile unless you have established your life's mission.

For God sake, do not lead a desultory life. Do something significant in life.

Thomas Edison once said,
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

Cheers

Manoj Arora

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