Of Random Conversations with the Soul #3

Being Content with oneself.

Recently, I got time to chat with a colleague of mine. Among other things, we were talking about the lackadaisical attitude of the people in that environment and how people were too easily content with what they had. Not that it is wrong, but people are so content that they do not want to strive for more, or even attempt to do something new.

Some people are too content.

Remember when we were young, we were told that we had to study (study hard!)to get into a job. So that was the ultimate aim. We studied hard at school to get into a college. We slogged through college (sometimes colleges, for the want of many degrees) to get into an Organization. And finally we reached were we Initially saw ourselves, seated in the air conditioned modules of the Organization. So is that all?  For some people, this is where they set off with another checklist, having successfully checked every other To-Do Action in their previous checklist. This is like another phase of life and people set off with new goals. A few other people fail to look beyond their original dream and do not feel the need to venture into something new. They are content with what they have and they do not want to look for more.

People should learn to be content with what they have. Yes. But, what I’m trying to say is, this sense of contentment should not stand in their way of dreaming for more, or giving themselves that extra push to strive for something even better. (Specially at the age of 22!)

Some people are never content.

Oh, don’t get me started with these kind of people. They are always running. The rat race seems eternal.They are not satisfied even with the best. The main point is, while people mentioned in the previous category are stuck appreciating the beauty of what they are endowed with, these people hardly notice the gifts bestowed on them. I’m never tired of repeating this, It is always the small things in life that matter the most. The lives of these people might be hectic and full of activity, but they seem to lack flavor. When they look back at what they have accomplished in life, would they even remember when and where they had achieved some specific things or would it all be hazy?

Pushing oneself from the Comfort Zone

The main problem with people who are too content is, they stubbornly refuse to step away from their comfort zone. Unless and until we step out and try new things, we would never know the treasured talents, hidden inside us, waiting to be tapped. If we don’t acclimatize ourselves to new environments, in a gradual manner, then we would be in for a rude shock when Life decides to throw us away from our comfort zone, without a warning, all of a sudden. We are left with no one but us to blame. Remember, Life does not wait for anyone and keeps changing all the time!

Goals, Anyone?

It was shocking, when someone asked a few of us were we saw ourselves five years down the lane, and hardly one or two among the crowd were ready with an answer. The rest were busy, thinking why they had not thought of this before. One friend got up and said ” I would probably be happy for having completed all that I wanted to do on my Goals Sheet and I would probably start with another Goals Sheet”. After the session, I asked my friend how he could be so sure . He told me that ” Life keeps changing. I do not have very specific goals. To an extent, they are generic, so that I would be able to modify them with time and with my situation. It is sufficient, if we have a blue print of what we would want to do, the finer details can be filled as and when we tread along, tackling the surprises that Life might give as as we move along”. I was so impressed with this.

I know what my Aim is. I know what My Goals are. My Goals do not change, they just evolve.You know why? I do not want to miss out on admiring the wonderful journey of the path I set on, by focusing entirely on the destination. Neither do I want to lose focus of the destination, stuck by staring in awe at the path during my journey, unmindful of where it is leading me. A little balance is all that is needed.

As Mark Twain said,”Twenty Years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did  do. So throw of all the bowlines.Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

Twenty years down the line, I do not want to have that regret for not attempting to try anything new. I would rather be happy with the fact that I had tried, but failed. I would be content with and appreciate what I have, at the same time trying to see if there are any more talents buried inside!

35 responses to “Of Random Conversations with the Soul #3”

  1. Ashwini, you mentioned 2 types of people. One – content with themselves and the other – madly in the rat race. I personally believe we need to have goals and need to upgrade / modify based on the current situation (personal and professional) but at the same time, we need not go after the goal as if that's the only thing left in the world to achieve. Like, going after professional goals should not compromise family goals and vice versa.. A balance is what I am trying to explain.. 🙂

    20 yrs down the line – success, failure, happy moments, sad ones, but no regrets. 🙂

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  2. Hi Ashwini

    Trying out new things is something we all definitely must do as you said, but what we want to do differs from person to person…Somehow whenever we talk of goals its always looked upon from an official or corporate per se…Thats not the case…
    One person;s goal may be learning to play a musical instrument…Another;s could be getting expertise in a sport…Still others may want to indulge in social work etc….
    Nice post 🙂

    Like

  3. I reckon the Bottom line in all of this is being open to change.

    I somehow feel we need a good mix of eveything to keep life interesting. After all if you're not going to be content with the choices you make now, what is the guarantee that you will 20 years hence.

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  4. Very true, What i started to be and what I am now are two different things alltogether and I think one of the reason is I came to uk, which was never in the plan ever, I was to become a engineer or get into indian army, that was the goal always , working towards it and sadly neither happened Engineering could not as I was SO BAD in studies , and Army did not want me ..

    But change is good, came over applied for a trainee computer programmers job, and got it .. it was like i found a quality in me , never looked back since then ..

    it is true 20 years down the line one is sad of the things that they did not do , rather then do, so i make sure I do what I want to or at least TRY to ..

    lovely post
    Bikram's

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  5. I wanted to add that One shud be content too, I mean have a agenda and when you make it ENJOY It , feel it and then dont just sit there take the next step BUT feel content too that you have acieved something

    I hope i make sense 🙂

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  6. Hi Ashwini,

    Good one!

    It's perenially a race to get a better job, a bigger house, a nice car, more CTC….

    Only if life were as simple as living in a commune or a kibbutz, working on a farm, growing one's own food serving others!

    Unfortunately we are stuck in a Chakravyuh that makes us perform roles that family and societ expects us to do without fail. Go to work everyday, be a dutiful son, brother,daughter, husband , wife, friend etc. Buy a house pay the EMIs. Work, if you are unmarried find a good girl / boy marry and settle – have kids and the whole cycle starts again!

    I know I migrated from the origianl post-topic sorry :)!

    Life is about the choices or the courage to make choices and not regret those choices!

    Cheers,
    Mahesh

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  7. I discuss this topic a lot, since I am the one who doesn't believe in stagnant life. We must do something or the other, if one dream is achieved, dream for something else. But sometimes, I feel those who are content are better as they don't go through the stress of what people like us go. With each dream comes lots of hard work to fulfill it.

    But yes as you said, you must do or else we will regret 20 years from now.

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  8. Thats a very thoughtful post Ashwini, you told me we had goals when we were studying – yes. When I started attending my first bunch of interviews, I realized I always fumbled at the question whats your aim / goal. I finally made up one that would please the HR, but a made up one it was.

    Dreams and goals are different. Mark Twain might have spoke about not following your dreams, or keeping your dreams shut. But goals, they are superficial stuffs. For instance, this year getting an SLR is my goal, if my hubby gifts me one, voila I will change it to going to a swimming class for 15 days in a row! 😀 SMART goals, they acronomize em.

    But a dream would be to run a restaurant one day, but of course as Mahesh pointed out – EMIS, card due cut my way! You are talking about 22! I AM a wayyyYY PAST that, you make me feeeeeeeeeeel ollduu :'(

    Lovely post!! Ciao lady!

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  9. Yes Binu. I completely agree with you. When I say goals, I do not mean to say Professional goals and personal goals. No. I would just say Goals in Life, because as you said one goal cannot be sacrificed at the cost of another goal. That Balance is very much needed.

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  10. Yes. That is my point. What I would want to do is not the same as what someone else would want to do. It differs from person to person and As I have mentioned, I do not mean to divide them as personal and professional goals, I would just call them Goals of life, which may include everything from learning an art to becoming an expert in some activity.

    Thank you 🙂

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  11. I think I should have been clear enough in my post. Yes, we definitely need a balanced mix of every thing, else the monotonous routine will kill us more than anything.

    And I agree with what you have mentioned. If we are not going to be content with the choices today, we would never ever be.

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  12. Thank you Bikram. Yes, we should be open to change as well. And to think about it, the feeling of regret always triumphs over the sense of accomplishment. So it is better not to have any regrets!

    Thank you 🙂

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  13. Thank you Mahesh!

    Yes, the choices which we make today, will definitely have an impact on us in the years to come. So it is up to us to see to it that we do not regret the decisions that were taken.

    Never mind the typos. I am only interested in the content 🙂

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  14. I do not suggest running from dream to dream. But people who are content with what they are, would have slogged previously to get to that state of being content. Unless we work hard, we would not be able to accomplish and be content and happy.If we want to stay free from regrets on the judgement day, we need to buck up and pull ourselves.

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  15. Thank you Karpagam 🙂

    Well Dreams and Goals are indeed different things, but the efforts one takes to accomplish them are more or less the same, aren't they?

    Thank you 🙂

    Like

  16. “A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's heaven for?” wrote Robert Browning . One should strive for better things in life but vaulting ambition should not blind us to others' feelings and sentiments. Progress should not be at others' cost !

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  17. Such a strong conversation Ash, It left me retrospecting!!! so many points seems so true and its very good insight on such an issue.

    You got me thinking 😀 but yes living the moment is the biggest truth of life the very obvious thing like that seems so difficult and we repent thinking why dint sometime later in life which is of no use! wish we dont do that mistake !!!

    A very good read keep writing 😀

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  18. That was a wonderful Quote from Browning. Thank you for sharing it with us here 🙂
    And I agree with your views sir.It should never be at the cost of someone else's sentiments!

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  19. One cant live a stagnant life. Keep doing the same things with no motive, no purpose, in short no satisfaction.
    You know it depends from people to people. Few of my friends, like a carefree life, going home on time and spending quality time with family. That makes them feel content. Doesn't matter if the work takes few more hours the next day.
    And then there are some, who strive for success at work, but dont feel the need to go home. But that makes them happy.

    But yes, you need a goal, but we need to keep a balance, dont lose the sanity running behind that goal. Then you would start regretting after 20 years, as to why I ran so much behind that goal.

    Thoughtful post Ashwini. These conversations, I hope they keep coming onto this page 🙂

    Like

  20. Who moved my cheese indeed. But this one is a zillion times better.

    It takes guts to do anything. Any small damn thing. And hardly anyone is willing to do that. Change is a common human trait. But if I do something different I'm considered “bold”. Not that I have a problem with that, or actually not that I care but still there is a type case.

    Others will not get out of their comfort zone, but talk heaps of shit about you if you do it. Jealousy or hypocrisy? You're choice is as good as mine.

    You set the goals, you decide to work hard or not to achieve it, and you yourself regret it. I don't get this. I've made more than a thousand mistakes in my life and I have the balls to accept them, without any regret. I did it, I failed. Why regret? Isn't trying important?

    Now that's a long comment for a first timer here, but such a lovely post deserves it 🙂

    Love,
    Soumya

    Like

  21. Hi Soumya 🙂

    Welcome to my Blog.

    I like your thought and I agree with it. We cannot expect to keep succeeding in everything and It is always the failures which teaches us more than the success. And yes, Trying is always important, I agree with you

    Thank you 😉

    Like

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