Before diving into the scary side of the late 20s, I would like to pen down my thoughts, experiences, and opinions about life as it is. No wonder it will be much more complicated than writing my Instagram bio that says, “I am all about experiences”.
I was born and raised in an urban household in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The emphasis on receiving an English medium education was there from the beginning.
In my opinion, a supportive family, literate parents, and a dynamic environment are crucial for children. These conditions are not an absolute necessity but a requirement that may differ from person to person.
Being fortunate enough to receive all these things, I was able to mould myself as per the requirements of the changing environment. And compete in this fast-paced cosmopolitan lifestyle.
WHY DIRECTION AND GUIDANCE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOALS IN MY LIFE?
Life for me was and is always about goal setting and achieving. The only difference between past and present is that I have now developed a sense of direction in life. Though it is non-existent for me on the roads. So I rely on GPS and the Indian way of asking for directions.
Jokes apart, I think goals can be daunting, like
“I want to get my dream job” is a goal, but “My journey will inspire people” is a direction that keeps me going. I have seen that doubts creep up very often in long term goals. But directions are easier to follow.
For me, plan A was always the end, but it lacked means. Gradually a plan B has to be evolved not because of failure but for mental stability and a sense of security. Contrary to many views, I do not believe that having a plan B sabotages your actual aim.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets to make the right decision at the right time. Sometimes we miss an opportunity, but that does not mean life does not give us second chances. It opens the door to implementing the learning from past mistakes.
The lessons I learned guide me in the right direction so that making mistakes does not become a habit.
On my 25th birthday, I realized that it takes 24 years to become a wise 25-year-old. It is not that wisdom or consciousness was absent before, but the realization came later.
Realization strikes hard, and it does so when one contemplates life and its purpose. As a political science student, I studied various philosophers and adhered to the dictum
“An unexamined life is not worth living”. It has driven me to strive hard and much hard if things do not go as planned.
Even in the most challenging times, when you doubt your self-worth and competence, it is essential to remember what you want and why you started. If a particular cause or work drives me, I will do it no matter what. Let me clear this with an instance from my academic writing experience.
For my final year of masters, I had chosen an offbeat topic to write a term paper on “Cinematic Portrayal Of Human Rights Issues In Indian Cinema (Mainstream And Parallel)- An Analysis Of 1950s-2000 And The Emerging Trends”. Contrary to my expectations, my professor was impressed with the topic but was concerned about whether I will be able to do justice to the paper?
Being a movie buff and an HR student, I went through almost all mainstream and vernacular review literature. I had even shared my questionnaire with authors and editors in the entertainment industry and research scholars of media studies. Thanks to the vast networking of DU and belonging to a family of creative heads. It later turned out to be the best paper presentation.
This task taught me that even if we start with a thousand questions and doubts, it can lead to victory if we focus on the process and not on the result.
“CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS AND FIND HUMOUR IN YOUR FAILURES”- Sam Walton
I glorify finding humour in misery. Haven’t we always heard that the main problem is your attitude towards the problem? If we change our attitude, the big things will seem solvable.
I have grown up reading stories of failure to success of entrepreneurs, writers, leaders, servicemen. This is the kind of lot that attracted me. I learnt how to achieve goals with minimal resources at the display.
I wonder what will be the scope of learning if we get everything at once? The evolution of our minds and attitude would cease to exist.
As for me, the toughest thing to do is to take yourself lightly. We all are after titles, recognition, fame and whatnot. How can one loosen up in such stiff competition among human resources? Yes, you can if your only competition is yourself. When I try to become a better version of myself each day, I live in contentment that helps me focus.
As they say, laughter is the best medicine, so is self-mockery. Only self-confident people can make fun of themselves while the weak laugh at others. After all, in a democracy with freedom of speech and expression, I won’t offend anyone while poking fun at myself.
5 BEST LESSONS I LEARNT AND TAUGHT TO ME:
- One needs to be both a competent worker and a hard worker. No effort goes to waste. You unknowingly add value to your life.
- Live your life your way, make your own decisions, create experiences both good and bad.
- It is important to show gratitude for your blessings. Life is not fair, but it is more of a man-made error. When given a fair opportunity, make the best use of it.
- As a 21st century woman, be your provider. It is crucial to be self-sufficient to deal with any challenges in the future.
- Things happen, and it’s okay. Blame and regrets are unhealthy. Have your coping mechanism because to err is human.
BODHISATTVAS OF THE EARTH:
I would end on a spiritual note and make the reader realize the power of healing and deliverance. As an ardent practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism and member of Soka Gakkai, I aim at attaining wisdom, courage and compassion.
It is not a religion that demands conversion but is a practical way of life. It is accomodating. This attracted me the most, a community of global citizens chanting for world peace and collective upliftment.
A basic tenet of Nichiren Buddhism is that we should strive to reveal our Buddhahood while also helping others do the same. This ideal is inherent in the stage of life called “bodhisattva,” characterized by deep compassion to help others. They are propagators of the mystic law who persist in fulfilling the vow for Kosen-Rufu or world peace.
I know this all looks pretty exaggerated to a non-practitioner. But the whole point of this practice is to demonstrate how to overcome obstacles.
Yes, we see gradual changes in our way of thinking when we chant NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO for high life conditions. Read one or two or many experiences of people shared online, and your faith and curiosity shall deepen.
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to this life-changing practice. I wish to propagate it further via oral teachings and writings to bring in a new human revolution.
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About the Author:
Manali Mathur is a freelance editor and research enthusiast. Although she enjoys open-hearted conversations about life, being an extrovert with humour comes in handy. She pursued a master’s in political science from Delhi University and was a former intern at NHRC, Delhi. Her core areas of interest lie in public policy, diplomacy, environment, governance, administration.