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For many of us, the challenge is to truly understand the purpose of our life. During our academic life, our focus was on academic excellence in the hope of making those around proud of our achievements and also hoping that academic excellence will set a path for success. However, except for the toppers who were branded exceptional, followed by the excellent and good, the vast majority of us were merely above average, average and occasionally academic failures. Yet both the topper and the failure still grappled with the question of what next and what is the purpose of my life. What next was relatively easier to answer because each of us either gave in to our dreams or settled for what the rest did. A minuscule number opted for something different and off beat, largely due to compulsions. Yet for each one, the question of what is the purpose of my life remained an enigmatic question with an elusive answer. Throughout this process, we got good, bad, indifferent, useless, unsolicited advice from elders, teachers, family and those concerned with out welfare. Many of us succumbed to these apparent pearls of wisdom, only to realize much later that the path neither suited us nor were we able to cope with it happily and changing tracks was challenging.

The purpose of life is to make the best of your talents and abilities, to make a positive difference to your life and to those around. When viewed from this lens, no matter what we do, if it gives us happiness and it does not violate human dignity and ethics that is the purpose of our life. Striving to change it for the better, aspiring to achieve something greater and taking chances to make a greater impact with your life, are all par for the course. In fact aiming to better ourselves should be the hall mark of one’s life. If what you do is meaningful to you, even just lazing around, you need not be apologetic. While the world is chasing an elusive financial dream a person who can sleep with a clear conscious is the one who is living his/ her life most meaningfully. Well meaning people may offer unsolicited advice, give subtle hints or occasionally berate a person because they view things from their own perspective. However, each individual must choose a path that best answers his/ her question ‘what is the purpose of my life?’

Try these:          

  1. List the names of three individuals who in your view, best amplified and lived their  life the way they wanted it. Can you identify three possible challenges that they faced in living their life on their terms?
  2. What are the three things in your life that you are keen on doing (but have not yet attempted). What is holding you back from doing that?
  3. What are the few suggestions made to you by well meaning people who have no idea of your own personal plans. ( e.g. I know a young CA who now wants to peruse studies in Economics and Statistics because her mind is set on working in the space of public policy making. Yet everyone around is keen to help her get a job as a Chartered Accountant and thinks she is barking up the wrong tree).

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. vinayjspl

    Throughout this process, we got good, bad, indifferent, useless, unsolicited advice from elders, teachers, family and those concerned WITH OUR WELFARE..

    1. I agree that we did get a variety of advice, many of which on hindsight, were not suitable or appropriate for our aspirations. As you rightly highlighted in CAPS… it was for our welfare. As ME… I have to ensure that I do not repeat what I resented but I must not abdicate my responsibility to those in my care. It is this fine balancing act that is at the crux of our parental challenges today, Thank you for sharing your feedback.

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