Friday, January 22, 2010

Where are the missing pieces of the puzzle?

It seems a standard question for anyone to ask "What is your passion?... what would you really really love to do?" , whenever I speak of being stranded in career decision issues.

Of course, I appreciate the minority of people who resorted to this formula because well, they were in a minority. The rest did not even bother to expand their level of thinking to this degree of sensibility. With immense self-acquired authority, they just declared that I should stop 'wasting my time teaching' and just go and do my MS in Biotechnology and join my 'smarter' friends in the US. According to their theory, this should be my only plan of action , else I would be wasting the 4 years of my engineering undergraduation in BT. What screwed up logic is that ? Just because you invested 4 years at something, you should continue building along it for the rest of the lifetime though you know you would not be happy in it? Is this the mentality of also those who continue in a bad marriage with an incompatible loser 'just because they got into it' ?

Now as for the question in consideration, what is my passion? I have lost count of the number of hours I have invested in seeking answer for this one. I really wish I could come up with an answer like photography or dance or drawing. Afterall, such artistic streams always have a good amount of success stories with lines like I always wanted to draw. Drawing was my passion. I would lose count of time when I drew. I realized that it was high time I found courage and became what my heart always wanted to be - an artist! Sounds good. Really. Yet, I drew blank. I was INTERESTED in exploring a lot of artistic streams - different dance forms, various art forms etc. Yet passion?

Passion is a strong word. One of the few words in English language that really sounds forceful with the impact of meaning. When you say something is your passion, it means it is a strong force innate in you , powerful and dictating , controlling you from within and showing itself in all your thoughts, decisions and inclinations, breaking all resistances of conscious will. Yes, I would love to capture different hues of expressions on camera. I will definitely learn photography. Yet, is photography my passion? Do I have this compulsive urge to live with a camera? NO!

The same story goes for so many of my interests. In short, my passion in life would be to explore all my interests. Can that not be a passion? What do I want to do in life? What does my heart want? - you ask me. Well,to be frank and straight honest,  I want to .. do 'nothing'. Yes, I just want to read a lot, experience a lot  and explore life. That is my passion! Unacceptable? You say it is a diplomatic way to mask aimlessness and laziness?

So why is 'photography' an acceptable passion to indulge in for life but self-contemplation not? Certain notions seem fixated in us as the acceptable pattern of living : Work hard - slog - earn - enjoy-cycle of life pattern for instance.  Excess enjoyment/ frolic/ expenditure  is always seen with guilt. A 'job' is a part of the social formula of living. In a 'job' you contribute to the society and make money for your self too. In any profession, you are involved in the equation of making sure the world keeps running. Businessman? Good..keep the economy running. Doctor? Good... keep the productivity of people running by keeping them fit. Filmmaker? Good... keep the productivity of world running by providing them quality entertainment  ( Leisure is a part of psychological neccessity). So, you better be involved in this team work of the society... self-exploration does not contribute to your fellow men and hence cannot be a lifetime occupation and hence CANNOT be acceptable as a candidate for passion!

Yet, right now, I cannot lie to myself. As long as I stay true to what I am hearing, I guess there should be a way out. Some voices are too loud to squelch or be ignored. You got to trust...the pieces fall in place only much later

(Wow... I really love the last line ;) )






10 comments:

Pan said...

Sindu, I was in exactly the same situation a couple of years back. I guess each person has to find out for him/herself the answer. My 2 paisa worth of thought: As you mentioned about your engineering degree, you don't have to stay loyal to your passion your whole life.Give life a free reign and you can do magic !As you open up more you will discover new passions !

Sindu said...

Engineering was never a passion, Pan. It was a mistake. Yes, trusting in life and connecting the dots, one day at a time... Let me see where it takes. Setting a financially viable 10 - year plan with 'wise' elders and following it through dutifully might be a secure life that earns the approval of the world. Yet, taking the road less taken with no maps and just a romantic spirit is a life that inspires! Yes, I am loving it! :)

abhster said...

the whole set up life ( arranged by parents or gaurdian ) sounds more like a game plan , but why do you want art or dance or photography when you have such fine writing skills ? I would say " quit teaching and apply at abu dhabi week or M "

nikhil said...

Self-sacrifice is not a moral ideal. Virtue as I define it for each human individual, is his or her own well-being. Self-actualization (and selfishness if you choose to call it that) is serious, rational and a principled concern with one's own well-being.

Sindu said...

@Nikhil: Nice thought! I actually had to pause and think to grasp what you said. I still doubt if I completely did.The world seems neither support nor pave way for concern over one's well being.

anitha said...

Nice post! I really like the part where you think even a passion can be social acceptable when you contribute something to it!! truely insightful :)

Sindu said...

@ Anitha: Sooooo glad to have your comments :)

mr.weirdo!! said...

as we all know abt the balance of nature, we have come to a conclusion now contributing to the society is called balance and not contributing to nature. but u r talking abt self actualisation n all - coming to that if still behave like one iota of matter containing the nature then self actualisation in itself means contributing to the nature.

bomzie said...

Have u read Atlas Shrugged?

Sindu said...

No.. I haven't! I usually stay away from anything that has the potential to make one think long n deep. Ironic isnt it? :)