Once question keeps popping up in my mind every now and then. Let me put it in this way. Everyone of us is educated, enters into some profession and earns a living. The rest of life is spent working hard, earning money which soon transforms into accumulating wealth, and then it all ends when we are old or retired, or both. Whenever someone asks why we undertake so much hardship, our quick answer is — financial security, our family responsibility, and above all, happiness. In a way, all reasons are related to each other and imply the same thing — happiness. My question is, instead of working so hard on something which we do not enjoy in order to earn a living so that we could be happy, why not start with happiness itself, i.e., do things that we enjoy and turn it into profession? That way life indeed would become fun and work would no longer be a labour. In fact, most of the time when we say we are tired, we actually mean that we are bored.
Now I can already see you frowning — ‘It’s not so easy my friend!’ Yes, I understand. Having passion and interest is one thing, making a living from it quite another. It is definitely not a piece of cake to convert your passion into your profession. And what about the security of a salary cheque at the end of each month?
I feel that there is something wrong in our upbringing and conditioning. It seems that we are trained to think that we are supposed to lead two lives in parallel — one is formal — getting educated, secure a job, earn a living, be a respectable and responsible social person. And another life made up of our own personal self, doing things we cherish, associating with people we admire, reading books we love and so on. Thus, our whole life is converted into a struggle to keep a balance between the two lives. Most of the time the first life eats up most of our time and energy so that nothing is left for the other one.
It is one of the biggest tragedies of human life that most of us are trapped into leading a monotonous life, one that we definitely do not cherish and enjoy. Either we try to escape from it and from our own self or fill up our inner vacuum by accumulating objects of amusement.
Just think of it for a moment. Out of the limited waking hours, you spend 10 hours in office (including commute). And if it is not something you enjoy, you have to squeeze really hard on the remaining hours to extract as much joy and fun out of them as possible, and it could be difficult, very very difficult. And remember that we have got only one life.
Yet, we know that it is definitely possible to earn a living and lead a life while doing something we enjoy. There are so many people around us who have done or are doing precisely that. But doing it ourselves is somewhat tricky. First reason is that we lack confidence to take the risk and jump into chasms of uncertainty and insecurity. After all, we have responsibilities to attend, and we cannot afford to put the lives of people who depend on us at risk.
Another and a more plausible reason is that we lack information and knowledge. We do not have any recourse to reliable advice and authentic information. We do not know about the risks involved, whether the interest we carry has any potential of earning a living, what is the basic groundwork we need to undertake; in summary, how to go ahead with it. Advent of internet has made several things simpler, opening new windows to wealth of information which was not available earlier. But all that information is so diverse and scattered that making sense out of it is itself a Herculean task.
In a way, both these problems merge into one single problem when we realise that once we acquire knowledge and information about the nuts and bolts of turning our interest into our profession, we automatically also start gaining confidence. Most people have compromised with life, pursuing career they have chosen, and sacrificing their passions and interests. It is only very late in life that they look back at past interests and hobbies with sentiment and regret. Some people show courage to pursue their own interests in parallel in whatever little free time they have at their disposal. Yet others have hidden themselves behind a cloak of self-deception and delusion, singing and chanting all day long how much they love their work and how much joy it brings to them. Truth can’t be hidden for long, and sooner or later it shows up on their faces.
Have you ever considered turning your interest and passion into your profession? Or have you already done so? Do share your experience and wisdom with others who would like to follow your example.
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