My father is a filmmaker. He was once helping cast some extras for an Indian film shooting in Canada. An old woman walked in. She looked about 60, but her grace suggested someone 40 years younger. My father asked why she looked so happy, and she answered “I was born to act.”
My father was surprised. He asked her about why she was so interested in acting at her late age. The lady told him this story.
“I was in love with acting ever since I was a little girl. However, my parents told me to quit acting when I was younger because there was little chance that I could make a career out of it. They told me that I could simply enjoy it as a hobby.
Because of that, I quit acting, focused on my studies and became a government officer, eventually achieving quite a high rank. However, I always felt empty, and the days went by like a blur. I didn’t really enjoy my work, and it drained me so much that I couldn’t enjoy time away from it much either.
The years simply passed by. Then came a breast cancer diagnosis. I was scared for my life. Before going into surgery, I made a promise to God that I would dedicate the rest of my life to acting if I could
Ever since most people are born, they are taught to go after power and money. They are taught that in order to have any chance of succeeding in the world, they must have knowledge and skills. They are taught that without knowledge and skills, they will not be able to have a happy life.
For this purpose, they spend thousands of hours in the education system gaining these skills. However, do all these thousands of hours really add up to a lifetime of power, or do they actually help limit the power one can achieve, and snatch the chances of true success and happiness away from people?
“People are taught from a young age that if they follow a certain path, they will achieve power. This path is laid out at a very young age, and it goes like this: go to school, get into a good university, get a good secure job and make enough money for a good retirement.”
One is taught that if they stray off this path, they may be sentenced to a lifetime of poverty and criticism from other people. People are taught to avoid anything that will cause a great deal of failure, and instead focus on the safest possible goal.
They are coerced to only go into certain fields, being told that only these fields have a potential of creating a livelihood for them. They are told that all other fields hold very little chance of creating an income that can survive one’s needs.
Currently, a job in technology seems to be the safe trend, considering the rapid technological growth happening in the world. Due to this rapid growth, there will be lot’s of jobs in the technology sector. Therefore, most youth are told to aim for a job in technology, and many do, seeing no other option. In doing so, this trend kills the happiness of most of them.
I am not saying that this technological growth is causing unhappiness, or that it is a bad thing. I believe the exact opposite; that this rapid growth is creating one of the most wonderful times in human history. All I am saying is that no one should go into technology, or any field, if that is not their natural inclination.
The problem is that society imposes it’s rules and it’s ideas on what a person’s purpose should be, rather than helping them find to flower into their best selves. We are all born with our purpose. Man is born as a seed of potential with certain natural inclinations.
This is the reason why some of us gravitate more towards different things. Some of us may be more inclined towards technology, others arts, science or any other field.
“Just as an apple cannot grow into an orange tree, one should not try making a poet into a scientist, just because it is a safe job.”
If one person is innately a poet, he should focus on being a poet. Anything else would destroy his chances of living a life of unparalleled success and happiness. He may end up having a lower standard of living than those who follow the well beaten path, but he will be infinitely happier and successful.
“Society has a very narrow scope of success. It believes that having security and being able to support one’s family and have a few comforts is success. There is far more to success than just this.”
True success means that one’s blood sings at the very thought of doing his work. It means that he loves the brutal hard work inherent in every field as much as the results. He loves the failures as much as the successes, because they both teach him so much. This feeling is only possible when you are doing what you were born to.
The greatest people in all fields would tell you that they feel like they were born to do what they do, and in many ways they were right. How many of us are fortunate to live such a life?
“Due to societal conditioning, very few of us ever find an opportunity to discover and follow our true passion. I suppose that is why very few of us ever achieve unparalleled success and happiness.”
No matter what the times may suggest and what experts say, the truth is that there is no such thing as a safe occupation.
“The real safe occupation is the one that you were born to do. Anything less, and you are cheating yourself out of unparalleled success and happiness.”