Follow your heart

I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate. George Burns

How many of us can cross our hearts and say that we passionately enjoy whatever we do? For most of us what we do is not as enjoyable as what we would have loved to do. No doubt there will also be a few people who are blessed with the gift of thoroughly enjoying the work and their career, but for the vast majority what we do is by and large the second priority choice that we have taken up to make a living. Ideally what we should have chosen is something that we enjoy every moment of our life.

Unfortunately, compulsions of making a living forces us make compromises and we end up doing things which given a choice we would happily say pass. For many of us talent, hard work and diligence will assure us success but we would still be left with an emptiness within us. There are two reasons why we fall in this trap; the first is the dictates of societal norms where people are expected to follow a set norm  and the second reason is our inability to believe in our dreams. Academic excellence, for example is the yardstick used by conventional society, to sift the wheat from the chaff when it comes to respectability in society, financial clout notwithstanding. Some set norms of attaining status that have grown over the years is becoming an engineer or a doctor or an MBA or a CA. Most other options have a secondary tag psychologically attached to it and so irrespective of our interest, liking or aptitude we pursue one of the preferred options.

If we assume that we have a deep and abiding interest in some non conventional careers or business choice like being an environmental activist or being a marine biologist or a naturalist we would face pressures from various quarters with the primary argument being will it be a paying profession that can sustain you financially over the long term. At this point many of us begin to harbor grave doubts about our future in the said field and quietly slither away to pursue the societal norms. The moment we have self doubts we will always take a path that gives us more confidence in the future but possibly very little to feel elated about. Perhaps this quest for happiness and contentment is the catalyst that compels many a successful individual to abandon his / her pursuits and change tracks to follow his / her heart’s desire. Some give up successful corporate careers to become founders of NGO’s, move into teaching, become social activists, take up their passion in the fine arts etc.

Not all who follow their hearts desire end up as great successes because they may soon realize that have their own limitations in pursuing their dreams. However the joy and pleasure they get in doing what they crave to do is something that success in their previous avatar may never have given. Bliss is the feeling that envelopes anyone following his / her heart’s desire; appreciation, success and recognition are all secondary to them.

Remember: “Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

Try this:

  1. What were the 3 professions/ business ventures that you would have ideally liked to be in? What prevented you from following that path?  If you ever decide to pursue any of these options when will you begin? How will you judge that it is time for you to change tracks?
  2. Read the article on Mr.P.G Tenzing in the following link . Can you appreciate his craving and passion?

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2 thoughts on “Follow your heart

  1. thats so very true..
    but the whole problem is people do not realise their potentials….. sadly otherwise we could have had so many einstiens and newtons……

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