Victims of our expectations…

There is a Mexican parable about a businessman and a fisherman… The fisherman was taking his afternoon siesta on the beach when the passing by businessman asked him why doesn’t he go and fish more instead of sleeping like this midday… The fisherman asked why should he do that, to which the businessman explained how he could catch more fish for the next 20 years and make more money… Become a millionaire… The fisherman asked and then what would happen… To which the businessman replied that then he could relax on the beach and enjoy… And the fisherman said – well that’s what I am doing even right now!

There is an anti-enterprise theme to this parable… But what the story should really teach us is that everyone has their own source of happiness and if one is happy, they need not run behind someone else’s imagery of happiness… That’s it… Nothing more… No other filters or defining covenants…

I heard a fantastic real life incident from an event I attended… This unmarried western lady in her early 30s is visiting the Middle East and is invited to dinner at a home… She feels really sorry at the segregation of men and women and in her mind the discrimination and restriction on the women of the household with whom she was dining… From dressing to their inability to be allowed to work, for only raising children even though they were educated… But she controlled herself to not offend or look rude… However when the evening was ending, the females of the house told this visiting lady that they were sorry… FOR HER!!!. That they hoped she found someone soon so that she wouldn’t need to work for money and could have someone to support her and look after her!!!

The message behind this is the same… Each one has their own basis of happiness… And that one’s source isn’t applicable to other…

We are often caught in defining our happiness in blind imitation of the society that we (or parents or loved ones) decide for us. Or what we percieve of others…

To base and measure our source of happiness, self worth and achievements on the yardstick of others is the greatest source of despair… And to be able to find joy within ourselves without external judgement our greatest challenge…

Its a 2 point affair:

1. We accept or set our life’s direction, purpose, happiness and joys based on our shallow perceptions and thoughtless imitations of others, defining our identity or rather losing it in pursuit of dreams that are really not what maybe our hearts calling or our strengths.

2. We don’t realize that we were or can be or are happy naturally without the needless baggage of expectations that we have saddled ourselves with…

The thumb rule is that any pursuit that leads to depression is mostly not worth it… That undermines your belief and breaks your self esteem isn’t the right path…

It isn’t that challenges shouldn’t be taken up… And that one should never feel that stretch or difficulties… Those really help us grow… But the point is that those pursuits should really be your hearts calling… And that while chasing that dreams, you can be working really hard – but in that journey, while sweating it out, there should be excitement and hope… Not constant despair or dejection…

Ask yourself again the question… Do I really want what am chasing and why… And is it worth it… Are you chasing someone else’s mirage?

Having a life of purpose is key to happiness… But if the purpose is not leading to happiness then we are using the wrong key… Let’s not be a victim of our expectations…


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hemangi Oza says:

    Beautifully written…. Very well said… N need to be implemented by everyone


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