Humans like to ‘matter’ in this world and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We are all unique and our uniqueness is what makes us who we are. But we also like to belittle others from time to time just so we can make ourselves look ‘better’ and ‘bigger’. What we forget is that no person has ever become better or bigger by making someone feel like they are inferior to them.
One of the things that I have learned from my father is the importance of encouragement. He has never discouraged anyone in his entire life and that’s something I try to inculcate in my own personal life. This may seem quite trivial but it’s such an important lesson that it can’t be said enough. Sometimes I see too much negativity around me- people trying their best to criticise each other’s ideas or work; leaving no stone unturned in bringing each other down. This gives them a sense of superiority and it’s a feeling they like to chase. Since we are all different, it makes total sense that our opinions and views about the world would also be different (here I am not talking about the objective truths such as earth not being flat). We don’t have to agree with every idea. We don’t have to agree with everyone either. What doesn’t make sense is to make somebody feel like they are worthless or that there is no place for their imagination. If we can’t help someone, the least we can do is not to become a hindrance in their journey. In other words, not discourage them.
Some people might argue that their intention was never to discourage but to provide the right guidance. But there is always a better way to deliver our message. How we say things matter a ton- it demands kindness, politeness, maturity and an understanding. Most importantly, a few positive words for a little boost.
I’ll end this blog with a quote by Mark Twain who once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Staying ambitious is really important. It helps us achieve our goals and dreams in life. It helps us utilise our potential and not waste our talents. But the problem comes when we become hyper-focused on our ambitions and become their slave. I know that feeling because I have been a slave to my ambitions for as long as I can remember- just like anybody else. We should not complain about our ambitious personalities- it’s a big part of who we are as individuals on this earth that inhabits approximately 8 billion people. Nonetheless, we all pay a big price and we should not keep paying anymore.
Do we ever ask ourselves what make us happy in our personal lives? (I am not talking about professional lives and it’s so sad that we have become conditioned to think of happiness with respect to our professional careers). Maybe I can help if you’re struggling. What makes me happy are these things: books, writing, going out in nature, meeting people for coffee and having nice and long conversations, watching birds, thinking, and I make sure I take some time out for the things that prevent me from becoming a machine. Would a car, a house, and savings in my bank account make me happy? Absolutely, why not. These are life’s necessities and I can’t be a philosopher if I am struggling with money and a comfortable place to live in. But I still believe there is so much to life and there is so much that we do not see even when it’s right infront of us. As David Foster Wallace said in his famous commencement speech “This is water” that the things in life that matter, we never really observe them as we remain occupied with the trivial stuff of life.
It’s true that some people have extraordinary circumstances and I am not going to pretend that I know anything about their lives. But the basic idea behind this blog is simply to share a very important lesson that I have learned only recently: THERE IS SO MUCH TO LIFE. Yes, there will always be periods of setbacks, failures and disappointments, and it’s completely okay. I face them all the time just like anybody else. However, I still try my best to look at life more than my ambitions and social status. I want to do good things in life (career wise and otherwise) but I don’t want to do them just so I can impress people. I want to do them because I love and enjoy doing those things. And I definitely don’t want to be a slave to my ambitions. I want my ambitions to help me grow and get better. That’s all!