Monday, March 28, 2011

To live, not To survive

I have wanted to write on a lot of things in the last month. And somehow, it got postponed. There are always higher and higher priority things in my To-do list and I am falling into that abyss of endless working on things that are important but don’t make me happy. To be honest, almost throughout my life the things I considered important were also the things that made me happy. (For eg: studying. I enjoyed learning more than most activities, however much fellow students cribbed about it. I really loved the feeling I got after learning a new concept or acquiring a new skill- and the good part was these were the things I defined as important in my life.) But now, I am in a paradoxical situation. The things that are defined as important in my life today are not the things that seem to make me happy. They probably promised to make me happy when I started on them, but time has proven me wrong. 

I analyzed the things I marked as important. What makes them important? Not going into too much detail, it is mostly that in the particular situation(s) that I am in, if I don’t do these things, I can’t survive. But then, I think that only things that make you happy in the long run can be important. If ever you find yourself in a position where the important things are also the things that cause your worries, then you should move out. These things could be your family responsibilities or your relationships or your career, or whatever. There may be a hundred reasons to stay on and keep giving importance to those things; there are a hundred societal pressures and hundred expectations we must meet simply because we do not wish to tear the shoddy fabric of society. But then, as I have always believed and professed, I feel there is no point of it all unless it makes YOU happy. (Well, I hope I don’t have to emphasize that your happiness should not be at the cost of your own morals, but I shall leave that part for now!)

Point is that if you find yourself in a situation that forces you to do things you do not like and accept a fate that you think you do not deserve, do not accept it. Fight or move on, as the situation demands. If you are in a situation where you are stuck, but you know you have made the right choices, you must fight it out. If you are in a situation where you don’t belong, where you have come because you made the wrong choices, you must move out. But “I think that it is a sin to sit down and let your life go, without making a try for it”*

So why write this here? One reason is I personally know many people who are facing similar dilemmas. And I hope that in my words they would find the confidence they need to move on. I value my own life too much to let it go in ways that I do not want to stand. And I am sure, if you think about it, nobody wants to live his/her life in a way he/she doesn’t like. Then why do it? It takes a little courage to question our own assumptions and decisions of the past, and maybe to go for the change, but if you think it is right- nothing should stop you from going for it. 

The second reason, and probably the truer one, is that I want to record this for myself. If ever, I am not able to take the right decision, if ever I find myself clinging to the old simply out of complacency or a fear to move on, I want these words to remind me to do the right thing. As today. (Or yesterday, to be precise, when I thought about all this). I have decided that one must never give up or put up with  fate. One must fight it. I have decided to live. Not to just survive.

And coming back to the first paragraph, I want to try to prioritize writing whenever I want to write. Because I enjoy it more than many other things. Hope to do so in the next few weeks at least- let me see.
Anyway, I owe a lot (but not all) of the confidence in this post to 2 people. Ayn Rand - for many of her lines, but especially the one I have quoted; and Tom Hooper- for making a movie that gave me a positive feeling and reminded me of many of my own convictions which I seemed to have forgotten lately. The latter, is among the list of things I wanted to write on, so let me see if I can post that soon....


1. *Line from Atlas Shrugged, spoken by Jeff Allen to Dagny.
2. People, please don’t comment asking what exactly made me write this. No, it is not my job or a relationship or anything like that. If I had wanted to mention it, I would have. Since I haven’t, take the cue.


  1. Inspiring. Completely agree with your thoughts on this. Keep up the good work man..


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