June 23, 2008

Please thyself...

It's no secret that I'm damn selfish as a person. I do not do things to please others. Yes, I have made few compromises for my parents over my life, but I am proud of those moments where I kept their interests above mine. I fear I may not be able to do it always. I really fear those moments that are in waiting.

Now, I am selfish by choice. I guess every one is. I was having a discussion about life and related abstract things with a very close friend of mine. I kept saying that the essence of living is in being 'selfish'. And she protested every time. Points of contention? The expected ones - that one has to think about others, the world at large, etc. Well, these thoughts are great but if one does them to please others, he or she would never remain a happy and satisfied person. In other words, if I talk to someone just because I have to, it does not serve any purpose at all. Sans few situations that are, at best, exceptional.

I have worked in few organizations over the last 5 odd years. I was never ‘really’ happy. Yes, there were moments of satisfaction and excitement, but it was not sustained. Those moments were scattered across time. When I decided to move on and be a freelancer or better, entrepreneur :), the feeling was great. It was not short-lived. I am still very happy to be doing so. Not because the pay-off of the decision is better, but simply because I do not have to please others any more. Initially, this decision did not go well with a lot of ‘stake-holders’ in my life, but they are pretty comfortable now. If I would have decided to stay back in a ‘steady income’ job, surely would have been brain-dead by now.

Similarly, I have been teaching CA students for about 4 years now. Every week, week after week, without major breaks. I enjoy doing it. I thoroughly love it. I don’t know why, but I don’t care about the reasons. Again, it has nothing to do with money. I am surprised myself to see the enthusiasm still intact. In fact, the excitement of taking lectures just keeps going up in phases. All this, for a person who has changed 3 jobs in over 4 years!

The point I am trying to drive home is that you are always happy doing things that YOU want to do, and not what some others want you to. Some others here could mean the society at large too. Let’s not fool ourselves. A majority of us are doing certain things in life just to be tagged 'social'.

I look forward to take lectures every week because I love it myself. May be this is not a great theory to write about, but it surely is a plot that a lot of us are missing in day to day life. Is this not what they call passion? Ceteris Paribus, an A.R. Rahman or a Roger Federer is perhaps far happier than an investment banker or an engineer who happened to become one.

Philanthropists do not do charity to show off. They do it because such acts of charity makes themselves happy. Probably, happier than the beneficiaries of such acts of charity! If a person gives away few bucks to a cause because she has to, then such acts won’t be sustainable.

Acts done to make thyself happy are the one’s that last. Don’t fret over things to please the world.

Be selfish, be happy!

I expect a lot of flak for this piece! Over to you, guys...:)


joamoo said...

hmmm....i guess i should leave what i am currently persuing...

All those people who live to please others are afraid of their survival really speaking...pleasing others is just a compromise with Life of course if they are living a life :)

hariharan said...

Good tht atleast for show off people do charity.Not the best reason but who cares.Yes as far as happiness is concerned not many people r happy when they pay taxes because they dont pay taxes by choice.Everyone wants to do wht they like but its not always lucrative like Federer's job or Rahman's profession.So people take up something to earn money compromising on their liking

hariharan said...

Not everyone has a lucrative liking like Federer or Rahman sir.Good tht people atleast people do charity for show off atleast better than people saying bluntly i dont want to bcos i dont like doin charity...Yes people r hardly happy payin taxes bcos tht is a compulsion.Why shd we bother abt the intentions as long as the deeds r good? Sometimes pleasing others also gives u immense happiness.

U No Hoo said...

The point that I am making is that acts not driven by personal satisfaction cannot be very sustainable and will die down soon. Like me going to gym, for instance. So, though the end result is good even if it is forced charity, the act is not going to continue for too long.

Veena Panicker said...

You are absolutely right Sir. As Oscar Wilde said, " The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighted the sun in a balance , and measured the steps of the moon and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul ?" So be selfish and remain HAPPY Sir.

Arunkiyer said...

Completely agree with this post....dont be bound by external forces...always do things that you like to do...screw the world...to hell with them

karthik said...

Once i came across a dialogue in a Television Programme in which the actress said, "Bhagwan Saab ka Bhala Karna, par shuruvat mujse Karna". Its always a good feel when we achieve something great for ourselves in life.

I agree with your view of being selfish. But I think the amount of satisfaction we derive in doing something for others is something great & long living.

There was a guy who achieved higher marks than me in exams following the guidances & instructions given by me. I felt bad first but later when he admitted this before all the friends & thanked me, it was one of the greatest moment in my life.

Jums said...

Agree with you... some people are designed emotional, or sometimes situations force you to be that way... coz you dont have the energy to take the fight each day with people close to you... And force yourself to derive happiness from people close to you... but that happiness doesnt last very long ... true!!!

Sudheer said...

SELFISHNESS is good till the time others are not worse off.
- I agree that each and every activity done by us is for our self satisfaction directly or indirectly - Doing something which one dislike for getting tagged 'social' is also for the satisfaction of getting tagged 'social'.
- Selfishness is an inherent nature for each and every living being.
- Those selfless people who does selfless acts is doing it for themselves. (Is it not a selfish activity?)

No doubt one will be happiest when he/she would do what his/her heart says.(SELFISHNESS!!!)


S Krishna said...

Hello sir,
I think the crux of the movie 3 idiots have been copied from your blog. Aamir khan also says the same thing. And that is the fact. I agree to it. One thing i would like to ask u sir, until then you have any degree whether you like it or not, you have to do it. Frankly sir i wanted to become sports man. I am very fond of football and badminton. Unfortunately my father never liked me to play much. There are certain things we are obliged to do. Once u gain a good financial support then only your theory will get work.
Please correct me if i am wrong sir.
Byeee sirrr