A lot of ppl go through life according to a plan laid down for or by themselves. Study at this school, go to this university, study that course, get that job at this company. Work your way up until you become somebody. Retire rich with a nice home and family and enjoy your retirement.
Essentially it’s a journey with a timetable and fixed milestones, and a set destination point. Any detours along the way are strongly discouraged and frowned upon. And their emotional well-being revolve around how true they stay to the plan and when and if they hit those milestones – you must have achieved this when you reach the age of xx. This is especially true with Asian societies.
I remember a few years back when I got retrenched and was out of work for a year. I then decided to start a restaurant. Ppl saw me sweating away in the kitchen and asked, “Why are you doing this? Is this really better? Aren’t you wasting your degree?” If I’m living life the way I want and surviving, how am I wasting anything? I can’t and won’t sit on my ass and *wait* for things to land on my lap. I seek things out – not the other way around.
Now I’m back in IT. Am I happy? Yes but I don’t regret my stint with the restaurant. I’ve met different ppl whom I would have never met otherwise and I was exposed to new things and new ideas.
So I do view life differently. I view life as a meandering journey with no mandatory milestones and where the final destination may be a complete surprise to me. What matters more to me is the journey itself and what happens along the way. Where every experience is enriching and enlightening and if they are bad, I’d learn and move on and not repeat myself again.
It is a journey on which I’d meet a lot of different ppl: some of whom I’d love and cherish, some of whom I’d dislike and some of whom I wouldn’t really care about, but most of whom I’d learn from. A journey that is further enhanced because I would have my loved ones around me as I traverse this little thing called “life”. Every person that I end up meeting and knowing adds to the tapestry that is me. Afterall, who we are is as much how we are perceived by others as how we perceive ourselves.
And in the end all that should really matter is that you have enough to eat, you got clothes to wear and you have shelter. You are making ends meet, and you have loved ones in your life. Everything else is just icing. If you have more money than most ppl you know then you are very lucky but achieving status and accumulating wealth should never be the sole purpose in life.
I expanded on the ideas in StarryLuvly’s post about the things we can learn from our pets to arrive at this. Once again, she’s my muse. 😉