Since my childhood, I have been taught by many people including my elders, parents, teachers and classmates that life is nothing but a race and those who want to become something have to work hard or else they will ‘lose in this race’. I have always been immensely influenced by this dogma that made me distinguish between people as ‘intelligent and hardworking’ and others as ‘stupid and irrational’. As time went by, I finally came to realize that I did not succeed to fall into the category of “intelligent” people and so I questioned myself, “What am I?” And yes, it did hit me hard when I placed myself in the second category. *coughs*
However, now I consider this conventional mindset quite objectionable as it makes thousands of people lose the hope and willpower that give them the strength to live their lives like productive and successful people. Due to this twisted mindset, people do not discover the true meaning of life and they live in the dilemma that they cannot do something and others can because of their “intelligence”. I pondered over this idea of the true meaning of life when once a wise man said to me,
“Greatness is not a moment of success, rather it is a journey, and you represent that journey.”
I don’t know what it was that he saw in me but that was when someone made me see the other side of the picture. A clearer picture of life and its endeavors. A picture which depicted me as a hero. A picture which made me believe in myself, my dreams and my goals.
Life can be perceived differently in many ways. Finally, I came up with a conclusion and some thoughts that helped me comprehend the idea of life in a better way. So, let’s consider the various perceptions about life.
Life is all about moments when you aspire to fulfill your dreams and goals and desire to live to the fullest. Every one of us has some dreams in life which we want to see come true. The endeavors of life make us move on with motivation and persistence, and these make us work even harder to achieve them. They gives us the spirit of doing things rather than just planning to do them.
Life may be about those moments when you feel like giving up and continuous failures and setbacks do not leave us with enough strength to fight back with our demons. There come times when we work very hard for something but fail to get the results we aimed for ourselves. It could be anything, maybe the examinations we worked really hard for but did not score well in. There might be some investment which we made in a business which we thought would flourish but instead faced heavy losses. There are parents who are were working very hard to feed their kids but suddenly lost their jobs and they can’t find any suitable source of earning now. Life can be about those moments as well, when we lose those things in life which make us disheartened thoroughly.
Then life can be about the excruciatingly painful moments which make us sad and depressed. When we consider ourselves failures and a losers. When we go through a lot of miseries and it feels so difficult to breathe and even walk a mile. Lying in bed at night and staring up at the walls with tears welled up in our eyes, all we can think of is that how bad these days are and whether they are here to stay or to pass. Our demons mock us at night and in our dreams and play games with our emotions but even then, we cannot do anything but cry and weep so that we might feel better and lighter. Moments when the pages of our diaries are scribbled with words which may not contain any meaning for others but mean the world to us. People do feel like this when they are miserable. When you know that your boss isn’t happy with your performance even when you are giving your best. When you know that you will be punished by your teacher because you did not do your homework or did not score well. When you can hear, your parents fighting in their bedroom because they disagree on certain things and you cannot stand that anymore. When you know that your parents are going to have a divorce and you would have to choose to live with one of them. When you know that you are going to lose your best friend because she/he has been suffering from cancer for long. And when you know that life is not making any sense to you and that you do not have any control over it.
This is life and we do experience it like that very often but then there is this tiny voice of hope that keeps on whispering words of wisdom in our ears. We really want to ignore that voice which keeps on pushing us to move on, to live, to work hard, to achieve and to simply be happy. We realize this sooner or later that maybe listening to this voice will provide us with opportunities in life. It will enable us to have a purpose for living in this world. So, when giving up seems like the only option, it is hope that helps us get back on our feet. It is hope who lends a hand for help. It is always hope which gives us strength and motivation to survive every day and to wake up every morning. That is when we start thinking out of the box and discover the true meaning of life. That is when we understand that when fear holds us back from doing something, that is exactly when you should go for your dreams because it is the right time. In the end, we realize that life is a beautiful journey of going through miseries and pain and successfully winning the complex set of races as we still listened to that tiny voice of hope that kept whispering in our ears and saying, “Try that once more…”
L.R Knost has defined life wonderfully and I will quote her here:
“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living, heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”