Our lives are one headlong rush to nowhere. Man has been guilty of this mindless rush to nowhere since time immemorial. The only difference between modern man and our earlier ancestors is the speed with which we rush into the unknown. Our lives seem to be perpetually on fast forward.
We need to pause and take a break from this thoughtless charge in life. We need to ask ourselves the what’s and why’s of our life. We need to know where we want to go in life and why we to get there?
The most basic question that we need to ask and answer is ‘What do I want in life?”. If we sit and ask this question of ourselves most of the time we will get back an immediate response about cracking some exam, winning the love of some girl, cracking a management exam or getting a promotion in life. While these are perfectly valid ambitions we need to look into ourselves deeper.
What do we want to be in the long run, spread over a couple of decades. Besides knowing what we want in life, we also need to have answers of the ‘whys’ about our wants. We need to have a clear picture of why we would like to get, where we want in life. We need to have clear and concise answers to these probing questions of ours. As Stephen Covey states, we are governed by four planes of existence namely personal, professional, social and spiritual. So the “whats” and “whys” have to be asked in these 4 different planes of our lives
Personal: What do you want in your personal life a decade and a half in the future. Is it power, glory, fame or wealth. Anything is fine as long as it is achieved through sound values and principles. It could be as simple as being able to master a musical instrument, making a career as a poet, or learning a new skill. Besides deciding what we want in life we need to be able to justify to ourselves as to why we need it.
Professional: What do you want in the professional sphere? Is it a senior management post in the organizational hierarchy? Or are we more interested in keeping our technical and people skills perfectly honed at all times. If we do get to the upper rungs of the management do we have a clear vision of what we would like to achieve and why it is important to you and your colleagues
Social: Are we only interested in only increasing our circle of friends or do we have more noble intentions. Do we believe in doing random acts of kindness to the underprivileged. Are we compassionate to the suffering of society. What do we want to achieve in the social plane? Why is it important to us. Can we answer this question of ours.
Spiritual: Is there somewhere we want to get to spiritually in life? Are we content with just ritualistic praying or in mouthing spiritual cliches. Do we personally believe we can get closer to the reality by leading a principled life? Why would this be important to us.
We have to become our own leaders and ask ourselves these pointed questions regarding the “whats” and the “whys” of life.
When we are able to satisfactorily answer the ‘whats” and “whys” of our life the “hows” and “whens” will automatically kick in and we will move towards a more fulfilling life.