Why is it difficult to deal with ourselves?

by Sahadev Komaragiri

TheMITIs our inner boss an enemy that makes our life too difficult? The answer depends on what kind of relationship we have with ourselves. Do we have a series of commitments that we made to ourselves and faltered on them time and again? How many times did it happen that we thought we figured out what is important to us and yet failed to act? By not following through with our commitments , we made an enemy of our own self.

This post is about how I had difficulties in dealing with myself.

After moving back to India, I have been keeping myself very busy most of the time. I traveled a lot and met a number of amazing people – children, teachers, principals and educationists. I was going from place to place and working with schools on a continuous basis. It is only recently, during the brief lull in my travel that I was able to assess my situation and start analyzing the whole life that I chose for myself.

In the US and Singapore I was accustomed to being on a treadmill. Work, rest, work, rest – one foot up and one foot down. After returning to India I was doing pretty much the same thing, although it was a different treadmill with a different set of measuring scales. It was a treadmill, nevertheless.

It is imperative that we have to be on some sort of a treadmill at any given time. However, we forget that we have to get off of it and start meditating, start working on some purposeful and slow Yoga postures and enjoy the pastures of life in multiple measures. I am fortunate enough to know my purpose and passion, it is just that I was not careful enough to calibrate that purpose and passion with the activities that I chose for myself. Everything that I did seemed too important and difficult to let go. I was always thinking that if I do not do it no one else will do it. I was not careful enough to pick only those activities that are fully in alignment with my passion.

Here are a few things I had in my mind, when I moved to India:

  • Develop libraries in schools
  • Make sports an integral part of school system
  • Strengthen value education  in schools
  • Work on a couple of books on topics on which I have already done some decent amount of research.

The question that bogged me down recently is this – why did I deviate from my plans for several months and perhaps years?

The answer lies in my previous life – corporate life. The employers that I worked for had a certain passion and knew how to recruit the right people to get the goals accomplished. Year after year I was infused with a certain set of goals to achieve and in return I got rewarded with adequate pay and perks. Without my knowledge I got onto a treadmill and I got addicted to it – not as much to the treadmill itself, but because it is the time spent on the treadmill that ensured a paycheck month after month – to make ends meet and to buy things and impress people.

In my previous corporate life, I think I liked the fact that someone else sets my goals. The toughest part is already figured out by someone else. I think I also liked being on a treadmill. In my new life, paycheck is not a concern, there was no paycheck for me for the past three and half years, I think it was that treadmill culture that I could not get out of.

There is another critical factor here. It is easy to follow the goals set by others as they monitor our work and even provide guidance if we falter. The passion driven goals that we set for ourselves require us to plan a lot and work on them in a very disciplined manner. This is the difficult part that we tend to put off for a more appropriate future time.

That future time will never come unless we take the decision that attending to our passion is indeed the most important thing in our life.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rafi October 11, 2014 at 5:03 am

Most humans are by default on treadmills living the life dictated by beliefs & circumstances. As you mentioned in your post “A primer on the inner self”, people start questioning their lives when something goes wrong (more than when something goes right or stays as-is). Very few are lucky enough to escape the corporate world, but may still be searching for meaning in their personal lives.

Perhaps it is a matter of deciding to start spending more time on activities that we are most passionate about. Or perhaps the nature of life is change and we will soon find out that further information changed our opinion and we start going after a new passion and so on. Where is the end? I for one believe that our illumined ancestors, found a solution thousands of years back and codified their findings in sacred texts such as Gita (http://www.easwaran.org/the-bhagavad-gita-the-illumined-man.html) & Upanishads (http://www.easwaran.org/the-katha-upanishad-the-razors-edge.html).


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