Everyone has that one secret hide out – that one place which defines ‘beautiful’ by every means. For me, that place – that hideout – is somewhere deep inside my mind. And once I’m there – for whatever reason or some times for no reason at all – there’s nothing in the world that can make me happier & there’s nothing in the world that can possibly bring me down. The only irony is – I seldom get to go there and stay.
They say life is so unpredictable but it’s so satirical how certain things in life are so common – so known. For instance, almost everyone you run into and ask, what they want from life or how they would like their lives to be – they’ll tell you that they want to be happy, have a good life, a good time with a good family, a well-paid job, a successful marriage etc. That’s your list of the most predictable set of answers.
Everyone wants to feel good. Everyone craves for that happy, easy life where they perfectly fall into love with the perfect person, have a perfect relationship, look perfectly gorgeous, make ample money, be respected and admired and die with the perfect smile on their face. For all I know, I’d kill to have that life. The catch, however, is – it’s easy to “want” it.
Easy answers come from easy questions. And the simplest question to me is, ‘What do you want from your life?’ – then comes all or a combination of everything that I’ve written above! It’s so omnipresent that it has almost lost all of its meaning now. Just like if everyone wanted that one kind of product in the market – in no time it loses its value – it’s no longer a big deal if you have it. Similarly, to want a perfect life is something everyone craves for – so what’s the point? How are you different? Why are you more deserving than anyone else out there?
To avoid the easy answer, avoid the easy question. Ask what’s more interesting. To me, the more challenging question is ‘What struggle are you willing to take up in your life?’ What pain are you willing to endure? And for what? For whom? I believe the answer to some of these kind of questions actually determine how our lives conclude to be.
For sure I want to become a partner at the law firm I work in – I want the big bucks, the recognition, the status, the fame, the knowledge. But am I willing to suffer through insane work hours per week? Am I willing to undertake all the humiliation from my boss or my clients? The obnoxious paperwork? Surviving the nearly impossible work-life balance?
Isn’t it amazing to be all rich and fancy without having to face the traffic of hard work and gratitude? Wake up one morning and Ka-Boom!!
Sure I want to have an awesome relationship with my better half. Who wouldn’t want that? But then is everyone willing to endure the differences? Is everyone willing to face the tough communication? Is everyone willing to feel deeply hurt and still let go because you just love the other person too much? Is everyone willing to walk the entire emotional journey that it takes, to get to the point where you’ve built your mansion? If you don’t think this through and if you don’t repeatedly ask yourself ‘What and how much of all the pain are you willing to take up?’ –you merely settle. You settle down and eventually end up asking yourself ‘What if?’ and you keep asking that ‘what if’ until it turns into a ‘What for?’
Can you imagine having lived a good deal of years – sleeping and waking up with that one person who is allegedly your ‘soul mate’ only to be left with the question to which no one has an answer – ‘What for?’
The bottom line is;
Happiness doesn’t come without struggle. It requires for you to embrace pain in order for you to fully feel what happiness entails. Almost every sane human being wants those ‘good feelings’. The simplest reminder about the reality of life is – nothing good in life comes easy. Well true that, but that ‘good’ depends on where we have suffered and how we enjoyed the struggle. Whenever you analyze the cost/benefit – sadistically enough – there has to be love for the suffering. You have to be passionate about pulling all nighters to get those good grades, you have to love it when you get no recognition for your hard work at office to become a challenging entrepreneur, you have to survive the emotional turbulence and at times keep staring blankly at your phone that never rings to actually win the game of love. You have to ‘want’ the cost to ‘enjoy’ the benefit.
It seems a bit difficult so far – to really want the pain at the end of which awaits your rainbow – but the worst is yet to come. And that’s when you find yourself wanting something one after the other but it never happens and you never get any closer to it. When you constantly find yourself wanting such a thing – it is either a mirage, a fantasy or a false promise. Maybe you don’t really want it. Maybe you’re not willing to suffer enough.
For every determinant about life ask yourself the hard question. How much, how far, for how long and for who? Pleasure and happiness are the predictable answers to the easy question. But alas, life is not all about roses and unicorns.
I know it sounds weird but the truth is that pain is what gets you anywhere. What makes you strong. It makes you who you eventually become. Pain is what makes you believe in ‘hope’ – because at times that’s the only choice it gives you – to be hopeful. To have faith. To hold on. To wait.
In the end, it is the pain that defines us – distinguishes us from one another – and it’s the pain that brings us together. So my question to you is – what will your question be?