Designing a Purposefull Life
DESIGNING A PURPOSEFULL LIFE
My name is Shakti and I stand for oneness and harmony for myself and others. As an adolescent an uncle of mine asked me “What is the objective of your life?” I was a few months short of touching 18 and I was stumped by his question. I found it to be rather cruel for was it not obvious that the whole purpose of my existence was to generate as much excitement as possible?
Now, some four decades later, on looking back, I realise everything has fallen in place neatly quite like finding my Ikigai, the Japanese art of bringing meaning and happiness into one’s life. Forced fruits are never sweet so I allowed my life to follow a natural course. An early eye opener occurred, as a student, while waiting at the U.S. consulate for my visa application when I came across this very touching poster which read “The biggest failure in life is the failure to try”, but the message went beyond seeking a visa. My maiden trip to Europe and N. America shook me out of my complacency and was a door-opener in several ways. By the end of my trip, I had returned home as a citizen diplomat.
From the time I completed my MBA, I knew the limitations of a formal education. The MBA provided me with managerial acumen but what good was this without an understanding of Humanity and Creation? Through the course of my life, my biggest learning has been to play with the hand that has been dealt to you. Getting into regret mode or wishful thinking is always a setback. Since, I couldn’t afford a liberal arts education, I read voraciously to help fill the void.
As a young adult my priorities were shaped by having-doing-being, in that order. Today, this order is reversed and it’s now being-doing-having. I was always moved by universal values but now this features prominently in my life. Universal values means no one is left behind. Empathy, compassion, fairness, besides oneness and harmony, are all universal values which I acquired from a vast and diverse set of wonderful souls.
My wish is to leave the planet a better place than what I inherited. This is a tall order but my efforts are in this direction. I am driven by a need for balance and equanimity and am aware that creating cultural and systems shifts are immensely difficult without inner capacity building and well-being. Inner capacity building includes deep listening and responsible speaking attributes and well-being invokes inner stillness for which there are no better tools than meditation, contemplation and yoga. During times of ill-health, I have realised the immense value of ‘prevention’ and the distinction between ‘healing’ and ‘curing’
I have struggled with religion and I see it as being a divisive force but I am deeply spiritual as a person. I find all religions are pure at the core but equally false at the surface. In spirituality the core of all religions is manifested and this is a unifying force. I focus my energies on building the temple of the soul and in doing so it doesn’t matter whether one is Agnostic or Gnostic; Hindu, Christian or Muslim.
Through much of my life, I have gone out of my way to shun subscribing to any ideology be it social, economic or political. Wars fought on account of ideologies are the most treacherous. I am neither right-wing nor left wing; not radical nor conservative and nor am I a fence sitter. I look for what is agreeable in everyone and am prompted to search for goodness in all. Last but not the least, Life is incomplete without a sense of humour. If we can make our lives light-hearted and if we can instill love and laughter in our Being and in everything we do, then we have a recipe for making this journey fun and rewarding.
So, welcome to a new Humanity and let’s celebrate!
Featured Image: Courtesy victorung.com