Designing a Purposefull Life

“The biggest failure in life, is the failure to try”- sign board at the U.S. consulate at Mumbai, circa 1981.

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.

This question triggered a long period of introspection and arose at a time when everything seemed to be going wrong, as if Murphy’s Law had rooted itself in my everyday life. I used to be self-conscious, biased, and reactive, had an affinity for extremes and was confused about my future.

Amidst these cross currents there was a gritty determination to make things go right and I soon came to realization that even Murphy’s Law could go wrong. So, I invented my own law, Shakti’s Law which says “If Anything Can Go Right, It Will Go Right.” Essentially, I assumed a mental model of things going right and applied that at a conscious and unconscious level.

Now, some three decades later, looking back, everything has fallen in place neatly, quite like finding my Ikigai, the Japanese art of bringing meaning and happiness into one’s life. In the journey of life, I have attempted to do the right things and more importantly think right and be right. As a young adult, my priorities were shaped by having-doing-being, in that order. In mid-life this order was reversed and it’s now being-doing-having. This is the essence of Shakti’s Law.

The three ingredients of Shakti’s Law consists of dharma, Systems Thinking and social justice. Dharma is the incessant search for liberation, freedom from bondage, an aspiration for attaining an egoless state and a pursuit for imbibing universal values. Systems thinking is the ability to see life as an all-inclusive process. And by this I mean, integrating the biological, cognitive, social and ecological dimensions of life to unearth the interconnectedness between people, things, phenomena, our planet and the universe. My quest for social justice is an exercise in self-transformation, a change in myself that I wish to see in the world.

 Empathy, compassion, fairness are values which I picked up along the way and yoga, meditation, mindfulness, deep listening and responsible speaking have helped immensely in inner capacity building and well-being. In everything I now do, I attempt to bring a sense of balance and equanimity, devoid of any ideology. I am neither right-wing nor left wing; nor radical nor conservative and nor am I a fence sitter. Am driven by issues and with a keenness to search for common ground in everyone. I have chosen spirituality over religion, prevention (of ill-health) over cure and light-heartedness over seriousness.

Welcome to the world of Life, Love and Laughter…its time has come. Let us make things go right!