Be decisive. If you love something, just do it. Or if you can’t do it now, at least, stop grieving!
All of us are born with a sense of adventure. We have grown up burning our fingers while touching a flame. We have dropped jars and broken them, sometimes injuring ourselves, while trying to help ourselves to some delicious cookies. We have often strayed away from our parents, curious to explore what lay beyond the obvious in a shopping mall or a movie theater. We have tried to understand our sexuality in our own unique way and experimented with relationships. So, there’s been a time when each of us has been wild and risk-taking.
So, why are we different as we grow older? Why does our spirit of adventure, thirst to explore diminish with advancing years?
My own learning is that age has nothing much to do with this. Insecurity does. Because there are enough and more stories of people who started late in Life and conquered new horizons. Take Captain Krishnan Nair of Leela Hotels for instance. He started his entrepreneurial career, in an, to him, unknown industry__hospitality__at age 60! And in the last 30 years he has made the Leela brand a gold standard for service excellence in that space. So, for the someone who wants to try out something new, there is no such thing as an appropriate time. But a majority do not want to leave their comfort zones. Because change is always scary!
I caught up with a friend after about 10 years yesterday. He shared how he had tried his hand at business and lost money. He said that he would love to try doing business again, now that he was older and wiser, but he worried for his financial security. “Saala, this EMI (monthly financial commitments to a mortgage or an unsecured loan) scares the s**t out of you and pins you down!” he declared with visible anguish.
There are many people who are caught in this trap. Of believing that they are crippled by their financial commitments. I believe this is a very biased and skewed view of Life. You take on a financial commitment with a view to accomplish a goal. Maybe buy a house. Or a car. Or educate your child. Or to invest in a business. Nobody makes a long-term financial decision without either a goal or a definitive return on investment planned out. So, if you have made the choice to commit yourself financially__which is, to put it bluntly, enslave yourself to a monthly pay-out plan__then why grieve over something which you are unable to do and can do ONLY when you are not having money on your mind? Let’s say you want to make films. But you work for a software company and are earning well. And you have financial commitments to fulfill for another 10 years. Then, why are you grieving that you can’t join the film-making business and work as Assistant Director to any top filmmaker? You can’t do that because films, like any industry, does not pay well as you start. Or if you really want to be in films and can’t take your software job anymore, then have the courage and creativity to find a solution to your fulfilling your financial commitment, get out of your job and go join films. The key is to choose. To decide. And one of the first decisions you must make is to stop grieving!
Not all decisions will work in your favor though. Sometimes, you will come crashing, landing on your face. But such is Life. It is better to have chosen, decided, tried and failed, than to be mournful and be grieving that you wish you had taken the plunge!
Take the plunge or shut up. Just don’t grieve. Because, Life’s essence is to be happy. And, almost always, indecisiveness breeds unhappiness. So, to be happy, simply decide. One way or the other. Lo and behold! You will then be happy!