Thanks to our conditioning and to our upbringing we are encouraged to start running a race, as soon as we begin to make sense of our world, and are taught that Life’s meaning is to come first, to win, to acquire, to accumulate, to conquer. In this context, by always wanting to win, we don’t realize we have to willy-nilly ‘vanquish’ or ‘deny’ others the opportunity to win. Or when we try but when we don’t win, we end up feeling depressed and despondent. This is when we start looking for a strategy to employ in Life. Then, a time does come when even that ‘winning strategy’ becomes meaningless. So, we end up seeking meaning when we discover that despite all the winning, all the conquest, all the accumulation, we are still missing something __ the essence of Life, of simply being happy.
You must simply live your Life, and carry on living, not worrying about either strategy or success!
Someone I know told me recently that he does not understand what I gain by blogging, Vlogging, delivering Talks and holding free, inspirational, public events. “There’s no meaning in this. You are not making money,” he said. I smiled back at him and said, that doing all this, makes me useful – even if not successful in a worldly sense! “It is liberating to share, unlearn, learn…,” I explained. But my friend said he still could not see any meaning in my “strategy”.
I did not try to justify any further. Because there’s nothing to explain. There is really no strategy to Life and living. Life cannot be lived fully when we are nailed down by negative, debilitating emotions like doubt, anger, jealousy, sorrow and fear. It cannot be understood too when we are held hostage by our ego and our wants. It can only be understood when we let go of what cripples us, what worries us and what scares us. Only when we practice detachment__from what holds us and what we hold on to__can we be useful without reason, without “strategy”.
When the ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ ceases to be anything material, your Life is filled with abundance, grace, happiness and, well, magic!
In Viktor Frankl’s 1946 epic book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ __ chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II __ he concludes that, as time passed and as he looked back at all that he had been through, the gut-wrenching experience he had in the camp was nothing but a “remembered nightmare”. Even his desire to kill his tormentor was now gone. He awakens to his Life’s meaning which is “to help others find theirs”.
In summary, as I have discovered it__and I am still learning__Life has no meaning. You bring meaning to your Life by being useful than merely wanting to be successful. It is not that wanting to be or being successful is wrong. But the pursuit of success often blinds us and takes us in the direction of being successful at the cost of others. Whereas, being useful, is what true success is all about.