I have believed, for a long time now, that there is a job that will make me feel happy, that makes me look forward to Monday morning, that makes me feel I am doing something worthwhile, something that uses all of my potential, something that expands me.
When I got out of college(even when I got into one), all I was looking for in a job was that it should provide me with enough money to make me financially independent. A few months into my first job, my search changed into a quest for a job with money and recognition, and then to a job with money and recognition and moderate working hours(and no weekend work). The goals have kept evolving.
I have been through three jobs in the last five years and each one has been more satisfying than the previous one. But this satisfaction does not last for an extended period and I started thinking what do I really want from my job.
All of my efforts, I now realize, were directed towards the same goal, I want to be happy, genuinely happy, from the inside out. The quest is far from over but the quest in itself is quite interesting.
All of us seem to be ultimately striving for the same goal, we all want to be happy, genuinely happy, from the inside out. We might think it is money that we want, or the right mate, or recognition, but they are all a means to happiness. I think this simple point is lost on a lot of us. We start believing that money or the mate or recognition to be the ultimate goal.
Realizing that happiness is the ultimate goal is very liberating.
There is this widespread belief that money can buy most, if not all of our happiness. And since everyone is vying for it, there is a shortage of it and I have to fight to get it. This belief starts the fight in us to look for more and more money, so much so that many people identify it as their life’s goal. Money is important but only to the extent where it can provide us with our basic needs.
Happiness, if we look around, comes from different sources for different people. We need to ask ourselves what we really love to do, what we are passionate about. This has to be carefully separated from what the others might tell us is the best thing to do. This is not to be taken lightly. Our minds gets conditioned from our childhood, to believe in what we have gathered from around us. To break out of this cage requires a strong, conscious and deliberate effort. You might have been told that you do not have what it takes to succeed in what you love. You might believe that what you want to do won’t generate enough money to provide for you.
None of this is true. You create your own reality. What becomes of you is not what others think of you, its what YOU decide for yourself. Even if what others said happened, it was because you accepted what they said. The universe is listening intently to what your heart says. It will bring it into being, whether it is your fear of failure or your desire to realize yourself.
The path may not be clear in the beginning but your strong intention will bring it into being.
As an example, I will narrate an incident from my life. In my first two years as a working professional, I had a strong desire to come to the US, both to earn more money and to experience the life here(which, at that time, held a strong pull for me). After about 2.5 years of service I got the chance to come over and work on an ongoing project for my company. The project was about to go live. I was ecstatic. But when I came here, I realized that the project was in a bad condition and required long working hours. I would be up most of the night working on my laptop and then report early to work. It was in no way fulfilling or satisfying. The project slowly got in a better shape and the work pressure lessened. One day, I was so tired in office that I fell asleep sitting on my chair. My manager woke me up and said that he was not very satisfied with my work and expressed his shock and disagreement at seeing me sleep. I told him it was not intentional but he was not satisfied. He removed me from that project. My company did not have another project available for me in the US and asked me to go back to India. It had only been two months and I really wanted to stay.
My colleagues advised me to go back and wait for the company to send me again. But I just did not feel right going back, I wanted to stay. I was a little afraid. This was a new country for me. I was on a work visa and with little money. My company got me a ticket to fly back in 3 days. If I left my company and did not find another employer, my stay would become illegal and I would not have enough money to buy a ticket back. Everybody said the sane thing to do was to go back.
I knew I really wanted to stay. My mind told me I have no certain path to follow if I leave my company. I took a leap of faith. There was a guy, a friend of my friends. He was working for another firm that might be interested in taking me. I asked that guy if he could arrange me an interview. He asked the people in his company and they interviewed me the same day. I cleared the interview. Next morning, I called up my bosses to tell them I was leaving the firm. They warned me it won’t be easy to find another employer and that their were several companies out there to con people like me. I still did it. Till date, it is one of the best decisions I have taken. The work environment is exactly as I had imagined. I have much more freedom and do more of what I really like to do. I even earn more money. Even the move from Charlotte, NC to New York, which then seemed painful because I was leaving a lot of friends behind, has been really fruitful and I like it here.
To me this incident(and many others) revealed that you only need to believe in what you want. You don’t need the exact formula for doing the right things, they just fall in place. The universe is just waiting there to reveal it to you. Even the bad phase when I had no money and there was some uncertainty about the integrity of my new company(I did not know anything about them when I joined) was liberating in a way. I just went on my intuition.
The universe has an abundance of things to provide us with. We just need to believe in ourselves and the universe and strive to follow our heart’s calling. The universe will sense our will and help us realize it. That is the basis for true and lasting happiness. What’s more, the more you focus on the things you love, the more the universe takes care of you, including the frivolous things such as money!