A cousin of mine just got selected for the Indian Air Force. He got in through the NDA entry scheme, in which they recruit young boys out of school. He is just about 17 years old.
When I asked him what was his motivation behind joining the defense services, this is what he had to say – “I had seen a lot of doctors, engineers and lawyers in my life, but I had never seen a person working in the defense services. So I thought it would be cool if I could be one!”. He was also encouraged by the glamorous and romantic portrayal of the armed forces in movies.
What do you think of his reasons?
A lot of you might say that these are not very good reasons to devote your youth to a profession. Some of you might find them down right foolish.
But think about it, can we ever make a perfect decision in life? Do we ever know all? What you think right now and what you aspire for, may look silly 10 years from now. Life is such, we keep growing and learning. We will know more with every passing day, till we die. And even then, we won’t be perfect, and so won’t our decisions be…
You can never make a perfect decision
Does this realization paralyze you? How are we to ever make a sound decision? How can we save ourselves from making a blunder? Going wrong is OK with minor decisions in life, but what about the big decisions..? Career, marriage… what if you are in charge of the lives of many people? How can you afford a wrong decision there?
Here is the hard truth, you can never make a perfect decision. You can not escape blunders. You may try to avoid big decisions or responsible positions, but then you commit an even bigger blunder, by not letting your potential grow. You keep from the world what only you could have added to it. Doing so is an injustice to yourself and the world.
No, limiting yourself is not an answer. You have to allow yourself to unfold, to become the medium of something beautiful to happen. You have to do this, even though you know you will be making mistakes along the way.
Learn from wrong decisions
Doing our best in life does not involve avoiding wrong decisions, it does not mean we always make the right moves. It involves acting with the realization that we will make mistakes. It involves acting humbly and with courage.
The difference between those who drag through the length of life Vs those who live the width of it, is the difference between accepting wrong decisions as a sore Vs using wrong decisions as stepping stones, learning from them, growing with them. Let your wrong decisions lift you, rather than throw you into guilt and despair.
The most important question you’ll ever ask is whether the Universe is a friendly place. -Einstein
A lot of how you handle and react to wrong decisions will depend upon how you perceive the Universe to be. It’s a matter of perspective. If you believe that the Universe is an unfriendly place, where things will fall apart until you keep them from it, you are likely to try avoid bad decisions at all costs and be frustrated when you make them. But if you believe in a friendly Universe, one that is trying to urge you in the right direction, you will be able to take mistakes in your stride more easily.
Have faith, things will be well. Just do your best and then let go.
Being perfect is not in our hands, but trying our best is. Have faith that if you keep trying, ultimately things will turn out all right. Doing this not only ensures your best performance but also keeps you happy and at peace.
Aren’t things better the way they are?
Have you ever imagined what it would be like if your decisions were guaranteed to be right? What will it be like if you were perfect, you could never go wrong?
I’ll tell you, it will be boring as hell! I will repeat an example that I quote often, if you are to play a game and you are given a weak opponent, if you are sure to win, would you enjoy playing that game? You most certainly will not. Sports is fun only because of the uncertainty and challenge it involves. The uncertainty brings you to life, it brings your focus to the present moment. There is hope, there is excitement and there is total presence.
Allow life to be a worthy opponent. Let it be uncertain, even threatening and frustrating at times. Keep the adventurer in you alive and enjoy this game while it lasts.
In the imperfections of life, lies its perfection.