Simple Solution: do what makes you happy, no really.

Rather than squandering precious time on things that does not matter in the long run. Focus on pushing for the experiences one would truly want in life. Forget social expectations and responsibilities, stop and strip them away for five minutes and then you’d see how clear thinking becomes. I’d surmised this much in my quest for happiness. How did I come about this conclusion?

Unsolicited opinion of a coworker that bordered on harassment and learning a similar occurrence had happened to a friend who lives across the continent in a different city. On both counts, the comments made were by men to women and the nature of these comments were of a personal nature that were in no ways related to work – whether the men had intended their comments to elicit reaction (either positive or negative) is not known but upon reception, it is clear that these comments were upsetting to the women. You can see where I’m going with this but that’s another story altogether.

In my case this had resulted me in minimizing my interactions with said coworker, not because I’m afraid of what he might choose to comment about next, rather – I didn’t give a damn. He is entitled to his opinions of me, sure, but I also have the freedom to choose whether or not to even register what he’d said to me – then life goes on.

My friend on the other hand was however less fortunate, she was clearly upset over the incident even some time has passed and it was affecting her a lot more than I had initially suspected. So I told her of my experience and how I dealt with the situation and came to the conclusion perhaps she’d given too much power to how people viewed and thought of her – and by extension, the fact that perhaps we, as a society, suffer from a debilitating case of ‘self-consciousness’.

Think about it, when was the last time you did something you truly desired that was outside the norm? Do you often find yourself going along with groupthink in a meeting, or perhaps agreeing with something because it was easier to conform with ‘conventional wisdom’ than to risk looking foolish by contributing your own thoughts? And what becomes of your private thoughts? What happens when you swallow them back, do you dispose of them completely or do live with them uncomfortably in silence? Have you ever wondered why?

Then more in depth, how much of your life is actually to your freewill. Did you go got college by your own aspiration to master a subject or was it simply societal expectations that one should receive college credentials to better contribute to society and hence generate income? Career wise, did you take a job simply because of the compensation alone? How do you feel after another mind numbing day at the office – satisfied about your accomplishments or dreading ever entering the workplace again?

I have to admit, after pondering over the questions listed above, it became clear why I felt the way I felt. And relating to my previous post ( the thing that differentiates me from my older coworker is not age, but the fact that I am deliberately trying to change, fix the problem before it’s too late – as I told him.) Finding the courage even in repeated failures and to live as if you had nothing to lose. Because you don’t – other than the air in your lungs. Permanence is an illusion, as is comfort – what is eternal is your personal growth – your triumph through trials and tribulations counts more than any material possession you could acquire. It is not the result at the end that makes a strong character, but the journey. And it is with this in mind, I presented this short term plan to myself.

  1. Keep the job.
  2. Continue learning.
  3. Travel.

But wait, didn’t you just say ‘do what makes you happy? why would you stay at a job that made you miserable?’ – to be continued.

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