I’ve always wondered – how would I feel x years from now about something that I did today just out of pure instinct or whim – would I even recall doing it? I don’t know. There are so many thoughts that cross our mind when we think of performing any action – more so in case that action might lead to some embarrassment. But with such inhibitions do we stop our inner artist from liberation and restrict ourselves to being just mere numbers on the face of the planet, or does it actually lead to a safer and saner society as a whole? I mean, of course, if everyone were to act as though they had absolute free will, then I wouldn’t have the means to type all of this, or even own the laptop on which I’m typing, or maybe even wear the clothes that I’m wearing. Well, I’m digressing too much, but was there even a definite topic to this post to begin with? Or for that matter, read the topic of the blog post, for crying out loud. This is just some space on one of WordPress’s servers that is being utilized by some twenty year old kid to type some text because he ostensibly feels that doing so helps him feels “liberated.” Okay, that’s too meta. I’ll stop from digressing any further.
Back to what I was (and am) contemplating. We all know that we regret having not seized past opportunities irrespective of their outcomes – for better or for worse. We just regret being passive when we shouldn’t have been. But we generally fail to realize how drastically our lives change when we make those seemingly small decisions. Oh, yeah, you might well be thinking right now that “this guy’s just stating the obvious in a fancy way,” and guess what, you might well be right. Keep your ego aside for a while though – I’m just laying a whole lot of stress on this observation, because no matter how obvious it is, we all slip up and end up regretting making most of the decisions we make. When something unfortunate happens because of any of our decisions, we all fall into that downward spiral and think of how different things would’ve been had we done only a small bit differently. Whether this counts as self-help or not, I know not – I’m just another twentysomething who “ain’t seen nothing of the big bad world out there.” Sometimes, kids might just be right with all their naivete, polluting the turbid seas of reality that we supposedly call maturity (idiomatic much?).
Consider this situation – you’ve been working hard towards something, say, getting that job or winning that inter-University league title, or whatever. Just something which makes you feel on top of the world for the first few weeks or so and then somehow makes everything seem uncannily normal within a month. But try to imagine that moment – don’t you wish it went on like that forever? You suddenly feel that burst of confidence just flowing through your arteries and veins – all those decisions you made, all that effort you put in – it all makes sense now, magically! What a terrific person you are! How you wish people understood you more and made you their role model! (Okay, fine, that’s overdoing it.)
Alas, like it or not, everything fades away sooner than you’d imagine. That’s part of being human. You get back to where you were in terms of your “general mood” with those sinusoidal ups and downs as they were before you achieved what you did. Fine, I’ll give it to you that generally you’ll feel a bit better off about yourself for maybe a couple of months, but seriously, after some more time, it’ll all die down. I’m sounding very cynical, right? Not quite. This post, fortunately or unfortunately, hasn’t reached its end yet. It’s at a very, very personal level. This is one of those times when I’m actually very serious about what I want to say (Nah, just kidding, almost. But seriously, it is something that I wish people understood better).
People generally attribute their happiness to their achievements, successes in life – that too, rather than focusing on how well they’re doing compared to their own former selves, it’s always got to be their peers. How better off am I than him? Am I making more money than the average/median? Am I falling behind them? These questions make each one of us uncomfortable. But we so easily fail to realize that it’s a trap set by our own selves; no one ever imposed it upon us as an obligation that we have to “defeat” someone else to be “successful.” Since we all die anyway, what’s the point of such a success, in which you’re so goddamn happy at the expense of people’s happiness in general? How would the so called “happy” person feel if he were faced with the situation from the “loser’s” side? Alas, again, it’s an issue related to being human – we simply cannot think from someone else’s perspective thanks to the infinitely many mental biases and experiences that we carry in a mutually exclusive manner. We tend to view the world through our emotional tint – we’re happy, the world is happy; we’re sad, and all of a sudden, “Why is the world so gloomy today?” So, in contrast to the situation presented earlier, suppose you go through severely turbulent times – everything starts appearing dull to you. You start doubting yourself, you start doubting the world – you feel as though what you’ve been through so far was all a sham. Well, again, whether you like it or not, the world is the world as it is irrespective of what mood you’re in. It’s just that you fail to realize this fact and start getting flustered by the smallest of things. All of this is very, very obvious, ain’t it?
Well, if it were, why are you so down or excited right now? NO, don’t deny it – you’re in either one of the two moods. Pretend to be apathetic if you want to, but you very well know that I’m referring to your mood being objectively happy or sad right now – or is it that I just feel so at this hour of the night? Whatever. My point being, we tend to forget the rational thinking process that we think we follow so ardently, and get swayed by emotions too easily, too often. Had it not been the case, the world would be a much better, much more peaceful place to live in today. We just need to get a hold of our selves, and not get carried away by small things that are just transient – every achievement or failure is merely a human construct, and we ought to treat it as no more than that. That’ll make us more comfortable being the way we are, rather than each one of us striving to be someone else just to get something supposedly considered a virtue. We ought to respect more the way we currently are. Since no one lives forever anyway, what’s the point of constantly making ourselves uncomfortable when unwarranted? Easygoing, must we be, and over-thinking, stop we must.