Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Future Question

"Throughout the centuries, there were men, who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision."
Ayn Rand

"I don't know What to do next.....??"
"NO! That has no future....... I won't take it!!"
"It seems good, but my friends are not opting for that. Soooo...... why should I be the odd one out??"
"Yaaaaa!! I know i like it........ but you know my parents. They are like no and stuff like that."

These are the answers we generally give when confronted with questions of our future. The career questions.
That one six-letter word, which freaks most of us out. It is that one most important decision we should make, that molds our entire adulthood. A choice which decides whether our breakfast will be in Subway or at a roadside idly stand.
That's one important step to take. No wonder, most of us loose our cool in the process.
But still, I ask the question. Is it that tough? That confusing?
Isn't career supposed to be something we enjoy doing...... and also get paid for doing it. Isn't career like a journey to a whole new level, and not a destination in itself?
Isn't it supposed to be.......... a Happy thing!!!!

Still we feel, choosing a career is a big burden dropped down upon us. Some kind of a punishment, nature intended for us, for reaching puberty!
Where did it all go wrong?
Where did we lose the focus?
Why are we so scared of it?

Let's go to the beginning.
Did you know that there was a time when we were very clear about our future?
Remember the good old days! (Before puberty) The times when we were kids. Some big uncle or aunt would walk up to us and ask what do we want to be when we grow big, and we would like, with our cute voice say that we want to be a doctor, or a pilot, or a singer, or things like that.
I am sure, at that age none of us would have said "let me check the newspaper or ask my friends, to see which is having the "boom" now!"
Kids also never say "please ask my parents about my future. They are the ones who choose what's good for me."
We, so well knew what we wanted from our life, at that age itself! Our plan was already made at that time. It was so clear then.
Where did those days go?
Where did all that innocence and clarity of mind go?

But hey.... then we grow big!
We come to know that the world is bigger than we thought. We get to meet many people, see many places, and experience so many new horizons. So many that, we end up loosing ourselves in that crowd.
Gradually, the "change" factor sets in.
Our favorite songs, along with our favorite bollywood heroes......Change!
Our dress style, our eating habits, our relationships with the people around us....... Change!
So radical is that change that even our attitude, our beliefs, our method of thinking, doesn't remain the same anymore! So many influences from so many sides, make us forget our perception towards life. The lines we drew between right and wrong go haywire.
Bottom line...... We loose our focus.
The Result........ We don't know what we want to be anymore.

Then the day comes, after schooling, where we have to pick that specific course for our career. (Ex: choice for MPC, BiPC or MEC for 2).
I very well know what happens at that stage. All our elders, teachers, friends, and what the heck........ even cousins from America, come to our aid.
C'mon..... Don't lie!! I know what we all did at that time. Frantically, running here and there, trying to get the last minute advise before we turn our application in.
We don't want to know whether we like that subject or not. Our interest lies in knowing whether everybody likes it or not. Hence starts our ruin.

From there we jump to the "obvious" stuff.
"It's obvious Kedar...... I am doing my engineering now, so I'll sit for a campus interview, or write CAT or GATE or Whatever !!"
"Isn't it obvious Kedar........ Since I took BiPC I'll be doing medicine. What do you mean there other fields too? When you take BiPC, the only next logical step we have is doing MBBS. The other options are tough to pursue. You tell me....... What else can i do??"

There is nothing wrong taking the GATE, CAT, or the GRE if that's what you want to do. But doing it, as if that's the only option left to you, or it's some kind of an obligation forced upon you, then it's wrong. It's almost like murder, except that you are both ,the victim and executioner too.
Imagine, if your lifespan is for another 40 years, and you end up choosing something you don't like. Won't those 40 years become some kind of a torture for you?
Is that how you wish to live your life??

It can not get simpler than this.
Just do the right thing.

Everything starts from one small thing called as "Dream".
Have a big dream? The rest follows.....
A dream is nothing but a recognition of our wants. Our wants are the things which keep us happy all the time. Everything from our choice of toothpaste, to the friends we choose, is the end result of our wants. No matter how small or big that choice is, we should be able to appreciate it, and be glad that we choose it. Nobody wants a bad toothpaste or a bad friend!!
The same goes for your choice of career. Do not worry about whether it has a "future" or not. Become its future. Do not worry if nobody is taking it. You take it. Logical deduction is all you need.
If you are plain lazy, or just disinterested, then nobody can help you.
But wait! I see that you do have a burning desire to prove yourself. To do something, that will be worth your efforts. To be someone everybody can look up to. So don't just sit there . Go ahead and do it.
Just do the right thing.

The best part of the story is how this simple decision, if taken right, by all our youth can change the face of our country. Imagine India having Doctors, Engineers, Athletes, and CEO's working, not for the money or fame, but just for the love of what they have chosen to do. That would be more than enough for us, to become the super power by 2020.

Think about it. Anybody can tell you "How" to travel, but the "Where" to travel, is your sole decision.
There is a road with your name on it.
Walk it.
Claim it.