HeyReaderPleaderSugarPlum. We haven’t met for a while now. Our correspondence has been in shambles, I know, I understand. But to tell you the truth, it’s been a really long time since I did anything that I derived happiness out of.
I quit writing on my blog, I quit reading, I quite writing for my magazine, I quit Pinterest, I quit watching Hollywood movies, I quit writing the newsletter at University, I quit writing my journal, I quit shopping, I quit watching TV, I quit using WhatsApp, I quit staying in touch with my friends, and yes, I quit doing a lot of other things that I usually liked doing. What was I doing? PLANNING to do ‘meaningful’ things that would add some meaning to my life.
So, yesterday night, I was lying on the porch and talking to a friend of mine in Delhi. It was not a tense chat, but it was more on the close-grained note. I was enquiring about how safe Delhi is for women, whether writers get paid well, if the accommodation is decent and other things like that. He answered patiently. He did.
He told me, “VAISHNAVI, YOU ARE JUST 20. DON’T GET STUCK”.
And I have a feeling that those words are going to change my life. For they already have. I cleared the mess in my head last night. Today, I texted twenty people if they were free to catch up. I scheduled twenty meetings this week. That’s what I like doing. Talking to people, exploring minds, finding myself through the conversations, smiling, reminiscing good times, having great times. That is me! And it feels good to have kick-started a new mission. It wasn’t like this until last night.
I wanted to create a start-up. Something that would touch millions. I’ve been thinking since an year. My friends have started theirs.
I wanted to top my university and make a name for myself. My friend moved in to first from fifteenth, and I’m still stuck at the fifth position.
I wanted to become famous, get into newspapers. I read about my neighbours each morning.
I wanted to get a wonderful job and become a millionaire. My cousins are placed at Google and Deloitte, and I am still lost in my siesta. I wanted to do so much, not because I wanted to; but because something told me that this was the only key to survival. TO COMPETE. To compete against all odds, and be the best. Everyone wants to be first. No one wants to be second. I was like that too.
The problem isn’t that failure scares me, it is the idea of being a failure that does. The idea of being rejected, or maybe, of being labelled one. And that is pretty much what is killing the world. FEAR. The fear of not being accepted, the fear of failing, the fear of not earning, the fear of dying – it is all such fears that drive us into doing things we wish to or maybe, don’t wish to do.
These fears drive us into the crazy rut of seeking and achieving perfection. We want perfect profiles on Facebook. We want flawless bodies. We want gorgeous clothes. We want amazing jobs. But what we don’t realise is that nothing is ever perfect.
For instance, right now, I’m stuck with writing an article about not being stuck. Isn’t that being stuck? Haha. Beats me how. So, why not be second and let the third be first? You sacrifice, you remain humble, you remain happy; everything is fine. Because everything is in accord. Makes sense?
So, I thought I’d tell you this. Success hasn’t got anything to do with skills or experience or knowledge or what renowned people say. What matters is ‘fear’ and how you conquer it. Rejection is the key to achieving your goals. It means you are actually doing something meaningful in life.
**Do you think twice before you go at the movies? NO. Because movies don’t matter to you. They don’t scare you about anything. They never instill any fear.
But now consider this. Does winning your favourite sport scare you? I am sure it does. The fear of losing, the fear of not performing well, the fear of earning a name, all this at some point crosses your mind. Why? Because it matters to you. It is meaningful.
So, yes, right now, publishing this post is freaking the living daylights out of me, because I fear deep within that some may not like it, some may disagree, some may be rude. But you know what, I’m still going to go ahead and hit the ‘PUBLISH’ button. For I read somewhere that irrespective of what you do, a third of people will like you, a third will hate you, and the rest won’t care.**
So, like J.P Morgan said, “A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.” So, stop waiting for the good reason. Because as good as it might seem, it is not the real one.
*Inspired from Antonin Archer*