Monday, July 11, 2011

Purpose of Life - Things on the Shelf

It does appear that the purpose of life seems to be to stack up things to do and do them. I realised that most everyone has the same primary stack of things that take up most of our time. Things in this primary stack are stuff that do NOT appear in the cute to-do lists, the bucket lists, of many people - these are 'must do' lists so they are not cute. They are tough, hard work. So whether you like it or not the first stack is - educate yourself, find partner, find job, buy car, marry, have kids, build house, educate kids...and so on. Not very interesting if you see what I mean.

The next stack is made of the things you would like to do. Say the hobby list. Travel, reading, music, movies, writing, drinking, eating, mountaineering, people...and all other things that come under the like-to-do list. These get lost somewhere, get postponed somewhere in the hustle and bustle of daily life. They are fun, something you like to do, but you don't have time and inclination and money to do it now. Later. SO they get postponed.

Now if you can marry this hobby, this thing you love to do and really want to, with the first stack, then you have something where you can spend much of your time doing what you want. You will not be the first in the world who makes a living off something you love. And here you have an opportunity to create a body of work, feel good about it, think creatively, and find a market for it perhaps. (Like Obelix finds a market among the Romans for his menhirs, something which he crafts so lovingly!) This is the ideal situation where you really love doing what you do and do it - you can join the Federers, Tendulkars, U2s and others who do what they enjoy and make tonnes of money too. Or be in an obscure village like Obelix and still feel like a million bucks.

If you do not have it to dive into your ocean, fine. Step back and do what you have chosen to do in the first stack with a deep love, because you have chosen this stack consciously. (You can use your hobbies to liven up your life.) But start creating a body of work in this first stack by living it deeply - the education, the job, the partner, the kids - and not behave as if they stopped you from doing what you were meant to. Satisfaction is not a sip of water or a fleeting kiss, it is a deep, long, intense drink of water, a kiss of the same nature. One must let oneself go deeply into what one is doing and craft each moment with care and love, speed and precision.

There is a greater satisfaction in ticking off the list. And knowing that there is a lot more to do on the shelf. The purpose of life would seem to reach that state when you feel like you have had your long kiss, cool drink - and you look around and smile to yourself. Ah, it was worth it.


Anonymous said...

Hari have to disagree here, life is not a set of lists you need to check off, its to be lived.

If you find something you like you dont just check it off the list and say you done it, you keep doing it. You like writing you dont say " done that" and check it off your list you keep doing it right?

Life is more fun if you take it as it comes at you. The good and the bad. Dont worry about the bad, just enjoy the good stuff. Even the bad stuff you will look back and may be even enjoy the memories some day. I know i have and you probably have too.

Life is not to be taken too seriously i think. You have only one just enjoy it, all of it.

You must forgive me for this long rant i have had one too many, and im enjoying it. Tommorow i have a long hard day at work, lots of problems right now, ask mama he'll tell you, but you know what it'll pass.

I just had a hard week, cracked my tooth had to pull it out. Couldn't eat anything for a coulple of weeks, but hey i lost more than 20 lbs. So thats great.

Went to a dentist that botched up my extraction, was drugged up with pain meds for two days. But ill look back at it and have fond memories of it.

So enjoy life all of it good and bad. Life is more, way more than lists.

Well im a have more jack and go to sleep.

Bye hari

Harimohan said...

Ouch. Madhav, sounds like a pretty tough week you have had. This is a new way of looking at no pain, no gain (actually you lost weight so we cannot even call it a gain that way)
I agree with you that it is to be lived. The list idea was to give one something to live for, things they care about, deeply - (for those who are finding it hard to fill time on their hands especially). For those who have enough to do and are clear about them - just do it and enjoy it.
Anyway get well soon and don't put those 20 lbs back in a hurry.

Rajendra said...

To list or not to list...that is my dilemma now...just kidding!

Harimohan said...

List and put the list in the shelf or shelve the list seems to be the dilemma we are in. But I am in a delicious position of having several books to read on the shelf, movies to watch, books to write about and things to do. Makes all the anticipation really enjoyable - mouthwatering stuff. And at the end of it all, life on the commune is something to look forward to. Imagine a Sreevardhan like existence everyday. Ah!