Last week, my friend and I decided to check in at a fancy new cafe for breakfast. A look at the menu card and we were lost for options. Two steaming cups of milk later, we decided to check out the sandwiches. She ordered a Peanut Butter – Jam sandwich first and began eating it. She relishes it everytime she buys it and gets teleported to an entirely different world when she eats it, as do so many of my other friends. I, on the other hand, was still debating between a Chilly Cheese sandwich and a Mixed Vegetable sandwich. But a glance at my friend enjoying her Peanut Butter prompted me to go for it too, despite the fact that I hated peanut butter. I ended up spoiling my appetite. Yet again.
This, I reflect, is not just the case with a simple sandwich. It is pretty much the case with everything you’d want to have, in life too. We, almost always, end up choosing what our brother/father/friend/neighbour/cousin thinks is good for us. Or someone else close has chosen it for themselves and has come out in shining colours. Or pretty much the rest of the society has gone for it. We feel the need to live up to their expectations. We feel the pressure to carry forward and build their reputation. And if we fail, or don’t prosper as high as the bar is set, we crumble.
What we forget is the fact that we are an entirely different entity, and what has worked for somebody else need not necessarily work for us too. What is somebody else’s choice need not be ours too. We have our own likes, dislikes and preferences. Each of us is unique and extremely special blessed exquisitely with different talents. We need to harness what we are good at, to the best of our potential and fly high.
What happens is, in the process of getting influenced, we begin to lose focus. We begin to lose track of what we want. We begin to compromise with what we get/what we are forced to choose. We begin to change. We begin to move on.
Anything we’d want in life, we have to learn to go for it and make it ours. Despite the chaos.
Let’s face it. There are and will be plenty of options. Options that tempt us. Options that allure us. Options that confuse us. And there will be plenty of people who’d be opting for so many of those and come out successfully. But let that not deter us from going for what we want. The key here, is to focus. To focus completely, totally and absolutely on just what we want. To focus on what will make us happy.
Because, at the fag end of our life, we wouldn’t want to be saying “I could have…”