Know your Strengths
For a moment I will backtrack to the foundation of the whole happiness map. Knowing your strengths are extremely important for anyone who wants to be successful. Once you are aware of the area where you can focus to grow, dream about, create passion in and get lucky with, happiness is easy and success is faster.
Now, this is a million dollar question, how do you know your strength?
It is certainly not an easy exercise given the fact that our society is primarily based on the fact that we live our lives on the basis of what others want out of us instead of what we want for ourselves.
“ Those who should guide us end up dictating us and forcing us to live and pursue lives which are not cut out for us “
I meet a lot of people around. In one typical case where a man came to me to apply for a job and ended up striking a conversation gave me great insight on how majority of our society work. In some cases parents are great motivators and truly take us to the path of success, while in some, they rob the children the capability to take their own decisions. This case was pretty similar where this man, I will name, as Jack happened to be. Jack belonged to a good family with father an engineer and his mother a socialite. When Jack was young, his father wanted him to be an engineer, just like him. His mother sure did wish the same, but she wanted him to be good at several things. Her problem was that when she met her friends, some children were good in playing piano, so she wanted Jack to learn piano and be better than the other children. Some other children were rank-holders in national general knowledge competition; she wanted him to be a rank-holder there too. She wanted him to be a champion in sports, a great piano player, good in general knowledge and the list kept on increasing as Jack grew bigger.
Jack did complain a lot to his mother, but she ensured that Jack was disciplined. On one instance, Jack did not score good marks in math, his father thrashed him and his mother made him work harder in math. Unfortunately, he started scoring even less in math and subsequently in other subjects too. By the time he reached his tenth grade, Jack was struggling to keep his passing grades intact, barely able to manage even normal instructions in class. In fact, he hated everything he was asked to do. It was obvious that Jack’s parents were worried about this reduction of his grades but instead of listening to him, started putting more pressure. To them, Jack was doing this to insult them in front of others.
Things became so bad that Jack would run temperatures whenever the exams came and almost every time he failed. This forced his parents to shift him to a boarding school where probably he was heard well. One of his new teachers in hostel asked him on what did Jack like and was surprised to understand that Jack was not even aware of his own likes and dislikes. The teacher and Jack developed a great bond and things improved. Jack liked making drawings and was very good at art. He spend hours sitting in nature and putting his thoughts on a canvas. His success in art gave him confidence to do better in other subjects too. Soon he opened up and started speaking in events. By the time he was out of the hostel, Jack was a better man again. He found his way in creative design and created a career for himself.
Jack was being used to satisfy the ego of his parents where Jack and his own feelings did not have any meaning. Had it not been for his teacher, probably Jack might have never discovered his strengths.
Looking back, I realized that many of us were subjected to similar treatment in varying degrees. Our parents and teachers who are our well wishers and had always wanted us to grow and prosper in life, ended up pushing and forcing us to follow tracks which they felt were better for us. Some of us were pushed to become engineers, while some other doctors as that would give us a better future and life. Somewhere, many of us forgot their independent existence and blindly followed what was being told to us. This leads to unhappiness for the rest of the lives, without our elders understanding that they had a part to play in this unhappiness.
Now when the time has been good to us, we must ensure that our next generation is understood well and given the right platform for them to grow in the profession of their choice. This will make sure the next generation is more productive and happier.
Happiness is matter of choice. In some cases we make it for ourselves and sometimes for our loved ones. Let us make the right choice.
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