– Saniha Swaroop Hegde, I B.Com
“Today, being satisfied with yourself and your life is considered lowly and contemptible. People who are comfortable with their current state of affairs are labelled incompetent and even lazy.”
We live in a world of constant and cut-throat competition. But the question we need to stop and ask ourselves, is what exactly are we competing for? Most of us have, our whole lives, been asked to be better, to be the best. But what’s wrong with just being good? The fact that humans have unlimited wants and desires is neither a new nor an uncommon one, and yet we spend the majority of our lives trying to fulfill them, without even realising that it is efforts wasted on an impossible endeavour. Today, being satisfied with yourself and your life is considered lowly and contemptible. People who are comfortable with their current state of affairs are labelled incompetent and even lazy. We have attached such strong negative sentiments to mediocrity that anyone who doesn’t aim for the stars is looked upon with repulsion. What we don’t realise is that by treating these individuals as insignificant or inferior beings we are creating a sense of dissatisfaction and irritation, which leads to anxiety and oppression. What’s even more dangerous is that, unbeknownst to us, most of us are victims of this oppression. We rush through our lives always aiming and hoping for something better, something more, without appreciating what we have, without stopping to smell the roses, so to speak.
This trend of perpetually challenging yourself can, of course, be productive for some people. But having ambition, and having ambition forced onto you, are two very different things. Our society is such, that it cannot comprehend the idea of someone not wanting more, of people simply being content. Most of us have inherited our family’s unfulfilled dreams and whether it’s regarding our financial, personal or professional relationships, it’s been hardwired into us to thrive to reach the pinnacle of success. But what if one isn’t capable of enduring the long, tedious journey to get there, or simply does not want to? How about, if someone wanted to live on the slopes simply because they liked it there?
Being a Chartered Accountancy student myself, I know first-hand how the pressures of being the best can get to you. I have several friends who have put their passions, hobbies and interests on hold indefinitely, only to struggle for academic perfection. Music, art, sport, most things that interest them are sacrificed in order to score marks and get high grades. We get so caught up in the rat-race of life that we forget what we are living for. To say that we must only focus on what we want to do and what makes us happy would be hypocritical and wrong of me. I only ask that we consider the cost of everything we do. Is whatever you’re doing right now, everything you’re sacrificing, worth what you hope it will bring you in the future? Would it bring you more happiness and make you more content than living your life to the fullest at this very moment?
At the end of the day, all any of us want is to be happy. Whether it’s by working laboriously in order to achieve a distant goal, or by being comfortably fulfilled as we are, is for every individual to decide for themselves, at their own discretion, without judgement or malice. Live how you want to and let others live how they want to.