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Thoughts Of A Restless Mind: A Blurring Line Between Need And Necessity

Why are we in a rat race knowing that at the end of the day we are still going to be rats?

What an amazing lifestyle we follow (I am being sarcastic)! We get up early and run to the office (or get squeezed in the train, like I do!). Then we fight to get recognition in our offices, monetary gains and maybe a promotion. The evening we come back tired and snappy. We snap at our spouses, at our parents, and at our children. The next day the same cycle again.

Weekends are different, though. We get up late and laze around. Get some work done around the home. Go out, see a movie and relax. Then comes the dreaded Sunday evening. This little monster sneaks up on us around 6 in the evening. It has an amazing ability to take you from a hero to a zero in no time. The Monday morning blues hit you and bam! You are now in the office mode, thinking about tomorrow, presentations, pending stuff and what not. Gone is your weekend. Gone is your relaxed state of mind. You traverse the distance from a state of nirvana to becoming a nervous wreck in a light second.

In all this, we can easily figure out that we are like the hamster who is running in an endless loop in his cage. Why do we do this? Why are we in a rat race knowing that at the end of the day we are still going to be rats?

Again there are some personalities who are exceptional. They are insane workaholics, with a penchant to do better every day. They love the stuff they do and are exceedingly good at what they do. We get inspired by such people. How do they do it?

The answer is passion. They revel in their passion for their work. They like to be seen as go-getters and no achievements for sometimes drives them crazy. Some are megalomaniacs and border on narcissism. But they are good, damn good at what they do. But the true question is do you want to be like them? Do you want to be driven and drive others? What would happen if everyone was as passionate? Would we then be able to create life on Jupiter? Would we be able to have a bank account where the ATM says no space to display balance? Will our lives be perfect?

The answer, I believe is no. Everybody is not tuned the same way by Mother Nature. Everybody was not born passionate or cannot acquire passion externally. Not all the fingers and toes are the same size. Not all the trees give the same shade. There are so many examples to support this point.

I believe the answer to this dilemma is a balance. True success is your inner peace, a restful feeling that comes from inside. In this era of consumerism, the age old adage of spreading your legs according to the blanket you own stands out. The indiscriminate use of items like credit cards has led to a debt trap that is difficult to escape. Thus the key lies in living a life that is in sync with your earning and not pursuing a desire that may lead to the eternal hamster run.

Let me know your thoughts. Like the classic example of the chicken and egg, what do you think came first – The desire or the income?

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  1. Suraj

    January 31, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Very true. This must have surely took you a long time to put all of it together. Very nicely articulated.

    • Shivkumar

      January 31, 2017 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you Suraj!

  2. Udit Shah

    February 1, 2017 at 12:02 am

    The whole point of discussion is nicely worded. Commendable job. Everyone has there own passion the thing call driving factor. We as an individual need to figure out the purpose of our living, only then we can get out of this rat race. Since, once we move towards fulfilling our passion the efforts taken by us becomes non-monetary to us and there we can find the eternal satisfaction, which the money can never ever buy. Live life before life leaves you.

    • Shivkumar

      February 1, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you Udit. This means a lot!

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