Look in the mirror, what do you see? Before saying, “DUH! Obviously I see myself”, study your reflection in the mirror again and this time do it more closely. Is it really you? Look into your eyes; do you see life in them? Look at your face; is it a happy face? And if you are surely positive about all these questions then there is nothing to worry; your life is good, but if you seem to be confused or unsure then I am afraid that your life might be moving on a wrong track.
Now, when I say ‘wrong track’ I mean the approach that you are using to live your life might be wrong and hence, you probably need to revisit it.
I always thought I knew myself very well and whenever I used to read or hear about anything regarding ‘Being Yourself’, I used to give it a laugh saying “How dumb! If I wouldn’t be myself, then who else would I be?” I never understood why people wouldn’t be ‘themselves’? Why and how is it hard to be yourself? But then one day, I finally found the answer to all those questions and that one-word answer was “Alienation”.
How did the revelation come to me? Well, it was various Self-Assessment questionnaires that I completed for one of my courses during Bachelors, which showed me that the kind of life I was living; and the way I was living it, was not what I have wanted for myself in reality. I was forced to ask myself, whose life am I living? Why am I living this kind of life when I don’t want to? And that’s when I came to know that I was a victim of ‘Self-Alienation’.
I am sure most of you have read or heard about Karl Marx’s Theory of Alienation in which he has given four types of Alienation and Alienation from Self is one of these four types. I believe ‘Self Alienation’ is the worst thing that can happen to anyone; being a stranger to oneself… Just Imagine!!
So, how can we become alienated to ourselves? It happens when we indulge ourselves in worldly desires (like money, fame, career, etc.) so much so that we become robots and our lives become mechanical. We are so busy chasing our goals that we forget to actually ‘live’; we pass on days; working and calculating that how much we have achieved and how much is still left. But do you know what the most ironic thing is? It is that this chase never ends….and it never will. There is always a ‘more’; more efficiency, more skills, more clients, more improvement, more money, more fame, more, more and MORE! You just can’t free yourself from this cruel game.
Today we live in the ‘Survival-of-the-fittest’ era where everybody is trying to be more than Best and to do so, we agree to go to any lengths; work day and night, compromise family gatherings, give up our favorite hobbies, etc. Slowly and gradually, we become slaves of our dreams; dreams that are given to us by this materialistic, or should I say capitalist world. This capitalist world only talks about money and survival. Sometimes I feel very sad and disappointed; the majority of us are just living for material rewards without having an actual purpose for living. Most of us don’t even remember what things really make us happy. I bet most of us won’t have much fun stuff to remember on our deathbed. But you know what? It’s still not very late.
I agree money is very important for surviving, but it’s not bad to think about having some happy or fun moments with yourself or your loved ones. Make sure your life’s purpose is not to become rich, famous or any other materialistic reward, but it is to stay happy and to create happiness for people living around you.
So if you are working on your assignment which is due tomorrow and your favorite show is up on TV, just go and watch it…allow yourself to enjoy; you can stay awake for a little longer than usual to complete that assignment 😉