What lights you up?
“Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?”, asked Lieutenant Dan.
“I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.”, replied Forrest Gump.
Many a time, in life, we keep looking for something. It could be a person, a meaningful career, a luxury lifestyle, spiritual solace, and many more. What we look for keeps changing but the need to try and find does not.
But, is that what makes us human? Rather I would put it this way, is that what makes us a living being? Should one keep looking for things or should one just exist? The answer is both.
For centuries now, we as a human race, have been able to make some tremendous changes to the world that we live in. Whether the changes have benefitted the society as a whole or not is a different discussion. But, nonetheless, it is agreed that these changes are a reflection of man’s curiosity and desire to find more.
While, why we look for is a question of self-introspection, what we look for requires an understanding of what lights one up. I do agree that not everyone or every time we do things that brings joy to our life. But it’s common that people are driven towards what interests them more.
Do you know what lights you up?
In the movie Forrest Gump, Gump is drawn towards many things that interest him. He finds passion for running and is included in the college soccer team, joins the US army, fights war in Vietnam, represents America in ping pong (Table tennis) against China, starts a shrimp business, mows the lawn, and whatnot.
Even though our life may not be similar to Gump’s (Can’t imagine fighting a war in Vietnam and mowing a lawn), it is at least true that there are many things that lights us up at different times in our lives. Here, we’re not talking about consistency vs a wavering mind. Rather, we’re trying to understand our desire to look for our varying interests.
Initially, we talked about whether one should keep looking for things or one should just exist and we arrived at a solution of doing both (without even establishing the theory). Seeking out for what brings joy to our life is the core of being alive. If we get a little philosophical, we could call it giving soul to our mortal self. In essence, leaving a fulfilling experience.
But how fulfilling is fulfilling? This is where the one should just exist part comes in. Sounds confusing? Let me clarify. While it’s important to seek out and find joy in our interests, we should also look for the highest possible experience that we could get out of it. And this requires us to persist with whatever we’re doing. Once you’ve reached the brim of the cup, then look out for other things that lights you up. For Gump did start a successful shrimp business only after receiving a medal of honour for fighting the Vietnam war.
Seek and exist!