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What brings you Joy: Realisation after interacting with people of 50+ professions

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Even before children understand the term profession they are introduced to the world of various professions by their parents. The simple phrases “my son would be a doctor”, “my princess would be an engineer” magically change their understanding of the world. The child unconsciously attaches himself with a particular word and if it is repeated a sufficient number of times, it can affect the likeness of this child toward this particular profession.

Some decisions change your life and my decision of identifying the perfect profession for a joyous life did the same. I was in Seventh standard when one of my teachers who had the habit of asking “what would you like to be in your future?, What’ your future goal?” uttered these same questions. At that time the answer to these questions wasn’t there and I listened to everyone who spoke before me. When it was my turn I casually told him that I would like to be a scientist. Being a scientist made perfect sense at that time, even when I didn't understand what being a scientist meant. I was the topper of the class and I knew scientists were intelligent people so the correlation was kind of clearly obvious. The answer that I gave that day didn’t affect how I lived my life later on but I can relate to how I selected those words (all those motivational and impactful words of the relatives screaming this child is smart and would be a scientist). The same teacher was assigned to us for teaching chemistry in the eleventh standard and this time I selected the word “Philosopher” without understanding what it meant and how the life of “Philosopher” is lived. But now I can see how influenced I was with “Swami Vivekananda, Lord Krishna, Osho, and Ramana Maharshi”.

Then I read the quote of John Lennon. His teacher asked him “what he wanted to be in the future” and he replied “Happy”. It made perfect sense to me when I finished my twelfth standard. Why didn’t I think about it? What’s the point of selecting any profession when you spend your life worrying, being sad, or stressed?

At that time I made it my goal to identify the profession that brings happiness and thus every choice I made was a way to have some options with me so that if I ever become unhappy, I can jump to another profession. And I can tell you that wasn’t wise. I started interacting with various individuals casually asking them if they were happy in their lives, what makes them happy, what do they resent most and if given a chance to change something would they go back and change their past?

I was surprised by how cynical humans are. They won’t respond to the answers directly. If asked, “Are you happy with your life?” .The answer would be a “yes” with tons of resentments that they have for the job, family and society. The same question when framed as “what do you think was the biggest mistake of your life, what would you like to change in your past?” would always secure multiple answers with deep breaths though they will still say they are happy. Interacting with people of multiple professions helped me understand a few things.

  1. Almost everyone is unhappy and it is “Not because of the profession they choose”.
Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Yes, let it sink. The profession doesn’t create happiness. I happened to interact with people who were happy being a primary teacher, being an engineer, serving in state police and I interacted with bureaucrats who are unhappy, resentful for the choices they made.

2. Some are happy and they have one thing in common “Gratitude”

Almost everyone had faced some uncertainties, downfalls, and tough times in their lives. The only difference is that the joyous people realised “how lucky they were for the good things” and the resentful people are still feeling bad for “what they faced”. The satisfaction in life was directly being influenced by their gratitude towards what they have and it is directly influencing how they feel about their life and their happiness.

3. Joy in profession comes when it connects you to your “Purpose”

Almost everyone lives their life by some values. There is a hidden desire to walk on those value parameters. Those values are influenced by our upbringing, our desire to create an impact in this universe. That impact is the purpose which wants to fulfill. Everyone feels their purpose will change the world for good and their desire of bringing that change is deeply rooted in their subconsciousness. The happy individuals have realised how their professions are contributing them to that “purpose”. Some keep switching professions until they feel connected with their “purpose”. There are some who have no awareness of how their profession is connecting them to their purpose and this is class that is unhappy, cannot enjoy their work, and feels unsatisfied.

4. Joyous professions enable individuality

Even when you are grateful and working toward your purpose you cannot be happy unless your surroundings enable you to live as a free individual. Everyone has their unique way of living, value system, wants, and desires. Joyful individuals feel their individual self is accepted, respected, and allowed at their workplaces and homes. The feeling of captivity, need of changing lifestyles, generalisation, and comparison with other individuals impact happiness and thus create a feeling of void.

Thank you for reading. Please share your comments, and understanding as this is not final but a process in progress to identify “what makes a human joyous”.



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