Choosing Your Life’s Work

Janki Chopra, Vedanta Institute Delhi.

‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ was Socrates’ eternally valuable aphorism. A life that is not consciously designed is a life gone waste. And human life is precious….

But how do we examine our life, find our life’s work? It involves three steps.

  1. Choosing one’s swadharma: The first and most important decision we make is choosing a career or field of activity. It could be engineering, cricket, law, music, home-making etc. This decision should conform with our inherent nature. All too often is the temptation of taking the most convenient field available. This is disastrous in every sense of the term. It will give neither satisfaction nor success. It is an excellent rule not to get good at something you don’t want to do. No use travelling fast in a direction you don’t want to go. What satisfaction is there is doing a job one hates. And is there is no satisfaction how will one be consistent at it? If one is not consistent, how will one succeed at it? Knowing one’s swadharma comes with self-examination. Write down all your interests everyday for a week. At the end of the week there would be 7 lists. Look at them together. A pattern will emerge. That is your swadharma.

  2. Choosing a goal: Merely a field of activity is not enough. What would one like to achieve in it? What is the goal? What would you like to dedicate your life to? Earning wealth, name, fame, family? These motivations soon pale and are not capable of sustaining us for our elongated lifetimes. They cause fatigue at work. But when one starts working for something beyond oneself one becomes enthusiastic, motivated. There are no burn-outs, no voluntary retirements. One feels a constant sense of rejuvenation. Infact the English word enthusiasm comes from the Greek words ‘en theos’ in the spirit of God, i.e. something higher, nobler

  3. Determining actions: All actions must be in line with the goal. High thinking must be accompanied with right action. That everyday doing what you know needs to be done. That everyday right action counts for more than all the philosophises of the world. This is the final step, and missing this is missing everything. Until this is done the deal is not closed. It is only so much hot air.

3 steps to ‘fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run’ as Rudyard Kipling tells us, ‘and what’s more, you’ll be a man my son.’ A blessed life indeed.

1 Response to Choosing Your Life’s Work

  1. Francisco says:

    If intromafion were soccer, this would be a goooooal!

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