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Happiness Is Belonging

IT IS belonging and not belongings that bring happiness, as somebody once wisely said. This might seem a little unrealistic today in the face of blatant consumerism-- be it the state- of- the- art gadgets, automobiles or awesome sartorial creations, brandished at outrageous prices. But those who have seen it all do wonder... Each one of us at some point or the other looks for meaning, a purpose for doing things that we are doing especially in our work.

Most of us are bound by expectations set for us by our elders and peers. In the process of getting a degree, a job, settling down, providing for the family, one loses track of one's innermost needs. Maslow's `self-actualisation' remains just a dream. Fear of the unknown is the biggest impediment to realising one's true self. It also makes the status quo seem desirable. It hinders you from knowing whether you really belong on the career path that you have chosen. What are the signs that tell whether you like your job or not?

Do feel intrinsically rewarded? Are you satisfied by the fact that your basic needs are being met and your bonus is coming on time? These are signs of your job merely being a safety net. Do you feel a sense of satisfaction or relief when you return home at the end of the workday? Satisfaction denotes intrinsic gratification while relief shows that you are merely waiting for some other events to bring you happiness. Are you waiting? Are you making retirement plans way ahead of your retirement age? Are you simply waiting for your tenure to end in your present role? Are you simply in it for the money and the perks? If yes, then in all probability you will have to face a greater number of burnouts. You will rarely feel motivated enough to give your hundred percent to the project at hand and might be plagued by a persistent feeling of underperformance.

Are you living out other people's expectations? Most of us grow up trying to live up to other people's ideas of what is expected of us. So if you are thinking of chucking up a perfectly decent job to take up dress designing, then don't! For, even when we are desperate to make a change the thought of people's reactions inhibits us as does their admiration for what we are doing.

Are your interpersonal relations getting affected? Have you ever considered that you and your job could be a mismatch? This could give rise to career indifference leading to misunderstandings or instances of miscommunication. It will also lessen your degree of involvement.

Are you ready to persevere? If the thought of persevering in your present career generates more depression than enthusiasm, then you probably need to take a second look at the vocation that you have chosen for yourself. Indifference and apathy towards work sure spells trouble for any professional. Think— is there any other cherished vocation that you would gladly devote your working days to? Just recognising the fact that you are unhappy in your present position however does not mean that you quit right away. Financial management, familial responsibilities etc have to be considered too. A gradual change is more beneficial. An understanding spouse who is willing to bear the financial burden while you spend some time getting a foothold in the new field will help during the change. It is not going to be an easy path to tread but the freedom from regret that one has wasted life following someone else's dream, will be worth it.

DEEPSHIKHA MEHTA

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