Have you ever noticed how we always ask the children “What do you want to become when you grow up?” It is always a question about a position or a result that he would want to attain. I have never heard anyone asking a child “What do you want to learn ?” There never is a question about the path and struggles one wants to take. In fact, we pose the same questions in the same way to adults as well. And adults have readymade answers as well. ‘I want to be a CEO’, ‘I want to be rich’, ‘I want to be on the front page of the Times’..simple answers, none indicative of what you actually want to do in the pursuit of that which you want to become.
The question in itself is innocent enough as is the answer. One will do whatever it takes to become what one wants. The way I see it, what it does is that it ties the future with a result, an expectation, a certain degree of certainty. And while it is wonderful if it works out, 99.99% of the times life will give you surprises and your future would not be according to your imagination (it may be as good or better but not the same as you thought). Also, it fills the journey to that never ending future with an anxiousness, a trepidation. But most of all, it strips you of your presence, of your capacity to be conscious about the moment.
But when one chooses to take life in the spirit of ‘What do you want to learn and do’, you can do nothing but be present in the moment. You will take the ups and downs and twists and turns with relative equanimity. You will be able to enjoy the process of walking as you move forward. And the result will almost always be what you would have wanted. The best part, however, will be that in the end even if the result is not what you wanted, you will know how to take it in stride and you will have enjoyed the process.
Is it not a win-win?