Today’s Youth – Do You Have Any Aim For Success?

by Mr. Ishwar Parmar | Chapter 1, Act 1

We often hear these words of advice, ‘Live life king size’ or ‘Live in the present,’ or ‘you have only one life’, so make the best of it or live it to the fullest. But do we know what these catchy phrases mean? Is it in our power to choose the kind of life that we ought to lead? We all live indeed, but is our quality of life commendable? How many people can say that their life has been a thrilling experience, a celebration? Is life offering us adequate opportunity to utilize our potential? On the other hand, life from the beginning to the end may be one long story of debacles, leading to frustration, grievances, and a never ending wait for cherished goals, for many of us. Why does that happen? Why is life devoid of happiness, satisfaction, peace, cheer and celebration, in some cases? It is time we looked within, in full awareness, seeking the reason for this joyless boring existence. A perceptible shift needs to take place, from mere existence to living life. Life is a divine gift, meant to be lived joyfully. So the causes for being deprived of joy must be probed into.

Life is lacking enjoyment as we hardly have any idea as to what are we up to. There is a dismal state of confusion, conflict and contradictions within, as regards to our purpose of life upon this planet Earth. By and large, there is an inability to recognize one’s aims in life, the attainment of which will bring peace and happiness in our day to day life. Without any definite goal to pursue, we tend to drift, and begin to imitate those around us. Without having any clarity about one’s own potential and abilities, we follow those who have gone ahead, and in the process waste our precious lifetime, trying to become what we are actually not. Since each individual is unique, his individuality must be maintained. An individual’s own potential ought to be recognized, while determining the aim, goal, or purpose of life. Clarity on these issues is important in ascertaining the course of activity in life. One must know one’s strengths and weaknesses, so that one can go on to lead life king size.

One must know one’s strengths and weaknesses, so that one can go on to lead life king size.

Today’s youth is also facing this confusion while making their choice of line of study, career, aim in life, choice of spouse, or settling down in a particular way of life. They seem to be doing a lot, yet the end result of leading a joyful life is rarely achieved. In the material, external world there is a rat race, leading to high levels of stress and strife experienced in the internal world. Thus they are all the time moving farther away from the ultimate goal of being happy. There is a constant struggle to exhibit one’s worth, with little time to enjoy and experience that blissful happiness which is the true essence of life, the outcome of right intent complemented by right activity, with God’s grace. Consequently, the youth suffers from an identity crisis, without realising their worth, and running around without purpose, all to no avail.

Life has become very artificial. Images are maintained, people do not live. In a world where people are ‘image conscious’, more heed is paid to what people and society will think, rather than what will satisfy the inner being within. The prime concern for today’s youth is their status in society, or the opinion of friends and relations on any issues concerning them. They suffer due to showiness outside and non-enrichment within. They are all the time endeavouring to prove their worth to the world outside, but rarely to themselves. Their obsession with social media is a manifestation of this kind of behaviour. Sometimes, images are carefully constructed on Facebook, posing to be modern and westernized, sometimes internal family matters are also thoughtlessly exposed. But if their parents did the same, exposed them, it would invite their offence. The youth exhibits double standards for themselves, hypocrisy and duplicity of character.

Choice of educational institution:

It is necessary to choose the institution for learning judiciously. At this juncture also the youth finds itself in a state of utter confusion. There are various factors that lead to the choice of educational institution, such as status of the institution, or the presence of members of one’s own group of friends there. But a student’s main concern ought to be, firstly, convenient distance between home and educational institution, so as to enable him commute the distance easily without wasting much of his precious time. Secondly, it is important that the institution should be accredited to be a good seat of learning, offering focused approach to study, permitting little scope for distractions and going astray. Thus, while choosing our college we must have our priorities right.

Consideration of factors in choosing a career:

Choice of career indeed is a big decision for the youth, especially in today’s world, which is full of multiple options. All aspects must be thought over carefully, taking into consideration what exactly one wants and what will give maximum satisfaction. There ought to be clarity regarding the motive of employment, whether it is expectation of monetary benefits and the pay packet it entails, or pursuing one’s own personal interest and talents. Often we end up opting for monetary considerations, sacrificing our actual interests or aptitude, leading to dissatisfaction, frustration and unhappiness ultimately. Compromising on one’s dream is painful. The basic needs of food, clothing and shelter can be fulfilled easily, but when greed for wealth, status, showy living to impress others, jazzy cars and bungalows arises then one has to settle for money, at the cost of work satisfaction, fulfilment and happiness. This brings about dissatisfaction and shallowness.

Role of religion in setting the goal:

Understanding of religion, customs and rituals, and the dos and don’ts involved in it cause a lot of confusion for today’s youth. They have an attitude of non-acceptance. Consequently, instead of inducing love, togetherness, cheerfulness, enjoyment and celebration, now religion, customs and ritual are shattering society, causing stress, conflicts and unhappiness. Different segments are constantly striving to prove “my religion is greatest.” As far as following age-old rituals and dogmas are concerned, the modern youth, exposed to high levels of education, does not find it logical and realises the futility of it all. When these are imposed upon them by their families they rebel, causing a conflict within the family. There is confusion regarding the extent to which religion, customs and ritual be adhered to, whether they are to be accepted as it is or modified and developed to suit today’s needs, or ought to be rejected outright. Religion is meant to create peace, not to create bitterness. Birds fly, animals live, rivers flow freely, without any religion binding them.

Other’s certification for validation of identity:

Confused and unsure of himself, today’s youth seeks validation of his own identity on the basis of another’s opinion or approval. The need to assert their individuality is glaring. ‘I’ seems to be losing its identity, overwhelmed by others around. Every individual is unique. Why should others dictate an individual’s life? An individual is one who is indivisible and does not look at himself through other eyes, does not go out of his way to impress others. He does not race with others, instead chalks out his own path to follow. The youth must strive to realise their self-worth and be great in their own right, without being overshadowed by others.

Importance of healthy and satisfying relationships:

It is very important to enjoy healthy and satisfying relationships for getting positive vibrations, living in a congenial atmosphere conducive for a successful life. But the youth is confused, torn between modernity and tradition. Their attitude of non-acceptance, wanting everything on their own terms creates conflicts in their relationships. They are unable to strike a balance due to their uncompromising stubbornness. Traditions attract them, but modernity is fascinating. In a partner they expect outward smartness, high education, outgoing and working lucratively, but with traditional values to fit into the family. Little do they realise they are being self-contradictory in behaviour. It is easy for them to condone their own past blunders, but when it comes to getting a partner for themselves or a near and dear one, then the past record needs to be flawless. These double standards exhibit their selfish attitude and flawed understanding of an individual’s nature and human propensities. All are combination of good and bad. If we choose to see what is good, a relationship could be happy and long lasting. No one is perfect in this world, then why chase the illusion? To relate with the other person, see what is good and with the right attitude and appropriate treatment, a good relationship, worth enjoying, can be maintained.

What is success?:

Success is a highly relative term. What do we understand by success? Is it abundance of material possessions, name and fame in society or realization of any other dream? A successful life is one that provides an opportunity to the individual to live to the fullest, enjoy the gifts one is endowed with and those showered upon by nature, such as good health, a healthy and positive bent of mind, a heart full of resplendent energy and enthusiasm, renewed and recharged every day. It would be a boon if one is able to use his potential to the fullest for leading a life for one’s own peace and happiness. Success eludes us because we have not ascertained the aim of our life. We tend to wait endlessly for that moment of success to come, without realising it is not to be in the distant future, it is today, that blissful moment is now and here. In moments of minor success, we need not react and rejoice loudly, we should be composed and peaceful, full of gratitude to the Almighty, grateful for having been able to achieve it. Pause to recognize this precious moment, or else we would fail to take note of it, and rush in haste to strive for something else and again be in an endless wait for that to come.

Importance of clarity in thinking and sound reasoning:

To improve this bleak state of confusion among the youth, clarity in thinking leading to a firm resolve in ascertaining the aim of life is required. Their decision is to be backed by a sense of purpose, reasoned out judiciously, to be enforced with shrewd alertness, and working towards it ought to generate happiness. The activity involved would be enjoyable right from the very beginning, providing satisfaction and happiness. There would be no waiting for the results in order to experience satisfaction. If the beginning of an activity finds me at peace with myself and happy within, happenings in the external world will be insignificant and will not blur my vision. With greater clarity of purpose I will get empowered. Clarity will ease confusion, give comforting vision and peace, paving the way for success.

Purposeful aim of life:

Today’s youth must ponder over the purpose of their life by raising the question, “What is the aim of my life?” At present they seem to have made it their aim to compare themselves and their material possessions with friends, relatives, neighbours and any other they come across. Comparison is a negative tendency, limiting and reducing a creative happy person to a jealous and angry competitor. The urge to be number one in everything one does is unreasonable, because we all have different levels of potential, different strengths and weaknesses. When one tries to struggle to be number one, without having the potential or inclination for the activity, he does not get the desired result and the effort ends up in utter frustration. There is no satisfaction or peace. Instead of feeling happy, there is dissatisfaction and bitterness. The rat race creates a mechanical, boring existence, with little enjoyable time for family and friends. By the time this realisation dawns, it is a bit too late. Many precious enjoyable years of life are wasted in toiling to get fat pay packets, higher career graphs, a bigger house and bigger cars and bigger dreams. An important part of one’s life is lost, running around, without knowing the purpose. Therefore, an aim or purpose of life ought to be such that pursuing it should be an end in itself, a permanent source of satisfaction, peace and happiness. Ascertain an aim and pursue it with great passion, under the guidance of experienced, successful people in the field, so as to make life a satisfying and enriching experience.

Running after astrologers and tantriks offers at best temporary relief. Confused with themselves, knowing little peace or happiness, the youth seeks comfort in pubs, dance bars, alcoholic drinks, fast food and drugs. They are directionless, as the confusion persists, and they are vain and experience a void within. They are misled into seeking happiness outside, whereas it lies within. The inner world needs to be looked into, rectified and healed. For this purpose proper guidance and support of an experienced, genuine mentor is needed along with one’s own introspection. When healed within, you will succeed in the outside world also. The mind will not waver, and there will be clarity, right vision, peace and happiness.

Self-realization, learning and knowledge of the self is essential.

God is a concept evolved to help you attain permanent peace and happiness under His kindness and protection. According to Vedanta, Brahma within is the finest energy, which is always present in us and which is all-knowing (fully knowledgeable). By relying on Him, through meditation upon Him, one can attain lasting peace and fulfilment.

Self-realization, learning and knowledge of the self is essential. Ask yourself, “Who am I ?” Begin to learn about the being you are. You will eventually realize that peace and happiness lie within you, nowhere outside. The fact is, these attributes cannot be purchased by any amount of money. Seek them within yourself.