I am just out of high school, and I have come to realize what I really want is completely out of my family's standards. I come from an Indian family, where the standards are extremely high. Like in most Indian families, I am expected to become a doctor or engineer. To please them, I followed a course in high school for science and mathematics.
I did reasonably well, considering the toughness of the course, and everyone expected me to continue on this path. However, I met a wonderful man who is a teacher. He made me realize I would love to do something to work with people. My family, however, would scoff at that. Also, I have fallen in love with this man.
I know my family will never approve as he is Italian and not the rich Indian they envisioned for me. In spite of it all, I love my family. I don't want to disappoint them or fail myself. What to do?
Sati, one verse in the Bhagavad Gita might be freely translated, "Your path, no matter how humble, is better than another's path, no matter how exalted." That sentiment is not wishful thinking or a pipe dream. It expresses a profound psychological truth. When we do what we know we should be doing with our life, we envy no one.
The problem with following a path not your own is that the problem never goes away. Some people who are forced into a course of study they do not like fail several subjects or get caught cheating on a test. It is not that they lack ability or that they are dishonest; they subconsciously act out what they cannot consciously face. Other people finish the course of study and feel not success but sadness.
Another person who faced your dilemma was Eknath Easwaran. As a teenager in South India in the 1920s, Easwaran was told by his family, "India needs engineers." Though Easwaran had the ability to be an engineer, he knew it was not his calling. He resisted his family's entreaties and became a successful professor of English in India.
Successful lives often evolve into something which was never planned, and in his 50s, Easwaran moved to the United States and began teaching people how to leave painful memories behind, live fully in the present, and discover their unique contribution to life. As he said, he moved from "education for degrees to education for living."
Your family wants to secure your future, rather than trust the future. They are hardly to be blamed for wanting a secure thing, but the world does not need another uncaring doctor or bored engineer. Though your path may be difficult, it is still your path. And like Easwaran's life, your life can evolve from what your family now sees into something which expresses who you are.
One of Eknath Easwaran's favorite stories was about Mahatma Gandhi. Once, as Gandhi's train was leaving the station, an American reporter came to him and asked for a message to take back to his people. Gandhi scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it back to the reporter. What Gandhi wrote was, "My life is my message."
Wayne & Tamara
Hi. I was asked and accepted a date with an older man. I am 20 and he is 29. He has been married and divorced and has children. I still find myself attracted to him more than anyone I've ever met. Is nine years really such a big deal as my friends make it seem?
Vanna, on an unpleasantly warm day, people often say, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Hot, humid weather feels worse than hot, dry weather because sweat won't evaporate. His age is not such a big deal; it's the ex-wife and children. Your friends are concerned that "humidity" will have you sweating.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of March 8, 2004
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
Confidence Building Steps That Work Like Crazy!
Self-confidence is your assessment of your own self-worth. It plays a large part in determining your happiness through life. So how do you create confidence? Well here's a surprise - you take action! If you don't currently have much self-confidence, let's explore the options on how to cultivate this trait within your life.
How A Sense Of Wonder Makes Life Richer
It always amazes me when I meet someone who has a disdain for expansion of knowledge.
One Woman?s Story of How Her Smile Increased Her Confidence
For one who takes pride in being involved with different community organizations, possessing a high level of confidence is essential. Especially when that involvement includes speaking to large and small groups requesting donations for numerous non-profit organizations.
Hope For Those Sexually Abused As Children
PART 1: Warning - This article may be inappropriate for younger readers. Please seek the permission of a parent or guardian before reading further.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of January 5, 2004
Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 14, 2002
Inspirations: Even More Things Ive Noticed Along the Way So Far
Some people live in and talk about the past so much it's as if they are "planning for the past."
The Beauty of Life
"An unexamined life is not worth living."-- Socrates
Being Relatable in Todays World as a Christian
There are reasons we cross paths with those that we do. Sometimes its SO obvious, because we have walked a mile or two in what that person is going thru. But other time's we scratch our head and wonder why. In any case, it's important to be relatable to those around you in life.
Winning the Thought Battle
If you have read my articles or heard me speak, you know that I always comedown to action. We need to act if we are going to be successful!
The Power of A.S.K.ing
Have you ever had the opportunity to follow-up on a sales lead? Recently, I had such an opportunity to reconnect with an organization that I had been trying to secure as a client. Due to some new events and after multiple unreturned phone calls, I decided to ask for the decision maker within the department. After receiving the executive's name and finally making contact, I explained who I was, where I was from and how I could add value to their training request. A planned 5 minute telephone call turned into a 30 minute engaging dialogue where I learned even more about their needs and was asked in return if I had the experience to facilitate a second, separate engagement.
Life is what happens to you, while you are making other plans. ( John Lennon )
Beautiful Day Blues
The massive orb dominates the aqua crystalline backdrop of its own making, floods its rays on everything below. The sky devoid of a single cloud seems as empty as I feel and the beach looks like an arid desert, molded by tireless wind and blazing heat. I picture myself atop an Arabian camel, parched with thirst, crossing an unforgiving series of never-ending dunes, up one and down the next, no rhyme nor reason, only the nose of the animal in front of me.
A Key In Hand Is Worth A Thousand On My Desk
A key fault I have, and I can only talk about one fault at a time, is the tendency to get busy. I often find myself chasing my own tail. What I will do with it when I catch it is beyond my understanding. However, this notwithstanding, I fall into the trap time after time of getting too busy for my own good.
Remember when you were really young? It was an era of inconsequential innocence. Even at this age, your imagination was larger than large. Seemingly effortlessly, you concocted boldacious thoughts and dreams. You could pretty much imagine and then do anything you set out to do.
You Dont Find All Drunks in the Gutter: The Story of a Functional Alcoholic!
Today, August 22, 2005, I am clean and sober for eight years which simply means today I am still an alcoholic and on this day I will choose not to pick up a drink. If you look at me today and compared my appearance to eight years ago you probably would not notice much difference (with the exception of a few more wrinkles). Back then I had a pretty high-powered job with a good salary and was working towards my master's degree. Today I work as an administrator for a church and I am developing a life and leadership coaching practice. I am not attending school I am teaching at a local college as an adjunct professor. My life is probably just as hectic now as it was eight years ago. So the question is besides not picking up a drink what is the difference between then and now?
An Extraordinary Person
I am not going to tell you the story of an extraordinary person, who did remarkable things in life. Why should I? Are you not an extraordinary person? What do you think about yourself? You possess all the assets of an extraordinary person but, unfortunately, you are not an extraordinary person because you don't think so.
Something About Nothing
Buddhists study nothing because they have found that you must know nothing before you can know or create anything.
Anam Chara - Healing the Heart Matters
Are you prepared to make your heart matter? Are you prepared to feel whole, happy and healed of any heartache?
Discover The Magic Of Doing What You Love
Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it's business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don't love what you're doing and you can't give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You'll be an old man before you know it.~ Al Lopez
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