Clarity after Tanking Three Jobs

Every day he would feel the same sense of discomfort. From the moment he decided to wake up till the moment he would decide to switch off for the next 7-8 hours. A sense of paranoia kept gripping him from time to time. He wasn’t able to place it exactly, neither did he know how it had started. He only wished he could make peace with this feeling as fast as possible because he wasn’t feeling comfortable. Constantly, he would feel as if he wasn’t able to keep up with everything ‘that was happening’ in the world. Yet, he knew that he had been less if not similarly informed at this time last year, yet the feeling that time had been one of excitement and curiosity. What exactly was the matter with him this time around? He felt like getting drunk.

Time and again, he would think he was fine. But what exactly were feelings and emotions anymore, when the fact was that nothing felt satisfying. Absolutely nothing. Each day, he would give ‘thank you’ to the lady who made his breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each day, he would give ‘thank you’ to the person who made his cold coffee the way he liked it. Each day, he would give ‘thank you’ to his wonderful friends who had stuck by him and continued to respond to him in spite of his lacklustre habit of failing to maintain any semblance of a decent friendship or a relationship. Every day, he would keep telling himself that he could salvage it all. That, everything would pass. That, nothing in life is permanent. That, for every joy, there was sorrow. That, for every victory, there was the inevitable defeat. That, for every boom, there was a bust. He felt his life was one long bear market. Where exactly were the bulls? He needed a pump. He felt like getting drunk.

His senses craved pleasure all the time. He kept ignoring it most of the time.

A professor on YouTube had once told him (and millions of others) that if he lived life based on the cravings and attachments borne by the sense organs, he would destroy his spirit and mind and lack any motivation to create value for others. Maybe he was on a bridge at the moment; a bridge connecting the surreal world of pleasure and the real world of value creation. He needed to reach the real world and in time, make sure that the bridge collapsed. He needed a seige weapon to destroy the bridge. He had been playing Age of Empires the previous night, where he had led a pack of 15 trebuchets to bring down one enemy castle and town centre after another. Suddenly, as if like a vision, he imagined himself leading an army of suicide bombers and letting them loose.

A few deep breaths helped. For sure they did. Because it took his attention back to the core of his physical body. It was so easy to die. Life was so fragile. A bundle of carbon-based lifeforms, constantly mutating and evolving for millions of years. Killing. Screwing. Doing things to and with each other. year after year, generation after generation. In better and better ways. What a wonderful story indeed. Quite bewitching to think about it, the so-called ‘invisible hand’ theory put forth by Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations published in 1776 sounded something similar, but for the masses of humans co-ordinating and exchanging value with each other in the form of goods and services based on their own self-interest. Writing from a Cafe in suburban Bangalore had its perks. All around him, people were making merry and talking about how society was currently behaving. Some joked about it and laughed. Some spoke about making money from it. Some spoke about meaning and purpose. Some spoke about current affairs and wished they could play an active part in it. Some spoke about ‘upper classes’ as if they were evil and loved to hoard wealth in underground bunkers. It was a memorable morning indeed.

Ideas and knowledge sharing helps in retaining some sense of sanity.

Without them, there seemed to be no aim or purpose. And indeed, what exactly was purpose? A sense of responsibility towards your blood kith and kin? A sense of urgency to solve problems and issues of society? A dose of inspiration to create a new product or service? As far as he was concerned, he had tried his hand at three jobs and tanked at all of them. What exactly was he up to, he had no idea. All he knew was the fact that, he did know what was going on in the world, he did know how to profit from it, he did know what to do, so what was stopping him from not tanking his sense of focus on a daily basis?

Writing this piece did help. He would start all over again.

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