Our Physics book back in school described ‘Brownian motion‘ as ‘the erratic random movement of microscopic particles in a fluid, as a result of continuous bombardment from molecules of the surrounding medium’.
Now imagine this – You are the ‘microscopic particle’; the world is the ‘fluid’ and ‘molecules of the surrounding medium’ are the life events that weave you/push you/dare you/compel you/create you and temporarily make you into who you are. But why temporary? Because the process is continuous and stops only when one ceases to exist and hence, presenting before you – The Brownian Motion.
Isn’t it intriguing how each one of us is constituted of flesh and blood and yet nobody is alike. Our interests, choices and eventually our paths differ from that of the person sitting right next to us. What is it that makes us who we are? Let’s begin by reading a story.
Once upon a time there was a King named Śuddhodana who relentlessly guarded his son Prince Siddhartha against any form of suffering such as sickness, poverty or even unhappiness. Meaning, he never let his son see a poor, grieved, aged or a sick soul. He believed in his heart that one day his son will succeed him as a great king. This went on for about twenty-nine years until one day Prince Siddhartha decided to go for a walk to see what lies outside of the four walls of the palace. As it turns out, he did venture out that day and it took this one walk for him to give up all his mighty wealth and his king-size life. It was this one walk that transitioned him from a Prince into a Buddha – the world religiously follows.
In retrospect though, Prince Siddhartha never planned that walk to turn out that way. He actually went out for sight-seeing and probably had plans for a lavish dinner later that night. But while he was out, something caught him off guard, something he had never seen before – it was the poverty, the misery, the lack of sanitation he had never imagined existed that caught his attention and it was the impact of this unpreparedness that compelled him to make a life changing move and thereafter, he decided to give it all up to become a saint. A saint. To rags from riches and all twenty nine years of protection from his father gone as if they never existed.
A wise person once said ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’ and if you actually read this sentence twice, or maybe thrice, you will realize that the meaning runs deeper than what appears at the first sight. Although we spend our entire life planning and prepping ourselves in order to grow as an individual by attending school, college and attending to extra curricular activities but seldom are we fortunate enough that our formal education aligns with our deep-rooted interests. In reality, it’s the other things that catch our attention while we are doing all of these that become our interests and obsessions. Interests that are likely to keep us up at nights. Probably the plight of the poor did not let Prince Siddhartha sleep at night.
The example of Buddha quoted above is a bigger than life example and perhaps a bit dramatic. In today’s time and age ordinary people don’t follow such trajectories. They have seen it all but let’s pause and think: What was the last time something caught your attention? Something that gave you an adrenaline rush over and over again. In another instance of a friend of mine, it was the joy of cooking. While other friends invited other friends for drinks, he invited us over for food and eagerly looked at our faces as we took the first bite. The realization that he truly looked forward to cooking despite a tedious day came much later to him or probably he kept ignoring it as how is one supposed to tell their parents that look I want to give up my job because I want open a food truck in front of the same office that I am working in right now, damn the twenty lac Masters in Business Administration degree. Well, not many and so he gave up his job at one of the top multi national companies that paid him in six digits to open a food truck.
In another instance, Namita always wanted to be a dance teacher. As a child she tried Kathak, then Salsa in her teens and later Jazz in her initial twenties to realize that her body is actually cut out for Jazz and so it was Jazz and other contemporary forms of dancing going forward. It is probably safe to say that one of the chance encounters become our core passion. Core because this will be that one thing to which we dedicate our self the most and although it is completely normal to be fascinated by other interests after a period of time, it isn’t possible to each time put in the same amount of time and energy that it takes to master the art especially if you are a perfectionist by nature.
It is not an easy path though. Even chance counters happen to those who are brave enough to step outside their comfort zone. People who are willing to fail and be made fool of. Not everybody has the heart to take risks and as they say to put their eggs in one basket and this probably is the difference between you and the person sitting next to you. The difference that how much outside of your comfort zone are you willing to go or are you just happy dreaming about something before going to bed.
Most of the times we have to stumble multiple times on wrong things or rather the things that are not right for us before we finally hit the jackpot. In a way it is like diving into an ocean, the deeper you go, the more likely it is that you will discover something precious although you cannot be sure of that. However, you can be sure of not finding anything if you do not dive in at all.