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Discipline is a virtue that has been respected and adored for years. It has been a part of our culture. Deeply ingrained in our minds is the belief that we ought to lead a disciplined, worthy life.

However, there is a fine line between discipline and boredom, which can become inconspicuous most of the time. I have been striving to achieve discipline in my life, ever since I understood the meaning of discipline. However, it has now turned into borderline boredom.

Every morning as I make my morning tea and my so-called healthy bowl of cereal, I have had the same thought over and over again: “What am I doing with my life? Is this something I really want?” The answer is pretty straightforward: No. But the problem is that I don’t have the faintest idea what I really want in life. This is a struggle faced by many of the millennial generation who society would assume are well-settled.

We have a great job and enough money to live satisfactorily. However, our vision for the future is clouded and diminished by the tangles of disciplined boredom and the fear of keeping our own safety net intact.

Over the past three decades of my life, most of which was spent within the confines of our educational system and our cultural mindset, I have tried achieving all the notable aspects of a disciplined life. I would have to say I have mostly succeeded in my attempts. I now have a job that most people might consider respectable. I am an engineer and earn well, above average. In no way can I consider myself to be leading a bad life. But lately, I have been pondering whether I am leading a good life. I would like to address these thoughts to be the pangs of early midlife crisis.

Early midlife crisis is quite similar to the so-called midlife crisis, only it happens about 15 years earlier, give or take five. Being in this phase of my life, I have started questioning my apparently insignificant accomplishments in life, the long bucket list of tasks and items that remain and how there is no time for to complete them. There is lack of excitement and a feeling of resentfulness towards the life choices I have made so far.

Keeping up with my own generation here, I searched for the above symptoms and I had this moment of epiphany. Self-actualisation. This is the top-tier need as per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We have achieved all the other basic human needs, physiological, safety, love/family, self-esteem. My generation is probably the first that is dealing with the need for self-actualisation on a large scale and at an earlier age, as compared to previous generations.

Wow! Is this something to be proud of? Well, how can I tell, I am still struggling to actualise myself. If only there was an app. Sigh!

anima1221@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 12:21:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/looking-for-oneself/article26830509.ece

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