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My Dance with Pleasure and Purpose in life

About dilemma between pleasure and purpose.
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I am happy I read about the pleasure-purpose principle, else I would have been a ship sailing without a radar. The ‘ship’ here is my life and in due course gets closely intertwined with the ones you live with.


I know it is not about choosing one over the other; it is the equilibrium that is to be maintained. Have you tried taking a pic using an iPhone or any DSLR? It lets you know if the frame is aligned horizontally to the ground?


It is this delicate thin thread between pleasure and purpose. It’s ambiguous just like the debate between ‘art’ and ‘science’.


I let my heart lead, hoping it was not at the cost of my unclear long-term goals or maybe I was destined for. I started asking myself, why was I doing this - boredom from my day job or the endless politics at work that drained me? Or perhaps, it was the teachings of Osho opening a new way of seeing life.


Then there was meditation. When I began meditating, it wasn’t just a practice; it was an escape. A much-needed break from the chaos of daily life. It brought me peace, yes, but also a sense of detachment from my usual routine. And minimalism, oh! It clicked for me.


Embracing simplicity made me question the need for constant hustle. Though my spouse may not agree to the idea of me being a minimalist. This phase of my life was like it is directionless. I wonder if it was a journey without a clear destination. Sounds philosophical?


In my 20s, I often pondered if I truly wanted a simpler life or if I was just momentarily enchanted by the allure of a simpler life. Maybe my manifestation in my 20s was at fault. Back then, I loved my daily life as a professional leading an organisation.


This shift wasn’t sudden but a gradual realization. Maybe that’s the reason. The career ladder, once so important, began to lose its charm.


Why am I doing all this? The drive for professional success, which once fueled me, now seemed like a distant memory. Was it the wisdom of age, or a subtle resignation?


One thing was clear: my career ambitions were not what they used to be. I wasn’t chasing promotions or accolades anymore. Instead, I was content with the stability and time I could give to my family.


Was I giving up too early? I have my doubts. But then, I’d look at my family, their happiness and growth, and find reassurance. In them, I saw a different kind of success measured by shared smiles and moments of togetherness.


Recently, a term slipped out of my mouth during a casual chat with a colleague - ‘pleasure with a purpose’. This phrase, though spontaneously coined, started to echo in my mind. What did it really mean?


This concept seemed like a middle ground. But understanding it and living it were two different things. I preached this idea at work, yet found myself struggling to practice it.


This gap between words and actions began to weigh on me. It led to a feeling of regret, a kind of guilt that I wasn’t living up to my own standards.


How could I advise others about balancing pleasure and purpose when I myself was in a tug of war with both? This inner conflict affected my confidence. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned my integrity. It made me wonder, had I become too accustomed to just talking the talk, without walking the walk?


It wasn’t just about finding a balance; it was about embodying the very principles I valued.

There’s a belief I’ve held onto for a long time - words shape thoughts more than thoughts lead to actions. In my 47 years, I’ve seen this play out repeatedly. But recently, I’ve started questioning this belief.


Have I been putting too much faith in words, letting them direct my thoughts without leading to concrete actions? I realized that while I’m good at expressing ideas and mentoring others, I might not always follow through with actions. I ponder if I’d stopped at the stage of ideation, without pushing myself into the realm of action.


In the midst of this inner turmoil, I’ve started to miss something vital - the clarity I once found in meditation. Remembering the calmness it brought me, the way it silenced the constant chatter in my mind, I realize how much I’ve strayed. The meditation that once offered me a sanctuary seems distant now, like a forgotten melody.


How do I return to that state of peace? It’s not just about sitting down and closing my eyes; it’s about recapturing that that feeling.


Meditation was more than a practice for me; it was an experience, an intimate conversation with my inner self. Losing this was like losing a part of me.


As I strive to find my way back to this lost art, I understand it’s not just about the act of meditating. It’s about reigniting the feelings and experiences that came with it - the tranquility, the introspection, the feeling of being present in the moment.


Any path chosen or thought about isn’t always clear, but the learning never stops. I’m on a quest not just to find a balance but to live it, embracing each step with the authenticity that I am known for.

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