I am one of those book readers, who continue reading multiple books at a point, might complete a few, keep the others hanging for months, and then get back to them and finish in one go or not at all.
I am also the kind of reader who is inspired by what I am reading; I become what I am consuming. This means I can be a stoic, a marketing expert, a prince or a murderer at one given time, improvising on what is taking up more space in my mental fortress.
With all this, and so much more content available with infinite scrolling and at ease switching, I am mostly engrossed in my own conundrums. For instance, let’s talk about today. I came across a quote by Jim Rohn — “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practised every day.” It makes sense and feels right too. Next, I read about Karma, and how your previous life’s deeds can also make you successful. Of course, the baseline of both of them can be the same; you might have had good practices every day in your previous life, and you are getting everything in place because of that. Suppose you didn’t do well in your previous life and did everything right in this life. Then what? Mr. Jim states that just because of your sheer bad luck, you don’t get what you deserve.
Think of someone right now who is as good a cricketer as Sachin Tendulkar was. He has practised his shots for hours, if not days. This boy has promised to do wonders for himself, his family and his country, but there is a small problem. He is in Afghanistan at present, and his father is against the rule of the Taliban. Now, he might or might not become the best batsman the world will ever see, but also a child who his family might never see.
Imagine mulling over several such questions all the time. Should you hustle, or should you live a life as if nothing matters? Is money essential, and financial planning should start with the suitable investment and saving so that you can reap the benefits of compound interest, or should you enjoy the best food and travel across the world because of FOMO and global warming?
Also, when you have read enough philosophy, there is nothing right and nothing wrong, but you must do the right thing, and how the real purpose of life is to live for others and the true meaning of happiness is something else. You are confused about what you should do, absolutely befuddled. Now you consume more. A writer from the 18th Century mentioned- nothing matters, so you are about to leave everything and go with the flow. Then you read another quote- family is significant, and you have the responsibility of taking care of your family, religion and nation. Also, the Nation (India, in my case) is apparently the biggest religion, and I am supposed to love my country. But my mental health is important.
Actually, nothing is more important than yourself. Your well-being is what comes first.
Then you think you are not as crucial as your motherland and that if a time comes when you must die for your country, you should be ready. But then while reading history, you have realized that most of the people who have died for a cause have become meaningless in less than a decade. Even the supposed to be Father of our Nation has some interesting allegations in his name.
People who believe in God and people who don’t, both have some fantastic points. For that matter, if you look at any argument from both sides, of pretty much anything and everything, you will know, after considering both the perspectives, that they are both right. Or maybe they are both wrong. Even worse, you realise that one is only half-right and the other one is only half-wrong. A point here and a point there, and someone can win the debate, but the more you consume, the more you reason. And the more you reason and look for logic, the more you are confused. So much so that you might as well end up being confused about what you were initially confused about.
Is everything simple enough now or even more confusing?
I am sure Google has a million pages to answer my silly (but not-so-silly, after all) questions. There might as well be an insightful Ted Talk available on YouTube, which can quickly solve the mystery of my moronic dilemmas. There are books written on why we think the way we think and why we are confused the way we are confused. And then, of course, a group of people would ask me not to take the pain of even bothering about all of this.
I am all of them and also no one.