Thursday, September 28, 2017

Are You Letting Others Plan Your Life...?

For Teenage Children (and their Parents)

HOW TO PLAN YOUR LIFE 
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

ARE YOU LETTING OTHERS PLAN YOUR LIFE...?

If you travel on a road which others have built – then you will reach the destination where the road goes.

Yes – if you travel on a road that someone else has built – you will reach that destination which those who built the road want you to reach.

You will not reach the destination that you want to reach.

It is true  isn’t it...?

Since others have built the road on which you travel  you will reach the destination which the road-builders want you to reach.

In a metaphorical sense  it is the same with the journey of life too.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” which they want you to reach.

That is why – you must plan your own life according to the “destination” or goal that you want to reach.

Unfortunately  it is easier said than done.

How do you land up travelling on the wrong road on the Journey of Life...?

It all starts when you are small – at that age you are too young to understand things  and you are too immature to formulate your “Life Goal” 

The moment you enter school – your parents decide what they want you to achieve 

You parents decide the “destination” they want you to reach – and – your ambitious parents start planning your life accordingly.

Your teachers play a role in planning your life too.

And – you are quite clueless to understand anything – since you are too young to understand what is going on.

It happened with me too.

In Class 9  I was put in the “Science” Stream.

No one asked me my choice  whether I wanted to study in the “Science” Stream or the “Arts” Stream – because probably  I was considered too young to make a choice.

In our school – there was a simple rule – only those students who were “weak” in Mathematics – were sent to the “Arts” Stream.

Unfortunately  I was good at Mathematics.

Sometimes – it is a great misfortune to be good at something you don’t like.

Later  my parents, teachers and “well-wishers” decided that I must appear for the IIT JEE (IIT Joint Entrance Examination).

I cleared the JEE – studied Engineering for 5 years – I got a B. Tech. degree  and – I reached the destination that they wanted me to reach.  

They wanted me to be an Engineer – and – I had reached the “Destination (Engineer) – that  They had wanted me to reach

I did not want to be an Engineer. 

In hindsight – had I been enlightened enough  given a choice – in school – I would have chosen the “Arts” Stream – and later – in college and university – maybe – I would have studied Liberal Arts – especially Literature. 

However – I was never given a free choice – and – in acccordance to the plans made by others – I dutifully studied Science – then Engineering – and – I landed up becoming an Engineer – which I did not want to be. 

Sadly – no one ever asked me what I wanted to be – and since  I was never given a choice – nor was I given an opportunity for aptitude testing or guidance counselling – so – I too was was not fully aware of my true métier

So – I blindly followed the plans that others made for me – and – I reached the destination that they wanted me to reach.

The same thing happened during most of my working life too.

It was others who did my career planning.

After I joined the Navy – the HR Bosses in the Navy decided everything for me. 

The “Powers-That-Be in the Navy decided which Training Courses I should attend – they decided in which areas of expertise I should specialize  they decided on which ships I should be posted  they decided my shore appointments  they” decided everything

“Others” planned my career path – and I had no choice but to follow that path towards the destinations that they wanted me to reach.

And – I kept “travelling” on the “path” they planned for me  and  I duly reached the “destinations” they wanted to me to reach.

First  my Parents and Teachers planned my life.

Then  the Navy planned my life.

It was only after my retirement – that I had the luxury of planning my own life according to the goals that I wanted to reach.

No longer do I have to “travel” on roads that others have built for me.

No longer am I reaching “destinations” that others want me to reach.

Now  I am my own “Master.

I decide my goals – I plan my life  and I “build” my own road towards the “destination” that I want to reach.

But – I can do this only now – after my retirement.

Just imagine what could have happened  if I had been given an opportunity to plan my own life in school – and travel towards the “destination” that I want to reach – rather than forcing me to travel towards the “destination” that others” wanted me to reach.


WHO IS PLANNING YOUR LIFE...? 

What I told you – it happened 50 years ago – in the 1960’s.

I trust things have changed now  and young children are being given greater independence to decide their own destiny.

I really don’t know  so you tell me.

Are young children being given the freedom to plan their own lives...?

Or – are parents still planning the lives of their children...? 

Are parents making their children “travel” on roads towards “destinations” that the parents want their children to reach...?

And worse  are some parents trying to achieve their own unrealized goals vicariously through their children...?

If you are a young student  remember that you have to plan your own life according to the goal you want to reach.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” they want you to reach.

And once you have travelled too far down the wrong road  it becomes difficult to turn back  and you are left with no choice but to continue travelling  till you reach the wrong “destination”.

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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