Voluntary serfdom; doing something other than what you’d most love to be doing

I often wonder about the percentage of people who can honestly say they are doing what they’d most love to be doing in life. I suspect it isn’t many, probably in the decimal points.

If you think you need this (money) to have that (ideal lifestyle), then what you really want is that and not this?!

I’ve just returned home from intense and inspiring London. I try to make it over there about once a year to visit family and I love the place. For a few days at a time that is. The intensity and contrast to how I normally live is astounding and because of this I can enjoy it to the fullest. Over the years I have identified a part of the capital’s population that I call wealthy serfs. These are people who spend the majority of their lives doing something other than what they’d most like to be doing and what keeps them in this condition is compensation. They are rewarded or compensated in a variety of ways, all of which are illusory in nature meaning that they have no substance and don’t deliver real happiness. The theory they hold onto is that one day they will buy themselves out of this lifestyle, retire early and then, finally, do what they really want to do. Of course this rarely happens mostly because of two things;

1. They get so caught up in the numerous forms of compensation, the comforts and luxuries, that they begin to mistake these for “the” real thing.

2. Over time they lose sight of the original vision. The calling of the heart has been thwarted and neglected until it is practically silenced.

The donkey chasing the carrot analogy comes to mind only I would add to it that in this case, the carrot just keeps on getting bigger and shinier but never actually closer.

This phenomenon is unanimously confirmed by the serfs themselves. My own brother, his friends and colleagues who work for some of the biggest financial institutions in the world, regrettably but without hesitation agree. In making this observation, I don’t mean to judge or hope to correct anyone. In fact, I am quite fascinated by and admire the accomplishments of these people but I cannot help to notice a vital component missing in them.

They lack inner peace and stillness. There is an absence of contentment, fulfilment and a general sense of satisfaction. They, like many of us in fact, do not realise that to acquire and enjoy more of the truly valuable and worthwhile things in life it is subtraction rather than addition that is needed. Removing the self created obstacles that prevent us from living in the fullness of each and every moment is actually far more important than trying to add, in whatever form, anything that we imagine ourselves to be lacking.

Life is far too valuable to spend it doing anything less than what you’d most like to be doing and when one awakens to this realisation a change becomes imminent. The good news is that a change of this magnitude from self-imposed bondage to complete freedom happens in an instant and does not come as the end result of a long and tedious process. When correctly grasped and taken full advantage of, the years of neglecting ones own highest ideals can act as the driving mechanism, providing the energy that ultimately compels one to make this most worthwhile step and finally live into the version of life and being that the true self has yearned for all along.

At the end of the day it is nothing but a choice.

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2 thoughts on “Voluntary serfdom; doing something other than what you’d most love to be doing

  1. Yes, the art is to listen to one’s heart to remember what your real dreams are, and to start making decitions to follow them, regardless the numerous other people who shoot your ideas down! Funny how people do this just as you start to folow your dreams, isnt it?

    • Indeed, to listen but more importantly to take action on it without fail otherwise its voice weakens over time, through neglect.
      About your ideas being “shot down”, it’s clearly a test that shows up without fail in the early stages of any endeavour. There’s a fine line between keeping things to yourself & letting others know about your plans in order to generate some energy & in my experience this energy can sometimes exhaust the idea itself.

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