I am going to turn 25 soon and I still don’t have money, a decent car, a house of my own and above all, I am not married. I am not settled.
The best lesson my mother taught me was that of ‘To be a good human being’ which I adhere to, as much as I can. The most important thing (for her) that I didn’t listen to was to settle earlier in my life.
My relatives, friends and even my family has been narrating stories to me about people settling in their life. ‘Wo toh ab settle ho gaya’ is the new Indian Dream where the 27 year old guy is married to a pretty girl, living in a 1BHK Flat in Pune, Gurgaon or Bangalore and working in a cool MNC and doing a white collar job.
No offence. No hard feelings for friends who are settled.
But I don’t fit in this whole idea of settling down. I used to score a 96% in my 7th grade being a class topper. And suddenly, I couldn’t attend the next whole academic year because I was bed ridden. My score was a mere 63%. God himself unsettled the whole goody-goody life and threw me down to a place where I had to struggle to even stand on my feet. That life threatening disease, which weakened my body like a jelly, was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life.
I understood the importance of each day as I lived, I understood the true sense of gratitude, and I understood what it means to have your family and friends around you in your tough time. I was unsettled for almost 3 years. Struggling to walk, run and even perform normal activities. But I enjoyed every day playing cricket with my brother, watching some of the most amazing movies, reading books and talking to people who inspired me to follow my dreams.
Time passed by and I got enrolled in a college just 1 km away from home. But I also had an option to go to one of the India’s best colleges, which was but, in a different state. I still couldn’t manage to walk perfectly and was very prone to tripping over while walking. The best possible option was to settle for the college in the vicinity and live a peaceful life for four years. But, I wanted to get rid of the zone where people sympathised. I wanted to leave that parental comfort zone and happily my parents too encouraged me to opt for the other college. That was the second time I unsettled myself and took a decision which later proved to be really beneficial in the long run.
The 4 years span in college was when I actually did everything I could, without wasting even a single day. Getting my hand into something as controversial as politics to making a short music video or managing the cultural fest to starting my first company, I never settled for one single thing for more than six months. And in that course I made hundreds of mistakes, learnt thousands of things and experienced stuff that will help me throughout!
I got a job in a reputed consulting firm while I was running my own start up in the shittiest way I can imagine now. My parents were glad I managed this handsome package even after a rock bottom low score and sitting on the last bench for four years. May be this was the time to settle down considering even my start-up was on the verge of dying.
But the question was whether I actually wanted to do the job or not? But if not the job, then what??
That was the third time I opted to unsettle myself and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I took in my life. Idling around for a month, I got an offer from another company to work with them as a partner. At the age of 23 I successfully handled a project worth Rs 40 crores for over a period of 8 months and built a team of 30 people right from the scratch. I learnt to negotiate with people and learnt how to work on your ass day and night out.
One fine day I had to quit the project. The first option was to stay there and compromise on my values where people were less important than money and the second was to leave the project. I left. And I am still proud of that decision.
Since that fortunate day I am running a magazine and recently started a greeting cards portal. Shifted from a small city to the city where people say “dreams come true”, where people are running a marathon 24/7 and the city which never sleeps, Bombay.
I have not made enough money to preach about something or propose a theory but I am certainly happy with my life and proud of the decisions I have made, the decision to unsettle the regular flow of things just so that I can explore everything life has to offer me.
Life is like a railway track and it is up to you how you wish to travel. Do you want to be sitting in the comfortable AC coach , wondering how amazing would those green mountains be, how cool would that river water be? Or would you want to make an abrupt jump out of the train and leave all your baggage behind so that you could start walking bare feet to experience the lush green grass under your feet, the cool breeze brushing across your face and admire that big mountain which always remained unexplored?
Keep unsettling. It’s more fun!
P.S Apart from making people smile through our articles we also make some really beautiful paper greeting cards. Do check our collection on www.21fools.com/store Would love to have your feedback.
The Article was originally written for https://21fools.com