Sunday, February 8, 2015

Needs and Progress - 1

If we all stayed with the status quo there would be no progress in this world.

So many times, we say "just let it be" or "let it drag until it can" or "its always been done this way" and in hindi, "chalta hai" or "chalno do jaisa chal raha hai"....well, all these statements are of the people who are afraid of change; people who cannot see beyond their little world.

Why do we let the status quo stay? The biggest reason is - we are afraid.
  • Afraid of what exists if that status is changed.
  • Afraid of being the one who causes the change - because there is no doubt that a person who brings about change will stand out and be noticed. 
  • Afraid whether our decision is right or not. 
  • Afraid that we might have to stand alone.
So really the biggest deterrent of action is .... we are afraid of change.
People will stay in bad relationships, bad jobs, bad homes, cities where there is no opportunity to do anything...all because they are afraid of change. Why are people so afraid of change? (There are several books out there regarding this topic - most popular that I know of is "Who Moved my Cheese?")
  • They lack self confidence - If one does not have self confidence, comfort in one's own ability and intelligence then it will be hard to take that risky step. One should have the confidence in themselves to push oneself through hard times, or different times.
  • Lack of family support - we have always been taught "family is everything" "blood is thicker than water" etc...Sure. That is all good, but where are they when you need support? Sometimes they are the ones pulling you down.  Depending on your own nature, they might be tired of supporting you all the time, because you are a loser or troublemaker. But other than that, family also likes to have their own traditions and way of life. It is hard for them to look beyond those to help a family member who may want to try something different. They are also afraid of having a black sheep in the family, even though that black sheep is really just trying to live his dreams or just doing the right thing or just trying to make life a little happy themselves.
  • Lack of financial support - we need money to do certain things. If the financial backing is not there, then things don't get done.
  • Burden of responsibility - in some cases we are so burdened with responsibility that we just have to keep going on the usual path - there is no time to take that risky step to be creative or be happy.
And then there are always going to be people who don't mind the status quo. They are comfortable in it. "My friends did it, so I will also be okay doing it"; "This is how its always done"; "Why should I try something new". Or they will convince themselves that there is nothing better out there.

I will take marriage as an example since I had a poor one myself and have seen all kinds of relationships among my friends. Ask a man why he married his wife and he will say, "Everyone has to get married, so I got married too," (that is what my ex husband proudly said!!) Or he will say, "She can take care of me and my house....," meaning a housewife. It is certainly possible that he is genuinely satisfied with those qualities and he got married because everyone does. The most common reason for this is because he has not seen it any other way. His mother was that way, his female relatives are all that way, his friends wives are also all yea sure - that is how it is and it is okay. And for most part it is okay......until.....they meet someone who has it different.  His friend married for love, his wife is involved with all aspects of his life - personal and professional, both take care of the house and both can talk about issues that are important in their lives etc. And suddenly he may realize - "This is better. I could have had it too. I did not realize this was possible." And then the unrest begins; the relationship starts going bad; people start lying to each other, the husband starts looking outside to fulfill his needs.....and the poor wife may or may not be clueless about what is going on. On the other hand, he may still be happy with what he has - a housewife - because that is all he wanted in life. His does not need more than that.

The same happens for jobs status. We get stuck in a rut of a job because we are too afraid to make the move for a better opportunity. We think, "At least I am getting some money", "At least I have some status here", who knows what it will be if I move? The "at least" gets us down. It brings a sense of comfort to us....
I am commuting 2 hours to work - at least I am getting some money.
I am living at home with my parents - at least I have a home to live in.

This "at least" breeds the status quo. Once we convince ourselves that this is the best there can be - then we get into the rut of life. Then there is no progress.

So coming back to needs and progress: Our Needs Drive Our Progress. If we satisfy ourselves with the minimum needs and don't ask for more, then there is no progress in our life, in the society, in the world.  We will continue to be mediocre in life.  Great things happen only come when people take risks in their lives.

In order to see progress in our lives, we have to increase our need level, we have to ask "What more is there?" - once you start needing more from life, you will start asking questions, you may start seeing opportunities that will get you where you want to go. I do want to mention that your need level should be within your values and morals. No one person's needs should cause someone else to suffer. My needs should bring about a positive change not just for me, but for everyone.

One last thing to say about needs is the need for Romance. Yes Romance. Where does this fit in? When I am in love I feel I can achieve anything. It gives me the power, the drive, the confidence, the motivation, the support and most importantly the pure happiness that is needed for life to go on.  I will need more so I would be more willing to change when I am in love. Falling in love is a risky behavior in itself - we make ourselves more vulnerable to emotions...but that is another blog.  In love may mean different things to different people; it may not just mean love between two adults - it could also be the love of a child, the love of a sibling or parents. Of course there is no doubt that the love between two consenting adults is the major factor here.  It is driving force for a lot of many artists, authors and creators have been so because of some love they lost or found.

So....don't accept the status quo. Find the romance in your life that gives you the need to become better for yourself, become better for your family and eventually for the community. That will also increase your happiness index.

No comments: