Over the past 3-4 months, several people have asked me what I am doing and/or what I intend to do. When I responded with a ‘nothing’ for the first question and ‘no idea’ for the second, I was given a lot of unsolicited albeit well-intentioned advice on my career choices and life choices. Everyone had an opinion. I got thoroughly confused. I thought and thought and I researched and researched. I spent so much time getting information in the hope that it will enable me to make better choices that I didn’t have time or energy to make any choices at all. Moreover, suddenly the number of choices increased from 3 to 303. I contemplated becoming a travel writer, a travelling teacher (apparently nobody wants to hire Indians to teach English), going back to being a corporate lawyer and a host of other things. The more I read, more I felt that things are hopeless and it is foolish to even try to do something different.
And so, I was even more confused and thoroughly disheartened. I was more stressed while doing nothing than I had been when I had a job. The advice and information overload was doing me more harm than good. I looked back at a time when I did not believe in reading newspapers and actually thought that the world was quite a decent place. And so, I went on an information diet. I told everyone to lay off me and to not give me any advice or ask me any questions, I stopped researching on the net and I watched movies and TV (no news!) and read pulp fiction and Vogue. I decided not to be hard on myself and to give myself the space and time to think and figure ‘it’ out. I was sick of all the pieces of wisdom/information floating around in my head.
Within days, I noticed that I was less stressed, much more open to ideas and on the whole, much happier. I had literally de-cluttered my mind. I was ready to welcome new ideas. I took decisions, focused on myself and spent hours introspecting. I listened only to myself though I did read a few blogs (See: Blogroll) and derive inspiration from there. I started averaging 2-3 ideas a day. I also decided that I am going to do exactly what I want to do and not what is necessarily wise.
Too much information tends to confuse and disillusion me. In my quest to do things the right way (preferably without making mistakes), I forgot that everyone’s experiences and expectations from life are different. There is no one formula which works. I would have to make my own way and just because 10 other people have not done it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Reading about how difficult it is and all the millions of tips and tricks (most of which are not customized towards Indian experiences) served absolutely no purpose.
- Know when to stop researching.
- Stop feeding myself a whole bunch of useless information.
- Filter information and learn how to apply it to myself.
- What works/ doesn’t work for someone else may or may not work for me.
- A lot of information out there does not cater to the Indian experience.