Feb 26, 2024
Feb 26, 2024
There is a tide
in the affairs of men
Which taken at flood
leads on to fortune
The entire life is spent
in shallows of misery.
These famous lines of Shakespeare aptly describe the human life in a nutshell as perhaps no other verse manages to do. Each one of us faces such a situation in our lives where situations threaten to overwhelm us and most of us develop cold feet at such times. Blessed indeed is the person who doesn’t develop cold feet. Often enough in life we encounter a situation, which calls for a conflict between heart and mind. That it is a choice between "want to do" and "have to do". In other words here is a chance to do what you always wanted to do but it isn’t the most practical thing on the earth, Risks outweigh the benefits but its where your heart pulls you.
What do you do in such a situation? You have just two choices and neither of them is exactly enough to make you dance with joy.
Go for "want to do". Listen to your heart’s cry, put in your best, face the risks and pray that you are right.
Go for "have to do" (better to do). Now you are on safe turf. Life is as safe as it could be but you don’t exactly feel on top of the world.
Experts advise going for choice A. Though choice B seems more practical and commendable at the start in the long run it is Choice A that pays off. This is due to the simple fact that when a person is doing something, which he truly loves, he puts in 100% more effort and his zeal to succeed is also considerably higher. Psychologists compare it with a man moving with his close social circle and his acquaintances. He goes through the motions of social niceties, the smiles, the ’how have you been’ s and the ’so nice to see you’ s. But in the latter case the smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes and the warmth doesn’t spring from his heart.
This is where the difference lies. In the latter case he merely goes through the motions while in the former he really means it, His motions become robotic and mechanical. He goes about his work in a maudlin way and has no real interest in it. In other words his spirit dies out. The latter case is just playacting and no one can put up a mask for a long time. After some time it starts to itch and you are forced to slip it away. It is at this point that the plethora of ‘could have been’ s begin to haunt you. In the course of pursuing the ‘safer’ path you are forever haunted by "I wish" s and "If only" s till at a point you don’t really enjoy the benefits of the safer path. The ghost of desire keeps haunting you. Maybe the same verses of Shakespeare could be put this way to describe human mind –
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at flood leads on to fortune
The entire life is spent in shallows of could-have-been.
More by : Smitha Chakravarthula