This Or That ? The Contradictions We Struggle With
April 13, 2021
This or That? In our lives, there are many choices we have to deal with where we feel conflicted. What is more important- this or that?
The easy decisions are where the conflict is between what is right and wrong or good and bad. But how about those where both the choices are what you desire in equal measure. These are the choices that are seemingly contradictory and paradoxical.
- What should I focus on-Happiness or success?
From our childhood, it is ingrained in our minds that happiness comes from success. Work hard, achieve results, and you will experience happiness. But, as we grow and mature, the realization hits us that there is no relationship between success and happiness. Happiness is a feeling, while success is an external benchmark. The more we get attached to the idea of success, the more it impacts our happiness.
- Should I be ambitious or contented?
From the time we get into school, we are told to aspire to be the best, create value, and have ambitious goals. You got a 4.3 CGPA. Great, now get to the Ivy League college. Become a surgeon, get into investment banking, go for the jobs with the big bucks. In the same breath, we are also advised to be happy and content with what we have. Be satisfied with what you have. Don’t let your ambitions overtake you, we are advised.
- Should I be materialistic, or should I commit to a spiritual path?
As we transition into adulthood, life is an exciting journey to achieve material success. Becoming financially independent, acquiring cars, houses, and other exciting assets helps us convince ourselves that we are growing in life and achieving success. But somewhere deep down, you begin to see that there is something deeper that you seek to acquire—a sense of peace and balance and a deeper connection with yourself and others.
Contradictions happen in our minds because we get into this false belief that achieving one can only occur at the expense of the other.
Thankfully, this is not true.
Happiness is that feeling that can lead to more success. You can be content with what you have and still be ambitious with what you desire. Materialism and spirituality can be the two tracks on which the train of our life can move.
Life doesn’t have to be a struggle between this or that. It can be a balance of this and that.