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    Hi Wilson,

    First off, please know that you are not alone in feeling what you feel.

    I understand what you mean when you say you have no real internal motivation to do anything for yourself. You feel like you have to be driven by external factors, to do what is expected of you, so that you can earn approval and therefore feel better about yourself. For eg: you feel like you MUST accept your parents’ pressure and MUST act on it and therefore you SHOULD BE trying harder – and then you can’t find the motivation within – so you JUDGE yourself and think of yourself in a negative light. You feel like you are letting opportunities go by, opportunities that other people have taken, and then you berate yourself even more. You are comparing yourself to others – other colleagues, friends – and wondering why your life is not like theirs. Even though you’ve made the effort, you haven’t landed up in the same place as them.

    You start off saying “I’m 28 and still living with my parents.” As though living with your parents at age 28 is a ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ thing. if you look below the surface, you’ll find that that is another one of society’s expectations and judgement. Society expects you to live on your own by a certain age, and if you are not then it labels you as ‘bad’ or ‘failure’ or whatever other silly label it uses. The same goes for marriage. Everyone around you is married, and parents and society EXPECTS you to be married to – and when you are not, you feel that expectation and judge yourself for your ‘failure.’

    When you really sit down to think about it – our entire lives are lived in order to meet the expectations of everyone around us.

    And when that starts to feel overwhelming, just STOP and ask yourself these things:

    1. What do I expect of myself? Remember, leave behind what parents, friends, boss, society, college etc etc expect you to become. Ask yourself – how can you be better today than you were yesterday?

    2. What works for me?
    There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ there is only ‘what works for you’ and ‘what doesn’t work.’ All the other rules laid down are irrelevant. Use your intuition, your feelings, to help you answer this one. When you are going about your day, right from making coffee in the morning to working on an excel sheet to eating dinner – pay attention to how you feel. You’ll discover that there are so many little things in a day that make you feel good, make you feel nice.

    Please also read this :

    Remember, at the end of the day, it is YOUR life. You get to choose what to put in, what to take out.


    Hi David,

    First off, I thought I’d let you know that your post was EXACTLY what I needed to read today.

    I distinctly remember a couple of months in this year where the ONLY question burning me up was – what is my purpose? what is it that I am supposed to be doing and why haven’t I found it yet?

    At the same time, disillusioned with the world of employment, I quit my job, taking myself out of a conflict-zone and really focused all my time and energy on seeking Inner answers. During this time, my eyes were also opened to the reality of this world – the madness of the rat race, the misdirection of ambition and how, in the end, how very futile it all seemed.

    In the course of looking for answers, I attended a spiritual retreat. It was there that I asked the guru the question – How do you find your purpose? And he responded, “to understand your purpose, understand your motive.”

    That was one sentence that stayed with me.

    For some time, I briefly flirted with the idea of leaving the material world as we know it behind, and embark on a spiritual journey. In that manner, I would remove myself from the nonsense that working for someone else’s dream can sometimes be – I would never have to compromise on anything ever again, and I would be on a “greater” journey, as compared to those who were running someone else’s race.

    Then today, in my inbox, was a quote from the guru. (Quick note: He’s someone born into a Muslim family, who left his family behind to travel to the Himalayas, study the Vedas and seek the Truth. He now runs a spiritual organisation called The Satsang Foundation ( He’s known by the nickname Sri M.)

    Sri M said, ” In this material world – earning one’s living, going through all the problems and travails of worldly existence, mundane existence, is a very necessary step to learning about spiritual consciousness and evolving to higher levels of consciousness and in fact there is nothing wrong with it.”

    It was then that I understood my MOTIVE – I wanted to escape the real world, by using spirituality. That’s when I also realised it was not the way for me.

    I was also reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and he devotes a chapter to Purpose. And he said something beautiful – as long as you have found your Inner Purpose, the Outer Purpose does not matter. The way I interpreted that was – as long as I understand myself, and grow myself spiritually and personally, then what I do for a living and hw “important” or “awesome” it is in the scale of things does not matter.

    Another realisation I recently arrived at was this – everything you need, you have inside you. All the answers, the skills, the courage etc etc etc – it is within.

    And that is precisely what you typed (perhaps unconsciously) – Am I trying too hard to find what may of been there all along? You’ve already realised that ‘it has been there all along.’ You just have to allow that answer to rise into your consciousness. I’ve come to understand that the mind needs something to chew on constantly, so even my genuine quest for purpose had become a piece of mental chewing gum.

    I didn’t want to join the real world again. I still haven’t. But the one thing I have stopped doing is TRYING to find answers.

    The only thing I can tell you with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY is this – stop trying. just be still, be calm, and let it come to you. and it will. Nerdy Creator is right – don’t worry about finding ‘IT’. Don’t waste your energy in trying to see the destination, and only then start walking.

    Wait. And take it step by step. Don’t bother about “failure” – it’s not real, just a weird parameter created by the world to limit your definition of yourself.

    Wish you love and luck on your journey. Keep walking. πŸ™‚


    Hi Michelle,

    Yes, I absolutely understand what you mean about everyday reminders. I’ve started to spend even just 5 minutes every morning in silence and prayer…and I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter whether I pray to an external deity or meditate upon my inner self – it just matters that I start to train my mind into a few minutes of silence. Else I find the mind can spend hours thinking about itself – it’s like a never ending loop! And yes, I am slowly learning to trust my first instinct, my pure instinct, the thought that emerges when I am not in a state of heightened emotion. That answer is the right answer.

    I’m afraid I don’t have an iPhone – I’m one of them Android peeps πŸ™‚ Still, I would love love love to use your app once it’s on the market.

    A friend, with whom I was discussing this feeling of restlessness, said to me – very often, we KNOW the answer to the question of why this restlessness. We just have to have the courage to DO what the answer demands of us.

    I posted again, at the end of all the replies. I’d love to get your response on my latest update.


    To everyone,

    Thank you for all your insights and advice. I’ve been reading in and taking in what resonates with me.

    I’ve narrowed down on 2 critical things that are making me dissatisfied with this job.

    1. There is zero creativity in it. It’s a managerial post, where there is zero room for creative anything – creative writing, creative problem solving, design etc. There’s no scope.
    2. I am not growing my skill set at all. Coming from the new, dynamic space of digital media, which is constantly changing and growing each day, I have somehow jumped back in time to having to create publications and leaflets. I’m not using my most recent skills, nor am I growing them.

    To be a little more open about things: I’ve moved from a creative space (my last 2 jobs were in the spaces of digital advertising and lifestyle journalism) into a corporate communications role.

    I’m struggling with having no outlet for any of my creative sides – even the style of writing required at this job is more academic than creative.

    It’s a completely alien environment for me too. I work with a not-for-profit which works with government bodies and bureaucrats – that is a world of which I have no knowledge of how it functions, nor how to understand and interact with it.

    I’ve been thinking about this dilemma the past few days and I’ve finally figured out what it is that makes me want to quit this job. I’ve realised I need some creativity in and around my life – I’ve always worked in jobs that allowed me a creative outlet.

    I’d really really like to know your thoughts on how I should approach this.


    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for such an honest response. I do feel like I’m on a path of self-discovery, and it leaves me feeling very unsettled at times, almost as if I’m living with a stranger in my body and mind. This process of honest introspection started a few months ago, and perhaps I have not given it all the time it needs, to complete. That’s a big guilt factor I’m dealing with – I feel like I should have taken more time off and spent it in quiet meditation, to further open up my spiritual world.

    Your path sounds similar to the one I’m on – I’ve dabbled in 3 different verticals of the media industry, each time hoping I would find ‘it’ to settle upon. One of my biggest self-discoveries was this – I can do a job, but not a career.

    When you say that you got back in touch with yourself – may I ask how? What tools did you use, that helped you look beneath all the layers of conditioning to uncover who you really are? I started that process when I was bedridden with a kidney problem – but now that I’ve returned to “normal” life, I find my self-awareness slipping at times. I find that my personal growth is slowing down. How do you keep it going?

    I’m looking forward to your response. Thanks again, for being who you are πŸ™‚


    Hi Midge,

    What you’ve written above describe my current situation perfectly. I’ve spent the last 8-10 years working non-stop, without paying any attention to my personal life.

    After putting in and withdrawing my resignation thrice, I finally had the courage to go through with it. All through the process, one part of my mind kept asking, “what are you going to do with all this spare time you are heading towards??”

    I also identify with Scott when he says he keeps changing his mind and questioning his decisions. When I finally put in my papers, I felt relief. I am still serving my notice period – but every now and then, doubt creeps back up – I question whether I’ve done the right thing or whether I should stick it out even though I’m not enjoying myself. The thought of being out of work gives me great anxiety – at the same time, I have another offer on hand and I feel reluctant to take it on.

    I’m unsure how to make good, sound decisions anymore, with regard to work.

    Any advice?

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)