A man’s actions are a direct result of his perceptions. And what a man perceives as safe and comfortable will guide the nature of his actions, for he is accustomed to the safe and the comfortable.
His motivations are often impure.
By impure I do not mean to imply immoral, but rather, eclectic, or a mixture.
If we examine this from the standpoint of commitment and drive toward a specified goal, we often find individuals who seem to work but fail to attain their goal. We have heard of the student who pursues one PhD after another.
Or the man seeking God who enters a religious sect.
Or the athlete who joins an academy.
There is certainly nothing wrong with attaining multiple PhD’s, entering a religious sect, or joining an academy.
But if we impartially examine the outcome of these tactics, I would not hesitate to guess that the multiple PhD student did not go on to greatness in any given field; that the man who entered the sect did not truly find the God he was seeking; and that the athlete who joined the academy did not make it to the professional ranks.
Certainly, success stories can be found. But they are extraordinary rare.
Why is this so?
I am compelled to return to the word, impurity.
Does the multiple PhD student wish to become a success? Partially.
Does the man who enters the sect wish to find God?
In a way.
Does the athlete who joins the academy wish to become a professional?
To some degree.
Why do I say this? Because those who truly wish to become, become. How do we know they wished to become?
Because they became.
There is a comfort in the process. There is a self-denial in the striving. The man who joins the group affords a degree of ammunition in affirming to himself that he truly wishes to become.
The groups, the processes, the sects, and the societies often serve as a haven of sorts. A shelter to assuage one’s self-doubt.
Those who become may use a group or they may not. But they view these as temporary stops on the road toward their goal.
While those who delude themselves see these as a comfortable abode.
The man who craves his goal sees it in terms of the now. And because he sees it as reachable, he performs all the preliminaries required to attain it.
The man who has doubt sees his goal as something that may eventually come. And because he does not see it as a certainty, he continues to rest (or hide) in the process.
Kapil Gupta MD.