Aim of the experiment??

Since the last many days i’ve been troubled by a question: What do i want from my life??
And i have absolutely no answer. None at all.

Do i want a successful career? Yes, i do. everybody does, i suppose. I want to be good in whatever i do. I want to be a good scientist. I want to do some earth-shattering research. Ok, even if there is no earth-shattering involved, i want to do something meaningful. I want to make a difference in our understanding of stuff.
Well, nothing very different from scores of other ppl in research.. this feeling is exactly what brings us and then keeps us in science, where there are hardly any rewards other than satisfaction (the once-in-a-blue-moon thing which follows some rare experiment which somehow worked!). Still, we do love what we are doing, and that’s the only reason we do whatever we do.
But does that mean i want to follow the typical route: PhD-post doc-post doc (?)-faculty-lab-grants-students-politics-confusion-average scientist in an avg inst/unv doing avg science?? No. it doesnt seem to be too appealing..

Is science the only thing that i want to do in life, though? No. However much i love it, there’s something else which i m (almost) equally passionate about.. my country. The more i think abt it, more i realize how much it matters to me.. I have absolutely no idea how and when, but i want to do something for my country. I want to help improve the state of affairs there.. I want India to be the best… somehow! I dont know what i m going to do.. i dont even know whether i can do something abt it or not. unlike science, which at least i understand (to a very very small degree), i dont think i have a real estimate of the magnitude of this problem, and how to go abt solving it. and unlike science, i dont know if i would really be comfortable and happy doing it, when i eventually get to do something real. But like science, i feel a strong passion and urge to do something whenever i see/hear/read things about my country i m not exactly proud of.

Then again, is my professional life all that matters to me? Definitely not. Even though my academic capabilities (however little they are!!) are the only thing that has stood by me, and supported me always, it is definitely not enough to make me happy. With time, i’ve realised how important it is to have somebody by ur side.
And with time, my believes abt how things should be have received serious blows. Being a dreamer, i always believed in finding my own knight-in-shining-armor. My own prince who was supposed to come on his white horse. But no, it turns out that Prince Charmings dont exist. More and more ppl i know are falling out of relationships that were supposed to be life long. And funnily enough, more and more ppl are “settling” for parental intervention. A very good friend, and a fellow believer in finding “the perfect match”, told me last night that he likes somebody.. somebody he met through the “standard arranged marriage route”. And he believes that this is finally going to go all the way. I am happy for him. I hope things work out for u, AV. You are a great person, and i hope great things happen to you. I’ll miss u, though..
Anyway, coming back to the topic, every bit of information about friends and their relationships raises many questions about my own life.

Were my ideas all wrong? Is finding “the one” that difficult? With a life style like ours, where we typically dont meet many new ppl very frequently, is it even possible? Are the passing birthdays making us more and more cynical? Do we have unrealistic expectations? Or are we just not “good enough”? Should we just give up and agree to the arranged marriage system? How long should we wait before we give up?

Well, i dont know. I have no idea about anything that is important to me.

In school we had to make these science “practical” notebooks, where every new entry had to start with “aim of the experiment”. I’ve come a long way from those practical notebooks, but i’ve also come a long way from having a proper “aim” in life. Somehow, the path gets hazier with every single step i take..

Where am i going? And more importantly, where do i want to go??

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    August 19, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    hey…..I completely agree…in one of the public lectures I attended at TIFR, i found a succint way to put it. We should all employ Means-end analysis….(or end-means!)……look it up……its quite relevant to your “aim” 😀

    Sleeping beauty 🙂

  2. deepti said,

    August 21, 2007 at 8:20 am

    moniks!!!
    i can sooo completely relate to ur post…

  3. Koffee beanzz said,

    August 23, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Well, I have often asked myself these questions too..and over time I have realised that its best to move along with the tide of life..Its good to have a dream, its good to work for it..thats it..but never expect the dream to come true..And I have realised that sadness and worries in life come out of one major thing and thats expectation. You get frustrated when your experiment does not give the ‘expected’ result..You feel sad when your loved one does not respond in the ‘expected’ way..etc.

    So..I think the best approach would be to enjoy everything that life gives you..at the moment it might seem sour..but some time later..when u look back..you’ll be definitely grateful that incident happened in your life..Believe me..It works!
    So..Keep smiling Princess Fiona!

  4. Princess Fiona said,

    August 26, 2007 at 12:32 am

    @ sleeping beauty
    “Transforming newly named ends into new means as the process moves up the structure, the analyst moves from the specific means at the bottom to the most general end at the top.”

    “Break a problem down into smaller subgoals. Continuously set new subgoals to shorten the distance between the current state and the final goal.”

    hmm. i see what u mean.. smaller subgoals.. the one-step-at-a-time approach. Yes, thats exactly what i’ve been doing till now. may be i should just continue like that..

    @ deepti
    hi! 🙂

    @ beanzz
    i completely agree.. expectations are almost always the reason for disappointment. Hopefully one day i’ll be successful in escaping the trap of expectations..


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