A few days back I was watching Sonakshi Sinha’s “Noor” – which got hyped not because of the daughter of legendary “Khamosh” actor but debutante Kannan Gill. The character Noor is a mere reflection of almost every other girl’s not-so-happening life and a complete mess with trivial issues (weight, zero romance, non -satisfying job). She dejectedly uttered “I hate my life” many times in the movie without fail. And suddenly she found love (which didn’t last for long, however) and was found saying “I love my life” with a newly found zeal towards life….
It left me with a thought to ponder upon --- why is “Love for life” dependent on other people’s entry/exit in/from our life?? Why doesn’t “love for self” come naturally to us?? Or if it does, why don’t we cater to it throughout our life??
Such a mind wriggling complex human behavior can be understood in terms of our need for affiliation and approval. Need for affiliation denotes an individual’s need of “belongingness” and a sense of “involvement” within a society; Need for approval implies an individual’s tendency to seek and be motivated by the social approval of others.
Time changes and so do other things but a constant pressure of “fitting –in” or “Us versus them” in the society persists? Where did this come from? Who is to be blamed?
Well, nobody takes the responsibility to break the vicious cycle. Rather, everybody prefers to be a part of this “need for affiliation & approval” race. And the worst side-effect is, we all have become shallow with age. We no longer trust ourselves; our abilities, confidence, or introspect, instead we choose to wait for others to instill “love for self”. We no longer remain masters of our lives rather we become mere puppets in the chain of life.
“Reema: See my relative gifted me a pouch. It doesn’t look that great. I think I shall keep it and wait for a perfect occasion to pass it on to somebody else as a gift.
Seema: Are you mad? This pouch looks really pretty. You can keep it for normal outings.
The pouch was never exchanged. In fact, all of a sudden Reema started liking the pouch. ….”
The conversation of these two girls made clear the mechanism behind the need for approval and affiliation.
Need for affiliation and approval are lethal threats to an individual’s peace of mind. These are addictive and just like any other addiction, if not well supplied, disturb physical and psychological make-up of the affected ones. One’s Need for approval makes him/her an easy target to be conned or manipulated.
Since these needs get badly integrated in our mind and body, a major concern now is how to get rid of them. The first and foremost step towards it is to start loving “yourself.” Remind yourself every time you start feeling low that you are a beautiful entity as a whole, who doesn’t require an approval from others.
Never let others define you or your choices in life. Make sure you do what you like to do, speak your mind without fear. Just Say/Do it!
Don’t wait for any external source (Parents, Family, friends or anybody) to motivate you. Remember: It all starts from within. You are no less than anyone!
Try to figure out your source of happiness on your own. Read, dance, write, swim, run, workout, watch movies, TV series, engage in gardening, pursue your hobby, earn money, become an environmentalist, travel places (the list is endless)… explore what makes you happy. Once you identify that source and savor the associated happiness you can easily conquer “I hate my life” phase like a “warrior” without waiting for anybody’s approval.
Always remember it’s best to be a King/Queen rather than being a pawn in the chess of Life.