Pursuit of Happiness or Pursuit of Meaning?

Why am I being so fickle? From the highs of getting admission at INSEAD just a couple of days ago, to the current state of frustration is so puzzling.

During the application process, I kept pushing aside my true feelings of whether I want an MBA or not so I could focus on the application. I thought I could make that decision if and when I get the admission. However, during the process, I probably faked the ‘why mba’ question so well that I actually started believing in it.

So here I am – with an admission offer for a year to spend across France and Singapore. Is it the opportunity my quarter-life crisis is desperately waiting for to open myself to a plethora of opportunities and make life more meaningful? Or would it just be a wasteful exercise and just dialing back my career by a couple of years?

Let me put it this way for you Nikhil – if money was not an issue, would you go? Yes absolutely. The answer is obvious. It would be an exciting adventure and just homage to one of my favorite life quotes – ‘it is not the number of years you live, it is the life you live in those years’. I would meet a ton of interesting people from all walks of life. There would be fun, studying, friendships, hardships, success, failures. It will add so much to my life experience.

So – the simple answer is yes. I will go ahead and join INSEAD no matter the associated financial costs. What I have to ensure is that I maximize my experience. I have to be fully committed to study and network inside and outside the classroom.

I have to accept that INSEAD or even marriage is clearly not the final destination. Frankly, there is no final destination. The acceptance of life as is, and enjoying the journey with its ups and downs, would lead to inner peace and satisfaction. Continuing to challenge the status quo and building upon new ideas will be the cornerstone of flexing my brain muscles.

Broadening my perspective to understand the same problem from different viewpoints would open new doors, and possibly some of those would lead to even more doors and one of them just might capture my true imagination as my life’s meaningful pursuit. So cheers to a life in pursuit of meaning rather than happiness!



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