In the Indian milieu, did we get the liberty to explore the life we wanted to live? Not really, our life track was decided even before we could barely walk. Why do I say that? When a daughter was born – Bitiya ko to doctor banayenge! Beta to engineer hi Banega!!

The rigmarole started when you step into school…

…Studying science only, though you had a knack for literature. But you could not resist and express your choice, forget exploring it. It was pre-ordained. Some lucky ones like me got this opportunity but only after the medical dream was shattered. Still, not that bad. Now times have changed, our generation realized the importance of exploration and has given children the liberty to follow their dream.

Why do I say that? I visited my old doctor after a gap of nearly 20 years. I could recollect that we both had babies at the same time, in the same year. After exchanging pleasantries, I checked her about her son, and her answer surprised me no end. Why? They are both famous doctors, her in-laws own a big hospital in the suburbs, and he is the only grandson. The boy is pursuing a degree in Bass Guitar at a well-known music school on the outskirts of Mumbai. She quietly told me, “He followed his passion and we supported him.” What a drastic change in approach, and a rather welcome one.   

Freedom to explore is the only way to know oneself. We should devote time to understanding and preparing the blueprint of our life, then plan exploration. What we can do? What do we want to do? How do we achieve that? Will our circumstances permit us to achieve that? Do we have enough resources to sustain ourselves?

You can zero in on one path and follow that with all your might. You may succeed, or you may not. If you don’t succeed, change gears. Exploration is not a negative thing to undertake, there is no need to feel depressed or frustrated about the failure. Explorations, interactions, conversations, walking, singing, and dancing enrich your life with wide and varied experiences.

Now, that you know where your passion lies, you need to educate yourself in the field. Say, cloud computing excites you, and you start pursuing it, but moving forward, you realize that it is not your cup of tea. You can opt for some other passion or career. But you should never shy away from exploration.   

What holds us is that we take things for granted, we don’t want to be labelled as silly or stupid. We must have explored and experienced, educated ourselves, and dare to express ourselves to express our wishes or choices, as these may sound contrary to our family and friends. So much so, it may shatter your status quo. But we must ask, we must explore, we must move on…

So, you must have understood that exploration gives us the sense that anything is possible. It leads to knowledge and understanding and means you make the world a better place as you explore. People have always tried to leave the world a better place for future generations. Exploration is one way to do that.

When it comes to choosing a career, exploration is undoubtedly one of the most important and challenging decisions life will throw at you. But that’s okay, with the right research and determination, you can take that plunge into a career you love.

Appreciate that exploration is important because these things are never easy and you will not nail everything the first time. It does take a lot of hard work and time to explore the different options available. There is a misconception that you should just jump into the first job that is offered to you and stay with it forever. I know, it sounds peculiar, however, this is the way we are led to think. Throughout school and university, we are constantly told that we ought to explore different avenues before embarking on a career and working our way up. Okay, but why is it important to explore your career options?

It is easy to say that you need to conduct your research but what exactly are you looking for? Firstly, you must establish whether this job will be compatible with what you want and enjoy. It is vital to ensure that the requirements, job duties, and work environment will work with your personality and the skills you offer. The provisions of that job then become a serious factor – you must establish what educational and work experience is needed to apply for this job. Even if you match all the skill sets and experience, you may not succeed.

Fasten your seat belts for some more exploration, then some more…till you are HappyHo. Happiness is true blessing and outcome of exploration.