Being a nobody

If you’re a somebody, it means you are defined by that ‘something’. An entrepreneur? Then your business defines you. VP of a company? Your position defines you. Proud of your multi-crore assets? Your money defines you. Or you’re the Chief Minister of the state? Your power defines you. Celebrated intellectual? Your intellect defines you.

Often, the definition is also a signalling device. You’re better than the lowly clerk (you assume). Why? Because he’s just a clerk and you’re “the CM”.

The problem is, such identities are double-edged swords. They are external validations. Any external validation is just that – external, and can be taken away at a moment’s notice from you. You become a prisoner of others opinion of you. When the going is good, you feel fulfilled and happy. When things go awry, the same things weigh upon you and make you insecure and depressed. If you place your self-worthiness at the altar of external validation, be prepared to experience emptiness when that is taken away from you.

Instead, be a nobody. One who gives importance to inner peace and doesn’t attach himself to any identity or external validation. Unbound and free of definitions, both yours and that of others, you’re free! To do anything as the situation demands of you.

When you succeed at some work, you simply succeed at the task. It makes you happy, but doesn’t drive your ego and pride. “You” are not a “success”. When you fail at something, you allow yourself to experience the disappointment, but don’t linger and brood. You move on fairly quickly. Success or failure are tags that are attached to your work, and not on you. There is a separation. Or detachment, rather, like a dewdrop on a lotus leaf.

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