There are just a handful of people who are contented in our world. Their motto is to simply exist, not really live, beget progeny and pass into emptiness quietly without fanfare. They are happy, satisfied, and almost oblivious to things around them. This is primarily because they believe not in circumstances, but the fundamental upkeep of life, no matter what it offers. They are also pleased with whatever their work, or position, provides them with — be it a penny for a pound that is given to others who would be trading their skills in the same position in life, or company, or organisation.

This does not mean that they have no ambition, or desire to excel — they certainly pine for achievement, not for material success, but fulfilment at a spiritual level that they have defined for themselves. Not what others may uphold, or espouse. They take pride in their competence — this is the fulcrum and also their powerful motivation for their devotion to virtue, righteousness, integrity, morality and honesty. All less glorified phrases in the turbulent “I, me, and myself” times that we now live in.

Anyone would agree that pleasant activities, experiences and significant knowledge, are not essential to one’s existence. This relates to the desire to compete, succeed and fulfil one’s lot in anything, or everything, one does — with passion, or just for the heck of keeping the financial wolf from the door. Most of us opt for a profession, or job, if not position, that keeps us going and helps us pay our bills. Nothing else.

Yet, there is a variance that separates the chaff from the grain and vice versa. For anyone, on the other side of the spectrum, the ken for detail, doing and getting things done, along with a frenzied drive for knowledge and a burning aspiration for climbing up the ladder in life, “primes’ and propels their energies to acquire special skills in the arts, the sciences, commerce, or sports, or any other vocation, including leadership.

This is also what that lights the spark from one’s formative years — it leads us to surround ourselves with affable friends, who inspire, or useful, worthy objects, be it gadgets, or musical instruments. As philosopher Epictetus said, “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” What does this connote? Such people, or friends, “up” your ante to win not just through academics, but all-round progress, with accomplishments that transcend personal goals, or demands, or commendation of your peers and others. This has got more to do with the purposeful groundwork for near-perfection and above all the endorsement of conscience for the good of all. Agreed that this ideal, or goal, is difficult, yet like several manifestations of life it takes one to greater heights through our resident, internal element — call it prana, chi, or soul.

This conforms to the matrix of our conscience — in other words, the superglue of our moral structure, or fabric. It is the innate, powerful, yet sublime force that impels us to live well and perfect ourselves, to the best extent possible. It is laden with the power of altruism, the love of beauty and respect for all forms — be it people, or inanimate objects.

It also expresses the fount of our conscious awareness and conscience — the harmony of being that works perpetually to bond into a comprehensible whole, the sum of the parts and part of the whole, in the cosmos. In simple terms, it relates to all the diverse constituents of our bodies and minds, including the foundational element of life.

(The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author)

Rajgopal Nidamboor