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What do I really want?

Growing up anxious, I began to think about my mortality from a young age. That’s an extremely dark sounding sentence, but trust me, I’ve turned out (mostly) okay. As a Hindu, death doesn’t seem all that scary to me since it can only result in rebirth (an okay outcome) or release from the cycle of birth and death (the ideal outcome). To reach the ideal outcome, you essentially have to become enlightened by following your dharma. Dharma is usually defined as one’s duty, but it also includes living a life of virtue, free of attachment to the world. Easy, right?

As I start to think about how I will live my life once I graduate college, I’ve been thinking about what following my dharma may look like. Even something like “being virtuous” doesn’t feel as cut and dry as I always thought. I’ve been spending a lot of time analyzing the biases that control my life. Is being ambitious a morally virtuous thing, or simply a virtue in the eyes of the capitalist society in which I live? Is the individuality I feel like I crave something that’s actually important for my development, or is it just an illusion keeping me from accepting the oneness of things around me? Will I be able to continue my addiction to Taco Bell, or will it lead me to sure ruin in my next life?

Obviously, none of these are easy to tackle and it’s totally possible that I won’t find any answers, but I think it’s important to analyze our biases in order to see our minds more clearly. Specifically, I think everyone should realize that they don’t have as much control over their thoughts as they think, considering how many things can influence every single thought. I’d like to be able to make decisions about my life by asking myself, “what do I really want?” but I’ve realized I can’t truly do that. Any decisions I make based on intuition are built on experience. The way that I interpret each experience is based on my societal upbringing, which I struggle to accept as fair and just. Essentially, as I become increasingly aware of the hyper-capitalist machine that I live in, the more cynical I become about how much I can trust my own ideas that come from it.

However, in order to not completely go crazy, I can accept the fact that not every perspective in my life is tainted by evil capitalist ideas. I could think about being guided by acceptance from the people who matter to me like my friends and family. I could dig deeper into Hinduism and other belief systems in order to find other perspectives to help me find my way.
Drops of the Week
where I *drop* recommendations of cool things this week
Article
“How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation” by Anne Helen Petersen - it’s incredible that a piece that like this exists at all. It covers an immense amount of ground, all of which is incredibly well-researched and accurate. Highly recommend.
Documentary
McQueen - great documentary about the legendary designer Alexander McQueen. Extremely well-done and very emotional 
Playlist
good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar - this is an instant classic album by the greatest artist of our generation. I hadn’t listened to this album in a long time, which was a mistake.
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any comments/concerns or fan/hate mail for me, you know how to reach me (links below). 

Love,
Nikhil
<3

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Nikhil · 325327 Georgia Tech Station · Atlanta, GA 30332 · USA

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