Pursue – surprisingly it means one of two things – follow or chase something or continue something. Such a wide variety of meanings for one word and contrasting meanings at that. And therein lies the meaning of life summed up in a single word.
Let me elaborate – when we are young, we have our dreams. They can be grandiose like climbing Mount Everest, becoming an Olympic champion or becoming the next financial wizard or they can be a little less exotic like working for a decent living, adopting strays or working with children. Many of us set about working towards achieving what we have dreamed of. We basically are following or chasing what we want. Our focus, our aim and our determination are all channeled towards our goal.
Apart from our hard work and determination, there is another factor that plays a major hand in this game of life – Lady Luck. If this lady decides to smile, we are half way on our path to success. However if she is not in a good mood, however much we try, we miss the victory podium by a whisker. I have heard this described beautifully as ‘life happens.
So, what do we do? Give up and follow Lady Life as she dictates what she needs and we bend backwards to give her that instead of moving on towards what we want? Most of our time can be spent satisfying this second lady but we need to have that small amount of time and effort set aside separately to help us inch towards our goal. Maybe we need to have a re-look at our dreams and see if they are still relevant to the person we have become today. Maybe we move the goal post and start working on a different strategy – maybe we don’t. But what we do is to continue the journey. Therein comes the second meaning of the word.
And when we achieve what we set out to do, we experience all the joys of success, bask in the pleasure and then, set new targets and dream new dreams. A life without a purpose is quite boring. We experience more fun not in the actual destination but in the path that we pursue.
PS – this essay is an attempt to write on the daily word prompt – pursue.