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My Quest for Meaningful Life

Explore how I lived on an “auto-pilot” mode, and how I reclaimed my life through authenticity, growth, love, spirituality, and harmony as paths to a meaningful life.

Sharjeel Ahmad

6/20/20243 min read

The Auto-Pilot Mode

In the bustling city of corporate labyrinths, we’ve become adept at juggling tasks, chasing promotions and accumulating financial wealth and possessions. Many of us are operating on 'auto-pilot' mode, going through the motions without any real intention or purpose. We wake up, work, eat, sleep, and repeat. In this relentless pursuit, we’ve lost sight of what truly matters—the essence of being human.

It is never too late to break free from the auto-pilot mode and embark on a quest for authenticity, purpose, and genuine connection. Here is a summary of what happened to me 11 years ago:

My Awakening: A Tale of Corporate Drudgery:

Picture this: I was a partner in a prestigious consulting firm, my days a blur of meetings, spreadsheets, reports and PowerPoint decks. Success was measured in billable hours and client satisfaction rating. Yet, beneath the tailored suits and polished presentations, I felt an emptiness—a disconnection from my own soul.

In the quiet corners of my mind, a persistent whisper echoed—an invitation to explore beyond the mundane. Life, it seemed, held secrets waiting to be unraveled, adventures yearning to be embarked upon. And so after a great struggle within, I listened, ready to break free from the ordinary and discover the extraordinary. With a leap of faith, I quit my job, leaving behind the corner office and its illusion of success. This is how and when my search for "meaning" began:

The Quest for Meaning

My journey became an epic quest for self-discovery. Over seven years, through countless trials and errors, I realized that what eluded me was a sense of ‘meaning’ and ‘fulfillment.’ Let me share a condensed summary of the five paths to a meaningful life that I uncovered:

  1. Authentic Living: Peeling away the layers society imposes, the incorrect beliefs about life, careers, love, spirituality and what really matters in life. Embracing vulnerability, challenging all that is being taught to us and digging deeper to find the truth that resides within us from the beginning. How can same way of life make everyone of us happy and fulfilled? I believe in defining your own living standards and living on your own terms (without harming anyone).

  2. Growth: Not the corporate ladder kind, but soul growth. This is what we are here to do and the real meaning of spirituality (to grow all the talents, gifts and skills gifted to us by the higher being and become a being of value). Use curiosity, wonder and imagination, read voraciously, learn new skills, explore hidden talents. Growth is the oxygen of a meaningful life.

  3. Love: Not just romantic love, but love for humanity, for the planet, for the quirky barista who remembers your coffee order. Love is the essence of life, the meaning for our being. Love fuels purpose.

  4. Spirituality: Beyond rigid dogmas and scripted rituals lies a profound truth: spirituality is the art of connecting with something greater, the Divine. It’s more than reciting prayers or attending ceremonies; it’s about understanding the intentions behind these practices and infusing our existence with soul-nourishing practices. Spirituality is doing all the things that feed our soul.

  5. Harmony: In my philosophy, life is like a jigsaw puzzle with twelve different pieces. Career and finances are just two of those pieces. Harmony involves fitting these pieces together seamlessly. It’s about balancing work and play, ambition and moments of stillness. Think of it as creating a beautiful mosaic where every tile matters.

The Wake-Up Call:

So, what should we do? How do we reclaim our lives? Here are some quick suggestions:

  1. Pause: Hit the pause button. Reflect. Are you living or merely surviving?

  2. Rediscover Passion: What makes your heart race? Pursue it relentlessly.

  3. Connect: Not just on LinkedIn. Connect with your inner self, with loved ones, with the universe.

  4. Create Rituals: Morning walks, gratitude journals, star-gazing—rituals anchor us.

  5. Embrace Imperfection: Life isn’t a PowerPoint slide. It’s messy, glorious, and unpredictable.

Conclusion

Dear fellow seekers, let’s defy the auto-pilot. Let’s dance with life, not just chase deadlines. As your friendly coach, I invite you to reclaim your existence, to be courageous, witty, and compassionate. Let’s deliver beyond expectations—not in spreadsheets, but in the art of living.

Remember, the greatest adventure lies within—the quest for a life well-lived.

Note: This blog is dedicated to all the rebels at heart who dare to awaken.

P.S. If you’re reading this, you’re already on the path. Keep going.