The legacy factor

How many of you do something because that is what has happened in the past and you’re simply supposed to continue it?


Like, ‘Mera beta engineer banega’.

Closer home we have the Abhishek Bachchan and the Rahul Gandhi. We have seen there performance in the last few years and borne them. Most of us agree that they are not doing what they intend to do. Is it purely a legacy factor for continuing in the same field as their parents who have left a mark behind.

Everyone cannot be the Ambani’s or Tata’s. Again in those sectors, you can easily put the veil of a strong management to continue building successfully but your individual identity need not be as strong as your parents.

How many of us do something because the society or relatives or even for that parents think that this is what is required to carry the tradition forward. Like the child of a doctor needs to be a doctor and that of a CA needs to be a CA aur kaam waali ki beti ek kaamwali (excerpt from Nil Battey Sannata).

The point is that from our childhood one is moulded in that fashion and the upbringing comes with that basic understanding – a box difficult to break and get out of. There have been even situations that marriages of children of neighbours or friends are fixed in their early years just to make their relationship stronger and the kids need to abide by that without an uff.

And then the trend continues with their kids. Options are closed for the future generation as well. Because you have to live and carry on the ‘Since 1947’ tag.

I know people who have hated the medical course, who have flunked multiple times in their CA exams/ IIT JEE’s but are not allowed to quit. And the societal custom of ‘vansh aage kaun badhayega’ are tied as chains to your legs. Breaking them means doing away with several things and the fear of being disowned from your own family for several years.

So you just cannot blame them for living a robotic life programmed by someone else.

But there is another category of legacy which is equally alarming these days. Continuing to do what you have been doing in the past. Your past suddenly becomes a benchmark and sets the bar for your future, something which you are not allowed to leave or let go.

Remember our childhood, when you accidentally scored a top tier rank in school, you have to continue getting that rank in the future.

If you have managed to do something remarkably different and successful once, you’re supposed to repeat that feat. It’s a legacy that you have created for yourself and continue to build on that. At no point can you go below that benchmark which you have set for yourself in the eyes of the bystanders. And if you try to breakthrough, you will be judged and shamed. Just like Bobby Deol who tried his hands at being a DJ after a failed Bollywood career and the trolls just wouldn’t stop. I am not judging him on his skills on the stage.

Life is going to keep trolling you, it’s for you to decide whether these outsiders dictate the direction of your life or you do. Don’t live under the garb of a successful past, it is ok to deviate and take a new route in life and maybe even fail at doing so. There is no guaranteed road to replicate things and I am sure that is not how you want to live life.

One of the quotes very close to me is “Don’t let every year of your life be like the previous one”. You took up a job, doing well, got your promotions and hikes but after a while you wear out of doing the same thing over and over again, feel free to quit and start all over again. Experiment with life, you’re not getting out alive any which ways. You have been in a relationship for several years does not mean that you need to live with it till eternity, you have tried getting the mojo back and did not work. It is better to move on rather than burdened by an unfulfilled commitment.

Remember there will be several things that press your requirement today, just think if it would matter a year from now. If not, don’t bother much about it and move on.

It is ok to take wrong calls in life and take corrective actions but remember if taking that call made you happy, then it was all worth it. Don’t live in that legacy box for life, that is not what you’re made for.

Even Mutual Fund investments come with a disclaimer that “Past performance does not guarantee future returns.” Since when did Life become guaranteed risk free.


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