November 6, 2019
Ask Deepak

Career Frustration.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Question :

The real problem is that I can’t seem to identify the singular reason for me feeling so out of sorts. I’m twenty years old, recently graduated from a top school with honors…and am new to a job right now that I don’t think I can ever learn to love. I’ve had a history of reacting really badly to stress during my thesis year; I almost dropped all my subjects because I was overly anxious with doing my best–and I always tend to overexert myself because I always believe that if you’re capable of performing a certain task, you can always perform the task one notch higher. I’ve grown up to love the Medical Arts…but for one reason or another, I was only able to take a liberal arts degree, instead of pursuing a field that I believe, is founded upon the pillars of helping others–the very core of which is love and compassion–something I’ve always believed that people shouldn’t deprive other people of. At heart, I am a very passionate and direct person–I work myself to the bone when I can and always try to figure out solutions and add options to existing choices and be a kinetic spirit always on the move. It only seriously bothers me that I only recently developed asthma and have panic attacks–my father was also diagnosed with chronic depression before he died. my mother has hypertension and as an only daughter, I fear too much at the present, more so whatever it might be that lurks in the future. I haven’t always been like this–but I tend to cower–I feel oppressed, mightily insecure and small when I can’t help people–when I tend to sit down too long and doubt my value and worth as a person. It irks me that I’m paid to work…but I have no passion for my job at all. My mother compelled me to work at where I am at the moment–I’m wishing I could just leave and pursue fields which i really want, one of which includes getting a masters either in linguistics or in psychology. As an only child–after living for four years in the city–I’m back, living  with my mother in her home town–I didn’t grow up here, and as such, I feel caged within this place. i hate being static, being without initiative, following people who prefer to take it easy–I just can’t! I’m a control freak and I need to almost always be busy with something challenging and compelling to make me feel alive, that I’m actually more than a waste of space and wages in the office and in other people’s lives in general.

Problem is, I can’t just go out and pursue what I want without taking into consideration what my mother wants–she needs me too much, being the only other person surviving in our family–she explained that she was only too glad that I was back home–her sadness and vulnerability grieve me to no end. Starting her 50s soon, I know what sorts of medical tests and specialist interventions she needs in her life–I am frustrated at earning too little, feeling like I am wasting my time trying–I am worried that by the time that I do earn enough for her  physical, psychological and emotional needs, I’ll be too much of a wreck to be of use to anybody, much less to my mother that needs me; I virtually feel alone most of the time and am only able to get by when I have pleasant intellectual distractions. Sometimes, I feel suicidal, wishing my asthma would just engulf me and take me away–sometimes, happy too, but ever since work, lazy and unfocused, undriven and angry, relishing hate, although I too feel afraid for thinking and feeling too strongly. I am not at all comfortable with the fact that I need to write for a living–I love the written word too much to distort its beauty. Please, if you can find it in your heart to give me advice and any counsel as you see fit, I would very much appreciate it, knowing that you are both a medical doctor and a compassionate man at heart. Many thanks.


Regarding your suicidal thoughts, you should see a counselor right away. Even if is just an occasional thought, you need to talk to someone about it.  It’s apparent that your unrealistic expectations can easily slide into harsh self recriminations. Much of your distress is due to your self-judgment—you think your life should be different than it is. You are 20 years old and you think that you should have a job that stimulates and challenges you and that fabulously high paying so you can take care of all your mother’s needs and make her happy. Often the key to real transformation is in first recognizing the wisdom inherent in your present situation. For instance right now you don’t really know what you want to do and where you true talents lie. It makes sense that you would feel confusion and anxiety.

And because you identify yourself as a control type personality, it follows that you would be frustrated with finding an answer and trying to figure out what to do. This process is supposed to be challenging and impel you to do serious soul-searching.  It’s not about finding pat answers, but rather growing into answers through the course of your life experiences.  This arduous self-exploration is your job right now, it is much more important to your life right now than having a high-powered career. Having a job you are not passionate about may be a blessing insofar as it is not a distraction to your introspective focus.

And I suspect spending time with your mom in her house these days means more to her than getting a fat monthly check from you in the mail would. One of the best ways for a control type person learn to let go of the ego’s need for understanding is to be in a situation where it sees that its personality is not in control. So from that point of view as well, you are in the perfect situation to learn to let go and trust the deeper intelligence and strength of your existence to organize and bring you what you need.

I’d recommend you start a daily meditation practice to help you establish a solid connection to your core consciousness. Also, since you are verbally expressive you would benefit from keeping a journal of your insights and life experiences. It will help anchor and organize your mind so you don’t thrash around so much.  If you find a way to make peace with the uncertain process of your life’s unfolding, you may even start to find yourself enjoying the unpredictability of life.



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