The power of a monthly SMS

Let's seek a life where every day fulfils our passions, not just a countdown to the next SMS


Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

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Published: Wed 27 Sep 2023, 9:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Dec 2023, 1:18 PM

Welcome to the modern world, where convenience dictates our decisions. Isn't it remarkable how something as ordinary as a text message can influence our lives? Imagine this: A brief SMS notification arrives on your phone screen every first day of the month, telling you your salary has been deposited into your bank account. It sounds insignificant, but this text can trigger a chain of reactions that resonates with almost all life problems.

What does it mean?

"Your salary has been credited."

This SMS carries more than a notification of our fulfilment of tasks. It holds a greater power that shapes the trajectory of our lives. Still, what does it mean? What lies beneath the surface of this routine text message? It's worth exploring, for within it, we find a complex void of decisions, emotions, and societal expectations. The banana seems ripe; let's peel back its layers and delve into the profound implications of the monthly SMS, from the allure of financial stability to the feeling of dopamine highs and the Philosophy behind our decisions.

It is intriguing how a short and repetitive text could have lots of perspective and meaning.

The thought of financial stability

Let's begin with the most obvious, our thought of financial stability. For many, this monthly SMS brings a sense of undeniably comforting reassurance. It promises a safety net for unexpected expenses, guarantees that bills will be paid on time, and the satisfaction of watching savings grow. In a world where uncertainty looms, this text is a beacon of light and financial security.

It's the fear of stepping into the unknown that can be paralysing. I find it hard to leave a certain comfort zone, though it sparks our creativity and livelihood. We prefer stability, security, and routines.

But is this stability always a blessing? Sometimes, it can become a shackle, tethering individuals to jobs they despise. The fear of losing this lifeline can lead people to compromise their dreams, sacrificing personal fulfilment for financial comfort. Then arises the other question: How much of our lives should be dedicated to ensuring financial stability? Will we ever be financially stable?

In the hopes of financial stability, are we putting our passions and aspirations on hold, perhaps indefinitely? These questions often linger beneath the surface of that monthly SMS, questions we choose to ignore to protect our feelings. Knowing it's all a dream that will always be a dream, we base all our decisions, ambitions, and goals upon it.

The temporary dopamine

Consider the temporary dopamine rush that accompanies this SMS. What a feeling of achievement, the satisfaction of seeing one's bank balance grow. This burst of pleasure might seem harmless, but beneath its surface lies a complex interplay of emotions and decisions that can shape our lives unexpectedly.

At first glance, this monthly SMS can be likened to a small victory, a moment of triumph in an otherwise ordinary day. Like a digital pat on the back, an electronic applause just for a moment boosts our mood. That rush of dopamine that feel-good chemical shadowing true emotion, that's the addiction; that's what keeps us coming back for more. Would one be overstating if he related it to drugs?

It's a temporary pleasure. That's where the trap lies. With its accompanying dopamine boost, the monthly SMS can mask deeper questions about our life's purpose and overall satisfaction. It becomes a distraction, a temporary bandage for a deeper longing often unaddressed.

We chase these monthly dopamine spikes as if they were our goal, as if they could fill the void left by unfulfilling jobs or unexplored passions. Yet, in the grand scheme of our existence, they are but a small part of our undiscovered lives.

Seeing people mistaking this temporary pleasure for genuine happiness is quite scary. It's easy to say that this brief feeling of a bank notification can equate with a fulfilling life, but the two are not similar. This constant dopamine can lead to a life of shallowness, where we prioritize instant happiness over long-term fulfilment. It's like how we started appreciating instant ramen rather than the real thing.

It's always nice to have the promise of fulfilment, but it often leaves us thirstier for something deeper and more meaningful. It reminds us that true happiness lies in our enduring pursuit of passion, growth, and authentic selves.

Asking once again

Are we living our lives? Are we pursuing dreams that nurture our souls?

I urge anyone to reflect on his own life. Consider considering the balance between financial stability and personal fulfilment. Can you have both? More generally, can we find careers that not only fill our bank accounts but also fill the hole in our spirits?

It's time to redefine success, challenge the usual, and prioritise personal fulfilment alongside financial stability. The monthly SMS may provide security, but we must ensure it doesn't become a limitation. Let's seek a life where every day fulfils our passions, not just a countdown to the next SMS.

Ahmed Alawlaqi is Khaleej Times' Special Correspondent

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