Ranjana TN

What do you intrinsically feel called to do?

When I look back, the things I excelled at were the things I was intrinsically motivated to do.

I studied Physics and Mathematics in my undergrad and was the university gold medalist. I was absolutely in love with math and physics (still am). To this day, Fundamentals of Physics (by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker) sits front and centre on my bookshelf.

Scoring well in exams was truly a by-product of an innate love for the subjects.

I started learning Bharatanatyam at age 5 and pursued it until my late twenties. At one point, I was into it full-time as a dance instructor and performing artiste. I was pretty good at this art form but again, that was a side-effect of being so passionate about it.

Even now, I dance because I freaking love dancing. I mean, there’s literally no greater pleasure. I genuinely feel like I commune with God when I dance.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately because I want to lean into what I’m intrinsically drawn to in every area of life. I want the sheer act of pursuing something to be a reward in itself. Anything else would be a by-product— a bonus.

What’s something you are intrinsically motivated to do? What’s something that you can get lost in for hours? What’s something that might sound like hard work to someone else but would be super fun for you to pursue?

PS: Here’s a part of the invite for one of my performances 12 years ago. I thought it would be fun to share it. Look at her, the lithe dancer! I’m so proud of the 22 yo me.:)