Friday, February 10, 2006

Is this a puzzle or an answer to one?

A friend of mine casually mentioned the confusions we face regarding our career, its course and what one should really do in life and in career to keep him/herself :
1. Happy
2. Successful
Or are they mutually exclusive? One absenting itself in the other's presence? Do people turn into programmable robos once they start working? And finally, how does one decide what they should be doing in life..? Who wil give that expert advice that is so important with the mental chaos bundling up?

While I personally thought that if you think too hard or ask too many ppl, your decisions will falter. So, to just do watevr you want to and see for yourslf! Coz if we don't experiment with our own lives then who else' will we experiment with?
But nevertheless, it got me thinking. And here's what I thought:

The question that life ( or the much-sought-after 'education' ) has posed before me or my friend is the same one that bothers an obscene number of people. At workplace, neighbourhood, casual hangouts and almost everywhere its the same scenario. But people still hang on...the ones with a few years of experience say, that it is always so during the initial years. But as you climb up the ladder in your professional life, you'll move out of this mid-numbing phase & get to supervise ( as TL/ML/PM..), n do other interesting stuff. But I can't help spotting a trade-mark bored countenance amonng some of them too! ( No wonder the avg life span for humans has come down! When life isn't interesting enough, living beyond a few customary decades makes very little sense).

So that forces me to face the most tricky question that has been haunting us for a long time now, 'Who is happy? Why does one work? Shouldn't one's job be a source of one's happiness? "

Unfortunately, the answer is just as elusive!;(
I have discovered that a vast majority of ppl continue cribbing and yet keep at the same wrk pattern because,

1. They love the safety net a job in a s/w firm comes with. Security is the key word and it has caught them at its fancy-best! Maybe they think, " I have a solid, respectable job, a steady source of income, a well-fed family, good money and the promise of climbing up the professional ladder; So what if I have to endure repetition and monotony... It's probably not too big a price anyways!"

And in the hindsight, maybe they really had some latent talent hidden behind those layers of worldliness that kept popping its head out at various instances. But years of solid conditioning put the lid firmly back. Maybe, just maybe, had they mustered up the courage to go beyond the accepted routine and find their place in a world of their choice, they would have found a bright place under the sun! But is it mankind's tragedy or their personal one that they didn't venture out and the dream and skill was crumpled before it could even blossom...a genius was left undiscovered, not, as the cliche goes, by the world, but by his own self? So which of these is sadder?A struggling genius whose work is not recognised by the people around?Or, a could've-been genius who never gave himself a chance? Maybe if HE had, the rest of the world would've given him one too.....

But, a BIG 'BUT' that is, we've so often heard of a pathetic doom about a certain undiscovered genius that its almost a cliche in itself! So, the first kind of people end up being the over-cautious lot. These people have a dream, that could be the MISSION and VISION of a billion-dollar company, but are simply not convinced that they could go out and DO IT! Not because they are chicken-hearts, but because they have seen too many people risk the security they had for pursuing the elusive mega-success that seems so very probable when you are young and things look rosy, and got lost out there.

Its not a silly stand-point, for all we say, either! Because, its a big mad world out there and if you are not careful you could get easily lost and never found!

Then we have a second group.
2. They are capable, vivacious and hard-working but are not sure what life calls them for! In the wake of that confusion they start off with a tried and tested pattern and harbour hopes to find out the purpose of their being. Often, they end up discovering nothing for a long time, so for the lack of epiphany, they end up doing the same thing for ever. The tragedy is, even if the 'IT' moment comes in, perhaps a tad too late, but when it comes, they are so caught up in the web of their routine and so adept to their new-found plans that they either fail to recognise it or let it slip past as a distraction.

And lastly there is the third kind thats a delirious mixture of both the first and the second kind! They know what they want but think its not practical enough! So they discover an alternative dream thats probably convenient for them and acceptable to the rest and prod on..

But the bottom line is, LIFE itself is a very big gamble. We do stuff, and we don't do stuff. But we can never predict how a thing will turn out to be. And there are absolutely no free meals for us unless we are born into those economically elite families where there is so much money that the descendants can do the stuff that pleases their whims and fancies. As for the rest of us, we have to do things that fetch us a decent pay-packet and also gives wings to that 'personal vision'.

So with that being the case, we know that set-backs, struggle for survival and some amount of discouragement is a part and parcel of the contract we signed with God when He gave us the opportunity to take form on earth. And that encourages the option that we might as well delve deep within, find the cause that ticks every fibre of our being and keep at it. Because, when success comes, it does not happen so by chance. It demands a lot of hardwork, grit and gumption. And its much easier to work hard and get stressed when the prize is materialization of our innate dream than any other thing ;).

Afterall, when we know that we have to prod on before we reach the pedestal of success, we might as well prod on to meet our own innate needs as we furthur our career. Because its always better to say, "I'm doing what I WANT to do and what I FEEL is best for me!" than to do something to just 'fit-in'!

Carpe Diem! Sieze the day:)

2 Comments:

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Prabu Karthik said...

i'm 29 yrs old and in my experience, there is no simple answer.
and i hudder to think how it will be when i get married.

i cannot honestly say i am doing what i love. but i cannot shun it and move either.

u cannot shut it out and play defensive either. life sucks then!

the answer lies in making out a balance between what one truly wants and what your near and dear ones expect u to provide for....atleast this is what i think now!

 
At 3:37 AM, Blogger VineethaAthrey said...

@Prabu:
Perhaps thats a wise thingg to do...But the very defn of balance is to not veer towards one end or the other. In that case, how does one make a significant name for oneself in any field, if he/she didnt stand up for one thing?

 

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