Sunday, March 20, 2011

Living out your priorities

This episode is inspired in part by the story of a close friend who has been in a constant struggle with his emotional composure for the past year or so and the rest by a midnight group discussion in the office premises with a bunch of confused colleagues and/or friends that lasted for almost four hours amidst high-running emotions…

Well let’s start with a question! How many of us exactly know what we want to be seen as, say a decade down the line? When I ask that question, I am strictly referring to the professional aspect of life. Very few ‘Yes’ answers I expect and out of those few, how many are really in a place where they are actually taking some effort as a part of the game plan to accomplish what they want? This time I expect only a handful to stand up! Now I guess it’s easier to figure why so many of us hate our jobs… We all know that we Do Not want to do what we currently are doing but very few of us know what it is that we want to do! I am definitely not one of those few…..

The modern India has so become that the so called Generation Next of fast thinkers with big dreams and strong ideologies end up working in jobs that seldom puts the mind to work. And it is not that they don’t realize that this is what is happening to them and perhaps, that is the sole reason that they want to leave the place that they are in right now. But then what is it that is stopping them from doing the same? No prizes for guessing the answers….Money! Every person with some amount of maturity and experience in life knows that money is not everything in life. But still it ends up being the deciding factor when it comes to selecting the kind of life that we want to live…

The emotional trauma that every Indian youngster in the age group of 20-30 goes through in establishing the career that they have planned for themselves is unbelievable and nobody knows whether they will actually end up being what they want or the combined pressure of social pressure and the stronghold of money will force them to compromise… or even worse… make them believe that this is what they wanted in life and create an illusion where they forget what they planned in the first place..

A small brief on what goes through in the mind of an average person in our target population who have just completed their education and landed up in a job because that is the only thing that they were programmed to do ever since they can recall… “Here is what I am going to do. Get into the job that I want to in the next one year or so (which will for sure be a high paid job!!!) then work hard (by working hard, I mean for 100 odd hours on average over a week) for the next 10 years, I make the money that I wanted, and then I leave the job and take up a much lower-profile job, both in terms of money and the insane work hours, and then I will carry out all my passions of life for I will have the financial strength to back it up… (The passion may vary from person to person from travelling, adventure sports, photography, art or just being content with a family). Perfect!! Sounds like a plan…”

But will it really work that way?? Given that it is a high paid job, where you make so much money that you have gotten used to a lifestyle that cannot be altered so easily, how many of us will have the maturity and courage to stand up and say that this is it! Let’s stop here and do all the other things I wanted… Will that moment of dawn ever come? Will we not have reasons throughout life to stop us from taking up our dreams…? Giving the best to the people who love you, fame, power, money or in an improbable case, falling in love with your job, and many more millions of excuses that will convince us to say, “Let me just stay in the job for another couple of years!” And probably this “couple” will turn into a decade and by the time you sit one day to think of those dreams that you wanted to realize, they would actually have become just a dream!!!

Guess the ideal time to live those out is never going to come, however strong your “game plan”!! So well…what’s the conclusion??? For me (and you all are allowed to make your opinions and share as well if you are interested!), there is never going to be a time to “live life”. It’s now! Your career may pan out the way you want in a few years or it may not. But to live out the aspects of life that you call as your dream or passion... this is the time. Let’s at least make an effort to kick start today! At least I am not going to wait for the right time to come :)


  1. I think you have yourself answered the quandary in the final paragraph, Surya! :) There are no tomorrows - both for fun as well as work. I have realised it even more after coming to HK where I just do not plan my days tightly. I have a rough sketch and if it doesn't happen I do not get as frustrated as I used to in Hyd; I am far more mature that way and I know when the going requires it I can put in the skates, an awareness that keeps me relaxed.

    Of course, in my case I try to have fun with what I do as well: solving a phonology problem is as much fun to me as going to a movie spending time with you all at home or meeting a close friend for lunch.

    I think the void is also - imho - caused by the lack of people whose thoughts jive in with yours. In Bombay, I was torn apart but what helped me - and immensely at that before you came to be my Guardian Angel during those two unforgettable months - was that I had a team of people who understood me and "took my work quality for granted" which meant even if I was a bit off colour I wouldn't be picked on.

    I guess I have digressed too much from the post. :D Nice way to open the week for me da :) Keep writing! And, of course, you write clearly, which is sth I cannot manage if I live to beat a 120 years! :D

  2. Brother, probably the lack of clarity is what makes Myriad Journeys such an enigma and fascination to read.. So it's really not fair to compare and no one knows this better than you!

    You may be right on the kind of people I meet every day but then I have gotten used to it and no complaints anymore...

    Guess my times in Mumbai are very similar to yours in HK now. More to come!!! :)

  3. Couldn't agree more...I don't think that time ever comes for 99% of the population that they keep their foot down and say, "OK, this is it, now I want to live life my way"...And it will only get tougher with time...the responsibilities and expectations are only going to increase...
    Having said that, I think money is indeed a big enuf factor which does not let people do what they really want. As they say, money can't stop your tears, but somehow its more comfortable to cry in a BMW than on a bicycle :) You have to be really free of many burdens to go out there and make a career in say, the art space, where the unknown earns peanuts..this is something that I can relate to..
    So what can be done at best is to draw a line in between, maybe you cannot choose a career you are passionate about, but you can choose to stay away from jobs that do not keep you take a profession you do not mind doing, and add whatever extraneous fun elements you can to your lifestyle..

  4. Thats exactly what I wamted to convey with my blog Nik!! Guess I did manage to put the message across.. I ain't that bad a write then :) lolz!