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Are we happy with the work we do?

CA Saurav Somani 
on 13 October 2016

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What would you think of your friend if he or she suddenly resigns from high-profile-handsome-seven-digit salary-job and start an unsteady high-risk-low-return-venture, instead? Of course - A sheer folly, madness or even reckless bravado! Isn’t it? Well, as one of my friends did so: quitting a reputed company and starting a small restaurant. I decided to talk some sense into him; to ask about this drastic changeover.  But I was totally bowled over by his answer - “Oh, it’s not about company, job or even money! It’s not the problem! ” my friend replied, “I was the problem! I wasn’t happy…I was not happy within! Now, I am doing the stuff that really interests me!” His thought provoking answer flashed several questions in my mind.

You might be thinking about a famous debatable topic: Job versus Business or Employment versus Self-employment. Speaking categorically, I am not foisting on a debate as to which one is better -job/service/ business/profession or anything else. These are clearly subjective issues. No, but I am just trying to zero in on the broader and objective questions-                    

 Are we all really happy with the work we do? Do we actually love sweating blood day and night in the work we do or are we just kidding ourselves with work-is-worship belief? Does a nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach pokes you to think - Something is missing from life? Or put it differently- Are we all happy within?

You may probably disregard these questions as largely impracticable or merely rhetorical; many would staunchly condemn the idea of “Happy within” as childlike and utopian; others would, undoubtedly, cling to the worldwide famous notions - Destiny is decided or Success seldom smiles! There wouldn’t be any surprise if youngsters retaliate by giving cool logic - if job/business is fine, income’s fine, family’s happy, so why the heck would something be missing?

Of course, I admit, that these questions doesn’t have clear-cut answers. But still, I would like to throw some light on these issues by categorizing the people into different kinds. Oh! Don’t you get offended! I am not creating any atmosphere of bias and prejudice!

It would be befitting to talk first about Dream Fulfillers- those highly inspiring, successful people belonging to the elite section of society. They need no introduction. Celebs, eminent personalities and so many more names are at the tip of our tongues. Despite hailing from different countries, religions and backgrounds, they share one thing in common- they do what they always dreamt of. They follow and fulfill their dreams. Have you noticed that apart from their fairest share of money, fame and name, they also had the largest share of failures and setbacks? Interesting, isn’t it?

Now, speaking about the second category, a question strikes as to why most of us don’t find ourselves in the above category. Yes, we can! But just like medical ailments or syndromes don’t allow the human body to work at its best, similarly there are certain social or behavioural syndromes that hinder the second category to realize their true potentials. They are as follows-

Marching after Mob syndrome - Oh yes, doing what the family or society wants you to do rather than doing what really interests you! Beware! This syndrome can make anyone an amoeba that adjusts itself quite nicely to the surroundings rather than sculpting its own shape or identity!

Money is Mighty syndrome - Well, you have understood. I admit that money is an important factor for financial security but it’s not the primary yardstick of success and happiness. Selecting your work or career only according to the magnitude of money can surely divert you from what you really love.

LKK syndrome (the most famous) - You may be scratching your heads in apparent confusion as to the full-form of this abbreviated syndrome! Breaking the confusion, it’s the most reputed syndrome affecting our minds with a powerfully devastating delusion - Log Kya Kahenge! Oh yes, it’s a delusional fear that looms over our minds. Many of us have unconventional and unorthodox dreams that starkly contrast with what the society/family/friends are doing at large. However, as soon as we decide to turn those dreams into reality, this syndrome grabs us from taking the plunge! We fear the supposed reactions from other people. All the hypothetical visions get vividly painted in our minds: - what the others would think of me? Friends and acquaintances will look disdainfully down at me, society sneering and scorning at my dreams, and of course what-about-my-image belief and so much more! But, believe me, the most amusing reality is that no one really cares what you do or which path you take! We should remember that successful people are those who walk on the road not taken! So, be a warrior instead of worrier!

The above syndromes will result into nothing but regrets! If you are suffering from the above ailments, you are bound to get frequently attacked by waves of profound regrets and wistful longing when you see other people achieving success in the sphere you had wanted to succeed.

Carefully note that the above said category comprises of people who know their dreams but are not following their instincts. They are aware of what they love most but the above syndromes inject fear in their minds. And this fear doesn’t allow them to convert the lemon into lemonade!

Undeniably, there are also people who are unaware or vaguely aware of their true potentials. They don’t have a clear idea of their passions and skills, and their interests keep constantly swinging from one to other like a pendulum! Also, there are others who think that unfulfilled dreams cannot be pursued after a certain age limit! If you are among them, then I must tell you that pursuing your dreams has no correlation with time. In fact, I wouldn’t be wrong if I say that many successful personalities achieved success much later in their lives. South-Superstar - Sir Rajinikanth; Comic-Creator - Stan Lee; famous actors - Boman Irani and Alan Rickman; renowned author - J.K. Rowling and so many more are the archetypes of achieving glory late in life!

As a metaphor, you are like is a dormant volcano and, if made active, you can explode the lava of your true potential! So, be always curious about things you love! Curiosity is the doorway to unravel the hidden talents.  Albert Einstein rightly said -“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

The above discussion boils down to the conclusion that the fact of “happy within” has a direct nexus to the passion you are pursuing. However, the adage - excess of anything is evil - has to be kept in mind, too. Whatever work you do should not lead you to the point of obsession. Your passion should not become an obsession. Other areas like health, personal and social life are equally important along with hobbies. Hobbies are the spices adding to the flavour of life. Instead of sinking in front television for hours after work (which makes you doubly exhausted than you were already!), pursuing interesting hobbies can reenergize you.

Having said all these, I would like to finish with a quote of world famous inventor- Steve Jobs- “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do!”


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