November 10, 2008

Live as if there is NO tomorrow

Do you see people coming to office on Monday mornings with a gloomy face? I wonder how they have spent their weekend. Was the Sunday evening start of the frustration? Possibly the agony of the coming week looms large on them. The harsh reality of a struggle they would encounter through the work days. Well, there may be many around us with a similar state of mind - if you care to look around - entrapped in an emotional state of negativity.

One such guy I know, is Ravi (name changed). I knew he was bored with the job, yet he was in it for the past eight years which he still believes is his career. I knew him well, and I understood that he was trapped in a career he hated. Yet, the social responsibilities forced him to move on. In effect, every day in office for him was another boring day - as if to go through the chores and watch the clock tick. The lack of enthusiasm was contagious enough to not only touch his quality of work but of his peers! I saw that as a negative parasite sat in a so called, positive (but rotting) sack where much was at stake. Yet, the guy was expected to contribute, deliver and fulfill the goals his manager gave him.

One day over a cup of coffee, I asked Ravi, "Why would you like to do something that you do not like?" Ravi's response was exactly what I anticipated, "What options do I have? I am into this job and I have to pay the EMIs and the bills. I never wanted to do this kind of work but I studied engineering and I was always told that I must work for a good company."

"And, what would you like to do, given a choice?"

"Not sure, but I do not enjoy what I do."

I wondered, "If you really do not know what you want to do, what makes you happy, then how the hell would you know what would you like to do in your life?"

Probably that was too difficult a question for Ravi to answer spontaneously, but we went back to our work.
Few weeks later, Ravi came up to me and said, "Can we talk for a moment?"


As we walked over to the coffee machine, Ravi said "Well, I intensely thought what I wanted to do. I know exactly what I should do....."

"So are you quitting?"

"No, I am not", he thoughtfully said. "I would continue to do what I am doing. But I have noticed the interesting pieces within the clutter of work I hate to do. I clearly know that the interesting stuff will give me enough motivation to finish my other chores as well."

I was puzzled, "How did you manage to suddenly change your frame of mind?"

"Till few days back I blamed my destiny that I was in this job, struggling through the days. But I realize today, that though I blamed others for my destiny, it was me who chose to accept and it was me who is bearing the consequences. But today I believe, its me who is responsible for where I am and its me who must change it for better ..... Until I exactly know what I want to do in life, I would try to enjoy what I do and bring out my best to deliver the best."

He paused for a moment to continue, "Well, at the end of the day every moment in office is a moment lost in life. Who can control the moments of my life most, other than me? I am completely transformed and motivated to ensure I enjoy every moment - a moment is past the very next moment, and is eternally lost! Its only one life to live and I would like to live as if there is no tomorrow."

Couple of moments by the water cooler that day, left a lasting impression on my outlook.

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