The S Word

On a recent trip to a northen hill station, I met one of my college friend. He looked cheerful and years younger than me. He welcomed me with a bright smile and a warm hug. Although I had booked a hotel, he insisted that I spend that night with his entire family.

I remember this friend of mine used to be one of the most brilliant students of our class. He was the go to person for any study related queries. And I must confess I was jealous of his popularity. Everyone of us were certain that he will grow up to a high paying job. After completing graduation all of us moved in different direction and had hardly any time to keep in touch with eachother.

Now almost after a decade I am meeting him and I came to know that he works for the state government’s Public Relation Department. This is a decent paying job and he lives in his ancestral house which of course needs a lot of renovation. As well he drives the old Hero Honda Splendor. This left me with a lot of unaswered question and most of important of them how come he is so happy inspite of not achieving the materialistic targets?

After a lovely dinner at night, we went to his terrace. It was cold and we were having a hot coffee together. And I could not refrain myself from asking the obivous. He remained silent for a while and then answered it so beautifully that changed my prespective on life.

Here it goes, “after completing graduation I went to work for one of the well known media companies in Mumbai. However soon I became fade up with it. I saw humans without any human characteristics and values; they were more like machines working on commands. I fled that place and came back to my home town and applied for this government job. I soon got selected because of my academics and experience. I enjoy this job very much although it does not pay me to take overseas vacations twice a year or to buy a car. I enjoy helping common man get access to varius government schemes, I see the gratitude and pleasure in their eyes. And this makes me go to bed at night without any guilt or fear. And I must tell you since last nine and half years I have never experienced a sleepless night. I am blessed to be staying with my family and not with facebook. I am blessed to enjoy the beauty of nature and breath fresh air and eat fresh vegetables. ”

He paused for a moment and the silence was awakard for me as I was so drawn into the conversation. He then dropped a bomb, “ Success to me is to be in peace with myself & enjoy every moment of my life. Whereas most people  tend to put off their enjoyment till their vacations or their retiremnet and I wonder do they really enjoy then?”

I said ‘no wonder you look years younger …..’

So what is your definition of Success? Plz Leave your comment….

The Risk of not taking any risk

I met an old friend of mine yesterday evening, being a Saturday everybody was in a relaxing mood. There were four of us and we had a good old chat for about an hour or so. Time flew and none of us realized it. Did you ever have this experience of time flying? I bet you had …

During the course of our discussion, this old friend of mine told me to suggest him some good place to work or refer him for a suitable (well paying) position. He is in his early 30s and so far have not been successful in his professional life. He is now desperate to get a high paying, secure job that does not demand much from him.

He was a very good student back in our college days and I asked him how come he landed in this position? He said after graduation he wanted to go to a bigger city for work, however his parents restrained him from doing so as they had no known ones or relatives in that place. He spent time preparing for other exams and government services. However to his luck, he could not crack any of them as he was not fully into it. Later he tried some small jobs out of which selling life insurance was one and when opportunity came to take more responsibility and get promoted as a manger of the company; he rejected that offer saying that he could not take the pressure of achieving stiff targets. After which he decided to go for higher studies, cracked the entrance exam however he could not afford the course fees. There were options for him to avail study loan and repay it after completing the course. Again his cynicism got the better of him and he decided that it will be too risky to mortgage his home and take the loan.

And now he repents for his not taking those actions, not risking out, not allowing him to explore the possibilities of life. He said I always avoided taking risks but now my entire future is at risk. I could not help but agree with the wise words of him.

There are many a things in life which all of us want to do however our inner cynicism never lets us tap into our deepest potential and live our deepest desires. We fall into the trap of procrastinating which slowly consumes the quality of our life. So it is for us to break free and really trust our human potential to achieve that we most desire. As the saying goes “it is better to be loved and lost rather to be not loved at all“. So my encouragement to both you and me: let’s take risk, let’s do those things that gives us the most joy, that exercises our brain and muscles the most. Let us make the best use of this human experience.