Saturday, January 10, 2009

Raising the Bar!!!

Hmm, here I am going to use this post to do some soul searching and will be trying to generalize some of my personal traits as something which comes with being a human being! So, please do get offended as I am including you also into my group and in case you don't feel like getting offended, then join the club!

I guess, that is a good enough preface to what is going to be written now. Wait a minute, am I again trying to go around the bush! OK, just for a moment I forgot that we all are done with Mr.Bush, am so am done with this precursor too... (That was a joke, and you are supposed to laugh when someone says a joke!)

What I want to write about is the feeling of satisfaction. Yes, that is the big topic today! How often have we (See, I told ya'l I will be generalising) felt a complete sense of satisfaction without any craving for more and be blissfully happy?

I must say this now itself that, I am not including people who earn a livelihood by doing what they love the most. For example, people like artists, sportspersons etc will be getting a lot of satisfaction because they love doing that the most. So I am not counting in those people!

Tricky, eh?

I know, when we think about it hard, we can realize that there are very few such occasions.

I want to associate this phenomenon with something else, other than not doing what you love. I would say that it is because we keep raising the bar for us to feel satisfied!

Here, let me explain! And now, I am going to give my example and will not be accusing all human beings for a while. So, sit back, relax and enjoy! (As if you people were afraid and tensed. Whom are you kidding, Arun?)

Before getting a job, even during the college days, all I wanted was to get a 9-5 job which pay decent salary so that I can help dad run the family. So I was in a state of ecstasy when I got the appointment letter from Infosys, which was ready to pay me far more that what I had wished for. And that was one of those moments when I was feeling so happy and satisfied.

Then, days, weeks, months and years passed by! Started knowing about the salary levels, living standards etc of IT comrades(just a gentle reminder that I am from a communist governed state), I started feeling restless inside.

After a while, I was not satisfied with the kind of work that I was doing. Support project, no way! I need high end development in the most high flying technologies of the time. I say,"There is discrimination, while few of us slog day and night to do some job that anyone can do, while some others are enjoying development/design projects etc".

It did not stop there. Then the thought process went like this, "Why am I being paid these peanuts compared to some of my peers/friends in other companies?".

Then, working on weekends! "Hello, am a software engineer, am not supposed to work on a saturday!". Just think about it! For someone who grew up seeing your dad, uncles, cousins all going to work 6 days a week, can't get adjusted to the fact that he has to work on a couple of saturdays so that the project can be delivered on time. Funny, ain't it?

There I was slowly raising the bar and started yearning for more, in terms of life style, kind of work, the money that is paid to me etc. Even the slightest increase in the height of the bar, created waves of dissatisfaction in the ranks!

And one day, I hear that a friend is going onsite. Ah, the evergreen dream destination of a greenhorn software engineer. During the irritating onsite calls, I used to think, "Hmm, stop showing of bro! Agree you are onsite now, but I will also be there at some point and then I will show you how to behave with your offshore counter parts!".

But the main attraction was $$$$$$$ and the pleasure of traveling and seeing places! Remember that these things were not even in the wildest dreams of a daydreaming engineering student who always dreamt of representing his country in a multitude of sports(Even in Tennis wherein he hasn't even seen a real tennis racquet till then). So now you know how wild my day dreams where. But the onsite $$$ and travelling was not really a part of those dreams!

So, there again, I started yearning for more. Before this happened, I used to smirk at the colleagues who used to have fights with Managers asking them to be send onsite. But at some point of time, I also joined their league and started raising voice.

Again I was not satisfied by what I was having. Never even took time to look back and listen to that simple guy who found joy in simple things.

So, I think it is time for me to realize that the key to having a truly satisfied life is to keep your aspirations to a limit. This will mean that you can remain satisfied through out your life, rather than being dissatisfied and restless chasing the bar that you yourself was taking out of you reach with each positive step that you take towards it!

Too much thinking for now, let me have some cold water to cool it off!



Dony said...

come on, plz don't redefine laziness:)

i take ur point tht we hv to be content with what we have in life. but that shouldnt limit our aspirations. there is nothing wrong in raising the bar continuously.
otherwise how will we hv wheels, then bullock carts, then cars, then trains, then bullet trains etc.

talking abt one's life, still it is important tht one has to be restless in life to achieve more and more as the days pass. call it the purpose of life!
u r gifted with intelligence not to
work as clerk but to architect SCM software:)

being content with what we have is an aspect of spiritual world and aspiring more is an aspect of material world. i connect both with 'purpose of life'

Arun Jose Francis said...

Man, I don't have a reply to that other than "Point noted!" :-)

HowYouDoin' said...

Life without raising the bars is like watching the same movie throughout an year. Boring. Lazy. Imagine a life in which we are satisfied with whatever we have and we dont want anything more. Such a life can only be pretended and one should be extremely lazy to do that.

So what i think about the way to live one life is to decide what one wants in the life:
If you want to just get by, get yourself a hassle-free job which has less responsibilities (in most cases, which pays less).
If you want to get by fine again with time to spend with your family without a job pressure interfering you, but with still a nice job, get a Kerala Governtment job.
If you want to keep going high rather than just getting by, keep raising your bars, be ready to get out of the comfort of things around you once in a while.

If you want to work hard a few years and make a few millions, retire early, then be watchful for the opportunities around you, be ready to get out of your comfort zone for those few years, be ready to sacrifice for a few years doing things you like to get what you want in life where you do only things that you like thereafter.
I may be wrong, but you know, its Life, it is a mean thing and drawing rules along it would take thousand of years. With 7 billion people on this earth, we can find atleast a million rules of life which are correct and at the sametime which is opposing to each other. :)

HowYouDoin' said...

But again man, leading a very thankful and happy life is possible, but for a few years. Because the higher you go, the job will come between it, its sure.
I am running mad, a million rules about life, all of them are correct when viewed from 7 billion points of view. :)

Arun Jose Francis said...

Wow, very valid, Sree! As Dony pointed out above, it was a post which basically came out of my laziness, or as I will put it, laid back nature! :-)

But, you guys are right! We should make full use of our 'TALENTS'. Only then it can be termed as FULFILLING one's life's purpose!