Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Thoughts!!

“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do” says Mark Twain in his story, ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’.
Coming to think of it, those two sentences hold one of the fundamental principles of success and joy in life.

Why do we sulk when our parents ask us to study and why don’t we even battle an eyelid when it comes to sweating it out in the sun playing games? Why such different terminology of ‘Work’ and ‘Play’?

Leaving physics aside, work can be commonly be defined as the amount of effort involved or in other terms the measure of physical, mental, or emotional energy they will have to spend to perform the same. Don’t we do the same thing while playing? Which is that one game that doesn’t require you to exert physically/mentally/emotionally? I cant think of any. Then why different terminologies?

This perhaps stems from our very approach to it. Anything that we love doing, is termed as play, while anything that we are forced to do we see it as work. Hence we have terms like homework, and class work. No one teaches us to play. We do it because we get pleasure out of it. That’s the way we unwind, that’s the way we get to do things our way.
What Mark Twain conveyed to us through that story was, that if you do something, that you want to do, that you are interested in doing, then its play, and if you are doing it because someone’s asked you to, or you are being coerced to, then its work. And blessed is the man, who has made his work his play. And life is a sempiternal quest to strike the right balance.

So where does that lead us, all of us work to earn a lively hood, how many of us are working because we enjoy what we are doing and how many of us are working because it’s a mode of steady income, it’s a social symbol and the likes. I don’t want to hazard a guess, but I have this feeling that, there are very less people who have been able to find the occupation that they wanted to do all their life, something that brings the best out of them each day, each hour. Something that gives wings to their passion, ignite their dreams. For them work is never about money, about recognition and the likes, for them it’s a sense of satisfaction of being able to do what they love day in and out, like a kid being allowed to play cricket(you can imagine your favourite sport) all day.

As to why this kind of a topic in my blog, well, I was thinking the other day, about the term job satisfaction and what does that mean to me. After some introspection, I realized that the one thing that gives me satisfaction at the end of the day is the money and recognition. I then slipped into a mode where I dug through the annals of my mind to find out, was it really what I wanted to do. Is this the one thing that excites me? Alas the answer was ‘No’.

I then posed the same question to a couple of close friends and after tittle-tattle they too agreed that, they weren’t also living their passion. And that perhaps is one of the main reasons to the question we keep asking our fellow country men after each and every Olympics. A country of over a billion and all that we have to show for is 3 medals and this too is our best performance.

We all want our country men to do well in their chosen arena of sports. But we wouldn’t encourage our own wards to take up sports as a career, the only exception being cricket.
Very less parents encourage their children to try alternate professions. We are always known to play it safe. How many children are forced to give up, their passions of singing/music/painting etc as they move ahead to high school under the tutelage of their parents and well wishers. They would often tell you,
“This is the best time to study; you can do all that the rest of your life”

We measure the success of a person by the amount his bank account swells at the end of every calendar month.

This alas, is the bitter truth and am a prey to this as well and so are so many of you.
There is just this one life we have, we should live it to the fullest, we should chase our dreams and work (play) hard to fulfill them. I have made up my mind and am going to give wings to my passion and live my dream. .

So what do you want to do? Work or Play.

The choice is yours….