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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Careers, Profession

Nowadays any career in any cadre is like this. Recently I was asked to speak at a meeting held for business development managers and HR professionals in software companies. I said in olden days those who sacrificed their family relationships, their time, everything and stayed away in search of increasing their wisdom were called saints and nowadays many do the same thing for earning money and they are called employees, irrespective of cadre . Everyone went into laughter. 

Then I dwelt upon how life , at least biological existence of our life is determined mostly in terms of chronology. What we do with our time? At least 7 hours in sleep, 1 to 2 hour[s] attending to our personal chores like bathing, toilet, dressing up,eating etc 10 to 12 hours work and travel put together. so effectively 21 hours is gone . We are left with just 3 hours at our disposal. How we spend these three hours? With whom? For what? Are we too tired to even think actively in these three hours etc? What are the inevitable social and religious obligations and family compulsions , our passions, our hobbies, our pet entertainment elements which share major part of this 3 hours? Are we left with something called a time for ourselves? Do we have the luxury for enjoying time with others whom we love and wish to consolidate our relationship with like our parents, children , spouse etc ? Time management is all about effective, relaxed , focused and contextually meaningful utilization of these three hours that we are left with. I say contextual because if we have a child or an ailing aged parent or a spouse who is not well they become a priority over everything else. Even our eating and sleeping can be sacrificed for them but we cannot avoid the compulsions of our career because it provides a very vital vitamin for our social and biological survival called money. Life can be rendered more meaningful,comfortable, happy only when we are able to/capable of balancing all these different choices, contexts, shifting priorities based on our natural attributes and nurtured attitudes constantly chaffing away things and issues which are relatively irrelevant at a specific situation or context in our life. For example tasty food and pleasant dress could be the priority when we were young and not when we are 60 plus. All our actions are based on three broad classifications what we want to do, what we can do and what we are destined to do. 

We cannot have a control or choice over the last one but we can and must have clarity regarding the other two and make our choices depending upon what we want in life. Career options are all about that . They need not necessarily be confined to social image or pay check alone. While I like and do undertake many such psychological tests on a regular basis to console myself that I could be branded as sane as per these evaluations I feel what is best is the following combination which leads us to our choices namely what our gut feelings prompt us through experience and life's urge to live rather than merely survive at every context/situation and this tempered by common sense and rational outlook for a normal and happy life . 

This does not exclude the spirit of adventure, the impulse of social service, attending to others and help them in whatever way we can , pursuing our passions and natural talents which may not have a role in our career path. So ultimately these three factors what we want to do, can do and destined to do decide with varying degrees of their manifestation or predominance at different times what we are and how our life is. For example a sudden accident or disease can upset the whole process of life either for good or bad. There are only few who are lucky to have immense talent which is also a passion as well as their profession and career like great sportsmen, artists, scientist etc. These blessed souls are few, nature or evolution or God wants it that way so that human race does not get intoxicated in pleasure and happiness and forget to enhance growth of civilization.

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