A couple of days back, I happened to meet a very dear friend of mine from my school days. We coincidently not only went to the same school but also the same college. Here is an extract of the conversation that ensued amongst us thereafter:
“Yaar, it is good to be meeting you after such a long time.” —Friend
“Same here buddy. So, how is it going?” —Me
“Yaar, I have got this job of Assistant Executive to the CEO of a company. I am glad that I have been able to get this one, for I had been waiting for so long to get this one opportunity, which I wanted to make it count.” —Friend
“Wow! That’s really nice. Congratulations.”–Me
“Thanks man. You know I always used to look at our batch mates, who have been able to do so well in their life. Some have gone on to become VPs in their own company. Some, on the other hand, have been able to excel in their own start ups. Some have gone on to become bureaucrats. It is amazing, how the same guys who used to study with us, once upon a time, have been able to achieve totally different lifestyles.”—Friend
“That’s so very true. When we were in college, we never used to think about what the future will be and even if we did we never imagined that the future will be so different for each one of us. We never thought that the status and the opportunties that we would get would be so different from one another.”—-Me
“I remember when Deutsche Bank was supposed to come to our college for placement. How naive we were not to understand the fact that the life of those who would start with companies like Deutsche or Schlumberger would be so different than those who would start with small companies. How fast the people joining the big shot companies would rise in their career leaving behind those who wouldn’t be able to make it through those companies.”—Friend
“Not only did we not realize the significance of what we would be missing, but also we would end up passing comments and making fun of those, who would put in their hard work and prepare themselves for these companies. We used to refer to them as Maggus. It is today that these Maggus have been able to leave a mark on this society.”—Me
“Indeed, they have been. Today when I got this job, I felt like I belong to the same league. I had been going through this complex seeing the others excel.”—Friend
“It happens, yaar. Once you start to compare yourself with others, you tend to develop this kind of feeling. On one hand, where you get to see a person from the same batch moving around in a Mercedes, on the other hand, you see people struggling to buy even a car. The contrast that you see, make you think, whether the decisions you had taken in your life were really worth it and you start questionning the logic behind taking such decisions, at the same time reminiscing about what could have been, in case you had taken different decisions in your life, at a time, when it really mattered.”—Me
“What about you? Don’t you ever feel frustrated? Don’t you ever feel left behind in this rat race? Don’t you feel that you should wear the best of clothes? Don’t you feel that you haven’t gone on to achieve what you could have?”—Friend
“These are indeed very tough questions to be answered. I, of course, feel that at times, if I start comparing myself with anyone who has been more successful than me, for instance if I compare myself with you 😉 . But, on second thoughts, I feel that life is a trade-off. Everyone needs to set priorities in their life and should do accordingly, because when they will be, say 60 years old, they would want to reflect on what had just gone by and would want to believe that overall they did well.”—Me
“So what is your priority in life? What do you want to be thinking when you reach that age? Why I am asking this is because I feel that you never seem to get too affected by lots of things in life.”—Friend
“My priority has been and will always be my family. No materialistic thing in the World can take away this priority from my life. All my decisions would always be contigent on the same. I guess that’s the reason why I don’t get so upset about things, so easily.”—Me
“Hmm! Wish I clould think like you. I get really affected by things around me and the ambition in me motivates me to go after luxuries in life, at times ignoring even my family.” —Friend
“Dude, life seems always greener on the other side. There is this concept of opportunity cost which I always used to find extremely funny. It all depends on how one would want to interpret an opportunity. For me, the thing we ended up doing was the only opportunity that we had, for those we didn’t avail can be well interpreted as one which wasn’t meant to be availed and if it wasn’t meant to be availed then where does the concept of opportunity arise in this case.”—Me
“Hmm! You should start a new subject, the philosophy of Management ;).”—Friend
“I wish I could 🙂 .”—Me
And that was it. Life is certainly what you make of it. Though, some believe that the parameters or the range which has been provided to you might have already been decided by somewhere sitting up there. It is up to you to believe in this or not.
But what you should certainly try to do is to derive satisfaction from whatever you end up doing. For if you dont, then no matter how high you rise in your career or profession, you will always feel a void in and around you, which will never let you enjoy the possessions and luxuries, which you achieved via your hard work and efforts.
So, stay positive and stay satisfied :).
Source for Image: http://www.teenadvisors.org/conversation-starters, http://barefoottheology.blogspot.in/2010_05_01_archive.html
Thats right, we need to set our priorities, which may or may not be in vogue. But the biggest challenge lies in steadfastly sticking to them. Some of us may naturally be prone to doubting our chosen priorities whenever we happen to compare ourselves with those who chose otherwise.
Dinesh, what you have said is so true. The majority amongst us lack the conviction and self belief and the other might just not gather the courage to do something which is uncoventional. As a result, they end up feeling frustrated later on in their lives. The way out of this situation is to do what one likes to do rather than just going along with the tide.