may

Who Do We Aspire To Be ?

I have always looked for the next big thing, something that would excite me. Something i think will teach me something and something that will get me out of bed in the morning. I have always believed that when i don’t like to go to work 3 days in a row then i should quit. This usually happens after a year of staying at a particular organization. This has been the pattern and I have tried to break it. I have noticed that after a period of time when i continue to do the same kind of work i start to get demotivated. Small issues at work start to trigger the flight mechanism in my brain and before i know it i have put in my resignation.

My Mum and Dad have worked for about 35 years in the same organization. They started to work when they were about 25 and continue to work till they retired. Every day they would wake up at 6 a.m. in order to do some household chores and then go to work. This was the pattern for 6 days a week. They did not take a day off to chill at home. From the time i could remember they took time off only to visit my teachers in school / college when they were called or to do some household chores. They didn’t work from home. The day started at 6 am and ended at about 10 pm. My dad would leave to work at 7:30 am in the morning and be back at 6:30 evening in the evening. My mum would drop me to school at 8:30 am and pick me up and bring me back home at 6:30 pm in the evening. This was a time without mobile phones etc. so if they were late they would call the landline after the time the other person was back home. I don’t know if the question of being motivated to go to work ever came up. The question of if they were satisfied at work or liked what they did was even a thought. I have tried and asked and the response was “we don’t really have an option”.  I remember times when my mum would come to back home pissed at her boss and curse and whine about it. Then she would make dinner for us and forget about it. The next morning she went back home at 8:30 am. They transferred her to Mysore to work. She would leave home at 6:30 am and come back at 9:30 pm. She still continued working. The last assignment she took up was in Hyderabad. She would stay there for 2 weeks and come back for 2 days. It was hard on all of us. She finally decided to resign because she thought the family needed her in Bangalore.

When i decide to find work. i usually look for something i am interested in. I refuse job options that don’t meet this requirement. Which means i look for satisfaction at work. I usually quit if I don’t think I am causing impact or that work is not delivering the level of satisfaction. Looks like Uncle Maslow was right. My folks had no choice but to work in order to provide. Since the basics are taken care of I seem to have that choice. Having said that the last few months have caused stress. I figured that after I have gotten married the ability to manage money wisely has gone away. Thankfully and by the grace of God that my wife doesn’t ask for anything. She manages to run the house with what we have and helps figuring out what is really needed.

I work for a startup in Bangalore. The ability to deal with a changing business environment is something that I like. My dad on the other hand hates it. He likes the water to be calm and not choppy always. He believes is stability and year on year reasonable growth. I on the other hand was to grow 10X each year. When i ran my business my Mother would have micro heart attacks hearing the conversations i would have int he phone. She couldn’t understand what and why was i putting myself through this. The risk reward for her wasn’t visible. She wanted me to work in a bank or in a government job so that i would have time for the family and could run something on the side. She dint think the business would make enough to support a family and I must agree that it did not.

The part of my parent life involved buckets or sections. One part of it was work, the other part family. The 2 did not mix and each of them had time allocated. They went out during the weekend. They went on vacation 5 days each year. My life is a little different. Work life balance in my case is a myth. Most times one takes over the other. I go on vacations about 6 times a year and plan trips that are 3 days to 3 weeks depending on which long weekend is around.

To be able to live how they lived would be considered lucky but again to be able to take the leaps of faith that I have taken seems something that fit me. We talk about people who inspired us to push ourselves to achieve greatness. Example of Elon musk or Steve jobs seem to be the common examples but i think anyone who held a job for 30 years and supported a family and educated their kids to live like proper humans being are the real heroes. Since I am talking about me I should add that I do take what they did for granted . Its a good possibility that I would not remember any of this when i meet them later in the evening but once again if you can pay rent, take care of your family and be helpful then thats aspirational. I hope that I can do half as much as my folks did. I know I would have arrived just by doing that. Maybe the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not 500 billion dollars but peace of mind and enough money to take care of the family.

Cheers

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