To The Top!

Sorry but I’m not interested,” he politely said.

I pressured him on it until he said something that totally confused me.  He told me that he *’already made it to the top’*.

I was familiar with his current company and looked at his resume again. He wasn’t anywhere near the top.  He would have needed a telescope to see the top.  He wasn’t even a manager yet.

He explained to me that “making it to the top” for him meant *he loved the exact work he did each day, he loved his company, he was treated fairly and with respect, he made enough money to be comfortable, he had excellent benefits, he had flexibility, and most importantly to him, he’s never missed a single Little League game, dance recital, parent-teacher conference, anniversary, birthday, or any family event.*

He knew what taking the next step in his career meant.  More time, travel, and sacrifice. “Not worth it,” he said.

The definition and priorities of “Making it to the Top” may not be the same for all. It is not what society expects of you, but more of what you expect from yourself.

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Strange that Sword and Words have the same alphabets.

Stranger that both have the same effect, if not handled properly.

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3 Advices

Now – before anyone gets a thought – no.. this is not a religious sermon or a preach, nor am I acting as an advisor.. This was a message that I received and could not but want to share, but also co-relate it to how we act. Part of a long story, about a man travelling, but as I read through, got these three gems that do resonate – but at some point today, we consider them meaningless.

No. 1: Never take shortcuts in your life, In the long run, they may not be worth it, (you could lose your life)

The traveller in the story was told to avoid shortcuts. While travelling through a jungle, he was told of a shortcut that cut his time by 2/3rd. However for some reason he decided to take the longer route… As well – he later found out that the shortcut led to a swamp and an ambush. 

Of course, this does not relate to taking a short cut on your way home and in no way means that you take the short cut that you travel regularly to reach home 10 minutes early, due to lighter traffic and you could die.

However, as we all some day sit back and mull over our life (I am not sure, why we only do this in our later years – when we are 60 or 70 or some on our deathbed), with some of us having a nice drink, one can only remember, how we reached where we reached, where we reached. Some of us would have made our millions, some 00’s of 000’s and be happy, many happier even with their 000’s.

The point would not be about how much money one has made over their lifespan or what some people call being successful in life, simply due to our perceived market value. For me it is at a point where one can always sleep with a peaceful mind that one has reached where he or she has with his own efforts and not stepped over bodies to reach that position. Shortcuts often have a price and dead men tell no tales are old sayings, however so Skeletons hidden in cupboards have a tendency to find their way out also is.

No. 2: Never be too curious (curiosity towards evil can be deadly).

In the story – the traveller stayed at an Inn. Heard noises at night outside his room – felt like investigating, but did not. Went back to sleep but stayed alert. In the morning found out that the noises were used to bring people out from the inn into the jungle and then be robbed and killed.

Curiosity killed the cat, we all learn somewhere in Grade 3, however before we enter Pre-Nursery, we are encouraged to be curious. Parents boast in no uncertain terms when their children express reams of curiosity and how intelligent they are – after all, it makes brilliant tandoori night talk. So why teach us in Grade 3 that Curiosity killed the cat, but as we progress in life – being inquisitive and curious is what matters.

No thin line – the curiousness is good when it comes to learning, however also has a tendency to cross lines into wanting to know people’s personal lives and matters which do not pertain to them. Curiosity, in the professional and personal world often takes a turn for either having information for power or to gloat in some one else’s misery.

No. 3: Never make decisions in moments of anger or pain, because when you repent, it could be too late

In the story, the man comes home after twenty years. Reaches in the night, sees his wife’s shadow and proceeds. Then he sees a mans silhouette along with his wife, both hugging each other. In a rage, he proceeded and wanting to kill them both, but for some reason backed out just before approaching the house door.

Remembering an advice, he stopped, reflected and held  and slept in the bushes. The next day, decided would leave his wife for ever, however wanted to know why she did what she did. Went home, greeted joyously by his wife, hugged to the core, while his heart cried. After his wife managed to control her joy, she introduced him to the male figure that hugged her last night. Their son, who was now twenty years old, who the man had not seen since he left home, not knowing his wife was pregnant when he left.

After meeting his family, the man sat and cried tears of joy. Thank God, he held back for one night.

The one that most of us fall to. We are trained from a young age in a very competitive world to think on our feet, make on the spot decisions and where our parents are competitive and want their kids to live their dreams – we participate in reality shows, where every second matters.

This again is keeping in line with the spirit to win no matter what, it is the one that is first that matters. We are trained in school, in college, in our careers, that who can make decisions fast matters. However what we do not learn is where to stop the decision making process.

Quite often, we embark on our personal life and we still start thinking from our heart. We fall in love, it is the heart that rules, we decide to settle, it is the heart that rules, life goes through ups and downs – some make it, some don’t. Many who don’t often have lost it due to matters of the heart.

We go through tough moments, but we are so tuned to making on the spot decisions, we forget that when in anger or pain, those on the spot decisions do not hold good. We forget that at times like those, the mind is not rational and the heart is on an over boil. Words that we probably do not believe in, or as some say, what we really feel, come out into the open.

We end up taking decisions that if not the next day or the next week, but sometime in life, we wonder as to why we took. Not that one should not, but the impact of a decision taken in haste has destroyed many a relationship and families, including kingdoms of yore.

The irony – despite knowing all of these – we continue doing exactly what the advise tells us not to do. And we wonder why!!

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Bridges Vs Fences

Got this as another thought and some forward notes – could not but help relate it to our mindset.

Once, 2 brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side. Began with a small misunderstanding, grew into a major difference and exploded into an exchange of bitter words, followed by weeks of silence.

One morning a carpenter knocked on the elder brother’s door. “I’m looking for a few days work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs for me.”

“Yes,” said the older brother. “Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river level. Now there is a creek between us. He may done this to spite me, but I’ll do one better. See that pile of lumbar by the barn? I want you to build me an 8-foot fence so I can’t see his place anymore.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The carpenter worked hard all that day. About sunset, when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. Instead, there was a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! It was a fine piece of work, handrails and all.

The farmer’s younger brother was coming across, his hand outstretched. ‘You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done,” he said.

The two brothers met in the middle of the bridge, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.

“No wait! Stay a few days. I have many other projects for you,” said the older brother.

‘I’d love to stay on, but I have many more bridges to build,” said the carpenter.

It is ironic how easy we tend to break our bridges at the slightest provocation. Many are internal, some are externally provoked, but it is a wonder, how easy it is to fall prey to them. We all grow up with our parents teaching us to stand together in times of thick and thin, we grow up hearing stories about the bundle of sticks that could not be broken when all were together, we all grow up in environments that promote togetherness and happiness, yet, as we tend to mature and become intelligent and educated, we grow apart.

We know it, we realize it, but yet, no one wants to take the first step forward. Part of this is also due to us being extra educated when we sarcastically put down the other when he / she makes the first step – “I knew it was your fault”. We allow others to cloud our judgement, we allow our inner beings being subject to what will society think, but we never take the first step.

Many a time, it is too late by the time we realize, sometimes we say, why bother, it has been years – let it be as is. What is even more surprising and common, is that we would rather put our own selves and our families down and allow others to be our bigger priority. We would happily leave our pack and find solace among others, who might be happier that we are not together.. But, are we blind to see it?

Every now and then, we too have a choice to build a fence or bridge!

One leads to Isolation..the other leads to Closeness. The Choice, is ours to make

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Food.. For Thought

A Cyclist – is a disaster for the economy:

  1. He does not buy the car and does not take a car loan.
  2. Does not buy vehicle insurance.
  3. Does not buy fuel.
  4. Does not use the services of repair shops and car washes.
  5. Does not use paid parking.
  6. Does not become obese.
  7. Yes, and well, dammit !

*Healthy people are not needed for the economy. They do not buy drugs. They do not go to private doctors.* *They do not increase the country’s GDP !*

On the contrary, every new McDonald’s outlet creates 30 jobs:

10 Dentists, 10 Cardiologists and 10 Weight Loss Experts.

Irony is – we prefer the latter!

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