Saturday, December 11, 2010

Loving What You Do - The Key Really

One question that is always on our minds is this? Is it enough that we just do something that we love? Do you mean that people love things like accountancy, cleaning up, doing post mortems etc? If I love playing the guitar can I live my life like that. Can I be a success just like that or will I be a hopeless failure not having a professional degree, a good job and wind up in the drink at twenty five or thirty with no direction.

I always wondered how to answer the cynicism that I would detect in some eyes when I said, do whatever one thing well, and you will start loving it. My theory is that if you love something and really have the courage to pursue it with a free mind, you will do it. You will write as I did for almost ten years, three novels and a collection of children's stories, without a hint of a publisher and hundreds of rejections - because you like writing anyway. You will still seek publishers because you do want to get published and you do everything to achieve that objective as long as you live. Sometimes aggressively, sometimes softly, sometimes tiredly, sometimes taking a break - but you will, come back and do it. Same thing with a guitar, or wildlife or photography. If you wnat to do it so badly, you will find the equipment, you will make the secret portfolio, you will garner courage to enter exhibitions, get applications, do the things that help you furthering you in that line.

That in itself will make you the expert. You will know and understand the business, the technology, the process, the masters, the opinions. Once you are the expert - you are there. Success is only waiting beyond the door. But then, it does not matter about success so much. You are already doing what you love which is even bigger.

The other way - the regular way - of the less fortunate, the less courageous and the less clear, is to do what you do really well. Discover for once what it means to get immersed in the job, do it fully, do it as it is your last deed on the earth. And then you start feeling that you actually love it. You do all the things that I mentioned above - you will push yourself, you will find the process you will speak to the experts, you will enjoy being the seeker, and soon you will be the master. And once you are the expert in whatever area, you realise that you can do it with anything else. You will have learnt the process to love what you are doing, and that gives you the space to find what you love doing.

Once you do that, nothing can stop you. But what one must not do is be dishonest, lazy and irresponsible with these words. One cannot say I love it, but I have no money, no support, no chances, no luck etc. You know the story. Anyone who has made it has no time for these excuses because they know that the person who still has some excuses ready is not a true seeker. Is not truly passionate, fully honest with his work. In total love, 100% love, there are no more excuses. There are only other ways, some other way, to get there. And with that kind of a madness, nothing can stop you.

One needs to be like Ekalavya, the tribal warrior of the Mahabharatha, to become the expert. All by himself if need be. Ekalavya figured out everything by himself and was a greater archer than Arjuna. He will always be referred to with respect for that. So then, to quote Prof. Nargundkar, in the interview on MBAs, do whatever you are doing well, give it your best shot, your 100% and more, and you will understand what loving what you do means.

All the people I met who have succeeded in their lives have said this - that they love what they do. Mountainering, cricket, advertising, administration, photography, direction, acting, writing - the key to success is to love doing what you do.

1 comment:

Harsha said...

This reminds me of the book "Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results". The book says "Love the work you do - even if you can't always do work that you love"