Monday, May 9, 2011

The Action Without Reward Conundrum

Why does anyone not want anything better for oneself? The path is clear - of sacrifice and hard work, of resilience and focus, of clarity and belief - but still one does not want to take it. Pople opt to be slow and deadened by the very energy that should make them vibrant and brimming with enthusiasm. Slowed by their lack of will to better themselves. A question that often bothers me - why don't you want to do all the things that can make your life better? What is stopping you? When I look at myself I can see so many things I can do but stop, postpone. But why don't you?

I am happy with what I have is the first answer I get. Maybe I don't need it. Maybe I am too lazy.

I think these answers are too shallow and not the truth. I think the truth is that all things focused at getting something better require action. And this action comes with no guarantees of reward. We are too stuck with our guarantees for our acts that we do not act until the guarantee is in place. Guarantees only mean one thing - lack of faith, lack of trust and lack of confidence. It is fear that things might not happen. There are no guarantees really and we all know that.

But we live without action. We act only to the extent that we know we can find a reward. If I know that sweeping the road or pulling a rickshaw gives me this amount of reward I am fine. I will not spend a day, a second in doing anything else I do not know - even if it means a far better return than this. All action thus lies in the realm of the known. A limiting circle which gets you no further in knowing yourself. In knowing how unlimited you are.

Action then is the key. In some direction. In small ways. At any given moment when you are caught with no work ask yourself - what is it that I could be doing if I really wanted to? And do it. If it is as simple as sitting and talking to your child, your friend, your spouse, at that moment for just five minutes so be it. It is far more satisfying than waiting for the end of the day when neither of you maybe inclined. Action without anticipating reward is better than no action. No action only indicates slow death.

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