Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thought for the Day - The Link between a Challenging job and Happiness

It is not just any job that we want. We want a job that challenges us. One that defines us. We are all looking for worthy challenges.

Most times our lives and jobs are boring. 'Its not exciting.' It would be nice to a job that challenges me. Else, I am doomed to eternal boredom. Why can't I find that challenging, interesting job? Why am I unlucky always?

Entire lifetimes are frittered away in search for this challenging job. Sometimes it looks like we got it. Then we find it is not just right. And on and on. You get the drift?

The 'challenging job' is a mindset. Its not something that falls in your lap. If you want challenge you can find it everywhere. In all that we do. Who is stopping you from challenging yourself in whatever you are doing and finding fulfillment in that.

But we want it someplace else. In some other form.

When I say that a challenging job is a mindset, I mean that it must be internal. An external challenge is short lived and not your 'own'. But when it is internal, you can never be short of fun and excitement. Everything becomes a wonderful challenge. Every moment is a new one to be pushed, to be explored, to be enhanced and expanded. The most mundane job can rise into the realms of high excitement.

You know those types who seem to have 'challenging jobs' and 'happiness' don't you? I met a chaiwallah in our Mumbai office (Makwana) who takes so much fun in giving you his chai on time and with his special touch. His appearance on our office floor brought a new energy. I have spoken of Manoj Naik the chef at Goa and his unbounded enthusiasm for work. I have seen car drivers pride their driving, their cars and shine them till they shone bright. I have seen ordinary tasks being transformed into works of excellence and have seen ordinary mortals convert every moment into something exciting and interesting. And challenging. Oh, its a love affair I can tell you. And its a creative mind that constantly expands boundaries.

How can we challenge ourselves is the question we must ask ourselves, in what we are doing now? In our jobs, in our lives.

I was once saddled with a job that not many wanted to do. But it somehow caught my fancy. Let me do a good job of it I thought, since no one wants to do it. (It appealed to my quirky sense.) I put my heart and soul into it and its one of those events in my life that defines me, that I take so much pride in, that gives me the confidence to say I-can-handle-whatever.

A challenge thrown at you externally may not always push you on a committed path and grow you. But a challenge thrown by you internally will certainly grow you.

Challenge yourself in your mind. Work quietly, purposefully. There is nothing to prove to anyone. Expand your job, your life and redefine it with your framework. That's your only route to finding challenge in your job, in your life. That also happens to be the only known route to finding happiness. (The other route is rather unreliable, of happiness finding you!)

These are states-of-mind that we must 'be' in to make our lives and jobs exciting every moment. Not the other way round. That if I 'find' something exciting, I will feel challenged and happy. Be, Get and Do, is the order. Not Do, Get and Be. (As in Do work, Get Money and Be Happy.) Let me now go and challenge myself.


Rajendra said...

it IS challenging to do this regularly.

Harimohan said...