Friday, July 8, 2022

Canteen Fundas - How the Dots Connect When You Plunge In

 Inspired by Steve Jobs's speech at Stanford.

E-Canteen Fundas: Don't play it safe, pick what you're most passionate about, give it 100% and watch the dots connect

Commit to any of your choices that interest you and commit to them passionately. Give them complete attention. When you live passionately, you open the doors to your destiny

‘I wish I could commit fully to one thing and do it well,’ said Rinku. ‘There’s so much choice and I don’t know what to commit to.’

‘True,’ said Rahul. ‘We wrote down our passions but I’m finding it difficult to commit and give them enough attention. There are so many things that seem to be more important.’

‘But you identified your passions after a lot of thought and effort,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘So, why are you not able to give more attention to what you are passionate about and commit to it?’

‘Because it’s not practical, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘If I study hard and attend the right courses, it will help me get more marks and qualifications. But instead, if I follow my passion for playing the guitar, learning history or literature, what will happen to my career. I’d rather choose data sciences or surgery or whatever, which are not passions of mine today, but at least I’ll end up with a good life.’

READ ALSO : Learning loss due to school closure would've weakened fundamental knowledge of students: Parliamentary panel

‘Ah,’ said Rakesh. ‘So you’re not able to commit because the choices you’re passionate about are not smart choices, right? Your passions cannot assure a good life for you, while smart choices will.’

‘Right, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘If I commit to gaming or filmmaking, which I think I am passionate about, and find out later that I made a mistake, I’ve lost everything. For example, I’m confused about choosing between arts and sciences. I feel that my passion lies in the arts, but I have to pick sciences because it will give me a better career. How then?’

‘Excellent question,’ said Rakesh. ‘It’s a dilemma everyone has — a life of passion, or a secure life. Should we commit to what we’re passionate about or do something smarter. Clearly, there are no assurances either way. Just because you did data science or surgery or filmmaking or gaming does not mean you will be successful — especially if you’re not committed to it or passionate about it. On the other hand, work that you’re passionate about, be it food or music, can help you attain great success. Which means only one thing — whether it is data science or library science — the difference lies in your passion for whatever you are doing.’

‘But bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘A career in music etc may take a long time to establish, to become successful.’

‘What you’re seeking is a secure life,’ said Rakesh. ‘Not a passionate life. In his famous commencement address at Stanford in 2005, which is on YouTube and which you must watch, Apple’s Founder Steve Jobs spoke about three things — connecting the dots, love and loss and living each day like it’s your last. All three are about choices. Jobs dropped out of college in six months, leaving his secure option, and attended a course in calligraphy which had no practical application simply because it interested him. But 10 years later, this knowledge of calligraphy helped immensely when they designed the iconic Macintosh computer which made Apple what it is. Though even he had no idea then, he said it all connected in the end, looking backwards, and that nothing went waste. When he was fired from Apple, a company he founded, he felt like running away but didn’t, because he realised he loved what he did. He started again and built two companies — Next and Pixar. Jobs said, ‘You’ve got to find what you love to do and do great work. Don’t settle. Keep looking. You’ll know when you find it.’ Similarly, as it did for Jobs, your dots will connect in the end too. Like Hari Rao Sanghi from Bengaluru who started a biryani joint because he loved cooking — and ended up discovering a world-class fuel-saving innovation while finding ways to enhance nutritious value in food. So dive into your equivalent of calligraphy or a biryani class now.’

‘Whoa!’ said Rinku. ‘So you mean we can take courses that interest us and that we love — not just the hot courses? It may not help us immediately but it will all connect back later. Right?’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘So, let’s say you have to choose between writing or welding as opposed to career choices that offer a lot of scope and money. Pick what interests you and pursue it wholeheartedly, because in the end, it will boil down to how much you love it, and how passionate you are about it. When you do that you’ll learn how to live passionately, how to do things with love, patience and commitment. And like it did for Jobs and so many others, your true passion or destiny will come calling sooner or later. Nothing will go waste and all the dots will connect — provided you commit yourself 100% to what you love.’

‘But bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘Will I become rich and successful by picking my passions over the money-making jobs?’

‘You will become exactly what you want to be,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘No more, no less. When we do great work we make a difference to the world and to ourselves. In the process of making one great rocket or one great dosa or providing a great service, we may become rich and successful as a byproduct — if we want to. But the only way you can do great work is by being passionate about it, by doing what you love.’

‘Now I get it, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘I’m going with my first intuitive choice, commit to it and give it my 100%. I’m convinced that the dots will connect in the end and nothing will be pointless. Thanks, bhaiyya.’

Pro Tip: Commit to any of your choices that interest you and commit to them passionately. Give them complete attention. When you live passionately, you open the doors to your destiny and what you’re really meant to do comes your way. The first step is to pick what you love, what you’re passionate about. The dots will connect in the end.

No comments: