Settled

Today I’m going to tell you a story about a boy called Manny.

When Manny was in 9th standard, his father told him, “Look Manny, these next two years are very important. You should study really hard now, 11th and 12th will be a lot better then. I promise.” He had many hobbies, but he was mainly interested in painting and drawing. His father told him, “Look, you will have a lot of time to paint and draw later in life. For now you should work hard in school so you can get settled in a nice high school.” So Manny decided to give less importance to his hobbies and decided to study. He wanted to achieve this supposedly great state of being, a state which his father called being settled.

Soon enough, he was facing his 10th boards. He braved each and every exam, acing all of them. He scored a perfect 10 CGPA. Manny was happy. Manny’s father was happy. Manny wrote various entrance tests to try to get accepted into a coaching institute, a place where he would be trained for more entrance tests. He eventually managed to get into one which was considered the best in his city.

Manny was happy. Manny’s father was happy. Manny’s father told him, “Son, these next two years are very important. You should study really hard now, university will be a lot better then. I promise.” He now had only two hobbies, painting and drawing. His father told him, “Look Manny. You will have a lot of time and avenues to pursue your hobbies later in life. You need to focus on your studies for now, so you can get settled in a nice college.” So Manny decided to give less importance to painting and drawing and decided to study. He was now even more intrigued by this strange but attractive state of being, which was being settled.

What all he could do once he was settled. He could live his life to the fullest when he was settled. He was waiting for that time.

Manny studied really hard the next two years. He gave very less importance to his hobbies and focused even more on his studies. He gave his entrance exams, and managed to secure a ‘seat’ in a very prestigious engineering college. Manny was happy. Manny’s father was happy. At the same time, because of his work painting and drawing, he also managed to get admission into a very prestigious art school. Manny was happy.

Manny’s father told him, “Look son, you should study engineering. You should become an engineer, only then can you be settled. You will have a lot of time for art and craft later in life. For now your focus should be on getting settled.” So Manny decided to study engineering. Manny’s father was happy.

During his engineering, Manny had lots of opportunities to explore the arts. He got internship offers, he got freelance opportunities. Manny was happy. He consulted his father about each of these, and his father told him, “Look son, you’ll have lots of these opportunities once you are settled. For now you should focus on your studies and try to get opportunities which can help you get settled.” Manny’s father arranged internships for him in all the best tech firms around the country every summer. Manny worked all these internships every summer. Manny’s father was happy. Manny now only thought about his hobbies, about when he would paint and draw. He would pick up a pencil and paper every once in a while, and doodle something. He would then remember his father’s words, and immediately continue studying.

Manny graduated engineering after four years with a CGPA of 9.86. Manny was indifferent. Manny’s father was at first a little disappointed, but then eventually happy. Manny had gotten an offer from one of the greatest tech firms in the country to work for them. Manny’s father told Manny, “Look son, you need to accept that offer. Only then can you really get settled.” Manny had considered pursuing the arts now that his engineering was over, but was tempted by the possibility of getting settled if he took a job.

Manny decided to accept the offer. The time for art was later, once he was settled. He decided to work for some time and pursue the arts later, once he had some stability, and more importantly, once he was settled. Manny’s father was happy.

Manny worked for two years in that company before he was offered a promotion. He accepted it. ‘If I take this promotion, I’ll be earning more. I’ll be closer on my way to get settled. I can pursue art then.’

Manny worked five more years in that company.

One day, Manny’s father asked him, “Son, what are your plans for getting married? Your mother and I have found a girl for you. We would like you to meet her. We think she’s a girl you can settle with.” Manny ended up marrying the girl. One step closer to being settled, he thought.

Manny worked five more years in his company. He climbed the corporate ladder and eventually he was made vice-president. Manny was happy. Manny’s father was happy.

Manny’s father asked him, “Son, what are your plans for having kids? I think you are settled enough to give us some grand-children.” Manny had his first child the next year. He had a boy. Manny was happy. Manny’s father was happy. Almost settled, he thought. Almost settled.

Manny had now forgotten about his long-lost passion for the arts.

When Manny’s son was in the 9th standard, Manny told him, “Look son, these next two years are very important. You should study really hard now, 11th and 12th will be a lot better then. I promise.”

I’m going to conclude this by quoting, well, myself:

“BTech is love, BTech is life. BTech is the root to good dowry and wife.”

/s

Material Things

What are material things? Are they things like your new iPhone, that brand new car sitting in your garage or that restaurant you blew five thousand bucks on last night? Why do we like material things? Do they make us happy?

One thing I’ve realised over my years of growing up, is that happiness from material things is ephemeral. It lasts only for a short while until you realise what else you need in life. What ends up happening is that you keep buying material things to remain happy, but then eventually one of two things (or both) will happen:

  • You run out of money.
  • You run out of things to buy.

What happens then? You start feeling unhappy again. You start realising that you’ve got a shit ton of stuff you wanted, but that one thing you needed isn’t still there. That one thing you needed could be anything. A group of friends, a better relationship with your parents, true love, more success in your field — anything. So then you get back into your wallow. But now you have nothing to buy, or nothing to buy it with. What now?

The point here is not that you shouldn’t indulge in luxuries and material possessions. Those are there for a reason — to make your life better and more satisfying, provided that your inner peace and inner needs are met. Think of them as the cherry on top of an already amazing cupcake. They can’t make the cupcake.

The point here is that you should understand why you’re feeling sad or low. Is it actually because you wanted that new iPad? Or is it because you have a void in your life somewhere else? You should sit and figure that out first. Material possessions are only temporarily going to fill that void. You need something concrete to fill it. You need peace. You need understanding. You need closure. Once you fill those gaps, only then can you truly enjoy what you earn.

That is all for today.
Mayank

5 Truths About Leaders

Today, I’m going to write about Leadership.

I’m sure all of us at some point or the other have always wanted to be a leader. At school, at work and in society – the one thing which is common in all of these is the presence of a leader. What does a leader do? Why does every entity, group or institution require a leader? More importantly, what does it take to be a leader?

Read on to be able to answer some of these questions.

Truth #1: You Don’t Need To Be a Leader to Be One.

It may sound counter intuitive at first. But the truth is, you don’t need
to be a leader to be one. No one is required to be appointed as a leader by anyone else to be able to lead. Leadership is an attitude; a way of life. It’s not a job or a title. It’s the way one chooses to live.

Think of it this way – you can either choose to dive head-first into all important decisions and be a self-proclaimed and self-asserted alpha in your social group (or place of work, or school) or you can choose to hide in the side-lines and watch while someone else takes that place and all the responsibilities which come with it. No one has to give you a title ‘Mr Firstname Lastname, Leader’ for you to lead. Even if you’re in the lowest ranked job or at the bottom of the school social food-chain (those still exist?), you can still express assertiveness and get things done by people. It’s just your attitude at the end of the day.

Truth #2: The Title (or lack thereof) Doesn’t Come For Free

Sure, being a leader has its perks and awesomeness. But it also comes at a cost – responsibility. Does President Obama sit and chill in his office all day? He’s got a ton of respect as a leader. He still has to do work. If he doesn’t perform, next election he’s out. Even if you don’t have the title of President or even any title at all, being a self-asserted leader also comes at its costs. Once people start developing trust in you as a leader, you have to work. You gotta make the decisions, go through the negotiations and make sure you’re providing the best for the ones you’re leading.

Truth #3: Leading ≠ Bossing

The job of a leader is not to boss around and get people to do things for him while he sits and drinks coffee in his room. The leader is entrusted with the responsibility to develop and train the entire group of people he/she’s leading. The leader leaves no one behind. He’s the protective and nurturing big brother you’ve always wanted.

Truth #4: The Leader Doesn’t Care About Opinions

Now don’t get me wrong. Leaders should definitely take feedback from their colleagues and friends and understand whether what they’re doing is correct or not. But it stops at that. The leader shouldn’t care about what people think of him. Those are usually short term things. The leader always looks at the bigger picture and takes appropriate actions to achieve long-term goals.

Truth #5: There Can Be More Than One Leader

Leaders are not lone warriors standing at the top, guarding, while the rest stay put and let him do all the worrying. At the end of the day, who are you leading? A team. Don’t forget that. The leader needs to work with his team to determine the best course of action for all situations.

That is all for today and thank you for reading!

PS: My exams are starting in a week’s time. I may not be able to write as often as I have been over the past 2 weeks anymore. However, I will try my best to keep writing regularly!