Thursday, November 30, 2006

Miscellaneous observations on the last day at my old job

At this very moment there are an unspecified number of thoughts in my head that are competing to be articulated (I was going to say 'competing to be said' but then it would rhyme with 'thoughts in my head' and impart a touch of frivolity to this sentence, which was not my intention). I'm going to try and keep this short - I know I have a tendency to ramble! There's no specific sequence and I am just going to let passion determine the order of presentation of my competing thoughts, some of which may be inter-related.

First, there's the issue of behaviour and conduct in general - be it business protocol or social niceties, some people (in fact quite a few people ... hang on, actually, most people) just don't get it. It has nothing to do with geography (which part of the galaxy / solar system / world / country / town you live in) or tax bracket (how much you're worth in any given currency) or even (surprisingly) which school you went to! It does have something to do with success, however: it is inversely proportional to how successful you've become over how short a time. Please note that I am talking about sudden success here; incremental success allows you to take it in slowly. What do I mean by success? Doesn't matter. What matters is what the individual in question means by success. Which leads me to the following observation: inside each of us is an obnoxious arsehole waiting to get out, and what lets that genie out of the bottle is sudden, immense success! A wise man (Abraham Lincoln, perhaps) once said something to the effect that the true character of an individual is brought out not when he is down and out but when he is hugely successful. Alas - it is so rare to find people with even a modicum of social graces, that the few one comes across, one treasures. Even if those people are otherwise not one's 'type' (in terms of common interests, etc.)

The second thought, which is probably, in some 'spaghettistical' way (another word of my coinage, to mean: 'similar in nature to an entangled mass of spaghetti strands') related to the first, is about Talent and Luck, and their role in success. And about Self-Actualisation. I would sum it up as follows, the metaphor being a card game: (1) You are not responsible for the cards you are dealt - this is obvious (2) You, and you alone, are responsible for your play - also, obvious (3) You are free to quit the game for any reason whatsoever, it is entirely your call (4) If you want to stay, you may want to learn to play well so you don't go through the trauma of failure unless you want to wallow in it (5) If you like the game, you may want to learn to play well in order to experience the joy in winning, or at the very least, indulge yourself in the art of fine card play.

So where's the connection with Talent, Luck and Self-Actualisation? Well, duh ... Luck - the cards you're dealt (you could get a series of lousy deals: sorry, bad luck). Talent - what you do with them (great players can win with a losing hand too). Self-Actualisation - reaching a state of being where in each deal, you are able to take the hand you're given, set yourself a goal or a target (which may be 'win' / 'lose' / 'pass' that round, based on that hand, your capability of which you are fully aware, and knowing what you want, of which also you are fully aware) and give it the best you've got. In this state, the word potential makes no sense. You ARE in the present, what in the past was considered as your 'hidden potential'. To me, that's success.

Lastly, on a different note, I was touched by the going-away gifts I got from my team: books, music, chocolate, a lamp and a large greeting card with everyone's messages on it. I'm a fairly private person at work, though I do choose to make friends as well, sometimes. Somehow they found out that the piano and the guitar are prominent instruments in my life, and that I like classical music. So they got me a Richard Clayderman CD and another one called 'Hawaii' featuring acoustic guitar by an unknown musician, with backing arrangements. Content: instrumental version of pop songs old and new - mostly romantic ballad -type stuff. I was so touched by the gesture and the effort that must have gone into buying these gifts. The book was something about the 'Present' by the guy who wrote who stole my cheese or whatever. I flipped through it and it had an uncanny resemblance to 'The Power of Now' which I reviewed (rather harshly, I may add) in an earlier blog post. Maybe it's me - maybe I attract these themes. Or maybe these topics echo the zeitgeist. But this book is in story form and held my interest from the word go. Maybe I will learn something from it! Thank you, team.


Gaurav Agarwal said...

Hello.. Firstly congratulations and best of luck for the new stage of life that your about to enter into.. secondly you did ramble again in your post :))..
and thirdly, i like the point you make about luck, success etc.. but more importantly i have noticed that people always want to be friends with two kinds of people - one who are worse than they are and ones who are more successful than they are. Former for boosting their own ego, everybody likes to win once a while and later for setting some goals in life. Though again this whole scheme points to only one thing people do not do what they want to do, they are best at following others than doing something on their own. (I personally hate this approach and this whole comment now makes me wonder how much am i a part of this thing!) :)

HyperActiveX said...

Yes, I think you're right ... I did ramble after all :)

Interesting perspective (about hanging with people greater than / lesser than oneself). And your comment makes me wonder how much *I* am a part of this thing too!

As regards following others - my take is that most of us are leaders in some area(s) and followers in other areas. To that extent this is fine. Some of us however, tend to be followers period. That's not so good. They may be a little lost and perhaps need some encouragement to be themselves.

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