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Friday, December 21, 2012

How to measure life - A perspective

The criteria and measurement of success and happiness in life can be very different for everyone. Which criteria is right or wrong is a an individual's prerogative. There is nothing which is absolute "right" or "wrong" in this world anyways. Let us see how different can these perspectives be?

It is all the perspective of the viewer. My strong belief is that each one of us always try to do the "right" thing from our own perspective ie whatever we believe is the right thing to do. No one deliberately does anything "wrong".

Even if someone is shouting at someone or beating someone, the person will always have a "right reason" from his / her perspective to justify the action that he or she is involved in.

So, if nothing is concretely objective in life, how does one measure success in life? As it is, the entire topics of "life" and "success" has such a varied understanding, this makes it even more difficult to define what is termed as "success" for an individual and the "measurement of success" in life.

At the same time, it is also important to have a look at many different perspectives so that you can have enough questions raised for yourself. These perspectives will allow you to know what is best for you, and you would be able to take an informed decision.

How should we measure life and its success? 

Perspective # 1 - Should life be measured in trophies?
Since the childhood, mostly unknowingly, we inculcate the habit of "success" being related to "certificates" or "marks" or "trophies". It is not that we sit and teach our children that trophies are very important. They learn it themselves just by the way everyone around us react when a child gets the trophy vis-a-vis when he does not get it.

Perspective # 2 - Should life be measured in Frequent Flier miles?
This measurement of life and its success is typically related to the corporate world, where we sort of "relate" success in life to the "hectic schedule" that a corporate manager has. The more hectic and time pressed a person is, we seem to attach "success" to that person.

Perspective # 3 - Should life be measured in Miles per hour?
How fast are you growing? How fast are you climbing the corporate ladder? How fast does your vehicle move when going from work to home and back? How fast are you moving compared to your colleagues around you? Time stress pushes you to move faster

Perspective # 4 - Should life be measured in business lunches and time crunches?
How many business clients do you do lunch with every week? I saw this in every organization i worked with during my corporate life. The top boss would rarely eat at home, because there is always one or the other client that they need to impress to get the next deal and to meet the organization goals.

Perspective # 5 - Should life be measured in round tables?
How many meetings, appointments, conferences you attend every week? "Success" seems to relate to you having a packed calendar, so much so that you need to keep a secretary to manage your calendar. Many times, you need to ask your private secretary that when are you supposed to go home on a particular day.


Another Perspective - Should life also be measured in the number of lives that we touch?
This was a perspective that i got sometime during my 30s. It moved me. Not that any of the other perspectives of life and success are "wrong" (there is nothing "wrong"), but I realized that this perspective is the one that is likely to give you lasting happiness and a deep sense of satisfaction at the end of your life. The more the number of lives that you touch during your journey of life can be a very good measurement of the "success" of life.

When i say this, i do not mean, by any means, that you cannot fulfill this measurement criteria while you are in a corporate world - whether in a job or your own business. There have been enough examples where people have gone and touched lives of millions of people with the money that they have earned. Some of the examples that flash my mind immediately are Bill Gates or Azim Premji.

I also realized that so many of us want to do "our own bit" to "touch" others lives, but either our own day to day struggle does not allow us to do much OR our comfort zone keeps us away from taking the first step. I was faced with a similar situation in life. So, i had to find a way to come out of this daily rut - and i achieved it through financial freedom. Once out of this rat race and your family secured, it was much more easier to go out and reach the needy and make an impact on the people around you. 

You can do so as well. It is not difficult. It needs willingness, willpower and a strong dream. But is definitely achievable. You will read my journey in the upcoming book "From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom". Through this book, I hope to inspire some of you so that you can also push yourself out of the comfort zone and start touching more lifes around you. 

I read a very beautiful quote and this urges us to do whatever we can, to change things around us for the better:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


1 comment:

  1. Yes people will never forget how we made them feel....