When I look at the various stages of life, it has a close resemblance to the T20 cricket being dished out in IPL4. The message I get is that, each stage of life is a new match, with new highs and lows not quite related to the previous performance. Though the scars of the previous bad performance, may seep into the next stage of life, it's upto the individual to selectively filter, what he wants. I was looking at my life and a few of my friend's lives and dividing it into stages, and I found that life is certainly no race, but it makes us feel that way, in order to see if we are in the lead. Why is it so? Is it inherently because, a large component of our life is measured that way, in numerical landmarks from education to work? I think so. We look at marks but not learning, we look at average salaries but not satisfaction, and look at filling our lives with digging insurances for the worst-while we just miss out on life.
I thought, as a kid, I should have focussed more on my education at school, but I later realised that there are certain things you would love to go back and tinker, but thats not the message life is giving. The message is loud and clear. You have a bunch of Life-stages, each a T20 match, which gives an equal .50 probability of winning or losing. As is the case with life, only a creamy layer makes it to the finale. While this may look like a race to the top, people can decide, if they want to enjoy the journey, or get consumed by the pressure.
ENJOY- Does it mean that I will always be happy and smiling, without bothering about the consequences?
Thats where the differentiator to life is. How do you keep smiling, when we all know that we are like a boat in an ocean, and waves come in various sizes to take my smile away?
The key to ENJOYING is, wanting to make a difference.
a) Never play for a result, with the end goal in mind. It starts sending you pressure in bouts of an compounded equated monthly installment. Starting with the end result, you need to break it down in what you consider, accomplishable chunks.
b) ENJOYING is also about caring. You need to invest your time carefully so that you dont keep creating things from scratch, failing to recognise or subside a destructive element. The time needs to be divided between a process and allowing free time, to make decisions on gut feel.
c) Once you start to care about the task at hand, you will slowly realise that you are able to see all its relationships and entities, like a tantric would. Once you are transported to that sublime world, where you see its past, current and future, keeping placeholders help, so that when you come back the next day, after breaking for time in the real world, only a little time is invested getting back into the sublime state. A sublime state and ideal relaxation are must-have investments for excellence to be fostered.
d) Getting back to the Boat-in-the-Ocean Anology, there will be times, the waves will topple you over. No shame about that. The wave is powerful than us. Sometimes, we see our friend or colleague in that wave, and thats what hits us hard, that they managed to topple us. This makes you even more angry, and you decide to fight, or wait for time to heal. Both are completely sane reactions, that will shape, the vibes we will have with similar waves in the future. If we decide to fight, we must clearly identify the problem, its root cause, possible ways of the problem occurring before deciding on a solution, that may be one time, or permanent.
e) If you are done with exhausting all the problems, the permanent way, then welcome to the next level, where life will throw at you problems, where your involvement needs to be for longer periods, and has more complex unknown threads. To get through these levels, one needs to understand basic laws of using politics to win wars and not focus on battles. If politics has not found way into your life, you've probably not worked at an IT company, studied at a B-School or got married :-) !
f) T20 Cricket- has its highs and lows, and like every game is different each stage in life is different. Make an effort to have a happy ending, but life comes with no guarantees, like your products, or if they do.. there are a million conditonal clauses, which takes a 'life stage' to understand and manipulate(and the rules of the game have changed by then).