Hi Everyone. Thanks for your continued support to my blogs. Its your support which helps me continue on this journey. Well in my previous posts I first gave an insight to Understanding self, followed by do we understand ourself and then I wrote a little bit about human nature and benefits of being reflective over reactive . Today I will talk about time management, a topic which we often are finding difficulties dealing with irrespective of the age group we belong to.
Time is a resource and that too a depleting one. Everyday that passes we find we have lived one more day and have one less day on this planet. So the question is DO WE HAVE TIME TO LOOSE? There is so much to be done and so little time available. In this short span of time GOD has granted us,each of us goes through different phases in our life. There are life’s milestones like growing up from babies to childhood, learning new things, formulation of our beliefs, studies, attaining puberty, turning into an adult, making friends, working, marriage, children, owning up responsibilities, retirement, following the growth of our children, and the cycle continues from this generation to the next generation. Have we ever at any stage of life said that NOW I HAVE LOTS OF TIME AND NOTHING TO DO? Eventually by the time we are actually in a position to say something similar its time to say good bye to this planet.
I can say that I am yet to meet a person who says I have time. Every one whether it is a small child or a college going young boy or girl or a working adult. Everyone has paucity of TIME. I remember a famous poem written by William Wordsworth and I quote the beginning lines of the poem QUOTE” What is this life if full of care? We have no time to stand and stare.” UNQUOTE. Ti\his poem was written in the early 19th century and I read it in school say some three decades back, but these words aptly describe life on our planet today. We have truly become a machine generation doing the same repetitive things daily getting bored by monotony and forgetting that we are alive and kicking too. Ever wonder why?
In my first article I had said I will give examples and narratives from my life to explain my viewpoints. This incident from my life dates almost 10 years back. By then I was a very high flying officer in my Company, who people referred to as the “BHISHMA” of sales and marketing. For those who are not well versed with Hindu mythology the name “BHISHMA” is given to a man who is the most knowledgeable and experienced and to whom everyone goes for advice. So coming back to the episode from my life…I was the “BHISHMA” of sales and at the peak of my career. My Company’s CEO used to tell people that I am the best he has, and coming from the highest authority of my company it was indeed a great honour…well I really thought so at that time. I was working approx 14-16 hours a day travelling all across to achieve targets and outperforming in almost all the fields. I did not have time for family, children, parents, relatives, friends and most important of them all…I DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR MYSELF.
I do not remember my children’s childhood. I would leave home when they were sleeping and return late by when they had slept. “I WAS WORKING HARD”… something I used to tell myself as a consolation. Till one day an incident took place under my jurisdiction and I had to take very hard line measures against an erring political leader of that area and in the bloodbath that followed, the people in my organisation suddenly felt that I needed a change in attitude and as a result of their inability to handle political pressure, they transferred me to a very unimportant position far away to the deepest south of India. “THE BEST HAD OVERNIGHT BECOME WORST”. I was punished instead of being rewarded for good work. People I had trusted had changed. No one was interested in asking their problems to me any more and people started making excuses of being busy to avoid me. It was like a punch in the face and then reality struck in.
All these days while I was working for my salary and for getting accolades from people who did not take a minute to turn their backs on me when situation changed. And for this I sacrificed myself, my family, my relatives, my friends and not to forget my peace of mind. I asked myself was it worth it? And then reality became crystal clear. There is an old saying we should never put all our eggs in one basket. Then why do we put all our time in just working and sacrifice everything else? It was this period of exile which taught me the importance of my family, friends, children, parents and everything I had so long neglected in my life. These relations were my true earnings of my life and not what I had done for so long.
I was at a point of going into depression and on one such day my younger sister called me once and reminded me of the amount of reading I would do when I was in school and college. She reminded me of my love for music and took pains to courier me the songs I loved in a pen drive and also some of my favourite authors’ books. I now seemed to have a lot of time at hand and grateful to her I took back to the books and music which I had forgotten since college. Being the optimist that I have always been I turned the negative phase of my life into an opportunity. I took up certification courses, started spending time with my kids, and suddenly life was smiling all over again. I became a Corporate coach and started taking up Corporate Training assignments for various MNCs and used all the experience I had gained over the years to help people improve their skills in other industries. Most important of all I WAS HAPPY.
Well coming out of my life’s story I now wish to draw attention of my readers to the question that arises out of all this. What are we really running after? Is it money, fame, acknowledgement in eyes of others, love, care, affection or is it that we really do not know what actually is it that we want and we are just passing our time on this planet doing whatever comes to us? I personally think money, power, fame acknowledgement of achievements are very fickle desires that are generated by worldly passions. No one has ever taken any thing of it with him when he/she passes away from this world. Then what really is it that we are longing for? Why is it that most of us find that though we are surrounded by hundreds of men/women daily, in reality we are all lonely inside?
There can be lot of theories talking about this but I will put it very simply and in an easy to understand manner. We feel we are all lonely inside because be DO NOT UNDERSTAND OURSELVES. We do not know what is the purpose of our existence in this world. While a majority of the population just lives, works and passes away into oblivion, some of us have the courage to ask such questions as to WHY are we born in the first place. My simple answer to the above complicated question would be to be HAPPY. We are lonely because WE DO NOT SPEND TIME WITH OURSELVES. What every human being is running after is the pursuit for being happy. Happiness cannot have a measuring scale as it would be different for everyone and is unique to everyone. So that’s what we are all after. SEARCH TO BE HAPPY. But where is the TIME for all that. We are all so busy that we never have time for ourself to be happy.
I would like to propose a very simple theory of HAPPINESS as a function of TIME. We all have 24 hours in a day. Out of these 24 hours, 8 hours (theoretically speaking) we are working, 8 hours sleeping and the balance 8 hours is the time that we have to spend qualitatively. Theoretically speaking these 16 hours (8 hours awake and 8 hours sleeping) are ours and we should have the ability to chose how we want to spend these 8 hours. Some would like to meet old friends, some would like to spend it with their children, their spouses, their parents, or some would like to read, play, listen to music, or learn something new. The point being in a day we work for 33% of the time and the balance 67% is ours. What most of us do is allow the 33% time to eat into our 67% time meaning the stresses of work and office life is allowed to continue into the other 67% time resulting in unhappiness. If we carry out work stresses home then we have spoilt our 67% time which could have been spent constructively. Then we say that we don’t have time. The people who say that they do not have time are the people falling under this group who let 33% of their lives dominate the balance 67%. You could have gone out for a dinner, or attend the programme at your kids school or catch up with old friends, make new friends but instead you chose to sulk around at home because your boss said something that hurt you. As a result you were stressed for the balance period of the day and ended up being more stressed at work the next day too causing a cyclic effect. Ask yourself was it worth it? Wouldn’t it have been better had we allowed 67% of our life to dominate the 33%. Had we dropped the stress of work place and just been happy in the evening, we could have rejuvenated ourself and that would have ensured that the next day at office was a better day.
From our childhood to adulthood in the process of growing up we only end up complicating our lives. Weren’t we happy when we were children and when we had no ego. Its while growing up we collect this vice called EGO and complicate and mess up our lives. Then to un-complicate it we go to temples, holy places, do meditation etc and say we are searching for peace. Ask yourself a question did you have to search for peace when you were a child? Did we have divides between humanities then? Could we make friends easily and every one was a best friend? Then why today we create enemies, fight with friends and alienate them? Why do we look at everyone with different lenses…skin color, caste, creed, gender etc? Why can’t we all be HUMANS First? It is money, power, lust, desires, jealousy, possessiveness etc. (all of which was missing when we were children) which has actually made us forget how to be happy and hence the never ending pursuit of peace of mind.
As a closing statement to this post I would like to wish all my readers to be HAPPY and try to find time for yourself first. Lets us all drop our egos and if we try to see things from our children’s lenses, we will be able to find the path to our happiness. Our primary question is still not answered completely. The question was “What is the purpose of our existence? I can’t say that I have a perfect answer to this question and through this blogging journey I will share more insights and maybe by the end of my journey here I will be able to come up with an all convincing answer. Till then let us all be HAPPY and spread a SMILE to atleast one person everyday. Thanks for spending time on reading this blog. I wish you all the very best in your lives. God Bless you all.