For a few years now I have been posing this question to all our new students: "If you love what you do, is it 'work'?" And I have been giving them my own example: I get to do what I love — at Commits, at home, even at the gym — because I love what I do. And I try to enthuse Commitscions into feeling the same way about their assignments, their projects, their "work".
However, I guess I am not very articulate on the subject (my wife says I am the worst "communicator" she has met), so I think I have had mixed results trying to convince our students to think like I do. That is why I was so gratified when I read this feature by H.K. Shivdasani in the DNA of September 1 (Page 7): "Work-life balance is humbug".
This is the gist of the article: "If your work is your passion then you won't find the need to strike a work-life balance because you'll enjoy every moment of it."
You took the words out of my mouth, Mr Shivdasani, and I can't tell you how grateful I am.
Here are some excerpts that will, I think, inspire others to believe in our credo:
Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar would practise for hours as a teenager, and she has continued to enjoy her mammoth practice sessions every single day of her life. Sachin Tendulkar, even as a school kid, loved batting practice, hitting balls against a wall well past midnight.
Think of Zakir Hussain, Bismillah Khan, Michael Jackson, or an Olympic winner of your choice. All of them have one thing in common: they never had 'working hours'. And that's because they enjoyed their work so much that no other activity was as much 'fun'. They never knew or needed to practise 'work-life balance'.
And here are other relevant excerpts:
I had said that I'd offer one formula to achieve all different life goals. We discussed success. But what about happiness?
Well, success and happiness go together. Is happiness different from doing something that's fun, gives you joy, and satisfies your needs?
What about someone who wants to give something back to society? You can only give what you have in abundance, and in the field in which you are a master — to give, you must first achieve a lot.
Please read the full article and see how you can apply these principles to your life.
- Shagorika Easwar, editor of Desi News and CanadaBound Immigrant, comments: I couldn't agree more. That is what we have also always told our children. To find a career in a field they are passionate about, not one that is 'in' or 'hot' or because it pays the most. That because we so love what we do, it's not like work at all.
It's not a grind when you work long hours or without a break. Take today, for instance. I'd started out thinking I'd catch up on some reading (Arrival City by Doug Saunders) and watch Peepli Live and take an afternoon nap. Well, guess what. A man from Kolkata who is cycling around the world and was supposed to get into town next week got in a few days early — today. Since he is here only for a day-and-a-half, there went my lazy Saturday.
But I had such fun talking to him that it didn't seem like work.
- Here's a telling quote from music composer Gurukiran in a chat with ad guru and film-maker R. Balki in the October 24 issue of DNA (After Hrs): "I love music and my work. So, in that sense, my work is my biggest time pass. If you are to ask me, if you're doing what you love, then there is no reason for you to look outside work for recreation."
- "Love what you do to stay motivated" is also the credo of Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group. Read his Mint column on motivation here.
- My favourite blogger Maria Popova has a post on the subject, too: "How to find your purpose and do what you love".