September 23, 2012

Where is this going?

I am sure I have asked myself this question a lot of times. Be it on the beach, just staring in silence at the splashing sea waves; or on my regular evening visits to the temple around the Shiv Ganga lake; or more recently, on my way back from the office listening to childhood songs and staring at the night traffic with half-open eyes.

It always makes sense to go according to a plan:

  • strategize every single move
  • calculate the associated risk
  • finally arrive at the desired result(s).
But sometimes, we do things just because we feel like doing it. Be it
  • simple things like re-watching a movie just for getting together with friends
  • letting go of all the childish things that defined us or
  • pitching ideas in a team meeting.

While it is definitely possible that both approaches take us to the same result eventually, the difference lies in one single factor: control. No, not self-control. (more on this in another post)

We all like to be in control of things. To know where the road is headed, what's happening with friends, how small efforts daily lead to huge results in the long run. So when we make our plans and start executing them, it makes us feel secure that we know where we are going and when such things are completed successfully we move on to the next 'big' thing. Although there will be huge challenges along the way, there isn't really much of a drift in our approach or thought process. And when we are doing the same things repeatedly then we are easily replaceable. 
So what really seemed long term, turned out to be termed as 'long failure'
But when it comes to making those on-the-spot decisions and listening to the inner voice or using some emotional intelligence we are never in control. 
  • Are we in control of how sorry the small kids at the traffic signal make us feel on a busy workday
  • Or how our interviewer's mood is when we enter the room for our turn.
We are not in control of anything here, except perhaps our access to the mental faculty in order to take or break the chances.

Even while writing this, rather quick, blog post I really didn't know how I would end it. But I started it, to see where the thoughts would flow and in my search for some relevant photographs I came across this quote. And it formed the theme for what I wanted to express. This is close to being a human as one can be or from the other side, as far from a machine as one can be. Not my writing this, but the quote below :)
If you spend time looking behind you you'll miss the beautiful path that the universe has laid before you. There's only one thing that you're truly in control of, and that's the decision to take the first step. Be brave, be happy & be love. 

And in retrospect that is what I did, I had no plan, no idea where this is going, no specific intention but I took all the (first) steps I wanted to and the paths knit together by itself.

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