Thursday, May 2, 2013

Enjoy the freedom to do whatever you please, responsibly - 2

Where lies your passion?

During my early childhood, it was always the youngsters who sought advice and, as a rule, the elders never failed them. Sure enough, the elders ruled and the youngsters obeyed them faithfully. For a long time, I equated wisdom with age and assumed that someday, I would also be considered senior enough to be consulted. 

Alas! By the time I aged enough in my seniority to offer some advice, the rules had changed.

No longer was any advice taken or accepted implicitly.
Often, the seekers of advice argued vehemently as to why the piece of advice I offered at their behest, was not the right one or the only one.

What was even more amusing was that they expressed a measure of disappointment with my inability to be creative or empathetic towards their predicament. 

Crestfallen, to save face, I resisted any temptation to tender advice no matter how sincere the invitation to do so.

Interestingly, a few months down the road, I discovered that they looked relaxed and enthusiastic. 
I was curious to know how they had resolved their challenge. Although their backgrounds and experiences were dissimilar, there was a near unanimity in their evolution. All of them had found the answers, entirely out of their own efforts, and from within. 

Ravi the wizard with numbers, found a third alternative that helped him make the best of both worlds. He set up a query desk in Chennai, for customers the world over to post their problems on that algorithms that run the backbone of the insurance industry. It was painful at start but leaves him highly energized today. 
He loved puzzles and challenges. 
That had always been his passion. 
He had managed to convert his passion into his profession now. 

Dharam discovered that the stock market was a beast with a voracious appetite. 
In trying to appease the market, he did not want to lose the joy of making steady and definite progress through internally generated funds. He could resist the urge for celebrity status and free cash that an IPO brought with it; he was also aware of the price it would extract in terms of his youth and creativity. 

Suket did the unthinkable. 
He identified several time tested ‘people practices’ from the Armed forces that the industry was unwilling to take note of. He met each of the board members individually. 

In absolute privacy, he appraised them of the need for expertise and maturity in addressing the challenges faced by the company. He cautioned them on the ‘low staying power’ of younger executives who may not have the ‘battle scars’ he had picked up along the way. Instead of buckling down under pressure, he had vindicated his value to his employers without closing the doors on fresh talent permanently. 

When the student is ready, the teacher, they say, will appear!
In each of the cases above, the teacher seemed to have appeared from within.

I was curious to know how they had managed to invoke the ‘teacher’ resident within themselves.   

Their determination to stay true to their passion, they said, had made all the difference.
How then, did they manage to discover their true calling or passion in life, I wondered.

What do you think?


  1. ..Only you could have written such an insightful piece up our friend Ravi Venkatesan's article in Corporate Dossier Friday before last....very insightful, honest and from the heart... and one you would be able to relate to. Cheers

  2. Hi Prabal,
    Happy to inform you that my book Business Twenty20 just got hot off the press this April.
    It is a business novel based on the real incidents of my consulting practice turning around companies.