Monday, August 30, 2010

Lessons learnt 4: Give your best to whatever you do.

This probably is the most important lesson I have ever learnt. I am successful in exercising to an extent, though not 100%. It does not mean that I deliver things 100% perfect. It just means that I give my 100% best to the things I take up; it could be equivalent to 10% of what Ratan Tata or someone at his level would have delivered. But certainly I could not have done better than that at that point, with the resources and knowledge I have. At the same time, if I have to carry out the same activity next time, I try to do better than the previous time.

These two attributes give me two distinct advantages:

1. I do not feel guilty later in life

2. I get satisfied with whatever I am doing, at the same time try to be better and better every day.

Those who receive the result of my work look at it differently at different times. One thing for sure, that they do not have to worry about the quality of the product most of the time. However, some bosses have felt that I am too concerned about the result. This does not mean that I do not enjoy journey as I am too focused on the destination. Of course I enjoy the journey too. It is just that the others have their own perception of what I do. I consider managing their perception only if it reflects the reality at least by 50% or if their perception would impact my quality of life in anyway. If not, I leave it as such. It is for them to handle.

I learnt this lesson almost accidentally. I go to temples every now and then. I feel relaxed and focused at the same time. I used to be jealous of the priests in the temple, thinking that they get to be in the temple all the time. One day, suddenly it struck me that for them it is a job and for me it is a place of worship; if they have to feel relaxed and focused, they have to do the pooja with utmost concentration and undivided attention; same rule applies to my job too; if I have to feel relaxed and focused, I need to do my work with utmost concentration and undivided attention so that results I produce give peace of mind to the users. From then on, I have tried to improve what I produce. I certainly have not improved 100% but I am sure that I am improving.

Only word of caution is that one should not get bogged down by expectation for perfection. If improving from previous time is motto it is easier to survive. It is better to disassociate yourself from the result so that you can focus on the task.

Though the concepts seem philosophical, they are actually practical. I have not written anything I was not able to practice. It just needs a bit of determination!!!