In life, some things lose their lustre and become dull over time and there are things that get better as we use them more.
This example has tremendous relevance to the emotional aspects of one’s life. In our lives, we are predisposed to be saturated with happiness all the time. We crave happiness and it is an addiction of sorts where we need more and more happiness to satisfy our senses. More experiences, more stimulation, more cravings and more of everything. It is an overuse of the sensory apparatus to focus only on one part of the emotional spectrum. Over time we numb the system.
At work, the desire for happiness shows up in the incessant appetite for more and more money, power, growth at the cost of everything else.
Lack of an integrated view of life leads many young professionals to become workaholics, who are supremely effective in their trade but hollow on the inside. This emptiness within is compensated with a drive to succeed at work, no matter what the cost.
On the other hand, no one wants pain or misery and avoids it at all costs like an ostrich burying head in the sand. Since we tend to avoid pain at all costs, whatever pain comes our way is now heightened in experience and is sharp as a razor and cuts us deep.
So over time, we come to this intersection in life where happiness numbs away and whatever pain we face gets heightened like crazy.
For all the talk we hear today about celebrating failure and failing fast, setbacks at work, losing a promotion or even worse, getting fired throw people into a spiral that is often very painful and difficult to recover from.
I am not asking you to become mediocre at work and by extension seek mediocrity in life itself. I am not making the case for moderation that takes passion and zeal away from the work at hand. Not at all.
My point is nothing lasts forever, happiness or sadness. They are both temporary and only manifest as emotions. So is it worth pursuing something that is fleeting and temporal in nature?
Is that a good use of one’s energy?
There is merit in choosing the path that very few decide to take. The path towards excellence. The path towards becoming indispensable. As an entrepreneur in my own career, I had the privilege of hiring hundreds of people in my businesses. I can tell that the ones who were most valuable were the ones who focused on high-quality work independent of what reward awaited them.
Here are some tips to make success in life a habit:
- No matter what task is at hand, do it as perfectly as possible.
- Never worry about getting the credit. Just do a good job and be reasonable on visibility
- Be authentic and truthful to yourself.
- Always be the hardest working person in the room.
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.