Making a Living, Making a Life!

Suresh G Lalwani

Author: Suresh G Lalwani

Date: Wed, 2016-09-21 17:38

What do we want from life? How is life treating us? There are often times when such questions hit us ‘head-on’ as we traverse through various stages of our lives. At a young age in particular, such questions can be perplexing at best, unnerving at worst. The ‘ebb and flow’ of life, times, relationships, careers, love – you name it – are defined by the way we navigate through them. And boy, do we navigate differently? You bet, we do!

At a young age, you often have ‘stars in your eyes’ in terms of what you expect from life. Talking of stars, if you were Amitabh Bachchan, all that you wanted at a certain stage of life was to be a ‘radio presenter’. Sometimes it so happens that what life doles out can make you see stars in broad daylight! Too bad for you dude – you didn’t quite make the cut. Deal with it – the way you do, could essentially be the clincher.

In an earlier era and in a far off land – if you were Walt Disney, ‘the Walt Disney’ mind you - you were fired from a local newspaper because “you lacked imagination and had no good ideas”! What? Did we get that right? Yes, you did. Oh - the cruelties of life! But then, as it turns out, there is a flip side. In an adaptive context, “Waqt ne kiya, kya haseen sitam – tum rahe na tum, hum rahe na hum”. This ‘charming atrocity’ (haseen sitam) of life delivered a future in which millions would get adrenaline into otherwise unexciting lives thanks to an Amitabh Bachchan or a Walt Disney metamorphosing into their eventual glorious avatars. You and me would have been bereft of such phenomena -- had life not dealt a few blows to these worthies.

So, as we know, life can be unfair! Truth be said – some of us deal with it better than others. What exactly do you mean by that? Isn’t that vague? You bet it is! If

You happen to be at the receiving end when life sometimes makes you live through rejections, uncertainties, insecurities, and ‘fear of failure’ – it can be scary. So a question arises - if I muster up the courage and the resilience and just persevere, will that see me through? After all, people with experience tell us that this is a good old-fashioned and time-tested formula that has anchored and shaped countless lives across time. While this may turn true in many cases in the long run – I wish the answer to that question was a ‘simple Yes’. The answer is Yes - but an ‘exploratory Yes’. Chances are that exploration will be a ‘long haul journey’ and what goes into the quest can make all the difference between success and failure. Ironically, what is failure for some can be seen by others as seeds of success!

Bollywood has a song or a line for every situation. Sample this catchy number: “Hum jo chalne lage, chalne lage hai yeh raaste; manzil se behtar lagne lage hai yeh raaste”. How wonderful it is when the journey can be more attractive than the destination! It makes eminent sense to apply this to our careers, nay, to our lives. Many a time however, life’s challenges can often throw you into a bind. Hence, let us consider the flip side and this can get real – some journeys can be arduous, unexciting, long-winding, demanding and things like that. God forbid - if this relates to your career and livelihood – the problem is seen to be magnified. We want to do everything it takes to get out of that situation. Problem is, either we don’t know how, or all our efforts are leading us nowhere.

The silver lining, whether we see it or not (and seeing it can make a big difference) is that every journey, however boring, strenuous or challenging, has great things to offer in terms of experience, learning, skills, competencies and much more. Essentially, these are attributes that enable quality professionals to offer ‘value-delivery’ propositions to employers/customers/stakeholders on a sustained basis. When you begin to see this silver lining, you invest in a career, well-directed competencies and skills, expertise, networks and eventually, a reputation! While doing so, some may also chart out a ‘Job se job tak’ approach if that works for you. This could be rewarding – more money, better brand names, even higher positions. This is great but if not dealt carefully, runs the risk of reducing a career to a series of mere transactions and worse, stunting professional growth. The skill lies in balancing the two – the career and the jobs! A benign environment, luck, fleeting opportunities, vast network, etc. often contribute and must be accepted with humility. While they are obviously most welcome, they can be seen as complements and not the core of the ‘sustained value-delivery’ proposition mentioned above.

Value-delivery is fine, but what about me? Don’t I deserve an adrenaline rush when I walk to work every morning? What if my job is reduced to monotony and begins to rob me of joy and satisfaction due to some reason or the other? Is it okay to experiment with my career, and what care should I take in doing so?

The list of questions is long. Where will the answers come from? Oh, they will stem from within each one of us, based on our individual context and situation. The exploration will be fun and you got it right – it will strongly signal that ‘Life is Beautiful’! But we will keep that for another day. As they say, “picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!”


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Life is an event full of opportunities. Some grab them at the right time, some wait in anticipation of better ones. In the end, it is our choices and decisions that define us. Well, it is not art to be learnt. But it is something which one acquires by virtue of his/ her intuitive self. Had it not been for the right choice by the suicidal J K Rowling, the world would be deprived of the fiction masterpiece. It was for the choice made by young Mahendra Singh to switch from goal keeping gloves to wicket keeping gloves, that we could experience a legend in Indian sporting history. Again, it is because of the same choices that enabled a fearless Dhirubhai to create a business empire reflecting unprecedented returns and is still galloping on a profit path. Therefore, we live only to make choices and these choices delineate how big our lives can get. Every individual has a goal in life- at personal as well as professional level, a few may like to add a spiritual dimension to these lists of goals as well. We all are constantly striving to make a definite, consistent progress towards achievement of the same. Every day, every moment. However, the scathing fact is, these goals are not absolute in nature. They have become relative and subjective. They have gained a tendency to get modified based on contemporary environment, needs and sometimes convenience. When we speak only of the work life, the career path, it is imperative to understand one’s attributes vis-à-vis strengths versus limitations, interest versus expertise, and dreams versus goals, before any choices could really be made. Such an awareness is powerful. It elevates you to a different level. You know what you are made of, what you are capable of doing, and what is that you can achieve in return. It boosts you with the energy to work your way up the ‘value chain’. You learn what to unlearn and master what you must learn. You will have a clear vision, focussed approach, consecrated actions in life. You will never think about life as a destination, but as the journey itself, that is much more delightful. Other things are auxiliary with regards to your self-awareness and realization. Only then, the jobs won’t matter, but the work will. Every morning at work will be profound, vigorous at inspiring. Such a state of life will empower you to give. You will realise your duties are stretched much beyond your formal responsibilities. You must pass the wisdom to others and train them for the journey called life. This is, I believe, how you can make full use of the one life you have been gifted with. To sum this up, it has been aptly put by Hrishikesh Mujherjee in his 1971 classic “Anand” by saying ‘Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi’.

It is said that life is a race and if you don’t synchronize with its pace, you will be left behind. Day in and day out, we all have one thought in mind “apna sapna money money..” Money has overshadowed the basic meaning of life i.e. contentment, satisfaction and happiness. It’s puzzling at times that do we live to earn or earn to live? It’s human nature that we neglect the beauty of path and focus on the hiccups that we encounter during our journey. Those who continue their voyage without getting distracted, arrive their respective destinations and emerge as winners or achievers. Others lose their path and suffer. They tend to attract all negative energy which further ruins their path. These worsen their situations more. As rightly emphasized in blog, we need to accept and learn from our mistakes and defeats. We all are Harry potter of our own magic land. Job in hand seems to be a magic wand that helps in creating money but during good times we tend to forget that at times the spell can rebound. Self belief is the true support and savior in tough times. Confidence, consistency and avoidance of being engrossed by failures shall become stepping stone to success. Sir, this blog has sparkled all the thoughts that run throughout one’s life from childhood days till date. Young age is fascinated by the charm of the wonderland. Everything seems to be at an arm’s distance. But when dreams meet reality, everything looks bizarre. It generates doubts in mind that questions our existence. This teaches us a lesson for lifetime which says that life can’t always give us a slide that is smooth – much like the play ground slide but a bump to make us either slow-down or to lift off, as the person shall perceive. I believe life is not a balance sheet to solve or complex equation to be arrived at. It’s a journey. We should accept whole heartedly whatever comes during life trek. We need to learn to relax and calm. If we are able to streamline ourselves with pace of life, our life will smoothen. Aim should be for excellence. Success will come naturally. Life is all about taking risk and second chance.

When I am a school going kid, my parents and loved ones used to tell me that Life will be fun after 12th.You have to do handwork only in 10th and 12th, and then you can live your life "King Size". I passed my 12th expecting to be a king now and take admission in engineering. Then friends used to tell me just work hard for four years and then you will enjoy life "King Size". I passed Engineering and got a good job, thought of living a royal & relaxed life now. At the beginning of my professional life, my colleagues used to tell me, just get some years of experience and then you will be the King of your life. After 10 years of my hectic professional life, I am still looking for a king in me. Now ,my friend are telling me, just wait for few more years and become the Head of any company, then you will feel like a King. I am sure when I will be in my fifties heading a company, my friends will tell me, just wait for few more years and you will become king of your life after retirement. And for entire life you are searching a King in you. This is the common phenomena with most of the individuals. We grew up with so many dreams in our eyes and at the time when we were into 60s, we visualize that most of our dreams are not realized. Entire life is spend running behind the responsibilities. One sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. At this moment one realizes that he has done the biggest mistake my not living his life to the fullest. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived. God has given us only one life and we should live it to the fullest. Live in the moment. Forget the past and don’t concern yourself with the future.Take risk in life and be crazy about your passion. Wo kehte hai na “kisi cheez ko agar siddhat se chaaho toh poori kaynath tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai”

Very Aptly Quoted Sir! One should not make compromises even if a choice was given... i would like to share an anecdote to your theme- "Happiness is a choice!" I woke up and in I strode into my day. After a hard day, I decided to spend some time to lift myself up. I met some friends, shared their laughter and tears, followed their path in life, but still was not satisfied. I went shopping and bought new clothes and accessories feeling quite happy but still something was missing. I had a drink and allowed myself to drift away from reality. I then picked myself up from the little excursion and headed back home. At the end of the day, out I came, my room and my home are just the same! Very soon, the clothes no longer make me happy, the drink effect has worn off leaving me with a headache. Earlier, at the store, while I felt quie happy with my purchase, there was a lady at the counter disappointed with the quality of clothes and looked very frustrated. I thought to myself, if happiness was in the clothes we buy, wouldn’t it make all who buy it equally happy? How come I was happy and the other one frustrated? If peace of mind was in the drink, why would someone become an alcoholic and ruin themselves rather than being liberated? From the famous #Amitabh Bachan song – “Nasha sharab me hota to nachti botal” seems quite apt! We don’t need other people / things to feel loved or feel good about ourselves. Real happiness is not the result of acquiring something, it is not the response to an external stimulus. Happiness is a choice we make again and again. The more I look for things outside me to fetch me what I want, the more I get lost! Love, peace, happiness are our inherent qualities. Be at peace with yourself. Be happy with yourself. Value yourself. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Trust yourself. Because that is the only reality. Make a living! Make a Meaningful Life!!! Just saying,.. Stay Positive Stay Happy

i would like to quote a dialogue from Kung Fu Panda... yesterday is past, tomorrow is future but today is present.. enjoy today... in today's world where materialism is at its peak.. finding inner peace is rare... we need to put break in our desire..and develop the feeling of fulfilment...find the purpose means will follow

Life as we know it is about the choices we make, the journey as I call it. I too believe that “what is failure for some can be seen by others as seeds of success” or we never see the sacrifices that has gone into achieving something. We never know what is yet to come and it only takes a second for things to change. I once read a story about a farmer who bought a horse and the people praised him and told him that he was going to be rich. The farmer said “we’ll see”. One night the horse destroyed the fence and escaped. The people then sympathized and the farmer said again “we’ll see”. A few days later the horse came back with a team of wild horses. The farmer fixed the stable and branded them all. The villagers again started congratulating him and the story goes on. I think we should try to be like the farmer who is living the moment taking in whatever is coming his way. If all we do is worry we won’t be able to enjoy the journey. I think the first thing we should do is train ourselves to see each event as an experience rather than tagging them as good or bad. This ability is to be developed and our society, in this aspect, plays a very important and damaging role in each of our lives. The moment a child is born he/she is told to be first or be successful or that the child can achieve anything and everything. In such a scenario when they grow up they are bound to feel depressed or unhappy the moment life throws them a curved ball. Though we need to motivate ourselves and aim higher to achieve whatever goal is we should never forget to see the bigger picture and keep in mind that it is not the destination but the journey.

We all have in some stage of our life questioned the lack of fairness and empathy bestowed upon us. It is our ability to navigate through such tough times, like a surfer riding a huge wave and channelling its energy, which help us to reach the shore. It’s even more prerogative to focus on the next step when faced with a failure because you may need all the energy to overcome it. Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx was given a poor grade received a poor grade on an assignment where he pitched the idea for the company. He eventually made it a worldwide success. Every obstacle is a creation of circumstances and probability. If the context changes the obstacle is an opportunity. Adding to your example of Mr Bachchan, he was rejected from radio because apparently, his voice was not good enough to be on the radio. Radio’s loss was bollywood’s gain. Many would now concur that his baritone has no match in the history of Bollywood. What if he had accepted his fate and not entered the film industry? The landscape of Bollywood would have surely been different. You rightly say that every book has a silver lining, only it’s on different pages for different people. We often engage in fruitless activity of looking at others to set the barometer of our success. It’s Only after deep reflection and introspection into our own selves that we can find what is right for us. And only that can make us happy, whether it’s a great career or money or family life. Look through the right lens and picture will change.

It's an excellent blog sir. Keep writing it, sir!

Life is a journey of wondrous unpredictability. Yet, there is a pattern that I believe eventually leads individuals to success irrespective of the aspects of life. The greatest gifts life has to offer often masquerade as its most harsh challenges. This way, life filters out the ones who would persevere from those who’d realign their goals or paths. Subsequently, it customizes the challenges, shells out appropriate rewards and moves on to the next phase of the never-ending journey. Granted, that life is much more than a logical equation that balances risks, challenges and rewards, but there still exists a pattern. A pattern made up of nature’s algorithm that forces us to cave in and nudges us to persevere simultaneously. That’s why we find it hard to answer the basic questions – How is life treating us and where is it taking us. Look at the often used phrase, “Lose a battle and win the war” and you can get a gist of life’s objective. If you consider life as a war, it’s imperative to understand that setbacks through it are neither fatal nor final. In fact, sometimes these setbacks are important lessons in the larger scheme of things. And there is always scope for picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and moving along. This is because even in the direst situations, life never forgets to show you the reasons to keep going. Although it’s not easy to see the silver lining when everything around you seems to be going south, the light does shine brighter on people who choose to persevere through the lost battles. Life and its unprecedented challenges demand a lot of strength to face. Once you muster that, you get a step closer to cracking its code.

Great insights Sir. You have beautifully defined that the mantra of navigating through the journey of life is how we define this mantra. The journey about life, careers or jobs may be boring, strenuous or challenging but would eventually lead to new experiences learning, skills and competencies is very well explained. The blog is exquisitely crafted and the essence of the blog is excellently explained by one liners adaption of Bollywood movies. Most of our generation or the millennial believe in the definition of success based on the concepts of money, fame and power. We believe in making lots of money so that we are seen to be successful. The concept of love, joy, fulfilment, passion is no longer the mantra for making a Living instead all of us are lost in the rat race for reaching the top. We complain of life not being fair and about its hardship, it was not even fair to Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, nor it was easy for Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni but that didn’t stop them from becoming legends in their fields. As the saying goes “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”. Dance, Smile, Giggle, Marvel, Trust, Hope, Love, Wish, Believe. Most important of all we should enjoy every moment of our journey of life, and acknowledge where we are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far we have to go. To sum up, would like to quote few lines from a famous American author of the series Conversations with God. “If you think your life is about DOINGNESS, you do not understand what you are about. Your soul doesn’t care what you do for a living and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you’re BEING while you’re doing whatever you’re doing. It is a state of BEINGNESS the soul is after, not a state of doingness.”

Dear Sir, Your blog is a reality check! You have framed the ambitious run to “successful” careers aptly. We ardently set our aspirations and persevere to reach the pinnacle, often making several trade offs on our way. Talking of ways, we always talk about the “way up” and seldom about the journey. Is it a result of our cultural conditioning? We have always heard about how Mehta uncle’s son works hard to secure first rank every year or how Shalini aunt's daughter bags first position in Olympiad each time. This must leave a deep impact on our psyche. For us, progress is progress only when it leads us somewhere up. We never consider how lateral shifts from one function to another could be a measure of skills learnt and thus progress. We never comprehend the real success of shifting from a higher rank to another job which offers us true inner satisfaction. Also, we often mistake that success is achieved only when we have slogged our way up. I am reminded of a beautiful quote from the movie Dear Zindagi at this juncture, “Hum hamesha mushkil raasta kyun chunte hain zaroori kaam ke liye? Kya pata aasaan raaste se bhi kaam ho jaye?” It’s fairly possible that we were just custom cut for that role. This is natural competency. Natural competencies can take one to roles without arduous efforts. But this doesn’t diminish the achievements. Talking of the journey, I believe that it is pertinent for us to find time to reflect upon our dreams, our work and our life. People often feel hollow after having spent 10 good years working on their dream jobs. Though everyone has to make trade-offs while pursuing a career plan, it is important that we do not trade in long term happiness and sustainability factors. Here, I would talk about value-building instead of value-delivery. By this, I have shifted the frame from others to self. If one is able to build value for oneself, it automatically leads to perceivable progress. This is an exhilarating feeling and has the potent to accelerate one’s career without compromising on self-interest. Let us not take life as a road marked with milestones but as an opportunity to explore opportunities.

I could not agree more with our very own Lalwani Sir. Life is beautiful. To be more precise, it is the lens with which we see our life which makes our life beautiful or miserable. The pessimistic ones would see the negatives in the most suited situations while the optimistic ones find a thing or two to smile in the most adverse of a situation. While both the aspects might be a reality and may coexist, it is the wisdom of a person which makes him choose one out of the two. As Sir has mentioned in one of the lines in his blog, “Life is a journey” and it could be beautiful each of its stage is enjoyed fully. Every milestone we cross in life has something to tell us. The failures and the successes are all contributing to our learning during this journey. Failure gives another chance to improve and get the desired results while success makes us happy and motivates us to move ahead toward the next milestone. One more thing worth mentioning here is the perspective. What is success for us? The definition of success is important for making the journey of life fruitful. I take an example from my own life. Last year, while being is US, I was doing well. Above industry salary in dollars, a nice home, a sports car and an easy life. No struggle for those small things. But still, while sipping that Starbucks Mocha on a sunny afternoon, I would often ask myself if I was happy, and I would go back to the same thought of what is it that is lacking. To people who were not in my shoes or who cherished this life often asked me what more did I want. The fact was that this was not my definition of success. I wanted to study more, grow intellectually and work in a management role which I have always believed to be my forte. As sir mentions “The skill lies in balancing the two – the career and the jobs!” , I was in a job but the balance between my career and job was not great. I was not happy and a state of mind wherein I am not happy cannot help me being successful. Again agreeing to Sir, creating value for your life is more important and money can just be a by-product. After doing a self-introspection and ultimately getting into a reputed institute like SPJIMR, I think I am one step closer to being happy and successful. At last, I want to say that it just takes a conscious effort to sort out our inner doubts and come out of the labyrinth and then, we realize that “Life is beautiful”.

Dear Sir, this article is nothing short of a motivational speech to start with. I am honoured to be under the tutelage of a professor who has such positive take on life. Starting from the very end, “Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost”. This line although so simply spoken has the capability to describe life at any juncture for a person, in a nutshell. Any person at a certain point of wisdom, will always tell a person junior to him/her, "you are just starting on your journey". Taking a leaf from the corporate world, let us talk about Colonel Sanders. Written off by all, and dejected from the abysmal life of his, he contemplated suicide. Rather he chose to take it on himself & started rewriting his own script. Kentucky’s Fried Chicken, was what he found. It is a global brand and yet found by a man who lost all hope in life. My father always keeps reminding me, “When you are at the bottom, the only way is up”. I take it to be a mantra for life. And this is exactly what I infer from what you are trying to say. Life will throw many types of googly, Yorker, inswing, outswing & cutter. You have only two options, negotiate it and make yourself a worthy gladiator or succumb to it and perish into oblivion. The journey is more important than the destiny. Talking further of cricket, who would remember, V.V.S. Laxman for scoring 281 runs on a 2nd innings, following on? It was rather the grit & determination he portrayed that day under the sun at Eden Gardens that will keep him as a permanent fixture of cricketing folklore. You gain perspective, experience & the essence of life when you are faced with adversity. Run along with it trading punches or take a knockout blow. Decisions make a man, but more importantly it is the steel that is remembered. We might not go on to become Amitabh Bachchan or Walt Disney in our respective lives, but we surely need to showcase the valour they showed faced with odds, to make ourselves superheroes of our own lives. A person may not always take the right decisions, but he/she needs to stand & live by their decisions to make the best of their lives. Amidst all odds, the mantra of life by must be, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.

I completely agree with you Sir. Life is journey with ups and down. We need to accept and enjoy both of them. Failure and success in life are subjective and hence the perspective with which we see them in life matters. Hence happiness is also a choice. At young age, we start with many expectations and with time these change. But, it is imperative to keep moving forward recognizing the fact that life changes with time. The journey has to be enjoyed more than the destination. But many a times we tend to focus on the outcome and forget to live the moment. The struggles which everyone goes through in life are unique and beautiful. With the right perspective, problems turn into opportunities. Enjoying the present requires a balanced mindset which does not classify events as success or failure. At times so called failure teach us more than success. The ability to see the bigger picture is important in life. There are things which we can influence and which we have no control over. Hence we have to develop an ability to enjoy the events in life without classifying them as success or failure. Therefore we need to enjoy the exploration or the journey better and stop worrying about things which we cannot change. The present moment is all that we have. In short we have to live the moment.

Every individual goes through phases in his life where he has to don multiple hats and handle a different set of responsibilities. All these roles and responsibilities have a multitude of choices and opportunities associated with these choices. It is said that none of the rationale choices are bad, but once you select the choice, it is your prerogative to convert your choice into a right one. Now how to decide if you have made the right choice or a wrong one? For some, the end result is very important and for others the means to achieve it. In Bhagwat Geeta it is stated, ‘Do your duty and be detached from its outcome, do not be driven by the end product, enjoy the process of getting there’. I would like to take a middle path here. Keep the ends in mind but be mindful of the right means to achieve it. It is of utmost importance to put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. If you are able to keep to a level of interest in your work, you have made the right choice. In one of his interviews, Rahul Dravid was asked, “How do you cope with the pressure to perform”. He gave a very candid answer, “I have started looking at every game as an opportunity to perform and not as a pressure situation”. It may happen in our job or in life that the situation is tough, too many issues are at play but we have to learn to accept it and deal with it.

The article is a good reminder of the uncertainties of life. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about life is its uncertainty. Like Forrest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” It is how we deal with this uncertainty, in life as well as in our careers, is what makes the difference between success and failure. There is often a huge gap of what we expect from life and what we actually end up getting. This wide gulf between expectation and reality can make life seem cruel and unfair at times, but in the long run things can start to make sense if we persevere. What makes a huge difference is our attitude and how we can take things which we encounter in a positive manner. This positive attitude helps imbibe learnings, experience, and skills from the toughest phases of our work and career. This can make a massive difference in career progression, as the weak of will may just give up and stagnate in such situations, whereas the strong willed with a positive attitude will use the tough period as a learning experience. Our struggles make us stronger, our failures help us rise above who we were. We are the sum of all our experiences and our experiences are subjective. Happiness itself is subjective, and how we perceive any situation depends on our individuality as well as on the context. How we perceive events in our journey of life can make all the difference. As rightly said in the article, what is seen as failure by some may be seen by others as the seeds of success. This positive attitude and the intent to consciously learn and improve from the most demanding of situations is what may help us make the transition from a job to a career – a fulfilling lifelong progression of delivering value, instead of a string of merely transactional activities. No matter how well we handle life, we will always have unanswered questions at every point of life. At such times, it is best to remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint, and all answers shall emerge as we keep on exploring life with a positive attitude.

Life -A journey of living being up to its being nonliving. What if, we know it will come across our way next time also? But alas it won’t. So, My friends we have this wonderful opportunity of living a life with our ability of self motivation, with love, with tenderness of heart, with sense of our mind blowing taste of being a human. “A Life without a Goal is meaningless”, very true however “A goal without a life is worthless”. As natures fundamental strategy is to “Be happy and make others happy too”. Just follow the nature’s rule of life and your life will be most appreciable to have a soul virtue of living. At different stages of our journey, we treat it in different way so that the journey with any situation should be awesome in any way. We have to live with use of our own capabilities of making good decisions with good thoughts so that our life will be beyond our expectations of goodness. On this way of our breathing we usually meet various types of emotions. It totally depends upon us to heal it in a way to make every moment pleasant and precious to have it. Pearl of our dignity will allow us to sparkle with a smile of pleasure to get beautiful and amazing Life. So move on with more inspiration of being “The One”. Have more self belief to make it best and prove it. Comparing ourselves with others may lead us to feel unhappy, so believe in you and be honest to your mind and soul. As soon as, we get this spectacular way, it will be too easy to travel. There is no escape of this path of life. As we have to do it, do it in a best way which is more glorious. Set your destination to most interesting and peaceful happy Life. It will make this easier to get your pitch smooth and steady to achieve it. Being a traveller of this journey, just go with flow, feeling of being alive. Feel it, live it and love it!

Life can be rightly compared to a journey where the destination is just a milestone. It is the journey which teaches & imparts skills in us in order to make it to the next milestone. Other such analogy can be as a canvas where one paints his dreams & expectations from his life. It is a silly saying that one should dream big in order to make it big. However, this is not true every time. The extent of bringing one’s expectations from life closer to reality depends upon the efforts that he put in towards that sole goal. There are many examples & ideals, as Sir mentioned a few of them already who made it big through many ups & downs of life, surviving all the challenges. Every time one fails while trying out something new, he gets to know one thing for sure – “what not to do in his next attempt”. This is the story of most of our entrepreneurs & innovators. For instance: Had Bansal brothers gave up on their attempt of aggregating the retail market then we would not be able to witness such drastic change in the landscape of e-commerce industry that exist today. Such a journey inspires us to pursue a career in the same lines but, are we really looking for it from our lives? The answer is no. Not everyone will land into such situations or make such choices, not everyone will be expecting same things from life & not everyone will have the similar skillset. Life is what one makes out of it. It can be a canvas or a journey, a career or a job but is full of impactful experiences and the onus is then on the individual as to how he takes the most out of those experience.

'Difficulties in life do not come to destroy but to help realize the hidden potential and power'; Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam truly gave us a vital lesson of life. Life is like a rollercoaster ride where no matter how many ups and downs, highs and lows one faces, one shall always land safe in the end. A crucial lesson that life teaches us is 'never give up'. The taste of success after failures is the actual taste of life; without failure if one achieves his success he/she can never understand its true worth. However, this doesn’t mean one should aim for a failure the first time! I truly agree with the point that had Walt Disney given up after rejections, our childhood would not have been so colorful and playful. Exploring one's true potential and staying optimistic towards life is one of the most important things we need to be happy. There are times in life when we fail repeatedly doing the same thing even after giving it our best; it does not prove lack of skills, rather we should take it as an indication that something is not right for us. Whatever is the best for our lives would eventually come to us. Another important thing is that one should not compare their life to that of others. It helps no one ever, rather only makes thing worse. One needs to just keep going, explore their abilities and keep faith; in the end things shall automatically fall in place. Sir, through your blog, I have come to the conclusion that falling is not what we should be afraid of, rather, we should be afraid of losing the want and motivation of getting up after falling. I would like to end by quoting Thomas Edison- ‘I haven't failed, I have just found 10000 ways that won't work.’

A very well written article with great insights. Life is a long fight and full of ups and downs. I feel it would be irrational to compare life-stories of successful people because they had their own share of struggles. I believe that any success story of an individual cannot be generalised as it is shown on social media. Just because an actor has had rags to riches story and he did manage his way out by navigating himself from the rest in a different manner, this same model of navigation and life-journey that is glorified in media, cannot be replicated for any other person given that it is circumstantial. The entire world in a way tries following a success template and ends up in a rat race for achieving success. And then we come to terms as to what leads to success in a rate race: 99% Hard-work and 1% luck. However, with more emphasis on smart work today to accommodate various aspects in our daily lives and have a work life balance on a personal level by managing time better, many of us are faced with an existential dilemma as to how to go about in life with respect to success. When things are not working out, should we try switching to something else and try and who knows we might end up being successful and ultimately moving out of our comfort zones OR keep on trying to achieve success using one strategy alone and be focused and persistent because we have been taught to never give up and we want to be winners by accepting any challenge. Sometimes, committing an error is losing out on opportunities. Yet several other opportunities come knocking our doors at various points in life. It is important in life to fail and much more important to learn and recover from failure and move on. Also, many a times we feel extremely helpless and dejected because of our over-ambitious nature and failure to accept that we are not perfect. But we fail to understand that the world around us is not perfect either and we must be ready to face any tough time or black swan event that affects our career in the short or long run. Our skills and competencies can aid in our professional success but at the end of day, our application and judgement play a bigger role in leveraging our knowledge and incorporating our takeaways from past experiences into our life-journey. I also believe success is partially subjective and partially objective. Life is too short to live anybody else’s dreams. In our quest for success, we must not forget our limitations and weaknesses. Failure is sometimes a stern reminder of imperfection and can help us correct ourselves at a nascent stage of development and learning. But it is also a reminder that human beings are not equipped with everything from the beginning and with time and practice, develop a sense of judgement and confidence that helps them make better decisions and plan their career accordingly.

The world waits with bated breath as the Gen Ys get ready to take on the world. The managers, leaders and thinkers or tomorrows are in the making and almost ready to take on the world. And probably this is the right time to take a pause and contemplate on your question Sir: ‘What exactly do we want from our lives?’ Time and again I have seen people caught in this question which leads to nowhere. Scores of books, guest lectures and movies seem to raise the same question. Our lives probably are not as untangled as our parents’ used to have. Money, food and a home are not the ends anymore. The rise of depression, insecurities and anxiety seems to be the next ‘common cold.’ Out of the numerous questions hovering in the air, the one most pressing will be ‘Why?’ The kind of upbringing that the Gen Ys have had, as their families gradually entered the lower and upper middle class, gave them a lot of luxuries and exposure. However, everything had a dark side too. The burden of being different and unique started tiring them off. Suddenly, being 1st in the class wasn’t something to cherish anymore. Suddenly, inter-school tournament victories weren’t pompous anymore. There always was someone who was always better than them. And parents too, in the pursuit of making their kids the next ‘IAS, Surgeon and Cricketer,’ couldn’t live with the fact that their kid probably wasn’t yet ‘The best.’ It wasn’t the fault of the parents altogether. Driven by their parental instincts, they always wanted the best for their kids, but sadly, the bar had been set so high that the kids hadn’t evolved as fast to take on such big challenges at such a developing and formative stage of life. This new culture has got us to top colleges and institutes of the world where the world looks up to us, but the managers of tomorrow are staring bleakly at their lives and asking ‘Where do we go from here?’ It is here where your thought of ‘Making a Living, Making a Life’ comes into the fore-front sir. The Gen Ys will have to accept that they have done really well in their lives and success awaits them as they move on to face the world, but they must not stop here. They must now introspect and choose the life they want with the opportunities that are available to them. Following suit henceforth will not be a good idea. Now is the time when they can use all their networks, connections, knowledge and learning to give a direction to their lives. Whenever one hears from a successful person, he or she will most of the times advise to choose a life which suits the person. Often we fail to understand the importance of this advice until it gets too late. While it is true that we can’t control our lives entirely and there’s always an element of luck involved in some of the major decisions of our lives, we must nevertheless strive to at least tread on the path that leads to our destination. We will thus be able to not only make a living but also make a life.

Most of us at some point or the other have dealt with the existential question. Questions like ‘What am I doing?’, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ start haunting us and making us look for inner peace. We seek satiation which seems to be a rarity on such occasions. For me, the meaning of life comes from deriving pleasure out of what I do or in another perspective, doing that which gives me pleasure. Now, this seems very clichéd in the sense that most of us hear it and understand it at face value and also for the fact that many a times our duty doesn’t allow us to really follow activities which yield pleasure, or is it? If we ponder deeper into this question, we must take cognizance of various aspects and not just the most direct one. As humans we ought to be thoughtful, we ought to ponder and think and understand. We have to apply our beautiful minds and figure out a sustainable ecosystem that gives us maximum pleasure. When the perspective shifts from pleasure yielding activities to pleasure yielding ecosystem, then that is where the answer lies. Survival is a basic human instinct. It is at the base of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and sustainability is critical to survival. We must cultivate an ecosystem around us which maximizes the sustainability and supports our survival. And going forward the same ecosystem can be enhanced to give us maximum pleasure. This ecosystem comprises of our value system, work, friends and so on. If we really apply our thoughts to cultivate and nurture this ecosystem we would always know what to do and what not to, so as to sustain it. This is the essence of the argument of maximizing pleasure. A rudimentary example to this effect could be the choice between having and avoiding a casual snack when one is on a weight loss spree. The snack does provide instant gratification but it could jeopardize the greater endeavour. We must put in our thoughts and realize which pleasure do we really seek, the sustainable one or the instant one. Even the Marshmallow Experiment conducted around instant vs. delayed gratification concluded that children who preferred delayed gratification were more successful on an average than their peers who preferred instant gratification. This could be related to the general attitude of short term vs. long term perspective. Of course, humans are psychological creatures and cannot be mechanical all the time, particularly during decision making. One important aspect to improve this is to develop a positive attitude. A positive attitude not only makes our entire surroundings conducive but it also makes it easier to solve problems. Most of the answers to problems lie within us. All we need to do is to mine out those answers efficiently. Having a positive attitude not only accelerates this ‘mining’ process but it also prevents many problems from occurring in the first place. Developing and maintaining that positive attitude is easier said than done but it certainly improves our efficiency manifold. The onus lies upon us, whether we want a sustainable ecosystem or otherwise!

Thank you Lalwani Sir for writing such a thought provoking article. Life indeed is not about the final destination but more about the journey which led to it in the first place. I have been on many treks and I believe that I can draw parallels between a trekking experience and life in general. If trekkers do not decide to camp at the peak, they hardly spend any time at the top. They take a breather, enjoy the sublime beauty of the surroundings and start with their return journey. Most of the time is spent in overcoming the hardships faced while making our way to the top and its these difficulties, obstacles and challenges that make trekking an enjoyable experience. The journey often gives us wonderful insights and learnings about ourselves which are the major takeaways in the entire process. In my opinion treating life as a journey but not as a quest to reach the final destination has one inherent advantage which many people fail to take heed of. It becomes very simple to set incremental goals for ourselves if we stop bothering about what lies at the end of the tunnel. Identifying these small challenges in our paths of life and overcoming them in due course of time arms us with a different skill sets. Your article clearly drives home the point, that failure is indeed the stepping stone to success. What many people fail to realise is the fact that each one of our lives are radically different and unique from others and hence many people often fall into this trap of comparing their journeys with them. Just as there are many ways to reach the peak of a hill, there are a myriad of ways in which we can reach our respective final destinations. New York is three hours ahead of San Francisco and this obviously does not have any real implications. San Francisco is in a different time zone, a different phase and will eventually reach the same position in which New York is in currently. It often happens that we unlock new doors when faced with an adversity. New opportunities do not land in our laps, instead they pass by us and they often manifest themselves in the ebbs of our lives. As you have mentioned, it is extremely important to take notice of the silver lining in our journeys of life because they have the ability to give us new insights and ideas. In fact, in today’s dynamic world, we cannot have our goals fixed as the landscape is shifting continuously. What is present today may become obsolete in the near future and hence it becomes imperative for us to set small tangible goals which we can re calibrate continuously so that we can reach our desired destination. Life in all its forms is not a war which we have to win. In fact, it’s a series of small battles which we must focus on during our journey.

I am completely agreeing with Lalwani sir, and he put up the lines very nicely. Life keeps us surprising at every stage. Just to start with last line of the article, “picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!”. Some time I believe every one face the situation where we used to say/feel this suddenly. Life is an event full of opportunities, some people grab them at the right time and some wait in expectation of better ones to come and sometime that never come and at the end they have to come back to pavilion to start something new. This I have seen in my many of friends. I have started my career while there was recession in IT and I have started my Job which was not kind of directly to my choice but I kept a hope that I must be able to switch from this to my dream job programming. While some of my other friends keep on waiting for good time to come and then they will start as a result they doing something else which was not their choice. So it is said that life is a race and if you don’t match with its pace, you will be left behind. Day in and day out, we all have one thought in mind become successful in career/job with having good money and able to provide good facilities to our near and dear/dependents but that did not happen always. Life is journey with ups and down. We need to accept and enjoy both of them. The taste of success after failures is the actual taste of life, without failure if one achieves his success he/she can never understand its true worth. However, this doesn’t mean one should aim for a failure the first time! There are times in life when we fail repeatedly doing the same thing even after giving it our best, it does not prove lack of skills, rather we should take it as an indication that something is not right for us. Just keep dreaming and work to get the dream come true and the day will come surly when you will be able to achieve your goal.

Sometimes I ask myself that what I am following, why I am following and for whom I am following? These questions always give head on. The moment we become adult or mature enough in our life. We immediately participate in the ongoing race of the career of becoming. Do we really think about what we really want in our life? Do we really want money, power, love, respect etc? The finding of these questions answers is really tough similar to IIT JEE Entrance exam question. In our current life most of the person follow the trend, what we see, we immediately get influenced. For example, Watching your favourite actor or actress performance on Television influence you to become actor or actress, watching cricket influence you to become a cricketer. I will not be surprised, by the end of the day you want to become a Politician like our Prime Minister Narendra Modi by seeing his speech on television. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying dreaming is bad but changing your dream in a continuous manner is bad. In my view, A dream should be static, it should not be dynamic because the moment anyone changes his or her goal in a continuous manner. The person does not arrive his or her destination moreover the person becomes confused in his or her life. In addition, If we will see the example of epitome in the real world such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and nowadays Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, In singing, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. There are so many examples of an influential and successful personality in the world but the question comes, why they are successful in their life and the simple answer is that they kept their goal static in their life, they were very clear for their goal and Interest what they wanted in the future. The more you keep your goal fixed the more you will become successful in your life. Moreover, I always think that anyone can make their fate. the most important decision is to direct the ship of your life in the direction you want to and bump into the waves, fight with the waves and reached at your destination. The happiness that you will get with it at the end surely incomparable. I am a big fan of the movie and since I am writing under the blog of Suresh Sir, I can not hold myself to write a filmy dialogue of three Idiot movie that “ Life is a race…..if you don’t run fast… will be like a broken undaa”. Dear friends, please do not follow this statement. In my view, “Live life as you are on holiday”. Do not take so much pressure of being successful in your life, take life easy and learn as much as possible in your life kyunki “Zindagi Milegi na Doobara” and I am closing with the statement of saying that Bachaha kabil bano, kabil ... kamyabi toh saali jhak maarke peeche bhagegi.

I have always liked how you connect philosophical musings and bollywood lyrics into your financial accounting lectures. This shows how we can find meaning in the most unlikely places. And that’s what life is about: meaning. As Viktor Frankl wrote in the seminal book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, a person devoid of a higher purpose is the one who gives up sooner. It not really success that we want from life, it’s meaning. It is only when we live for a higher purpose that we get true and lasting satisfaction. A meaningless life, in spite of any amount of success will ultimately feel hollow. To live for someone else, to serve the less fortunate, to make our parents proud, to be there for near and dear ones when they need us the most. That’s what makes a life, not the mad rat race for excessive wealth accumulation that is so hyped up by the wealth-gurus on television these days. The most overrated advice that the mass media often propagates is to follow your passion. But I believe that they have got it backwards. Become good at something, find your meaning and the passion will follow. If something fails, the meaning is simply that one more wrong path has been eliminated. That’s how we should tackle failures instead of brooding over them. Lastly I would like to share an analogy that summarizes the meaning of life in simple terms: ‘What’s the meaning of life if it’s going to end?’ Let’s now change the question to ‘What’s the meaning of a chocolate cake if it’s going to end?’ The meaning is to enjoy it while it lasts.

Life is diverse, throws you different surprises time and again, teaches you a lot about success and failures, gives one memorable experiences and sometimes not good but despite of all the things that life has to offer what is more important is that how one controls his life and make the the full use of it. What I personally think that life is sum up of different processes and time and again we need to succeed in these processes, having to succeed in the processes not always means one needs to be flawless in his conduct but it’s the learnings from this processes that matters. What matters is how you conduct in these processes and what are the learnings whether you succeed and fail in the processes. It is not always about the results but the kind of introspection one puts as to why he failed and succeeded in the process matters. If one develops this habit of introspection, then every failure can be stepping stones for success. One may argue that world is the survival of the fittest and we must strive to be perfect in what we do and aim for maximum though this is true but one also need to look at, in this process what one is sacrificing and most importantly is the person able to make the balance in life or in other words is he controlling the life or events around him are controlling him. There can be the times when not everything is in your control but one must strive to be in a situation where you harbor the ship and this is achieved not only from expertise and work but also how much one conducts himself in the process, how he handles different situation, how does he react to different situations and how he designs roadmap for future so that he does not commit mistakes of the pasts. Also the life can sometimes become mundane and one may compromise on the fact that this is the reality of life, but is that not the pessimistic approach towards life? Is that not the submissive mentality that is predominant in our mind? I think it all depends upon how one wants to live his life, it is the same as on one hand one can see variety in different shades of black color and on the other hand one is unable to see variety in different colors. So enjoy life, see it from different angles and ultimately “It’s your life, Make it Large”.

Sir, I feel really privileged, to read such a beautiful and insightful interpretation of Life from your Blog. I completely agree to it. “Life is short, one should make it large. As you sow, so shall you reap. You have got one, make it a big one. Life is not about chances but it’s about the choices we make.” We have been hearing these phrases since inception. But thing about life is, it keeps us surprising. The enigma of unknown that what will happen next, makes it even more intriguing. But there is an order in the chaos, which we understand once we go through it. “Sand of the glass is turned upside down As we can hear our own heart beats And so is the time bomb, is moving along We never know, when it stops and greets” As there is not much pre-known about life, so is the death. Some consider life and death as different entities whereas some consider life and death as inseparable part of each other. Whatever it is but I believe death gives more meaning to life. When one comprehends that world is like a stage and one has come to perform, dance and make one’s presence felt, then one knows one has lived it. The Journey of life is way, way more important than destination. As they say: “The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability”. As we live along, we realized the seeds of the success is often kept beneath the agony and turbulence of the failure. Sometimes its otherwise, a complete upside-down turn of events can happen and we realize, we got damn lucky. There can be many inferences about life, as life not only give us multiple eyes but also multiple chairs to sit and see, every picture different angle. As you say Sir, “In life, perception matters a lot” I must tell you Sir, there is a correlation I found about life with your Financial Accounting class. Thing are very simple at times to understand. Life is like a “balance sheet”. We came into this world we have “Owner’s Equity” (Parents financials), whatever the toils, goods and values we have done or are doing is generating us “Assets” and the faiths, expectations, promises and oaths we make or we take to our investors (who can be our parents, teachers, friends, relatives) is our “liabilities”. When we get deviated from our paths, then there is a depreciation of Asset. Whenever we take debt we have to return it with interest, same goes in life as well. Sometimes, life can turn on its head like “Debentures” and when your making profits, we must recall your shareholder (those people who made it happen) and give them “Dividends” (respect and love). The “Principal equation of Financial accounting” is also as same as the phrase from bible “As you sow, so shall you reap” Lastly, I want to conclude in bollywood style as bollywood, finance and life are very much interrelated. I recall the dialogue between Amitabh bacchan and Rajesh Khanna from the movie ‘Anand’:-“Jab tak zinda hoon, tab tak mara nahin or jab mar gya toh sala main hi nahin-Zindagi bari honi chahiye, lambi nahin.”

The journey of life is sometimes viewed as a race filled with ups and downs throughout. Nobody gets what one wishes for all the time, and we have to accept what we get and live with it. In my opinion, life is not just a balance sheet where profits and losses are to be tallied. In reality they never tally but have to be adjusted with the element of love. We have to live with love, love whatever comes on the journey. Love transforms sorrow into joy. We all agree that to live a life we need to make a living, but at the same time we need to balance life. It only balances when you add love to it with whatever you get, instead of finding something which you don’t have. Try to enjoy each movement of life and live it to great extent. Love is not something you find, it is something that finds you. Love makes everyone’s life wonderful. It cures many painful feelings which life encounters during its journey. Love is the only force capable of curing so many pains in life. A movie that made an impression on me was Zingadi Na Milega Dobara! I loved this movie and learnt to enjoy the life and do what you would love to do. Yes, of course life is all about our choices we make and sometimes needs certain sacrifices and adjustments to attain certain goals, but at the same time it is only once and you will not get second chance, so make the life to full extent by living life with love. Do not repent for past and don’t think too much about future and enjoy the present with life. Once Mahatma Gandhi has said “ Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever. Most important fact of our life is to live life happily and we have to enjoy each and every movement of life with love and harmony!

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