Make time for Life

Dear Son,

We celebrated Durga Puja in Kolkatta this year. Despite the bumper to bumper traffic and the ocean of people in a frenzy, it’s been a life time experience to celebrate Durga Puja at Kolkata.. You might have some vague memories of Kolkata . Our journey as a nucleaus family of 3 started in that city when you were just few months old . We lived there for almost 4 years and never really celebrated Durga Puja as a family . Why ? I was eternally busy those days . I would travel to other locations on work when Kolkatta was busy celebrating and I used feel proud about the fact that while others are celebrating I am working.

In those 3 days, amidst thousands of people, while standing in queue for Darshan , I felt some kind of quietness and stillness inside me which allowed me to reflect upon my life.

A lot has happened in my life in last 5 years. First, I encountered a Life threating health challenge. Fortunately, it changed my life for better instead of threating my life. Second, I quit my high paying job and started my own venture(s). Lost money in one venture and sold the other due to working capital crunch.

Despite all these negative events, my income grew significantly over last 5 years. More importantly, I am less busy now a days and I have time for LIFE beyond work. I have traveled much more in last 4 years ( in the first year, all travels were to the hospital primarily ), read more books, tasted varieties of cuisine, and being able to spent more time with myself as well as with your Mom.

This is, of course, work in progress and I think I can and should do better.

This reflection of last five years, made me think about causation between my quality of life vs growth in Income. Am I being less busy because my Income grew or is it possible that my incoming is growing because I have time for Life ?

I believe, my income has grown because I have started living better and not the other way around. My productivity has improved because I am taking more vacations, being regular with my yoga and reading more books and enjoying life in general. All these have taught me how to focus and de-clutter my days. I have more energy than before which allows me bring quality to the work I do. And the joy of life is getting reflected in my professional growth.

Why am I sharing these with you ? Because, I realize , you are going through a self discovery phase where assignments comes with impossible deadlines, test papers are left to the imagination of the Professor and you have grades to maintain.

Your situation is not very different from what I used to experience in my initial days of Corporate Life. So I guess, you may be doing the same that I used the do –work (study) , work(study) and more work (study).

You are a smart young man and hence you would know that you can learn from others “mistake”.

Son, having gone through the ups and downs of life, I now know that , taking a break to go out to the nature , making time to pursue your hobbies /physical exercises does improve performance and yields better results contrary to the fear that we might lose out to the guy next door who has not even taken bath for last 2 days to maximize time to study ( work ) . You love to play football , you are good with your camera and you are in a place that allows you to do all that you love to do. So, don’t miss out on celebrating life on a daily basis.

I can almost hear you saying — Papa, I want to go to the Gym /I want to go out but I have an assignment to complete.

I can’t suggest a schedule for you. That won’t work. However, I just ask one thing from you — replace the “ BUT” with “AND” and say — Papa, I want to go to the Gym/ I want to go out and I have an assignment to complete.

I am sure that simple replacement of BUT with AND will lead to means of achieving BOTH. And when that happens, you will do better in your assignments/tests and will get higher grades.

I am betting my money on this.

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