Can be better

#87/100

“I hope you do not let anyone else’s expectations direct the course of your life.” 

– Julianne Donaldson

In my previous organization, we were given a lot of work and there was never a moment to spare. The attrition rate was very high which practically forced us to be on our toes, learn different skills and grasp new work in a short period of time. The first few months were a blur, I never understood what I did at work. Slowly things made sense and by the time I left the organization, I was solving issues that I always admired my seniors for doing. In one of my review meetings, I was praised by the senior management for my quality of work which was better than was expected. The expectation there was basic, do the work allotted to you accurately and avoid making errors. Any work done beyond this expectation was applauded like handling a team well or completing work well within the deadline even with a low staff count.

Things changed (for the worse) when I joined my current organization. Firstly, I am part of the cost function here (I don’t make money for the organization) in a team filled with sales professionals and traders, hence looked down upon. No one says that directly but one can sense it from other people’s behavior or the general work environment. Secondly, I don’t get any feedback on my work from the only person whose opinion matters, my boss! I started with zero expectations (visibly excited to learn new things from scratch) which fizzled out in a month when the person who taught me work left the organization. I realized that I am on my own from now onwards without anyone in my team. I tried understanding my boss’s expectations but he was always vague in his communication. My boss who is 30 years my senior, has a very old school mentality of learning at work. Instead of giving more work, he expects me to ask him if he has any work. He wishes that I interact with every one in my vicinity and learn about their job. That’s how he wants me to learn everything about everything.

I tried doing it in the beginning. I probably didn’t give my best attempt as this way of learning was against my personality. I am a shy and introverted person, it takes immense mental strength for me to ask someone a normal query. I keep thinking that I’m disturbing the person or might not get a satisfactory response. This is not a new thing, I’ve never asked any queries to my teachers from school to college, I always tried finding my own answers. But this was the prime expectation from my boss and I had no clue how to live up to it. I kept shrugging it to off to a point that every single unsatisfactory response from my boss makes me feel that he HATES me! It’s really nerve wracking to end each work day on an unsettled note truly believing that I’ve disappointed my boss. He doesn’t say anything to me on my face but gives sarcastic replies at times proving my suspicion right.

I know I’m not going to be around working for this person all my life. This phase is temporary. It’s just that every single day at work becomes a burden when you feel unwelcome and somewhat hated. Oh yes, he has never really appreciated any of my work till now, it’s been around 2.5 years that I’ve joined this workplace. He compares people’s achievements to his own and feels that the present generation doesn’t work hard enough. You guessed it right, he is a ‘baby boomer’. His work ethic and knowledge is admirable, he earned it all on his own. When you have done so much in life, it becomes difficult to appreciate anything that’s less than yours. That’s where empathy comes into place. You lived a different life, it’s unfair to have unnecessarily high expectations from the present generation and mock them for not doing better. Everyone is doing the best they can.

This is one of the main reasons on having terrible Monday blues and dreading the end of each vacation. I don’t wish to go back to being burdened under the painfully heavy weight of my boss’s expectations. The only way out is to do my best and enjoy what I do. My sanity and happiness is always a priority and anything that goes against it doesn’t have a place in my life.

What’s your purpose?

#20/100

I felt like a motivational guru while asking this question. Isn’t this the hot topic of discussion amongst every motivational speaker? It’ll always revolve around these grey topics which might end up confusing people more rather than helping them. People like me feel motivated at first however when things don’t fall in place even after following all the vague rules listed out by the gurus, we feel more empty and lost than ever.

I’ve read a lot of self help books on various topics meant to improve the quality of our life. I’ve tried listening to my absolutely chaotic inner voice with no respite. I’ve watched videos of many successful people who have noticeably made it big in this world. I’ve tried to list down the common traits that exists in all of them. They keep saying, love what you do and everything else would be taken care of.

People talk about following your passion, finding your true self, doing what lights up their soul, but what about the ones who can’t seem to figure out the source that lets them experience these emotions?

Are you as confused as me in this matter? Should I let you on a little secret that I’ve discovered recently? I really like being happy. Happiness drives me to do better, it lights up my soul and I’m completely passionate about it. But my happiness is not restricted to a single source. These days, I’m learning a new language and that makes me immensely happy and fulfilled. A cup of hot steaming green tea, a sweaty workout session, my 20 minute meditation routine, reading a good book, watching a great rom-com, figuring out new things about myself, learning a little more about people and the world, the list is endless. I experience true happiness when I indulge in these activities.

I guess I might have finally figured out my purpose after almost losing all hope to never discover it in my entire lifetime. Can you see how dramatic I can be about these things? I have absolutely no clue how the future will turn out yet somehow I managed to beat myself up everyday for not finding out answers to these “unnecessary philosophical questions”. Yes, I called them unnecessary. Racking my brains behind these questions stressed me out, made me lose my confidence, forced me to look down upon myself and made me lose a lot of my precious time on this planet.

My purpose on this earth is simple, be happy and do everything possible to keep myself truly happy. I don’t want to bind my happiness with a rule book, I just want to be truly happy as much as I can during my time on this planet.

“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”

-Benjamin Franklin