While there are various success measures for every endeavour we pursue, the pride – a sense of satisfaction and self-esteem with no arrogance – obtained through pure passion and perseverance lasts long and for good.
How Passion stands out
There are many virtues we exhibit at work. One such attribute that I always admire and appreciate is the passion one shows at work. Passion helps me enjoy what I do and cruise through all the challenges with confidence. When we look for talent in the Knowledge industry where everyone has to contribute mentally, I feel that we also need to look for Passion as that guides an individual to give his best at work.
In Hindu Philosophy (Samkhya), Passion corresponds to Rajoguna (Rajas), the attribute that is responsible for motion, energy and preservation. It focuses on execution bringing about the Change that is required and sharing the excitement hence achieved. It is sandwiched between the two other virtues – Sattva (a quality of purity, clarity, calmness and creativity) and Tamas (a quality of inactivity, darkness and laziness).
As I sit and analyze the essence of Passion with a partial reflection of my own experience, I want to summarize the findings with the following statements. Passion broadens our shoulder to own things ensuring every single aspect of our responsibility is addressed with completeness. Passion provokes us to take initiatives when there is a dire need to do the unsaid things. Passion induces us to give our best to innovate and deliver high quality results. Passion radiates positive energy in the whole environment energizing the whole team to collaborate and become the subject of mutual inspiration. Passion rides on a self-driven vehicle that need not be monitored and chased. Passion enthrall the customer with the interests and involvement shown in addressing their concerns.
How many of us have come across people who are highly passionate in technology but totally disinterested and laid back when you ask them for a design document or a release document or user manual. I have seen handful of people who have given a highly robust code on one side and a scribbled document on the other side. I feel, in an organization or a team setup, it is not just sufficient that we are passionate about those parts that interest or thrill us. It is equally important to be passionate about our team and organization goals to guarantee that we succeed with the overall success of team and organization. Hence, this unconditional, non-selective passion towards whatever work we do that is aligned to team’s goals is a very important ingredient of a successful team player. Often this enables our team to succeed in all the races under any racing conditions.
When Passion is Persevered
Quite often we do get thrilled about doing “some” interesting short and sweet “thing”. Excuse me for writing “some” “thing” vague as I wanted to leave this “some” “thing” to your boundless imagination. We exhibit high energy levels while we enjoy performing that short stint. This might be as short as few Kilometers in our several thousands Kilometers of journey towards achieving our goal. Unless our passion is persevered till we achieve our goal we can’t be sure of that achievement. Even if we achieve that, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the whole journey and we wouldn’t have given our best to cross every single milestone on the way.
A famous quote from Swami Vivekananda comes to the fore:
Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.
At work, many a times we are dependent on the environment where we have to perform. We work as part of a team, expect collaboration from all the support functions and are guided by organizational framework and policies. It is only idealistic to have everyone and everything aligned towards our preferences which favour the conditions for us to succeed easily without any friction. In reality, you know better than me. It is also not wise to fantasize for such an environment to come to us. It is easy to yield our passion to these noises of collaboration and give-up our journey in the middle without achieving the goal. It is the perseverance in us that will hold us high when the turbulence is high and walk us through the challenges patiently and passionately.
Why Pride is Precious
At the end of a persevered passionate journey there await the three assured fruits – a sense of completion / accomplishment, self-satisfaction in giving our best for every milestone and an apogee of thorough enjoyment of the complete journey. This is the pride that we want to obtain – the pride of possessing these fruits. More often rest other “gifts” would accompany these real fruits. In real business, when we simply focus on achieving and accumulating these fruits, the gifts – establishing a niche brand value, getting repeatable business from enthralled customers, continuous growth, etc – would automatically follow.
The Pride I refer here doesn’t have an arrogant, offending face at all. In a way we can view it as an innocent delight of our accomplishment. It is the delight of a mother when she hears others praise her child as a gentleman (Thiruvalluvar supports me). It is the pleasure a mountaineer feels after reaching the peak of Mount Everest. It is the pride a soldier takes when he hoists the national flag after a tough battle. It is the sense of achievement a Software Engineer shares when his product is deployed in Production after all the rounds of testing.
Ever since I decided to do something on my own independently, I held the caption for my mission “Pride from Passion and Perseverance” so close to my heart that I started relating every observable pattern in real life to that. I would like to portray one such instance here.
Of late, just to avoid boredom when I stand in front of a mirror, I started experimenting with my moustache, beard and side burns. I do style them myself with my conventional fifteen year old steel razor. One fine evening rather night when I decided to go to a hair dresser to shed-off some head weight, I also decided to entrust him with my styling job. I stated my requirements pretty vaguely by drawing the desired turns my moustache should take with my index finger.
After stating the desired drawing on my face, I started monitoring his scissor and knife work very closely as unlike Software, bug fixing is more often ruled out – once gone, it’s gone. In the mid way of his work, I lost track of my monitoring objective and started admiring the passion he carried in styling my moustache. It was 9 in the night with his colleagues calling him for dinner. He moved relentlessly on either side of my chair to check the homogeneity of my moustache on either side. He was working patiently and delicately on the fine corners or turns my moustache supposed to take. He stopped in between to enjoy how his work is shaping up. I was forced to forget my exact requirements to admire the work executed with passion in awe. At the end, though my moustache is close to what I needed, I am delighted and inspired by the persevered passion exhibited by the hair dresser in his work while serving the customer. I would definitely visit him again even if his shop is farther away from my home.
I would like to end this article with a very nice quote my friend Lohit mentioned to add as part of his valuable passionate review
He who gets to do what he loves is lucky, but he who loves what he does is truly happy.