Recently, at one of the gatherings, chole bhature ( A lip smacking, but extremely unhealthy Indian savoury) was being served as part of the evening snack. There were healthier options too ( Oats for example). A colleague (lets call him/her X for the sake of anonymity), who always cribs about being healthy but is rather overweight, was indulging in generous servings of Chole Bhature quite unabashedly. I then prodded to X- “hey! This is not going to do someone who wants to be physically fit any good.” And X’s reply was “Kya Kare yaar. Yahi milta hai yaha toh yahi khana padega” ( this is what is served so I have no choice).
This made me ponder for a while – why is it that most of the time we think of getting physically fitter, acquiring new skills, honing our hobbies/ passions, but then succumb to these seemingly trivial situations when the litmus test comes. How can we get fitter by often indulging in these lip smacking delicacies and skipping exercise sessions? How can we gain new professional skills/Read more books if all we do after coming back from office is procrastinating? The funny part is – all of us know what we are supposed to do and what we are not. The problem lies with the subconscious mind. It can overpower wisdom for sometime, the instant gratification Monkey kicks in, and we start swimming in a pool of temporary pleasures.
Yesterday evening, I made plans of doing a course on Financial Markets during the evening (well, no harm in increasing your knowledge base right), but the instant gratification monkey made me watch a Rom Com called No Strings Attached instead.Honestly, I enjoyed the movie but today when I woke up, I could only think about the time I could have utilised better. Well, there’s no harm in having occasional fun, and I truly endorse that notion because YOLO! But when “occasional” becomes “frequent”, the very act becomes a “habit” and as we grow older, it becomes difficult to change that “habit”.
Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsico, is someone who never let the instant gratification monkey overpower her. So was the case with Micheal Jordan, Muhammad Ali and many other successful legends. Most of these people are healthy – they do some form of exercise in the wee hours of morning when the common man is having his extra hour of sleep. And therein lies the difference – most of us want to end up having successful lives with a dime a dozen achievements – we seek inspiration from these successful legends. But then we might overlook the sacrifices they made, the amount of hard work they did, or the zeal they had towards scripting an enriching life.
I read an insightful article on Linkedin recently. Too many people believe that your career is determined by the 8 hours of hard work and effort you put at work, and your future and career progression depend on the boss and the company. But the reality is that for most people, this thing, you are on your own. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/after-work-what-determines-your-future-spend-one-hour-sundaram)
The key that unlocks the fate of our future – is in our hands. The door that leads to a brighter future can be open or shut only by us. We have no one else but ourselves to blame for being unhealthy or leading miserable lives.
There’s a beautiful analogy between a cow and a human being. There is absolutely no difference between an average cow and an average human being. The former chews grass all day long and the latter also eats, works 8 to 10 hours at office, comes back, eats and sleeps. But human beings are blessed with indomitable power. The few of them, who actually use those powers, end up rising above the vicious claws of mediocrity. The rest, which is the majority, continue to remain in the doldrums. Choice is entirely ours.