Source – https://media.licdn.com
By Hardik Madani & Meher Legha
Imagine a world where you get all that you long for! And when it comes to desires, we know no bounds. I want this, I want that, I have this but still that’s better and I don’t have that. This draws me back to the time when I was preparing for my MBA entrances. I wanted a better percentile rank but at the same time I also wanted to end my under-graduation with nothing below an 8. When I try to reflect over this tendency of humans of keeping on asking for their never ending desires to be fulfilled, I can aptly say we are never content. That’s how we have become today, always wondering what life could have been if we had made it to that paymaster job or to that college. In fact, we can never be satiated since we have based all our accomplishments with respect to someone else’s. We are in the era of fierce competitions and comparisons. We are in the era where our intelligence is measured in terms of our stand in 90s percentile and anything less is regarded as a failed effort. We are in the era of relative grading. That’s the best metaphor I could come up with given the situation and time I am writing this, when all my textbooks are shouting to get rid of the dust they’ve collected on their covers during the last 3 months. Besides guts, courage and moral fibre, it takes a lot more to be out of the rat race – to be an outlier.
We have been making efforts like never before to get our internal evaluations revaluated because we somehow want those extra marks or we somehow couldn’t stand the fact our study buddy has performed better. For that matter, marketers always prove successful in hitting the bull’s eye. That yellow band of 20% extra, a catchy combo of a shampoo and a conditioner, adding an extra product in cart to reach the threshold of free shipping, those promo codes and wallet discounts while booking flights back to home and successfully availing them are kind of accomplishments for us. To be honest, many of us might have even gone to the extent of applying promo codes on already discounted products. That’s our right, isn’t it? When we pay cascading taxes, why can’t we avail cascading discounts also. Makes sense?
While rejoicing discounts, devouring the extra cheese at Dominoes (a rare deal though!) and celebrating those extra marks, we often tend to forget this concept called “deserving”. Do we really deserve what we desire? This is some major food for thought especially for our generation that seems to have everything handed to them on a silver platter. Academically, you are primed right through your childhood and provided with every possible extra facility you can think of to help you enhance your performance. From coaching classes, online courses, special ability groups in all metropolitan cities to tuitions at home at your doorstep – it is all tailor made to make an average student seem intellectually brighter. No wonder all this hard work, all this grit makes us subconsciously believe that we are entitled to every privilege, every ‘suvidha’ we so blatantly consume today.
For those who are inclined towards sports, there are training academies coming up by the turn of the road in every imaginable remote area possible. Coaches springing up to hungrily spot talent in a manner fiercer than that of Jerry Maguire in the movie itself. For the literary and artistic ones, there are opportunities by the month, or rather by the week, to showcase and display their talent at festivals, galleries and online competitions. Coming to the workforce that is employed and contributing to our GDP – the list of what all they think they are entitles to is endless to say the least. Whether they are proactive, innovative, believe in team work or are leaders is immaterial. The minute they walk in through that door with the company’s tag around their neck, they believe they are entitled to the free cups of coffee, the company guest rooms, the lavish boardrooms, the spacious office and the free branded stationery. All of these modern and with-the-times advances are excellent and productive because they are all factors that act as catalysts to bring out the best in and off the lot. To churn a diamond out of a block of coal. To cut, polish and refine a stone till it shines and achieves something worth being written about. The problem only arises once all these players start becoming complacent because of this false sense of achievement and entitlement. Think of every great leader and innovator in the world. From Einstein, Galileo, Shakespeare, Picasso, Gandhi to Obama, Indira Nooyi, Angela Merkel. Everything they’ve worked for, strived to accomplished did not possess the slightest bit of self-interest when you look at their journey holistically. Absolutely no sense of entitlement or complacency. They had grit, passion, patience and the strength to endure more than a man’s share of tough times. These are men and women who make history. They create what they think they deserve and work for a larger audience than just themselves. They never waited for a well-wisher to ring their doorbell and serve them their entitlements. They made well with what they had and then created an empire or a beautiful concept out of it. Because they were hungry. Hungry to bring about change. To disrupt the status quo. To solve problems that were brushed under the carpet.
As a country, we are a race that definitely believes in working hard. But the real question is whether we would still have it in us to create all that we have if the above-mentioned silver platter was missing. History is proof that that is exactly where the magic happens. When you start at ground zero, with absolutely no self-righteous or false sense of securities and entitlements. Maybe its time we disrupt our mentality and age old thinking of ‘This is MY share and I deserve it’ and move to instead ‘My share is what I worked extremely hard towards and tell me how I can help these ten other people deserve the same’.