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How it all works out

  • Published at 07:10 pm August 12th, 2018
Whether you aim high or low, make sure you're doing what you love
Whether you aim high or low, make sure you're doing what you love BIGSTOCK

When you start working, balance is key

Almost all of us, at some point in our adulthood feel a bit lost about our identities, our goals, and our core selves. In Bangladesh, this trend of losing ourselves and then finding ourselves is prone to occur to students after graduation as they evolve into responsible adults.

So, what are some important things to keep in mind during this recurrent process of losing and finding our dispositions?

Big mission, small steps 

If you are genuinely an ambitious person, then it is very important to define your mission, stick to it by adopting a step-by-step strategic plan. In hindsight, remaining true to yourself and your own values is extremely important.

Being risk-averse or risk-neutral is an individual choice; however, whatever we decide to do, the risk factor is most likely to persist. That’s why, staying authentic to yourself and to others can be your most optimal selling point.

It is as important to not take success for granted as it is to not take failure as eternal. During this journey, some people will believe in you, while some others won’t. Whatever the situation is, we should never stop, even if we are proceeding at the most minimal pace.

In The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith's character says: “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

I would also like to add that the mission you choose doesn’t have to be similar to any other person; neither does it have to be completely different. It can be anything, from working at a company to setting up an advertisement firm, from practicing law to exhibiting in art galleries, from prescribing medicine to making a movie, from civil engineering to writing a novel.

I repeat, it can be anything. That said, there are no limitations or benchmarks in defining an individualistic life mission.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Between working and doing what you love

Often, we hear successful people saying: “When you are doing something you love, you are not working at all.” They support their decision by saying that doing what they love supersedes working for the sake of working.

But how many of us can confidently raise our hands when asked about actually listening/paying attention to what these people say? The answer is most probably not many.

We also hear the phrase, “If you are good at something, never do it for free.” How about combining these two ideas in a coinciding Venn diagram? The intersecting circle is going to have the work which we are passionate about, are skilled at doing, and brings economic fortune; while the works that we do for money or just for the sake of it are going to be in separate circles.

In the face of harsh realities, it is absolutely and definitely okay to feel disillusioned and lose touch with your creative capacities. What makes a difference is the ability to think outside the box, even when you are caged within that box.

This is the biggest puzzle in a person’s life. However, it is not necessary to be equally competent in solving this puzzle. Because herein lies the bigger enigma: The puzzle is set up differently for every individual.

Maturity and positivity

In economics, we are often taught: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” So, in life, people often face circumstances where things don't go according to plan. What to do then?

True maturity lies in being able to survive in the worst of circumstances. Positive welcoming attitude towards any form of change can be great weapons in our fight against those circumstances.

The pigeonhole principle of problem solving serves as an additional aspect here. No matter what we do, “in any group of three gloves, there must be at least two left gloves or at least two right gloves.”

So, no matter what the problem is, a person has to either be a leftist or a rightist. It is mostly likely that one group will supersede the other as a majority and highly unlikely that the minority will win over the dispute. In terms of deciding a career also, a person can choose something as chosen by the maximum majority or something chosen by the minimum minority.

But whatever you decide, it is important to respect your decision. Mr Akhter Matin Chaudhury, the Managing Director of Nuvisa Pharma, aptly opines: “All of us have aspirations about what we want to do, but while we wait, we need to engage ourselves in different things. And if you can’t do what you love, try to love what you do.”

Work-life balance

Last but not the least, it is extremely important to prioritize your happiness by maintaining a work-life balance. If there is too much of one or the other, it becomes a problem sooner or later. I agree with Jack Welch’s statement regarding this: “Work-life balance is a swap -- a deal you’ve made with yourself about what you keep and what you give up. It means making choices and trade-offs, and living with their consequences. It’s that simple and that complex. Just remember, you are not in this alone.”

He has emphasized much about having the significance of having an individual work-life plan and avoiding any requests or demands mettlesome with that plan. In his book Winning, he accentuates finding happiness through work-life balance as such: “You have to make sure your work-life balance plan fulfills your dreams and passions. If that means working a lot, do it. If that means being home every night, let that happen too.

“Yes, you have to be responsible to those around you, but you can’t live someone else’s concept of your life in the name of balance. If you don’t fulfill your own joy with your work-life plan, one day you’ll wake up in a special kind of hell, where everyone is happy but you.

“Achieving work-life balance is a process. Getting it right is iterative. You get better at it with experience and observation, and eventually, after some time passes, you notice it’s not getting harder anymore. It’s just what you do.”


Maisha Mehzabeen works at the Dhaka Tribune and is a graduate in economics.

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