Essence or Mechanics
If you can’t excel with talent, triumph with effort.
There was a woman who owned a flourishing hospitality empire. The day when she had to hand over the charges to her son, she was called to deliver a farewell speech. She grabbed the microphone and spoke “I have done very well financially for years. But lately I started feeling bored and my irritable, my life and job became meaningless. I realized that my work had become distasteful because I had gotten caught in the ‘Mechanics’, rather than ‘Essence’, which truly was to take care of the people. So I rededicated myself to making my clients happy, regardless of the financial outcome. Then my work became delightful and more fulfilling. True satisfaction comes when you feel the essence of your work, instead of polishing its mechanics.”
Whenever we read the list of ingredients on a tube of toothpaste or cosmetic etc., there is usually a long roll of chemicals followed by a word written in bold letters “Active Ingredient”. It is the one that really gets the job done. Everything else is a filler or enhancer.
Enjoying our work is the Active Ingredient of our preparations, the chemical that makes everything else worthwhile. Of course we are preparing for Civil Services, but the fact itself should not be allowed to take away from us, the joy of working. May it be preparing the notes, or reading The Hindu, or analyzing an issue or writing an answer for Secure 2014.
The question we should ask ourselves is “Have we retained the Active Ingredient of our preparations?” If the answer is yes, well and good, but if the answer is no, then we need to rearrange our priorities and focus on enjoying our work. As for me, I’ll say, “Work for Essence, Not for Mechanics”.
“Help me find joy in my work, for I am committed to the beauty of it.”