Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Update on Life

It has been ages since my last post...something which I deeply regret. A lot of things have taken place in the past year, which I assume would have changed me and my perspective. I regret not blogging regularly so I could look back figure the change in thinking. Anyway, better late than never I guess.

Most people have a fascination towards the world of finance nowadays. I too am a part of that lot. And to satisfy my curiosity, off late I have been trying to discover the secret knowledge that everyone my age is looking to seek - to have an idea of what it is that these movers and shakers actually do. And have I? To some extent yes. But the funny part of discovering things is that you always want to know more... and there are more questions to ask than answers to give, aren't there? And so it is these new set of questions that I'm now pondering over.

The world of finance is undoubtedly complicated, exciting, highly mathematical and relationship based at the same time and very, very interesting. The risks taken are enormous, the gains and losses even more so. From the professional setup to the high profile meetings, from the millions of dollars to the bitter competition, it really is a kick for those who are of that mould. But in the past few months, there is one thing that seems missing in the whole system. And the something is empathy.

Now dont get me wrong, I love what I see. There is something about this world that just draws you in. I cant explain it, but I sure as hell can feel it. And don't assume that I'm saying the place is devoid of ethics either. Its a highly ethical industry. Well, at least the professional ones whom we associate the financial industry with are. But being ethically right sometimes does not mean being morally right. Being ethically right may not be being sympathetic or empathetic either.
Though not clearly, I now can relate to why most successful people turn toward philanthropy at the later stages of their life. The speeches by Bill Gates and the story about high profile CEO's quitting their jobs and turning to non-profit organizations make some sense now.

There are people who are ambitious and there are people who have a passion to do something for the society. And then there are those who are both. Isn't it a real challenge when your job doesn't satisfy both these aspects of your personality? I'm not talking about a situation where the job requires to do something against your principles and the likes. That would make things back and white, far too easy. The question arises when you end up in a job that is challenging, extremely satisfying, something you love to do and have a bright future with but doesn't involve other aspects of your personality. For example, say you have an amazing job that is really stimulating and challenging and you love it but it does not have an impact on the society per se, which really matters to you. Or you are doing a socially meaningful job but it doesn't have the future or career path or remuneration that you are comfortable with. I think these are the questions that will matter the most a couple of years down the line when we get out of college life and the first couple of months of earning and spending recklessly. I guess people don't really want a single thing in life. Each one of us has a certain expectation of himself, and would like to be satisfies that he is able to tap his potential to the maximum. But there are hardly such tailor made jobs and even so, then comes the question of taking the risk to make that jump from one job to another. Sometimes it may involve shifting fields, taking risks like never before.

Another thing that I noticed, something which is quite an obvious statement to make, is that theory is not the same as practice. But another observation that I made is that the difference between theory and practice can be made up for in many ways. In case it isn't, it may result on one not being successful or being just a little successful. In some cases it is made up with assumptions, based on historical data. "This had happened before so it may most probably happen again". More often than not it is made up for by learning, through books, keeping aware or through relationships(professional or personal). But the most successful and beautiful way to make up for this difference is to use all these methods and combine it with a not so common thing called creativity. And I guess most of us will agree to the fact that the more we seem to acquire knowledge and grow old, the more we also feel that we are losing our innate creativity at the same time. Its a peculiarly funny problem to which there seems to be no perfect solution. One just hopes to keep a little bit of both and make up for it with another substitute known as experience.

I have a feeling this post is going to seem like a really vague one to all of you, but its something to ponder about. I hope all of you can relate to it with your lives as well. It may make way for some really interesting introspection and discussion.


Apathy Canavian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Kid In The Front Row said...

Let's all go live in huts, let's have song and dance, let's talk to each other. Let's make it not about money.

Okay, I definitely won't do that, but I wish that I would.

Aditya Nair said...

I never imnplied that. I wouldnt even want to do that.
I believe introspection, however, would at least make us want to make some difference, and be better individuals than we are right now.
Hence, the post.

Shivaja said...

"But the funny part of discovering things is that you always want to know more"........even at 50 I feel the same! How I wish I was younger just to learn and discover things again!

You write things worth pondering abt!