Confusing Hard Work With Struggle
I have not referred to the Webster’s, Oxford’s or Gala’s or any other reliable (or even unreliable) dictionary for an absolute meaning of the noun ‘struggle’. Somehow it gives me a negative feeling and therefore, I defy its relation - whatsoever - with the noun ‘success’.
We often hear from our parents, grandparents, elder siblings, some times even friends (the early-age achievers, talking like 95 at the age of 25) referring our cousin for how hardworking they have been; how our senior schoolmates struggled to get to the position they are in today; some nobody on some not-yet-claimed-planet-in-the-galaxy bragging how much pain they went through to reach where they are today.
Okay, wait. What has ‘pain’ got to do with success or achievements in the first place?? Even the laziest as$ would agree that some sort of hard work is a must. But that simply shouldn’t inflict struggle into the picture. In fact, in this jet-age, a struggler (to start with) is most likely to enjoy the rest of their life as a successful struggler (by choice) only. Don’t we know it’s a call for smart work, instant money and faster growth today? Of course, this never rules out the importance of hard work, nor can anything else do that.
An accomplishment without sufficient efforts is likely to go away faster than it came in. Hard work has no alternative. There is no success without pouring oneself completely into the attempt. However, this entire process can be exciting and fun, rather than tedious or painful.
I am not ashamed in admitting that I got my first pay-cheque (Basic + HRA + A million $ allowances – Two million $ taxes) at the age of 24 (23 years, 10 months and 14 days, to be precise). Compared to my sister starting at 19 and one of the cousins at 18 (and many others in that line), I started a little late. So how bad is it on my part, considering the facts that my parents were willing to invest in my formal higher education and we were three people earning (and earning well) in the family of four? I know they have literally ‘struggled’ enough to earn and save to afford mine and my sister’s good education (accompanied by a lush lifestyle). So, what is so wrong if I have decided to break free from this vicious inter-generation-cycle of struggle?
With some experience of working for others, I decided to take up my own business (Read I joined Raghu on his business). I had to do it someday anyway, instead I went for it a little early (courtesy motivation, pumping and torture from Raghu, apart from my parents’ and mainly my sister’s unconditional support). Now, this was a big deal. A lot of planning had to be done, we being startups there was a big element of risk (the whole idea of business can flip the other way round), it seeks a lot of hard work for very less or maybe no returns for an indefinite time. There were issues at every level. There were no big promising projects for quite some time. The expectations were being put forward in different ways (sarcastic - on most occasions) and all we had was our shoulders to offer to one another. We had opted the harder path and so there was no complaining.
But hey hey! There are no free lunches in this world (at least not in the IT industry). Soon we had one, two and now we have enough work to show on the chart. The race hasn’t been easy and the movement is still on. A well-planned effort, nurtured by ample hard work is bound to pay off. But, that is not struggle - that’s life!