Saturday, February 07, 2009

Hardwork kills....

Hardwork here is refered to doing only one kind of work/thing for long time, typically more than 10-12 hours in a day.

(Knowing that one of my office colleagues checks my blog once in a while, it may not be a good idea to post this. I can not say this post is entirely my idea, I think somewhere it is inspired from an essay written by Bertrand Russell which I read about 2-3 years back. I don’t even remember name of that essay. This post goes in bit different direction than Bertrand Russell’s writing. )

One bad thing happened to me in last few years is that I have stopped believing in hard work or rather. I am yet to see a person who works 14-16 hours a day and is truly happy. As the Indian proverb goes one must visit physical, mental, emotional and spiritual side once everyday. Working so much almost always screws up some other dimension of life. Yes, you can work for 14-16 hours on something that you really enjoy but can you be really happy if you are failing in some other dimension of life. I have seen so many times that people who have gone ahead working so hard, do repent on something or don’t have good relationship with their spouse or some other reason. If at the end of the day, when you are dying if you think, I wish I would have taken time out to do so and so thing, does it really matter whether outside world considers you one of the most successful people in the world? Sometimes the very fact that you are supposed to be happy by doing lot of hardwork and being successful by some outside world criteria  but you are not makes you do stupid things. All these so called hardworking people buy lot of totally unnecessary things to show off or rather to prove to themselves that they are happy and successful. Or they derive this illusory happiness by buying more things than someone of their same age or same field or position or something. Material happiness is the only thing that can be tangibly seen or shown so most of them run behind it. Of course almost all corporate support this hardwork theory because that is the way they can get more from you with the same money. They don’t really care about people, all they care about is resource utilization, after all for most of the companies people are just a resource and resource means cost. So you are a cost for them, unlike some machines used for long term or typically land is considered as asset, you don’t have the fortune to be called as asset. They want high resource utilization. And, no I am not a communist, I believe, communism is as much bullshit as capitalism. Just think, there is so much overproduction in the world, not just in terms of physical products but also in terms of services. Almost everywhere or sometimes the whole countries are going bankrupt because they can not sell their products or services. Even if we just go ahead and reduce working hours to half of the current for all the companies in the world, the world will lose absolutely nothing. Although just as every industrialist becoming a billionaire is creating few thousand or more jobs, almost each one of them is indirectly causing almost same or more number of people in the same or different country to not meet their basic needs. Being a human being I feel extremely sad for this. The business has somehow become strictly negative sum game, where there are too may losers per winner and even for those winner companies normally except for promoters and top management executives, most employees are losers. Efficiencies, cost cutting and automation have become synonymous with having hanging swords over employee’s head.

And, by the way, I am yet to meet anyone who can do quality work for 14-16 hours in a day. Most people steal the time in between some or the other way.

In the end, you don’t know what to do. Hardwork as a great virtue, has been so much ingrained in our system that you don’t know what to do. Even though I have written so much about it, I have started this particular post by saying that it is the bad thing that I don’t consider hardwork is necessarily good. Of course, there is also other point of view in calling it bad thing. It is always easy to believe what most of the other people believe and go with the flow. It is very difficult to questions these beliefs and even more difficult to follow those if they conflict with majority. It complicates life too much. Unfortunately I have got too many beliefs that do not go with the majority.

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