Thursday, June 2, 2011

How will you measure your life?

The graduating class of 2010 at Harvard Business School, was given an assignment. The assignment required the students to answer three questions.
First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Seemed funny, but not so. Apparently 2 in a class of 32 had done time in jail. On the first read, the assignment sounded incomplete and lame. But on reading the questions again, I found that yeah, that's all you need to figure out about your life, to measure your life.

Happy in career would mean, you would go on to be successful and make money. Successful gets you power. Power to get back at that sassy showoff from college. Or buy out your ex-flame's dwindling business. Making money would mean, you would have all the pretty things and the comforts that the swanky malls and delicate mannequins have to over. Sometimes peace of mind too [there's nothing a spa in the Himalayas can't fix.]

Happiness from your spouse and family, well, well, well. Basically, you really can't do much about this. Being a good woman/man brings you a good husband/wifey, if you believe in that, then perhaps you also believe in good karma. Ergo, you are also into the past-life-this-life thing. Doesn't quite work that way does it? So, be good, do not cheat, and what? Keep your mouth shut?. I guess. Family, if you are born into one that's loving, caring, sharing and all things sweet, then knock on the wood. That's it. Else, it's sad and let's not go there. Alright, that was about being born into the family, what happens when you have to raise one? It's then all up to you, the aforesaid spouse and genes.

Staying out of jail. Okay sitting in our cubicles, doing extremely mundane and harmless work, looking out of the window, to a view that's as boring as the last meeting, and then walking up to the vending machine for coffee that's insipid, it's tempting to pass the last question as lame. Crazy or comic even. But in our cubicle, there's so much more we could be doing. Thinking for instance. Thinking up plans. Evil plans that involve people who are part of our everyday, every night. Or that guy who takes up the parking area every morning. Or just a momentary lapse of judgment could do us in. Thing is crap happens [Jailed abroad on Nat Geo is scary, after every episode you have to look heavenwards and say thanks. Thanks to be just getting to sit in your dilapidated sofa in your living room and watch some primetime television]. You can just not take anything for granted. But what you can do is be cautious. Cautious not paranoid. Spontaneous caution anyone?
And never forget to pray.


  1. Interesting read. I would add to it something about staying fit and healthy, accepting the fact that it's more difficult than staying out of jail, but less difficult than maintaining harmony in the family :)

  2. you said it, yupe how could they miss it?

  3. hmm, nice one di...i however had the feeling that staying out of jail might not just have the literal connotation na?? I mean, it might just have meant how to get out of deep shit, when one gets into it, which as Agent Smith says is Inevitable:):)

  4. so dude..let me ask you after 2 you still feel the need to measure your life..