Things that give us joy

There is something to multi-tasking for me these days. For one, I find I am incapable of doing a single thing at a point in time. Like for instance, right now, I’m working on some client deliverable, blogging, facebooking and planning the training schedule for the week, all simultaneously. And then I wonder why I’m exhausted all the time! But frankly, my mind bores easily and I really need to be doing a million things at a time to be completely engaged. Does it impact the quality of my work? I think it’s a positive impact, because the few seconds I work on something I give it everything before moving onto the next.

I like doing this because I can do multiple things, all of which give me a lot of joy, some more than others and I save myself from dying of boredom, which I believe I’ve been trying to escape all my life. ‘Bore laagche (feeling) was a common bilingual refrain my mom had to contend with and often would lead her to erupt in annoyance at having to keep me occupied all the time. I wonder then, why she didn’t encourage me to do more. But mother-daughter gripes are feed for another post.

Anyway, I digress. This post doesn’t have to do as much with a training update than it does to with my mental state of being. I feel I am constantly discovering myself through these million things I am doing all the time. Everytime I do something at work – engage with a client or work closely with my team, I feel like I’ve learned a little bit about my people skills and how I like my work to be accomplished. When I’m out training at swimming, biking or running I watch others who do it better than me with awe, wanting to do it better each time. Each time is a challenge scaled, a victory over some hurdle, or a new stumbling block that I discovered which I need to either work on or figure out how to circumvent. Everytime I’m at music class, or find myself at a music concert like last night, I find myself transported to a different world, a world very different from the other things I do, yet very similar. Last night I had the fantastic fortune of listening to two very similar forms of music I love – Hindustani classical and Jazz. They are similar because they are both free-form, improvisation-within-structure kind of music. Within both, the musicians have either a Raaga (a structure of notes) or a mathematical logical structure in Jazz, within which they can do whatever they want. And when they reach some height of complexity within that structure, while feeding off the other musicians/instruments accompanying them, it’s nothing short of a transcendental experience.

And it’s that transcendental experience I think I seek in everything I do. It’s about reaching beyond what you’ve experienced today. It’s about the next high, that takes you a little beyond your self. Because each experience sets a boundary – a limit you’ve reached and being human beings, we don’t like limits, do we? So the next experience has to transcend the existing. This is why I push myself at the endurance training – to see what my body can do and even more, what victories I can conquer over the self-imposed limit I’d set before. This is why I listen to music, to listen for the next beautiful complex variation that a musician can achieve within the confined structure of a Raaga or Jazz musical structure.

And it’s this thirst to do more, feel more, scale more that I think drives every one of us to do what we do. These are all the things that give us joy.


One response to “Things that give us joy

  1. agreed Sirsha… change is the only constant they say… inherently, we are wired to do multiple things at one time – we breathe, think, speak, walk and do so many things at the same time… all said and done, i believe the beauty lies in the transformation we experience every moment… its so fascinating to know that i am not what i was a slice of time ago!!

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