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.

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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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