Let me tell you a story about a boy named Johnny. Johnny was a fun-loving guy, one of the happy-go-luck kinds. He never worried about a thing in his life and faced his life head-on. He simply relaxed and enjoyed every bit of life. Everything was going well in his ‘Neverland’, until he did something so awful – so evil – that he would dread it, the whole of his life. His life was so perfect with candies growing on trees, he was just HAPPY! And then suddenly it became as dreadful and as gloomy as the winters at north pole. From everything being so sunny and warm in his life, It became dark and daunting. And it was all his doings, and there was no one to blame for it. He brought it upon himself, being awfully mistaken that this would make his life better. But it didn’t ! It just backfired, like a shotgun on his face, whose scars he would carry throughout his life. And that dreadful mistake was that he starting working hard for his exams!
Everyone told him, how important it was to work hard for examinations, how important these exams were, and how his life depended on the way he performs in them. How his life will turn pages, if he does well. But what everyone failed to tell him was how dark and gloomy his life will become after that. And he will never be able to go back to the ‘Neverland’. Like Peter Pan, he will just outgrow it, inspite of how much he loved it, and how much he wanted to cling back on it.
He shot in his foot by deciding to work hard for his JEE exams. He never knew that this effort will cause an endless stream of sleepless nights in his life. He never knew what he getting himself into.
He did well in his exams and got into IITs – which are among the most reputable engineering colleges in the country. While Johnny always found it difficult to exce inl his classes during school, no, he was expected to do so in a place which had the class toppers from all over the country. He was in a place where he needed to run, and run hard. Where ‘slow and steady’ would always lose the race. He was working harder and harder just to survive, with no breathing room for himself. Even a small nap could leave him miles behind. While his friends outside IIT were living truly. They, for one ,enjoyed their college life, having fun and just living it as it was meant to be! All together with a much – much more healthy sex-ratio. While Johnny’s college hardly had any females, here there were females in every circle. But Johnny was focused, remembering what he was told, laughing wickedly at all saying in his mind, “Few more years, and then you will rule it all!”. He was preparing, working for the future, and he will be someone.
Then came the placements, and Johnny got in on the first day. He got an A-List job at a position where his friends would take years and years to climb up to. His dreams and visions were coming true. Now he could rest, he said to himself. Now would be the time to have fun and just live it. But it proved to be yet another false dawn.
He came to a job where everyone expected so much out of him. After all he was from an IIT, he was meant to be extraordinary at everything. They all forgot that he was just a graduate, who was finding his feet. While his friends were having training periods, he got piles and piles of work. He was just thrown into the deep end. He was running again for his life, struggling just to breathe, just to get it all in. He was working hard with no one to teach him. Learning, studying and delivering all at the same time. He couldn’t have the luxury to know his colleagues and subordinates, or hangout with them. No, because he was working those nights. He was working with people who were several years elder than him, who would always see him as a kid. And he couldn’t hang out with people his age, who were below him in the food chain, who will always saw him as his superior, their boss, even though he was none. So he just poured himself to into his work, and hoped for a better tomorrow, and just tried to be be happy.
But he just couldn’t adapt, couldn’t live like that anymore. So he desired for more. He just couldn’t go ahead with his education, as choices for him were far and few. He just can’t go to any college. They were all beneath his stature, after all, he was from an IIT and working in an A-list company. He was destined to thrive for more. So he decides to go ahead with his lifelong dream, and started his own company, in the hope that it will become his beacon. He will finally do something and just enjoy it. He will have fun and relax, and just be like others his age. That’ what he thought.
But he need to be better, because he could never settle, or his all hard work will go in vain. So he had to do more. He was like a gambler in a casino, who is hooked up in the game and just can’t leave, because he has just vested in too much.
He thought his life was difficult and demanding before, but now it had just blown out of proportion. Even his next meal depended on the way he worked, the hours he invested and they became endless.
He never wanted this for himself. He just wanted to have fun and enjoy life. And now he was struggling just to get a hold of it. He never knew that small bit of work he did long long time before, would make his life what it is. He was just told that few years of work and his life will be golden. He will sip margaritas on clouds. But it never was so, no one told him what it will truly be. A constant struggle to do better and improve, which will lead to ever threatening stakes of failure.
No one told him that it was the biggest lie, he was being told. No one told him, that this was a trap and never again he will rest easy. He was working hard in the present, wherever he was, in the hope that his future will be easy. While his future was never easier, all he did was to make his present harder.
Once you start working hard then you just have to keep doing it. Once you raise bar for yourself, you can’t look back. You’ll just have to keep pushing it. That is how we all are designed, that is what is etched in our minds.
It was like Morpheus offering you blue and red pill in ‘The Matrix’ to Neo. Blue pill will give you enlightenment, and give you knowledge. But it will take away your current – easy and perfect life, which will just never be back. It may be a noble cause to pursue and follow, but it is not an easy one. What is so wrong with choosing the red pill, which will let you be happy in your bubble? But will let you be happy in your life, which an elitist society, like ours, won’t understand. Was it so wrong to choose mediocrity in his life? As some great philosopher said “Ignorance is bliss”.
Hard work was like blue pill. Once you choose it, life will be a constant struggle, an uphill battle for reaching higher and higher. You will never be satisfied with your achievements, always keep wanting more, never knowing when to stop. Every little achievement will make you hungrier for more and more, with ever increasing “expectations” of everyone including yourself, it will become a vicious circle sucking you in. With even a small iota of it creating a need of thousand folds in you life.
I am not pushing anyone to choose the red pill, neither endorsing it. An elitist guy like Johnny may again choose blue pill for himself, despite knowing all this. But I am just showing you the “Dark Side”. As every one should know every aspect of the decisions when they take them. Everyone has a right to choose happiness – even if it comes at the price of mediocrity – isn’t that the goal of pursuing anything??