“Achieve! Achieve” But Why?

human machine

Discussions on productivity just sound like another form of the litany “ACHIEVE! ACHIEVE” to me. This voice only grew louder and meaner as I found myself unable to continue in the corporate and academic world and was left wondering – “So then, now what?”

So what if I get 78 on 100, or 85 on 100 in a subject at school and not 92? “She is so intelligent but… “, that is what each teacher told my mom at the parent’s-teacher-meeting each year for ten years. “Can do better”, “Can do better”, every teacher wrote these same three words in the comment section of my report card. And I was left wondering silently, “So? So what if I did not get those few marks more? How does that matter?” I never got an answer. This standard feedback slowly translated into the litany inside “Achieve! Achieve!”, a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction with myself. Each time my inner voice demanded “Achieve! Achieve!”, my being with quiet innocence asked, “Why?” – and an answer was not forthcoming…

Dear Reader,

I was invited to contribute an article to an ongoing collaborative blog project called The Human In The Machine – articles on productivity written mostly by people in the software world. My article titled “Achieve! Achieve!” But Why? was published today.

The above was an excerpt from the article. Here is another –

“Work is love made visible”, says Khalil Gibran. That rings true in my being. However, to do that, one first needs to connect with the love within, which can then get expressed in the work we do. Some people know from early on which kind of work is “love made visible” for them. Maybe you do not know what it is for you. For the longest time I did not know. Now I sense that I am nearing the answer.

To find what you naturally like to do, which can be of worth to the world, can be a process of elimination for some people. It has been for me. This can be extremely harrowing and can batter one’s self esteem. You try one thing and find that is not the answer. You try another. That too is not the answer. And the only way you can know if something is or is not the answer is by doing it. And each time your self esteem dips a bit further. Self-doubt and the sense of failure tighten their grip. Nevertheless if this is the only option you have, then it is the only option you have. This search requires patience and faith. Even then, while being harrowing, this search can be exhilarating too.

Each doing and undoing leaves some clue in its wake. “Feeling” data points accumulate, the feeling that each activity, each engagement aroused in you. This “feelings database” that you create in your heart makes for exotic intuitive data analysis, if you let the pattern and answer reveal itself…

I invite you to please visit this project “The Human In The Machine” and read this human’s whole article here.

If you would like me to write for your publication, please email me at [email protected]

2 thoughts on ““Achieve! Achieve” But Why?”

  1. Vani, I have such empathy for this struggle and I do know you have experienced it. I have known many others who experienced it as well. So many come to me and ask, “What should I be doing?” For many it simply requires that experimentation, that offering of time and investigation. I give thanks that “what to do” has always been there for me, although it has taken one turn after another. I know I am given that privilege and I am grateful. The thing is, everyone has one or more privileges–we just don’t always recognize them.

  2. That is so well said Vivian, “The thing is, everyone has one or more privileges–we just don’t always recognize them.”. Am now trying to recognize, acknowledge and leverage the priveleges that I have been given.

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