Back in 1989, after completing my Mechanical Engineering from one of the best engineering institutes of India, IIT Bombay, I got a great job in a multinational In India. That meant, good money and good life and the feeling of being one of the ‘have alls’ of the world.
Then a series of risks I took in life which included starting my own business and failing in it, made me feel and live the life of the ‘have not’ of the world.
A course correction and reverting back to the corporate world led me through an exciting international career culminating in being CEO of large corporate companies for years, having money, power and above all, the high of feeling like a ‘have all’ again.
Moving to Canada, finding out that my education, skill sets and experience were not recognized here and being forced to start from scratch again at this stage of my life with mounting family expenses and above all businesses which pay minimum wages or less, has again in the last three years made me come to a position of feeling like a ‘have not’.
So why am I sharing my roller coaster life with a reader who may have his own bagful of worries?
In the professional journey of twenty three years plus, living through various degrees of success and failure, I have learnt a few important lessons.
Whoever says that money is not important, has not enjoyed the joys, money can bring. Or has had enough of it and does not need to bother about earning it. Money did not buy happiness as it was not being sold in the market but it did instead buy a twenty five thousand dollar diamond necklace which lit a thousand watt bulb in my wife’s eyes and did serve the same purpose. Money could not buy sheer delight but it did instead arrange for European & Thai holidays or a Disney sojourn for my family, memories of which still bring smiles and joy to our hearts.
And now, as a ‘have not’, when I have to manipulate a discussion as soon as my family thinks of spending money on the so called luxuries of life, money still maintains its reverence in my life and the photograph of Sir Borden on a Canadian hundred dollar bill, still looks as beautiful as my wife to me.
But what enriches our lives more than the money itself is what we do with it and the means we use to acquire it and the methods we use to spend it.
Are we compromising on all the positive ethics and values of the world in our race to acquire it at any cost or are we still maintaining our dignity and respect in our eyes and can admire what the mirror reflects back of our image every day?
Are we spending all our energies and times in earning it at all costs forgetting our families, friends, even ourselves and creating a reservoir which will only smell one day of standing water or are we letting the currents of ‘currency’ flow in and out to bring happiness for one and all with whom we share our lives?
Are we letting our fear of losing it rest heavily on our heart and not taking any risks in our lives or not doing things that we wish to do just because they may make less money, to live comfortable but boring lives that we ourselves detest, or are we still capable of living life by our heart, doing what we want, enjoying every thrill that the unknown brings?
Are we man enough to risk all, loose and try to rise again? And still feel happy and proud even if we fall again, because we are trying! Because the spirit is alive and kicking! Because we know that the creativity and the infinite potential that mankind has can still let a thousand worlds blossom! Because we know that we will not take any money with us into the next world but leave behind myths and tales of our struggles and the bravery of our spirit, a legacy which generations would strive to follow!
I love you Mr. Dollar and will always love you but your love always comes behind five things- my family, myself, this roller coaster called life, God and my wife, not necessarily in that order !
Posted in Times of India on 12th February 2013. Link below-