i know a lot of intelligent people. i know many hard working people. i know a few workaholics. but today, i was a witness to what i can only describe as total dedication to one's job.
imagine: after weeks of putting in 12+ hours of work daily (weekends included), followed by putting in over 16 hours of work on back to back days, your work gets rejected. not because you didn't work hard enough or smart enough, but simply because the task assigned was impossible to humanly accomplish in the given span of time. you set out thinking that nothing is impossible, wanting to reach for what others thought is impossible, but despite your best efforts the impossible remained, true to it's name, impossible.
what would you do?
first of all, i've been incapable (so far) of putting in more than 8 hours of productive work in a day. my first 6 work hours takes about clock 9 hours after figuring breaks etc. the next hours take about 6. and even in such a scenario, if i maange to put the same 15 hours of work on 2-3 consecutive days, i'm exhausted. completely burned out.
if i put in that much of effort, and do not achieve much toward my goal, i give up. i may clutch at a few straws on my way down, but down is where i'll be going. down is where i went in many such situations. thankfully, my life's given me plenty of opportunities, and i'm lucky to say that none of them have proven to be the last.
that doesn't mean i'm a quitter. i can push on doggedly when i need to, and do it against all mental and most physical odds. but regular successes, however small, are a must. i consider myself quite a self motivator, and an achiever in general. i thought my shortcomings were only human, and i'm about as skilled at my job as any other with my knowledge and experience would be. but i do quit, and i have quit. many times over in the past few days.
i changed my mind today.
at 1am, i asked my friend if he was going to leave for home anytime soon.
he said he won't.
i asked him what he would gain from working hard at this hour, since his project had already been pretty much rejected.
the answer was "nothing".
i asked him what he would lose if he went home and left the project as impossible (which i think is true, by the way).
the answer was "nothing".
i asked him why he persisted then.
the answer was: "i can't leave it half-complete, even if i'm not required to complete it."
today, i left for home feeling small. i have truly lived in the shadow of a giant. he may not succeed today, but he will soon beat the rest with his hard work, and his commitment.
all the best, mithiliesh.
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