I believe we are responsible for everything in our life. For every single thing. I have often heard people say that they do not have enough time to pursue their passion, they could not make it big because of some blah reason, but I still think everything boils down to what you want to do in life.
The other day as I made my way to a client meeting, I decided to have a quick lunch with another colleague. We spoke through our meal punctuating it with enormous bites that only a person with half an hour lunch break can manage to take. As we sat there, I saw our manager through the glass window of the cafe, running across the street with a huge canvas in her hand. My colleague informed me that she was participating in an art exhibition. She had loaded her car with all her creations and had asked the pick-up truck to carry it to the venue during the lunch break.
‘It’s in the papers,’ my colleague said. ‘Her creations will be showcased by the international arts faculty for this exhibition.’
My manager is a forty something woman. She has mothered two children. She is the backbone of the office. She is the first to come in and the last to log out. As I finished my lunch, I could not help but wonder, when does she get the time to make international level art?
I headed off to the client meeting but embarrassing scenes of me often procrastinating about many things over the weekends flashed through my mind throughout the entire afternoon. When I returned to office, I made a mental note to have a talk with my manager regarding this. Of course, there are so many things that I want to accomplish, but always run short of time! How does she do it?
I did not have to wait long as she herself came over to our desks and handed out passes to the exhibition. The warm person that she is, she revels in adding a personal touch to everything. Her coming over and handing it out to our team was just one such warm gesture. As she handed me one, I asked her the question that I had in my mind for so long.
‘How do you manage it all?’
She looked at me for a long hard time. Maybe she was trying to weigh the gravity of my question. Trying to understand if it was a sincere query or mere courtesy talk. When she saw my eager face looking up to her, she pulled a chair and sat down next to me.
Ever heard of Oprah Winfrey? She is the most known face in the world today, not to forget the most loved. She was born out of wed-lock. She was born into poverty. But she is Oprah Winfrey as we know her today. The point is, if you want to manage, you can manage it. You just need to step out of your comfort zone and really want to do what you want to do.
It’s not easy, but my passion to be in the international art circle always gave me the strength. My strength fuelled my passion to work hard. Maybe one painting at a time. Maybe two paintings in four months. But I never missed an opportunity to create; and here I am! I wanted to be there and so I consciously made my way there. I could have gone back to my comfort zone where I did not need to spend my free hours creating something. But comfort zones do not lead you anywhere.
With this piece of advice, she rose to go. I looked back at her in amazement. The best manager that I have and of course an amazing person I know.
As I left office that day, I stopped by the magazine store. I wonder if it was a co-incidence that I found a magazine with Oprah on the cover page! Needless to say I bought it immediately.
On my way back home, I found a corner seat in the metro and decided to look at the magazine. The article on Oprah started with a quote that read:
‘It does not matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph always begins with you. Always!’