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What are you Running for?

  • Alok 

A few years back, I was closing a workshop and we were having the final discussion of what we call the “Final Debrief”. This was in the beautiful hill station of Darjeeling and the client was the editing team of a leading newspaper of India. While sharing the scores of the last activity of all teams, one team came to me with a blank answer sheet! That was surprising, as I have seen low performing teams but this was the first time a team has come with a blank answer sheet! I asked the team leader if they want some extra time to fill the sheet for fair competition. Then she shared that it is not missed out, they have left the sheet blank intentionally.

I asked, “Why have you left it blank?”

She said, “Because we were not running for scores”, we were out there for fun and we had a lot of it. Since it was a ‘City Race’. We went to all the places, spent some quality time out there. Got great snaps, ate what we like. And here we are as a team which had the most fun today”

This was quite a contrast to the kind of teams we meet, most of the time it’s a fierce competition between all the team and everybody likes to win. However she had a point when we briefed for the city race, there were 3 objectives that were shared with the teams.

  1. To score as many points as possible
  2. To have as much fun as possible
  3. To come back safe and healthy

Though this team missed on the first one, they definitely scored full marks in the next two objectives. And the truth is we don’t even notice for the high scoring teams that how well they scored in objective number 2 and 3. Why?

Because it is difficult to measure happiness and sometimes also difficult to measure health and safety. They are not as objective as the scores.

This comes down as a reflection to a larger question of our lives.

“What are we running for?”

Before we move ahead I ask you to close your eyes and ask it to yourself (Take a Minute)

You will find that most of the time the answer comes in quite a visible, objective, and measurable format. Like:

  • A Great pay package / Financial Freedom
  • A bigger and Better House
  • That luxurious car I always dreamt

It’s not bad to have this dream; in fact, it’s a great way to live life by getting what we want.  However, if we are only running behind such material possessions, we may get rich but we cannot be wealthy.

I recently heard ‘Robin Sharma’ (one of the world’s highly respected leadership experts) defining wealth in 5 forms. I would like to steal this idea from him and share it here:

Wealth is a Healthy combination of ‘Economic Abundance’, Relationship, Health, Adventure, and Impact. Now let’s look at them individually

Economic Abundance is definitely meeting the financial objectives of life, it’s a great way to make our dreams come true and life where we don’t need to worry too much about the cash flow every day. We should also hire a Financial/Wealth consultant who and look at our assets and give the right suggestions to manage finances. Being proactive is the best approach when it comes to money. We should also get ourselves well insured, as our lives are very precious and we care for our loved ones.

Relationship and community are some of the most desiring human needs. You don’t want to reach the top – Alone. Our family and the loved ones are one we share our success with and we should never underestimate their importance in our lives. We should take time for family every day. I read this at a Domino Pizza store, “Time spent with you Family and Friends doing nothing is a time well spent”. This is so relevant in the time of Lockdown due to COVID-19. Do something special for them; give them a surprise on their birthday. Share a laugh every now and then. Show gratitude and say thank you for making your day so special.

Health is the most essential form of wealth. What’s the point of getting rich and unwell? As I heard this somewhere, “Health is crown on the head of the person which only a sick person can see”. Which is so true, we never care for it normally till it gets worse. Most of us those who want to live healthy also struggle to find time for exercise. We need to look it like this, if run our car 100 km every day at top speed for 3 months, what will happen? It will wear out, it needs service, in the same manner, we cannot keep running our daily routines until we find time to serve ourselves. Only a healthy mind can get great ideas and only a healthy person can go out and make that difference. Second is we should eat ultra well. Eat like an athlete, because what we eat defines our energy levels. Want to end this with a famous quotation from the ‘Earl of Derby’ – 

“Those who don’t find time for exercise, sooner or later will have to find time for illness”

Adventure is essential to keep that spark alive in our lives. Adventure in that sense is not only about physical experiences like climbing mountains or white water rafting or bungee jumping. It is about moving out of our comfort zones, taking the risk of letting go of our age-old beliefs, changing our thought paradigms, and daring to look at things differently. To explore possibilities and in the process grow as individuals, teams, and organizations. Go and try something today that you were resistant to last time. Try some new dishes, or even cook them. Learn a new art. Take little risks, as they really feel fantastic when you win and give you great lessons if you don’t.

Contribution & Impact is the difference we make in the world we live in. Though we find ourselves surrounded with so many responsibilities what gives real meaning in our lives is the good we do to others. It is nothing like to be remembered tomorrow as a generous person, a person who was kind and elevated the lives of people who came in touch with him. All the great people and leaders leave people better than they find them. It’s important to realize what impact we can bring in the society and we should work on the wealth a little bit every day. As it is said, “All that goes with you when you die is the good you have done and blessings you have received”

Now I ask you to spend some time asking yourself where do you stand on this wealth matrix.  Are you working on all types of are you too busy with your scores. You will know where you need to work and let’s start immediately to make as much wealth as possible. Don’t wait for tomorrow, as we don’t realize when tomorrow slips to weeks and weeks slip to months.

Get wealthy and do share your feedback and comments.

I have recently recorded a video blog on Finding Purpose of Life, it’s recommended to read.

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