I was speaking to a friend the other day. I was catching up with her after a few months. She had recently gone through a rough patch in life. When I asked her how she was doing , she said “Working hard and feeling loved”. And I thought, what a beautiful response !. Is there anything else we all really need? These two things are possibly our water and sunshine that makes us thrive.
“Working Hard”- Let us set aside for a minute the whole which is better- working hard or working smart debate. I am not referring to the crazy 16hr workdays with back-to-back meetings that leave some of us feeling like the walking dead. I am talking about working hard at say.. that amazing cake you baked, or the yoga pose that you badly wanted to master, or the half marathon that you single mindedly trained to achieve or that daunting high altitude trek you conquered… … or that garden you nurtured with all your passion….or that project you bagged after working on it for months….or the research you completed ….or that job that you enjoy every day… or that 30 day anything challenge that you took on …that kind of hard work which intrinsically motivates you irrespective of whether somebody was waiting to pay you for it, that hard work is satisfying in itself. It makes you feel proud of yourself. You rise in your own self esteem. Those things help us draw meaning from a seemingly meaningless life.
And then of course being loved. Unconditionally. Well… as unconditional as humans are capable of being. Not because you contributed money or a material possession or you did something for someone, but because you are you. Many a times, we lose the plot with our loved ones on how to love them unconditionally. Parents despite their best intentions leave children feeling unloved unless they are achievers. Spouses feel the same way. People can be made to feel ‘less’ unless they are exceptional- top of the pack – in terms of the expectations from the world. All of us need to constantly fight this societal conditioning.
So when my friend who was just clawing her way out of a bad situation in life, said she was working hard and feeling loved, I couldn’t be happier for her. If you were happy that you were working hard at something and you felt you were loved for who you are by your family or friends, that’s all really anyone needs . Won’t you agree ?