Love it or Leave it

-Commander VK Jaitly

Last week, while delivering a talk to a gathering of about 100+ young professionals, one young lady asked a question that she was not liking her job. What she should do?

My crisp reply was “Love it or Leave it”. She got a mild shock with the crisp reply from me.

I further elaborated in detail what I meant. I am of the view that many of us land up in a job or a career that is not of our choice. We may have got into that because of the pressure from our parents or the peers or the teachers. It is also possible that we tried to get into a job of our liking but didn’t get selected. So in order to make both ends meet and support our family we picked up a job that may not be of our choice and liking. There are very few people in this world with a safety net of very strong backing from their parents and other family members. Such people can afford to even remain without jobs for months and even years till they get something of their interest. Majority of the people belong to middle class and they don’t have the luxury to reject jobs but tend to accept whatever comes their way and is offered to them. The moment they finish their studies, some source of income is the dire need for them to support their families.

In a large number of cases, we, the middle class people don’t have a choice to shift our job because of a large number of constraints. May be because of our qualification limitations, we don’t have many options. OR because of family problems, we are not able to shift to a different city or a country for picking up a new job. OR we don’t have the confidence to accept new challenges of a new job in a new location. In such cases, it is in our interest to start liking our job and in fact love our job and genuinely love the job we are doing. It is not very difficult to persuade your mind to get into the mould that has been offered to you. It is a matter of a bit of self-suggestion whether you wish to like something or dislike it.

Remember that those who love their jobs, start excelling in that and such people never get tired while performing their duties. You get tired only when you keep cribbing and complaining about your job, about the environment, about your boss and about your colleagues. When you know that you don’t have an alternative, better love it. And if you do have an alternative, why to stick on with something you don’t like. Just have the courage to leave it and go for the alternative.

I did some further thinking on this quote by me: “Love it or Leave it”. If your son or daughter is in a school that he/she is not comfortable with. It may be because of any reason. He/She may not like the teachers, or the friend circle or the environment or lack of facilities. Whatever may be the reasons, if your children don’t love their school, they must leave it and go to a school that they genuinely love. Only then they shall excel in studies, sports and other extra-curricular activities. And if you feel that changing the school is just not possible because of some constraints, then go for proper counselling in such a way that they start liking their present school. You may have to talk to their teacher/principal and even some classmates so that they start loving their school. Only then their performance will improve.

Let us take another common example. You shift to a new flat in a new colony and may be in a new city. And all the time you keep remembering your old flat, old neighbours and the nearby Kirana Wallah etc and then keep comparing with the lack of all that good stuff in the present new flat in the new colony. Your mind keeps cursing your own bad luck. Can you lead a happy life in this new set up? The answer is a big ‘NO’.

You have to do conditioning of your mind to start liking the new environment, new neighbours, new facilities and new locality. After all, you must have shifted in this new flat because of some good reasons. Look for all the positives in the new set up and better start loving it and only then you will be able to live in peace. And because of any reason, if you are not able to love it then better leave it. Go back to the old place or go to some place which you are 100% sure that you shall like it and love it.

Now it may also happen that between husband and wife, one of them likes the new flat and the other one wants to go back to the earlier one. This is a very complex situation. I will not say that one of them should sacrifice for the sake of other one and relent to the desire of the other. Many times, we tend to stick around with what we are used to. We tend to resist change. Though most of the time the Change may be for good in the long run. So in case of a conflict of choice between husband and wife, they should make a list of attributes for the two dwellings in question and then allot points out of 10 for each of the attribute and see which choice gets more points and go for that. The points to be allotted for each attribute may also differ according to wife and the husband. So in this case, take the help of a common friend whose judgement is respected by both to allot points for the attributes where there is a difference of opinion.

The idea is that we should not be too rigid in our approach. As the opportunities come your way, make the best use of them. Love the present job while you are at it. Commit your full energy to contribute your best till the last day at that job. Be on the lookout for better opportunities and leave the old job only if the new one is substantially better and you are convinced that it shall be good for your growth and you are going to love it. So leave the old one and love the new one. But let the departure from the old job be also in good taste and on a happy note. Your true well-wishers and good friends will always be happy when you progress in life even when you go far away from them. They will miss you, your good nature and your good behaviour but accept it as a part of life willingly. Let this be your mantra for a happier life.

“Love it or Leave it” formula can be applied in so many areas of your life. Be magnanimous to love your family members, friends and neighbours. Remove the word ‘hatred’ from your dictionary. You may come across some situations sometimes when someone crosses all the limits of decency and decorum that disturbs you to the extent that you wish to dump that someone to the dustbin. Take this as a test of your own patience and decency. Maintain a cool and composed posture. Don’t lose your temper.

It is you who have to decide now that you cannot ‘Love him or her’ anymore as all your best efforts have gone waste. So you will have to decide to ‘Leave him or her’. Don’t be in a hurry to make such decisions of personal nature. Look at all the pros and cons before you take the final call on “Love it or Leave it”. But do remember this formula.