Follow Your Compass, Not Your Clock in Life


compassTime is the most precious commodity, and just about everyone is short of it. I call this act of living a time-challenged existence as in the clock. When we use our time, we do those things that we like to do and avoid others. Some people have the time to read books but not socialize. Others have the time to attend parties, but not to write letters to friends or exercise to keep fit. All of them are busy.

Each of us have a ‘purpose,’ a compass. Each one’s purpose uniquely personalized, unarticulated and internalized. Purpose in society is important for three reasons: it is the primary source of achievement; it is the core energy that fuels the human dynamic; and it is what successful leaders try to keep activated.

There is, however, one dimension of purpose which is universal to all human beings – people want something out of their work so that their lives mean something; they want their lives to have a reason. Fulfillment and happiness come out of working to your potential, irrespective of whether you are a doorman or a chairman.

Stop and reflect occasionally to ask whether you are following your compass as well. That alone can provide meaning to life.

— Excerpt from the convocation address delivered by Mr R. Gopalakrishnan, Director of Tata Sons Ltd, at the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur on 21 March 2016.

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