The reaction that few people are throwing out on my blog pieces these days is "Oh no, not again! :) One of my friends think I am preaching too much these days like a good-for-nothing gyaani. I tend to agree with her. Not with the good-for-nothing part, but with the preaching part! Indeed, increasingly the perception is that I am on my way to become a spiritual guru who has done nothing worthwhile in life. Mind you, I said perception. The reality, like often, is far from it.
It's easy to see how this perception got built up. People who know me for years now also know the eccentric part of my personality. I am at best, avoidable! :) I have radical (bordering on the irrational) thoughts and views. All that was fine till I was a working professional and all this side was just a parallel. Things apparently turned from bad to worse when I quit my job earlier this year. Easier to be deceived then, since it means I was one step closer to doing nothing! Parents and friends feared that I had lost my ambitious side, a part that has helped me reach wherever I am today. About 5 years back, I wanted to be extremely rich. My conversations and discussion revolved around this theme of making money. I guess the fact that I am talking less about these things is creating the perception that I have lost the competitive drive and zeal.
Now to the fact. I still want to be rich. And I will surely have few crores with me in about 10 years from now (good friends and well-wishers will be happy to read this and retort - that's the over-confident and rude Harish we know ;)). Yes, I liked the book The monk who sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma). But I also liked I bought the monk's Ferrari (Ravi Subramanian). You need to earn your Ferrari before you decide to give it away. But earning the Ferrari need not be at the cost of not being able to do things that you will after you sell the Ferrari. That is, strike the balance. This is precisely what I intend to do for the next few years till I earn my Ferrari. Earn, I will.
Give you must, but after you earn. Share you must, but after you have. In today's world, money speaks. If you wish to have the power to change things, money is a very important tool. But do not chase it recklessly. Have a purpose in life and live towards it. Earn for the cause and earn big time. Earn using your skills and utilise it for a noble cause. But again, earn you must.
I like and believe in what Infosys' Narayana Murthy says: For Heaven's sake, there is nothing wrong in creating wealth by legal and ethical means. Do not ever get confused about choice between creating wealth and charity. First, you create wealth efficiently and only then can you donate your share a part to any charity. If you don't earn, what will you give?
The only variation I would have from what he says is to create a balance and not just do one of the two parts (earning and charity) at a time. Work for causes whole-heartedly, garner resources, help create opportunities and balance things in this uneven world.
As Robin Sharma writes, the purpose of life is to live with a purpose.