I was surprised to see him using a makeshift spade to make little trenches. He was planting little saplings in the narrow patch of soil. As I got out of my car, with curiosity I asked him which variety of flowers he was planting. I assumed that maybe the society authorities had asked him to lay out some flowers in the trench on the wall in front of our office building.
His answer amazed me. “What is the point of sitting around and doing nothing? I had some mint stalks at home, so Im just planting them here. Someone can enjoy some salad someday soon!"
He was not being paid extra. He had not been told or instructed. Even if he hadn’t bothered, no one would have even noticed. He was doing it any way. And happily. That is what blew my mind.
When I ask my friends in the corporate world what they look for in youngsters who come to them for a job, one answer is universal - "we don’t care too much only about marks and percentages. What we are looking for is attitude."
Attitude is demonstrated by action. My friend said “we want to know what have they down on their own initiative - projects, courses, volunteering, hobbies - anything than shows an ability to take initiative, have grit, and get things done."
Every summer holiday that I can think back to, I was busy doing something. Once my father and I spent an entire month making our own ‘anars’ - you know, those colourful firecrackers that create a fountains of sparks. One summer I made and supplied dry roses to several florists in Pune. Another time I made and sold electronic metronomes. Once I spent the holidays writing my own computer game.
I love doing. I have a bias for action. It keeps me energised and keeps me learning new things.
Thank you to my friend who taught me that doing is possible, anywhere, anytime, and with whatever resources are at hand.