Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Experience, The Great Teacher

Experience, The Great Teacher

I have been having this feeling since the beginning of the week that my "holiday" is about to end soon: and sure enough I received a phonecall today from my contact asking me when I can start work on another project.

By right I should be happy that my cash register is ringing but the thought of plunging myself into another difficult project made me hesitate in giving him an immediate yes. I need at least two weeks to get myself back into "match fitness". I have been spending the past couple of weeks handling a lot of "OLTP" matters; switching back to "batch processing" mode would require some time.

So, I'll need to work out a program to get myself mentally fit again to tackle another project. I do look forward to such challenges because only by immersing myself into difficult tasks do I get to know my weaknesses and be able to improve myself. I try not to worry too much about the outcome because I know I'll always give my best and the rest, as always, is up to God.

In executing my work, I always aim for quality but at the same time I also try not to be a perfectionist. Whatever the outcome of a project is, I know I will definitely reap benefits from it: I always emerge a better person. If we know how to distill the essential wisdom from our life's experiences, be they painful or pleasurable ones, we will never stand to lose.

And whenever I talk about experience, a quote from Vivekananda would spring to mind. I shall leave it here for us to ponder its deeper meaning:

You have to get all this experience, but finish it quickly...So get this experience of husbands, and wives, and friends, and little loves; you will get through them safely if you never forget what you really are. Never forget this is only a momentary state, and that we have to pass through it. Experience is the one great teacher — experience of pleasure and pain — but know it is only experience. It leads, step by step, to that state where all things become small...that the whole universe seems as a drop in the ocean and falls off by its own nothingness.

- from the commentaries on Patanjali's Raja Yoga, Chapter II, Verse 18

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