Saturday, September 15, 2012

If only I knew their secret

I have come across rare people who have no clue that they are rare. Those are the people who take their work seriously. They work really hard for a paltry amount yet beam a 1000 watt smile of having immense job satisfaction. I don't know how they do it. They get minimal or absolutely no recognition  yet their heart is singing at work. There is no drop in the quality of the output. It is completed with as much meticulousness and precision as they started it with. Regular mundane non-glam jobs. Nobody would notice or complain if they underdelivered because the next best person doing them is doing a pretty shoddy job of it anyway. Yet they invest hard labour and extra time to do it just right.

A coffee stall lady, a washerman, a salesman, a brass replica maker, a teacher, a gardener, a carpenter, an actor and many more. The list is endless. I have made a mental note of their working style. It has a pattern. A pattern that is totally independent of external stimuli. Sometimes to the extent of being imperceptively oblivious to emergency/gravity of the situation or being thick-skinned to the requirement of others around them. They simply go on with their job with surgical precision.

What drives them or makes them do so? I am yet to discover.

I asked some of them. They said that they were doing something only what they have learnt from childhood. They had no clue that the world around them has changed to smarter ways of working, demanding recognition, and commanding a handsome edge by threatening to quit. The only answer I found in most of the time was a smile and "this is how I work". That's it.

Pushpa at Talcauvery
The lady in the photograph is Pushpa. She runs a small coffee shop in Talcauvery. It had rained a lot. We stopped for coffee. Her two daughters were back from school and reading comic books on makeshift tables. She had few or no customers that day. We were drenched and in a hurry. We asked for coffee for six. She cut open a new milk pouch and asked us to wait. We had no choice but to sit and wait it out. She boiled the milk and the filter coffee decoction separately (I would have just added the milk  straight from the pouch to the boiling decoction). She let the milk boil a lot. Almost till 1/3rd of it was reduced. We were getting fidgety. We asked her to speed it up. She said, "rich milk makes the coffee tastier". Then she performed the well known coffee pouring ritual for each tumbler separately. This was taking forever but we didn't ask her to hurry it up because we knew she wouldn't.

Yes it took time. It took a very long time for that coffee to finally get to us. But it is the best filter coffee I have ever had. I don't think she knows that she makes better coffee than a lot of overpriced outlets.

We meet many such people. They care not for what others think or want. They care not for what they want as well. They are simply absorbed in what they do.

If there is a secret to such selfless self-motivation, may it be revealed at the earliest. I am joined by many in this quest.

5 comments:

  1. I've also seen such people and failed to understand the source of their ceaseless motivation. Actually it could be a blessing in disguise that some people are not at all aware of their potential or talent, and consequently, they just energetically execute whatever tasks they're given. They enjoy what they do because they don't get themselves burdened with expectations of a recognition. The outcome of this type of attitude is consistently productive.

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  2. I still don't know what could be the source. But there sure is something serene and content about them (despite the problems they might be having).

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  3. I too have met many such people. Their attitude is indeed something which people like me need to learn from them.

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  4. Would love to learn it too but I am not sure if it is circumstantial, inborn or cultivated over time.

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