Monthly Archives: August 2015

Effort and Efficiency


My friend Rohit had a very good idea. In the course of his readings, whenever he came across anything very deep and beautiful, he would write it out on the blackboard in his hostel lobby. This would not only help him in remembering the quote, but others could also join in the experience.

Once he wrote, “Most people don’t know how close are they to their aim when they give up.” True. It does inspire us to take one more step ahead, make a little more effort, and attain the objective, which we so truly deserve.  

But then, at the same time, there should be some way to identify the problems that cannot be solved by their very nature. With them, it is not a question of a lack of effort on part of the seeker, or limitation of resources; instead there is some basic flaw in their very formulation. In such a case, the sooner the person recognises the fault and retreats, directing his attention and efforts towards other sound problems, the better it is for him and for the general pursuit of knowledge.

photo credit: Feel the burn. via photopin (license)

Keep Moving!


While waiting in the queue of the general canteen, Dr Rengarajan greeted me with his bright smile, and asked, “So? How is it going? Anything new?”

— Fine. No, nothing new. Same as yesterday. Same as every other day.

— That is good. You know, ‘You have to keep running to stay where you are’. So if everything is same as yesterday, that also is good, because it implies that you have been trying hard to maintain your position. If you just stop for a while, and do not make continuous effort to improve yourself and excel your previous achievement, your competitors would move ahead of you. You have to keep running, my dear friend.

Yes, it is true in the everyday competitions in the fast-paced world that we live in, where ‘survival of the fittest’ is the norm. At the same time, it does hold good also in the case of an individual’s struggle with his own lower self, and his striving for a supremacy over his environment. Galileo said — “All bodies fall alike”. How true! Unless a conscious effort is made to resist the fall, an individual can sink back into the dark pits of ignorance and weakness from which he had taken so long to rise. ‘Natural state is the animal state.’ Maybe it is worse than that. Civilization is a slow process, and so is character building. To rise higher requires energy and effort — regular and conscious.

So many times I have witnessed a sad decline, stagnation, and downfall of highly talented youth. In most of the cases, it was simply because the poor fellow stopped for a while to take rest, or spent too long a time celebrating his achievements.

photo credit: Fourmies via photopin (license)