Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why do YOU do what YOU do?

Hanuman's Ramayan

In ancient Indian Mythology, Valmiki was a poet who many considered a pioneer of Sanskrit Literature. He had written one the Greatest Hindu epics of all time titled, 'The Ramayana'. It consists of 24,000 verses in 7 books. The book depicts the journey of one of the seven avatars of the Indian God Vishnu, whose name is 'Rama'. It explores human values and explains the concept of dharma. A few days after Valmiki had finished his version of the Ramayana, he was told that Hanuman the monkey God and King, and an ardent devotee of Rama had written his own version of the Ramayana. 

Out of curiosity Valmiki goes to visit Hanuman to see this new version of the Ramayana. Hanuman then gives him a banana leaf on which he has written the Ramayana with the tip of his finger nails. Valmiki reads 'Hanuman's Ramayana' and then he starts crying. He is amazed because Hanuman's Ramayana is extra-ordinarily good and much better than his. 

     (Above - Hanuman( left)  the devotee of the Hindu God Rama and Valmiki (right) the great Indian poet.)

When Hanuman saw the grief of Valmiki, he took his version of the Ramayana and tore it up. When Valmiki asked him why he had done that, Hanuman replied as such, "Valmiki, while you wrote the Ramayana to achieve fame and status, I wrote it to find Rama."


Extrinsic and Intrinsic Rewards

Growing up in a competitive world, I was always taught that the external rewards define you as a person. The money, fame, status you achieve in life were really important for success. The above story made me realize that it is not always the external transformation, but most often it is the internal transformation that really matters. It is the person you become in the process the lives you impact that is much more important.

In his wonderful book, 'Drive - The Surprising Science of Motivation', Daniel Pink had written about the concept of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. When you do something for the fame, status or for external validation, then you are externally motivated. But if you do something just because you genuinely enjoy doing it and find joy in the task then you are intrinsically motivated. A combination of both these factors, extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, is very important for long term success in life. Do read the book to find out more, or watch this video of Dan on -


What will your legacy be? How will you be remembered?

Whatever job you are in today, or whatever position of your life you are presently at, ask yourself, "How would you want  the world to remember the work of your life?" 

Would people remember your contribution in terms of the fact that it made you lots of money and brought you lots of fame. Or will people remember your work, in terms of the lives you have impacted and the larger cause, that you lived for through it?

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